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To the end of the night: Losing everything without getting lost

By Ngô Đình Lệ Quyên 

What are forced migration and exile if not – above all and essentially – an ordeal? Perhaps the most extreme that humankind has to undergo.

A leap into the void, a journey to the depths of the night, in the depths of ourselves.

With the ineluctable burden of suffering and betrayal, the distressing vision of opportunism and cowardice. And always nearby and inexorable – death. In the oppressive heaviness of a day without sky, awaiting a hazy and far-off tomorrow.

At the end of the journey, long like a tunnel without light, it is however possible to discover a precious gem, a hidden flower: freedom from fear, and freedom from material and emotional ties.

It’s a landing on a shore that reveals us new and different. Perhaps better. Although this journey was not and could never be chosen or wished for.

In this plunge into the deep, dark abyss of life, for those who do not wish to fall victim to pre-human history, the only compass you can cling to is the quest for the absolute, the taste for excellence, there where your destiny takes you. Even on the other side of the world.

Moving forward and able to look back without being sucked under. Faithful yet not prisoners of the past. In solitary equilibrium between several worlds and dimensions. With an invaluable time to mull over in the prayerful, meditative silence of inner growth.

To understand, finally, after a long and painful journey, that you can lose everything without getting lost. Imbued with meaning, life may then flow towards its destiny once again.

Dakar, 30 November 2010