Amil Imani

"Powerlessness frustrates, absolute powerlessness frustrates absolutely, absolute frustration is a dangerous emotion to run a world with."

Sometimes I wonder why I am so restless, why I cannot cease thinking! It seems like the world we live in reveals incessantly, at certain moments or circumstances, just how little we are and how vast the universe is. We continuously learn something new about this world. This world of ours is a very complex world. Still, what does the expression to be controlled by the elements of the unknown signify? Asking this question should not simply lead us into desperate reflections. The world we live in is a world of many brutal voices. It is a world of heavy blows and delirious trances, but it is the only world   we know.

The recent tragic and catastrophic event in the ancient city of Bam in Iran has affected me tremendously. I felt a temptation to scream and run to the end of the world and say my prayers with unusual earnestness and a heavy heart. I felt like screaming for the overflowing flood of human blood. I felt like screaming for the weary eyes and innocent moans of the children of Bam. I felt apprehensive, anxious, and fearful. And now, as I take up my pen, my hand trembles and my head swims with horror and disbelief at the magnitude of the human devastation. Yet, the world will go on as usual.

Between searching for meanings and eternal differences and the actual condition of the universe, there is a gap that can never be filled. The confrontation of the irrational, longing human heart and the indifferent universe brings about the notion of the absurd world.

All these shine before me,
And move in front of my eyes
In a strange way!

I believe we all are born to do certain things in this world. I feel as though I were born to suffer and write about it; to write about the moans and groans of many voices, many tormented souls who are searching for an answer. To write is to make oneself the echo of what cannot cease speaking.

Perhaps you are one of those relentless souls who dares to look, who dares to touch, who dares to write and who goes beyond the heaven and hell. I sometimes wonder about heaven and hell! What is the meaning of life? What is the purpose of all things, of all events? Life definitely is a mystery. Life has many moments. Life has many faces. Life is a universal odyssey. Life is a garden where the Cyprus trees are beginning to rustle and where the reality is hushed. It's where you feel a cold breeze pass through every bone in your body and you start to tremble.

In this tragic episode, life reminds us all how hopeless we really are. Even with the powers of instinct and imagination, one feels that man does not belong solely to the tangible world. There must be a more profound and secret reality that is the source of this phenomenon. The world appears an obscure and dull place, filled with pockets of disasters in which men are, easily, the victims. Then again, we have given more room to hope and mystic influences, less to reality. The main circle, which always dominates, must be sought in the realms beyond thought and discursive reason. Shakespeare was not wrong in stating:

"We are such stuff
As dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a sleep."

When disasters occur, our minds pass through many stages of inner development. We sometimes speak of other forces that rule the world and apparently man wants to substitute this invisible force for a man-made shelter, called religion. The recent earthquake in the City of Bam has left thousands dead and thousands without shelters. A heavy blow to humanity from the above and we start to doubt everything and struggle for an answer.

We struggle against fate,
A painful struggle!
We struggle against life!
A dreadful struggle!
The struggle itself towards,
The heights of calamity,
Is enough to fill a man's heart,
Forever and ever!

And so we return to the place from which we started, the land of dreams. In any case, it matters little for what reason we continue to struggle so long as we testify to man's allegiance to man and not to abstractions. Perhaps we would not be wrong in saying that we are in the reality of time and space, filled with a woven veil of dreams. Under this veil, is hidden the real truth of existence, and when the veil is lifted, the essence of things will be discovered.

Oh, you earthly angels!
You immigrating birds,
Whose only adornment
Is a bed of white feathers!
The innocent children of Bam,
Are wearing your white glowing robe,
And have left the memories of life,
To others!

I see the poor black swallows!
Flying over the ruins of our city!
I see overflowing pain,
With the hearts of every Persian!

My heart stops palpitating!
My breath starts to dry up!
My faith simply fades away,
And my bed falls silent.

Amil Imani
January 4, 2004