May 29, 2006

Swimming in the Dead Sea

It was a chilly, May evening. We were sitting in the front porch of Muna's house, wrapped up in shawls and jackets, yet stubbornly insisting on smoking the argila outside. Four bold women who did not take shit from anyone, not even the weather.

We'd all made a special effort to get together this night. Our friend, Rana, was visiting Toronto from Ramallah, and this was our only opportunity to see her. We smoked, drank Moroccan mint tea, and talked. We heard stories of Rana's new life in Palestine. She was so content. Said she felt at peace, at home. Neither Canada nor Lebanon were home, she said, they were just places where she had passed time.

We listened to her stories. Inhaling and exhaling our feelings of envy with every puff of the argila, hoping that the sweet taste of the strawberry tobacco would soothe that intense craving for home.

Then Rana told us about swimming in the Dead Sea. I have never been there, but as a child, I imagined it to be this magical experience; floating on water, absolutely weightless. As Rana was telling her story, I felt a growing urge to go to there. At that moment, I wanted nothing more than to soak my skin in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. I wanted to float, and to have for a minute, a feeling of a peaceful nothingness.

There are places in Middle East painted with thousand of years of stories. There are places so breathtaking it hurts. Rana's presence was a reminder of their existence.

The sad truth is that many of us cannot go to those places freely, or cannot return to them, cannot see them again, or ever see them...

Many of those places now reek of destruction and suffering; even so many years of stories cannot hide the stench...

So I may never be able to swim in the Dead Sea, but I can write it in my stories and in my poems.

I will travel through words.
I will remember through words.
I will continue to paint home with my words.

7 Comments:

Blogger skyscraper said...

thank you for this very sensual and revealing, intimate story. i truly enjoyed reading it, PQ!

11:20 PM  
Blogger skyscraper said...

"I will continue to paint home with my words." - and your words are very beautiful, you touch the soul with them. i love your writing.

11:22 PM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

I think you and I share the same melancholic vibe towards "home" - thank you for the kind words about my writing - it really does pour from my soul - I let it out and I feel better :)

I sometimes wonder if readers think i'm some super, melancholic, nostalgic, depressive person...

then again, even if I was, is that a bad thing?

words are such amazing things!

12:17 AM  
Blogger fiercelyfab said...

you know what PQ you never sound that way...and like you mentioned if you did it wouldn't be a bad thing.

I too love this poem since it is filled with emotion and we're able to see what you feel.

2:39 AM  
Blogger Free To Be... said...

I really enjoy checking in and reading your blog. You have a great writing style and I think happy or sad it reflects life, your life and it's real. Girl, it's great to be a complex person, isn't it? One dimensional would be boring! Not to mention, it gives depth to your writings and poetry.

12:54 AM  
Blogger Pomegranate Queen said...

fab and free to be,
thanks! expressing emotions is such a taboo, you know? it's like one has to be all apologetic about it, or front.
FTB, you're right, "happy or sad" it reflects life and it's REAL! It's all about being real and letting emotions flow through.

ps. FTB, I can't believe I didn't have to you linked! I haven't been able to blog as much as i'd like because i haven't had time and there are many blogs I love and haven't kept up with well - i'm happy yours will be an addition to my list of blogs - now only if I could find time to blog!!!

11:11 AM  
Blogger Free To Be... said...

I'm going to link you too...

5:23 PM  

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