Friday, July 21, 2006

Rashid

What's in a name after all I thought?
For God created man in his image
Thereafter bestowing upon him a name
With which he himself summoned him up
Once the most imporant sin in history had been committed.

Perhaps he created man merely in his shadow,
Reason for which he couldn't allow him to exist unnamed.

Hannah Arendt would say:
"Does something exist,
not in outer space
but in the world and the affairs of men on earth,
which has not even a name."

The Biblical account gives you plenty of examples in this fashion
How Abraham, Jacob and Joshua were carved into holiness
By acquiring a new name.

And then really, anything that there's in a name
Can be reduced to a phenomenological question.

I want to call you by your name
Because it reminds me you're something foreign
Something distant
And as long as you and me are no brothers
Hence not in the risk of Cain's sin
As long as you and me are only friends
Perhaps there's still a chance for the Polis
Even though the Republic fell through as it was being created
Nonetheless,
Your name reminds me that there's a space between you and me
Which keeps us from being crowded in a room
It is something that contains Christian splendor,
But with it also Christian coldness
Reason for which we do not give it a name
And leave it for the affairs of Realpolitik and professors
I particuarly like poetry
It reminds me of what being meant once.

This space between you and me
Is a sad estrangement from one another
As though we were condemned
To communicate through a little loophole
But with amazement I discover
That whenever I take a glimpse of you through the hole
There's this warm feeling which isn't Christian or civilized
This feeling imported from the Orient
Which is also you and me.

It is a sad space, no doubt
But this space is the only thing that permits us to have a world
One in which politics also dwell
She never pays the rent
And is often in quarrels with the Gods
That ask her to be less noisy
Because in their oblivion
They only want some silence.

This world that tragically
Belongs only to us
And not to some foreign power
Just like the feigned Gods
That our Age of Reason
Took pride in obliterating
And it's a rather strange place.
It's a no man's land
The mightiest of waters.

That when we dwell therein
We're already saving it
Just like we save it
When we think it
When we build it.

In a whimsical shape
A hurricane overtakes us
One yellower than hay
And we sail from home
In an almost Biblical travail
Acting out our freedoms
Realizing that they only drive us back inwardly
To build these prison houses of safety
That do not eliminate the insecurity of the mightiness
They merely exclude it.

But we do not dwell in these houses
Or in countries or schools
Not even in people's eyes
We dwell in an impossibility
We call it often the world
And it is not a logical probablity.

On account of that
I shall not want to make you my brother
Because I read the Bible
And because I shall not obliterate the memory
Remebering a world that existed before Marx
And perhaps even God received an immigration visa
Like we did
And I shall not call you with those European names
That are also yours
Because they remind me of churches
Whereas there's something too warm about you
I shall call you by your name
Fellow,
Your name is Rashid.

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