Primarily a writing exercise, this dream journal-inspired blog is a quiet introspective sojourn into the process that we traverse in going from private dream to public art. I see our dreaming as an internalized mythmaking. As I philosophize and expressively exhibit dreams, both private and public, I encourage and delight in creative language as a way to practice experiential metaphors through a “public dreaming." Writing Theory: Creative Dream Fiction

Friday, 31 August 2012

Dreams of Palestine: A Transitioning People, An Ephemeral Mind

I usually begin with a cultural dream context and then select a creative dream description, however when I read Rashid Khalidi's book, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood I was struck by a fact regarding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, namely that the Gaza strip is only slightly twice as large as the area of Washington D.C. (Source)

It is one thing when a dream can be applied to a cultural context, though it is wholly another when the cultural context can be applied to the dream. 

On that note, I have always been highly intrigued by the similar plight faced by both Palestinians and First Nations/Native Americans. Which is why the article, "What is Settler Colonialism?" by Maya Mikdashi has resonated in my memory so deeply.

For a great resource on Palestinian films and writings visit Dreams of a Nation

Also, see my earlier post, "Making a Home with an Identity of Conflict" on Rashid Khalidi
A map of New England, pieced together with intersecting lines and pure conceptual space, is represented in a form unknown to me, a son of the land. An unmistakably present empty space lies in the middle of the map. The white of the uncharted territory stands out like a mirage over the sandscape, deluding the eye into such incredulity enough to trick any human sensibility.

Later that night, at my grandparents, I am transfixed by the emptiness. The open white space turns my attention inward, as I meditate on the image, as in an unconscious stupor, half involuntarily though secretively through my utmost will, unchallenged, I ruminate on the mystifying aura of a palpable nothingness so close to home.

The next morning, a family friend tells me all about the emptiness on the map. He is Arab, ancestral to the Levant, while a proud American. He tells me exactly how to get there. I am awestruck, undone as with a viral need, doubly expressed as an escape from the normalcy of the known and also to confront the other.

I arrive to a gate of barbed wire fencing, an entire society of Arabs, transplanted as it were on the uncharted map. A rudiment of the colonial present, a territory, though flown upwards with a gargantuan mall, the area is blistering with the heat of overpopulation. As I enter the grounds, I am constantly watched. Every passerby regards me with a hard edge, though delicate and unassumingly friendly. 

It is Palestine in America! Though they say they are Lebanese. I am taken by their quaint humility and sensitivity to intercultural warmth. I am welcome, though an alarming fear abounds uncannily as thick as the smog-worn air. As I feel for the exit in the train terminal-style, busy street-esque bustle, I stray towards a news kiosk to ask the man behind the counter a question.

Inquisitive as ever, I observe ruffian street children buying single smokes, and so I follow suit with deliberation, quite taken by the overt signage in Arabic absolutely everywhere. I try a few phrases I remembered from Egypt. The man is quiet. A deep pain seems to inflict his chest, almost speechless in the act of a simple exchange. The transaction, while gentle, struck a chord of such powerful resonance that I was never able to return to that emptiness, for the nothingness was filled only with my own ignorance.
a reach
to touch Love's palpable drift
in the body of one Northeastern life
slipping softly from consciousness
into the unending scream of ignorance
as waves of ghosts piercing the cracked, loose air,
and our lonely exit comes to fruition
dreaming soundlessly into the never-ending swarm of heart
sensitivity under the 95 year old skin of true feeling
resonating in the earthy hair of guitar & piano strings, cut
burning in the night's long internal ache,
that fires the ebullient seed in grass-thundered vocalizations
giving melodies to ancestral brother and sisterhoods
calling throughout
the music of surprising beauty

- excerpts from "Fortune's Glutton

1 comment:

  1. The words can barely keep up with the passion, and I like that, most races are fixed to have words win by a stretch.

    I remember reading about Menachem Begin informing President Jimmy Carter that Israel is disposing of its Palestinian problem the same way America disposed of its Indian problem, so (essentially) leave us the fuck alone with your righteous indignation (but keep your welfare checks flowing of course, for we'd die without them). It was strange on many levels, of course, for these Nobel Peace Prize winners to be so undiplomatic in public, but the most surreal thing to me was how conveniently wrong the analogy is. The suffering, the methods, the attitudes are, as you note, exactly the same, but these are brothers squabbling, with the older bully pulling rank and the younger clever one making a cause out of being a victim (I stretch the analogy to make a point). We are being asked like a parent to look the other way while the older brother gouges the younger brothers eyes out, because, after all, the parents fucked them up in the first place. The native experience in the Americas was of different paradigms meeting, hard to call it even a war there was so much distance in perception, and the land so vast was so terrifying to one, and the power of the machines so vast was so heartbreaking for the other. But the ancient ones could go because they had locked in the codes. The Palestinians, if we can conclude anything, are not leaving the Levant. They will remind us for quite some time of the consequences of the casual brutality brought on by man's low self-esteem.