A few days after our return from what was thought of, until recently, as the future state of Palestine, and which is now the world’s largest prison (Gaza) and the world’s largest waiting room (Cis-Jordan), I had a dream. I was alone, standing, stripped to the waist, in a sandstone desert. Eventually somebody else’s hand scooped up some dusty soil from the ground and threw it at my chest. It was a considerate rather than an aggressive act. The soil or gravel changed, before it touched me, into torn pieces of cloth, probably cotton, which wrapped themselves around my torso. Then these tattered rags changed again and became words, phrases. Written not by me but by the place. Remembering this dream, the invented word landswept came to my mind. Repeatedly. Landswept describes a place or places where everything, both material and immaterial, has been brushed aside, purloined, swept away, blown down, irrigated off, everything except the touchable earth.
more from John Berger at Threepenny Review here.