Tuesday, 30 December 2008

When the Heart makes sense and the Mind does not...

I lay my head on my pillow and breathe.

I hear my insides rising and falling, and my heart beat gets louder, and louder, and I start to distinguish the words... "Believe in me. Believe in me. Believe in me." Over and over and over, a perfect way to lull someone to sleep. Except the gears in my mind are clanking and turning and twisting and it's loud and distracting and tiring.

5+2x=15 makes x=5

and the lull of my heart is drowned and my head hurts and it all equals fear and disappointment and sadness and insomnia.

I have faith in you Heart. I do. Give me some strength to ward off the demons of my consciousness. Give me a sign, a faint promise.

Then again, that's my mind talking. The need of proof. Force of habit I suppose, or a defense mechanism against hurt that it has calculated to come about faith in my heart. Am I that damaged? Have I been metaphorically beaten within an inch of my ability to give myself this gift? To have faith in faith?

I would like to be free. And sometimes I am, I am free of my mind, happy with my heart, not in a world of expectations or results. They come later, and the wait could drive me insane. No, I find myself happy in the existence of my heart and its words in the present.

I try to strike the balance, it's not an easy one, and it is tiresome.

I should stop asking for anything. Only then will I get something.

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Genocide 101

I found my cross.
Remember my Jerusalem cross? I found it a couple of weeks ago. It was chewed up, the wood gone, the metal crumpled (yes, it was my dog being patriotic).
Now I look at it, and feel it has become so as a foreboding sign of what was to come. The cross Jesus was on (refer to 'Jerusalem on the Shore' post) crumpled in the face of the violence that has been unleashed on Gaza.

A whole people quarantined by the Israeli government like animals, but that's to say the least considering that animals get better treatment than they have gotten these past months. Shut off of food, power, any decent form of health care (sorry did I just list the basic human rights?) left to starve and weaken and get sick and get more and more angry, just to end it with carpet bombing of the whole area, killing and killing and killing, just this time faster and more efficiently than before.

It is the kind of thing that begs no words. I've seen this happen over and over, the Grapes of Wrath, the second Intifada, Qana, the 2006 War, the Gaza Massacre earlier this year, and now this. Same images over and over, one becomes desensitized at the sight, but it doesn't make the feeling inside any different, or easier.

In fact it wells up, and adds up. And it becomes harder and harder to believe in faith, and justice, and good. Definitely harder to believe in good.

It happens over and over.
There's a saying in Arabic, "التكرار يعلم الحمار" - "Repetition teaches the donkey"
Well whose the donkey here? And what is he being taught in fact? Are the Palestinians donkeys? The Lebanese? The Arabs? And on what basis?

And what are they being taught? To be civilised? Or that the only justice in this world is the justice of power? That some people are more important than others? Four legs good, two legs better?

No. This is genocide 101.
They're being taught genocide.

Except they're on the wrong side of the stick. And apparently, to pass this course, you must be 6 feet under (if you're lucky enough to be buried, and not scattered or deformed beyond recognition).

I'm ranting. And I don't want to anymore. Words are useless here. This is a question that no longer begs an answer. It begs action. And will. And justice.

My brothers, my sisters in Gaza.
I haven't prayed in a long time. I'm not sure I know how to pray.

But tonight, I'm praying for you. A wordless prayer.

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Neither/Nor & Both. But rejected.

my first attempt at making a comic for a collaborative comic/zine in Beirut called Samandal Unfortunately it was rejected. I'll try not to give up...

Back story: This comic refers to my leaving London after living and working there last year (despite my great attachment to it) to come back to Beirut. It is completely made out of scratcher board, please click on the images to see enlarged.

Sunday, 30 November 2008

A Perfect Day

Today was a perfect day on all accounts.
I couldn't have asked for a better one.

It started with visiting the Sabra and Chatila refugee camp after stepping out of it 7 years earlier and not turning back.
I had been in contact with a youth recreational centre at a young age due to my mother having a friend who teaches English there, and as part of my social service requirement for my IB education at school, I taught art to 9-12 year old Palestinian refugees.
I was 17 at the time, and to work with children who have lost one or both parents, living in what can be described as the slums of the city, where the roads are part dirt, and Swiss cheesed full of holes, where everything is squished into a space meant for half of everything there, was difficult to say the least. I got emotionally drained after a couple of months.
But now I was more capable, and more emotionally mature. And the day started beautifully.
I picked up my friend Will and we brainstormed on ideas for a quick activity for 5-7 year old kids, since my original idea for a flip book workshop with the older kids fell through. Will came up with an excellent idea involving shapes cut into puzzles that each child would draw on, and when put together would make a whole new drawing. We picked up the supplies rushed to the camp manoeuvring cars, driving over elevated manholes and puddles of muck.
The children were great. Shy at first, and although having only half an hour to put all of it together, it worked. We got them to loosen up, they sang us welcome songs as I drew out shapes and Will cut them out (into what we later found out, were not very simple puzzles!)
The result? Very happy kids and a bunch of beautiful drawings (one that i distinctly loved, of a boy with rays coming out of his head. When I asked the boy who it was, he said the Sun. "The Sun is a boy?" I asked, to which he nodded. "What about the moon then?" I added. To which a girl behind him excitedly jumped up and said "The moon's a girl!")
As the children filed up to change out of their school aprons, we started to bid farewells and the moon girl, Nadine (a smiley bright child with eyes that sparkled and a messy pony tail) came up to me with her arms open. I knelt as she said "I want to hug you!".

(Perfect moment number 1)

I felt a bit deflated after that visit. Dealing with children can take it out of you, no matter how much you enjoy it. Especially when these children live in a hell hole. So as I drove silently, it dawned on me that the only thing I really wanted to do was go sit on the seashore, sewage pipe rubbish and all (refer to Jerusalem on the Shore post)
No questions asked, I turned the car around and went to Ramlet il Bayda.
We sat there for maybe half an hour. The sea turning golden under the bright sun (The sun is a boy called "Sun" in case you didn't know...It's true, the boy who drew him told me himself) watching the waves multiply and roll onto the beach. I took out a piece of paper I'd been given as a gift. It was simple really. Perhaps one of the most meaningful gifts I'd been given in a while.
"Patience". I read it. Sometimes I read sentences over and over, like they held answers that I was yet to find. With the gift of Patience.

(Perfect moment 2)

Ever so often I would glimpse something moving on the wet sand, maybe it was a tiny crab, but it didn't matter. I was sat on a piece of driftwood, talking to a good friend, and losing myself in the sea, watching the horizon and enjoying my face being kissed by a boy called Sun.

(Perfect moment number 3)

Cutting shapes out and driving through refugee camps can work up and appetite, so we went to Japanese Please on Bliss St., a sushi place I eat Fushi at (Fake sushi, being a person who can't even fathom the idea of eating fish... brr). A long conversation there led to a place I never expected to go. My father's office.
I hadn't been to my dad's office since he passed away a year and a half ago. The reasons are many and few. But I got pushed off the cliff, and I took the dare. Why not. Why not go? And that, ladies and gentlemen, was a step that should have, and did happen. As I fumbled with the keys, and managed to get in, my knees shook a little. I gulped and cleared my throat and walked into my dad's actual office. Newspaper clippings praising him were on the door, and they startled me. They weren't there when I used to visit him before. I sat on his desk, and felt odd. I was on a tightrope of emotions, teetering and focused at the same time. My arms left shapes in the dust as I put them on the table, looking at the photo of our trip to Greece.
I started looking through drawers and on shelves. It was a treasure chest of memories and things that I didn't see before that were always there.
And then I tripped onto a box full of old format photos. There must have been around 100 of them.
They were photos of the war. The big Lebanese one. I had heard of some of these photos before, overhearing conversations between my parents and their friends many nights, and in an odd way they became familiar. Photos of my mother before she was my mother, or my dad's wife, photos of my uncle when he still had hair and was a skinny twig. Photos of my house when it was simpler and less cluttered, furnished with throw rugs and pillows and straw mats on the floor. Photos of the road in front of my house when it was deserted, with a few holes from shell fire. Photos of our balcony glass doors cracked and broken. Bullet holes, teenagers with guns, children on swings rigged at the back of pickup trucks.
The war, my parents as people, my house as a hang out. Beautiful photos.
Tears were inevitable. But it was ok. And the thought came to me. I was going to put these photos into a book. They were the war through the eyes of my father the poet. And they would not go on being pieces of memories in a box in a dusty office.
As I walked out of the office, I felt awake, and re-energized. I was alive.

(Perfect moment number 4)

As I drove home, I found myself breaking into a smile. It soon escalated into full out laughter. The odd thing was that I was crying at the same time. Perfect...

The smile was in no way weaker a few hours later at the Cabin as I sipped wine in the company of friends and my brother (yes, non biological), I couldn't stop smiling (in fact, I scared myself)
Friends, wine, a cigarette, and a bartender you can count on. A perfect end, to a perfect day.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Love's Labour Lost

8:30 am. January 23rd. Hoylake Rd.
I'm walking to the bus stop in a morning haze on my way to work, tunes pumping into my ears, cigarette smoke mingling with morning mist, eyes groggy and unappreciative of the harsh white daylight.
I step off the little grass roundabout onto the coarse gravel and come across a crushed bouquet of reddish pink carnations.

As I look down at their flattened heads by my feet, my mind wanders slightly to what could have happened here the night before.
Maybe it was the 15 year old boy I see riding round on a bike, proclaiming his love to the girl down the street and being rejected. Maybe it was an apology bouquet from an unfaithful husband to his heartbroken wife. Maybe they were thrown out of a car window as it drove by carrying a couple in a heated argument after what seemed to have been a perfect romantic dinner.
Whoever they were from, whoever they were intended for, they now lay in the middle of the road, crushed by more than one car by the look of it.

I took out my camera, and snapped it. The days would go by, they would rot, or get blown away by the wind, or get picked up by the rubbish collectors. But for now, I was the only witness this early in the morning to someone's lost labour of love.

And that was a moment worth holding on to. No gesture of love should go unappreciated, even if it is by a perfect stranger at 8:30 a.m. on a chilly Wednesday morning in the middle of Hoylake Rd.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Jerusalem on the Shore

My friend visited Beirut for the first time in 11 years a couple of weeks ago, and where else should one take a close friend to in Beirut but the sea?

I parked at the corniche near Ramlet il Bayda and we walked down the newly done up pavement with the oddly proportioned lamps as the sun beat down on us on that clear November day.
Scaling down the broken steps to the beach, I warned my friend of the broken glass, the rubbish, and pointed to the sewage outlet that moulded the sand around it into a big empty murky spill, trying to bend it into as much of a joke as I could.

We walked down towards the shore where the sea lapped and licked smooth the sand, shifting shells and orphaned shoes and pieces of card as far away from it as it could, and I proceeded to squeak with glee at all the small shells that had collected, and to my friend's slight annoyance, cut of the conversation and began aah-ing and ooh-ing and "look at the colour!"-ing as I picked and poked and sifted through marine treasure.

After picking up around twenty shells, dodging a dead crab, and pausing momentarily to joke about a condom we found still in its packet, my eye tripped upon a cross lying lob sided in the wet sand. It was a plain dark wood cross, very simple with no overly ornamented detailing, just a plain wooden cross, now pregnant with sea water so that the texture of its veins were easily distinguishable against my fingertips. It had a crudely finished piece of metal across its horizontal beam, pressed into the wood with typewriter font letters indented into it, spelling Jerusalem.
My heart stopped for a second and I couldn't hear anything or anyone, and my friend's conversation rolled out of my ears and down to the edge of the sea.
This is the cross Jesus was on.
This was the cross Jesus was on. All the way from Jerusalem. to Beirut. to my hands. A simple, modest cross of wood and thin metal. I stowed it in my bag and held onto it like I had stowed the spirit of the holy ghost.

I showed my mother the second I came home, spinning stories of hope and redemption, of the cross of Palestine crossing the great Mediterranean, braving hungry fish, swooping gulls, and jet ski blades to reach us. To send a message that the cross has not fallen. Jerusalem has not fallen. My mother tried to bring me down to earth from my romanticised clouds, but for some reason, this felt like a sign. Perhaps it was some one's cross, a girl like me who threw it into the sea out of anger, or desperation or both, crying tears of anguish and frustration at the reality of her world. Perhaps she cast it out because she wanted to save it, perhaps to rid herself of the constant reminder. Perhaps hoping someone would find her message in a bottle and feel her, come rescue her.

I lost the cross the same day. I don't know if I placed it somewhere to keep it safe and forgot where, or whether my dog decided to ingest it out of patriotic urges. All I know is that I found the cross of Jerusalem, and just like that


it was gone, and with it some part of me felt it had betrayed trust, maybe a dream, maybe just a meandering thought.

Depsite trying to convince myself that it was merely stopping en route to a much worthier journey, that its mission was not yet done, my heart still aches at the thought of losing it ever since...

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Don't Cry Sister...

It rained cats and dogs and every other animal rainable this morning.
I woke up at 7 am to the sound of thundering and roaring answered with echoes of sudden light that teased my sleep trodden eyes. The rain hammered against the balcony tiles and the roof of the building right above my head so methodically that I got lost in its thread of meteorolgical harmony.
The last time it rained like that I was still in London. It was February or March of this year. Still quite cold in London, and I was at home alone. My housemates were each out going about their lives, while I hovered from room to room going about mine. My laptop was playing music through the speakers we had gotten as a hush-gift from a friend who had had a little (and by a little I of course mean ridiculous amounts) too much to drink and had managed to act inappropriatly at our houseparty (this included running off with an unopened bottle of vodka that nearly 10 other people could have benefited from the contents of.) As I attempted to clear my room, I tripped over one of the boxes I had shipped from beirut. It was sitting in my room, still un-emptied, and now just waiting to be shipped back in a few months.

Out fell a deck of cards wrapped in a hairband.

And suddenly I heard it. A girl cry.
It started with low breaths and sniffing and escalated quickly to terrible gasps and cries and wails.
As I heard her, my skin crawled with the emotion that filtered throughout my room. Her pain was of depths unfathomable and unexplainable. I saw her grasp at her throat unable to control this flood that broke through a dam so well preserved before, scared at this foreign phenomenon that gripped her.
It went on for what seemed ages. She wailed and cried and sobbed and lamented and everytime I thought to myself "She must be getting tired. She has to be getting tired...", she went on for longer and longer...

Hearing her began to exhaust me. I felt like a caged animal, moving from side to side, scared, alone, hearing this sister in arms pour out ungovernable sentiments, her body shaking and vibrating with her shuddering breaths in the hollow of my ribs, her tears splashing slightly on to my arms that held hands caressing fingers.

And then, thirty minutes of non stop sorrowful crescendos and diminuendos later, she stopped. Suddenly. Just as suddenly as she had begun.

I slept exhausted of fatigue, on a damp warm pillow, sinking into a battered mattress.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

The Part You Throw Away

I'm sifting through it all. Pour it into the fine net, shake it shake it and watch the powder rain start forming beautifully smooth powder hills on my life below.
And the rocks and pebbles and complications and unnecessary strifes and noise stay behind, being teased against the wire, like sins on fire. The instability of it all. Turbulance galore. And so they should stay behind. I have never done this before.

This is the part I throw away.

I have no times anymore for bits and pieces that are not smooth. I've had rocks and boulders to chew through and swallow and this is where I tell myself enough. Sift on through. Sift on through to the other side.
I dance and roll on powder hills that smell sweet and fold me into blissful silk cocoons. I should sift more often
I look at the rocks stuck in the wires above and smile.

This is the part I throw away. Good riddance.

And half an hour later there's a lemon cake with rainbow chip icing to go along with my contentment.
I sit on my sofa, legs entertwined and up on the table, music in the background, and rocks and bits scattered in the kitchen bin.

4 am Speechless Rambling

Sunday, 6 July 2008

happy birthday...

...to you

i love you.

Sunday, 29 June 2008

on couche toujours avec les morts...

On my way to work, after I alight at the corner of ladbroke grove and begin walking towards Golborne Road, there are many things that greet me day to day. The pigeons on the side of Best Buy that crowd around discarded bread and rice and doughnuts, the TimeOut ad on the side of the black box that houses all the wires of the area, the Dub Shack with its yellow sign and lion head in the middle, roaring the availability of hip hop, soul, and RnB vinyls, and the funeral sevice "shop". I say shop because it has a window front like any other shop, framed in black painted walls, crowned with wilting funeral wreaths that are changed rarely, and holding a shiny coffin staff that brings it all together as an intert morbid surrealist painting amid the hustle bustle of the living that walk up and down and go in and out of its neighbouring "Best Buy" with their sandwiches or bottle of juice or fresh krispy kreme. I give it my glance as I pass, noting its classical serif-ed sign, and neutral marketing of death, and stagnant existence. My heart sinks ever so slightly nearly every time, more like a blink underwater than a sinking. Never changing, always paused in a purgatory of inanimation.

Except that day.

I pass the pigeons, note this week's theme of TimeOut, contemplate a croisant from the lamp warmed cupboard posing as Best Buy's "bakery" and then before I have a chance to look ahead of me and walk my course, I pass 3 men standing in a row, in matching light pink shirts, and black trousers in front of the window queen of death.
They all are looking at a black car parked right across the funeral shop, and suddenly things happen really fast and I realise its a hearse and my eyes stroke its abdomen and I see it's blooming with fresh lillies and small pink roses hidden in green blankets of leaves and if thats not enough to make me quiver, 2 men are pushing a white coffin to fill the void and the coffin is glowing in the diffused light and it is a small one. A small coffin. Tiny in fact. And then I feel it hit me. My insides twirling and turning and pulsing and twisting and a gag a little and it goes very slow. very slow.
my eyes are no longer in my head but in the head of a bird on a low branch of the tree above me and I see myself in slow motion, my head still turned at this scene and switching to the 3 men in pink (its a girl) and my body follow my head and twists round and I see myself pause slightly before falling to my knees with tears streaming down my cheeks as my head is playing home videos of a baby girl coming home from the hospital in her mothers arms, her first birthday, her blue dress and her red shows as she runs in the grass of the garden smiling and shining, her favourite teddy bear that she could not sleep without, her thumb in her mouth... I see it all. And I see the coffin as it darkens, shielded from the sun by the gaping mouth of wheeled black. and its all in slow motion as the bird from the tree swoops down and passes me turning its head to keep my face in view and its all turning and my stomach is turning, and then SLAM. i hear the jaws of the car shut and I realise my eyes are in my head and I'm not on my knees, or in slow motion, in fact I'm just a few metres further on my route, and the sceen is all in my head. But the tears are there, and my wringing insides are there and I take cover into the side street and stand as hidden as I can by nearby bushes and gag and spit bile and poison and horrid horrid feelings and images.
The terrible glass visage of the queen of death has proven her point. She reigns my path with an iron fist. I will not make the mistake of looking her in the eye again. I do not want that burden. I cannot carry that burden more than I have.

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

Hair of the Dog

Weirdest thing happened today while on the bus from work. I was standing up leaning against the luggage area near the front after giving my seat to an old woman.. (yes, I'm a good citizen, thats not the point though) balancing my Nick Cave book in one hand, holding onto the rail with another, and adjusting my ipod volume with a loose thumb, when all of a sudden, I see it.

The hair of the dog. My dog.

One lone hair, on my shirt. I can tell it was a dog hair, my dog's hair. Theres not question about it. The near bleached white colour, tapering at the tip to become a golden sandy tint that is almost translucent.
My dog has been gone for two years now. Thats a long time.
I'd worn this shirt before, never a hair in sight.
Maybe it was my jeans jacket. Must be. I hadnt worn it in forever, and i used to wear it quite a lot.
I smiled to myself as I wrapped my arm around the rail keeping me from breaking my teeth on the bus floor due to the driver's insistence on being the next Collin McRae, and picked the hair up, and studied it closely. The thin filament echoed the setting sunlight and broke it within it miniscule frame, resulting in the finest gold. Well I never...

I smiled to myself as I recollected a conversation I had with my friend just the night before, about how I was planning on getting a dog in summer when I moved back to Beirut. "Which breed?" she asked.
I said "the homeless kind. I'm going to adopt."

An interesting conversation ensued in which many parallels were drawn about my choices regarding my furry companians and my own outlook on myself.

I'll explain. I'm sure I've lost you, or sound like someone who is lost.

The day I was called by the vet to tell me that new Labrador puppies had just arrived if I wanted to take my pick, I rushed to the clinic as though my life depended on it.
2 puppies were presented in front of me, one bursting with energy and running around the elevated table, licking the fingers of all who gave him attention, and they were many, while the other lay in the middle of the table, paler, and still groggy from being sedated on the flight to Beirut. But aware. Very aware.
I looked at him and brought my face closer, inspecting his wide eyes that looked up at me, creasing the furrow of his brow slightly in a curious pose, and then relaxing slightly. Bringing my hand closer to stroke the bridge of his small muzzle, he lifted his head and licked me with a velvety tongue, rosy with youth. That was it. Runt he may be when compared with his vivacious brother but my Runt he shall be.

Still confused?
I chose the runt. Because he would have been the least obvious choice. Any person would have preferred to take the bouncy ball of love and fun that circled the edge of the table, spreading excitement with his little tail wagging away, and of course saliva. But what of his thinner paler comrade?
I did not want him to be the one that "had to be chosen". I stuck by my choice. Picked him up and cradled him in my folded arms, and a little nuzzle towards my armpit with his nose told me we were going to be just fine, told me he knew I'd pick him and as he burrowed into the warm darkness of my sweater, I too knew I would have picked him out of 100 puppies, let alone a couple.
No one wants the runt. The less obvious. The less appealing. But I do, for that very reason.

He gave me a similar look 5 years later, as he lay on the table at the vet's, suffering slowly from a cancer that he had managed to keep a secret from us all for a while. Except this time his look was not curious. But loving, tarnished with some fear. This time, it was I who nuzzled into his neck. And this time I did not get to take him home.

So now I am making the same choice, although choice could be the wrong word, since I don't believe it's that at all. It's just pre-chosen.
I had rattled my brain about which breed of dog to get ever since I took the decision to go down that road of companionship again. I thought of them all, taking into account my previous experience when it came to size and energy and shedding patterns (please refer to the trigger of all this entry.. the hair of the dog)
And then it just dawned on me. Why bother? Why the beauty contest? Why the need of a "new" dog. All dogs need love. There is no doubt about that... But isn't a dog that had been given love and then have it taken away more worthy? A dog at the shelter is not waiting to be bought, has not been taken care of or treated to fit any specific routine or measure.
They just ask to be loved. Half hound half retriever, half spaniel quarter alsation quarter husky... Concoctions, mutations, rehabilitations. They have no pedigree to fall back on, no lineage to claim.
Broken dogs. Not needing glue, or bandages. Just needing affection.
So I will adopt. No. Not adopt. That could infer a nonreciprocating relationship.
I will not adopt. I will welcome. I will love.

You see, I am a broken dog. A rain dog. A shelter dog. A runt of the litter.

But so are you. Only difference is I'm just not ashamed to say it.

Sunday, 8 June 2008

Seven Poems (including a Sonnet) about Stars

I wrote these a while ago.. should have put them up before I suppose. Sometimes I get the illusion I'm a poet..Oh well..

Fireflies swirl in the hollows of her eyes,
And galaxies form above us in the skies.


Night Dreamer
Counting the stars,
As they greet her one by one,
She traces lines across the sky,
Her finger an imaginary brush
Painting a celestial masterpiece.

Catching fireflies
She names them one by one
One after hope, one after promise,
And one after love’s labour lost
Closes the jar, and watches them glow

Cursing the moon,
As it lights the rooftops one by one
She leans on the windowsill,
Arms crossed cradling her chin
Wishing she could be far far away.


Man on the Moon
Do you believe they put a man on the moon?
And if he’s up there all alone, what does he think of?
What does he do?

Does he dance on constellations,
Dropping sandman’s dust onto closing eyes?
Giving us the gift of dream,
Gracing our dozing faces with smiles,
And our minds with a door to his abode
Where we can join him, jump from star to star
And watch comets explode.
Where we can sing to the universe,
our laughter echoing in the galaxies.

Do you believe they put a man on the moon?
And if he’s up there all alone, does he dream of us?
Or of visiting soon?


A Sonnet of Moonshine and Fireflies
Her outline soaks in a soft silver
Cast by the moon’s fullest of faces.
As she searches for the big dipper,
Up towards the night sky she gazes.

Her thoughts are stolen by the stars,
And her breath by a passing breeze’s sigh
Could this fire she feels inside be a farce?
Does it only warm the heart within her, and why?

She wipes away the trails of moonshine
That crawl slowly down her visage
Looking up, she prays for a sign,
Or for a way to erase his image.

But all she can see is more stars and fireflies
And no where to hide from the full moon of lies


Bird Bird
Bird Bird,
High in the sky,
The clouds your companion,
The sun a rider on you back.
Come tell me a tall tale
Of places east and west.
Come weave me a tapestry
Of feathers, of wind,
Without a word to be read.

Bird Bird
High in the sky
Don’t settle and sink
Keep on flying,
Stay high.


Poor Lucy
Lucy’s in the sky with diamonds,
She tells me
How she cries sometimes,
Because all she has
Are diamonds.
Diamonds aren’t
A girl’s best friend when
All she has
Are diamonds.


Night Rider
She rides through the night sky
On a steed of dew soaked light
Her hair whistles through the air
Whipping and snapping and whisking
Clouds into shape

She rides through the night sky
On a steed of electrifying might
Her laugh booms throughout the heavens
Echoing and resonating and shaking
Into storms and rain

She rides through the night sky
On a steed of fire so bright
Her gaze splitting into slivers
Falling and trailing and glowing
Into shooting stars

And I sit here eyeing the sky,
On a quilt of feathers soft and white
My breath held in my chest
Watching and fearing and gaping
At the moody mistress of the dark

She rides through the night sky
On a steed of waning shade
Her strength thinning out in sheets
Dispersing and withering and dying
Into a bright new dawn

Tuesday, 3 June 2008

these pages fell out of an old digital journal

an older version of me. an older version of you.

Journal Entry: Tue Jun 13, 2006, 4:04 PM
the stars of cigarette cherries hover in the darkness of her eyes,breathing fire silently in a glow of relapsing hope. and the dragonflies envy the fireflies, while the eyes that housed them bled adversaries in slow quiet trails


Journal Entry: Tue Nov 8, 2005, 3:38 PM
And yes, you look familiar,
I think I've seen you in a wishful thought,
a place I found
while counting stars
and reading skies..
with my hand on my heart

-written after 32 hours of no sleep.. on a torn paper, in my car.


Journal Entry: Thu Oct 27, 2005, 12:48 PM
Silence sits beside me in the car whenever its just me. We both listen to the loud blaring music from the radio.

He sits there, looks at me sometimes..reaches his hand through my ribcage, and strokes my heart.

Silence is my friend.


Journal Entry: Thu Sep 29, 2005, 8:50 AM
Beirut. Lebanon
14 explosions since november 2004.
over 25 dead. 100 wounded.

I sit there straightening my hair, and wish it was as easy to straighten out a society.. a government.. a world.


I wonder if we change.

Saturday, 17 May 2008

"If Lebanon were not my country, I would have chosen Lebanon for Homeland..."

- Gibran Khalil Gebran

I have not written in a while, and with the events that happened in Beirut and Lebanon the past week, I was unable to write more so for fear that tears and blood would stain my keyboard, and that I would not know when to stop, and I would not know how to make sense.

Friends have told me that I convey a feeling in my writing that is genuine, addictive, touching... for once, I do not think that there are enough words in language, or enough order in my mind to explain and express what I feel about the events that have scarred May 7 to May 14.

So I will not write. At least for now. Not about Lebanon. My homeland by blood, by choice, by conviction.

Soon. I promise. Soon.

Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Happiness is a tiny Spiderman

I've seen true joy and happiness. The embodiment of joy and happiness and innocence is a little boy. In a spiderman suit.

This is the third time I see him on the 70 bus, and everytime I see him, I'm overwhelmed with smiles and warm feelings.
He can't be older than 4 or 5. A little asian child, with eyes that are laced with jems that reflect glee. He rides the 70th steed with his mother, who is patient with him and as willing to humour him and play his little superhero games. The first time I saw him, he was sitting on the seat in front of me. I lie when I say sitting. He was anything but. He was standing, balancing and jumping, while his mother held out her arm protectively all the bus ride, keeping him from the clutches of the bus floor, or the rails or the bruising brakes that always happen on these godforsaken buses.
He was facing me, and throwing smiles and little bursts of laughter and noises one would expect to come out of a kitten. And suddenly, he flicks his wrist at me, and makes a PSHHHH sound. I'm caught. I'm in his net.
Of course! how could I not see?! this was Spiderman. My favourite version of spiderman! I suppose it was the lack of the Spidey Suit that threw me off. Thinking of it now makes me smile and even laugh.
After casting a web at me, he proceeds to attempt to climb onto the bus window, scaling the glass like a real pro, with his mother holding on to the back of his shirt to keep him from toppling (what does she know? spiderman doesn't simply slip!)
I giggle and smile at him, and PSHHH. Another web to keep me quiet. He means business. This time, I dodge. Not foreseeing this defense, he pauses for a second, shocked, then grips the game by the tale, and ducks behind the back of his seat. And suddenly its a war of wits. Batman and Spiderman are battling it out on the first two rows of seats on the number 70 bus to Horn Lane. Marvel, eat your heart out.
This skirmish lasts for the next few stops, with a lot of dodging and ducking and diving, and of course, some hits for Spidey followed by screeches of victory.
For those next few stops, I was in a comic book, with speech bubbles and loud sound effects drawn out in capital block letters in bright colours and warped in action. No one mattered. This was a battle that I was more than happy to lose to such a valiant opponent.
Alas, comics end. The mother lovingly gestures to the boy that its their stop, and has to tear him away from our little game. She smiles at me, and I would've smiled back at her were it not for the fact that my face was frozen into a silly smile anyway. As they tumble out of the bus, I look out at my little hero, on the pavement, jumping around, with bundles of energy needing an outlet. And already he's doing a little show, and I'm so taken by him that I nearly don't notice the random giggles and chuckles and "awww"s that the passengers are letting out.
But comics come in series. I saw him again today. With more if not the same amount of energy.
And this time I was sure he was Spiderman.
He was wearing the Suit...

Thursday, 17 April 2008


"hey k. what did you have for breakfast?"

"a cigarette"

"with butter and jam?"

"no. Just jam."

"Oh. Cool.. (pause) HUH?"

Monday, 14 April 2008

Six Scenes in no particular order


The sun stained the Mediterranean pink, Grapefruit pink, as it melted into the water, dissolving and tinting the sea. The waves rippled slowly, creating an illusion of migrating fluid creatures, moving from one horizon to the other, moving in unison and in tempo, with the music in my ears setting the beat. Rachmaninov, and Moonlight sonata... And i sit in front of this sea of love, and all seems to make sense, in fact, nothing makes sense except for the sight in front of my eyes... Why would i leave it's side? The waves may snarl at me, and warn me of its depths.. but it suffices to sit on the sand, and watch the sun bring a day to its end. It will rise tomorrow.. the Same Sun. Same sun sets and rises, we live one day. Our whole lives have been one day continuously, and will continue to be one day.
Same Sun, but never the same sea.


I'll call him Abou Nour. I don't know his name, but I know he has a daughter. And I see a light in his face, a tender glowing ember in his wrinkles and his sun whipped skin. Pupils outlined in a light blue of age, leading to a soft brown of tenderness.
He doesn't beg. He walks Bliss St, with a few lighters and packes of gum, and occasionally some lottery tickets. I first saw him in my second year of university, he came up to a group of people I was with, and when they waved him away or apologised, he did not persist. I saw something in this worthy of respect, so I went after him and I gave him some money. I don't usually like to give beggars money, except if they are old. But like i said, Abou Nour doesn't beg. He got used to seeing me, and if i didnt have change, I'd apologise, and he'd reply by placing his hand on his head or on his chest, and say "thank you thank you, your kindness humbles me".
I saw him on my last visit to beirut. He was buying a coffee from Abou Naji's, so I said hello, and asked him if he needed anything, to eat or drink. He, as usual, placed his hand on his chest, and thanked me, but declined. I persisted, a sandwich? His coffee? a bottle of water! He gratefully refused. As I went to the till to pay for my cigarettes and bottle of water, I asked Radwan behind the till, if Abou Nour usually gets coffee from here, he nodded, with numbers in his eyes and floating above his head, as he calculated the many amounts of change he was returning simultaneously. "Add 4 coffees to my stuff". The numbers paused and fell momentarily as he made sense of what i said. "What?". "Take the price of 4 cofees from me, and don't forget that i paid when he comes for the next 4 times." A brief smile as he nods his head downwards. "Tikrami". As I left, I saw Abou Nour, who was unaware of my actions. "3am, let me get you something to eat, please? Its nearly lunch time. Change your mind. A zaatar saj? It'll take a minute". He kept refusing, showering me with praise of my generosity. In the end I told him i was traveling, and he wouldn't see me for a while, and afterall it was only a sandwich, and he accepted. He ordered the cheapest sandwich without any extras. As the Saj dude was making the sandwich, Abou Nour disappeared for a while, and came back shocked. "You paid for my coffee also?!?" "Yes, please, don't think of it. If we don't take care of you, who will?". Abou Nour looked at me in silence, searching my eyes for some sort of explanation. I think at one point he was thinking whether some ill or harm had come to him as a result of me, or someone I knew, and this was me making up for it. To be honest, I found his confusion confusing. If people did more selfless acts, it wouldn't be confusing. And thats the way it should be. I cannot explain why I was doing what I was doing, and I cannot say I was getting anything out of it. I'm not praising myslef, not feeding my ego. This was something that one does. period. Abou Nour doesnt say anything for a few minutes, and I feel him looking at my face, searching for answers, while I look at the saj being made. He breaks his silence by stating "I'm from the South". I do not flinch, perhaps he's trying to provoke me, to see if I know, or to see if this will change me. "Ahla wa Sahla' i say, and ask him about his being in Beirut, to break the stare and the silence. I find out his lives in Beirut with his wife and daughter, and here I tell him, i am an only daughter too. And he becomes my father in 20 years for a mere 3 seconds. I give Abou Nour the saj, and tell him goodbye and he thanks me silently, and i walk off quickly. I do not want thanks, I dont need it.
And then the oddest thing happens. My dad appears in my head, and nods, and smiles, and cries. and I'm crying his tears. I'm suffocating. I'm gasping for breath as I walk up Jean D'Arc and i can't explain it, and i'm trying to stop it because I don't like to cry in public, and if I'm crying here of all places its like crying in a roomful of my peers. But I cant. So i put my head down, and cry.


I'm in the shower, and I'm tired, and agitated and I stand there naked, arms crossed and clinging to my shoulders. I look up through my closed eyelids at the ceiling, letting the hot water flow over my face, over my lips, and divide onto each side of my nose. I splutter out water from my nose and mouth every once in a while, panicking fleetingly as I battle my phobia of suffocation and drowning. And then water fills my ears, and the sounds are drowned, literally, except for a low rumble. It's all I hear.
Its the twin of the rumbling sound you hear on board a plane. And suddenly I'm on the plane back to London. i've left beirut and my mother, and my friends, and i'm on a plane, strapped in economy, trying to shift away from my neighbor whose asleep, bending onto my shoulder and beginning to drool.
And i move my head, and its gone. All I hear is water hitting the tub floor, and spurting through the shower head, my eyes open and i see my feet, wet, in the shower in Beirut.


Look man, I don't like pain. So bear with me.
He looks at me, clasping my wrist in his gloved hand, and nodding slightly, but not really caring. And I hear the familiar sound, like a dentist drill, but not in your mouth, and needle-wielding.
Man, do you mind if i play my music loud? Inno, will it disturb you?
What are you going to play?
Akhouna Jimi, no I don't mind. he says, monotone and with a poker face that could make anyone fold.
Ok, ok. Yalla. Leik, its important you get it perfect? Ok? Ok. I'm talking to much. Khalas, go. Just dont let me shift or stuff. OK. yalla. Ouf. ya lateef.
and it burns. Shit, I forgot this part.
It burns and I swear out loud, and he raises his eyebrow towards me, and still concentrating on my wrist, he mutters "TO me or the pain?"
La2 man, la2. To the pain. Kiss ikhta akhou sharmouta, ikhsssssssssssssssssssss.
Trial of fire and ink.
5 minutes later, Little Wing is flying in my head, and I'm in pain, but unmoved, and its numbing and therapeutic and cathartic. And in fact, part of me is enjoying it.
No, its not sadism or masochism. Give me a break.
I'm not sure what it is, perhaps its a pain I can control, I know its beginning and its end, so I know when my relief is served. And that makes me happy. To be able to draw the rainbow after the storm myself.
45 mins later he's done. And my arm is hot and throbbing and signed.
and its perfect, and I'm smiling. I've been smiling for he past 30 mins, to the surprise of his assistant, who at one point asks me if I'm in pain, possibly to check I've not gone catatonic, and I guess some concern considering my anxiety in the beginning.
Yes I'm in in pain. It hurts like hell, i tell her, but its ok. No pain no gain. (Cliche feefmeiser, cliche)

No pain no gain.


They killed the Captain.
They butchered Bob Dylan.
They made Cobain turn in his grave and Bowie want to be in one.
They made Bryan worse.
They pissed off Andre.
They suffocated humour.
And on top of it all they were unnecessarily loud, invading my territory, and delaying the playing of good music.

They killed the Captain.


I take the long way home after a night out, with music in the passenger seat. He talks, I listen. He tells me of his broken heart, the rain dogs, the barfly.
He recounts stories of catholic girls, girls at the bottom of his glass, the redhouse his baby lived in, and sometimes he hums violins and pianos. And I listen.
He's my favourite companion. An ironically silent one. And he doesn't get annoyed if I drift off. After all, I drift off into his arms.

Saturday, 5 April 2008

Method in the Madness

I don't know what happens to me in the night.
It's not a physical transformation (obviously.. although that would be beyond the coolness that can be contained in this realm of existence)
Its a mental one I suppose.
I get Ramblings. I guess thats where the title "After-midnight Ramblings and Daytime dreamings" came from.
I ramble after midnight. I get sudden bouts of thoughts. Or sentences. I become a receiving antenna for the random words and reveries riding the atmosphere. They click in place and I get a thought. A sentence. And suddenly its said outloud in my head. Like i'm supposed to hear it.
And it grips me. And I'm transformed.
it would be wrong to say they're completely random when they are spelled out in my head. That isn't true. It couldn't be. They must be words that I'm meant to hear. Meant to construct into a sentence. It's my psyche finding a way to talk to me.
Communication within my system, for my system. I'd be thinking of something, a situation, an emotion... and voila. Hey presto, c'est ca, bob's your uncle. Message received loud and clear.
i don't always like it. But who am I to silence myself?

You think I'm crazy... So do I.

Rambling of the night?:

I'm not perfect, in fact, I'm anything but.
And I don't want to be.
If that's what you want, what you're looking for..
Then dont stop, just skip me.

Skip me...

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Poem in a time of cholera and contradiction

Burn them,
Burn them all.

Burn the fairytale endings and the moonlit nights,
Burn the heart shaped carvings on the old oak trees,
Burn the kisses off the young lips,
and the skin off the hands that caress.

Burn them.
Burn them all.

Burn the books that tell of eyes that sparkle
and hearts that warm.
Burn the Neruda poems, burn the Sonnets.
Burn the tales of Lost Lenore.

Find the lovers, find the Romeos,
Build walls to keep them in,
and set fire to the kindling underneath them all.

Burn the tears of joy and the echoes of laughter,
Bottle them up in a jar,
and toss it to the floor.

Burn them.
Burn them all.

Tear the sheets from the beds, and the pages from the books,
Cry treason, treason, treason, till you can no more.

Let it all burn to the ground,
Throw ash and smoke to the heavens,
In flames that burn hotter and wilder
than both Joan and Fawkes could endure.

Burn them.
Burn them all.

No redemption here
No mercy, no more.
Burn it all.

Burn it all,
And toss into the fire your soul...

Because without them,
What is there to exist for?

Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Making love to Jimi Hendrix

This post is not going to be long, I've come back from a night of listening to good live blues music at Quadrangle, where my friend Hassib was playing with the Monday Blues Band. I haven't heard them in a while, and hearing them brought back many memories, both good and bad, but I don't mind. Memories brought back for a quick drink are always welcome...
I'm drunk on a few glasses of wine and more than a few good solos. And its the best feeling I can conjure at the moment... My smile has driven my cheek muscles into a fit of pain, but once again, that pain is welcome to stay. Its a friend, and all friends are welcome.

Lightening is striking outside, and thunder soon follows like a loyal dog, and all that is running through my head is Little Wing.. My friend Mich (who was singing as a guest performer tonight) blessed me wih the gift of Hendrix.. While he sat on our table, catching up, I told him I wanted to hear some Hendrix, I looked at Kamal (the guitarist and leader of the band, in his 50's) and mouthed "hendrix!" a couple of times, but he was busy and I dont like to intrude... Especially when music is being played.. Mich looked at me and smiled "just shout, Karma", and I smiled and looked at my shoes, telling him no, let him play his vibe.
Mich went on stage, sang a few songs, (many improvised, mentioning his visit to London and his failing to call me, let alone see me,) and then i heard the opening riff, and my heart was stuck between skipping beats and beating too fast. Mich looks at me, smiles and points, as he starts... "Well she's walking... through the clouds..." and I can't contain myself... the whole night had passed without a sign of Jimi, and now, a few moment after I decided to leave, Jimi is in my ears, and not just any Jimi, THE Jimi song of all songs, the mother load, the big kahuna, my oxygen.
I am sat there, smiling and wanting to cry, and wanting to jump on stage and hug him for choosing the perfect song, the right song, THE song.
I look at Maria whose sat next to me, and I tell her how i'm going to cry I'm so happy, and she has a look on her face that tells that she already knows...

Music is in my blood.. It's in me. I can't explain how I get when I'm around it. It's the constant muse and joy and happiness, and hearing my friends perfom made me feel so homesick and nostalgic and happy all at the same time...

As I walked to the car with Maria, I was a bundle of Adrenaline, and I let Jimi take the wheel, booming through my car speakers, crackling every once in a while because my radio station jammer is crap. But he steered none the less. All the way home..

They sang Little Wing man, they sang little wing...

Rest in peace Jimi. Hope you're lighting guitars on fire wherever you are...
As for me, I'm going to dream of Zebras, Moonbeams and Fairytales...

By the way, Mich, you're now officially forgiven for not calling while you were in London. Love you man.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Long Way Home

(Written on the way to Beirut, 28th March)
I’m going home today.
I had a horrible time trying to pack the night before. I am usually the kind who takes an hour to pack, not needing a list to guide me, just a flow of logic concerning what I need and what I should be taking. The whole process comes quite easily to me. And yet last night it was like I had never packed before. I was lost, my head was jumbled, and all the crucial items were muddled with the trivial items in my mental list, jumping up and down on the ladder, and when I thought I had remembered one, I look at the list again and it’s gone. I was restless and zonked, and although my eyelids felt like they were being weighed down by my ten ton lashes, I couldn’t sleep. It was after midnight and all I had in my suitcase was a few tops and a pair of jeans, and I book I had bought for my mother. Basically nothing. And the suitcase had been lying open on the floor since the night before, a welcoming void waiting to be filled, a hungry hungry hippo waiting to guzzle whatever I give it.

But I had finally packed it, it took me four hours and a half, but I did it (please note this excludes my hand luggage which I did not do till the next morning, nearly forgetting my house keys and passport in the process – yes. I know.)
As usual the Loatey’s offered me a ride to the airport, and as I walked out into the rain with my suitcase, I looked at the grey sky. Sun. Soon there’ll be the lovely spring warmth of Beirut days and cool breeze of Beirut nights. I constantly checked my pockets and my bag for my passport and tickets, always expecting to not find them, then muttering to myself about my irrational fear when I did.

As I said my goodbyes, I walked towards the terminal building dragging my big suitcase, and I couldn’t help but feel the adrenaline rush into my blood, and my face warm up with the thoughts of home and familiar faces, and above all, a drink at Captain’s Cabin.

Check in took me literally 5 minutes, between finding the right counter and the flirting of the attendant, asking me “aisle or window?” I couldn’t care less.. really, just get me home, and get me home now.
Where are those ruby red shoes when you need them?

I’ve always found airports incredible. These areas of no-man land that govern our emotions with a tight grip, able to make us cry or laugh. I was always ready to offer my services as a ride to or from the airport, because I used to love to observe the humanity and the sentimental interactions that went on in that one specific building. The parents bidding farewell to their child, smiling and yet pain drawing lines into their face as that indestructible chord begins its stretch across continents, and the torment in the shimmer of their eyes reflecting farewell waves and kisses being blown into the sterile air; the crowd of friends applauding and cheering as the missing link in their group pops out the arrival doors, sporting a smile and shaking their head in approved embarrassment; the child running towards its father, being lifted up and soaring with joy in his arms and inquiring about souvenirs fervently, the energy and sentiments so thick you could cut them with a knife, but why would you? This is truly the paramount of humanity, and in my eyes, tampering with it would be criminal, no, pure blasphemy.

If there ever was limbo on earth, it is translated as airports, without a doubt Here Godot is reality, a constant. People are waiting to go to their relative heaven or hell, stuck in no man’s land. The big screen TV in the waiting area of terminal 2 at Heathrow is showing Friday Fry Up, yet another of the many many cooking shows that have taken over the British idiot box (of course sharing it with the equally obtrusive wildlife shows). I sit in one of the rows facing it that makes it feel like a fake cinema, minus the movie of course (unless you count chefs battling over the best dish that can be made in 9 minutes valid entertainment. In that case you should have brought some popcorn because this is your lucky day my friend!)
I don’t mind the solitary travel factor. I enjoy my mouth being shut (no seriously) sometimes I open my mouth just to check its still there. I usually end up listening to my music and observing everyone. All to my own soundtrack, making up scenarios and noting relationships between people. I take another sip of my chai latte, sitting there non chalantly, existing in space and time and yet not, my mind rolling out images of travellers and home all together.

. . .

At this moment I’m in Athens airport, phase two of my limbo. I pause to tell you this because I find myself in quite the comical situation. Let me draw a picture for you. I’m seated in the café/smoking area having some wine with some well deserved rollies after a three hour flight, and two hour wait in smoke free Heathrow. I haven’t spoken a word since I’ve gotten here (so my mouth is practically non existant at this point, were it not for the sipping and puffing duty it had) and judging by the fact that the man at the counter talked to me in Greek when I ordered a wine, no one really knows that I’m Arab, especially with my American passport on the table in front of me keeping my wine glass and ashtray company. Except perhaps for the Palestinian kufiyeh wrapped well around my neck. This is an important detail, pay attention now. On my left is a trio of Lebanese who walked in a few moments after me. The usual bunch of youths, one stylishly wearing a piercing and glasses, another a lanky charismatic dude, the life of the party cracking jokes and the sort. And the third a nerdy business man type, in a shirt and neat shoes, but obviously the most socially inept, sitting silently yet attentively listening to the conversation taking place between his peers, casually intervening with a comment or two. Now the interesting part. In walks a hippie looking guy, toting a guitar (and you know how I am with musicians, especially guitarists) so he grabs my interest for a few moments. He sits himself on my right, literally less than a metre away. He looks at me for a minute, and I cant crack the body language, but ok, I continue typing onto my computer rolling a cigarette simultaneously, and then guitarist dude opens a book upright, (i.e. not flat on the table) as if to make it a point that I am able to see it. And its in Hebrew. I start laughing, I can’t help it. I’m sitting in the middle of the middle eastern conflict, in limbo, waiting for a plane home. And now the Lebanese group on my left has been joined by a few Egyptians that were on a neighbouring table and heard the mother tongue and (as we Arabs do) invited themselves to unify the nations. And to top it all off earring glasses guy has taken out his laptop and is playing dabke music (since from the few words I caught in between the songs playing through my headphones their topic was music and fairuz and abdel wahab and so on)
Please, picture this. A group of arabs playing “Hela hela” and chatting away on one side, a lone Israeli/Jewish guitarist on the other side, and me with my politically obvious scarf in the middle. Don’t tell me the wine has gotten to me, its pure comedy. Someone bring in the clowns. Oh, and mr guitar here just asked (with the typical and expected spot of fear in his eyes) for some of my rolling tobacco. Hey. We’re in limbo. Reality doesn’t exist here, and if anything, I’m not going to react, I’m setting an example for those who think we Arabs act purely on our frustration and bottled emotions (although I was tempted to scream “WHAT? OUR LAND, YOU TAKE OUR LAND, AND ON TOP OF IT MY TOBACCO? YOU GUYS REALLY DON”T KNOW WHERE TO STOP DO YOU????) But I didn't. At least not out loud. There. There was my Arab anger. I feel a bit better now. Although I do wish I had some hizbullah march tunes to add a bit more spice to this already flavoured scene. Oh well.

Episode over, my laptop battery is beginning to pant and to be honest my fingers are tired. Next time I write it will be from home, and that’s a whole other story. If anything interesting happens on the rest of the way home, I'll be sure to mention it..
Oh, how nice. The one man band on the right of me has fallen asleep. I hope you get nightmares.

Over and out.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes..

I was in a snow globe of my own this weekend..
What a feeling. The perfect beginning for a quiet sunday.
I woke up at 7 am, after sleeping quite late, (that was not the perfect beginning I can tell you) but as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, I turned in my bed and my eyes fell on a christmas scene. Snow was falling outside.

It had snowed the day before, but not this strong, and not at 7 am where no one was stirring.. not even a mouse (ironically we saw a mouse in our kitchen today.. but thats a story for another day, and to an audience of cats...)

I looked on, sprawled warmly in the sanctuary of my duvet, taking it all in, allowing my senses to rise and shine, listening to the sound of my heart beat and my breathing.
I haven't seen snow falling in so long, perhaps since I was 5 or 6 and still living in London.
I turn my head to the left, and gaze at the photo perched protectively on my bedside table. It's one of my father and I, taken when I was 5 or so, in the garden of our house in London, surrounded by snow. Dad is wearing an orange and red woolly hat, half bent forward sculpting a snowball in his bare hands as I look on, in a black hat with rainbow colours tapering at the end and a pink coat waiting to be given this gift only to throw it at him or at anything. Snowball of power!
I smile at the thought, and feel I'm 5 again, and any minute I'm going to go outside in my pink coat and hat and build a snowman and eat snow mixed with orange juice like we used to.
I sit up, still paralyzed by fatigue, and take a few deep breaths, and all of a sudden, a surge of energy runs through me, like the kind that possesses children when they wake up at an unholy hour on christmas morning and run down concentrating on the new bike they wanted or the gameboy or the My Little Pony they asked Father Christmas for.
i kick the duvet and stand up in my baggy pj bottoms that house many baaing sheep, and my black tank top and lean on the window, my breathe spreading moist mist across the glass.
I'm in automatic smile mode by now, and slowly words appear on the window. "I'm still here" form in finger thick strokes on the window.. and for a minute I stand back, quite disillusioned.. until I remember it must be something I'd written in a blank moment of rambling, probably during a session with Tom Waits and a bottle of wine (typical). I open the window and the cold air seeps into the room swiftly, and caresses my face with a sting.
I put my hand out, letting the snowflakes fall onto my bare arm, and I watch them slowly disappear, melt onto my skin. The melt is so seamless and uninterrupted that it looks more like the fragile lace of ice is merely continuing its descent through my arm, and not perishing in the warmth of my flesh.

The world seems to serene... nothing is moving but the descent of snowflakes, a veil of specks gracefully dancing in the wind... Rain seems so vulgar now. Harsh and heavy and just wet. Snowflakes on the other hand, well, snowflakes have a whole character of their own. The mature elegant feminine relative of rain. Ballerinas versus big fat construction workers. Yeah.
I turn on my laptop and play Rachmaninoff. Just because it felt like the only right thing to do...

I decide to poke my head out, and I completely forget that I'm practically naked in the cold, and I stick my tongue out and close my eyes (for future reference... snowflakes in your eye are not pleasant). The small stings flirt with my senses, and I'm oblivious to any sort of reality other than the skin on my face, and the surface of my tongue. I don't think twice of how silly I must look, a girl with bed head hair, in a black tank top, leaning out of a window tongue out smiling and giggling softly like a child, maybe madwoman.

Julie Andrews didn't lie. Snowflakes on lashes can easily be someone's favourite thing. Who would've thought that something so small and light can be felt as it lands on the tip of your eyelash. How extraordinary..

I sat in my snow globe, shaken by some big friendly giant, with music and nothing else as accompaniment. And I was happy. And serene; like a snowflake, while the giant looked in at me, a tiny girl leaning through an open window, from a house on an empty street, with nothing but a smile and happy thoughts going through her head...

These are a few of my favourite things...

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Mad Girl's Love Song

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)" -Sylvia Plath

I really do.. I always make them up inside my head..
and as I sit her and take another drag out of my limp crumpled cigarette, I think how much of a fool I am... and yet if I decide to get rid of this foolishness, it becomes pure compromise..

I am succumbing to the thought that there will never be someone perfect for me, that this ideal guy is purely in my head, and the search is futile, fruitless, pathetic.

What a thought.. that anybody that seems to be what my heart yearns for, is either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or in a relationship.. or just non existant..
I may sound like a broken record, or a whiny girl whose being picky and uber annoying.. but I've passed that now. Now it a matter of examination..

I had a conversation with a friend about the human condition the other day.. he had finally fallen in love, after many years of not knowing exactly what it was, and many messed up relationships that in my eyes he got into to find himself and find his place in this big role of ours, the "couple" and see what it was like in this part of the woods..

but now... now it was different. He had finally found someone that enriched him, and comforted him, and spoke to his heart. And then had to be separated by circumstance..
and it was over. just like that. A large green battlefiled, with the rational army charging forward from the west, armed with reality, time, practicality, space, location, and economics. While the emotional army stood in the east, small in number, armorless except for flesh shields of hearts, ready to bleed. Standing straight, and willing to bleed. And it comes.. like a wave.. crashes against this hopeless and helpless infantry.. and as they are plowed to the ground, the blood from the shields seeps slowly into the ground and the eyes shed tears, souls not uttering a sound, taking it because they cannot take anymore..

I learn from my life.. from my mistakes.. my experiences..and I've have quite a bit of experiences that deal a heavy lesson. And yet this is one thing I never seem to learn. I fall, fall hard, and break (usually at the impact of being dumped) and I realise, hey, expectations, come down a bit please. You're way too high. And they look at me from above, shrug, and do... until I am once again visited by the promise of someone who speaks to my heart like they've been friends forever. And my expectations jump, and I see someone I can become soup for, and instead of soaking me in,and wringing me out, turn to soup for me too... and we mix and mingle till we are just a load of soup, and that would'nt matter since at least we're soup together. Just a load of soup.

I've lost it I guess. In soup. Perhaps I can't put into words what it is, the only image i get is soup. damn soup.

The Human condition is a reality... this need to find someone who fits. Like a puzzle. (and that ladies and gentlemen was the prize winner for todays episode of "Cliche Please!" stay tuned, next comes "Puke-a-rama"!)

But its true. We look for that one. The one that is translated into the many, that is dispersed so brutally among a number of ones, than a one in itself. What a crock of shit.
Human condition? No my friends.. Human Curse. This search for love.. for warmth and comfort. Its a messy place to be.. And yet, time and time again, like waves we go in for it.. we reach onto the beach and try to drag all the pearl-bearing shells we can before we go thin out and weaken. And lose them.
All because of place, time, reality..
They say good things come to those who wait. Well if one is waiting somewhere Good Things can't find them.. how does that work?

I dont know. Its 3 am, and I'm thinking of the overflowing love that spills from my insides, and where it goes.. and what a waste. So I bid you goodnight after a rambling set in uselessness, a futile attempt to explain the inexplicable, to point to the stars behind the clouds and say "there! those are the ones! those are the ones I'm reaching for!".
I'm a mad girl, singing a love song to a phantom, stringing up my heart, hanging it from a tree as bait, and waiting for the right raven to come peck at it, ease my pain, and consume me all at once. I don't want to compromise.. If I compromise this, then everything is compromisable. If I compromise this, than all I believe in is a lie, and thats a road I'd rather not walk down, because its dark and dreary and so cold...
Human curse... human curse.

And it seems I'll keep making you up in my head my dear. It's a vicious circle till we meet..

But please..Don't slip on the soup..