October 15th, 2009

Too Tired to Sleep

My mind wrecks itself in weary lack of respite.  So sleep I long for your touch, your presence.  This is my heart's desire but my mind wrecks itself with it's lack of respite.  My eyes darken with reddend veins and fill them with teary sadness.  It's my desire to sleep but as my thoughts race I turn into a zombie, a robot.  The commands yell this and that must be done.  The burdens tire me, the burdens scream run, scream awake.  My weakness is apparent in my quavering hand, my aching bones.  But verbalizing this will no much stop my brain from chattering, chattering you need to sleep, chattering you need to be awake.  The mind's paradox tears me like the psychosis of sleeplessness.  I close my eyes to dream and the dreams keep me awake.  Perchance I should dream?  The sweetest hereafter that would be.

The action to inaction....

To sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd. To die, to sleep;
To sleep: perchance to dream

A harrowing tale of survival and reconciliation by a Rwandan Tutsi who flees his homeland before the 1994 genocide and later returns to be elected speaker of the Rwandan parliament, only to be forced into exile once again. This memoir tells the story of Joseph Sebarenzi, whose parents, seven siblings, and countless other family members were among 800,000 Tutsi brutally murdered over the course of ninety days in 1994 by extremist Rwandan Hutu — an efficiency that exceeded even that of the Nazi Holocaust.   Outbreaks of ethnic violence had been occurring in Rwanda since colonial times when the Belgians ruled the region. As a child, Sebarenzi twice hid with his mother during episodes of killing, narrowly escaping with his life. When he was a teenager, his father sent him away to school in Congo, telling him, “If we are killed, you will survive.”

Sebarenzi returned to Rwanda after the genocide and was elected speaker of parliament. But he then learned of a plot to assassinate him, leading him to once again flee the country in a daring escape.   The poetic title of the book is taken from an old saying, “God spends the day elsewhere, but He sleeps in Rwanda,” but this African nation is not alone in having had a shameful history of ethnic violence. God Sleeps in Rwanda demonstrates how horrific events can occur when the rest of the world stands by and does nothing. It also shows us how the lessons of Rwanda can prevent future tragedies from happening in that country and other parts of the world. Readers will be inspired by the eloquence and wisdom of a man who has every reason to be bitter and hateful, but chooses instead to live a life of love, compassion, and forgiveness.