How am I supposed to talk to you, or with you or about you?
Should I tell stories you already know, or be silent and let you go wherever it is you go? I come close to you, walking on tiptoe so as not to wake you, and then I laugh at myself because all I want is to wake you...
—Elias Khoury, Gate of the Sun
"Write down as little as possible. It's better not to write. Don't take notes on sensitive subjects; it's better to forget certain things than to put them down in writing. ... Where necessary, take notes which are intelligible only to yourself."
—from What Every Radical Should Know About State Repression
Really an incredible development. The medical establishment has finally begun to adapt what has for years been the gold-standard practice in so many arenas of American life: politics, culture, finance, foreign affairs—I could go on. Of course I’m talking about the fecal transplant. It’s a simple process with almost endless applications. It works like this: they take some of their feces and they put it inside of you (load that spoon!) and just like that, you'll start feeling better. Really, trust them: you will!
In the beginning there was a river. The river became a road and the road branched out to the whole world. And because the road was once a river it was always hungry.
In that land of beginnings spirits mingled with the unborn. We could assume numerous forms. Many of us were birds. We knew no boundaries. There was much feasting, playing, and sorrowing. We feasted much because of the beautiful terrors of eternity. We played much because we were free. And we sorrowed much because there were always those amongst us who had just returned from the world of the Living. They had returned inconsolable for all the love they had left behind, all the suffering they hadn't redeemed, all that they hadn't understood, and for all that they had barely begun to learn before they were drawn back to the land of origins.
There was not one amongst us who looked forward to being born. We disliked the rigours of existence, the unfulfilled longings, the enshrined injustices of the world, the labyrinths of love, the ignorance of parents, the fact of dying, and the amazing indifference of the Living in the midst of the simple beauties of the universe. We feared the heartlessness of human beings, all of whom are blind, few of whom ever learn to see.
We longed for an early homecoming, to play by the river, in the grasslands, and in the magic caves. We longed to meditate on sunlight and precious stones, and to be joyful in the eternal dew of the spirit. To be born is to come into the world weighed down with strange gifts of the soul, with enigmas and an inextinguishable sense of exile. So it was with me.
—Ben Okri, The Famished Road