Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Confession Tuesday:

I must confess that the reason beyond my absence from blogging is mainly due to distraction. It is a kind of positive distraction, though the stress of job hunting in today’s market gets me on my downbeat ”I fell again in a melancholy-full barrel” mood at times.
First, I hadn’t been able to put together more than a few drafty poetic lines after exhausting my inspiration on business letters, friendly letters asking for favors and LinkedIn invitation type letters.
Second, I had not been able to bring myself to the state in which I can read poetry: neither on the web, nor at home though there is a book by Milosz waiting for me at home. (I am going to participate in the 3:15 experiment though*, because nighttime me is not expected to interfere with the new daytime me. I have to confess that after watching this Nova/ PBS documentary on what dreams are, I could barely wait for the month of August).

Fortunately, I do have the time and patience, during my long bus commute hours to read prose : novels, YA and graphic novels… I pick them randomly  from the Library’s shelves. I read them  because a friend had once chucked a remark at me or  my earthwalking friend has a sac full of goodies for me.

Now I am reading “Infidel” by Ayyan Hirsi Ali – I hadn’t finished the first part yet but it is already fascinating me. Her world is hard to imagine for a woman like me raised as a single child, surrounded by the love of a family who was thought that “whomever you decide to marry we do hope that he will be a good man and a Christian ** but you must remember that no matter how well you get along with your husband there are two things you must keep in mind: men are rarely faithful and nowadays temptation is (more global) and you shall never depend on a man for your roof or bread if you decide you may want to step out of your marriage, you must have a college degree”. For me there is nothing stranger than the concept of baarri –the wife that only lives to honor her husband.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. The Definitive Edition
I only picked “Infidel” from the library shelf because it was in the near vicinity of the definitive edition of “The Diary Of A Young Girl” by Anna Frank. This edition was suggested involuntary by O. It adds back in all the paragraphs eliminated by Otto Frank for the 1947 edition because of length requirements or issues he had considered inappropriate such Anne’s open accounts on sexuality. And it is based mainly on the b version of the diary. I must confess that when reading it unabridged and uncensored by an adult it had brought Anne much closer to me as a teenager – the teenager I was once, the teenager my son is. When I finished it though, I was weighted down by the same rhetorical question: How can one be so blind to ignore the intrinsic qualities of this young girl –her sensitivity and intelligence, her humanity. How can one be blind to the promises her future held for her just because he belongs to another religion? How can we be so blind?”

It was no coincidence perhaps that both books were so close to each other on the shelf as they do have one thing in common , one space that is not a mere geographical one, i.e. Holland. A place best described by Theo van Gogh’s comment : “If I can’t put my name on my own film, in Holland, then Holland isn’t Holland any more, and I am not me”***

The connection transposed in the shelf space by librarians at Carnegie Library is only one a the few events that made me change my opinion on the usefulness of librarians in US. But this is another story for another time...

*Thank you Gwen, aka Art Predator, for the invitation.

**though my mom in her role of black sheep of the family did not forget to stress that in her opinion Jewish men were better at respecting their wife and remaining faithful to them , she was biased that way I guess.

*** “Infidel” , Introduction, p xii. The quotation was Theo van Gogh’s answer to the suggestion that he remove his name from the short he made together with the book’s author (submission, part 1). The projected part 2 was never completed because Theo van Gogh was killed by a Muslim fundamentalist in November 2004.


Anonymous said...

so glad to be a part of this! have fun doing the 3:15 experiment--I look forward to your compositions! what languages do you think you will write in?

also thanks for the dreams link!

what a great post!

Ana said...

About those languages, well we will have tosee, but most often now I drem in English