Monday, August 27, 2012

Dijla, the Wise

Almost two thousand kilometres long, she is, the breeder of civilization. The Book of Genesis brands her the third of four rivers branching out of the Garden of Eden. On her banks were prophecies delivered, by the side of the great river. A Sumerian myth claims the god Enki created her, filling it carefully with flowing water.

The water doesn't flow now like it always did, and you can't blame her. Nobody would expect you to continue your job excellently. Not while you helplessly witness glory crushed around you- over and over again.

It began with over a thousand merciless faces sweeping over, like vultures arriving to fish out what they know will soon be dead. Wiping out in instants the work of a million minds. Tearing down mosques, palaces, libraries, hospitals into dust and rubble. Not even the House of Wisdom was spared. That day, Dijla's waters changed colours- blue to black to red. Black with the ink of words. When she had swallowed the books of her people, she took in the blood of killed thinkers.

I like to think that Dijla's preserving all the wisdom she swallowed in her midst. Waiting in patience and in hope the time when her people will be ready again. And then she will help them rise, and go back to flowing happily again.

Photo by Ghassan Malik


On the 1258 Siege of Baghdad
*Dijla is the Arabic word for the River Tigris

16 comments:

  1. Beautifully written.

    Hugs,
    Shelly
    http://www.shellysnovicewritings.blogspot.com

    http://secondhandshoesnovel.blogspot.com/

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  2. Truly is beautiful :/

    & have you heard the theory about water having 'memories'? Perhaps someone will be blessed to get the knowledge from these waters. Who knows?

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    1. I have, I was thinking about that theory while writing this :)

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  3. Lovely posting and writing. Enjoyed reading your post!

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  4. So interesting. Now I'd like to learn more about Dijla.

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  5. Poignantly and beautifully written. I love the part about her storing all the wisdom so that we can one day have it back. I love history, loved this piece. Thanks for the name translation - always nice to be saved a google ;-)

    Thanks for commenting about the link back signature. I don't know if you caught the three part series I did both at Life is Good and at the A-Z (the posts are practically identical on both blogs - I was going to compare my readers with the A-Z readers, but that didn't work out...I'll spare you the math talk, I found out that hardly anyone is as math-nerdy as me...out of 400+ readers combined, only one admitted to it...) 40% thought link backs were spammy or some such other description, 25% didn't know what I was talking about, and 18% use them. I know that doesn't add up to 100%...I explain why though!) So you've got lots of company out there!

    Tina @ Life is Good

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback :)
      Yep, I did follow the survey at A-Z and the results- good to see I'm not alone!

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  6. An intriguing write! The river flowing forever, witnessing destruction over and over. Very good.

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  7. I love your interpretation of the history of the place. Sometimes here in the 'new world' we forget how old some places of civilization are.

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  8. I always, always learn from your blog. Thank you!

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  9. Beautifully written! And I was really excited you mentioned Enki. It takes me back to my Ancient Near East classes in college.

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  10. You have a way with making everything sound so majestic. Lovely. :-)

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  11. Not sure what more can be said. Very, very, nice.

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  12. I love the image of the river holding all that wisdom. So much history, so many lives...

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  13. Rivers are indiscriminate in their force. Your description is well rendered.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

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