Saturday, September 27, 2008

Black Book Snippets

And I "wept for the end of innocence, the darkness of man's heart, and the fall through the air of the true, wise friend".*

I should have read this enamoring book whilst yet on the journeys that have taught me much and little at the same time. The comprehension that has been set on my mind, after four fragmented and hesitant days of reading and lack of such comprehension, has truly clarified the importance of such compilation of metaphoric thoughts. A compilation in the form of a book of life and of reference.

We weep for the end of innocence from the moment our eyes behold the light of every day and throughout every moment from then. And certainly we have wept the darkness of man's heart over and over during the fleeting minutes we felt a shared sorrow. At that moment the room became whole.
I am inhabited with the rooted conviction that these thoughts are not only mine, and that in fact a "we" is more appropriate than an "I". As simpleton-like I could sound, and as exhausted and over-credited it is, my conviction flows unobstructed. For once I do not dignify the judgments of "simplicity".

Further than that, as human and emotional as those words sound and look, they also connect to a more real moral that the author has dared divulge: "The shape of society must depend on the ethical nature of the individual and not on any political system however apparently logical or respectable"*.

Such a powerful and daring moral behind a story. Just a story.
Ironically enough, I am interrupted by the infamous debates that might very well determine the future of a country that believes in the logical and respectable system. And this moral rings even further truth in the light of that timely interruption.

I wonder if they have ever read that book carefully, maybe then they would have been more aware of their assured utterances.
I also wonder at the perfect opportunity that this moral and quotation could have offered us, but unfortunately had gravely missed us. This moral becomes most appropriate to the reflections we pondered and searched for some time.

As needed as this moral was at that time, it has been far more needed by this faithful reader, thinker and believer.
Finally, the summation of a brief learning expedition found crossing my path in the midst of heart wrenching times. Finally dawn has been cast upon my mind through the dust and fog, for I had lost the entire purpose and all the conclusions that had come to me as spontaneous as life itself. I had lost it all on one flight "home".

But again the interpretations of this witted comment are as endless as its implications and consequences. It is a study in itself. A study of human behavior and of its attachments and efforts.

Its importance comes in the strings that attach it to the lost innocence of man and his dark heart. Has the digression and distraction from the fact that society comes down to the individual lead us to the lost innocence? As we forget, and as we put our faiths in abstract ideas with -admittedly- little foundation, we stray from the most simple and obvious idea. Society is the individual. The individual defines Society.
Before their arrival, it was Eden. After mankind, the shattering of civilization, the death of wisdom, and the proliferation of sadistic acts of murder seem to take over this once observed heaven. A degradation from civility to savageness; to the times man had thought he had escaped long ago.
Those who learn the secret? ...They die grusome deaths by the hands of their own societies.

I try; I struggle against the urge of reflection on our own societies, and "their" societies.
Yet, I do not fight the questions: Who becomes Jack Merridew the savage hunter barely recognizable since his birth on their isle? Who becomes Ralph; the believer in civilization; he who defies the temptations to the darkness of the hearts... he who mourns the loss of the true wise friend with the broken specs?
I fear the unknown answers.

I do not fear, however, the realizations nor the true colors that come to life basked in the sun's glories.

... I finally recognize the subjects of my adoration. Tell me about my life, read it out line by line, and I shall tell you more about my treasure hunt.

*The extracts used for quotation are from "Lord of the Flies" by "William Golding", which coincidentally becomes yet another recommended reading.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Great Path to Nowhere

I think it's healthy to have a billion thoughts running through one's head. I think it's brilliant to know that none of them make sense.
I think that's how you know you're a genius.

Those who said that in the midst of a defining mess one finds one's greatest defining path, obviously knew more of their share of the world than they should.

That however does not mean that I do not have a serious correction to this statement. One in that case may truly find the "great path", but it should be made clear that the path is actually located in a completely different dimension than the one that is actually a mess.
One's life is nothing but a combination of dimensions; some intertwined, some not. Some intersected, some completely separate. I can only see it as a really complicated solid geometry diagram: planes X, Y, Z and L scattered around the paper, teasing me while I try to make sense of it all.

There is a personal life, there is a public life, and there is the life in between. The life that they see, that they barely sense, that they sometimes accidentally crash into. To each dimension its layers, its own routes... it stops making sense after a while... doesn't it?

No matter how long I try to think about it, it still confuses me. I still cannot get to the bottom of it, and I still cannot decide what to decide. My mind is never organized nor systematized enough to do that. I lost the highly required "since, therefore" process with freshman year.
What I do know is that when I realized the mess that is one of my layers, the others instantaneously cleared themselves out ahead of me. They formed the paths that call out in their highest and brightest notes.
But, it's never as easy as it seems, the trick is to find the way to those paths; to find the key to escape the closed box that is in a state of total destruction and travel all the way to the cleared out road that is waiting for those specific pair of feet.

All that effort and all that determination that are needed need to be mustered. They need to be engraved in the memory for good. It happens often that as one walks the road to their end, they lose focus and the original plan. The shiny distractions by the sidelines are too difficult to overcome as they become torturous temptresses that continuously haunt the soul.

No matter the clutter, no matter the disarray I should always keep in mind the ends that have always been mine, and the inspirations that have always reignited the fire beneath the skin.

I think this is such a mess; it becomes the perfect embodiment of my being. As dizzy as a daisy in a London storm.
And in response one more of my trusted friends says "Life is full of nonsense anyways. Who says everything should make sense"

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Such Great Heights

Is it okay to feel sadder about other people's memories than one's own because one wants to belong "there" more than one wants to do so "here"?

An uncompromisable friend 4 time-hours away unknowingly gave me one of the most valuable moments of clarity I have encountered as of yet.

Old Shoes saved for a road that never was... and never will be..

I look at it the same way I used to look at those Picasso paintings in the museums in France. I slant my head to the right and then to the left. Then I just gaze at it.
I know where it fits in my own life. Perfectly. But from one angle, it looks like an incomplete sentence. From another it looks like a perfectly fine one because the whole point is about realizing reality. A third angle shows me affection towards things that will never be, but if only they could be. Upside down it may look like a cow eating strawberries.

I begin to wonder how different people from everywhere would interpret it. How would it fit in their own lives. In the middle of my interrupted sleep I can almost hear the unuttered whispers of those who are going through their own transitions and their own moments of angst. Maybe they're going through their boxes-filled-with-treasure.

Ironically enough, at the same time I think about those kids that are -again- 4 hours away having to say their goodbyes. The ones that are moving on with their lives. Or at least still trying to.

Recommended Music: Drop In the Ocean- Michelle Branch
Life In Technicolor- ColdPlay

Monday, September 8, 2008

Curiosity Killed the Cat 9 Times... And the 10th Did It In

I am the person who can not survive without elaboration.
Take away all elaborate descriptive analyses of life and I suffocate... and maybe die... just like a little gold fish... you know... the pretty ones that have a 3 second memory span?

Ever since I was a little girl, this has been my game and this has been my mind boggle.
I remember when my mother used to tuck me into bed at 8pm every evening. And I'd ask her to tell me something. Anything. So she just thinks of something random and that is when my favorite game was to begin.
I would ask her "why?" Just like that. No matter what it was she was saying. So being the good extremely patient and easily entertained mother that she is, she'd try to give a sensible response that would be comprehended by a 5 year old... as if that would satisfy. Another "why?" follows the first response, and then a third "why?" follows the one before. Needless to say, it goes on and on until she decides enough is enough and that mommies cannot explain everything in one night.

I think when I was that age -and as far as my memory allows me- I was only curious about things that are much more complicated and sophisticated than the minds of kids with 8pm bedtimes. Things like God, and life and death. Things like wars, and military tanks and guns and things like "why don't they get the most powerful boxers or wrestlers from their countries and have a match and whoever wins then wins the war instead of killing all those people?"
Honestly... I just did not understand the stupid illogical logic that older crazy people were following. It's just stupid... wasting all those lives when it can just be settled by a simple wrestling match.
To this day I feel sorry for my mother who had to find quick satisfactory responses to even quicker and more difficult questions.

But then came the times when I can no longer ask someone that deliberate why.

To certain secrets of the world I have reached my own conclusion that has thus far kept me relatively patient. The only conclusion that has ever satisfied me was that human kind will -might- find out about God's great plan and all the secrets that come with it on Judgement Day. What Stonehenge is all about; whether the Loch Ness existed; what really happened with the Prophets; who the evil Pharaoh that chased Moses really was and whether I'm his descendant; and whether the Bermuda Triangle is really cosmically-odd or not, there is still a chance we will find out. Even if not. I calm my self with that.

All the same, by now, my habits and games have finally caught up with me. I cannot stop questioning and it seems it will never stop. I cannot stop asking others and I cannot stop feeling ashamed with every question I ask. The lameness and the misunderstandings that get to me each time. And every time I promise it would be the last time. But my curiosity towards my life does not stop. My need and urge to reach a target and to stay still there also do not stop. No matter how many times I convince myself that they have and that I have reached the epitome of all places to be, they do not stop.

I constantly feel the need to attain my own access key to others' minds and their thoughts. The reasons behind their thinking and their justifications are left unheard while there are those who ache to hear them. Because if they do they would finally find themselves or find what they are not. And I only find that when one is left unchallenged that that habit of constantly searching for elaborations gets one into "one heck of a mess".


The words feel familiar and the road feels even more so. My curiosity gets to me one more time; I interrupt this messy attempt to being relevant to the public and to finding salvation from my own twisted thinking in publishing it. I get up to open a dusty and worn-out black book. I find the exact words, phrases and sentences sketched out. I reach out for another, and it is the same.
For once... I finally see it.

I run around in circles for years on end with no absolution.
The first time I am awakened to the cruelty of the fruitless, targetless and lost hunt I have been on for the past 2 years, is the time I can no longer hide from it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Frankly My Dear, I Don't Give a Damn

Theme of the week... Or should I say Ferocious-Battle-Between-Even-More-Categorized-Concepts-Inorder-To-Decide-Which-Fits-My-Current-Status of the week?

I have come to realize that this entire blog is inspired by friends and the things they say to me that wake something up inside. Realizations that come crashing down on my head during all too normal and random conversations seem to have a greater effect than the speaker realizes, and I guess that only points to something in my own person rather than in theirs. I noticed that the way I look into often overlooked details and the way I analyze them and their effect on my life sometimes takes a greater portion of my waking moments than is normal to human beings.

Whether that is a good thing or not is debatable. By a lot of concerned people too I may add...

After the dust has begun to settle on the mess that was my life, I have begun to experience visits by an ugly and awkward three way tango; one that is indefinitely stumbling through its steps around my head in more way and form than just one.
The thing is, other than the fact that this entire past month has been nothing but one big agonizing pay check to fate in return for the extraordinary July and first 3 Augustan-days, it has also been a month of blasts from the pasts and quiet nights at home doing nothing but looking for "sharp clarities" and "certain truths". No worries though; It was not all gone to waste, but it did bring up some peculiar thoughts. I am beginning to doubt the supposed inarguable idea that I have gotten over particular tunes from the past, and as they pop up again left and right I begin to also find new definitions to their status in my life;

Let Go: v. to be aware of an issue that may become an obstacle in one’s path and to choose to drop the entire matter without giving it second thoughts to be gone with the wind. (Tara! Tara! … my apologies but I just can’t help it)

Move On: v. to be aware of such previously mentioned issue and acknowledge and accept its existence in one’s life and attempt to maneuver around it until it is brought up again.

Get Over: v. goes beyond moving on to indicate the person’s full recovery from the issue and the total removal of said obstacle from one’s life entirely, thus making its recurrent comeback a far shot and a rarity.

Call my crazy but I think this makes sense (why do I find myself saying this quite often? Have I ever said something that does not make sense? Doubtful..). And what is beginning to make more sense than ever is the fact that I have not gotten over anything at all; I've actually moved on from it all... And in fact I am actually welcoming every thing's return and all the sneaky visits I have been getting. Actually, maybe getting over all that would have been a big bummer because then I would not have been able to revisit the memories and the happiness or pain they brought me.

One's life is one's life. A person should never try to avoid the certainties and facts that are history. It is true that history is history, but -like Rafiki the Crazy Baboon says- how then do you learn form it if you try to ignore it?

Be that shining star. With all the melodies and all the shadowy pasts lurking in the background and all the lines and etches.

I've already tried to erase those etches, bumps and rough corners that identify a huge part of who I am and I've ended up being sore and bitter at what I have lost in the process; the conviction with who I am, who I've become and who I am going to become. There are many layers to a person and many dimensions as well, if we can't love them all; each and every one of them, with all their faults and perfect imperfections, then I'm sorry to say we aren't worth two dimes of the life God has given us. And if they can't love them, then I'm sorry to say they aren't worth two dimes of your time.

The moment you start believing in what people say about you... it's over.
Be that old sentimental fool who believes in life and opportunities; who believes in the world and its hidden treasures that are waiting to be found; who believes that life is as sure as the next plum you eat and hates it all at the same time.

They're going to love me for it, or hate me for it. And Frankly my dear.. I don't give a damn.

Recommended Movies: Go indulge and have a Disney marathon.. the lessons of life embedded in those are more important than in any self-help book known to man.

Recommended Activities: A scrap book or pin up your memories on a board

Sunday, August 24, 2008

It Wasn't Too Late for Crepes Either...

I planned to sleep at 10.
Around 1 am I started making a dozen of my very own delicious-special-recipe crepes.

Some people are stress eaters. I, on the other hand, am a stress cooker. Yes that's true. There is such a thing... and even if there wasn't then I just invented it. But the valid question here would be: What is there to be stressed about? Everything. But nothing at all.
I lay awake, insomniac; watching bad 80's movies just to distract myself from all the things that could be upsetting me with the world. Who on this planet hasn't done this before?

It's only healthy to start pinpointing the things that stress out the soul one at a time, deal with them, and then put them up on the trophy shelf next to all the other solved puzzles. So now that I have identified the structure of the most efficient and effective process of thought for the night, the task becomes actually finding out what is stressing me out. Which is a task that cannot be called neither simple nor easy... that's also why talking to people about random things helps.
I was talking to a friend (the same friend who says I have my nice plastic moments) and I realised one thing. I realised that one of my best chances at fulfilling a dream of mine - and of my mother's - as well had slipped by swiftly and unexpectedly, even though it had been there for almost 20 years.
My great aunt; my grandmother's sister, who was the eldest of her 9 brothers and sisters and who had the entire family story saved in her memory passed away on a hot summer night.

How does this have to do with the opportunity of my life? Simple. My mother's hope of me, and my own 10 year old dream is to put my family history down on paper as solid and documented as can ever be. That history that is so rich and so intertwined with my own community's and city's and country's history is attached to everything I am and everything that I hope to at some point become.

And I feel as though those generations of stories and anecdotes crumbled and fell in those moments when I heard the news. It all just flew by too that I did not get to mourn properly or to contemplate and reflect upon all of this... I tend to go blank and reaction-less when death's stench reeks and hovers around my soul... I only realise much later.

Another very humane habit that requires some scrutiny is being "too late".
How late is "too late"?

I prefer to believe that as long as the loss of a life is not included in the story, then it isn't too late at all. There is always time to catch up. To pick up. To fix up. There is always time... Only as long as one decides that is is already late enough.
What people need to start learning - and especially yours truly - is that its unhealthy to postpone and it is even more unhealthy to give up on things.
I shouldn't have to give up on my doing something amazing because those around me think I should focus on available resources. I shouldn't have to give up on my need to feel accomplished because people tell me I need to be more grounded. I shouldn't have to give up on world peace (only with a completely and utterly made-over definition of "peace") because of the fact that it has become a ridiculed concept. I shouldn't give up on reaching the people I want to reach just because they live half way across the world. I shouldn't feel like a total waste of space and breathing air only because a boy my age on TV managed to become a swimming hero never to be forgotten.

And most definitely I shouldn't have to give up on writing my book because of the passing of the most beautiful and brightest and most colorful woman I have ever known... She would have scolded me bad for giving up; she would've told me she is unimportant, that she is just one of God's creations, and that everything I need I would find in the rest of His creations.
No one should... It just needs a bit of effort and a plenty of support. Or maybe its the other way around.

No I don't want to battle from beginning to end; I don't want to cycle, recycle revenge; I do not want to follow death and all of his friends.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One more Infinite Abyss

12 days 19 hours and 30 minutes.
That’s how long ago it was.

We just stand by and wonder how fast those hours just swoosh by. It can get absolutely ridiculous. Even then, those wondering thoughts crossed us, but for completely different reasons. They were more bittersweet than the ones I think right now. Now they’re as simple as the word “sad”. And Hurt... That’s another appropriate word for it.

What hurts most is that it is beginning to not hurt as much as it did 12 days ago… or 10 days ago… or 9 days ago. Some people say that forgetting is actually a blessing and gift from God to mankind. I say it’s both a gift and a curse. A blessing because one always needs to forget the ugly things that have happened in their pasts (insert a loud “Duh” from the crowd); in parallel, it remains a curse because when that disease of forgetting falls upon us, we forget about the pain that we feel when we part from loved ones, or when we say our goodbyes. Yes, it is healthy to forget about the hurt and pain, but who said a person – and I in particular- would want to be healthy and forget about the pain that makes them happy. If that's what it's called then so be it; I'd definitely rather be "unhealthy".

Yes, pain can make me genuinely happy. That is in the specific case when it is connected to people I love that I might never meet again, or to the times that in their turn caused genuine happiness.
It is difficult for me to not wallow about certain things and experiences in my life.
My mother tells me I should stop creating my illustrious and illusionary worlds that revolve around much simpler and imperfect concepts and people. But to me those will always remain perfectly imperfect.

In the words of Charlie the Wallflower, “I feel infinite”.
When I listen to those certain tunes that make every single taste, smell, graze, ray of sunshine, drop of rain, laugh, tear, heart skip and van ride flood back into my system. And when I breathe in just one very specific breeze, and when I am reading this exact page of that particular book and I remember everything that once was and never will be again; and that is when I begin to feel that beautiful pain and that hurt again; that is when I feel infinite.

I do sincerely believe that I have the right; the absolute right -without the fear of being committed- to feel this way about the reasons behind why things have changed so drastically for me. Because they have changed as drastically. And the new thing is that the implications of those changes and their consequences, are not within my grasp of control and… honestly? I do not wish them to be.
I have made yet another conscious decision (another of my self-found central concepts). It is the same as the one I had made just 2 years before: I’ll let the events of my life flow with no control.
Yep, that’s true; I’ll let them flow from the midst of the pain, the missing, the love and the bittersweet genuine happiness, without once trying to apply my chains of control that I sometimes barely live without.

If it’s a broken part, replace it. If it’s a broken arm then brace it. If it’s a broken heart…then face it.

I sat on the roof of our little Mediterranean chalet reading the book that revolves around the wallflower. It was around my favorite time of day; after the sun leaves mid-sky and right before it sets; exactly when it’s in 3 quarters of the blue that turns into the perfect tinge of orange. It needed a picture. But I knew that bothering to go fetch the camera was not worth ruining the actual moment. So… I let it be.

Luckily enough however, my cat had to escape me as fickle as she is. And I did get the chance to grab that camera and snap the just as fickle beauty. Maybe Fate likes things to go my way too…

Suggested Music: Details in the Fabric- Jason Mraz

That Green Gentleman (Things Have Changed)- Panic at the Disco

Suggested Reading: The Perks of Being a Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky

Suggested Movie: Garden State

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Another Lame attempt at Genuine Happiness...

I probably should not be pre-judging this newly-found trial arena before I even begin my attempts, but something tells me it won't not really work and the purpose would yet again be unfulfilled.
Most probably those voices again...Darn them can't live with them can't live without 'em.
Oh well!

I get tired of hearing people say "Oh you looked happy!". Of course I looked happy; I was happy. What do they think I'm made of plastic or something? I can be happy, I can be genuinely happy too.. because of course those are two very very distinct concepts.

Allow me to elaborate; being happy is an everyday thing; you meet an old friend, you have a good time or a good laugh in your own hometown, you play a game of monopoly, maybe you finally find a good movie on TV.
Being genuinely happy on the other hand..that's different. You cannot be genuinely happy all the time. It just does not happen. Genuine Happiness is a once-upon-a-time kind of thing.

That was the kind of happiness I found in a country for which I supposedly harbored all kinds of resentful emotion for. In the midst of all the circumstances that cannot be duplicated no matter how hard I try, I found love, I found bittersweet sadness, I found loud silences, I found overwhelming soberness and fragmented thoughts just the way I like it. My guess most probably experience that kind of genuine happiness only away from your loved ones. Only when it's quiet and you do not have to live up to expectations..
Whoops..There goes another judgement with no foundation.

Call me crazy, but I just like to assume that what applies to me should apply to the entire world. Things are just better my way. I truly believe that.

So what caused that genuine happiness? Was it Breaking the rules? Meeting the people of the earth that made my heart skip? Finding open skies allowing for unlimited opportunities?.... Being alone again..?
I won't even try to look into those now... That needs a good book, some yoga and the beach.

Instead I think of all the unfulfilled scenarios that might have been in the case I had let that side of me that knows it does things best, really take full control. The ironic thing is, some people really do think I'm plastic... at least sometimes.
A friend told me a few days back "When you're plastic, you aren't necessarily nice.. But believe it or not, plastic gets things done. If it weren't for that, we would have never been able to get all that we did done". But I know it was not in full mode. Had it been in full mode, those 138 people in that room in that hotel in DC, would have seen something they had never seen before. Ever.
All those "peoples" that intimidate me and that have me fall in love with them over and over with their amazing capabilities, would not have had the chance to tell me "Oh but you were okay too!"
But then again, that's just the kind of people we are; we don't get things done like our potential would allow. It's how we're built. It's in our genes that we do not go out further than the horizon and explore our own limits. And that is the difference between us, North Africans, and my favorite people.

Okay, here's a good question: If that happened then and I was still genuinely happy, so why am I now "unhappy" (as lame as that word actually sounds and looks) and why is that something like that may begin to bother me now?

The fact that I am back and that I am no longer surrounded with the people and environment that had been associated with that specific kind of happiness makes sense. but also that kind of happiness -as had been derived earlier- is distinct and separate from the usual and normal kind of happiness that can be found...well..anywhere! If those are the givens, what are the conclusions?
It can't be just a classic case of Sktizo can it.. is it the other kind of longing? Maybe it's my usual nostalgia...
The thing is...I sincerely believe it has gone beyond that simplistic notion this time. Far beyond.