God, what a mind fuck. Walking among bombed out ruins and bullet ridden buildings and all I can think about is the landscaped, manicured lawns of upscale bubble-land Plano as I transpose one image on top of the other. I keep thinking - hoping - that some sort of resolution will happen if I do this long enough. But it never happens.
I just can't wrap my head around the dichotomies of this world.
What do you do when you know more than you can say? What is the path when you hold only words not ready to be heard? The prophets of old were reviled and run out of town. Power rests upon a lie, truth its natural enemy in the wild. Those who speak the truth will be attacked but the truth resides within us all. So who's the real enemy?
We hide behind fictions like Arab and Jew, Christian and Muslim, and whatever sort of mud sticks to the wall for today as an excuse. But that's all farcical. There's only two kinds of people over here in the Middle East: those who want war and those who do not. So you have to pick which is your real enemy: war or peace.
You'd be surprised at the number of people who fear peace. Even if you've made hell your home, there's a natural tendency to protect that home. War's hero is often peace's coward. Who are you when the last bomb has fallen and the last bullet shot? You might delay that day of reckoning but never avoid it.
If you want, you can feel the vibe of the whole situation here. Strip away the politics, the petty personal agendas and all the other horseshit shoveled here on a daily basis high enough to bury Mount Everest. It's just a human thing like everything else. When those who fear peace feel the masses start leaning towards the inevitable dropping of the burdens of war, they commit a new outrage they hope will draw them back in.
It's a time of intense agony after committing an act of terror. You've put yourself on the moon of hate and you've no guarantee anyone's coming to join you. If love is ever returned for hate, you're doomed, marooned for eternity. You get down on your knees and pray, pray, pray terror begets terror and you won't have to live alone. In the end, love is always the real issue (though it's wicked funny watching people lay it on thick that it's otherwise).
My memories of this part of the world are grating and long. All I can recall is the harsh struggle for survival and its oppressive nature. Yes, there was Jesus who made every day green and sunny as Easter in the Spring. He was truly like water in the desert. But with his departure, all I see is the arid terrain and cruelty of war.
It's funny, but Beirut is a party town. There's a certain electricity here that's a yin to the war's yang. You feel connected to something but the price for that is so very, very high. Still, disconnection is never an option. All that can be done is to hold out for peace whether it comes or not. The anger you see on that boy's face is the pain he feels for not feeling loved. Simple as that. Tell him that and he will shoot you.
In America, the shots are mostly verbal. I've wondered about the lack of outrage over our President's arbitrary murders. We make up excuses. It's [war time, half time, fill-in-the-blank time] so therefore it's no time for [truth, justice, survival, etc]. This world is merely a metaphor for our spirit lives. Like Herbie said, "It's a fix! It's all a fix!"
Our lives are on loan for which we must pay rent. We know this, we avoid this and we rarely admit this. But the truth cannot be completely suppressed. So we express that suppressed truth by making up our own rules that all rented items must be paid for or you forfeit said item. Money, of course is an artifice, a figment of our imagination, but this rule seems so imperatively moral because we know we must give back for the life we've been given.
Even if it is given in this god forsaken shithole.
Wandering these war torn streets in this ancient land of mine I so gladly forsook two thousand years ago I've come to realize why the great silent vacuum: How can a murderer protest a murder? I've seen so-called atheists on the left bestow Papal-like infallibility on our President. And whoever on the right ever protested a war? We're all in on it. It's not that we don't know, we do. All assassinations are a conspiracy.
We're each fighting to be worthy of love - even killing for it - but love already knows that answer.