As published in the Japanese magazine BEEAST
Lebanese-American artist, poet, and writer Khalil Gibran said “We choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them”. Do we? Maybe we do… Do I? Maybe I do.
I’ve been greatly awaiting spring to unfold its wonders, this year more than any time before, I guess. Maybe it’s because I haven’t seen much light since I came back from Japan last November. Everything goes so fast, too fast for me to truly see, if only as a by-standing witness trying to capture a furtive view of the magnificent seasonal colors I’m in. Maybe I’ve lost perspective of time, musing about the everlasting essence of the invisible. Meditating about long-gone ghosts, sorrows inevitably grow in you. Just like chasing shadows, if you’re ready to become one with these long-gone ghosts a little more every time you go running after missing pieces of memories, illusions inevitably catch on to you… until you lose yourself.
Therefore, when days feel like old photographs slowly losing their brightness through the over-exposed nights spent looking for a place to lay down, when comforting images we tend to secretly kneel before and reminiscence of joyful past whispers become all we have to feel alive, is it the reflection of our own impermanent nature that makes every single morning an even more precious moment to breathe into? As we fade away, as we disappear a little more every day, as we fight to keep a right balance between what is and what you dream of becoming, I now believe that every dawn is a gift, an invitation for rebirth, an open door to new beginnings.
As published in the Japanese magazine BEEAST
March 2nd, 2016 – New York City
In my life, a simple gesture has often revealed itself as being something quite significant. So when Ben, bassist in Your Favorite Enemies and someone I consider my brother, offered me a writing book with a fabulously uplifting quote from Ernest Hemingway engraved in golden letters, I knew it was as special for him to give as it was for me to receive, Hemingway being not only one of my favorite authors, but the words themselves being profoundly significant for me. Ben knows I rarely allow myself to profoundly dwell into most of the adventures I myself invite brothers, sisters, friends and loved ones to not only share with me, but to live to the fullest. It’s while meditating over the nature of those words that I’m writing my very first column for BEEAST magazine, and it’s while contemplating my resolute decision to write as I feel, rather than how I want you to perceive me through words, that I’m opening up today.
I’ve been in studio for several weeks now, and I’m leaving for New York City in a few hours… and as sunrise awaits its invitation to expose its colors to what looks like a reluctant dawn, I’m pondering over those words over and over again:
“In order to write about life
first you must live it”
– Ernest Hemingway
In answer to the Brussels attacks
A message to brothers, sisters, friends, neighbors and loved ones
I woke up this morning by the most violent of all alarms; stupor.
My old enemy was back, hitting at me with his favorite weapons; powerlessness, incomprehension, anger. Bleakness, as if everything had become black and white for a moment, in a flash of total emotional abnegation. I asked myself: “Is that the permanent state of the world we now live in?”. Fear.
I feel terribly worried for my Belgium brothers, sisters, friends and loved ones who are missing. I am compassionately kneeling with those who are devastatingly heartbroken and openly inviting those who are ragingly looking for the same measure of pain to be served to the monsters who brutally ripped away lives in only one name; their own.
And I thought about writing. But what words can I write, what words should I share? Terror, as the life it destroyed, has corrupted every one of those commiserative words into redundant empty shells that vibrate like the echoes of our own voices whispered in the wilderness of our confusion. What else do I have to offer but words? Every time, every single time, I’m asking myself the very same question: “What can I do?”. “If only there was something to be done”, I thought.
Today’s tragedy turned empathetic words into some recycled eulogy perfectly dressed and immaculately aligned for any horrible occasion, turned mourning silences into suspicious self-preservative hideouts for what looks like a personal denial in better tomorrows. Words are only heartless tonality without soul. I’ve learned a long time ago that a true heart cannot fake its distinctive nature, and even if my words might reflect how shaken up I am now, how helpless I might feel and tired I might be to fight the good fight, I’m not ready to abdicate. Not ready to stoically remain quiet or look the other way.
This second entry, that is a follow-up to “The Nature Of Darkness And Light”, published on March 21st, has been written according to the emotions that were born after reading your comments… Thank you for the courage through which you exposed yourself in each of your reactions… Every single one of your words are precious to me… They are the very reason why I decided to write this second entry in French directly; it was important for me that it wouldn’t be the translation of a text written in English.
As I was writing my blog, the search for the “Toulouse Murderer” was at its peak… I knew the outcome would probably be reached around the time I would publish this blog… Sordid fate or morbid opportunity to redefine the essence of our love and to deepen its nature… Especially when we have an individual before us whose traits now incarnate terror, hatred, violence and repulsion… but what really happened…?
As We Are Looking For Justice And Freedom
Dear brothers, sisters, friends, fans and loved ones…
I hope you are doing as great as the warmth of the sun who’s gracefully covering the wounds of another strong winter, season that now slowly fades away in order for spring to bloom with the announcing colors of all possible upcoming wonders. It’s beautiful to witness those arising colors that are as bright as the faith I have in the promises harvesting right before my eyes. I never found it easy to open my eyes to the bright morning lights, especially when the essence of life has been surrounded by the obscurity of my daily fears and doubts, but light is freedom. I might have found it hard to accept such light for my life, but it’s true… even if its nature could be so intense to the shadows of my life, I still believe in its ability to heal my deepest wounds as it unveils my darkest memories and pain. Light creates light as much as life creates life… yes, even if sometimes I keep fighting against the essence of that fulfilling life being healed by the honest nature of light…
Life Becomes An Everlasting Embodiment Of Celebrations
I received many messages regarding the vivid nature of the “moments” I lived during the last holidays… Messages reflecting the essence of what seems to be a renewed spirit that allows me to embrace the “moment” of my life… Messages about the nature of my current fulfilling life as I daily choose to fully live it, regardless of the same usual suspects sweetly whispering “i love you” as they pressure me to dress myself with the cloaks of reclusive beliefs they don’t have the courage to dress themselves with… Peace is a fragile state of soul, but love is a powerful incarnation when grace is fully embraced… The last couple of months have been all about finding love and redefining my vision as such; being free of a deep freedom… the Saint Grail of modern society, pseudo philosophers and religious recruitment publicity campaigns… aren’t we all the same…? As some might see me as a universalist of some sort, and others sum up true love in a “let’s agree to disagree” kind of make-believe resolution, I simply turned my eyes towards the new dawn’s light… I profoundly know that the morning star is arising to shine on me, as the first breathes of the day are mine to define, craft and live by… It took me a long time to embrace such simple facts, but now, you are right, it’s by a renewed spirit that I’m embracing the “moment” of my life…
Curiously, some people used to say they’d rather be hated for who they truly are than be loved for who people want them to be… as true as those words could be… I say that personal “truth” is a commodity by which people bargain the measure of their own illusionary happiness…
I waited for quite a while to reopen the window of the little room I called my own in the incredible “home-circus” journey also known as Your Favorite Enemies. A place where colorful stories are draping the walls of my personal shadow, where inner blues are shining stars incarnating vivid crane mobiles hanging from the ceiling of my two-tone sky, where every tear is an orphan prayer blooming an ocean for my doubts to dive into deep, where old paper dreams are the personification of a merciful new dawn delicately crafted into an origami renaissance and where musing whispers are turning silences into invisible notes for my humming soul to grow a song for grace to rise.