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."

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