Wednesday, July 19, 2006
from Etel Adnan's To Keep a Diary in a Time of War
To rise early, to hurry down to the driveway, to look for the paper, take it out from its yellow bag, read on the front-page WAR, to notice that WAR takes half a page, to feel a shiver down the spine, to tell that that’s it, to know that they dared, that they jumped the line, to read that Baghdad is being bombed, to envision a rain of fire, to hear the noise, to be heart-broken, to stare at the trees, to go up slowly while reading, to come back to the front-page, read WAR again, to look at the word as if it were a spider, to feel paralyzed, to look for help within oneself, to know helplessness, to pick up the phone, to give up, to get dressed, to look through the windows, to suffer from the day’s beauty, to hate to death the authors of such crimes, to realize that it’s useless to think, to pick up the purse, to go down the stairs, to see people smashed to a pulp, to say yes indeed the day is beautiful, not to know anything, to go on walking, to take notice of people’s indifference towards each other.
To have lunch. To ask for some beer. To give one’s order. To drink, eat, and pay. To leave. To reach home. To find the key. To enter. To wait. To think about the war. To glance at the watch. To put on the news. To listen to the poison distilled by the military correspondents. To get a headache. To eat dry biscuits. To put the radio back on. To hear bombs falling on Baghdad. To listen to ambulances. To go out on the deck. To look at the lengthening shadows on the grass. To count a few dead flies on the pane. To go to the table and look at the mail. To feel discouraged. To drink some water. To not understand the wind. To wonder if the human race is not in chaos. To wish to blow up the planet. To admire those who are marching against the war.
To hear a war from far-away. For others; to bomb, eliminate a country, blow-up a civilization, destroy the living. To exit from one idea, to enter another. To go. To cross the Golden-Gate. To enter San Francisco. To stop at the light. To enjoy the luminosity of the green. To be on Market Street. To see too many policemen. To be told to keep going. To see young men being arrested at the end of the march. To measure tension in the air. To seek Valencia. To go all the way to Connecticut and park the car. To enter through the gate of CCAC. To sit in a room which is dark. To listen to a poet, then to another, speak about a time gone.
To stop at the gas-station and fill up the tank. To go uphill, peek at Mount Tamalpais. To take a rest, breathe, contemplate. To find a path and walk on wet grounds. To enjoy the enormous variety of the shades of green on the mountain. To raise one’s eyes to the sky and bring them back on the horizon. To compare the different greys of the sky. To try to speak to the clouds. To say yes, it’s impossible. To linger on the mystery of communication, to bemoan its absence. To say it’s okay, then not to believe oneself. To think of the morning news, to be horrified. To despise. To hate. To empty one’s head of overflowing e motions. To regret that evil exists. To blame oneself for the existence of evil. To want to forget about it and not be capable of doing so. To wrap oneself with death.
- posted by Frank Sherlock