Disillusionment, sour and abrasive in the nervous system, sings heart-stopping laments when it seeps past the veil. To whom is it blameful to seek to evade the laceration of grief?
A fall into a bramble of thorns is not the cool soothing rippling by of a valley breeze.
Obstacles broke our shins and hobbled our walks.
Looking around us now, we face among ourselves a class that is rising in biliousness and wrath. I don’t see in its rebellion a struggle against the restrictions of the reality principle, but rather that it bears the insufferable marks of grim authoritarianism. It marks out who rises and who falls, who is protected and saved, and who is expelled, ignored, jailed, or drowned.
The small and meek, the bare lives.
I am not speaking for privilege, but against it. It’s not renunciation of the reality principle that we need, but renunciation of privileged membership.
What do you see, what am I asking you to see, here below?
I very, very often have dream images like this one above, with odd sing-songy rhymes in my head as I wake up each day in this, the long, hottest of all summers, of 2018. I’m posting this picture to commemorate my indelible love for Rui despite the madness, the distance, and the long, spatial and temporal horrors of silence. But that’s not all.
The picture on which our faces are superimposed is one that Brecht’s friend and comrade Sergei Tretiakov took of him and his son when they lived in Berlin, immediately prior to Hitler’s taking of the German Chancellorship and the final run-up/ run-down to the end of social rights, workers’ rights and democratic rights in Germany in 1933-34.
In exile from Nazi Germany, resettled and still permanently unsettled in the United States, Brecht wrote in a letter to Karl Korsch in 1941, “Even in the backwoods of Finland, I never felt so out of the world as here.”
This is the most deeply nested of all dreams:
Look into my eyes. See what you are. See what I see. Look into my eyes, now. See what you are. See what I see. Look into my eyes now. Let me look into yours. It’s time to leave your prison. It’s time that you go free. Look into my eyes. Love… See yourself in me. And forgive me. And forgive me… Let me love you. Let me take your place. Let me free you. Look, Love… Let me end with you.
I remember the talks well wherein we all talked about the declining significance of the myths of Americanism, and its commonalities with the histories of the false universalism of Empires.
Pressed in organdy
Clothed in crinoline of smoky Burgundy
Softer than the rain.
Past the shop displays
I heard cathedral bells
Tripping down the alleyways
As I walked on.
Your cheeks flushed with the night
We walked on frosted fields of juniper and lamplight
I held your hand.
I kissed your honey hair with my grateful tears
Oh, I love you, girl
Oh, how I love you.
Rui, my heart, enclosed in amber, waits for you.