March 31, 2015
Life is hard.
Keeping it simple is hard.
Being present is hard.
And its not about constant vigilance. There is a point of surrender that I find hard to reach. I march on. I wage on. I thought I had let go of my pain, a pain that I associated myself with quite clearly since my father’s death, so when I turned 12. I thought I had let go of my stories, cause in retelling them I found that they were no longer mine, they were stories, backdrops, not who I am. But I clearly still associate with pain, and very deeply.
I don’t have much to say beyond that at this point. I have no epiphanies to share.
Today I met a mother whose relationship to space is a challenge. Her daughter is a toddler of 15 months, a side-bending forward leaning stumbling, tumbling toddler. THe mother and toddler arrived to a small space. The mother’s relationship to empty and taken space is challenged. The end
January 10, 2013
There is a tenderness that disappeared from his eyes, so I walked away.
I walked away. I left behind me a cold calculating stare and a great fury of noise.
The air was cold, and pierced through all things like a sword.
There was no sadness, no anger, no sorrow or anguish, none of those heart breaking sensations that once gnashed at my soul.
I walked to a different rhythm that sounded clearly within me; the wish to be free. Free from the countless voices chiding and dictating my actions. Free from hereditary malfunctions. Free to choose differently.
No, I don’t have it right, yet, don’t know if I ever will. But I consciously and elatedly walked away from an age old trap, a budding cage.
I walked away, and walked on.
Behind the steering wheel, with the cold air keeping my head aloft, I drove to a burning fire. One that no longer questions the purpose of its burning, but burns with eternal devotedness. And in the flames I slept. I was safe. Sound. Quiet.
November 3, 2012
Someone is at the door. The bell is ringing. THough I’m not listening I hear it clearly.
I will pretend it doesn’t concern me.
I will pretend the bell is not of this world.
I shall remain here. I shall pretend that I am secure in my pretend silence. I will call this my haven and ignore the fact that it is my tomb.
When asked I shall deny that I hear the voices in my head, loud and clear. I will also lie, and refuse to admit that I wish to renounce them, all of them, once and for all.
I will pretend to be at peace. I will pretend to enjoy silence in my solitude. I will claim that all noise is espoused by forces outside of myself. I will assert that within me there is no noise, within me there is no conflict.
But who was it that came to my door? Have they left? Now that I pretend to listen I hear nothing anymore…
I think I see myself scratching at the solid walls that surround me. I think I hear myself calling onto the herald to break down the door.
May 13, 2012
Some 15 years ago, confused with what to become, I decided to visit our farm in the splendid island of Koraymat, in Beni Sueif.
I was not disappointed, far from it, what I had intended as a recreational visit soon developed into a love relationship with the 3 hour drive, the ferry boat to the island, the fields, the Nile, and above all, my new friends, the children, in particular, the girls.
There was a lot of mutual mistrust between myself and the farmers, some social and other material. After all, they were behind constant attempts to squat the land, and here I was, the young westernized owner from the city, making the rounds on their soil.
But the children made me fly. I could be as silly as I liked and not face ridicule. I rode their donkeys, shared their meals, got splashed in canals alongside them. And I started learning about the land and its produce through them. I never wished it to end. I was more myself with these young rural girls then I had ever been in the city. And I was very grateful.
One day, at the end of yet another perfect sojourn with my friends, one of them invited me to attend the party being thrown in their honour the following week. Once she started speaking they all got terribly excited, “oh, please, do come! the whole village will be celebrating us! We’re going to netkhaten!” they cried. There was to be music, dance, and food. They were all getting new clothes and their moms were going to buy them purses like ladies wear. All the young girls in the village, aged 6-11 approximately, were to bathe in the new honour & status being bestowed upon them; their initiation into puberty by being genitally mutilated.
I went numb! It was the first time I saw how different our lives were. I spoke not a word. I must’ve managed to say goodbye to them when I boarded the ferry to cross back to the mainland, at least I hope I did.
I never went back. I couldn’t go back. I spoke not a word. Not to them, not to their parents, and I never wanted to see them after the mutilation.
I am responsible because I knew better. Yes, better. I know the dangers, the complications and the brutality of female genital mutilation. If people like me, educated city girl that I supposedly am, walk away from the opportunity to, at the very very least, object to such horrid practices, then something is very wrong.
This note here wont wash away my guilt. This note here is a confession to it.
March 16, 2012
I do not lie when I say that I love everything about you.
But neither do I lie when I say I can’t stand the sight of you.
I do not lie when I see my life bloom infront of me without you.
And I do not lie when I whine in the loneliness that is my world away from you.
I do not lie when I cry over you. But I did not lie when I cried because of you.
I have no answers.
I seek no clarity.
I am here, now, away from you.
And I do not lie. I no longer have what it takes to lie.
September 17, 2011
At a party last night, taking in every inch of every face, interaction, layer and depth, it was quite clear to me, the odds are against us! Simple and true! The odds are not friendly. The odds are not in our favour. The odds have and may well always continue to be against us.
And layered as the room was, simple and clear was the truth of it all.
The odds are against us.
Faces I didn’t know too well swarmed around the room, smoke rose from around each of them. Rows of books lined the shelves in the background. I sat amidst it all, taking every last bit of it in.
And still it rang through the room; the odds! The odds are against you!
They are, aren’t they! So they are! The odds are against me! Wishing to intimidate and stifle me? So go ahead, shackle me! Bind me! Rip me apart and tear at me! The odds! Oh, the odds!
But you don’t have me! You never did! You’re against me!
I will not court you, oh, unbecoming odds! I will not stop for you, oh cowardly odds!
Odd all you like, see if I care! It was never about the odds, you don’t have me!
Keep mounting, and I will keep surmounting, now, these are odds to look into!
The odds! The odds! The odds are against you! So they are!
Watch me go! I am here, aren’t I? Where does it lead? Oh, but to the odds, ofcourse!
The odds! The Odds! Configure the odds will ye, and send me a note!
Unbecoming odds, I become despite you, possibly in spite of you!
And at that party I grew leaps and miles, in a room full of strangers, and I sat on a couch where a fluttering heart landed and entranced me…oh, what are the odds?!