Its 2 30 am in Prague, 3:30 a.m in Beirut. I pickup the phone send a text to my cousin : ” is everyone ok?”
everywhere on the news, URGENT : an earthquake hit Lebanon, Syria and Turkey.
I remember the last strong earthquake was in the 90s, I was maybe 4 or 5, and I recall the kitchen cabinet shaking and things falling.
First thing I asked was if my 6 year old cousin is awake or asleep. She missed this unfortunate feeling of instability in the most grounding thing we have in life, and Im glad she did.
Im tired from asking.
Im tired from being Lebanese.
This year, started off with me planning to have a big 30th celebration in summer, to bring all traveling family members, but part of me, felt im lying to myself.
I would love to believe I could have a happy celebration, but all I could think of is: “will there be a war in Lebanon this year?”
We grew up with this question, is it now or is it tomorrow or the day after. As if it is a definite thing. The sound of Israeli warcrafts and drones , is a familiar sound to my ears. An everyday sad symphony,, sounds to which I recall waking up, sleeping to, for so many countless days.
Im tired of asking how much is the dollar today? Im tired of asking how did you manage to have heating, iff indeed, they managed.
My best friend has cancer.
And I recently got the news. Up until that moment, my feelings of inner peace were so unreal, that this just allowed my anxiety to explain itself. “Of course, something had to happen at some point, life is not meant to be “en rose”. I’m not quiet sure how to deal with it, I bombarded with texts, then, went back to our usual mode of not connecting every day, part of me feels scared, and another part feels helpless. But the biggest part for sure, just wants to be home, there next to her, driving and visiting sacred places, crying, praying, healing, laughing, cruising with the loud sounds of darbouka all along the way…
So simple are my dreams, yet somehow so much as only “beautiful dreams”.
The road to Beirut, is growing further and further each day, and with that, the way to my dreams gets longer too.
Im tired of asking, how is everyone, and carrying this burden, of so much national pain. Im tired of carrying the images of cedars, the smells of pine, and the memories of my grandparents all my uncles and my cousins, under the olive trees, Im tired from the image of my grandfather sitting in the corner of the living room, with the Mate tray in front of him, with his deeply carved dark eyes, his hazelnut skin, and silver lined mustache, the small white round hat on his head, calling me with his deep voice : “Ya Fraashii”. “Farasha” or spoken “Frashi” means butterfly. Im tired of the weights I carry from all “these” once called “present”.
Im tired from the sounds of night crickets and endless chirps of frogs at night, under the vine, drinking mate till 1 a.m. the smell of the gas light when the electricity went off, the candles my grandma started to light, and the serene feelings of “family”.
Lebanon, my harbor, what used to be my safety, is now weighing me down. And for brief moments each day I sometimes wish, I forget all about being Lebanese. Erase every memory I have, and start new, in this simple planned life, in this predictable city, in this all so organized pattern.
As usual, more will come along the way, I just needed to talk to myself here, get these thoughts and feelings out, and maybe somehow figure out things.
Leaving you with a picture of another beautiful, un-lebanese morning💜