Stand Up Writing

How vain it is to sit down and write when you have not stood up to live – Henry David Thoreau

Time !! 

Time is the mother of all illusions, of all excuses. It is the sand upon which promises are built and the rock on which expectations come crashing down. And if you were to avoid the endless crashes of this ludicrous rollercoaster, then time is a prison that is built sitting down. In waiting rooms, in hospitals, time is the one month coma that has lasted five years and counting. Time is a word that never tires of coming back on board of millions of what ifs, a tenacious act full of doubt, the skinny woman that holds the grown man to her breast so he may forever suck on regret. 

Time is a pair of hands that let go way too soon, time is not an album but rather a ripped picture that keeps on losing pieces. Time is not a collection but rather the lost item. A man standing outside a door, hearing the cries and heavy breathing. The scars and burns, the unanswered questions, the empty rooms heavy with scents and memories, heavy with a presence, heavy with an absence. Time is the beggar watching feet and wheels go by, looking at the same cracks, memorizing them, noticing them as they grow and move on while he stays put. Time is the robber that steals from the rich as well as the poor and gives to none.

But when the bird finally lands on your shoulder and you take to the stillness, then time is a poor man getting buried under the sand of the hourglass, time is the writings on the shores wiped away by waves. Time is the man standing on a ledge, who doesn’t know if he’s being pulled back or pushed forward and we’re the ones holding him. Dead on the ledge as well as the ones who hold onto him. Dead on the ground, as well as those who refuse to let go.

So let go, let be and feel the breeze under the wings of that rebellious seagull. Feel the horizon shift with every clap of his wings. And watch what is not falter at his cry. Head beneath it all, above it all, beyond it all. To the core of the fire that has spread, to where water and spirit bond to make the whole word anew, beyond illusions, without excuses and within you. There time and space fall to their knees, shiver to dirt at the sight of the Divine. 

Eddy Abi Younes



الإنسان الطريق

عرفتُ إنسان كان يسير على الطريق، عرفتُهُ إنسان عَرفَ الطريق، عَرفَ الطريق لأنه الحقيقة و لأنه الحقيقة كان هو الطريق.

عَرفَني إنسان كان يسير، عَرفَني الطريق فسار بي حتى أَمُرَّ به. عَرفَني فعَرفتَهُ، عَرفَني كي أعرفَهُ. سار و ما زال، و سيظل يسير، كيما أعرفَهُ فأصبحُ فيه، كيما أعرفَهُ إذ انه بي و اذ بي أصيرُ،كما هو، الطريق.

فيا من يَحُجّ و دربُهُ الإنسان، يا من يَحُجّ و هو إنسان لأصيرَأنا مثله إنسان، متى سِرتَ صرتُ أنا، و متى صرتُ لا تقف عندي أنا، بل أكمِلْ السير و هبني أن أسيرَ حتى أُفنى و لا يبقى سواك، أنت الطريق.

ادي ابي يونس 


I am elsewhere 

There is a fire that fumes wonders of shadowy trees, whose sparks linger in the sky; calling for those furthest to let them know that there is such a thing as intimacy. Whispering for those closest the great tales of faraway lands. Preaching to all, of all the outstanding things that await on the other side of I. 

Be it this side or the other, the I is always elsewhere and elsewhere starts and ends at home. 

And so, let the stars guide us to our death, to other sides and other depths, to rich encounters and unpleasant truth, to unending silence. And when all is done, may we rise to the song of earth and sky, to be embraced as their own and may elsewhere end at last with home. 

But before all that, we must follow the trees, and soak ourselves in their path of leaves, in order to look at what everyone sees, to see beyond what they all see, to stare hard and long at what calls to thee, to choose the road as thy cornerstone. To let the stone drive thee from home and watch that stone turn into home. 

But after this and before that, and even more, through it all, keep present thy fire and sway to its rhythm, hear that call and reck for all, so that wherever you may roam you may find a home. 

Before paths without and paths within, rest your feet and just give in, and at last let your weary eyes feast as elsewhere starts and ends with home. 

Eddy Abi Younes


أنا، أنا و الاخر 

انا لست انا إلا تجاه أحد و غالبا ما يكون ذاك الأحد جماعة أو حشد و غالبا ما يكون الحشد أحد و هو أنا. و العيش هو في نيل إعجاب الحشد. 

إن تشبهت بهم ما عدت انا، و متى كنت أنا و كتبتني، وجدنا بعضنا البعض متشابهين. ألعل ذلك لعدم معرفتنا، نحن الاثنين، لذواتنا ام اننا نختلف بطرق متشابهة او نتشابه بطرق مختلفة؟ 

أهم تحت قناعي أم أن ملامح وجهي استأثرت بوجوههم؟ و ان كانت هذه أو تلك، يبقى السؤال عني أنا. 

انا كلمات نسجت من عروقي و اخرى بخيط الغريب. انا قصاصات ورق مرمية و صفحات خاب أملها فبقيت بيضاء جائعة. انا أفكار غزلت كما الدروايش، فانتشت روحي، و حين استفاقت، تركتها تدور في النشوة، ترقص في العشق، اذ اننا به أجمل و أما الحبر فلا يليق بنا.

بعد رقصة و قبل أخرى، بين عروقي و خيوط الغريب، في لملمة الورق و الصفحات أبقى أنا محاولة و تبقى أنت الجواب و الآخر الحق و أنت، أنت اليقين.

إدي أبي يونس


Writing and Not Understanding

Claiming to write so you’d understand is as crazy as “claiming to write you so you’d understand”. It’s a useless and an absurd comparison but it has to be this way because there is nothing as ludicrous as that claim.
Writing strikes me as a process of spilling myself. I spill myself unto the pen which in its turn spills itself unto the paper, in a way which i don’t always control – as if it is a different entity with a mind and soul of its own – but it understands me and expresses me better than i do.
In the origin, it was life that was spilled in us and that continues to spill over unto everything we touch. My role, i have found, is to provide it with the space it needs to be True, Good and Beautiful.
Frankly, i can never claim to understand Truth, Goodness or Beauty, i just cherish them, and hope to do so with enough decency and enough courage that will allow me to abandon myself to them, and in them to abandon myself to myself :
To endlessly wake up to the stranger that i am, and tirelessly drink from the glass which he offers. And though he may not be appealing and his glass be bitter, i drink it all the same. And when it’s finally nighttime and his waters drown me, i reach out for the glass one more, raise it with one hand like a trophy, and drink to Life.
And then, after a while someone will trample upon me, covered in whole by sheets of paper and brutally grasping onto a pen. Maybe then, i’d tend to their drinking needs . . . Maybe then, they’ll make their own toast to Life.

Eddy Abi Younes

William Desmond on the history of philosophy.

“I give counsel to myself: Do not smash the wheel and proclaim the glorious liberation of human creativity; you, or someone else, years hence, will find it necessary to reinvent the same despised wheel – decked out perhaps with a new name to assuage the pretense to glorious creativity. I think we have to be able to interpret the rationale, the strengths, and the limits of the basic philosophical possibilities, as diversely expressed in the history of philosophy. This requires a thinking about them that refuses to stay on the surface of the packaged positions that easily get regurgitated in standard histories of philosophy. We must go deeper, approach the originary sources of perplexity and astonishment, out of which the surfaces of the positions have grown. This means we must already be mindful of the matter itself that has occupied philosophers for millennia. Much more than being a historian of ideas is asked of us. One must be a philosopher to understand *as philosophy* the history of philosophy. One’s attitude to past philosophers cannot be defined by simple rejection. One learns from them, even when one disagrees with them. And even in disagreeing with them, one ought to have a hermeneutic generous enough to allow one to make strong intelligible sense of their essential contributions. Every previous philosopher worth his salt harbors latent reserves that challenge continued rethinking (…). I reject what has followed from the alleged completion of metaphysics by a Hegel, or a Nietzsche, or a Heidegger (…). We must move beyond the paralysis and stultification generated by this rhetoric of the end of metaphysics.”

William Desmond, ‘Being and the Between.’

The Iceberg that is Man

There’s a strange man on a balcony, peeling off his skin and sending it to the wind. With every departure, i see the wound widen, deepen, lengthen, it grows. The man grows, swinging between a valley and a mountaintop; an iceberg with his hands out, glowing and blistered, taking waves in and peeling skin off.
The sun sets and he’s poor, he leaves the balcony for the sidewalk as mages from near and far make their way to him.
They hold him in their hands. They pass by him, looking for him.
Battered by the journey, they bow their heads, faultily stumble upon the beggar, and all they see is a big lump of wounds.
They surrender, relax their hands and the bits of skin slip into his bowl. He is there in the bowl, He is there at the sidewalk and yet they are not alike, he is in both and yet in neither.
With prayers and silence, he tries to sow some of the skin back and fails, other bits crawl back on him by themselves like stubborn parasites so he takes shelter in the moon as he remains dangled from himself.
The sun rises again, he goes back up to the balcony, trailing himself, dragging his skin up the stairs so he can get back to his daily liturgy. Peeling off the new, never shaking off the old.
Where once laid a strange man, now lays an iceberg, the waves keep on crashing on it and go on their way; and yet never does it think of keeping its skin, not once does it think of dropping its hands.

Troubled by all this, i lift my eyes up to stare at my hands, and the taste of salt in my mouth is overwhelming. . .

Eddy Abi Younes

The drop

I don’t go carving up Hades on people’s faces anymore, digging up the skulls from the soils of their haven just so i could be the one that saves them. Instead, i let my own two hands be carved by the labor of my soil, that with grace, i may turn it into some of sort of Eden. That way whenever I shake hands with a person i would rest assured that i gave them the best of what i had to offer, that i only had what’s best to offer.
We all have our hells that’s for sure, they’re not there to frighten us because  nothing preaches the sweet sensation of water like a quenching thirst and water, well water was a drop of human connection.
A drop is where you and I both stand and none of our faces hide behind the others’. Here, I contemplate myself so I would see you better and cherish us both. And swiftly the drop lives up to its name and we find ourselves scattered in each other and on everything else. My hope is that when we’re in a million pieces, i would still be able to find my way to myself and there, I’d stretch my arms naively, roaring at the abyss through a whisper to the Face of faces.

Eddy Abi Younes

Poetic Face

I was sitting in the library yesterday and in comes this girl, i hadn’t seen her before but she just blew me away and as soon as i saw her i started writing and this is what i came up with:

She walked in with a face full of poems and as soon as i laid eyes on her, i stood still so i would not startle the words off her cheeks. Instead, i just watched as she sung Life’s song in my chest. The notes sent me in awe, and as i came back she was gone. I walked out there humming the tune of hope in her eyes, clutching to a pen and trying to put into words the way she instilled my soul with her smile . . .
I came very close. In other words i failed, drastically, but for the first time in a long time i loved my failure because it had become a sign of how perfect she was, right there, in that moment.
It was a glorious revelation when she left, she transcended that space and i prayed so she’d never come back. That way her face would not be scarred by the passing of the sands of time, that way i would be spared the cruel hand of despair.

Eddy Abi Younes

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