Saturday, May 02, 2009

To hope till Hope creates

The story began when a group of parochialists, under the cloak of noblesse, stole an organisation. Disguised, stealthy, hidden, were hearts of misplaced religious zeal. An ilk of the self righteous. In power, they were proud, arrogant, aloof. With almost casual disregard to the organisation's history, traditions and heritage, they began work by dismantling years of work, building illusory walls, reconstructing the organisation into a prideful image of their narrow religious visions.
"Have you come here to play Jesus. To the lepers in your head"

Than the voices spoke. Voices that refused silence. The truly pure and radiant hearts. First, the pioneers who built the organisation from nothing. Then, the marginalised who felt most threatened. Then you. Then me. And finally everybody. Old Guard, LGBT, bloggers, netizens, muslims, buddhists, christians, Singaporeans. The voices rejected the temptation of silence, rejected the opium of de-consciousness. They voices spoke to reclaim a precious space in secular society. To decry this robbery of a common space. An imaginary space undoubtedly, but real, tangible enough to unite all these different voices. To reject an organisation based on principles of exclusion, on a basis of hurt, from creating boundaries in this common space.

"And I can't be holding on to what you got, when all you got is hurt."

At the Town Hall meeting, the last chance. One by one by one they stood up. Testimony. Witness. Transmission. One story after another. Different stories but one common line. No. We will not shut up. No. We will not sit down. No. We will not accept injustice. The stories piled up, one after another. I am a teacher .. I am a Muslim .. I am a Christian .. I am gay .. I am a Singaporean .. I am a woman .. all different, but all one.

"We're one but we're not the same, so we get to carry each other, carry other"

How they smashed themselves against the walled stony silence, carrying each other, caring for each other. And the parochialists were stunned. Their legal counsel was stunned. Their crafty ploy to stay in power even in the face of no confidence crumbled. Their arrogant faith shaken, their cowardice exposed, their small hearts revealed to all to see. For all to judge. For all to despise. And ultimately, for all to feel sorry. And for all to forgive them.

"Too late tonight, to drag the past out into the light. We're one, but we're not the same. We get to carry each other, carry each other."

And so the different stories, spoken with truly pure and radiant hearts, put an end to this injustice. Restored the meaning of democracy. Recovered a space common to all, open to all. And so the different stories ended this story which began so iniquitously when a group of parochialists, under the cloak of noblesse, stole an organisation.

But we must not forget. We must continue telling this story as testimony, as witness, as transmission so that another iniquitous story cannot be allowed to begin. This is the debt we are obliged to return, for the stories that ended this iniquitous story today.

"And to hope, till Hope creates, from its wreck the thing it contemplates"


Quote of the Day --

'To suffer woes that Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than death or night;
To defy Power, which seems omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change, nor falter, nor repent;
This . . . is to be good,
great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life, Joy, Empire, and Victory.'

-- Percy Bysshe Shelley, Prometheus Unbound