Radio Dis/loc/ution

x “Zayin is masculine—ZACHAR. And there belongs to this man a beard—ZAKAN. And this man is old—ZAKAYN. And this man can look back through time—Z’MAN, and he remembers—ZACHAER, everything.” MMXX is a Spotify playlist I made in/for #TwentyTwenty and @rbinbetween. x “Only he who is beaten—KATEET, like oil which has been beaten from olives, until he is—KASHER, pure and fit, shall drink. Then Kaf turns itself into a crown.” AMALGAMA is a Spotify playlist I made during eclipse season. x “There is another kind of Resh. This is the end of pretending. ROSH HASHANA, the day of admitting. Master of the universe! RIBONO … Continue reading “Radio Dis/loc/ution”

It’s More Than True, It Actually Happened

“it’s a couple of years I suspect you don’t have a physical existence anymore like us other humansfor what I know you might not existyou might be a projectionyou might have become an immaterial entityre-assessed only through narrationlike syria, or santa claus” Annalena to my “face” on September 25, 2012 September 25, 2012 was the 269th day of the year 2012 in the Gregorian calendar. There were 97 days remaining until the end of the year. The day of the week was Tuesday. Libra is the zodiac sign of a person born on this day. It has been 3162 days, today included. Or 8 years, 7 … Continue reading “It’s More Than True, It Actually Happened”

Year Zero: Hypertexture

Shortly after New Year’s Day, as part of a staff meeting check-in on Zoom, I was asked if I had a “word for the coming year.” That question hadn’t occurred to me before they’d asked it, but a word still rushed into view very quickly; after a few had volunteered to share why they’d chosen the words they’d chosen, I pressed unmute and said: “I have a one in mind, but I’m not going to explain it—I’ll just say the word: ‘wholeness’.” The thing is–I’ve been struggling with words for quite some time. What used to come to me like … Continue reading “Year Zero: Hypertexture”

Poiesis: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 20

Part 1: Beginning “Poiesis is understood traditionally as an activity of formation, in which the artist gives shape to matter in accordance with his or her idea. The specifically aesthetic quality of a work is seen as consisting in its form; perfection of form leads to the experience of beauty. The philosophy of art from Aristotle to Kant is based on this understanding. This perspective itself stems, ultimately, from a tradition of reflection in which the intellect is regarded as the primary mode of human existence … In modern aesthetics, especially in the classic work of Kant, the predominance of … Continue reading “Poiesis: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 20”

Seattle: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 19

Part 1: #WIP I’ve been skirting around the topic of Seattle’s big, contradictory, & broken-open heart for a while now—pretty much since I moved here. The crisis has brought the different aspects of what I love and what I don’t love about this place in & out of focus, and an overall gestalt has gradually emerged: Seattle is a tender place—tender as in fragile, and sore, and almost too sensitive to touch, but also tender as in loving, and patient, and kind. That second sense of tenderness has bled out into the open during this lockdown in many ways; one … Continue reading “Seattle: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 19”

Beirut: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 3

Part 1: The Writers This is ‘Floating Woman’ by Joe Nix. As soon as I stepped into Jupiter and saw this on the wall, I thought: “It’s Raneem!” I even said it out loud. The resemblance would have been shocking if I hadn’t seen it before; there’s a mural in Gemmeyze that also looks just like her. “Apparently, Raneem-looking people are muses.” Christine should know; she’s painted her too. Raneem and I first met when we were both searching for inspiration. She had a blog & so did I; we left a comment or two, exchanged messages, & agreed to … Continue reading “Beirut: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 3”

Edinburgh: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 2

Part 1: Nemo me impune lacessit On Christmas Eve, someone asked if I miss living in Edinburgh, & my response reflected the ambivalence of my experience there. I certainly missed my favorite haunts in Scotland’s ghostly capital—Dagda Bar, The Mash Tun, Snax Café, Yococo, Turquaz, Balkanarama. I miss the feel of my different neighborhoods—The Royal Mile, Easter Road, Buccleuch Street. I even miss Drummond. I miss our student union building & the special serendipitous place that its Library Bar will always have in my life—indeed, I miss those irreproducible moments the most—celebrating the actual end of the world in 2012, … Continue reading “Edinburgh: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 2”

In Transit: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 1

Part 1: NYE with TRU “And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere! and gie’s a hand o’ thine! And we’ll tak’ a right gude-willie waught, for auld lang syne.” I am grateful for this community of misfits and oddballs, for transit riders worldwide—dismissed, denigrated, devalued—yet rising, rising, organizing; a multitude in motion; one big union against the techno-fix. In Lebanon, I dreamt of working on new internationalisms, to give my migration some meaning. But I couldn’t imagine that two hours over coffee was enough to help turn that dream into reality. That was months ago; yesterday we had wine, whiskey, … Continue reading “In Transit: 20 Weeks of Gratitude, Week 1”

New Year’s Eve, 2019

You’re probably sick of my rituals by now, but decades don’t come by every day, and there’s something satisfying about symmetry—it’s almost 2020, and just like in 2010, I’m standing at the threshold of something that feels new and energizing. I’m excited to step into this confluence, but I want to do so with a lot more intention & mindfulness than I ever have before. I’m not usually one for New Year’s Resolutions, but I have some in mind this year. I have goals, but more importantly, I seek an orientation. I want to “face up” to this future; à … Continue reading “New Year’s Eve, 2019”

Pantograph

“Third proposal.” By number two, I suppress a groan, my muscles aching from the unforgiving pew and long hours.  “Third proposal: Welcome our gifts and our limitations too.” There’d been a death in our building. Across the hall, a neglected toothache took a troubled life away. No judgement. “God welcomes everything in us; in our turn, we can accept ourselves just as we are. That is the beginning of a healing that is so necessary for us all.” That morning, the bus was crawling up Pill Hill, like it did every morning. There was a stop for the Good Vibes hat, … Continue reading “Pantograph”