There are changes that are bound to happen. To me and to this blog. In light of recent events, I say good morning to the night. There is no time for sleep. To this blog, the name is changing from Non Serviam (I will not serve) to Walk Between This. The tagline is changing from The Ominous Sanctity to Liminal Speech. The Ominous Sanctity is a text I started writing when I was sixteen years of age. Sixteen pages demarcated by wars, burnt tires and a never-stomping heart. A highly personal text; in it I constantly wrote down, deleted and made changes to what I took to be my ‘code’ to life. Except it wasn’t a strict code because I was always willing to change it. It was part of a booklet I distributed (illegally) around that time called The Art of Keeping Cool. How to keep cool in a sectarian and highly religious environment such as the one I lived in back in Beirut. Tareek El Jdeedeh, for those of you who’ve been there or know it.
Now that I’m in New York, and even though I feel a great umbilical connection to Beirut, the change of name is indicative of my change of space and the change I want to see in Beirut. Besides that, personal ‘updates’ and unfortunate events have radically changed a course of my life I was highly committed to (and a part of me still is). This change, abrupt and forced (and to an extent coming out of a necessity I can’t control) comes as a great disappointment. A thin noose of hope still wraps itself around my neck, but I’ve learned not to commit suicide through hope. So now, I walk between this, this change and this hope which I willingly cling to. This is a declaration of sort. A twisted commitment to something which no longer exists; yet at the same time it’s a voyage through new landscapes, and a discovery. Beaten down to the ground with ill-fated news, I make of the ground a door.
I share these words of Bataille; his words are mine, and he is, like Nietzsche, all the names in history:
I’m ashamed of myself. There’s something soft about me, easily swayed…I’m not young anymore.
A few years ago I was tough, filled with bravado, with a take-charge attitude. It seems that’s over with and was shallow, perhaps. Back then there wasn’t that much risk in action and affirmation!
My ability to bounce back seems gone for good: war crushes my hopes (nothing functions outside the political system);
illness is wasting me away;
unrelenting anguish ends up playing havoc with my nerves (I can’t regard this development as weakness);
at a moral level I feel reduced to silence (the summit can’t be asserted–no one can speak in its name).
What counters this is a conscousness that’s sure of itself. If any chance of action exists, I’ll risk it–not as an ancillary risk, but as a risk of my life. Even if I’m older, sick, and feverish, it’s not in my nature ti simply sit by and do nothing. I can’t keep endlessly accepting this infinitely monstrous sterility which fatigue brings to my life.
(Under the present conditions, the slightest lapse of awareness brings on giddiness. At. 5 A.M. I’m cold, my heart sinks, what is there to do but sleep?)
As for the subeject of life and death: sometimes I bitterly eye the worst, I stake my bet, helplessly slip into horror. I know all is lost. And I know that daw, a potential illuminator, will cast its light on a dead man.
Inside me everything laughs blindly at life. Buoyant like a child: walking through life, carrying it.
I hear the rain falling.
My depressed state, the threats of death, some kind of destructive fear that also shows the way to the summit–all these whirl in me, haunting and choking me…But I am–we are–going to go on.
B’s words are mine. I consume them with admiration. A cannibalistic necrophiliac. I am saddened. I am ashamed. “But I am–we are–going to go on”.
All texts are warnings as well as declarations. For those awaiting my arrival in Beirut, and for those few that wish I never come back; the reality is that I’m coming, and not silently. I shall come to claim. I shall come defy. I shall come to sway. There is music in my footsteps that I constantly hear, there is a rhythm that spurs from my eyes like lesbian sighs. This agonistic inertia fuels me. I am coming back. I hold myself up high, never as an icon, but as a bull to be slaughtered. Bloody entertainment. Some should be glad. Others should be afraid of my unrelenting presence and my willingness to be stabbed, in the neck, on the back, in the chest. This shall be entertaining. Beirut, I’m coming back to make your pulse run.
Liminal Speech. It is fated that I walk constantly between New York’s grids and Beirut’s rebuilt graveyards. This change is a tribute to this fate which is difficult.
I invite you to search through the previous posts, and in the future, to stay updated.