Three Quotes for the Holiday
Suete sone, reu on me, and brest out of thi bondis:
For nou me thinket that I se thoru bothen thin hondes
Nailes dreven into the tre; so reufuliche thu honges.
Nu is betre that I fle and lete alle these londis.
Suete sone, thi faire face droppet al on blode,
And thi bodi dounward is bounden to the rode;
Hou may thi modris herte tholen so suete a fode,
That blissed was of alle born, and best of alle gode?
Suete sone, reu on me, and bring me out of this live,
For me thinket that I se thi deth, it neyhit suithe.
Thi fete ben nailed to the tre; nou may I no more thrive,
For al this werld withouten thee ne sal me maken blithe.
So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets and trenched there,
And streched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! and angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so,
but slew his son, –
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.
Wifred Owen, from Britton’s War Requiem
The symbolic order is open to change, it offers no absolute guarantee of meaning or redemption or enjoyment, and its import is the finitude of powers and of the subjects who take shape through their workings. And if the power of the Other is limited, then nothing can help human beings rid themselves of finitude; nor can ultimate enjoyment be attained any more than absolute power, because desire is “change as such” (Lacan, Ethics of Psychoanalysis 239). We need, for the sake of our jouissance, which also means for the sake of the other within and without us, to break the lethal promise of ultimate rescue. No other, divinized or abjected, can make us whole. The logic of sacrifice seeks to occlude that the Other itself lacks, desires, and is transitory.
Louise Olga Aranye Fradenburg, Sacrifice Your Love: Psychoanalysis, Historicism, Chaucer 56-57
For my father’s half-brother, whom he never met, Gene Luther Keahi (1949-1968), and for Fadi Raad (1993-2006), and too many others.