Monday, September 05, 2011

The story shouldn't be recounted.

In the Qur’an, he’s not given a name – this teacher who allegedly schooled Musa in Patience is simply He Who Dwells Where the Fish Disappears and Waters Meet; a nowhere of intersections & circumstances. Elsewhere, he’s called Al-Khidr, the Green, as if his appearance flashed no longer than the time requisite to observe a single attribute, or as if this greenness swallowed the whole of his appearance. Does such color gain its total appearance from Divine Purity; once touched down upon the Earth, does it just as easily swallow the background with the foreground?

This Green exhibits all the attributes of a stern father or an unsatisfiable teacher – one who asks for unwavering obedience from his student, even while encouraging recklessness. When Musa meets him, Al Khidr already expects impatience from his pupil. He warns him against behaving in the way that’s already been attributed to him. Thus Musa dwells at another intersection – between what he knows and what he’s capable of. The two begin a shadowplay of education, with Musa lagging irrecoverably behind at the start of each practice (each lesson more unexpected than the next). Our Musa’s forced between possession and imitation, and the Khidr between teacher of an unteachable knowledge & the time by which that knowledge comes to reveal itself.

Where the waters meet, he murders me,
this is the first lesson, recorded & to be read again,

We’ve given you lungs unable
to sing, now give us grammar.

We’ve given you violence that you may part
water, now give us sequence.

I left my book behind. Now I am an idiot.
My pen exploded with my name. Now I am a violent man.