“Ten years ago, on a cold dark night”
It often seems that those who are gone have died, despite the fact that we still talk to them throughout an ordinary day. I have friends I have never severed ties with who might not recognize me if we passed on a street. Yet they live alongside me in conversations they may be unaware of, doing dishes or cursing at the clocks’ rapid narrowing of our remainder of space. I talk to my friends in an empty room with the recollection of their sound and the vibrant character of their presence standing at a corner to my eye view. And more than any others I talk to my son and listen for his replies.
Strange language though, innit? To talk about passing in a street. Now somehow we are living without streets. We live in a very persistent now – although spatially disrupted, and we attempt to reconcile leaps through unreal, disrupted space in an environment in which spirits have reached the most exquisite level of exploitation. A market masquerades as spirit everywhere now; a condition that has already brought us to ruin without regard for the world’s future habitability. A social explosion is already upon us; and it was predictable that it should come.
Without exaggeration, I became inarticulately aware of this explosion on or after June 15th, 2010.
That day, my four-and-a-half-year-old son Rui was taken onto a flight to Japan under utterly false pretenses, with the collaboration of a series of Japanese actors whose actions were condoned by the State. In that instance, the Japanese State and the American State. Neither could have achieved this without one another.
I would be remiss not to commemorate this anniversary of sorrow, and this scar, this violation of my boy’s person and of mine. Rui will approach the fifteenth anniversary of his birth later this year.
A fifteen year old wrote this not more than fifteen years ago:
“When I talk to young people of my generation… they all say the same thing: we no longer have the dream of starting a family, of having children, or a trade, or ideals, as you yourselves did when you were teenagers. All that is over and done with…” ¹
This month, during the pandemic, I spoke with a fifteen-year-old who knew Rui only a short time ago as a younger boy; the first time any person has reached out to me and spoken to me about him from Japan since his abduction. This admirable young guy was able to tell me a few things about him I had not heard directly before. Rui, he said, is tall, always very positive, and bright. At school events, the parents ask about him to one another. They want to know what there is to know about his father. Who is he? And where? I wonder, do they ask his mother this? Do they ask him? Does Rui know who we are? Does he know for how long and how far love can be attenuated? Does he know the absurdity of the wound the State inflicts on him, and how numerous are the others who endure the same?
“Revolt itself and revolt alone is the creator of light.
And this light can only be known by way of three paths:
Poetry, freedom, and love.
Paths that converge in the least discovered and most illuminable spot, in the human heart.”
– Andre Breton, Arcanum 17, (1944)
¹. from Bernard Stiegler, The Age of Disruption. Polity Press, 2019.