Friday, July 17, 2020

Meta tqum filghodu

Tqum filghodu wara lejla pjutost ordinarja fejn tlajt naqa high mhux hazin u meta wasalt instabbat fis-sodda.  Is-soltu ottimizmu tas-sitta ta' filghodu.  Thoss il-bzonn ta espresso u tghid haqni anki pizzetta tal-isqallin biex igibni f'posti. Tpejjep dak l-ewwel sigarett. Drag. Thoss lublieba ghall-hajja. Imbghad timxi l-mixja ta' filghodu u thoss sensazzjoni stramba ta dubju f' dak li ghidt, kif ghidtu u x' m' ghidtx u ghalkemm intangibli ghal waqt tkun tixtieq l-art tibilak, imma tkompli l-mixja lejn in-normalita.   Anzi tahseb naqa fuq il-fares politici u titbissem.  Jerga jigi d-dubju li f' xi mument zlaqt f' univers parallel, ghax kultant tigrilek...u tibda tiprova tiftakar meta stajt zlaqt u ghaliex.  Ma tiftakar xejn partikolari u tkompli timxi.  U tahseb x' se tikteb meta tasal ix-xoghol. Ticcekja l-mobile u tibda tibghat il-bongijiet.  Tinjora xi messaggi u tistenna ohrajn.   Tiftakar li grawlek kocc affarijiet dan l-ahhar ukoll.  Tiprova tohloq sekwenza imma titgerfex. Thoss li iktar kemm jinbidlu affarijiet, inqas jigru affarijiet. Tixtieq.  Il-mixja tfakkrek biex ma ddurx fi crieki ghax ma tasalx. Pero fil-hajja mhux kollox linear.  Tahseb f' xi haga sabiha.  L-ewwel haga li tigi f'mohhok. Tbissima. Tohlom ftit. Wara thossok naqa inqas kuntent.  Tahseb fl-ahhar ktieb li qrajt.   Thossok bizzejjed kuntent mhux iz-zejjed.  Tibza ftit.  Thoss li gara xi haga hazina.  Ma tafx x'hini. Terga ticcekja l-mobile.  Tasal ix-xoghol.  Thoss bzonn tikteb.  Tigi hawn. Tiftakar meta kont tigi ta' spiss hawn. Thoss li m' intix l-istess bniedem.  Thoss vojt.  Tiehu kafe iehor.  Tibda l-gurnata. Thoss l-ottimizmu tad-disgha ta' filghodu. Titamma f'zelqa ohra, mhux fin-niexef. Thoss certezza li gejjin affarijiet sbieh. Tibza li terga tizloq fil-mument li jigru ghax taf li x'imkien iehor diga graw.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Freedom from choosing

Reality has a habit of setting in and anchoring us in new realities.  One may compare life with a novel full of bizarre twists but one which is to a variable degree interactive like those TV shows where the viewer is invited to make choices for the characters in the plot.  But although the novel may be writing itself-relegating some events to footnotes and elevating others to new chapters,  in doing so it creates material realities.  But even as the novel unfolds, there is always the resistance of very material characters; in their daily procrastination, detachments and inertia, with the resulting feeling of melancholy reflecting the pleasant tension between what actually exists, what cannot exist and what can potentially and easily exist but which we can postpone or even evade or let slip away.  Ultimately there are always choices but  also the freedom to refuse to choose. Cause while freedom is all about choice, it also entails not choosing between things which are already defined for us in the scripts of already written plots and novels.  In this sense one may choose to subvert the plot through inaction, procrastination and basking in lethargic futility.  The freedom not to go anywhere.  The freedom of having no goal.  The freedom to collect memories and things for the sake of it.  The freedom to be nomadic and go round in circles.  

Thursday, July 2, 2020


My search for the Maltese word which captures the national popular mood as amplified by the summer haze had started with an exploration of the word affan which I described as a kind of intellectual lethargy and an aversion to thinking  rooted in a colonial psyche and lack of historical roots. For while history is everywhere, the connection between past and present is tenuous, resulting in a rootless culture.
This lethargy does not  evoke a relaxed late back mediterranean joy of living but is expressed in road rage, blasting petards in to the sky, appropriating and carving public spaces and in some cases a savage ethic of individual greed and a rejection of silence.
Still this is not a full picture.  Even in the self appropriated boat house shanty towns and the contested beaches one finds a slower pace of life and a surrender to the overwhelming heat. A state of mind  more conducive to a slower pace of living, which leads me to hedla, a beautiful Maltese word, which is evocative of the mental and physical abandonment after a long day at the beach, which is akin to smoking pot or the silence after a moment of passion. 
Hedla has the potential for post colonial emancipation, a rediscovery of mediterranean identities, a liberation from collective sexual guilt and a rejection of the ethic of self appropriation, a much needed slow down in a country whose soul has been corrupted by rampant neo-liberalism.  Hedla may not evoke rebellion but it does contain the seeds of a different way of living in greater harmony with nature and stronger roots in local communities.