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Slemani City of Literature Guest Post: Me/Literature as We!

Shamal A Hussein
Mon 27 Apr, 2020

As a part of our Building a Better World With Words project, our fellow City of Literature Slemani have gifted us a short piece of excellent writing as humanity literally looks to literature for answers

Me: I'm quarantined, trapped and ephemeral by this creepy pandemic! Yet, you are always on the high shelves, in the air, and eternal!

Literature: I feel like I am vulnerable too, more remotely by hyper-individualist controllers.

Me: You used to be my entertaining commodity. My survival is now at stake, though! Unless you prove you can help me mentally, imaginatively, or spiritually survive; you would not survive, either!

Literature: You have been always prescribing roles for me! Maybe it is my turn now to think for myself! I seek to get power of attitude, not merely text and imagination, like before.

Me: Many others like me now adhere to any religious refuge, as you seem like having no power to offer!

Literature: Unfortunately, that is true! It’s an unprecedented moment that needs unprecedented ways to handle it. Your Aristotle taught I not only have to deal with what happened, but what may happen, as well. That’s not enough for now, I should admit! I need to engage directly with what must happen right now, either.

Me: What do you mean?!

Literature: I would borrow “collective wisdom" from your Aristotle, and call for anadvocacy campaign of "collective literature".As UCCN have nicely shared their literary power to help you, I call UNESCO to let literature and words create history, pushing UN to push rulers to consecrate "collective wisdom" of medical, scientific, economic, and security means to find a cure. I want politicians to share their resources to save you, too!

Me: Why do you pour your anger on politicians, then!

Literature: There is a cold war between the gigantic power of their economy and a potential strength of me. I want to help the UN find a cure, then decide how the cure should be deformed into a coin!

Me: I feel ashamed that I've abused my freedom, which brought greediness, chaos, pollution, and pandemic into the world.

Literature: I can help you discover more about your inner freedom and shared responsibility to bring you closer to your hidden humanhood under layers of wastes, as in Becket's "Godot"!

Me: Would you?! I doubt it!

Literature: Like Macbeth, this global tragic pandemic should purge leaders through fear and pity, not ordinary people. Rulers are parched for dead money, bullets and pride; they need to be watered from my spring, to grow seeds of dignity and friendship!

Me: My grandma once said there will be times when we feel like rootless and lonely seeds in harsh seasons, abhorrently or appallingly free, feeling cold to death,

Literature: Yes, but when seeds talk to each other, they internally warm up to bear this cold weather, to grow, get roots and sprout to share a true greenness with others. This is the power of being together in distress, caring for pains, comforting at loss, sharing wealth of conversation, joy, soil, food, air, knowledge, medicine, and health!

Me: Power of befriending hardship, coldness, death and pandemic to value life and partnership?! Shared memory, mistakes and triumphs?! Or power of grace that crosses dead borders of colours, regions, and signs?!

Literature: Power of appreciatively befriending and repenting to nature for abusing it, getting cleansed by nature as a whole, in your body, mind, and soul; like birds with feathers, who safely and happily flock together.

We: Then, it’s a call for an awareness campaign of "Power of Valuables"; trust among us, familiarity, shared life-loving tendency; power of expressing thankfulness, mutual appreciation and empathy, as extracted from Borders by Leanne Moden;

a border is an elemental thing

its barricade a permeable thought

there is a hinterland to which we cling

a false dichotomy however fraught

we each must stand somewhere in No Man’s Land

as points in an uncountable array

the border is a castle in the sand

and soon the tide will wash the lines away

a border is a barricade to break

a border is a dull persistent ache

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