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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Women's War Experiences - "Where do you sleep when the terror devours me?"


Discover Ishtar!


Tearful Departure


"DIS-MOI OU TU T’ENDORS
QUAND LA PEUR ME DEVORE"
TELL ME WHERE DO YOU SLEEP
WHEN THE TERROR DEVOURS ME

Regardless of their country of origin, women suffer the consequences of war as well.

Ishtar, who's real name is,
Eti Zach, born in Isreal sings about a woman who is thinking about her man; where he might be and how he is doing. This haunting song - with acoustic guitar and violin accompaniment - was recorded in French. The name of the CD is called, Ishtar: The Voice of Alabina. Ishtar sings in French, Arab and English on this album.

Eti's father is Moroccan and her mother is Egyptian - they spoke Arabic at home and she became fluent in Hebrew when she attended school. Because her nationality is Isreali, she completed her required two years in the military before travelling abroad. She now lives in France but retains her Isreali citizenship. In other albums, she sings in Hebrew as well.



Kim Sun-Il's Sister reacts to the news her brother has been beheaded in Iraq

"J’AI VU LA GUERRE, J’AI VU TOMBER LES HOMMES..."
I SAW THE WAR, I SAW MEN BEING KNOCKED DOWN...

OU TU T’ENDORS
WHERE DO YOU SLEEP
Ishtar - The Voice of Alabina
TRANSLATION

I SAW THE RAIN COME DOWN ON ME
THE SNOW AS WELL BURNING ME OF COLD
BUT ALL THE TOMORROW’S DON’T SEEM THAT FAR

I SAW THE WAR, I SAW MEN FALLING
AND HEAVEN TELLING ME THE DUST THAT YOU ARE
BUT IN THE HEART OF THE FIGHTING, I WASN’T SHAKING
I WASN’T SEEING EXCEPT YOU

CHORUS
TELL ME WHERE DO YOU SLEEP
WHEN THE TERROR DEVOURS ME
IN WHAT PLACES, WHICH NORTH
WHEN ON MY KNEES, I BEG
WHERE DO YOU SLEEP

I SAW THE TIME SLIDING
DIVIDE THE LOVERS SUNKEN FACES
BUT THAT FLIES AND LEAVES
TO ME, DOESN’T SCARE ME
I FEEL YOU NEXT TO ME

I KNOW THE WIND, THE GODS RAGE
I KNOW THE DEVILS, THE BAD AND THE HORRIBLE
WHEN THE SKY DARKENS, LET THE LIGHTNING HIT
I WILL LEAN ON YOU

CHORUS (REPEAT TWICE)

TELL ME WHERE DO YOU SLEEP
WHEN THE TERROR DEVOURS ME
IN WHAT PLACES, WHICH NORTH
WHEN ON MY KNEES, I BEG

WHERE DO YOU SLEEP...

A woman reacts to a car bombing outside a clinic in Hilla located 60 miles south of Baghdad. The bombing occurred on 28 February 2005. 110 people were killed and at least 133 were injured.

"DANS QUEL AILLEURS, QUEL NORD
QUAND A GENOUX J’IMPLORE
DIS-MOI OU TU T’ENDORS
"
IN WHAT PLACES, WHICH NORTH
WHEN ON MY KNEES, I BEG
WHERE DO YOU SLEEP

OU TU T’ENDORS
WHERE DO YOU SLEEP

J’AI VU LA PLUIE S’ABATTRE SUR MOI
LA NEIGE AUSSI ME BRULER DE FROID
MAIS TOUS LES LENDEMAINS NE SEMBLENT PAS SI LOIN

J’AI VU LA GUERRE, J’AI VU TOMBER LES HOMMES
ET LE CIEL ME DIRE LA POUSSIERE QUE NOUS SOMMES
MAIS AU COEUR DES COMBATS, MOI, JE NE TREMBLAIS PAS
JE NE VOYAIS QUE TOI

REFRAIN:
DIS-MOI OU TU T’ENDORS
QUAND LA PEUR ME DEVORE
DANS QUEL AILLEURS, QUEL NORD
QUAND A GENOUX J’IMPLORE
DIS-MOI OU TU T’ENDORS

J’AI VU LE TEMPS GLISSER ENTRE MES DOIGTS
SEPARER LES AMANTS ET CREUSER LES VISAGES
MAIS QU’IL VOLE ET S’EN AILLE
MOI, IL NE M’EFFRAIE PAS
JE TE SENS PRES DE MOI

JE SAIS LES VENTS, LA COLERE DES DIEUX
JE SAIS LES DIABLES ET LE MAL ET LE FEU
QUAND S’ASSOMBRIT LE CIEL, QUE LA FOUDRE S’ABAT
JE M’EN REMETS A TOI

REFRAIN (BIS)

DIS-MOI OU TU T’ENDORS
QUAND LA PEUR ME DEVORE
DANS QUEL AILLEURS, QUEL NORD
QUAND A GENOUX J’IMPLORE

DIS-MOI OU TU T’ENDORS...

A woman exiting a Baghdad morgue having just identified her husband who was killed during the bombing.

Pray for this war to come to an end.

9 Comments:

At Mon Jun 13, 10:52:00 AM MDT, Blogger G said...

Powerful. Thank you.

 
At Mon Jun 13, 03:44:00 PM MDT, Blogger tannia g. robles said...

J
Thank you for talking a little about the pain that women experience during a war. Sometimes women's experiences are often ignored and this piece truly brought them to light. It was heartbreaking but real.

 
At Mon Jun 13, 04:26:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Thank you G and Tannia,

I only wish I knew how to link to the mp3 or Real Audio formats so you all could hear this song - it is really powerful.

I am going to keep trying though. I'll figure it out!

I hope this all counts for something.

J

 
At Mon Jun 13, 04:35:00 PM MDT, Blogger G said...

If those formats are online, just post a link to the pages containing the songs. That would work.

A side point ...

On the Road To Redemption writings: Those were wonderful. You have a gift for writing, for storytelling - and I am glad that you have found a forum with which to use it. Your readers are all blessed with the opportunity to receive your words.

Recently I've added a quote to my site that illustrates my take on writing - on why I do it and why I love it.

"You take your material where you find it, which is in your life, at the intersection of past and present. The memory traffic feeds into a rotary up on your head, where it goes in circles for a while, then pretty soon imagination flows in and the traffic merges and shoots off down a thousand different streets. As a writer, all you can do is pick a street and go for the ride, putting things down as they come at you."

Another, from the same work, applies more directly to what you wrote in the Redemption posts:

"And sometimes remembering will lead to a story, which makes it forever. That's what stories are for. Stories are for joining the past to the future. Stories are for those late hours in the night when you can't remember how you got from where you were to where you are. Stories are for eternity, when memory is erased, when there is nothing to remember except the story."

(both quotes excerpted from 'Spin', a chapter in Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried)

 
At Mon Jun 13, 10:24:00 PM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

Wow G,

Thanks for the kind words. My reasons for writing here are precisely that. I get a thought and I talk about it. My family and especially my kids are reading these posts and the result is they are coming to understand how I think.

I am not a professional writer and I think it will be quite sometime before I am capable of putting something that is worthy of publication together. Perhaps the most honest thing I can say is that it feels good to be getting my ideas out for people to read.

One of my old Calculus professors once told me to think of paper as an extension of my memory. I naively thought that only applied to complex mathematical or scientific manipulations. I now see the wisdom of his words. I just wish I had journal-ed (that's probably not a word) because I am only now really learning how to formulate thoughts and sentences in a way that make sense to everyone else! No, blogs are not paper but they are a place where I can put my thoughts down into words. They have also made my discussions in person livelier because good writing translates to good argumentation. Not that I like to argue mind you! Who am I kidding, yes I do.

This is certainly not like writing police reports or sentencing memoranda. It is more fun and I am experimenting in all different directions. Every writer ought to be a great writer. That’s what I aim to accomplish here – hence, the large number of original postings. I am glad I have time to devote to my writing skills here. More work = more improvement. I’m working on losing the award for usage of the most clichés – that’s tough.

Regarding reading different materials: I cannot imagine eating Steak and Lobster exclusively - morning, noon and night - for the rest of my life. Sometimes, a great hamburger is tastier than any epicurean five-star creation. There is room in the world for everyone and I regret ever having made such a thoughtless remark but, I did and I am left to deal with the consequences as well., May I be measured by my work - I deserve it. I hope my efforts are bearing fruit - if not now, then in the near future. My point is that nothing is going to stop me - Nothing. I would also like to make this point: I read everything from the sides of milk cartons to trade magazines to Novels and everything in between. I currently have 11 books and novels that I am reading. I like doing that because it is like making contact with 11 different friends. I always have done that and I love the fact that I can always pick up where I left off with them. In addition, I read the New York Times, Washington post and LA Times from cover to cover – every day. I peruse several other major news papers and I tap into around 45 blogs as well. I love to read. It is simple as that and every writer has a certain style - I am always intrigued by their nuances. That is what I am trying to do right now is to find my own voice - not to emulate anyone.

I know my work is getting better and the proof lies in receiving thoughtful remarks of the variety that have been left on my blog.

I also welcome criticism because it only serves to give me more marks to shoot for. I am confident in my writing and expect nothing but improvement. I don't think I am ever going to please everyone so I don't try. I write for myself.

The people I admire most are those who do just that. I mistakenly offered my opinion once on this issue and learned a profound lesson. You cannot compel people to be anything other than what they are. That lesson was not wasted on me. I lost a dear friend over it. It reminds me of one of those little known facts that we remember for no other reason than that they pop into our heads - seemingly useless but profound when the epiphany descends upon us: Tiger and Zebra stripes aren’t only in their hair. They go deep into their skin. I cannot and should not ever try to change someone's stripes because their stripes make them what they are right down to their skin.

Thanks for posting G. Your thoughts always stir me to think more and deeper. I will visit your site to see what the entire post had to say. It sounds very interesting.

Joe

 
At Tue Jun 14, 01:32:00 AM MDT, Blogger G said...

If you were looking for the quote, it was added to the site itself in the sidebar (to appear in every post as a result) as opposed to being a part of a particular post. There is too much to say on the topic of memory traffic, streets of thought, and the ensuing writing for me to even begin to formulate a post on it - it is a thread that could be an entire journal (yes blogs are journals - just an online format) itself.

To that end, I instead will let my writing in general speak for itself and explain the quote for me.

 
At Tue Jun 14, 01:36:00 AM MDT, Blogger G said...

PS look for the book it's from - it's one of the great reads I've been fortunate to encounter.

It is a Vietnam war memoir. It is fact which uses bits of fiction in order to illustrate truths - one of the great paradoxes of writing and a great deal of the work is the writer (O'Brien) stuggling with exactly that. In other words, my kind of writing. Bar none the most brilliant work I have ever read. Especially given its focus is less a war memoir and more a study of why it is we tell stories ... which actually makes the implicit pointlessness-of-war message even more powerful. Do check it out if you get a chance.

 
At Tue Jun 14, 01:47:00 AM MDT, Blogger The Voice said...

G,

I already ordered the book from Amazon right after I read your post. I visited your site - regarding the quote; your writings do in fact reflect the thought.

I read the little amount on Amazon's feature where you click on the book image and it allows you to see a sample - It looks like just what I was looking for. Thank you so much. I am sure glad I met you.

J

 
At Wed Jun 15, 02:29:00 PM MDT, Blogger G said...

You're welcome!

Guaranteed you will enjoy the book. One of those that inspires re-reads ... over and over again. :-)

 

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