Monday, April 28, 2014

Stellet Licht

When the film started I remembered Terrence Malick’s “Tree of Life”. Those scenes from a silent rural area. You can hear the sounds of wild animals crying the song of liberty. Man, on the other side, is bound by traditions he invented to imprison himself. Johan is the father of the family in the film “Stellet Licht” and he is leading the praying. His wife Esther is following the prayer so religiously. Their children are obeying the rules. The younger the children are, the freer they are. The youngest was yawning. Yawning was the most realistic reaction to that Mennonite tradition. Sooner in the film we got the notion that Esther is that kind of a woman upon which stands a whole family. The woman who not only is a womb to receive the fertile atoms and let them be, but also, the woman who can crop. The woman who knows that her man is loving another woman.

Esther is a name that reminds me of another woman, Asmer, in that novel of Samir Nakkash named “Shlomo the Kurdish, Me, and Time”. Shlomo was a religious Jew who was spoiled enough to let his wife Asmer brings him that young woman he had a lust to. Esther, like Asmer, is a kind of woman who sacrifices and lives like a liver do.

Juhan develops a lust to Marianne. A beautiful name. A name similar to that of Marina in “To The Wonder” of Terrence Malick. A young wife who is loved in Malick’s move by a priest. In Carlos Reygadas’s movie, “Stellet Licht”, which means “Silent Light”, and talks in a strange language for me named PLAUTDIETSCH, Marrianne is little wise and says to Juhan after they practice sex for a while that: “Peace surpasses love.”

 While Esther bears a blue umbrella under the rain next to a tree that looks like having two thighs spread apart, Marianne doesn’t like to see the eye of the sun so she puts her hand to cover the sun. Why did Yalom name that book: “Starring at the Sun”? What truth did Marrian try to avoid? Is it simply that truth that love is under our voluntary control? Or something more deep, related to our existence, and death?

What I prefer is that Esther standing strong next to her children in the field, and that dark tree getting wetter and wetter under the rain after the sun has set.

Sunday, April 20, 2014


I took 89/100 in DELF A2. I want to continue studying French. I headed to the Institue Francais en Irak and inscribed for the courses that will help me prepare for the B1 examination. They were kind enough to photocopy for me the pages I need for the coming lesson, till they bring new books that I can use. I went home glad. I looked at the photo of the lesson and it was little strange. Somebody, a female body?, playing flute? in a forest, nearby a river, and there are snakes. I googled the name of the painter Henry Rousseau and see other paintings by him. I went to sleep.

Today I woke up early refreshed. Yesterday I avoided smoking much cigarettes. Started reading from the photocopied papers and it was about dreams, and day-dreams. I remembered that I had seen a book the last day written by Gaston Bachelard carrying a title with the word Day-Dreaming in it. Decided to buy that book. I looked for it in the internet and found the free PDF in french. I will buy the translated copy and see if I can understand what Bachelard wanted to say. I am not good in understanding philosophy. I headed out to take the bus to the Institute Francais. I bought Bachelard's book from Abu Salwan, and took also my Al-Mada (=Horizon) newspaper from him and headed to the buss.

 I just read the titles in the front pages. Read them with furrowed eye-brows. Then open the last three or four pages which I usually read with pleasure. Somebody named Sabah Atwan, an Iraqi writer, says that he used to live a bitter life and he even had drank snake poisons so that he becomes immune to the bitterness of life in Iraq. Well.

 Marquez ashes will be divided among Mexico and Columbia, a news says. But also talks about Peter Matthiessen death. I head about this Matthiessen the first time. He is a supporter of the indigenous people of America. Sounds a good man. Is he interested in snakes?

A newly published translation of a book about Baghdad written early in the 20th century by Ethel Stefanan Drower and translated by Zuhair Ahmed Al-Qaisi, the Iraqi historian. The article on the book says that one day Tigris has flooded. Baghdadies used to hold a believe that there is a big marvelous black snake that prevent the waters of the flood from destroying their houses.
Enough snakes for today.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Did Solomon Called the Queen of Sheba by Mobile Phone?

I was in “The Book Club” last Wednesday in Kerbala. A new novel by Ala’a Mashthub was recently published. In that novel Mashtoub talks about history of Iraq. He doesn’t name them frankly but his protagonists seems to be: Arbaham, Ismail, Hajir, Hamourabi, and others. An old man commented that Mashthub is fabricating. Mashthoub answered: “I don’t understand what is fabrication, do you mean collage?”
Another attendee, Jasim A’asi, reminded us of a short story by Jaleel Al-Qaisy in which the protagonist flies in a space ship to Sumer and meets ancient people. A’asi said that the novelist’s duty is not that of the historian. The novelist wants to transfer the soul of that era to us.
Another old man then commented: “But now the question is: is it acceptable for a novelist to write that Solomon had called Bilqis, the queen of Sheba, by mobile phone?
That was such an interesting evening.

At home I was packing some old newspapers so that I throw them in the garbage and found "accidentally" articles by Ala'a Mashthoub, most of them about the body, or the body-soul dichotomy, and about Merleau-Ponty. I cut all the articles and kept them together so that I read them. I burrowed a book about the work and ideas of Merleau-Ponty from one of my friends who kept telling me that it is vital that I read phenomenology since I am a psychiatrist.

I think I got much to learn.

A good thing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Tea in the Jar

Thursday 6 p.m. Two bags, one is held by hand, the other is on the back. Both are heavy. Both are not so clean. The door is little heavy to open. It was didn't opened for the last few days. He puts the bags on the ground and try again. The door is opened. Take the bags from the ground and go in. A smell of dust. Mixed with some other things. The kitchen has its acidic aroma too. He doesn't mind it. Actually he likes it. He is so sleepy. He puts the bags anywhere. He tooks off shoes as fast as can be. Navigates to sleep. 
As I was goin' over
The Cork and Kerry Mountains 
I saw Captain Farrell
And his money, he was countin'
I first produced my pistol
And then produced my rapier
I said, "Stand and deliver or the devil he may take ya"

I took all of his money
And it was a pretty penny
I took all of his money,
Yeah, and I brought it home to Molly
She swore that she loved me,
No, never would she leave me
But the devil take that woman,
Yeah, for you know she tricked me easy

 He wakes up. Actually he just opens his eyes. There is a difference between waking up, and opening the eyes. He sees things near him. Banana skin from the last week. Cigarettes butts. They emit no aroma. No more of smell they emit. Dry. He looks around and finds some DVDs he ought to see. He likes movies. And likes yawning too. Now he pulls himself with suffering form the sleeping matrices. His bones and joints make some cracking. He heads to the kitchen like a truck heading in a highway to a finally-found gas station. He puts water over the fire. Puts the fire at the highest possible level. The kettle is used to it. Water boils in one minute. Throughs tea dry leaves over the water and brings his orange mug. Not so clean an orange mug. Orange jar-ro. Musha rain dum a doo, dum a da, Whack for my daddy-o, Whack for my daddy-o, There's black tea in the jar-ro 
Being drung and weary
U went to Molly's chamber
Takin' Molly with me
But I never knew the danger
For about sic or maybe seven,
Yeah, in walked Captain Farrell
I jumped up, fired my pistols
And I shot him with both barrels

Lits a cigarette. And another till tea gets little cold. Turns T.V. on. Politics. Lying. Silly things. Yet not that kind of silliness he likes. He loves to look at life from a silly window. Yet this silliness he sees in T.V. is annoying to him. He turns the channel to T.V. 5 Monde and see somebodies nose getting longer and longer.

Now some men like a fishin'
But some men like the fowlin'
Some men like to hear,
To hear the cannonball roarin'
Me, I like sleepin'
'Specially in my Molly's chamber
But here I am in prison
Here I am with a ball and chain, yeah

If he isn't numb from tiredness he would have laughed. He feels good in spite of the fact you cannot see him laughing. In an unexplained act, or better to be called a compulsion, he took one of the pair of shoes he was wearing yesterday and puts it over the T.V. screen. He adds that strange colored socks in the shoe's mouth and puts his ass back in his seat. He sips tea. 

This was wrote while listening to "Whiskey in the Jar" performed by Metallica. The lyrics are included in the post.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

He Sends Flies to Wounds He Should Heal

 Noon. A sound of a rusty acoustic guitar from Kansas. April's sun tinkle the skin of the forehead, and the hairs, from between the leaves of an acacia. The polarized sun glasses help you to look at the tree of ... life? and remember that film director... of Tree of Life, and that other new film about a French woman coming to the US and falling in love with a monk. A priest. You don't know the difference between a monk and a priest. You don't care much. Yesterday you saw a debate downloaded via the youtube between Tony Blair and somebody called Christopher H??? itcher?? . Wait I will google it.

I close my eyes only for a moment, and the moment's gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity

Christopher Hitchens. The google said that. The google don't lie. The google is real. Virtually real? Drop it.  .... .... Look at the chair next to you. It is empty. What do you dreaming of these days? You cannot remember? I dreamed one past night of some friends and some family members sending messages via the facebook. Notifications. I decided to decrease my facebook use. Thinking about the validity of relations via facebook. Or the addiction of facebook. Or at least abuse. Now drop this down the flush. (don't know exactly what that might be).

 Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind

Flies are doing some acrobats around you while you are waiting for the tea to get colder a little. Lord of the flies. You are the lord of the flies. Why don't you open your mouth a little? Aren't you sleepy? Then why you don't yawn? That would be beautiful. Tea alone, without "biscuit" is not so... Don't you see?
جتي الطيارة تمشي....

 Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do crumbles to the ground, though we refuse to see

Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind
The fade tea is so sweet. Much sugared. Oversugared. Hypersugarded. Polysacharidized. Almost Honey-flavored. Mind if I melt a fly in it? DROP IT!!

 Dust in the wind, all we are is dust in the wind (all we are is dust in the wind)
Dust in the wind (everything is dust in the wind), everything is dust in the wind (the wind)

Your best quote from "Tree of Life" movie is:
"He sends flies to wounds that he should heal."

Dust in the Wind is a song by Kansas and that is all you can write while listening to it.
The Director that I forgot his name is Terrence Malick
The other film of Terrence Malick I talked about is: To the Wonder

Saturday, April 05, 2014

Hold On My Heart

Hold on my heart
Just hold on to that feeling
We both know we've been here before
We both know what can happen

 Got nothing specific to say. I just woke up from a deep long siesta. Hy head feels pretty good although a little bit seems heavy and dull. Actually numb. I have no feeling. No idea. Just like an animal. Like a dog walking around for no "reason". Just to explore or, to implore. To implore an odor or a sight. A light. A dim sun. As dim as a numb head. As quite as a summer afternoon. No sounds but a wizz in the ears. A slight wizz that you can only attend to if you want to.

 Hold on my heart
Cos Im looking over your shoulder
Ooh please don't rush in this time
Don't show her how you feel

I bring my tea kettle. Put some water. Lit the fire. Wait for the water to boil. And took some other pictures.

Hold on my heart
Throw me a lifeline
I'll keep a place for you
Somewhere deep inside

I remember some old incidents. Some old conversations. Actually fights. Verbal aggressions. Misunderstandings. Moments of tension. Moments of tears. Yet my face show no expression. A face of a statue. Eyes are widely opened. Blinking was forgotten. Actually not needed. A sigh comes. A breath in. The eyes close for a while the breath is going out. The legs finally moves a bit. A look at the kettle.  

 If I can recall this feeling
And I know there's a chance
Oh I will be there
Yes I will be there
Be there for you
Whenever you want me to
Whenever you call oh I will be there
Yes I will be there

I shut down the fire. "Shut down"? No surprise you took low marks in EILTS. Another sigh. I don't know the verb. I put some dry maron-black tea leaves over the water. I good aroma relaxes the air in the common kitchen of the dormitory. I go for few steps around til the tea gets... gets what? ripe? Ripe tea? You need to work on your English. Meanwhile, take few other pictures.

I wrote this while I was listening to Hold On My Heart by Genesis.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Freedom of Speech

The speech was for that handsome young man named Husam Al-Haj. Husam Al - Haj was presented to us as the founder of the group "I am Iraqi, I am reading" and a writer in Al-Mada Newspaper. Husam talked to us about what freedom in press mean. He gave us examples and make comparisons.

After Husam started talking an old man starts walking quietly between our chairs spreading on us his smiles and some newspapers. The old man looks like a janitor or a cleaner. He wears some respectful clothes but they are old fashioned a little. His eyes, which hide spangles you can touch of you look after them, are little sad, sometimes.

Husam told us about the Iraqi law and how it talks about freedom. Freedom of expression, in the first place. The Iraqi law "gives" the freedom of expression but it must not contradict the "ethics of the society" or "the moral rules of the society" and the law does not say what that might mean. Also, there is no access to details of all major things, since the Iraqi law says that you can get access to all the documents of all the ministries accept to those that "can affect the national security". Husam told us that national security must mean the well-being of the people and that they get enough to eat and got good services. But the idea of the national security that most of us have is something related to how the military defines it.

The young man also told us that there is no time in Iraq that we had stable and "not a temporary" constitution.

Well, the young man said much that made us feel under which dim skies we are living.

The old man, who brought us tea cups by his hands while we were listening to his guest, and who took them when we finished and then came again with another tea cups for those who like to drink two cups, that old man who looked like a simple janitor looking after the cleanness and organisation of the meeting, that old man approached the seat near Husam when Husam was about to end and he sits there.

When Husam ended his speech that young man talked. Well, I just took a sigh. He TALKED that old man and let the things out. He talked about how a civil state cannot stay civil if its base is sectarian. That the identity of the country does not need another identity. The Identity of Iraq does not need another identity of being Sunni, or Shiite, Kurdish or Arabic. That man talked some fluent words with a very amazing voice that I wish I had registered. Word by word. That old man is a diamond. I asked the man sitting next to me: "Who is that man." The man next to me looked at me a little estranged that I didn't know, and then he whispered: "He is Khaleel!"

I held my tear at the end of what Uncle Khaleed said.