I walk by these historic streets of old brick and oak. A man with an absence of glimmer behind his eyes looks ahead at the world with a grin of indifference. Men of sanctity in their white, traditional robes. The eye’s of women behind the piety of black cloaks. Maroon churches, decorated with the sins of man. Prophets hung – like trophies of man’s immortality. I take shade before structures of a silent annexation of land and minds. The aroma of Eastern cuisine, amidst the contouring of reality. Societies split into microcosms. Men amongst other men, imbalanced in opportunity and wisdom. I walk past the modernity of man in the confidence of society’s content. Each step constructing a pillar of truth. The simplicities of existence fabricated within this material wealth. The elision of power and the elusion of justices; in so far that we may have lost sight. Nations, lighthouses without lights, candles without sparks. They write their novels of emancipation – in a room that’s ever so dark.
Each year we would visit the graves of family members who had passed. Some would congregate beside tombstones, others picked at the overgrown plants that had risen, as bones nourished the soil in which they now reside. In the West graveyards are usually pristine, places where the eyes do not falter. But in this land death has a way of deepening senses. The art of faces, perishing into the past. In the West the dates between birth and death are not often surreal, yet here in this blood immersed land they glare below a sun that states the abrupt endings of life. 1989-1999. 1975-1999. 1980-1999. These were the years where the youth had no knowledge of what peace had to offer. They witnessed their fathers leaving their homes at noon to protest arm in arm. Marching unarmed towards militarised units and tanks with the capacity to crush their bones, sweep them to the side as if they were dust. And who would these policemen answer to, for inhumane crimes? Not a single prosecutor. They were immune to a colonial disease that eviscerated the soul of my people. The taste of teargas was food in which they offered; bullets were the currency of the state. Professors, doctors, intellectuals were all assigned as criminals, in their eyes. Neighbourhoods turned into secret havens, where men risked their lives to teach language that God had bestowed upon them. The human right to express a DNA, an identity, their lineage. Women and men wandered the curfew streets like spies in order to sustain an existence. Children traumatised before they had even learned to read or write. Maybe this was their plan all along, to silence us by ways of illiteracy and dependence. Yet we defied. Professors, activists, civilians and students became unarmed soldiers, their intellect was the armour of silent warfare. The regime’s archives will have you believe that guerrillas were responsible for the commencement of the war. In truth, this war had begun decades before. When they suppressed our language, fearing that words were the power to encapsulate wisdom. When they removed intellectual men from their positions of work and degraded them into becoming second-class citizens, knowing that their honour and obstinance would leave trails of sweat on bedsheets, along with terrors of the night. They carefully alienated an entire generation that had lived in peace during the years of Josip Tito. Albanians and Serbs had lived as one until ultra-nationalism became a serpent within the empire. My evidence is in experiences faced during the war. My father’s life was spared, by a Serb who had recognised him during the years in which they played professional football in the Yugoslav leagues. Those who profess of an intractable history, do not see or recognise or even acknowledge these instances of heart and flesh. They do not see the surface of human connection from their high castles where they plot and sharpen their philosophies of division as they plan the arraignment of innocent men. We cannot claim that every Serb was a warmonger, seeking to devour all that stood in his path. Just as we cannot forget the atrocities carried out by paramilitary forces as they ransacked villages, like Roman barbarians; burning houses and lining men and young boys across brick walls to massacre them without reason, nor reflection. Throughout human history powerful men with a lust for dominion have altered the fates of innocent people as if they were Gods. What they cannot see: is their ultimate destruction, their time usually comes. Either by guillotine or human justice. It surely comes. And the agency is returned to the intellects, the professors and the doctors, to the farmers and village-men who have worked the lands and terrain for centuries. They know a wild animal with a thirst for blood when they see one. The tyrants mistook their hospitality, respect and honour; for weakness. Within their creation is the will to protect their lands and their neighbours from hostile and murderous men, who speak nothing but the literature of violence and death.
Mothers were baking corn bread in traditional kitchens. On antique stoves, when word of the Cetniks presence was made known to the village elders. War had erupted in clusters months before. Guerrilla fighters appeared from their enclaves in the hills. An army appeared from the regime’s capital Belgrade and other Yugoslav cities; as men emerged and were assigned to darkness. I was all but a boy when a special forces officer took reign of our home. As if it were his body and soul that had spent nights in the Balkan snow, chauffeuring replicas of the same faces in a city entangled by the art of separatism. The officers body to my recollection grew inch by inch as he made his way into the living area where our grandfather’s used to philosophise and smoke. His command was that we all sit and not be afraid. But how can one control their emotional state, when a trio of six feet 6 men walk through a door that exemplifies safety, armed in government prescribed signatures, whose ink is inscribed in bullets? An image that will stay with me until the day of my death is the sight of a soldier’s left eye that I could see emerging from his black balaclava. I was told years later when my understanding of the war had matured, that they had demanded dinar, jewellery and passports that would ensure safety for our family of eight. We were accompanied by our aunt and her family, whose sons, my cousins, were at the age where the military would commit their murder. In the blink of an eye. So we hid our sons and our cousins. We prayed to God for our sisters and our mothers. We knew that our home would be burned to a ground that had raised us through sources of nutrition and pride. Yet these men were acting in direct retribution for a sin we had never committed. Faces that we had never seen, would be imprinted in the occurring thoughts of all those who were of age to witness. I remember the war in frames. A polaroid memory. If I exert enough energy in retaining clarity I am taken to the moments of entering a bus in the night; where the light was evidence to a picture of progressive pain. Faces, half way between content and grief.
The wretched, in their imperial search for unconquered land and soil view the nomad as a man of contempt. He travels from territory to territory with no chronic attachment to the earth. These men of liberty are emblems of nature, their possessiveness, absent. Their minds are not focused on enslaving and unearthing the organs of the earth in excess and abundance or trafficking minerals which may provide nutrition to villages and transform men of poverty into men of progress, as seen in the commodified world. They live a life of necessity, not gluttony. The strings which tie men to power are free flowing, with no foreseeable end. A culture of compulsiveness and insecurity has led to greed becoming the antithesis of human development. Amongst every class, race and religion, a systemic and brutal hierarchy exists, one which makes no sound. It acts solemnly in its brutality, silently constricting the freedom of the individual who suffers in illusions and false pretences, in search of gratification in a world engulfed by its own fuel. No outsider is responsible for this betrayal. True enemies are not alien entities whom you believe are planning to wound your existence. The true enemies are the ones who remain in the shadows of friendship, appearing in the day, and vanishing by night. Individuals who understand your internal hardships, who themselves have shed tears for similar upheavals that took place in their souls. Humankind depends on its inherent tribalism to function as a collective entity of schisms. This is the only way in which power can be contained within desired circles. Even the physiology of man, in all of its autonomy is a political body. When infection sends good health into disarray, the body naturally reacts so that the place of infection is prioritised and the system which maintains the order of good health works incredibly well to diminish an invasion from unwanted toxic guests. Whilst the human body is an exemplary example of cohesion within a framework, it’s not entirely blameless when the notion of superiority arises. The mind in all of its mysteriousness, appoints itself as the philosopher-king. Whilst the heart settles as a feeble advisor. In truth if we pave the way for our conscience to dictate the nature of our thinking, each and every single revolution in the history of mankind combined in force, would not be able to compete with the velocity of our exonerated consciousness. The mind is not able to dwell in its beauty without the assistance of the heart, as a single force it would be a futile organ, incapable of delivering us from ignorance. Now forgive me for my ramblings, however what I am attempting to paint, is a picture which shows humanity as a collective force, incapable of functioning without one another. If there was simply a nation, populating one man, there would be no thirst for power, or greed, or manipulation, though he would soon begin to loathe the absence of command. As soon as the nation of one man, is met by a nation of another, it is safe to assume that conflict would soon arise. Now, the assumption I am making is that human beings, for whatever cosmic reason, are inherently animalistic and combatant. From the day of its inception, to its final day of judgment, this earth will breed evil, just as violence breeds murder. The righteous, like grass on a damp field, will grow and flourish and they will never accomplish evil. With pacifism, there comes brutality. With wealth comes poverty. With hope comes hopelessness and with humanity comes inhumanity. In this theatre of chaos and beauty, you are the autonomous actor, free to choose your role. Though do not forget, even in autonomy your movements are limited and arbitrated by the laws of the unknown.
The pen appears in the abyss of night when the masses are sleeping and silence takes its sombre throne. The windows remain acutely open as the cold air is yet to prescribe an uncomfortable temperature that insults the skin. Candles burn in mellowness as they reach the end of their tenure, summoning a simple yet passionate light by the bedsit whom is a witness of many nights that have seen flames of passion followed by termination and detachment. He writes as a veteran of discontent in the city where young men migrate to occupy their visions and take control of their destinies. Material and superficial compulsiveness has turned these once revolutionary young men, who sat in circles of true kinship, conversing in rational thought, into spokesmen of this soulless age. An age in which men have descended from the towers of egotism and vanity as self-proclaimed prophets. Addressing eloquently to the public (or rather themselves) that their tangible knowledge shall remain pure and unchallenged and that their authority as conductors of mankind shall lead us into a new world where outdated and elderly philosophies die. Now, I cannot speak for the previous tenants of this place we call earth. I speak solely for the age in which we have the misfortune of residing in. These proclamations are like records that always change, though if you close your eyes you will hear that the melody stays the same. That is not to say that our existence should be dictated by the external world and the colourless nature of its dynamics, it is merely an internal observation which leads me to the conclusion that we are misguided souls that became lost in the wilderness of the universe. Human beings when they talk of the potentiality of alien life, often tend to neglect the notion that they are in fact aliens of themselves. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and state that they are not neglectful, rather unaware of the notion that the ego has enslaved the true identity of the human being. They cannot hear the monotonous melody in the background of their lives which sedates them as they waltz aggressively through life in the absence of self-awareness. The ego does not erode like vulnerable cliffs and it does not fade away like the clarity of youth. It is intrinsically a well structured and inflexible force that has forged a strong relationship with the human being. It cultivates young innocent boys into egomaniacs and young angelic girls into prosecutors of self-confidence and love. It is a force that is guilty of the most venomous crimes, and the most fraudulent deals. It has sculptured itself into an unobservable friend, a companion through all the troubles that engulf life. It has created a war within us that makes us despise other men in this competition of survival. Brothers, bound my flesh and blood have become strangers, and each night the misery dissects their hearts into small darkened fragments that cannot be put together. When the ego has the power to severe such divine bonds amongst men, then what is preventing it from contaminating mankind with envy and resentment? Look into the sky at a quarter past midnight on a temperate summers night and the ego will be vanquished like a tyrannical king who is tolerated by his people until the first second of revolution. The sky is our very own revolution. It reminds us of our deviations in the most delicate of ways. Deviations that would be censored by the ego, so that it can sustain its legacy and continue to wreak its havoc upon men and women who are yet to discover who they truly are. The sky orates in such a way, that when we look into its grandness we forget the formulated ideations that have been corrupted over the ages. An unknown whisper vibrates through our being, confessing that the time is now, for that is all that has ever been. Revolt against the ego if you wish to sleep in a bed of emancipation. A bed which caters to the lost and shattered souls who walk gruellingly through the city that is buried under a debris of dreams.
Humankind’s knowledge, or adversely, it’s unawareness of its minimal importance has inflated the egos of non-virtuous men. This has opened the gates of greed and social loathing amongst a populace that drowns in a wave of social discontent and economic slavery. The patterns of enslavement have evolved over time, metal chains no longer cause contusions, though the shackles remain incorruptible. They cannot be physically removed as the torture is welded deep in the consciousness of the people who have been programmed like machines to honour the abuse of power and stay silent in times of political upheaval. The dictators of this world are men who stand side by side amongst herds of humans, whilst habitually failing to listen to their heartfelt insecurities and injustices. Portraying inauthentic smiles and waves as partisan crowds rise in hysteria. They are given life by the growth of political fragmentations as the dissolving nature of cohesion erodes the mountains of tolerance that have slowly disintegrated over time. Prosperousness grounds those gravitating beings who are propelled towards the stars. For this earth is designed to teach the lost souls a lesson. A lesson that is required in order to flutter across galaxies. Each singular experience is a less than minuscule segment of the universes overall potential and might. The galaxies are eternal, the possibilities are far beyond endless. With intellect – there is overwhelming growth as the mind is a replication of the universe. It is a divine entity that brings us closer to the holy grail of the meaning of existence. Life is a bond, for the noble or the peasant and through war and violence the spiritual vitality of man has been subdued into silence. Division, the prognosis in a feverish world that remains ill, yet refutes treatment. Schisms exclude the common good which strives to repair the splinters that have crippled our people, as rulers produce derailing potions that send the locomotives of humanity crashing into the pits of despair. Some may argue that war and disharmony are merely reflections of the disorder associated with outer space. In the external walls of earth, destruction is inevitable. The universe is a theatre of unmanageable struggles, a maddening cauldron. It cannot control its internal strife that creates intolerable fractions. Human beings – unlike stars – are capable of controlling and avoiding their self-annihilation. Preserve and pay homage to the beauty of existence, for everything that passes with air is an example of how far we have come since the beginning of nada, on a platform in the midst of cosmic conflict.
In terms of universal power and width – human beings are to an extent wholly irrelevant in terms of cosmic relevance. Yet our species continue to strenuously walk through life with an arrogant limp. Refusing to put under the microscope societal ignorances that result in societal failures. We’re a species that indulge in short-term solutions and practises – this is a reflection of our overall intellectual incapacities and deprived wisdoms. The state of the world we live in – is the state of human kind’s core existence. A collective entity – torn into fragments. Until the organ of humanity is once again united – instability and strife will reign amongst separated men. The power that we possess – is sabotaged by ghastly men with insidious visions and philosophises. We gift power to those whom we do not trust – yet mourn in self-deprecation when our liberties and freedoms are hindered by these exact men. We pawn our spiritual sovereignty for security – whilst our leaders create and implement policies that annihilate the very foundations of security. Ask yourself, why do you stand idle when your entire world is crumbling before your eyes? Could it be that our leaders are not entirely at fault? For it’s not misleading to state that mankind is responsible for its own decaying demise – primarily as a result of its chronic indolence.
We are creations that loathe minimality. Craving the desires of abundance that attracts nothing other than the odours of greed and commoditisation. Mother Earth is patient. For it has taken her billions of years to allow the fields to breathe and the oceans to dance in rhythm. It has taken our steroidal race less than 1000 years to obliterate the essence of nature. She will free herself from industrial and capitalistic chains of oppression when humankind begins to dissolve in its own toxic environment – proliferated by environmental negligence and social corrosion. We are in the midst of an unnatural revolution – where we are witnessing the world ruing its own self-destruction. There is order amongst disorder in the universe. You cannot realign and redesign the already connected patterns that the universe has sewn onto the stars. The destiny of our world is embedded deep within cosmic fibres. Our fate is unbearable – as we cannot escape from what we have created. We live each day – drowning in self-denial – believing that our punishment on earth is reversible. What we are stubborn to accept is that this malnourished and battered world is a force of retribution. It has not forgotten the actions carried out by power obsessed men. Its scars are eternal – deep inside Mother Earth’s conscience. We will vanish – and she will heal. What is most intolerable to a rational human mind is the fact that we have the capabilities to live freely and naturally in this open forest of opportunity – yet the minority who control the mechanics of society – obliterate the trees that allow humanity to breathe aspiration. Instead we stutter and stagnate at the unforeseen hills that face us. We dare not – to trek across the unknown. So we submit our liberty to the aristocratic dictators of our world. We no longer yearn for freedom as the freedom we once attained was brushed aside like an abandoned orphan. So I say this to a shattered and empty world – you are oppressors of your own oppression. Dissenters of your own liberty. Partisans of peace in a caving society that holds on by a string to the belief of human development and prosperity. Do not let go of the string – for it could be the only item that realigns the degraded patterns sewn into the idle stars.