Tag Archives: love

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?

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Paris isn’t the city of love, it’s the city of lovers

 

I sit on the upper deck of a train going from la Défense to Saint Germain en Laye, the sun had already set on a Sunday afternoon and people and their families were on their way back to their homes to prepare for Monday.

I look down the Ground deck of the train and I see a couple that had just walked in. She had blonde hair that she tied in a ponytail, and he was wearing a grey t-shirt with the Monsters Inc. logo on the back. Both standing, he had wrapped his arms around the metal bar on the train, and she had her arms wrapped around his waist, although her grip was much tighter than his, she held on better than he did the bar.

This was usual, but in Paris you get to see each couple metamorphose into a complexe sculpture. The girl on the train had fit her neck under his chin, no space in between, and you could see the curves they formed together, and how closely they could turn into clay or solid granite in the Louvre Museum, where you see the rest of the curves and structures, solid; immobile.

Paris isn’t the city of love, but Of lovers who have found their cities and homes in each other. They are each other’s light and tunnels, their streets and their highways. They are their red-bricked houses and the bars they grip onto tightly. Paris is the place, but the city resides in her eyes, and his smile. Paris surely isn’t love, but all the roads they crossed to get into each other’s bodies, they all live in little mobile cities of their own.

Particulars; and why you need to surround yourself with them.

Think about how much more wonderful life would be if every person on this earth did what they were passionate about and pursued it ’till the very bits of its end. Think about the outcome and how much positivity you will be surrounded with. How great it would be to be courageous and driven enough to run after what you want (and, in a perfect world, conquer all obstacles thrown in your way and find long term success, whatever that success may be.) How much more clear laughs will sound and how truer words will be spread.

Sometimes it hits me late at night (as it did now, I’m afraid), right as I’m trying to draw a close to my day for a few hours before I begin again; I really start to think (and I know you did too, at some point in time, think my exact thoughts), that time is running by. I don’t want to put it harshly but there is a finish line and sooner or later everyone will cross it and that’s about as clear as day. But unlike usual marathons, this one counts on what you actually accomplish on your way to the red band you will tear, because everyone will reach it; and unfortunately the faster you do, the worse it will be for you, because the saddest part about the marathon is that there are absolutely 0 winners. You won’t be given a trophy for finishing first or arriving a few seconds after the winner, what will determine your “success” is how you ran (I hope I haven’t milked this metaphor too much, please tell me if I did).

My mind was wandering around ideas like how much less weight there would be over our tired little shoulders if people really dug deep to find what truly and unquestionably motivates them and makes them happy, and went after it.

Throughout my (still pretty short compared to others) life, I have met a wide range of people, and I have realized why it is that I am attracted to those that I will from now on forward call “particulars”. They are the particular souls that you just feel are different from the rest of the bunch; and that difference usually comes from them being open about what they like, what motivates them, and generally who they are as people. They are the ones who are unafraid to question themselves repeatedly and fearfully (yes, fearfully), but they do, and they try as much as they can to do what they love in a world absolutely filled and overflowing with judgements and pre-judgements and pre-pre judgements and doubt and the fear of what will happen if I do what I actually love doing. These particulars inject what they love doing in their daily lives and you can just feel their presence when they walk into work or when they get back home. They are the artists who, even if they did not become artists, ended up injecting art in their lives so well that they never needed a canvas.

If you know these particulars/ if you’ve felt their presence before, you will know who I’m talking about. These are the people who are not just “good” at what they’re doing, they are the change and the difference. They are what makes this life extremely enjoyable in all its mundanity and unpleasantly usual routines.  They can be that teacher you had that really, really made an impact on you, a person you met in the office that does their job so absolutely brilliantly that you start questioning what you really got from your Masters Degree. They can be a classmate that teaches you so much more than what’s written on the slides, and who knows? It can even be you, particular person. (Because I’ll let you in on one last little secret before I literally fall asleep on my keyboard: we are all f***ing particulars! In our own ways. But for your own mental health, stay around these people, learn from them and let them influence you in the best way possible and let them make your brain itch sometimes because the clock is still ticking! and you’re still running, but by being more particular, in your own way, you’ll learn to forget that there’s a finish line.

*Sidenote forgive the cheesiness in this post if you smelled it, it’s 2:33 am and my brain may be farting bubbles. Hope you enjoyed the read 🙂

Carefully Calculated

You count the days until you get to see them, the years, minutes and seconds you have with them

You count the freckles on her cheeks and the birthmarks on his back,

that now form an exact pattern, carefully calculated.

You count seconds, then you breathe

You count breaths, then you push

You count blessings, then you cry.

You count their little fingers, one, two, three. Their tiny fingers

You count them sheep, because they can’t remember what comes after 8

You count all the pieces of the puzzle to make sure nothing is missing

You count stars because you can’t see them all

and you count the stars in their eyes because you can see them all, more breathtaking than the universe.

You count their teeth and still tell them to smile

You count to three then the tchoo-tchoo train arrives

You count letters and numbers and teach them to use their fingers, their not so tiny little fingers anymore

You count dreams, but with time you lose count

You try not to count heartache, because the counting gets too hard

You count the pieces that were shattered and try to fit them back together

You don’t count grudges because there should only be a few.

You count the tears but they keep slipping through your fingers

You count the laughs, and recall them again and again.

You count your friends, until you realize that’s not what counts

and suddenly you start once again, counting but hardly remembering the days that pass by

You start counting the people that forcibly said goodbye

Life now reveals you wrinkles you still have to count,

At one point the counting shifts, They are now counting  minutes and seconds they still have with you

Because somewhere along the way, you’ve run out of fingers.

 

Rim Abla

 

4 reasons getting my dad a Cactus on Father’s day was pure genius

BECAUSE NOTHING SAYS I LOVE YOU BETTER THAN A SPINY CACTUS!

{okay hear me out}

; As I was roaming around Hallmark and all the dad-like isles the mall could offer, I wondered whether he would like a polo shirt, but he had far too many. A pretty tie came to mind but my mother warned me about getting him another one “he bought one two weeks ago for your brother’s graduation!” she repeated.

Other dad-day synonyms came to my esprit, like wallets, socks, glasses and anything that goes into that batch, it all seemed too déjà vu, and a little meaningless at this point, but I did find a frame that I liked, and decided to get him a rose along the way, and a little cactus.

I decided to get the spiny bundle of joy after a well deserved Eureka moment.

1- The fierce little cactus goes a long way, he wont be able to get rid of it, and how great is it to know that a gift you gave to your dear papa wont ever leave him? EVER. IT WONT DIE EASILY, and he will be forced to remember you at its sight.

2- The cactus’s spines might just reflect how hard to handle I am [we are] sometimes, may he remember me every time the little creature pokes him.

3- How do you take care of a Cactus you might ask enthusiastically [now that you know that this idea is possibly the best breakthrough you’ve experienced in modern-day gift dilemmas]? Well there don’t come much easier than that. Dads are usually very busy with their plans and schedules and whatnots. The cactus needs watering once every month, so no severe problems are caused if he forgets it a couple of times. We just gently need to remind him of his duties every end of the month. Or he can just remind your mother to do it every other time. Pota[y]to-Pot[a]to.

4- It’s cute, and like every thorny little child a papa might have, he will cherish it as if it were his own blood

I’ll let you in on another secret though, no matter the gift you chose; he will probably cherish it because it was given to him by you.

Happy father’s day