In the space of a handful of short days, all the talking and arguing, all the running around and appealing above our heads, will be over. There will be no more counting and tabulating, no more positioning and delaying, no more outside counsels and foreign wisdom to provide blueprints to guide us forward out of our elections paralysis. We would be left with ourselves, to face each other, to decide how we are going to coexist with one another. How we are going to live with one another. Just us Guyanese, now all alone after a brutal time, one that has battered us with countless devastating storms.
The pieces have to be picked up. The shards of our individual selves (our hopes and dreams), the shreds of our political visions (alternately triumphant or defeated), and the crumbs of our personal and national resolve (whatever is left of it) all have to be collected to put us back together. Taken together or separately, there can and will be pain of unequalled agony. And from that, there is either acceptance of the fate that comes, the peace that could accompany it. Or the opposite. It does not look promising, for we have been hostile and at war with each other for too long. But now, this is no longer of words and postures, or about transparency and credibility, since all of that is gone, as in behind us, in some disputed, unsettled form. What is before us, with all wells dry, and all roads ended, is reality.
The Guyanese reality is grim. To lift the shroud that blankets this nation in darkness requires the best of us in peace and acceptance of what waits, what comes soon in a few days. We are hurting and from that there could be blind lashing. At anyone and anything within reach, since peace and acceptance are the last things on our tortured minds, our traumatized existences. However favorably viewed, we, as a nation of diverse peoples, have grueling challenges lurking, because somebody is going to lose. Whoever loses will automatically conclude that the most blatant thievery has occurred right under the nose, the greatest wrongs have been done and they destroy. Since they destroy, there is nothing to lose, nothing left to live for in hope and joy and responsible citizenship.
In this harshly divided and most seething of political and social environments, acceptance and peace, and peace and moving on do not sit well. There are so such thoughts, less of such interests, the worst of impulses that flow unchecked, and for good reason.
Hearts already harbour too much heavy distrust and poisonous bitterness, and from those flow the hates that electrify us so effortlessly in this society. The CCJ will speak its wisdoms, but each half of this country will only be listening for what pleases it. And when those wisdoms are found displeasing, then there will no longer be any listening, any acceptance, any peace. No matter at which judicial place the wise CCJ jurists arrive, all journeys lead right back to the chairwoman of GECOM, Ms. Claudette Singh. And, for all intents and purposes, it is right back to the impasse of square one. That is, somebody is going to lose, and that is not liked.
One political side, one racial set of people, within this one country, will have absolutely no use for anything, any word, any position, and any conclusion that dares to tell the tidings: they have not won. They have lost. From this, there can be no peace, no acceptance. We struggle to think, and to understand, how it could be different.
Some pretense at peace may follow, but it will not be genuine, merely the phoniest peace practiced in smoldering resentment. Such resentments can incinerate. It may be the self-control required, the safety of streets, the tranquility of communities, the promise of the future. Or it can take a different form, through the continuing wearing down that comes from structured resistance, holding hostage the economy, bringing most, especially the many poor, lower on the knees. Less planting, less importing and exporting, less paying of taxes are within the potent arsenal of bloodless destruction.
Either way, and regardless of the degree of intensity brought to bear, the damage done for this and the next generations are already done and assured. This is what stares in the face, in the face of winning and no conceding by one side, and of victory and democracy, on the other. This is Guyana currently, and it is one in which peace and acceptance seem the most unlikely of circumstances. We wish it were otherwise, but it is where we are.
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