and then the world was ours
after months of waiting
for the darkness to subside
we opened the cellar door
just a crack
to face our fears of the light
they told us would blind
and bind our hands to our eyes
and steal away the wisdom
learned in the darkness and solitude
but we opened our eyes
my hands on yours and yours on mine
and we realized
the depths of our ignorance
the great loss of our love
that pulled and bound and found
its way into the crevasses
dug out by the lies
by the calloused hands of our oppressors
as i lifted my hands into the wild and gleaming
someone took my hands
as you shrank away again,
into a corner
he is jealous for me, greater than
your worldly jealousy
i dreamed and dreamed, it was just a dream
the dream of the day we rose together
and then the world was ours
The most genuine kindness I’ve encountered in Lebanon has been from old men with coffee cups. You know, the tiny brown plastic ones, doubled up, filled to the brim with coffee deemed “Arabic” “Turkish” or “Lebanese,” whatever your preference. My tears start to fall at the most inopportune times, usually for no reason. Maybe because of a conversation, memory, or hope that has long past or is too far in the future to comfort. I feel ridiculous since my life is fine, but I’m flanked by beggers on one side, wuzzies and fashionistas on the other, and their daily stares of judgement just exacerbate the situation.
I like the old men with plastic coffee cups, because they don’t ask questions, throw stares of judgement or the ”tss tss” tourettes-like tik that the jaagels think is a good way to flirt. The old men summon a red plastic chair from somewhere, because I was inevitably sitting on the stairs of a bankrupt back alley store. They said “sugar, no sugar” and I say “wasat (middle)”, the tiny plastic cup appears along with a bunch of Kleenex.
Besides being expert coffee makers, people like Abu Ali also act on Lebanese comedy-dramas
THE FLAG (from the captains verses, pablo neruda)
Stand up with me.
No one would like
more than I to stay
on the pillow where your eyelids
try to shut out the world for me.
There too I would like
to let my blood sleep
surrounding your sweetness.
But stand up,
you, stand up,
but stand up with me
and let us go off together
to fight face to face
against the devil's webs,
against the system that distributes hunger,
against organized misery.
and you, my star, next to me,
newborn from my own clay,
you will have found tile hidden spring
and in the midst of the fire you will be
next to me,
with your wild eyes,
raising my flag.
A friend of mine posted this Khalil Gibran poem in response to another friends Facebook post. I find it simply moving. Not only applicable to romantic relationships, but to any relationship to a person, place, or thing that becomes more than a relationship, but an obsession. Living in the Middle East I’m often confronted with the male / female distance that isn’t so present where I grew up, but the longer I’m here, the more I find beautiful things about the gender distinction (sometimes :/) but the fact that we have two such different yet complementary sides to our species…I think its inspiring anyway.
You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.
Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each others cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.”
We’re made to live together in love, but also as distinct beautiful beings. The more we can accept ourselves without any attachment to something or someone else, the more we can come into who we’re truly meant to be.
finally finishing one story, starting another.
and its way too hot in beirut already. so what do we do? swim, of course.