The following are snip-its from my Journal For August 2022.
The way this had had been going I cold certainly imagine that it could take a turn for the worse. Then this news. Salman Rushdie was making an appearance in New York today to give a talk on the United States as a safe haven for exiled writers. The irony is that in 1989 Rushdie was living under a death threat issued by the government of Iran. Suzanne Nossel, an officer of Pen America, that is dedicated to promoting the expression, said "we can think of no comparable incident of a public attack on a literary writer on American Soil."
At this writing he is on a ventilator and cannot presently talk. He was stabbed in the neck and about the abdomen. It is said he will likely lose one eye, nerves in one arm were severed, and his lived was damaged by the stabbing.
The attacker is in custody. No word yet on motive. Rushdie spend several years hiding in seclusion in London, but decided he could no longer live a life hiding and on the run.
I am sickened by this event and the many instances of writers being silenced, imprisoned or killed due to their work.
Pen America is an organization that has been fighting to empower writers, many who are within boarders where they are not truly safe. There are more and more instances of them being jailed, sentenced to death, or having to live in exile.
Mood today: #sad not the best of days.
People are not turtles. We don't carry our homes on our backs. The Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish has written extensively of exile and absence. They carry through his poetry and other written work like an artery pulsating with the very essence of these themes.
Exile is a subject that has spoken to me for several years now. I feel a great kinship wit exile. Don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that I am in exile in the severe context of a person banished from his or her homeland and unable to return, but I have learned that we can truly feel separated from things, places, people, etc. in ways that create profound sadness, anxiety, longing, etc.
Maybe it is a childhood home, maybe an old neighborhood, a dear friend, a way of life, A favorite home as an adult. These things can all impact us in profound ways that create a longing.
There is a little known Welsh word that has no literal English word. "Hiraeth" in a broad context refers to some blend of the emotions longing, homesickness, nostalgia. It could include the missing of a time, and era, a person, and it is layered with many feelings. Often it is related to something you can never go back to. As such, the emotional tug strings to the word run deep.
I believe that most people have some connection to the feeling of exile at some time in their life. In my personal experience it has been a dominant feeling that I have had for quite some time.
In his book, "In the Presence of Absence" Darwish speaks to my heart in so many ways. "I only hate hatred, because it poisons one's capacity to love simple things." "You said to me: If i die before you do, protect me from canned words that have exceeded their expiration date from the moment the speaker stood at a podium."
"You said: "I used to invent love when it was necessary. When I walked alone on the riverbank. Or whenever the level of salt would rise in my body, I would invent the river."
Darwish seems to rely on his inventiveness, his creative mind to propel himself through these emotional struggles that come with absence and feeling of loneliness.
"You ask: What is the meaning of refugee? They will say one who is uprooted from his homeland."
"You will ask: What is the meaning of homeland? They will say, The house, the mulberry tree, the chicken coop, the beehive, the smell of bread and the first sky".
"You ask: Can a word of eight letters be big enough for all these, yet too small for us?"
"You have a splendid dream that precedes poetry
and a sea call that precedes rhythm
As if tonight were the private rendezvous
between creator and created:
Be the master of your attributes now
My son, you have a dream
Follow it with the. night given to you!
And be one of the dream's attributes
Dream and you will find paradise in place."
MAHMOUD DARWISH (1941-2008) was born in Galilee, Palestine and became a refugee at age 7
He worked as a journalist and editor for Haifa. Left for Moscow to study in 1970. His exile journey took him to Beirut, Tunis, Cairo, Paris, Amman, and Ramallah.
Darwish's works include 30 books, and his poetry has been translated into 35 languages.
#MahmoudDarwish #Poet #Refugee #exile #hiraeth #
Periodically I become interested in just how much international attention my web site gets. Maybe it's a nerdy thing to do, but so what. It isn't hurting anyone. It's not criminal. just a curiosity, so indulge me, please.
Looking at the most recent report of visitors to my site I find that it has been visited mostly. by people in the US, but this is not surprising to me. Here is the breakdown of the most frequent visits after that:
What strikes me as interesting is that outside the United States, there is a greater interest from Asian countries.
Looking at Cities:
These Stats are as of today's date. 8-01-22
Michael Allyn Wells - notes & musings