Visions of Reality

Migrant Mind, In Thought, Alive, In Thought, Afloat

“Cough up, if you can; and if you can’t, just cough up anyway [- whatever you’ve got]; for cough up–cry silenced, heart unheard, spirit broken, and body, battered, bruised, and war torn, homeless, and helpless, and cold, and hungry, and retching, sick, and night, raped, and daylight, robbed, of this, this wretched earth, of woman’s son, mankind–and pay up, you must, you must, you must, and more, and pay up, my friend, you must, and more, and pay up, my friend, you will; now step this way”, or so he seemed to say, the Devil, or something like (he spoke, what was, to me, a foreign tongue); “our boat’s this way”.

(And no Christian, Muslim, or Jew, was he; no true believer, heart warm, and loving, surely, in his simple faith, that much, was clear.)

(He knew the market, though; a splendid entrepreneur! And, I ask you, how could he possibly let such an opportunity pass by? And how proud and rich he’d make his children be!)

But what a ship of fools we were, quite honestly; astonishingly, even after, astonished, we’d seen the “ship”, and even then; naïve, so very naïve, so desperately naïve, we were, and innocent; either that, or damned, and desperate; and just thin scraps, and scratchings, left, of hope, there were, to nourish us, believers, somehow, still, in human kindness, human nature, human value, valuable, still, as walk that plank we did, up to our boat, if you can call it that, that crock of filthy, holy, shit.

(And I’ll pour out my wrath like water.)

And look at me now; the last alive, the only one.

And cough up the swallowed saltwater, if you can; cough it up or, if you can, better still, just keep it out, just keep it out of your mouth, and your mouth, even gasping, short of breath, keep shut, and closed; just keep your mouth shut; and even so, keep your head, if you can, above water, treading water; and be then like some bloody miracle worker, calm, and carrying on; don’t go under, at any rate; don’t lose your head; keep breathing on.

And it all floated by so fast, as in a dream, accelerated; your life re-lived backwards, as they say, going forwards, in reverse.

And, adrift on open seas, I reached out, reached out, reached out for it, then, in hope, as if it were a buoy, or rope; a lifeline keeping me, another moment, another breath, in thought, alive, in thought, afloat.

And a line of words formed then so suddenly, spontaneously, surprisingly, desperately, in mind, my mind, in mind, in foaming wave, on wave, of memory, spat, salted, sprayed, in teary, brilliant, blinding, sun, cresting, white, and paper, thin, in fading, fast emptying, dissolving, drenched, drowning, memory, on wave, of memory, in skin-numbed blue, to freezing, flailing, ink-spilled, body, black, and that, then, that, and beautiful, strangely, still.

And this line of words formed then so suddenly, spontaneously, surprisingly, desperately, in mind, my mind, in mind, surfacing there, and floating up, in reflection, as if, from nowhere, known, or recalled, or recognized – ocean’s rippling memory, a mystery, maybe, who knows – whosoever, wherever, whenever, whichever, whatever – why who; and these words, then, as it were, asked, then, asked, and, asking, me, myself, asked, if, behind, or perhaps underneath, or perhaps within, all life’s noise, and agitation, and emotion, in mind, there was, and there existed, somewhere, somehow, here, in the heart of the thing, in the heart (the heart), in the heart of the thing, a great quietness (of poetry), and an ear, to hear, then, there, the silence, deep, and still; an ear for silence. And so I lifted up, then, beseeching, heavenward, my eyes, and breathed, again, although breathless, panting, saying, why, and why, again; and, in reply, that sky, sky’s song, sounded silence, and only silence, and only silence, only, all; sky sounding silence, and all that, and more, oh my, my soundless cry, as if, in moment’s happiness, momentarily, to myself, that moment, this, and this, and now, momentarily, in moment’s happiness, now, were I, I wish, to die. And there, then, too, to look, to listen, to see, to hear, and to know; and to know, this, now, that, where, every, there, and, every, ever, here, and there, and here, again, and again, and again, so free, to be; in death, in death, in death; in death, live on. And all mind’s eye, quiet heart; so far, and yet, so near; come hold me dear.

And a line of words formed then so suddenly, spontaneously, surprisingly, desperately, in mind, my mind, in mind, in foaming wave, on wave, of memory, spat, salted, sprayed, in teary, brilliant, blinding, sun, cresting, white, and paper, thin, in fading, fast emptying, dissolving, drenched, drowning, memory, on wave, of memory, in skin-numbed blue, to freezing, flailing, ink-spilled, body, black, and that, then, that, and beautiful, strangely, still.

And, adrift on open seas, I reached out, reached out, reached out for it, then, in hope, as if it were a buoy, or rope; a lifeline keeping me, another moment, another breath, in thought, alive, in thought, afloat.

And it all floated by so fast, as in a dream, accelerated; your life re-lived backwards, as they say, going forwards, in reverse.

And this, then, almost the last thing, floating away, from life, and me, that I could see: a tiny baby, bobbing, bloated, by me; bathing, I briefly thought, bizarrely, and all washed up, and off, and away, as if, seemingly, fresh, and new; and this my own dear child, this baby, blue, but still no strength for me to take, or hold this baby, mine, again, to beating heart, my breast; for this, my child, is dead; and I, myself, now, as one, as if, awash, and again, new born, in newborn’s screaming, selfish, dim lit, heartbeat, beating, fearful, drum, and dreaming, now, only, of my own, dear father, mother, sister, brother, home.

(One day a sanctuary, I thought, named home.)

(And come now home, come home.)

(And make yourself at home.)

(And be at home.)

And then, in all the dreamlike, nightmare, unfamiliarity of it, lost, disorientated, drowning, and delusional, something strange, occurred, most strange of all.

In this, my darkened vision’s final breath, my death; for this tiny child, my baby, floating off; I see, is, somehow, also, me.

This baby, too, is, somehow, also, me, I see, is you.

And I, then, in death, who sees, my breaking heart, my child, am He.

(For in dying, all eternity.)

And oh, my God.
And oh, my God.
And oh, my God.

God, can it be?

© Bede Nix, 26 September 2018. All rights reserved.
(Once In (Fortress) Europa – If Not A Promised Land, Betrayed)

Vox Populi

Salivating impatiently in the shadows of social injustice waits the many‑headed monster of political turmoil.

And, once unleashed, this monster manifests as a most fearsome creature, lashing out, furiously, in all directions, and in every which way, to left and right, in the virulence of its anger, and its hatred; and it’s like a singular evil eye, seeing everything in black, and white, then red, then seeing red, and like a red, raging fire, which appears to burn brightest in the pitch blind darkness of the very bleakest and blackest and longest of nights, consuming all in its path, including, eventually, even, sooner or later, one day, at last, itself, until, finally, finally, finally, it burns itself out, even, and, dust, to dust, ashes, to ashes, all becomes quiet, again, and desolate, as this scorched earth of humankind, to earth itself, again, resourced, returned.

So friends, take care – be wary, prudent, vigilant, alert – for there is no ordinary human strength or wisdom sufficient enough to manage and tame such a beast.

Only the brave and gentle heart can do it, with loving, kind intention, and a quiet, calm mind, quietening, calming, down, to become, as if, a sea, of tranquillity, an ocean of compassion, and a dropping down, or at least an effort, an intention, to try, at least to try, in resilience, and in resistance, to drop down, like a person, quietly, upon their knees, in prayer, into deeper, and ever deeper, depths, not of surrender–that never–but of understanding.

So come then, we once were, cautiously, seemingly, and careful, care free, small “c”, conservative, capitalists.

And we once were oh so clever bankers and CEOs, oil barons and top brass “defence contractors”–“arms dealers”–property tycoons and landed lords, hedge fund managers and venture capitalists, media moguls and TV reality personalities, fat cats and big fish, presidents and ministers, drug lords and farmer-pharmacists, stockbrokers and shareholders, statisticians and economists, insurance brokers and car salesmen, silicon valley techies and washed up uncivil service bureaucracy wonks, and corporate slaves and minimum wage corporate cleaning contractors, boardroom to bored room, in single room flat, absent dads, lost sons, and daughters, perhaps enchained in our prosperity or else, more likely, our poverty, and all of us enchained in our poverty, and all the rest of us, besides, wherever we might aspire to place ourselves, somewhere, in between, these beefed up, or plucked clean, extremes, and all of us, in short, in one huge great family, global village, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, all colours and creeds, all orientations, sexes, and sexualities, asking ourselves, each other, all together, if we can surely do better than this, be better, can we not?

Can we surely not do better?

Be better?

(Surely).

(Birth place: Earth. Race: Human. Politics: Freedom. Religion: Love).

For the material can be useful, can be lovely, but without some breath of spirit in the thing, and some music for the soul, and stripped of hope for a deepened humanity, it’s all as good as meaningless, all this stuff, and treasure, we crave, and cherish, all basically meaningless, this ‘phone, this car, these jewels, these fine, fancy, and oh so fashionable clothes, and all of it on the way to soon seeming so lifeless, so stupid, so numb, so dull, as deep down well you know.

So come on, let’s face it.

All really we wish for from one another is some soft, kind, gentle, word, and face, of recognition, and gentle eye’s forgiving gaze, and loving, hand’s warm, touch, some small sign of shared humanity.

So there, that’s it.

Let’s work together to search for, realize, and celebrate our mutual flourishing, sharing our food, our shelter, and our clothes, our human hearth, and home, our human warmth, and fire, and feasts, and festivities, and music, and culture, our family, and our gods, our hopes and aspirations, our dreams and our delights, our wine and our song, our laughter and our smiles, our bodies and our souls, and all our lives.

And let’s drink a toast, then, to that, and all join together, and together, eat, and be merry, sing, and dance!

And stretch out your hand, then, for mine.

Hold my hand …

(We’re almost there.)

And the mind, still, and the thoughts, like the breath, slow, calm, quiet, deep, and the heart, the heart, at once centred and, like the arms, wide open.

And together we’ll defy, defeat, and dispel all these ugly nightmares, feeble, distasteful, and deeply unimaginative, and ungenerous. And we’ll do so simply from the clarity and strength of our far sighted dreams, and from our hope for and belief in better days, soon to come, maybe here.

And look, look up: the light of the sun sparkling sky is up there, still, clear, and blue.

Lift up your eyes, to see.

And lift your hands, your hearts–your human spirits–in prayer, in praise, in gratitude, in grace; and in greatness of heart, first and foremost.

And let’s enjoy, then, still, some confidence, and faith.

And take courage.

All may yet be well.

Let’s make it so.

© Bede Nix, November 2016. All rights reserved.

What Do I Care?

And now ask yourself, as one of the very privileged few, this question, following:

“When did I last – or when, that is, was the last, most recent, time – that I – I myself – I – that, consciously, knowingly – I sat, and shared, freely, that time – my time – (your) time – and theirs – in fullest energy, and fullest presence, and fullest attention – heart questioning, heart listening – and understanding, perhaps – although, in fact, perhaps, not really understanding – yet really trying, all the same – and really trying, at least, in all good faith, to understand – (you) – standing over a stove – or sitting around a kitchen table – hot tea, or coffee – a cigarette, maybe – just details, in any case – and only details, which do not matter – not really – no matter – but yes, they do matter, even so, and every one, you’re right – all the details – faces – one by one – every one – (all details – all circumstances – all challenges – and all potential – all faces – everyone) – every one – and so sat, then, that’s to say, that is, with someone – a distant acquaintance, perhaps – or lowly, junior, colleague, ladder’s bottom – someone in the supermarket, at the cashout – counter – till – or at a fast food joint – or café – bar – or simply standing, there, alone – the street – like someone passing –  lost, seemingly – and passing away – in anyway no details anymore, and no face clear in memory, no name – who stands there, way over there, and far away – silently – as if dumb, or mute – but a person, that’s to say, and nevertheless, who was currently living, then, or was currently trying to live – to manage – to survive – and doing so, or failing to do so, maybe, still – on the minimum wage, or just, or well, below it – not a one off sort of a person, and unique, of course – but rather a “one of”, a “one of many” – the global majority, indeed, that is – albeit largely disenfranchised, and voiceless – insignificant, as if – as if, forgotten – and that’s to say, then, something, then, like this – as if again to count them – yes, count them – yes – the bottom five billion?”

And then ask yourself this question, too, in fullest rhetorical flourish, as perhaps you’ve done already, many times, deep down, in darkened, dim lit soul, if quietly, so quietly, so very quietly, such that you yourself barely heard it asked, or said – now did you? – at least, not consciously:

“And what do I care?”

“And what do I care?”

“And what do I care?”

“And what then, really, do I (you) care?”             

And then there – just there – right there – notice straight away, now, right there, at once, how that question begins immediately to tickle, there, a little, ever so little, and then to stick, a little more, then tighten, constricting, more, and more, and more, and more, and more, around your throat, as if your throat were locked now in the grip of a desperate, squeezing, tensing, tautening, tightening, furious, fist, to suffocate nearly the breath and spirit of you, and to strangle you nearly half to death, or simply to shake you, violently, into the realization that – do you know what? – hello! – we’re here, and human, too, you know.

(The bottom five billion.)

And then I ask you:

Have you got the slightest clue, do you think?

And have you really any idea about what our lives are really, really, really, really, like?

And if – quite honestly – and “honesty”, at last – it seems to you the answer’s “no” – then I ask you one last question, which is this: why then the hell, quite honestly, should we give a damn or care, either, too, about you?

Why should we care about you?

I mean, really; please tell me – tell me why!

Why then the hell should we care about you?

And why then the hell?

 

(And yet somehow, still, we do care; somehow, still. Or I do, at least. And I’m glad that now you’ve read this through, and may it now stay with you, here, and remain, and last, a while, to be – as if, now, your thinking, too – your thoughts – your own. And do now be gentle, my friend – show heart; I know you can, and shall, go well.)

© Bede Nix, 20 June 2019. All rights reserved.

www.inequality.org