The Magnitude of Our Losses

Can you conceive of having lived in a place for so long, you have no idea when your ancestors settled there?

Can you conceive of standing on a prominent rock, viewing a panoramic vista of some natural glory, knowing that every one of your ancestors was probably inspired by the same beauty?

Can you conceive of everything around you being associated with you, historically, personally, societally, religiously, politically?

Can you conceive of knowing how place and plant names were chosen, who did what, when and why at the foot of which mountain and atop which hill– viscerally grasping these associations?

Can you conceive of your food coming from your own hands or places you know intimately?

Can you conceive of “knowing” that sleeping under a mulberry tree is good, but not under a walnut tree because of their respective “auras”?

Can you conceive of recognizing individual animals from season to season and year to year, having played with them when they were young while you were young?

Can you conceive of truly being HOME?

I can’t. I’ve never had it. I’ve been denied this by Turkey’s actions. I can only get glimmers of what it might be like: when I hear Native Americans speak of their world; when I’m told that the villagers living near the cedars of Lebanon consider themselves descendants of god; or when I see pictures of the single block of wall left standing of the Soorp Garabed monastery of Moosh–a place of great learning and one of the Armenian church’s centers– juxtaposed with pictures of what the place looked like a century ago.

This is what we’ve lost due to the Genocide. This is what the murderous Turkish government has taken from us. This is what destruction they have wrought, so thorough, so irretrievable, so ongoing as to sear any decent human’s soul.

And we’re supposed to just get over it by going on cruises, buying overpriced things, lived in garish houses, taking lavish trips, perforating our bodies with inked needles or metallic objects, “working for the future”, living in debt, etc.– in short, drinking the toxic potion that passes for modern “life”, that concoction of banality debilitating humanity’s aptitude for greatness.

Is that how you want to live? Is it what we want for our community, nation, and host countries?

Get out, get active.


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