Station of the Limbo

Introduction©Karim chaibi

Writings©Karim Chaibi

Paintings©Karim Chaibi

Drawings©Karim Chaibi

Artheism©Karim Chaibi

Events©Karim Chaibi

Dedication©Karim Chaibi



           It’s strange; I can’t remain myself when in a crowd.  My soul comes crawling out, shaking off dust, as if coming out of the dusk in search of light and company.  Unfortunately, in the process it loses vigor and its way back.  The path is fluid, the characters grow hazy and the one who reaches the end is always foreign to his footprints.

In last night’s crowd, I hovered over myself to ensure that no one slipped out of me while I mingled.  Though barely visible, I was working hard to prove too articulate for my presence be muted.  As is my habit, I thrust words into my mouth in order to bring forth my presence.  Sadly, the resulting articulation was too parochial to let me be, or too broad to be contained in words.

Still, I speak to exhale, and splash colors to create.  The word “be” that created Adam served as well as a brush that he later used to name the world around him.  He split in two, to be his own audience and grabbed the brush that painted him to sketch his new world.  God splashes colors to create the world and yet is colorless himself, according to the Sufi Ayn Al-qudat; we must still adopt his hue. Those hues last night were miles from my voice.  We Mediterranean people dip our brushes in the rainbow, and once we paint, the colors flow upward to re-color the skies.  The time of a brushstroke is enough to remake the past, the emotions and the horizon. 

That was what I lacked that night, as my soul slipped forth and lost its vigor.  I couldn’t lay my hand on the idleness of freedom. The horizon remained grim and I could see my soul then posing, contemplating silence, waiting to be re-chiseled.  The paint tubes were dry or empty; from the brush, an orphaned drop of paint failed to sail.  Yet God was peeking from a corner waiting to see who I could become. I usually narrate myself like a story, eager to hear the end.  Yet I would not know this story’s end even when I reach it. My soul would never sit still to let me convey it as a finished tale.  On this night, however, it occupied the horizon like an etching that had failed to emerge from stone.

I leapt off one bristle that strayed bruised and lonely.  Past the ultramarine of the sea I pulled my soul’s hand toward the emergence of day. I meant to sail to my new self, fearing nevertheless to stagnate in the meantime. Limbo is to fade out as resurgent dream. Even death in limbo seems ludicrous, as there would be nobody to mourn, for waiting is not dying. I transited again to a deeper part of me, colored transparent an edge of the horizon and strode beyond it.

Across the sky from my steps, two clouds were hemmed together like patches of a quilt, over a colorless lake. To my soul I whispered, could this journey from emptiness to colorlessness be a path to fullness? God journeys the other way, and we might meet midway, only to part again from each other.

Those nights have never ceased to haunt me. Dawn brightens up night’s hue, but the station of limbo becomes a stain. God is the death of the one who seeks his own soul, yet my soul replies that the path from emptiness to fullness is but a station. 

  © Karim Chaibi 2006





























Design by Karim Chaibi

1 1