Monthly Archives: December 2017

The Garbage Man

[a short story, by Sha’Tara]

CONTENTS DELETED – contact me via email: shatara@telus.net  if you need this post back for reference, thanks.

Rolling, dried, sun-burnt hills seemed to stretch forever out to a hazy horizon beyond the snaking rutted roadway. Under the high, light grey cloud cover, and except for the road, nothing could be seen indicating the presence of man. Here and there a few tall skeletal trees raised their heads beyond a hill. Gorse and heather provided the only cover for man or beast. You might say it was a bleak landscape.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Interview with Shreen Saroor, winner of Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law

Another part of our world here exposed; a part once thought of as exotic, and romantic. Now, part of a global and growing dysfunctional civilization. I’m reblogging this obviously because the woman being interviewed here is a hero, and obviously because it is a very well presented interview, but also to show how our “sins” find us out everywhere. You know what I was thinking about today which fits in with this reblog? I was thinking that it’s high time we, as an intelligent, sentient, self-aware global “family” stopped making excuses for ourselves, for our crimes we commit daily, almost unawares, always managing to somehow pass the buck, blaming someone else, particularly the leadership and the elites and… and… and… The patriarchy and its endless wars against the poor, the innocent and particularly against mothers, doesn’t exist as a separate force, or order. It exists because it is supported, globally, and sadly, not only by men.

Perfect-The-Days

Below is an interview I did for the Daily Mirror

Human Rights Activist Shreen Abdul Saroor is one of the fifteen activists who has been awarded the Franco-German Prize for Human Rights and the Rule of Law this year. The prize is awarded to dedicated Human Rights defenders from around the world who have done outstanding work in their respective countries to uphold human rights and the rule of law.
Excerpts:

Your family was evicted from Mannar in 1990 by the LTTE. How did this affect your life?

I was in my first year studying Business Administration at the Colombo University when my family was evicted. My father was visiting me in Colombo at that time. I went to Puttalam to receive my mother, siblings and other family members. Mannar is an Island. There were two bridges- a road bridge and a train bridge. The LTTE destroyed both before the…

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I Am your Instrument, Play on!

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Deep in the cold, silent snow-dropping night
when reason gives way to a dreamy wonder;
when it has no reason to be, to exist,
I hear your angelic music. I don’t know
where it comes from. I don’t need to know.
I just need to listen and to feel the feelings it stirs,
feelings I have never felt and how strange is that?

If I listen with my heart, surely it will tell me
what the music is all about. Will it not?
What it has to say?  If indeed it is for me;
played for me?  Such a selfish, unworthy thought:
for me?  Why?  Since when is such ethereal music
played for fools awake in the middle of the night?
Fools who will not let themselves slip into sleep
for fear of dreams and portents of doom?

Yet your music plays on, sadly, wistfully seductive
and I have to listen with my heart; to feel, to feel
what the music interprets; what it is saying
to the night; into the night.  Into my mind and brain.
I want to kneel down and pray though we both know
I never pray.  I find no solace or gain in it.
Perhaps there is a good reason, perhaps it’s but pride:
I don’t even know. Not while your music is playing.

I want to stand and dance a wild dance, someplace,
where a full moon shines upon a glistening sandy shore
and I can hear small waves wash and die upon that shore
and smell their sea-grown treasures as they’re spilled
upon the sands, a free-will offering to the morning sun.
But I don’t dance either.  I just don’t. Too flaunty
I told myself long ago.  Call it reverse pride, or:
there was a lot of religion back there, self-denial.

But I listen to your music. There’s mystery in it.
Like me, and I am your instrument, aren’t I?  You,
you play me so well, and who else makes me smile
like this, foolishly? You are an accomplished harpist!
You give me such tantalizing vibrations, I could
collapse at your feet now, and die so happily… If
I wasn’t your instrument; if I did not belong to you.
If I were free.  But you know I don’t want to be free,
not from you, not from this ecstasy you give me.

 

Why do we need to Define our Terms?

[thoughts from   ~burning woman~   by Sha’Tara]

Sometimes, in trying to explain things, I know that I come across as annoying, or worse, dissing those wonderful time-honoured traditions and beliefs and “undefined” concepts that bring mental comfort in troubling times of discomfort. But why insist on well-worn concepts being defined, and re-defined, particularly at this time?

Which particular concepts? The standard “big” ones: faith, hope, love, miracles, peace, brotherhood, charity. There is never any lack of extolling of these “virtues” or events. Why can’t I go along with that?

Was it Plato who said, ‘The unexamined life isn’t worth living’? Why don’t we apply this to our great “positive” concepts we like so much to talk about, to bandy about, to shout from the streets in demonstrations, to paint on a sash or use as mission statements? How would that read? “The Unexamined Virtue isn’t worth Proclaiming!”

That to me is a truism. Why don’t we examine our virtues? Why don’t we demand of them that they function according to the claims we make of them, or for them? Take this time, somewhere between Christmas and New Year: peace is the leading contender in unexamined concepts. Peace, peace, peace, we write and say to one another.

Many years ago, I studied the Bible. As the world’s #1 best seller, I thought it deserved my time since so many people purportedly studied it. Here’s a passage guaranteed not to be called upon to illustrate any modern sermon. Harsh, more than harsh, but illustrative, oh yes! They call these “Jeremiads” remember? The ranting prophet, only problem is, he was right. Is the following truthful? Does it apply to us today?

Je. 6:10 To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so that they cannot hear. The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

Je. 6:11 But I am full of the wrath of the LORD, and I cannot hold it in. “Pour it out on the children in the street and on the young men gathered together; both husband and wife will be caught in it, and the old, those weighed down with years.

Je. 6:12 Their houses will be turned over to others, together with their fields and their wives, when I stretch out my hand against those who live in the land,” declares the LORD.

Je. 6:13 “From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practise deceit.

Je. 6:14 They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.

Je. 6:15 Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when I punish them,” says the LORD.

Whether it is “the LORD” or a corrupt and decadent system that brings “punishment” we know from history that said “punishment” is unavoidable, unless there is a collective 180 degree turn away from the current way of conducting “business” between people and the planet. Pay particular heed to Jeremiah’s complaint: “Peace, peace, they say, when there is no peace.” Isn’t that exactly the case right now? When someone wishes me “peace” in the tradition of this time, I feel sick at heart, knowing the greeting is not analyzed, not defined, not ground up in the crucible of awareness to be offered as a priceless and unblemished gem. In fact it comes in the opposite guise because it is unexamined in the light of current reality. To me, it is a curse.

For who are those so quick to offer ‘peace’ to each other or their neighbours? Those who would never define it for themselves. Those who use it as a feel good thing, a sort of dessert. A sort of magic formula. That traditional wave of the hand by the queen as she rattles by on the street in her fancy carriage and the exploited sheeple happily wave back in glowing subservience.

But there is another reality: that of wars of resources, exploitation, profit, extortion, lust; of racism and bigotry. From those wars come millions of refugees, and how easy it is to see how those who promote the wars, support the wars and do not suffer from the wars but rather profit from them, hardening themselves against the dispossessed. How easy it is to see how ‘the haves’ choose to make themselves comfortable with their world; to overlook the growing intensity of its evil agenda, perhaps hoping against hope that if they make deals with an evil system, the system in turn will leave them have their fake bit of peace.

Understand that when I use the term ‘the world’ I don’t mean this planet or its natural environment. What I mean (properly defined) is man’s global civilization. So, unless one has made a “public” statement of non-collusion with that civilization (I have, by the way, because I know what “the world” consists of) everyone is a bona fide member of ‘the world’ and functions as a representative, a promoter, a worshipper, an agent, a member, at the very least, an adjunct of said ‘world.’

Because they are unexamined in the light of today’s reality, all the great virtues bandied about become nothing but curses. What good does it do when passing by a starving child to wish her health and well-being; to say, “be fed and clothe and praise God for your life”? But when the relatively rich give each other wishes of health, happiness, peace and love, aren’t they in fact cursing the rest of the world that stares at a life they can never have; a life taken from them and that slips away from them in excruciating pain and sorrow? But not to worry, when it comes time to vote, it will always be “the rich” who will garner the majority votes and predictably in a fake system nothing will ever change except for the worse.  And predictably there will be a collective sigh of comfort when it is discovered it is the rich “Democrats” who won.  We can go back to ruling our Empire through hypocrisy and feel good about ourselves.

In closing, another very annoying biblical quote: Brother James, have at it!

Ja. 2:15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.

Ja. 2:16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

Ja. 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

Here’s another from James:

“Ja. 5:1 Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming upon you.

Ja. 5:2 Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes.

Ja. 5:3 Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days.

Ja. 5:4 Look! The wages you failed to pay the workmen who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.

Ja. 5:5 You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter. [Or yourselves as in a day of feasting]

Ja. 5:6 You have condemned and murdered innocent men, who were not opposing you.”

Any truth in this yet? You see, it’s really all about definitions. The world creates illusions to suit every need and desire. Whatever you want, it will proffer. For a price, of course, but it will also offer the credit card if you don’t have the cash. Conversely, if you don’t play the game, it will find ways to punish, some subtle, like being unemployed and forced out of your home, and some kept hidden in Guantanamo. Which makes me want to define the word: torture – another time.

Definitions. A life lived without being defined (or examined); when its virtuous or feel-good notions aren’t constantly re-defined against the light of the day, is a life, I wouldn’t say ‘not worth living’ but rather carefully faked. A life lived in an entertainment centre surrounded by images on wide screens, on cathedral tapestries, or wandering through museums and mausoleums.

Definitions. I had a recurring dream a few nights ago, of two very large, obviously GMO designed fanged and slavering black dog-like beasts chasing after unarmed people who, in terror, tried to run away from them. Some got away but only at the cost of others being caught and torn to pieces. You have to hear the screams, see the blood, experience such a thing to understand.

Defined: these are the dogs of war. And they are currently running loose throughout the Greater Middle East, much of Africa and wherever drugs are being grown or manufactured. They are also active in refugee camps; in worker slave camps; in sweat shops and in countries the US Empire holds as “non conforming” and a threat to its claims of planetary hegemony. The bits and pieces of the torn bodies I saw in my dreams are being sold at a discount at Walmart and on Amazon. Where do you shop, and do business? Where it’s cheaper and most convenient?

The real world doesn’t have to fear forgetfulness.
It’s a tough customer.
It sits on our shoulders,
weighs on our hearts,
tumbles to our feet.
There’s no escaping it,
it tags along each time we flee.
And there’s no stop
along our escape route
where reality isn’t expecting us. — Wisława Szymborska, from “The Real World”

 

 

The Theory

[thoughts from    ~burning woman~    by Sha’Tara]

I’ve got a theory about life. Actually, I have a million theories, but let’s not quibble on that. Ask any philosopher or scientist, theories are not just fun, they’re the stuff life is made of.

There’s a mega problem with theories, however. Once something is no longer theory; once it has morphed into some sort of man-invented, man-made “reality” the juice, the sparkles, run out of it. It becomes our bane.  We call it the status quo.

I mean, look at some basics: religious, political and financial theories. We now have a global civilization circumscribed by three stodgy, miserable old maids that not so long ago were beautiful vivacious and totally uncertain young girls dancing, one on the top of a hill under the stars looking for her god, one by the shore of the sea, hoping for a mariner to sail up to the shore and take her away and another by a stream, watched by a doe and her two fawns, dreaming of love while from the other side, hidden behind a stump, a young boy stared in awe.

As you can tell by today’s world condition, that was a very long time ago when religion was yet but the spirit of life; when politics were but groups of people trying to find ways to make sense of their growing collectives and help one-another. As for finance, well, that was but a way to share the bounties of the earth when direct exchange had become too cumbersome.

All three young maidens were taken in their time. A god came down from the stars and religion went with him. A mariner did come to the shore in his tall ship and politics happily boarded. That boy came out of hiding, crossed the stream and finance thought him so handsome, holding his hand she forded the stream and entered his world.

So here’s the theory. Everyone of us is born with a hole in our heart. There is no exception to this, none. That hole is a very uncomfortable condition, as you may remember, so the first thing you do is look for something to fill it.

According to the theory, this is when it all begins. I mean, this is what defines mankind, or as people have been programmed to think of themselves, where “humanity” begins to see itself. It begins with a hole, a gigantic hole that demands to be filled the moment the first breath is drawn.

You see how that can be a problem, right? That’s some inheritance we got stuck with, some cosmic dirty trick. The worst part is, though we spend our life trying to fill that hole, we don’t even realize that’s what we are engaged and engrossed in doing.  When someone asks, what do you do for a living we don’t say, “I’m a hole filler.”  We use other, more socially acceptable terms to describe our occupation, like, “I’m a lawyer; I’m a plumber; I’m a nurse; I’m a teacher; I’m a pilot.”

What does it mean, that we look for ways to fill that heart hole? It means, first of all, some relationship, with mom, dad, siblings. Then toys, trinkets, food, favourite things, the family cat, dog. It goes on from there to friends, more things, lovers, belief systems, settling and settling down or acquiring and acquiring more.   From the malleable to the hard. From the undefinable to the defined. One square peg after another hammered mercilessly into that round, empty hole. Some, too many, will go to any extreme, commit any unthinkable crime in attempts to fill that hole.

From theory to reality. But the hole, it remains just as unfilled at the last breath as it was on the first one because all that man-made garbage that was hammered into it, once it clears the top, it falls right through.

World Refugee Rights Situation In 2017

I like asking the tough questions, and the one that comes to mind here, as I reblog this article is, how much of what we do consciously or unconsciously, colludes with the forces responsible for this horror and curse upon our global “civilization”?

The Human Lens

With the year end approaching, we are all immersed in festivities and relaxation but let us take a moment to recall that millions of war and conflict affected refugees; women, men and young children have had their lives destroyed and put at risk during this year.

Global situation is getting bleaker and tensions are rising all across the First World and the Third World where politics and poverty is playing games with humanity. Some of the worst situations for refugees are found in:

  1. Greece, a European hellhole for the thousands of refugees that are imprisoned in Moria, this refugee camp is a stain on the so called civilized principles of Europe. Living conditions in this overcrowded and mismanaged camp is so desperate that Greek authorities have warned against life threatening consequences.
  2. Rohingya refugees, in thousands lavishing in different camps at Bangladesh, on boats to and fro ASEAN waters…

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I’m not a Broker of Emotions

[thoughts from ~burning woman~ a poem]

For a while we felt good together, didn’t we?
After I had agreed you could hold me.
You could also kiss me, and freely fondle:
I knew how much that made you feel good
and I’m all about that, you know,
making you feel good. As a woman
that validates me; gives me purpose.
And you know what else I like?
I like sleeping with you. You smell good,
you have such a warm, hard body.
Why would I not want to be with you?

So we spent time together and it was,
should I repeat it? Good, real good.
The more I gave you, the more I got
as you searched me for more pleasure:
I didn’t mind, believe me, I didn’t.
You were like a baby seeking a nipple,
I felt your desire and your hunger
and me anticipating your solace
finding your pleasure and satisfaction
in me, from me, me feeding, you suckling.
We had it all, I thought, oh, so wonderful
Until you looked down and felt your fear.

That’s when you deliberately spoiled it.
You wanted it to be more than I could give:
you wanted it to be love, you insisted
it had to be love though I had warned you
before the eyes, the hugging, the kissing,
The fondling and finally the naked fucking…
I don’t do love, OK? It is my prerogative
and why would I pretend to such a thing?
I’m not a deal maker or broker of emotions.
Yet you insisted; you insist: must be love.
I’m sorry, truly I am, but I don’t do love.
I can however, help you pack if you want.