The color green

I suggest you read this with Calum Scott’s Dancing on my own playing in the background.

You know, just to set the mood.

 

 

Ready?

 

Okay.

 

So I’ve stumbled upon a Youtube wedding video…

…that I had voluntarily searched for.

Stumbled upon [1] : To come upon accidentally or unexpectedly.

This, was by all means no accident. This was not unexpected. I willingly typed in Jess and Gabriel Wedding in the search bar, knowing very well that it was my 3rd time watching this video since its release.

Fast forward one hour, two cups of tomato soup down and a mountain of tissues later, I find myself stranded in that part of Youtube where all the suggestions on the right of the page either have an Ashley & David or a Kenza & Aleksandar or a Rami + Hana OUR WEDDING MOVIE.

Although there’s a particular trend with these videos: closeups of hair and makeup, close up of David or Aleksandar both buttoning their white shirts, the future married couple’s words to each other, and slow motion shots of their photoshoot.

… and it’s really warm.

But I’ve noticed the greenery, and I get that it is aesthetics and popular green wedding destinations, but this green fills and fulfills a much bigger purpose in my opinion.

This green; not too overwhelming,

delicate,

fragile in appearance, is the purest love can get.

It’s as clear as day. You feel its branches and leaves, and it grows; by God it grows, pure, real and genuine.

We tend to experience the things we don’t know differently than after we had known them.

‘When you fall in love’ she said

‘You will understand’.

I’ve wondered at the time what she meant when she said that, but I couldn’t relate for as long as I remembered.

And suddenly you do. It hits, as pure as green; that you never really felt, quite to the extent things could feel. It’s not an emotion you re-live, it is an emotion created, a slightly more elevated sense of feeling.

Maybe then I had felt I was able to grasp a little more of what she meant. It is important to understand that sometimes if you’re lucky enough, things are pure to an extent that there is nothing to be deciphered or decoded to be understood. It is simply, purely, green.

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ورقة بلا لون

‏سافرتَ بعيداً آخذاً ‏مَعَكَ في حقيبتكَ الجلديّة ‏صوتي و عيوني،
و أفكاري،
و قلمي،
و كلماتي و حبري
ماذا تركت لي؟
ماذا بقي لي
ورقة بلا لون
وكلمات لم أكتبها
سأرسلها كلها إليك
آملة انك لن تحتاج لرؤيتها كي تقرأها

Do you know your neighbor?

Do you know your neighbor?

There was a point in my life when I walked down a street filled with people that knew me.

Not only did they know who I was, but they greeted me into their homes, made me coffee I don’t drink and served me little bites of food which I ate a little too much of.

Not only did they greet me with food and drinks and even more food, but what was important was that they greeted me.
Point barre.
They did not simply, politely invite me into their homes; they yelled it out from the 7th floor.
Come up!
They would say
Their hands almost reaching down to the street, their electric voices stretching down, swooping the floor and scooping me up.

Not only did they do this to me, but I also did it to them. I learned to do it to them, and embraced their presence when they came by.

I walked down this street for three years, and everyday I would get the same overwhelmingly warm welcome. Women were on their balconies, their arms moving frantically side to side, yet in perfect harmony, hanging shirts to dry and clipping things onto strings as tiny drops from the wet clothes sometimes landed on the top of my head.

I looked up to see men sitting outside in their sleeveless white shirts in the summer, and long sweaters in the winter, resting their arms on the balcony side, watching people go by on the street, drinking their third cups of coffee of the day.
When I was young(er), I used to think that most of the people that lived on my grandmother’s street were actually related to us. I used to think they were family because they’d spend time at our house and we’d visit theirs. We saw them everyday and they all knew me, my brother, both of my parents, my grandmother and grandfather, and every human being sprout from that family tree, their background stories, current struggles and little victories. They knew us all and treated us like their own. It is only when I grew up that I discovered that we did not have any kind of real connection with their family whatsoever; and anyway, there was no possible way that my family could be this gigantic, but we were part of their joys and their cries. We felt it all, and they felt it with us too.
When I come back from travel I am treated like one of their own, and I am lucky enough to get an abundance of kisses and tight squeezes and questions and concerns and good wishes.

Lebanon, I’d run out of words if I’d written you poems, but I’d write you everyday of my life until my return.

And now, stranger living abroad, do you know your neighbor? Come to Lebanon, they won’t be neighbors for long.

And person possibly reading this in Lebanon, fine e3zom 7ale 3al ahwé bas ta erja3?

Carbon, blue, and all the shades in between

Everyday I wake up with a new face.
At night, I sleep with my mascara on
And I wait for the salt from my eyes to drain it away.
I wake up in the morning with streams of black lines on my cheeks and near my lips
As if the carbon from my mascara carved this feeling right into my skin and tried to outline the shape of my lips
It was so intense that it had to show.
Do you ever feel a little wretched sometimes, for no particular reason?
Well, actually, there usually is a reason.
Are, reasons.
Some of which we can’t do anything about, that depict reality as is, and some that have no reason in them at all, as if our bodies were fighting with our bodies, challenging them constantly to a match never to be won.
And in the morning the first things I see are my feet stepping on the ground, off my bed
I walk up to the bathroom, let the cold water stream fill my hands and wash away the evidence
After all, these lines are easily readable and can be quite scandalous,
But every morning, I wake up with a new face.
For anyone going through a particularly carbon-induced morning lining, I am with you, trust me.
I’ve enough sadness to fill a whole pool
And supply its decorative fountains, too.
I’ve enough gloom to cover Paris with more clouds than it is usually accustomed to
But I’ve become familiar with the rain and its own streams.
I hear people like to spend this time behind their windows, inside warm apartments that have long glass casements that stretch to the floor, where droplets of rain can hit against the double vitrage.
I hear there’s still some beauty in the blues, personally I’ve just grown tired of the color.

On commas & full stops

I thought if I had bared my soul and my thoughts to you

If I had written to you about you and referenced to you in the things I had done,

Then you would have understood

You would have felt it too,

this vulnerable state I am in, constantly.

I thought if you had read how I felt, black on white, then you would have known. If I had written it as clearly as I could, you would get it the way I did. You would respond. You’d say something.

I keep shooting in the dark, I never see it hit anywhere. I speak and my words end up either lost somewhere between us or right back where I’ve left them, in front of you to inspect. All you’ve ever done is glare at them. What good is it to admire them from afar but never really get to touch them, or feel the edges of every letter between your hands.

Afraid it will hurt your fingers? It might.

Don’t worry actually it should.

Here I thought a future with our words intertwined and our lips locked wouldn’tve been too inconceivable.

You were never mine, I give you credit for much more than what you are.

I give you credit for so much more than what you want to be.

You never wanted to take any part of my future.

I’m sorry I hung on to you when all you’ve wanted to do was let go.

I’m sorry I put so much importance on something that should’ve gone by as quickly as it came.

I’m sorry I put emphasis on a comma, but I thought it weighed much more than one breath in a pause.

We should learn not to put stress on one part of a sentence when it is clearly not finished yet. It ruins its whole aesthetic.

We should learn never to put emphasis on a comma when we can clearly see its full stop right there after its last word, but I was so used to writing my own that I hadn’t realized you were holding the pen.

Sadly this time you thought it was better not to write at all.

On unicorn slippers and silent wishes

Raise your hand if you’re in that awkward stage of your life where you’ve been scrolling through pictures of a friend’s engagement party while slurping noodles that took less than a minute to make in a microwave!

*Sees metaphorically raised hands*

I see you. You feel me.

If you are going through this right now, let me just

Give you a hug

Really, come here… it’s okay.

For those that have not yet gone through this, just you wait, it won’t be pretty; and for those whose 20s are long behind them, please reminisce with me on that time your family started giving you the look.

You know, that look that has been passed down generations. That look that your mom gives you just as she finishes scrolling through pictures of one of her friends’s daughters who has recently gotten married, and then proceeds to look at you, eating your sandwich on your sofa, legs crossed, watching whatever reality show that was airing on TV at the moment.

It’s that same look you get when one of your mother’s friends tells her about their daughter’s recent engagement. You are also there, listening in on the details, happy for her. Then your momma looks at you. It’s never really a disappointed look, it’s usually just a hopeful, slightly concerned one. She never says anything, but you can see it in her eyes, how hopeful she is for your own little future, and how badly she wants you to bring an eligible bachelor home someday. Her look is more of a silent wish, a hushed prayer if you will.

*I hope you find someone, but he better not break your heart* I imagine her whispering through her eyes.

*I want grand babies soon*

please mom. I am the only baby you need right now.

Now, I think back to that moment when I saw that look, as I am currently walking around my room with gigantic unicorn slippers on that I had received as gifts from my brother on my birthday. Because right now, this is where I am in my life. I wear professional colors on weekdays and unicorn slippers on weekends. I enjoy Cardi B and Instagram stories a little too much. I still sing like there’s no tomorrow in my room although the walls are thin and I’m 95% sure my next door neighbor can clearly hear me. I also sing a little at work. I’ve been told to stop that.

I thought teen years were awkward. Wait until you’re in your twenties and have to pay taxes and do your own dishes and get surprised with insurances you never knew you enrolled in, but still en up calling your mother when your head has been hurting you for more than two hours.

You first learn how to walk when you’re a baby, but in your twenties you start learning how to walk on your own, and that’s a big difference.

 

 

 

Stretching, in all its forms

Running to work this morning like a maniac,
Correcting that
Fast walking to work this morning like a maniac, because no matter how late you are, whether be it to a meeting or a wedding, do not rush life, as it is already hasty and rushed on its own.
If I am late, je l’assume.
I am late, might as well enjoy the crummy Parisian weather.
Anyway point is, fast walking to my work, I was holding an Arabic book in my left hand. In my right my phone, linked to my headphones, linked to my ears which were playing Shakira en Español, my feet stepping to the beat headed towards my french little workplace in Paris.
Trilingual in my accessories, Arabic book in hand, Spanish song in head and french entourage, I realized how incredibly blessed we are, globe trotters. Not just bilingual by where I come from, although the lebanese should be very proud, but people who have left home to find home in other places. How we were able to stretch our arms so far until we could no longer see the tips of our fingers, but we knew we would meet someone on the other side, even if we could not see our hands, even when we could not see who was holding them. But they did, they held on because we spoke their language, we bond with them and their cultures. We respect and emit good will.
I remembered being as little as twelve, sitting in classrooms in Dubai, touching elbows with those my age from other ends of the world. Everything I have ever known was difference, in people, places, cultures, backgrounds, music, hair, eyes, thoughts, voices, headbands and fingertips.
Yet we still stretch. I found out how much I enjoyed it, when I went back to Lebanon and was constantly surrounded by people who looked and talked like me. I missed the differences the moment I was faced with an abundance of similarities.
And then I got to experience stretching again in university. We stretched together, and always met in the same places. Sometimes we stretch much more than our arms, sometimes time seemed to stretch with us.
How lucky we are to have found similarities in all our differences.
We form little parities of our own, and that really has always made the biggest difference.

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