Of World That Demands a Lie


"But you knew; you understood; you felt the world outside tugging at one with all its golden hands - and you hated the things it asked of one.” - “The Age of Innocence”, Edith Wharton When I was born, the world was ripe and yellow - my greenness & youth did not succeed in making it greener or younger. When I tried to make a demand from it, it ignored me, and imposed its demands on me instead. It told me: "You are born here, on this date, to these parents, to this religion, to this ethnicity", and I accepted, not having a choice, the names & bonds it gave me. "Then why am I a foreigner among foreigners?", a voice within, a voice very faint & thin asks, but one gives it no attention. Many thoughts will appear in your mind's emptiness, you should not make them too important, grab onto some work, onto something concrete, and you shall see how it all vanishes. It is an old advise they give. A good advise as it makes one forget. One grabs the work, grabs for something concrete, and voice, very faint & thin, yet familiar whispers: "Then why am I a foreigner among foreigners? I do not care for this work. Nor I care for its fruit." "A foreigner among foreigners, a foreigner among foreigners, a foreigner among foreigners..." - the voice never stops. At times it assaults with force, showing no mercy: "You are all alone in this world. There is no friend, no parent, no lover, and no God that cares. All, all alone, poor creature, having nothing other than self-pity. Don't you see that all your pretence of sacrifice & virtue is false? You feel sorry for yourself. Your compassion is for yourself because you do not want to be alone! And yet you are! Alone! Alone! Go, tell something of yourself to those who claim to love you - a lover, a parent, a teacher, a priest, see how they respond. Go share something that excites you, see how they continue to gaze upon their own world, giving you lukewarm, uninterested responses. They too are alone! They do not have time for your aloneness!" But one is told not to give heed to thoughts or voices, they lie! Look around you, the wise saints say, be grateful for your daily bread, pray, and all shall be good. One listens to the wise: "Perhaps they know better than me. Perhaps I am just vain". The world of scriptures and sermons, of scholars, philosophers, saints and prophets, meet the foreigner among foreigners, each telling: "I know how to take you home." They each tell how they alone can bring you home, or that perhaps, they know the smoothest past. One listens to sermons, reads the Holy Scriptures, but the voice, very faint & thin, still speaks: "You do not believe any of this!". But one is told not to give heed to thoughts or voices, the wise say that those might be demons speaking. The foreigner among foreigners tries to be convinced of truths & dogmas. The voice, faint & thin speaks again: "If it is true, then why do I have to convince myself that it is true. Should it not be so evident, so clear, so easy, that thought, polemics, language itself, are not necessary?

Perhaps I am here to be the foreigner. The world that demands an insincere smile upon every interaction, that is offended by a lack of performance, that demands a yes that was not meant & a no that was no meant, that demands submission to laws one deems absurd, the world that demands people that one does not desire, temples and shrines one has no desire to pray in, gods one does not believe in, the world that demands a lie upon a lie, and threatens if you dare live outside of its lie - is the one in which being a foreigner is a path. Blessed is the foreigner, for she is the one who is free. Blessed is the foreigner, who in distance & silence, away from clamour & lie, loves the world that does not know how to love her back.

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