Friday, May 30, 2008

in the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer

in one of the oldest cities, deep in the piles of my research, my mind can only think of one thing. eve. there has not been a single day where i have not thought of you. every night i dream of your perfectly lined hair, your lighting eyes, god, your smile. this city has seen too much loss, too much destruction and here i am bringing one more loss.

i swear to you eve, none of this is easy. when nights dreaming of you turn into days, i don’t want the morning to come. i wake up alone, clutching a blanket, shaking from my thundering tears. i shudder and think what is there to move on to?

my research. eve, i am wrapping myself in it because every time i do, your joyful smile and quick jump of excitement when i told you about it dance in the shadows of my mind. your hair brushes over my books; it is your eyes that is searching for a glimpse into the minds of these syrian muslim women. your tears mix with mine when i cannot help but fall into the beauty of these mosques and the devotions but into every single inch.

i want your passion and your love but sometimes all i can find are my weary muscles and swollen eyes. these women i am meeting definitely have a passion and deep love for something in this world. i know i will find what lingers in their mind in their waking moments, the image that pushes their thoughts into conscious actions. i will find their eve.

there is too much in this world

struggle to salvage the soul the world shreds with its flailing clutches,
shriveled fingertips, worn from grasping the end of thoughts,
stories that erode my eternal faith.

i do not want to hear the end.
how can the end be good when there is so much pain?

turn aside and lose your mind in nothingness to forget.
forget their stories, forget your stories,
forget that there is too much in this world.

i grab my pen to record the evidence of my existence,
with it, i multiply word archives.
difference has been added.

now, open to your control of the journey,

i will connect myself to this earth,
rooting my limbs while muscles still inspire,
and breaths long enough to shape actions,

so when my part in this tale ends,
it will be such an end,
as to be worthy of remembrance.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

the time has come to talk of many things!


syria never fails to draw me into her lap. i am terrified of her embrace, yet somehow long for her familiar scent. perhaps i took her in when i longed for a mother who never came. perhaps i sought refuge in what should be my home country. but never really knowing a home or a mother, i didn't know how to love her or be loved by her. with every visit i only increased my yearning and naively allowed her to take advantage of me.

yet again, i am returning to syria for the summer but this time, it will be different. i am not going to visit my relatives on my father's side. those visits leave me aimless, eager to find anything that would keep me busy. my restlessness lead me to be easily sucked into their soap opera lives. a family that consisted of more than my brother and father was so alien to me. i wanted the closeness, the affection, anything that hinted of the families i saw others had. but somehow i always left tearfully lost in definitions that never ceased to plague me.

i am syrian. i am american. but there is a part of me that lies before, under, over and after nationality. what will i find if i look under all labels of time and space? i am not hoping for a total de-construction of my being. i want to embrace what has constructed my being. i want to live within my body unafraid of defining skin that encloses my self.

this summer i am on a mission to reclaim my land, my love and my life in this country. life has to be more than the dramatic outbursts of terror and joy that cascade through our lives. I have to find that stream that guides my spirit, to find the river before the rapids.

i approach syria without a suit of armor that deflects everything that is thrown on it. inside this armor my spirit cowers when it thinks of what lies beyond. instead, my soul will protect me. the thundering showers that used to sting when they rained upon me will now roll into raindrops upon reaching my skin. the rain will nourish my body, but i will not let myself be drowned.

and here begins my journey. in the words of a fictional but wise hobbit:
"It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to."