Monday, August 27, 2007

I get that sinking feeling

So, here I am, sitting on my bed, in my PJs at 7:45 pm. I'm listening
to the outside noise, that mix of traffic, helicopters, shouts and
the loud Indian music.

I remember watching a group of Afghan men dance on a street corner,
consumed with the sheer joy of being outside, safe and able to listen
to music. I haven't seen that in a while.

I need this quiet time (well, quiet-ish), but I still feel out of
balance. I don't have the energy to get up and just get my act
together (clean my room & etc). The electricity came on early today
(6 pm-ish), went out about 45 minutes later, came back on for about
15 minutes and then went out again. Good thing I stockpiled on candles.

I wish I could give you all details about my job (it's actually
pretty interesting) but anonymity is freedom, as AKA:OMG says.

But let's just say that I got a sinking feeling (wait, electricity
came back on again, whatever, I'm fine with sitting here in the
dark). Anyway, I got that sinking feeling at the end of the day. It
made me worried for my co-workers, for me and just generally for the
country. There are way too many scam artists in this country and
waaaay too many that are in power. I have to stop my fear from
paralyzing me and my work. I kind of just want to turn around and run
away. But I don't know where else I'd rather be? I've moved around
enough to know that neither a change of location nor keeping myself
so busy that I just come home to sleep will solve my problems. But
what will? What's the answer? Am I depressed? Well, yeah, maybe. If
you saw how bad this place has gotten – well, who wouldn't be depressed?

How will I know when to fight and when to leave?

Oh, and then I came home, spoke to a local relative who very kindly
asked me to not go out by myself (I used to go on long, rambling
walks 4 years ago), at least until I get used to being back. I wasn't
planning on it. But still. It's sad.

As Safrang and Frida said in the comments in the previous post, hope
becomes an act of courage here. But damn, it's hard.

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safrang said...

I've been following this blog since just about its inception, and those early posts during the time when men were dancing on steet corners and it was still ok to go on 4-hour long promenades made things sound so good (and they were) that when I met Q of Kabulog in Northern Virginia over coffee I admitted that part of the reason why I had lost my reason and sanity and was going to Kabul -especially at this time- was that HiK and a few other bloggers made life there sound so damn good -it was a happening city, bustling, exotic, and newly liberated... and there was work to do, work that made a difference...
I am still glad I came - for a range of reasons. But boy does the novelty of being on your toes for fear of this or that wear off soon.. (and wears you off alongside..)


ps. during one of those bouts of black-out last night, I was tracing the ceiling and concluding that "Que Sera, Sera" -
Sort of a comforting thaught around here...if you can keep believing in it for long enough..

chaoyang said...

you are right to not try to solve the sinking feeling by leaving. it's within each of us and while I don't know how to alleviate it, I do know a change of scenery won't make it go away (and working so hard you come home and sleep immediately, doesn't either!!)

sometimes I think that sinking feeling is just a reflection of gained wisdom, gained knowledge. it is the burden that comes with growing up... only if growing up means you broaden your understanding enough to know that all is not always right in the world and may never be right in the world and you may be able to do nothing to fix it. little or small. and yet, you keep going.

Frida said...

Hope is courage. Courage is hope.

and you also have to get out of Kabul. Come to Ghor and you'll see people really working together to improve things. Less big fish. More small projects making a big difference.

It has totally re-energised me. Kabul to Herat to Ghor - maybe the secret to lasting in Afghanistan is to move further and further away from the Meshrano Jirga...

Lacithecat said...

My ... we both wrote about courage today. Our takes are of course different as we are standing in different places and different times, but courage is it.


omg said...

I've been out of town and am just now catching up on your blog entries since your 8/22 post.

I've never been in an extended situation of fear, so I can't offer any advice or real perspective (not that you were asking for it) but I think it's important to try to find the occasional positive or comical thing, no matter how small. And I think that your writing, which is as wonderful as always, will help you maintain some balance when you need it.

homeinkabul said...

So many sweet friends, thanks y'all.

S: I think you put it well: But boy does the novelty of being on your toes for fear of this or that wear off soon.. (and wears you off alongside..)

C: I think you're right, running away won't help and neither will working 'til I drop'.

F: Seriously, I will come to Ghor (bakhair). Let's talk about it when you get back.

L: Courage is difficult to get a grasp of, isnt' it? I'll read your post soon, internet willing.

O: Yes, finding the positive is necessary here. It just gets kinda hard sometimes.