Saturday, 7 October 2017

"I never said that I was Brave" pt3

(You might sleep, but you'll never dream
Onward! Progress! Or so it seems
And you might laugh, but you'll never smile
Come on in and waste away awhile)

It was hard to get to sleep last night. I was drunk and tired. I took myself home, took myself into my bed and lay there. There were sounds and expressions going back and forth through my head, through the air. I'd read every word you had written. I had tried to listen to it. There was a pit of despair in my stomach.

The body lay there. It had no words. The words do not exist. Everything is loaded. I bind you to love yourself. I bind you to your immaculate care. From doing harm to others. From doing harm to yourself.

The questions have lived in my body. They are my body. It lives underneath a microscope - in its self hatred and wrecked determinism. Its visibility is its own worst enemy. It was not put here for you - it was not put here against you. It was beaten. It was hidden. It was not an object of compassion. It broke under eyes. There were walls of eyes.

It never wished to become a theory. It never intended to hurt you. It had its life inside it forever. It kept it at bay. It never tried to stop you from speaking, even when your words were nails. Every movement it made - every sign, was the production of a question. It had you in its dreams.

It saw a small act of law as a tiny emancipation. Though it knew that the law was the enemy the law made a tiny but significant change and the body felt a tiny weight lift up. The law was in the air, under the ground, in our mouths and our hearts. No matter what we did it would hound us, bury us, coerce us.

(When dreams of rings of flowers fade and blur
Giving way to that familiar ill
Come over and part your soft white curtains
Where I'm waiting for you still)

It remembered how well dressed the moralists were when they opened the doors of the town hall and said "people of Austria, our identity is under threat." "Men of America, if you don't make a stand you will lose your jobs and your wives". These are the words of the custodians of law. They said "we need to have a fair and reasoned debate about the Jewish problem. The Jews are a threat to our identity. They are trying to infiltrate our spaces. They are unsafe." They said "womenfolk, your primacy is being threatened". All the while they enforced the primacy of women. They constrained women. They used their bodies against their bodies. They said "you are under threat." All the while those custodians of law were the threat. All the while the mind of the abuser was left unquestioned.

Bodies like this one became the icon of threat. They became abstract examples - they were subjunctive bodies. They were used to demonstrate what the custodians of the law might be allowing. They were made to be hypothetical. But listen, dear friend, listen to our weaponised bodies. Listen how they howl, how they are mocked and disassembled. Our bodies are united in their strategic capacities. I bind the law. I bind you, law. I bind you against causing harm to others. I bind you, law. I bind you to cause harm only to yourself.

And then you shocked me. You took a picture of a human being up onto a pedestal. You made an example of a human in pain. You questioned to essence of a human identity. A cold argument. Asked for a logical dissemination. I didn't think you could do that - become a custodian of the law. What would that spirit say? That immaculate compassion - the one who has seen into your heart beyond the tracts of laws and of bodies and of polarities. What would its words be? What would it make of these establishments of fixed icons? How will the spirit purge you into love? It was a coldness I had not heard in your heart before. I bind your heart against the cold.

The custodians of law threw wide the doors of the town hall. They set out the rules of engagement. They guided the voices of the people. Steered them away from their compassion. They taught their tongues to articulate their displeasure. They showed each other to the targets. They held up bodies in front of the people and said "these bodies are a threat". They said "these bodies are mentally ill". No one thought at this point about how the mentally ill should be treated. Their resolve became firm. The custodians of law said "these bodies want you to be silent. Look how they scream when we try to debate. See how their eyes are filled with hatred!"

(My stomach swears there's comfort there
In the warmth of the blankets on your bed
My stomach's always been a liar
I'll believe it's lies again)

Did you look into those eyes? Did you see what fear looks like? Did you really see hatred? "See how they do not want you to speak?" screamed the law, all the while the law kept the women in their seats, in their bridles. All the while the coercion of voices raged and hissed. The bodies on the platform were ready to take leave of this world. All the while the law whispered in the ears of the people. All the while the men looked on. All the while I bind you against the law, against coercion, against the formation of fixed polarities. All the while the bodies on the pedestal trembled and said "I bind you" through the dust in their mouths.

The bodies were photographed and examined. Their names were passed around. The discussion was the end of compassion. The law dismantled it. The law enforced and switched. The law crept into houses. I bind you to your love. I bind you against definition. I have no power. I do not exist.

The bodies in the air, their sound: "I do not exist. I do not exist. I do not exist. Only you exist. Only you exist. I do not exist." And the law fizzed, its subjunctive electricity. The spirit. The law. The sky. The body. The water. The fire. The wind. The chaos of the silent air.

(My Lord, how long to sing this song?
And my Lord, how much more of this pretending to be strong?
When she stands before your throne
Dressed in beauty not her own
All soft and small, you'll hear her call)

1 comment:

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