my time here lends itself to thinking about violence, peace, and anger.Lends itself: certain places are filled with certain ideas
Filled with: conversation spoken and misspoken, the colors of skins, the ways that dirt collects on people, the posters that flake on walls–?
In echo, there is an original voice. We learn to call the voices on voices a bouncing, a pre-coming to of science, a textbook knowledge that lets me Understand a physic that is invisible. This city, as all cities, as all spaces is filled with invisible physics, standing walls and standing people, an unseeable architecture of human motion: it’s amazing, isn’t it? how close we can pass by someone without touching them, isn’t it? In those tunnels of untouching, I am confident where I end and the next of us begins, a perverted confidence in ourselves, isn’t it? coming from a system of convenience that makes physical life possible; a belief in being able to “know” a thing, a mistake.
violence, peace, and anger. I struggle with objectivities: Wrongs and Rights, but it’s hard not to stand with Palestine, a microcosm for everything that sucks in the world. A small, poor nation of people, human people, killed and fenced and humiliated by money, power, and greed. Right? Slipping into subjectivities, the world is run by a white man, right? Who controls the medias and the armies and the ways that people think and the brown man (though palestinians range in color, a cardboard smear) with no clout is killed in silence, right? Slipping into subjectivities, it’s hard not to see wrong here.
The problem, though, is that it’s natural. The palestinians say, “We would have lived in peace if they hadn’t begun to kill us,” and the Israelis say, “We would have lived in peace if they hadn’t begun to kill us,” and the solution is so obvious: just stop fighting. But there is a momentum to violence, a back and forth and a fear and pride and unwillingness… But that’s where Rule comes in. Where you cannot get 3,000,000 people to all stop or start doing a single thing at a single time, you can get two people in a room to agree to a single thing at a single time. But, power and money. We are a series of perverted fictions, cracked scaffolding, a confidence in a series of definitions of right and wrongs that are necessarily untrue. “Necessarily”
It’s hard not to side with Palestine, and the Arab world, fighting just to be left alone against greater weapons and greater hostilities, When this city is covered in fog, thick between two mountains, climbing up the sides its orange and pink night time lights become like candy, vesperous spheres of light that touch and untouch and blur they enact in my hands a want to ball up, so much blurring a want to take this city of fog between two mountains made of light and near-silence and pack it as tightly as I can to see what color it all averages out to: philosophically interesting: the average of diversity or the diversity itself, how those two things are similar and different, moments when you can smell lemon juice on the wind…?
flavored (taste, smell, sight, hearing, touching) winds; the solution is obvious: stop fighting. Right? It’s so obvious, but it’s more complicated than that, right?: my religion and my family and the people before us that have died, a point to prove, god… I had a good conversation about God just recently with an imam all in white under an olive tree and a lemon tree and blah blah. I asked, “isn’t it enough that I do good, that I care for the people around me, that I learn and read and become better and stronger to better serve the world I am in; isn’t it enough that I hurt nobody and try try try to love everyone?” and he said-ish (and he-ish said):
It is not enough. The world all around you is evidence of a Creation and a Creator, its colors and magics, its perfection: on this entire olive tree you will not find a single lemon, and on this lemon tree you will not find a single olive, that is Allah. At birth you were given an infinite number of gifts: body, sight, pleasure-sensitive genitals and all that is asked in return is a recognition that you were Made. Life is fleeting, the “hereafter” is forever.
It’s easier to surrender to an invisibility, a “hereafter;” we are precisely surrounded by everything at every moment, the around-us is the sum total of our identical reality, our infinitely specific proof of everything. It’s natural to think that it itself has a science behind it. As we say the sun moves because the earth spins around the sun, we might also assume: the earth spins around the sun because of Allah. A derivative of reality, the acceleration of its velocities. The solution to the fighting, the occupation the hate in all the world is exactly the thing that is most unhuman: to agree and to cease to fight. I think, maybe, that there can be no solution to hate, pain, fighting, etc. (subjective evils) within the sphere of living because living is a place of necessary pains. [this is an idea to build on]
Like teaching English in Nablus. It has a quality of goodness, a gift of language that will allow people here to break free from these walls. But, it enforces a hegemonic definition of “breaking free,” it enforces the powers that are [somehow] trying to make all the world speak English, and trying to tell us which side of the wall is the right side of the wall. Although it does good, it also necessarily does an evil, by teaching English, I am contributing to the psyche that says “the only way to prosper is to speak English, to look like Matt Damon, to fuck like a porn star, please leave your bags at the door you won’t need them where you’re going enjoy your flight–?” Right? Maybe not.
Because it is also a good. By withholding the English language, I would be making it harder for people here to participate in a global system of success, whether or not that global system of success is dropleted and packaged and air-dropped into needy countries, black brown yellow pale kids ripping open the packages to turn their heads back completely parallel to the sky and emptying the tiny beakers into their mouths, praying for something to happen, falling into a deathful sleep?–
So. How do I participate. That’s what it comes to, I’m realizing. What do I do with everything that I am: my voice, my breath, my body. Where half-truths all turn to flour, and everything is an infinitely complex system of individual human realities, mammoth historical systems, psychological battlefields, images, languages, preconceptions, postconceptions, a love-making of night and day? I know (I think): that I have two hands, two legs, a mouth. I know that I am a body in space and that I have an affect on people. My presence even as a still body can shape motion in streets, my voice… I am, somehow. Yet, it is necessarily impossible for me to know what I am, who I am because the idea of a wholistic understanding of anything is a mistake propagated by the need for writers and filmmakers and phototakers and picturepainters to be understood. I am, and Palestine is. A nation surrounded by a wall built by a people who are incomprehensibly wealthier and more powerful. There is hate and anger that comes, somehow, from nothing. From disagreements planted in soil that is aggregated from the ceaseless silts of history, the shit of and blood of human life and death. It is planted in a language that cannot be spoken to because it is made up of an alternate system of signifiers and signifieds. So what.
I know: that I must do. That there is, MUST BE, some kind of truth to removing pain from the pained. Everything I have ever known suggests that my flesh is a manipulable surface of pain and pleasure, and everything I have ever known suggests that everyone else feels too.
I am a body and a voice and a breath and I influence. Cars slow down for me, people turn their heads to my head, my hand has felt other hands and other bodies have felt me, and I am.
Words make me feel, words make me do, sounds make me move and the rain makes me wet. Clouds cast shadow and I seek warmth in the cold and coolness in heat. There is a thing I have been taught to call “feeling” that happens in me. I use physical adjectives and physical nouns to navigate the things I cannot see for lack of any other stars.
There are stars. There is a sun. I am a breath and a voice and a body. Who do I break? Who do I kill? What walls do I paint and — questions or answers, to ask questions or answer questions (?), to be a taxic beast of like and dislike,