Posts Tagged ‘ ramble ’

Thread of thought: What is pain?

Listen to: Eyes closed by Ludovico Einaudi

April 18th, 2012.

What is pain?

Pain is when there is no one to hold your head up as you hurl the contents of your stomach for the fifth time in an hour. When you become the prisoner of your body, intoxicated by thoughts of humanly freedom, yet bound to your bed, unable to move at will.

What is pain?

Pain is you. Pain is your body’s warmth going cold on mine. It is when you and I could be all we ever dreamed to be; instead, we built a wall of fear and past failures between us, high enough to reap through our hearts. Pain is your scent scattered across a city gone colorless after your departure. It is your eyes captured in pictures of us when we were happy. I could never see it as clearly as I do now. You are pain.

What is pain?

When you look at yourself in the mirror and see a reflection of a complete stranger staring back at you. When you feel like you are a stranger within your own body. Like your spirit is colonizing your body instead of peacefully filling it. When you feel hallow and empty, trying to fill a void that does not exist.

What is pain?

Pain is when you know what you are capable of, but never reach your full potential. Pain is when you see all that you can ever be, but always one step behind. It is when you look at your work, whether it’s a design, a poem, or a photograph and feel like it is missing that one special touch. And you endlessly search, edit, and repeatedly try to make it complete. Pain is the pursuit of perfection. Pain is your buried talent that everyone praises and believes in but you.

What is pain?

Pain is when I reach to my phone every night, dialling your number. Pain is when I am constantly reminded by you and how I failed you. Pain is when I seek love but never fully feel it. Pain is the inability to love again, to trust again, to be again. Pain is when I smile knowing that happiness will never be mine. Pain is when I am yet to forget your number. Pain is when I lose myself just to live, and what is a life without a soul?

What is pain?

Pain is unacquainted love.

What is pain?

When you take a risk for once and spend the rest of your life regretting it, wondering if it was worth it at all.

This is an experimental post. I will be updating this every now and then. This is me trying to discover what pain is, in my own terms.

For Syria

Listen to: Goldmund – Threnody

I weep the beloved country, for it celebrates martyrs that have gone too soon. It lets out a scream and although we all hear it, see it, and witness it, we cannot feel its loudness through exile. The boy who cried revolution lays untouched beneath ashes of his own home. Now, he is warm and wrapped in the embrace of heavens above. He looks down upon us in hope, while we look up in tears and pray.

It has been a year and I swear, I cannot fathom how for everyday throughout these 365 days a soul has left us due to injustice. Every asylum I seek for emotional comfort is closed for repairs. My country is dying. My people are starving. I am losing my sanity, one body at a time, one cry of help at a time.

Bless their souls, be they forgotten beneath rubble, or buried amidst gunshots. They are dead, but never gone. Their chants echo across a blind universe that is bound to wake up soon. And when it does, I will nurse you to sleep my fallen kingdom of hopes. I will shelter you within my dreams and I will save you for myself, all to me, because I am selfish when it comes to you. I am your child and you are my land, my holy red land that died while resting on my lap. I will bury you, just as I buried your different flags, your martyrs and my tears. Within my forsaken silence.. I will bury you.

I let my guard down and have failed you, my beloved country. I have failed your weeping children; I have failed your widowed wives and husbands; I have failed your unborn children that never saw the light of day and died in their mother’s womb. I have failed you. I am at loss of words, for silence has taken the best of me.

Nothingness; numbness; blank. Statistics; rivers of blood; cloudy skies; obscure future; Syria; the unknown. وهل للوطن بديل؟

Labels: Our social résumés.

Listen to: Where is my mind – Piano cover.

I always hated labels. I tried to avoid them as long as I could. Being the “tall girl” in class, however, did not really help my cause. It is ironic that my elementary school memories revolve around teachers calling me “that tall girl” and always asking me to move to the back of the line – maybe a little sad, too.

Growing up, I learned that our society’s infrastructure is based on labels. She is blonde; he is short; they are religious; she is a spinster; he is bald, and so on. Needless to say adjectives always find their way along these dreaded labels, thus utilizing language in its ugliest forms. Language, however, is never ugly, people are ugly – their intentions are, anyway.

Then comes the part of being a 7alabi female, or Arab in general terms – the label hell breaks loose. In a typical lifespan of a 7alabi female, 18 is where she’s either married, getting married, engaged, getting engaged, or “msama 3alaiha.” And my goodness, labels flood in like a tsunami of stereotype being welcomed into our homes and blinding our youth. A guy can simply, with such ease, tell his mother he wants a tall, blonde, white, educated, gorgeous, thin, color-eyed, young female. It will not be offensive at all. I bet most people reading this will not understand what is offensive about it. I bet I am not making sense to anyone here because it is normal, it is 3ady, after all, how could the poor fella live with “god forbid” a brunette? Here is a little tip: Just because it’s socially acceptable, does not mean it is okay or 3ady.

Let me move away from social labeling and talk about social network labeling. I have been an active social networker since early 2009, way before the world got so much uglier. You know those “About me” or “bio” sections? I could never settle on what to write. I tried it all. I tried labeling myself, I tried un-labeling myself, and I even tried writing random things to avoid labeling myself, which by the way, I still do. I settled on a quote – How cliché.

Social networks exert such pressure on users to conform. Yes, each person has a different reason to join, but eventually we are all here to feel like we belong. What better way to belong than to give ourselves a few socially acceptable labels?

I doubt that we can even go a day without labeling ourselves or others. It is a flaw of me to expect that social media or the virtual world as a whole can be a utopia other than a society full of social taboos to “avoid.” I would, however, like to believe that in social media, I get to pick whose side to take. I get to belong to a not-so-stereotypical Syrian community. I get to meet people from other Arab countries and think, hey, they’re less labeling; I might want to settle there someday. Yet, we still managed to bring along a few crumbs of labeling.

Maybe I hated labels because I was never so sure or who I am, or perhaps due to the negative connotations my labels have. So yes, I am a believer in women’s rights; does that make me a feminist? I do not know. Yes, I write everyday and words are my sole source of overhyped joy, does that make me a writer? I do not know. Yes, I am, I am, and I am, but does that make anything at all? I do not know.

But here’s a good question: When did Twitter or any other social network become my social résumé? When did we even need a social résumé? Or is it when we decide that we do not want to be social outcasts and “belong” to a society we need to play the part of not being ourselves? If so, I have three bookshelves in my room full of imaginary worlds to live in.

 

Untitled, again.

I could not find something to listen to.

——–

A stranger walks into her life unexpectedly. She is unaware. He finds himself a dusty corner to sit in, somewhere in the solitude of her thoughts. She is unaware. He draws stories of his past on her walls. She is unaware. He is a stranger of thoughts; an alien of words, a knight of the dawn. She is unaware. She is unaware.

A nomad in search of a safe house is all she ever was. Has she found a place to stay, she wonders. The issue here is not her finding a place to stay. Sleeping on the streets of nothingness always comforted her. Those streets everyone feared at night were her only sanctum. They often warned her of murderers and masked criminals roaming those streets. To her, however, those streets were the closest thing she ever had to a home.

She wonders if this stranger has spotted her late one night as she slept in one of its alleys. She wonders if this stranger is not really a stranger, for he is far too strange to be one. The irony of the situation deceives her. It is not time to meet stranger and ignorantly watch him come in, put the teapot on the stove, pour the tea into the teacup, take the cinnamon cake out of the oven, cut the cinnamon cake into symmetrical squares, open the cupboard, choose one, not two, but one red plate, move two, not one, but two pieces of cake, hold them with the tip of his fingers, place them gently on top of one another on one, not two, but one plate, and walk to the balcony of her unaware hopes and dreams, overlooking a utopia turned into ashes of forlorn.

Not once does she ask who is he, what he wants, where he comes from, what he does, or anything about him. What interests her is his interest in her. What makes a stranger so familiar, so predictable, so insane, so sanely insane, so strange, so confusingly easy to understand, so so.

He glances at her as the tea grows colder, hoping silently that she would join him and witness the fall of her. He will hold her when it all falls. He will comfort her. He will give her a place to stay. He will offer her safety. He will. He will. She glances back questioning herself more than him or his intentions. She quietly paces across this dusty room of hers, almost swaying to the wind of silence – unshaken by his ever-mesmerizing glance.

What are you, he asks, not who but what.