I was confused, for the past four days.
Bassel is killed, actually, he was killed back in 2015, but we only heard the news lately
I was confused. I felt lost, tired, helpless and i needed to cry. I cried. I slept. I took the train. I mingled with the Sein, frequented centre Pompidou terrace, and rode my bike. Altering the peddling pace between anger and sadness, shuffling the memories. Crying out and then laughing hesterically. I was not a scene in a movie, nor a chapter in a book, or i was?
The news about Bassel rewinded my memory reel to Damascus 2012 when everything was going just. We were risking our lives, some fellow citizens had already died, and freedom was foreseeable and i can confess we almost touched hands, kissed and spent good time.
But then it became just too manipulative and emotionally draining and we simply very bitterly simply we did not have the capacity to contain the pain and the art to embrace challenges.
Friends were killed, kidnapped, arrested and beaten or put in starvation to death. Bassel was arrested too. We were working on a media platform when bassel disappeared. I never saw him again after that day. We were supposed to meet as usual at pages cafe- Rawda area branch that day but he never arrived and then things started to change.
For many, the brave act of waiting for detainees has always been like an evolutionary hopeful open palm morphing gradually into a tight fist. Grasping time. But then time leaks.
The news about Bassel’s death broke me and my fist was let free and i could realize it was empty. Time had slipped somewhere and i could not see the future for a while. It was too tranquille to be contained. Just like many ordinary Syrians I was totally devastated by the fact of his assassination.
I did not know what to do. I could not even send my condolsencrs to his best friend, love and wife Noura. I was ashamed when i knew i am so empty.
The very basic thing i could thought of was to read Bassel’s again. Sort of connecting with the sole immortal construct: words.
I did. And it started to become a smooth relief.
I also went back to a letter he sent me from his detention with his love-Noura- and i cried more. I kept crying for days like a child. Until i woke up and realized i was not a child so i stopped.
During the hard moments, from day one, I started to think how can we be more helpful to bassel in an innovative way. If only i had plenty of money to announce huge prize to those who can crackdown the syrian government files. I thought. Not only syrian government but any brutal shit in this world. How can we spray the stencils of #freebassel on monuments with another hashtag #novandalismplease? Or maybe how to create a mass player video game for hunting for denocrcy treasure in palmyra! But then i became more disappointed. First, because non of these thoughts were innovative and second because i was spending time trying to cope through production. More wastage of peace.
I then discovered, with a deep sincere conversation with myself when i was onboard train that my real big pain was not Bassel, and it was not Nora. It was me. I felt a deep sorrow and i felt so pity on myself. I lost another big dream! Like many, Bassel, beside being a friend, was a symbol star to me, guiding my dreams in the dark desserts of conflicted ideologies.
Soon, after this self-consciousness moment i felt less selfish and less weak and more liberated and freed than ever.
The rest is the best. Few hours latter i will find myself doing the best thing i could ever thought about to say goodbye to Bassel: hugging a dog.
ps, i still feel for no reason that Bassel is still alive.
My friend Cecile asked me to contribute something to their new issue of Matago.
Matago is a biannual magazine devoted to short stories and visuals that simply claim to offer a different image of humanity than the one with high reductive and anxiety contents, now disseminated by hegemonic information, before all concerned for the moment. The Matago chooses to open windows on memory and imagination, the elsewhere, and the marvelous, the history of women and men and, through them, their civilizations. Neither journalistic nor polemical, in “the era of time”.
Here is what i wrote and would like to share with you.
The bike’s wheel embraces the feather
as the kid jumps to pick the sonnet
another feather falls to fill the hole in the bonnet
The prisoner eats a plate of stones, lentil, and cordonnet
From the crack of the prison slither the feather, the only left finger twirl it with pleasure
The king is angry and all his egos dither
But the doors are open and love’s tether sutures time patches all together
Christmas this year is gentle and warm like a zither
Most birds migrate
where time’s corticate
is coruscate and corrugate
Where no one invades the clouds or their hearts ablates
I wonder the sky, promenade and parade
carrying my dreams in my socks, or baguette
Sometimes i drop my beanie
Sometimes i fix my tie
But i remain a dolphin -or maybe just a human- scrapping the wind of time
Once upon life time i was an ant
Carrying back home my bread under my armpit
One in the middle class, like a windmill, careless and self-made
That was long time ago, before 2011, when the walls were grey, and the boots were high like the heat of ovean
The mouth was small, the eyes were oval, like unpleasant surprise
Then one day, another ant in the camp played her trumpet
I am a gazelle, from balcony to street, and from fear to light i jumped
Then the plane threw the cage, where my friends and I were trapped
I eat the dry grass on the bars and the insults of the guard, until i turned into a mouse i tasted the cheese there in the darkness landscaped
The hunter saw me and said, i should not eat, as i am just a stone, and so his orders i obeyed, and what he said I so much hard tried not to be.
Gently, I fantasized time, dropping gracefully in my cracks, until my soul jumped out and that was the moment to time I looped
I wondered the streets. searching for my dreams. i licked the corners of songs jars, my hair turned grey, and my heart was freezed.
So with a confident heart of a beautiful apostate
i decided to leave
I spread my wings wider than the logic of time, and the human’s lie
Smoother like my dream
i have been flying for the past four years
I joined millions of birds
Lonely people like us, you and me
Widow women missing their loves
Aggressed who were betrayed in silence deep and hard
Protestors who died
Protestors who cried, and protestors who in themselves believed, and just for such a reason they were tortured
I joined the music of metros
Teenagers who were rejected and marginalized
Cracked hands of the homeless : that is to say humans like you and me who has no stove, nor home or glass to drink the wine of a new year
We are flying together … since years
Every day and dream
Our feathers fall
The window of the office, the fire place of the house are open. The sofa in the studio, the drawer in the kitchen.
Where a feather from a migrant will come
The feather of an ant, gazale, turtle, dolphin, panda, bear, cat, dog, human, bird… will come one day