When an Iranian Jew tells me that, in the nineties,
the man who censored films for the regime was blind—
that his assistant, a teenage boy, had to describe
to his master every frame that might make imperfect
their revolution—I think, of course. What better metaphor
could there be to explain such foolishness? How else
might God express what must be, what has to be,
his outrage? Only later do I think of the boy’s terror,
if terror he had, about what slipped by him—what he,
in his innocence, in his carelessness or shame, must sometimes
have failed to report. With what relief, what unburdened
joy, he must have sunk to his prayers at the call
of the muezzin. How he must have opened his eyes
to a newer, sweeter sightedness, swore to witness
all that came before him, and meant it.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.