Coda: After the defeat
Over more than a quarter century, all those politicians, armchair analysts, academics, party hacks, activists, and celebrities who spoke only when the truth was self-evident and did not need the courage of one’s convictions are now standing in line to say their word–in language at once melodramatic and preachy. Their words often sound hollow, disingenuous, and opportunistic.
After such defeat, perhaps it is better to stand back in self-imposed restraint for a while, turn inward in reflection, ask the honest questions: How did we get here? What are the imperatives of the moment? What kind of future can we imagine for Armenia and also for the diaspora, together and separate from each other? “They became what they beheld,” wrote William Blake. The present moment also demands an act of the imagination.
A new vocabulary is necessary for this moment, and a new way of telling this narrative, one which is modern, critical, and realistic; one which does not fall back on the hackneyed verbiage of Hay Thad and genocide recognition; one which imposes the grid of the present and future over the burden of the past (and not the other way around as we have done for so long, so long).
But first, some quiet, introspection, and tenderness, so that we can mourn the ones who died so valiantly on the battlefield, those who left home and hearth, for their bravery and dignity. A wise friend once wrote: “To be remembered is to die; to be thought of is to be born.”
After the mourning, the long sunlight of thought.