Friday, 9 January 2009

for the dead

All over the world, people light candles to remember the dead.

Often, they burn incense, too. In Japan, it is said that this light will show the dead souls their way.

In our churches, we light only candles, and place them inside black boxes which look like big tree houses in the church courtyard. Because the candles don't have each a different holder, in time, their wax will combine and merge into a single lava flow, indifferent of what is old and what is new.

Some light a candle and pray for the dead even before understanding what that means. Some go on doing the same after they've realized they will never understand. And even after knowing there is nothing to understand, others still do it, quietly, holding on to something like hope, or a dream.

The hand lighting the candle, the hand burning incense, the young hand and the old hand, oh how much they are alike in their frailty.

Tonight I don't want any more images, just the song, even in this silence. In this light, in this darkness.

The voice singing for the voiceless.

Kamilya Jubran


Text: Paul Shaoul in Leaves of the Absent
Translation to English: Omnia Amin

Walking for days

In a low voice I count trees, hats, streets..

In a low voice .. I walk in a low voice

For several trees .. hats and streets

For several years I walk in a low voice

For several low voices in trees, hats and walls.

For several deaths.

Nafad Al-Ahwal 2

Text: Paul Shaoul
Translation to English:
Omnia Amin

I stood in the middle of the room searching for my cases.

I inspected the lamp, the ashtray, loss and gain, the door and the statues. I got belittled in my own eyes so I stood in front of the mirror for long to see my face. I scrutinized the air full of smoke and coughs. I almost erased and forgot it.

I got belittled and belittled until I stood for long in front of the door to enter, then to exit, and then without a sound I stretched on the armless, open and mute bed. There I remembered what happened.

I remembered the day I was killed, raped, cut to pieces lemon by lemon, cigarette by cigarette, was ripped and for the first time I cried for my death and for nature.

Aina Tantahi

Text: Aicha Arnaout
Translation to English:
Omnia Amin

Where Does the Wave End?

Where Does the Wave End ?

And where does the sea begin?

Where does the body end

And where does the shadow start?

Where does darkness end

And where does the light begin?

Words breathe outside of their frames.

The senses entangle then spread

A circle's circumference

With a center in the nowhere.


  1. 1,3 imi plac si 6 e deosebita:)
    Numai bine!

  2. A fascinating post. Very gripping.

  3. I hadn't realized that you are back, having shunned your silence and saved so many of your readers. i was just checking.....

    i see that there has been a flurry of activity here. i really liked your post called before. the poem is remarkable, i understand it is yours? if it is, i hadn't realized before that you are a poet too! well written. the photos are brilliant and since there are so many, i cannot comment on any specific one at present. however, i think the before post, with its poem and pictures are the best. there is a terror, a hint of terror in those pics.

  4. Very interesting, I really like the hand lighting the candle picture.

  5. "And even after knowing there is nothing to understand, others still do it, quietly, holding on to something like hope, or a dream."

    And this is what the photos do, as well?

    Every year now it becomes clearer that "dream" is the best way to understand "real life".

    The American poet Charles Simic writes (of poetry, but I think it is true of any art): "Each poem is a holy icon that someone has made and abandoned, in the hope that some god will come to inhabit it."

  6. ah roxana indeed the things we "still do, even after knowing there's nothing to understand"

    stubborn tributes - stubborn remembrance - & stubbornly beautiful photos

  7. your photos speak directly to my soul

  8. thank you for coming by, Dave.

  9. kubla,
    you are so nice to me. thank you. I am happy you haven't forgotten my pictures.

    I guess you are right about the terror there, yes, the feeling that the inevitable will soon happen and she will discover the truth she tries so much to avoid, that she is the prisoner of her past and her memories.

    I am happy that you liked the 'poem' too, but no, I am not a poet even if I play like this with and around my images. occasionally.

  10. sorlil, that was in japan. actually all the pics here are in japan, except the one with the cross and the candles, that is outside a romanian monastery.

  11. yes, James, I think this too, it is true of every art. but I don't know if I can expect so much of my pictures... if I should dare have that hope... and also: sometimes I wonder what it is to live in a world like that of shinto, for example, in which everything, not only the work of art, not only the icon, is inhabited by a greater or a smaller god. myriads of little gods.

  12. yes fff, it is a puzzling question this one, isn't it.
    and as always you are right, I am very stubborn :-)

  13. oh Manuela, I don't know what to say... it means so much to me that you look at my photos that way... maybe I should dare have that hope...

  14. love
    (what a word)
    love the cross and candles leaning back with the fire so much, the mystery there

    and the words of being humbled... moves me towards your silences

  15. I have missed your loving gaze, mansuetude.

  16. hi Roxana, what a wonderful stream of new posts coming out of the silence...

    your words and images make me want to light candles and incenses too...wish i have a room of its own just for that. i like the idea of the light showing the way. on Chinese New Year, my mom would have all of us burn two, one for our ancestors, the other for the guardian spirits. we say our prayers and through the incense smoke, our thoughts and wishes would be carried to the spirits...

    i really like what you wrote of young and old hands. together they always make me think of love and gentleness.

    p.s. i didn't really know how to answer your question on the paper underwear. where did the idea come from? many fragments, i guess...but what exactly i'm not sure. mainly, i just very much enjoy wearing nice underwear and no one knows it but me. they are intimate things.