Tuesday, June 23, 2015

in isolation

Ramadan Mubarak InshAllah.
I read what I wrote last year, and the year before and I couldn’t help but note a sense of melancholy and sadness that can only be explained by the general status of it all. Loss of homes, politicised social structures, temporality in one’s home, loss of meaning and worst of them all, loneliness.
This Ramadan I am still blessed with the above except that I now share this loss with another soul. A lost one I met coincidentally the last days of Ramadan 2014, and together we waged a war against ourselves until we both surrendered to the beautiful truth of ‘us’.
I still write in fragments as I mirror the mosaic of my thoughts, and I admit I have no desire in curating my piece like I do with art exhibitions; Find a common thread! Perhaps what is plaguing us to begin with as a collective is this obsessive need for everything to make sense together, when things can make most sense in isolation.
so here are my isolated thoughts as they appear in my head and in no particular order:
ISIS is evil, but what is the solution. Give up maryam give up mosul, give up Iraq its done.
Love is not overwhelming nor dramatic, its calm, its settled, its strange. I am not used to this feeling, what happened to all the old stories that destroyed my heart and broke me into pieces.
Home, home home home home home home home home
London, i miss London tonight, and yesterday, I missed it even this morning. Its always on my mind. Russell Square, I miss my walks there, I want to live in Angel again, I want that fake sense of belonging I had as a student resident there again.
Maryam or Mariam? make up your mind already.
immigration? Canada is too cold, and with their new laws, I am disappointed! second class citizens, really Canada? Really? I don’t want to leave the UAE, but it wants to leave me. I want to stay.  Please God let us stay.
Lebanon is now the country my children will carry in their passports, and Iraq is the one they will carry in their tongues.
Beirut and Baghdad, what is the link, what is the relationship? Think Maryam , think of something poetic to write on your wedding cards. Al Jawahiri and Jibran!
Rent, next year, Dubai or Abu Dhabi? I wish I could move back to Sharjah. Sharjah is simple, Sharjah is good, Sharjah is real.
Research, PhD, accomplishment, dreams, SOAS, SOAS, I miss academia, potentials, wasted talents.. Maryam write again
Wedding shoes: Check!
I refuse to wear diamonds, I am the bride without a diamond ring or anything. I am morally and ethically against diamonds; society thinks I am weird. My husband will get heat for not ‘valuing’ me with diamonds. What happened to respecting values? Is this now my societal fight against norms? Have you been reduced to diamonds vs. no diamonds Maryam? ugh
Hungry people everywhere, hungry sad souls everywhere. displacement, dislocation, diaspora. My version of d3.
Art, exhibitions, the meaning of it all? expensive paintings, hungry artists, auction houses..
Pray, Fast, Read Quran.. Feel something Maryam feel.
and will my wedding look ok? Will people like the food? I don’t want to hire a DJ, I want my nephew to play the music? What will people say about that? Again, another futile fight against nothing. Mundane
I will miss my parents warmth and home. I don’t want to leave home
He loves me, especially different. tatata lalala * enter Jill scott song*
smile again at Dubai. Thank you for the breeze.

My annual excuse to write again to the public, away from hidden beautiful journals I buy from cities I inhabit or visit. Ramadan offers me the chance to indulge in the self, contrary to what the holy month encourages worshippers to do, I chose to indulge in the self sometimes.I sit on my balcony tonight enjoying a sudden surprising breeze Dubai is offering me, in an attempt perhaps to reconcile with me after a long dispute over passports, residencies and rights to belong. I took her breeze and gave her a smile in return.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Boxes underneath the sky

She wondered as she typed away letters on a grey screen what was the reasoning behind all the angst she felt. She wondered about the boxes she kept drawing around her; every time she would exit one, she draws another to step into.

She eventually learnt to draw doors and little windows, then by time she learnt to draw knobs and handles to open her boxes for little air. Continuing to live in them she found comfort with the contours that protected her from the ugly. She found solace in her convictions and comfort with one white pillow she kept from her childhood.

One day as she prepared to put her head on her pillow the lines started to disappear, and the wind blowing in her hair. She did not know how to react this sensation of the gushes of air playing with her well-protected pillowed hair, she did not know why her body, once contoured and protected was now exposed and unsheltered. She also did not understand why her reactions were not violent but serene.. calm and collected she was.
She looked at the white lines leaving her, as her hair enjoyed a dance with the little wind that started to bother her. She did not know how to dance, but also knew that dancing was not another form of knowledge she needed to learn. She also knew it would rain soon, and the wind with the water will perform an orchestra that she only hoped she could enjoy.

Those lines that left her were no longer visible, breaking into several pieces and flying away with the wind; they no longer mattered. She looked for twigs, leaves and rocks to draw another box, to draw herself somewhere to belong. Instead she was left looking at an endless horizon of everything else.

She stood up and walked, holding her pillow in one hand and containing her hair in another. She walked towards nowhere. She loved those destination-free walks; but also smiled at her inability to reconcile her free-walks with her coveted squares.

She stumbled upon some sticks on the floor, and knew they resembled her long-lost lines. She looked at them and knew that for her to build that box again, she would need two hands, and will have to let go of her pillow and put it on the side.

She walked away, holding still to her white pillow in one hand, and her dancing hair with another. She left her boxes underneath the sky...