Writing naturally becomes more important for people who can't hear very well. This doesn't mean they need to hang small blackboards round their necks and carry sticks of chalk as a means of communication, but it could be a reason why they feel they are being rudely ignored when they don't get a written reply as soon as they would like.
Deafness has its advantages however, providing one can get by reasonably well with a good hearing-aid. It could even be considered a luxury to have the choice between silence and noise at the flick of a switch. And sometimes, miracles can happen.

For if after years of living a sort of enchanted lie without being aware of it, we finally agree to settle for individual freedom, then start to regain confidence in ourselves, we might be lucky enough to discover that we only have to be ourselves to be appreciated and even loved. And this is what actually happened.

To love a person for herself, and to be loved for oneself, might sometimes seem a rare privilege by today's standards, but obviously it's possible. Comparing such a privilege with any other, less positive, affective experience is pointless, because there is no comparison.

The first miracle was that in this blissful, new found freedom so warmly enhanced with new found love, after years of disillusions and deafness; in spite of the fact that I am totally deaf in one ear, I could actually hear in my 'still in 30% function mode side' far better than I could ever remember, and this even without any hearing-aid.

This remarkably improved physical condition brought about thanks to a new life with a wonderful new relationship, lasted for two years. A marvelous gift. And the fact that the miracle was not to last, by no means reduced its importance.

The second miracle might seem more of a fabulation, but essentially aren't miracles fabulous in any case? It's the miracle last touched upon, effleuré. The impression that with time, instead of getting older, we are getting younger. Is it because life is being appreciated increasingly more?

When a woman is properly loved, comblée et contente, she is ever beautiful. It has nothing to do with age. She blossoms on and on, hors de temps. She goes beyond Shakespeare's famous sonnet. She becomes increasingly desirable and enchanting to the person who loves her. And her beauty, charm and desirability naturally determine and perpetuate her lover's own 'eternal youth'. Thus blissfully they dance on forever in this sublime enchantment.
(In any case this is a far more agreeable interpretation than putting it all down to the ramblings of an incorrigible old romantic, and selenium).

Text and image © Mirino. September, 2014


Plus jeune
Avec les ans

Le parfum
D'une rose
Aussi belle

Hors du temps

Aux nues
De jouvence

  Pour C. 

Poem and images © Mirino. September, 2014

Celestial moments

After a storm when the last embers of the sun win through, they bless the south with a little rainbow smile. That's all, but more than enough.

The following evening promises to be even more glorious. Just before the rising moon is veiled by misty cloud, it seems to indicate the enchantment that's about to begin.

Such fleeting moments are breathtaking. They make you feel small but privileged, and give you wonderful, warm feelings of hope.

When you capture such magic, you feel rich. You know that this is the first and the last time you will ever directly see this. For if you are fascinated by such sights, then you know that they are always totally unique.

Each beautiful, ephemeral poem has a beginning and an end. It is complete and moving in every way.

To look across and into the depths of such beauty is almost like flying. A dream flight between drifting clouds warmly lit by the sinking sun, and mountains softly blanketed in mist.

Slowly, blissfully we glide on in this paradise, above cool, Alpine peaks towards warm heavens of sunlit caverns.

To our left the sky is a deeper, cool azure to contrast with the curling cloud lit up like winter fires that one might gaze dreamily into. Polaric blue and orange determined by the truth of the moment.

Then the ragged, raging cumulous like a great, doomed dragon destined to die.

Or to be metamorphosed into stretched arms of giants, their hands groping to reach each other, arching across the heavens as if to bid a last farewell.

The third and final moment shows the uniqueness of each day's end. The low, humid, steel-blue cloud about to shroud the sun denying it the right to paint the sky crimson.

Some distant cumulous briefly spared, reflects a little warmth, whilst to its left two snarling beasts rabidly tear at each other's muzzle.

The low cloud has won this third day, yet like windswept trees of African Savanna, others grace the sky.
Three successive evenings in the mountains early in September.
Part of what I love so much here. A tonic that puts all concerns in a truer perspective, from celestial stars to twinkling lights of tiny villages in the valleys below. Riches of the mountains that one finds where rainbows smile.

Photos and text © Mirino. September, 2014

De tout malheur

De tout malheur vient quelque chose de bien. One should believe it, because when the "worst" happens: what one has been dreading the most, it would be logical to believe that from then on things can only improve. Or better still, a redeeming miracle might take place so that nothing is lost and that the temporarily blocked project that one aspires to realise is finally, gloriously fulfilled.

For the night after having received catastrophically news, I had a curious dream. A small green shoot grew from my left arm about two inches above my elbow. I plucked it out to discover that it was a lettuce shrub. Another one immediately appeared, and as fast as I could pull them out, others grew. That part of my arm was peppered with little holes, and the little shoots of spreading lettuces were littered all around my feet.

Following this weird episode I squeezed where my arm was peppered with holes and this caused a live finger to come pointing forth for about half its length. It wasn't making a rude sign. It was a finger that would belong to an adolescent. Stupidly I checked my left hand to make sure that it wasn't one of my own fingers.

My mother (who had passed away at the turn of the century) was there in my dream. I asked her advice. As per usual she reassured me. It was nothing to worry about. By this time the finger had gone and the previously peppered zone of my arm had become a squarish hole like a narrow tunnel or gallery that one could peer down into. It was quite long and totally empty. That was when I woke up.

It was a dream and not a nightmare. Was it a mental attempt to come to terms with what in reality could be considered a nightmarish situation? If so how should one analyse such a dream? The shoots of lettuce, if shoots of lettuce exist, were not alien, parasitical or aggressive. Would they represent physically harmless developments previously regarded as being inconceivable, not in the natural order of how things should evolve? Thus the unanticipated shock.

And then the finger. Would it represent the unexpected hand of consequential circumstances? An indication of the helping hand. The hint of a saving personal engagement from an interested party?
And the presence of my mother. The philosophical reassurance that all will be well, come what may.

Finally the squarish tunnel, the long gallery. The unknown destiny. The future devoid of any clue of what it will reveal, apart from its tenebrous vanishing point, which never needs an explanation.

Text and image by Mirino. (Illustration from Alphonso's Dream. All rights reserved). 
September 2014

The socialist

A staunch socialist once aspired
To improve the world before he retired 

He taxed the rich to aid the poor
Who as a result, increased all the more

To rid the world of tyranny
He reinforced tyranny's enemy

 He would gain fame from his grand idea
Of establishing Utopia
                             For who needs scant cosmology                             
 When bound to vast ideology? 

 When the taxed had nothing left to give
  He levied the people's right to live

 When tyrants' foes grew more despotic
 His world became cruelly chaotic

Hence deluded by democracy

The socialist imposed autocracy

His Elysian dream of Utopia
 Thus ended as infernal dystopia

Doggerel and image © Mirino. August, 2014

Le cercle vicieux

Ce qui se passe dans le monde actuellement me fait penser encore à Massoud. Comment ne pas être conscient des tragiques conséquences interminables de ce manque fatidique de compréhension, discernement, engagement et ainsi de coopération? Car il représenta la clé et la solution. Il représenta l'union des cultures et des religions. Il représenta un musulman exemplaire adoré par ses moudjahidin qui avaient tant de confiance en lui. Un veritable héros qui défendait les valeurs saines, valeurs qui prônent aussi l'amour et la tolérance, car il savait qu'une religion qui prêche la haine et l'intolérance n'est pas une religion, c'est un abus, une exploitation honteuse du seul et unique Dieu, abus pratiqué avec dédaigne par les séides du mal.

Voici aussi pourquoi il a été assassiné deux jours avant que les tours jumelles, frappées par les avions de ligne, tombaient en poussière le
11 Septembre, 2001 à New York.
Quelques années avant, lui et ses hommes auraient pu vaincre les taliban pour libérer Kabul, mais il savait qu'il lui manquait les moyens de tenir et d'établir un gouvernement temporaire et représentatif de tous les afghans. C'est aussi pour cela qu'il est parti finalement pour l'Europe en avril, 2001, pour demander de l'aide. Il avait tant d'amour et d'espoir pour sa nation.

Massoud ne parlait pas anglais, mais il avait appris un peu le français, peut être aussi grâce à l'Ecole Pompidou à Kabul. Il imaginait que surtout la France, pays qui en principe prône avec un zèle révolutionnaire la défense de la liberté, comprendrait l'enjeu crucial et l'aiderait à libérer tout l'Afghanistan.
A Bruxelles Massoud avait même souligné sa conviction que la guerre contre les taliban n'était point une guerre nationale, mais une guerre internationale. Il avait aussi prédit que si l'Europe et l'Occident ne l'aidaient pas en Afghanistan, eux aussi risqueraient de tomber victimes de ces extrémistes.
Il avait déjà remarqué lors des interrogations des prisonniers taliban à quel point ces derniers de toutes nationalités y compris même des chinois, étaient tous conditionnés. Impossible de raisonner avec eux. C'était comme essayer de communiquer avec des zombies.

La France a du savoir la situation. Il y avait les journalistes comme Ponfilly qui n'avaient jamais cessé d'informer leur pays natal de cette situation afghane si critique. Mais Jacques Chirac n'a jamais été un homme prêt à s'engager. Il a du savoir que les américains, dupés par le Pakistan, étaient menés à ne pas avoir confiance en Massoud. Chirac est de ces français parisiens qui n'aiment pas trop les anglo-saxons, et encore moins les américains. On dirait donc qu'il n'ait rien fait pour encourager ces derniers à faire confiance à Massoud. Peut-être pensait-il qu'ainsi pour lui, c'était plus commode. Si les américains avec leur puissante CIA avaient de tels doutes, pourquoi s'engager? Dans le doute mieux ne rien faire, y compris s'informer davantage. Puis en tous cas il avait alors d'autres chats à fouetter.

On voit par la suite comment ce manque d'engagement européen a été tellement fatal et tragique. On voit ce qu'il a contribué à engendrer et répandre, ce fléau fou, deraciné, terrible et sans fin.
De n'avoir rien fait à ce moment précis dans l'histoire peut être comparé au refus catégorique de la Ligue Arabe d'accepter les accords de partage entre les palestiniens et les israéliens en 1947. Ce refus lui aussi a ouvert une boîte de Pandore impossible de refermer. Ce sont de très lourdes conséquences et responsabilités à assumer. La pesanteur est celle déterminée par tant de haine et d'intolérance, tant de destruction, tant de morts, tant d'atrocités, tant de misère, tant de crimes contre l'humanité, interminables, et tous faussement perpétrés au nom de Dieu, ce qui rend encore plus diabolique cette abomination continuelle.

Aujourd'hui donc, pendant que les extrémistes en Iraq commettent des atrocités, massacrent et expulsent les Chrétiens et les Yazidi, certains en France n'ont rien de mieux à faire que de manifester leur soutien pour les Gazaouis, qui eux aussi ont choisi les extrémistes, Hamas, une organisation listée comme terroriste, pour les représenter. Le monde, et surtout bien évidemment l'ONU, savent fort bien l'objectif de cette organisation, mais on continue à pratiquer les trois singes, le laisser-faire, sans vouloir s'engager non plus, tout en regardant avec une désapprobation politiquement correct les conséquences de sa propre complicité constante. N'est-ce pas encore une évidence terrible de la maladie actuelle du monde?

Si la nature humaine ne change pas et ne pourra jamais changer, une partie de cette nature est l'incapacité ou le manque de volonté d'apprendre véritablement les leçons de sa propre histoire. Sommes nous donc censés croire que la raison pour tout est aussi déterminée par un cercle vicieux qui bascule entre le bien et le mal, un cercle évolutif comparable à ceux de l'univers, ce cercle infini, perpetuel, magnifique, entre la création et la destruction auquel forcément nous faisons une toute petite partie, minuscule, insignifiante mais quand même essentielle?

Text © Mirino. With thanks for the use of the photos (modified). August, 2014