Monday, January 01, 2007

Too Much To Be Resolved

First and foremost: Eid Mubarak, Happy New Year and a belated Merry Xmas.

Second, the words of Creeley:

New Year’s Resolution

What one might say
wanting to do it,
hoping to solve it,
make resolution—

You break it to bits,
swallow the pieces,
finally quit quitting,
accept it, forget it.

But what world is this
has such parts,
or makes even thinkable
paradoxic new starts—

Turn of the year
weighs in the cold
all that’s proposed
simply to change it.

Still, try again
to be common, human,
learn from all
how to be one included.

So the above sentiments may not be the most positive to begin the year on, but they likely are the most pragmatic (and hold on to that little sentiment at the end). I’ll get a jump start on the quitting quitting and won’t even think about my smoking habit. Though, I’ll come away with one resolution: to finish all the books I started to read this past year, especially Negri’s “Multitude” and “Empire” (though I blame my failing there on the lot that wouldn’t join me in a reading/discussion group for those books).

As expected, the past week has been blissfully, yet excruciatingly slow. It’s been a good and cold Eid. For New Year’s Eve, we got out of the house for dinner, enjoyed our pizza and all (likely) fell asleep before the witching hour. At least I was asleep at midnight, and to be frank, in many ways it’s nice to have an altered significance for these holidays.

New Year’s Day was spent quite pleasantly at Kabul Coffee House. I got to read a document with some pleasant aspirations regarding Afghanistan’s internationalization efforts, followed by a good dose of Negri. Both elicited equal amounts of cynicism towards the texts.

KCH has got its espresso machine working again, and it was good espresso, so sentiments aside, I had a good time.

There is a really interesting article on a journalist's travels on Afghanistan's Ring Road (again from the LATimes which seems to have been providing the best coverage on Afghanistan of late). Perhaps if things calm down, I’ll be able to take the road to a few of the places that my job deals with, but as of now, I’ll still have to experience much of this country vicariously too.

Most of the other coverage on Afghanistan I’ve come across recently has just been a regurgitation of what’s been said for the past 6 months. The foreboding headlines seem less prescient now, but as has been the case for too long, the spring season will be the best judge of the state of this country.

As of now, due to the winter holidays, Eid and general seasonal slow down, things seem to be moving at a snail’s pace here. There is a weird absence of both optimism and pessimism. Maybe it’s a good normalization, maybe feelings are too hard when your toes are numb all day long. Though my coworkers and I read the headlines and remain thankful that the predictions that this place was heading the way of Iraq have turned out to be far from coming true. And we optimistically don’t see this place heading to that same end. No time soon at least.

And finally, go check Safrang/Hamesha’s blog, he’s put up a good post about the cross border relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Wishing everyone a good year, paradoxes and all.


Anonymous said...

So basically, you're never coming back to the states. Have I got that right?

The wedding you said you wouldn't dance at was actually loads of fun, and plenty of people were more amenable to boogying down than, I suppose, you would have been. Still would have been fun, I think, to have you come.

Q. A. Shah said...

Was that implied? I adamantly resolve to come back to the states. And at the latest, it'll be this May/June through July for the bar exam, and possibly this March.

But glad to hear you had a good time with willingly dancing souls. I'm sure I woulda had fun...wallflower and all...

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