When time and space are being called

Rituals of Change Research Series 2021

In October 2021 we started a research series called Rituals of Change which follows on from an online workshop series we initiated in 2020. In the research series, we move between online and offline, inside and outside spaces, but always with a desire to build communities that move beyond colonial/capitalist and consumerist realities in order to build a festival which is sustainable, intimate, healing, and rooted in shared authorship. This series allows us to find out what that might look like together, to try things out, but most definitely to develop interdisciplinary communal experiences continuing into the festival in 2022. Each time we invite different artists to co-create a program with us.

We invited Margo van der Linde for the first edition who hosted the evening accompanied with live improvised sound scape by Anastasis Sarakatsanos and Georgi Milev, and contributions by Lana Nasser, Alaa Minawi, Hani Sami, and Shayma Aziz. It was “an evening of shadows, ancestors, roast chestnuts, ripping paper, myth, music and lots of clay…” (Margo van der Linde)

Natasja van ‘t Westende connected by phone with Hani Sami (poet, film and theater maker) who was at that moment in the mountains of Sinaï. He shared a beautiful poem with us which positions itself in the historical landscape where Hani was present at that moment, calling on ancestors, scorpions, shadows and reflections.

A Return

In the Fifth Chamber
He sits and recalls
The distant valley of silence,
The deepest quietness
A glimpse of Death’s face
Close to the mountain’s top,
The poetry of his loss,
His peace, his shadow:
A black hole.

He summons meaning into words:
Silence and engineered illusion
He forges meaning out of nonsense

Mines the gold of time: the Nothingness
Expanding

He yields to his absence
Surrenders
And relives twenty years in a moment
Two thousand years in a moment
A pre-eternity longing for eternity
And meeting one another
In a moment

Time becomes space
He sits in it and listens
To his ancestors’ murmuring
Carved on ancient stones:

“He who sees the past
Leads the boat to the future
In the Blue Lotus Lake”

For yesterday is the path
Of the story and neighbouring eternity
And chemistry
Creates time in History
Rituals, prayers and days

In the Fifth Chamber,
When he yields and surrenders
He summons his four scorpions
The chapters of his story

The First Scorpion:

In the valley of mud and loss
In the shadow of death
They sat like two brothers
Who’ve lost their ways for years
To one another

As two sand grains, they sat
As rocks
As stars born from
The serpent’s dance
And gazed upon the world

And from the ruins’ balcony,
They watched what once was
Their little things,
The planet,

Their victory in defeat,
The water in mirages,
The heavy weight of clouds
And all they have desired

In the Fourth Chamber,
He weaved his world
From threads of winter cold
From prayers of mountain monks,
He twined wool and colours
He wrapped himself in them
And sat down to listen
To the unspoken words of prophets
About an ever-present tomorrow
And about a god
Who longs to be born
In our image.

The Second Scorpion:

At the crossroad of dawn
He met a jellyfish
Who just fell from heavens

He told her his rocks’ stories
And about the black hole in his heart
And in the overflow of words,
He took off his weary mask
Of enlightened composure

In her arms, he saw his home
He felt its warmth
And listened to his childhood’s songs

And when he stepped closer to enter,
He met the second scorpion
And the home fell in distress

The Third Scorpion:

In the autumn of her absence,
He found himself

In the tent, on the beach,
In the distant valley and aloneness
In the Third Chamber
In the memory of white snow

There, he learned to listen
To the wisdom of his loss

There he learned that in his deepest Solitude
He is never alone

And that his face
Is a smiling black hole.

The Fourth Scorpion:

In his thirty-nine’s birthday,
He swallowed the End of the World
And climbed the limits of his mastery
And when fear took over him,
He pushed himself to fall
And surrendered
To the black hole of his existence

He crawled in it, slowly
And found its smile and his
And on a candle light,
He finally reached his home.

His first room, his childhood
Lit by a yellow lamp
His safety and his comfort
Were there across the hall
And all the story’s scorpions
Lay under his bed, dormant
Dreaming about his future

There on the cliff
Close to the top,
And in his first bed,
He slept to dream
He’s in his mother’s womb

And in his dream, before his birth,
He learned the First Silence
And listened to its wisdom

عودة

في الغرفة الخامسة
يجلس و يستحضر
وادي الصمت البعيد
صمت الوادي العميق
لمحة من وجه الموت قرب القمة
شعر الخسارة
سلام و ظله
و ثقبه الأسود

يستحضر المعنى في الكلمات:
صمتاً و وهما هندسياً
يصيغ المعنى في اللامعنى

يستعدن الوقت الذهب: لاشيء
يتسع… يتمدد
يترك نفسه للغياب
يستسلم
فتحضره
عشرون عام في لحظة
ألفي عام في لحظة
أزل يتوق لأبد
و يلتقيان في لحظة

يصبح الوقت المكان
يجلس … لينصت
لهمهمات أجداده
في نقش الحجر:

“من يرى الأمس يقود القارب لغده
في بحيرة اللوتس الزرقاء”

فالأمس طريق القصة و الأبد القريب
و الكيمياء
تصنع زماناً في الزمان
طقوساً، صلاةً و أيام

في الغرفة الخامسة،
و بعد الترك و الاستسلام
تحضره العقارب
فصول قصته

العقرب الأول:

في وادي الطين و التيه
في ظل الموت
جلسا كأخين و قد تاها في السنوات
بعضهم عن بعض

كحبات رمل تلاقت
كصخر
كنجمة ولدت
من رقصة الثعبان

من شرفة الأطلال طلا
على ما كان من أشياء صغيرة
و الكوكب

على انتصار في قلب الهزيمة
على اقراب
من ماء السراب
و ثقل السحاب
و كل ما نرغب.

في الغرفة الرابعة،
جدل من برد الشتاء عالمه
و من صلوات رهبان الجبل
صوف ملون
التحفه و جلس لينصت
لما لم يقوله الأنبياء
عن غد حاضر فينا
و عن اله يتوق أن يولد
على صورة تشبهنا

العقرب الثاني:

على قارعة فجر
قابل قنديل بحر
هبطت لتوها من السماء

حكي لها
حكايات الحجر
وعن ثقب أسود في قلبه
و في غمرة حديث الماء
خلع قناع الثبات
بلا حول ولا قوة
و استسلم

في حضنها ترائي بيته
أصداء أغاني شبابه
ودفئه
و حين اقترب ليدخل

قابله العقرب الثاني
فانهار البيت في فزع

العقرب الثالث:

في خريف غيابها
وجد نفسه

في الخيمة على الشاطىء
في الوادي البعيد، في العزلة
في الغرفة الثالثة
و ذكرى الجليد الأبيض

هناك تعلم الانصات
لحكمة خسارته

هناك تعلم
أنه في عمق عزلته ليس وحده

و أن وجهه
ثقب أسود يبتسم.

العقرب الرابع:

في عيده التاسع و الثلاثين
ابتلع نهاية العالم
و صعد حدود قدرته
و حين ارتعب
أسقط نفسه واستسلم
لثقب وجوده الأسود

زحف ببطء فيه
وجد ابتسامته
و على ضوء شمعة
وصل أخيراً الى بيته

لغرفته الأولى، طفولته
يضيئها مصباح أصفر
و أمانه على بعد طرقة
و عقارب القصة كلها تقبع
تحت سريره نائمة
و تحلم بمستقبله

هناك على الحافة قرب القمة
و في سريره الأول
نام ليحلم
أنه في بطن أمه

و في حلمه و قبل ميلاده
تعلم الصمت الأول
و استسلم لحكمته

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