The Dialogue with the Dead Cannot Stop Until They Hand Over the Future that has been Buried with Them. — Heiner Müller

Unwanted Advice: Reflections from a Self-Appointed Life Counselor

I am not ready to talk about their immigrant bones, or the difficult stories that each bone box tells. And besides, most are missing, disappeared on the wayward routes returning home, displaced even after death. Or they are in almost-forgotten fields marked by stones that don’t hold names anymore, nonetheless narratives. Sometimes just numbers, sometimes just the memory held by someone’s grandson who saw him bury them over there under there somewhere. And in there could have been my non-existence. As we peered into one unearthed bone urn, the top exposed to the sky cracked open by neglect, he said, there is the way into the underworld.

I need to listen.

I am aware that each word here is an act of listening, opening a new space for the next word. And of my failings of projections and memory and desire and convention, so that some words spill out overwhelmed by…

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