Lebanon. Soon calm will return and everything will resume its course. As if the explosion did not take place. Why “as if”? It just didn’t happen. Because it has happened many times before and will happen many times again.
Originally published by Megaphone Facebook page on August 14, 2020. Written by Tarek Abi Samra. Translated by Enough 14 from the French version by Lundi Matin (Lundi Matin version translated from Arabic into French by Carine Doumit) .
Believe me, even though you are still in shock, unable to believe that this explosion did indeed take place: it is the most ordinary thing. Its echoing simultaneously to the past and the future, is the life of all of us, our life that has already been lived and that to come, and that of those who have not yet been born too.
It was a nightmarish week, in which our fractured souls not only crumbled under the shock of the catastrophe, but also – and especially I believe – by the very fact that this catastrophe is both a reminiscence and a prophecy at the same time. Yes, we all heard the explosion years ago, we heard it on August 4, 2020, and our grandchildren will hear it in the future if we have not stopped existing by then.
I’ll put aside the “consensual democracy” or “sectarian tribalism” bullshit: they govern us by putting us on a bomb that can explode at any time, even though that bomb has already exploded many times and will explode again and again. It’s either us or the explosion: that’s how they govern us. Quite simply. If they had once been sincere, they would have told us: we want to dominate, plunder, kill, enjoy and kill each other, and if you try to resist, we will blow up the whole country even though we have already exploded it and there is almost nothing left of it.
We all know this, and we don’t forget it, but we don’t feel it every day in this frank terror that runs through our bodies. The mind keeps reminding us of the truth, but the body forgets. Or it sinks into denial. It does not have the stamina of the mind. It was then that this explosion took place that resuscitated the memory of the bodies, and our bodies to remember, to remember the nature of this diet that the mind has not forgotten. For the regime in place in Lebanon is none other than this terror that is now devouring our entrails. The explosion of August 4 is unbelievable by the very fact that it is ordinary. It was engraved in our bodies even before it took place, and it will remain there even when we heal from it: that is how I feel today. It also seems to me that things will soon return to normal, that bodies will once again forget this truth, because it is exhausting, painful and intolerable.
When the explosion hit on August 4, 2020, the time condensed it prior to the explosion. The power in place condensed as never before, until it crystallized, then it exploded into a thousand fragments that scattered to the past and the future. It is not necessary to demonstrate here that the explosion of power does not mean its death, because the explosion and power are one. Power is malleable and will never cease to adapt. It is not we who adapt and acclimatize, but he, using us as cannon fodder for his explosions and disintegrations.
What we faced at the moment of the explosion was this diet that looked us in the eye, reminding us that it is nestled deep inside our bodies. We then remembered that the terror was already there, deep inside us, even before the explosion, and that it would not move one inch, even if our bodies were to forget it. And when calm returns and everything resumes its course, the bomb will keep detonating and detonating, even though our bodies won’t feel it.
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