In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life — It goes on.
I have always LOVED Robert Frost. His were the first poems I made an effort to learn by heart. I loved to reproduce them, in my mind, out loud, to friends, through play, living them through, or even to a mirror.
He seemed to also see ,that life; was all about metaphors.
He saw nature, the woods, the roads; travelled and less travelled by, loveliness; dark and deep, loneliness, promises to keep; they all meant something else, something more. But he communicated it all, all the deeper meanings, through everything that every eye could easily see.
And life IS all about metaphors. Physical pain for example; I think is something we experience , only to teach us to deal with the real, deep, scorching, internal and not so physical pain. We fall countless times when young, and we scrape our knees or maybe need a few stitches, but we watch and we see, everytime we painfully pull away the band-aid, that no matter how red, purple, green, the ta3weera gets; in time, sometimes long and sometimes short, they are nothing. And except for a scar; we heal.
And the scars…even those are reminders, that what was once painful no longer is.
During my time (splendidly confusing and should enriching years) with Fat'het kheyr, we would sit for hours with our 'loan groups' doing 'our part' to help, when in fact the lessons of humility and life, are ones that will never match up to anything we have given. We would listen to their stories, try to think of how we can work something out together, but at least a third of the time, feel powerfully helpless, slumped and at loss. In my own experience; they were those times that the women would ironically perk up, pat me on the back, wipe away their tears and say something like ' ya bent ya 3abeeta kolo bey3ady…'
Once at a particularly critical 'husband has prostate cancer' , ' no money for eid food' , 'son needs a shoe', 'daughter is seriously ill', time, awhen I could barely hide my distraught, Om Samar laughed and said..
'Mesh el shams 7atetla3 bokra?'
Slapping one hand over the other (though softly) on her lap, bending over with her head tilted towards me, and her face looked away from me, eyes wide, lips pursed, in a very small 'prelude to a wise smile' smile. Her face however, was already beginning to open up into one.
'aah'. I affirmed, my head tilted downwards - still at loss- and not knowing where this was going. Seeing little hope of going anywhere.
'khalas. Yeb2a yom gedid 7ayebtedy. 7a3mel eyh. We kol yom 7ayeb2a fee mashakel, we kol yom 7annam 3aleyha.
neegy el sob7… BARDO nela2ey el shams betetla3… Talama kol leyl beyekhlas, we ba3deeh, kol nehar yebetedy, yeb2a kol 7aga 7atekhlas, we kol 7aga 7atebtedy men gedid.. we aho, kol yom beforas Tanya…'
There was nothing cliché about Om Samar's little monologue. It wasn't a famous saying of hers, or part of her trademark optimism. I think it was something she learnt with time.
I don't know what exactly she meant, but a world of meaning revealed itself to me.
Not that every day brought a new chance. But that everyday was new. And every day was a metaphor. Because as 'lovely dark and deep' each night is, however sad, however content, the sun shines loud and bright every morning, making you squint, and shield your face from it, but also making you realize, the sometimes wonderful, the sometimes very harsh reality, that another day has come, and that life beckons you to pull it through.
And so the sun, in all it's yellowness and brightness, pulls us, pushes us, forces us if you will, to move. Mover for shelter, mover for food, mover for shade; just move.
Everything is alive. Everything seems wise, and so everything does indeed send beautiful messages. I have a powerful deep faith in God, and nothing rings closer , truer or warmer in my heart. But whether it is God that people believe in, or the life that throbs around them, everything is alive.
The wind does whisper, Leaves do wave at you, trees are good listeners, waves are playful, and mountains doo carry millions and ages of stories and wisdoms.. they do watch, they do listen, they do witness and they do preserve the wisdom of the ages.
If you are true to yourself to the world, and perhaps to God, then you cannot but feel it. You cannot but hear them. It is just sometimes that we choose not to.
Memories, thoughts, ideas; pain and joy do linger in the atmosphere around us. Every place has it's own feel, it's own memories. And once again if you let yourself go completely you can feel them. You can feel the tension, you can feel the trueness and purity, you can feel the pain.
I have felt them in the deserts of the oasis and the mountains of Sinai, in Gibran's house in the mountains, in the south of Lebanon, and the heart of Berlin . In the depths of the citadel's prisons, and on the banks of the rivers in Florence. But I am not special in that sense. And I'm sure everyone feels things differently…but we do feel it.
Given that; everything is alive and that we are surrounded by the energy of all that has happened before us, and all that has been thought and lived, so that even place breathes with life, then how can we not believe in signs.
They come in little events, and gestures, and whisps and drops; but they come. They carress, and they whisper and they touch; and sometimes they scratch; often deeply too. But they speak to us, in a language we have not been accustomed to use.
'It goes on'.
As silly as it felt when I first read it, and as little as I could grasp the wisdom, it was short, and it was witty, and I loved Robert Frost.
But life as you come to realize; idoes go on. And when your heart refuses to stop at the times when the pain makes it seem only natural that it should, and when your eyes continue to flutter open at the first chirp of the first ray, and when a word, a letter, a song, touches, inspires, caresses or enlightens you. When the world seems to fall apart around you , and you have little power to stop it, when your voice is not loud enough for you to dictate the way things should./could be. That's when you realize that as cruel as it might be, as a blessing; it continues. And what doesn't kill you? Yes; it makes you stronger. And until you are stronger you just live. And as long as you are 'living' it is only up to you and up to you only how you decide to live it.
And all those clichés and all those silly quotes and every day sayings; about life going on, about what doesn't kill you, about the sun coming up again?
Hold on to them tightly. Because at the times when things are loveliest, loneliest, darkest and deepest; it is their soft familiar ring; and only theirs, that pulls you through.
It goes on, and on, and on. Life's toughest lessons, seem to be its simplest. But no good lessons ever come easy.
is my take on,
and my peace with,
for today. :)