البُعد

البُعد بيشدنى شد…مع انى تحت امره من كل بُد…

 البُعد غرام وامتد…وَنَس..لا عمره جرح ولا صد

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Cairo Winter

The burning sun cools a bit…the fuming dust rests a bit…night noise tones down a bit…

My skin likes smooth fabric covering it heavier bit by bit…hot drinks are favored a bit and ice melts goodbye…

Walks are longer and more frequent…outings are earlier…nights are lonelier…and mornings are louder and busier…

I meet my winter…for i have grasped my first breath in December and it was chilling cold i bet…

I meet my winter and i miss Cairo winter…when streets sparkle at night and its yellow lights bring me moral warmth…

In winter i notice the fuming sweet potato carts by the Nile and the smoking hot Huge pots of spicy chickpeas waiting for a cold couple to hold it’s hot cups and laugh over the heat of the chili meeting their cold teeth…

In winter i notice Cairo lights falling on the dark waters of the Nile painting a thousand paintings of Cairo night colors…

Coats and Shawls hug people intimately and encourage them to leave their warm beds and breathe in winter nights clean air…

My winter is about movies and poetry and the occasional ride with a loved one under Cairo preciously rare rain…

It’s the mild quiet announcement that another year will be gone forever…that another set of dreams need to be written and wholeheartedly wished for…and that a list of heartaches need to be torn away to a long gone farewell…

I love Cairo winter…I love my winter…

Flashlights in my eyes

Thursday 30th June

Live music…Piano…caressing, pressing on, pounding and dancing on the keys with his brilliant fingers…the piano was black and grand…and the music revived my soul…took me away from life and up to the skies…I breathe…I, then, breathe…then suddenly and by an odd chance  I was exposed!!

I knew it was time…

 

 

 

Friday 1st July

Morning: Surrounded by many colleagues…watching a scene from a movie as part of the studying process: and there it was…music…a guitar that screamed on the sidewalk…a talent disclosed…and she joined him on the piano…he was humming the tunes…she was playing them…he was guiding her through the notes…and she was following his melody…and i had him in my head sitting their…on the black grand piano…humming tunes and guiding me into playing them…then we sing together…and he’d smile i get the tunes…and he’d smile when I harmonize…

a girl from the group looked at me…smiled…and said: does it remind you of something?

And I couldn’t hide the sting that evoked many soundless tears to flood from my eyes…quietly i left my seat to head to the bathroom…no one noticed me but my best friend…the bathroom was busy so i stood at the end of the hall…facing a tiny window overlooking the empty street and a dull tree…and i breathed him out…with many tears…hearing the couple from the movie still playing and still singing and hearing my heart still weeping but i choked on the sounds…my tears are silent…soundless crying…and i cried…cried…and cried…till the tears stopped on their own…I managed to wash my face…and faned it with my hands dry…and went back to my seat hoping my eyes are tearless…my pain over missing him at that very moment inserted a sharp pin in my heart…and it wouldn’t go away…

 

 

 

 

Friday 1st July

Afternoon: A boat in the nile…amazing breeze…kids that look older at that very moment…many years have passed…and i worry…I worry about them…

the boat turns…the smoke from my cigaret blows towards them…so i stop smoking…and i wish i could smoke…my mind was worrying over my kids…my heart was missing a beat…a certain beat i only know of…again…should i be grateful i had a long time-out from that beat? should i be grateful i have it now?

The Serenity of the emptiness was good while it lasted…

Here i am…slightly slightly aching again…living again…here…i…am…

 

 

 

 

Saturday 2nd July

Noon: the circle felt complete…I felt the belonging…the secure belonging…despite being conscious and putting myself out there in front of them…i know i have the guts many people don’t have…so i might as well enjoy it…act upon it…and trust them…

I trust them…I trust it…it…that ties me to that grass and to that breeze that blew through my hair…to that sky…to it…that spirit…

I feel WHOLE there…and M’s eyes always hug me…always…always…all i have to do is look at her…when i’m confused…in pain…scared…uncomfortable…M’s look hugs me…and i…I AM…I AM there…on that spot on that day at that time holding that book…I BE.

Noon: I know what I’m good at…I know what i want…will pursue it wholeheartedly! 

 

 

 

 

Saturday 2nd July

Night: The market was so so crowded i could barely hear myself thinking: why the heck have i come here to shop on a SATURDAY?!

Mom was smiling…we were walking inside and each had a kid in her hand…a kid who wanted to pull his/her hand away and walk freely…but we wouldn’t let them…too crowded…too damn crowded and we have nothing but those kids…we love…LOVE LOVE those kids and we LIVE for those kids…we wouldn’t let go…

I looked at her and said:

– “I need a break”

– “aren’t you having one already -ya nasaba”, and she laughed.

– “Not really…attempts only…i need to set my self free…”

– “entaleqy ya bent elmontaleqa “, she laughed again and nodded that she understands…then she made something with her hand -while still smiling- like flipping a burger on a grill.

– “No…Idon’t believe that would happen to me…other things may cause that…I harm no one…I am a good person”

– “yes you are”

we didn’t talk again…but as we reached home she gave me that piercing look that contained: take care of yourself…i’m scared over you…and i understand, all at the same time.

I looked away…didn’t say a word…end of story!

 

 

 

 

Sunday 3rd July

Very early in the morning: No need to be smart to get it! it’s obvious!

Still naive? Is it a bad thing after all?

Well…I feel every emotion and speak every word SO sincerely…and that is so rich and so valuable…no one and nothing would ever rob that away from me.

Rational I gotta be…and mature as I know I can.

Watermark: Breathless…restless…focused…trembling…strong…emotional…sincere…defensive and slightly slightly in pain…some say I’m vulnerable these days…well…I am a tough gal…so, all combined,,,,I’ll be ok.

 

Dear Daddy,

Dear Daddy,

I miss you beyond expression.

I miss calling you every night…Sometimes I forget you are not here any more and I pick up the phone to call you.

Forgive me for being angry at you…I sometimes get angry only because I love you…and because I missed you…I missed you all my life…way before you died.

Now…I feel grateful for what you left me…You left me a passion for art and a legacy of your music.

Yesterday As i was driving to the book club i put on a CD where you sang with your voice in a rehearsal…It was so warm and so precious and so painful to hear your voice talking and singing.

Dear Daddy, four years have passed…they feel so much longer…a lot has happened in my life;

Things that you would have prevented me from doing…people you would have protected me from…Accomplishments you would have embraced me for…I did screw up at times, but daddy, I did mend…I am trying my best…I have pursued little triumphs that would have made you proud of me.

Today i signed with a publisher who’s interested in my writing…your name and mine will be on books dear daddy…proud?

Your grand children whom you adore are doing great alhamdulelah…Your music is alive…with my little limited resources i am doing my best to make it alive…I promised you a website that contains all your biography, i couldn’t do that but i created a facebook page that is quite as good…you don’t know what facebook is!

I never forget my voice…my music…I live them for you and for myself…Jumana sings beautifully too…and Hassan has an amazing ear for music…I am writing…I am loving…and I never stop remembering you.

sometimes when i have the urge to break the rules I think of you and walk straight…People always greeted you that you had good kids…respectful kids…They were always amazed that an “artist” had three decent kids…Well, my brother and sister are more than amazing daddy…

I do my best be that…I do my best not disappoint you…and not disappoint myself.

If you were alive, would you have forgiven my mistakes??

Some how…I know you would have…You were always understanding, friendly and open minded…you were very strict in a lovely way.

You gave me so little time as a dad but you carved so much in me when you could.

Sometimes I hate myself for resenting things related to you…Sometimes I think that I don’t forgive you…but, now i know for sure that i do…I love you so much and appreciate everything that formed my spirit and my mind.

May you rest in peace…May all the good and generosity you’ve done for all the people I knew of after you passed away would be rewarded.

I am who i am because of everything you were.

I love you…

Rasha

Basil Fateen’s Meلancholia

Disclaimer: Although this is a belated book review, and Although i am very excited to write about it, i urge you not read this post and go demand your copy of the above mentioned book…read me later 🙂

I think many bloggers on Qwaider Planet our precious aggregator will recognize my title.

As I am certain many of us have missed a very talented and special blogger and his frequent updates on his blog:  A pigeon called frank

He has made it up for us and wrote a wonderful book.

Basil Fateen, a very talented young man who made a woman in her mid thirty believe, actually, that the character he wrote about a couple of years ago on his blog is real (and i actually, back then talked myself into rationalizing the existence of frank lol i know…i know i know :D).

I bought the plot, i bought the wit…the crazy sparkle in the character (and the author’s eyes) and I laughed out loud many times and woke my poor mom while reading his posts…

The cynical accurate observations the author had/has about our egyptian society cracked the heck out of me.

And when he announced the book: Melancholia, i was among those loving readers who really looked forward to the complete version of what was tasted on his blog.

The book hit the shelves in Egypt, i have no idea if it did world-wide and i was very late to purchase it and even more late to finish it.

I got my copy from Volume one Maadi, i believe it is at major book stores around Egypt and i would urge you to check it on Amazon.

And before i finished i fought the urge to post about it, yet i waited till the very end of it to share it with my friends on and off the blogosphere.

I am not a professional reviewer and i won’t pretend to be or copy that style…

I will only say it as i see it…you will laugh, you will think, you won’t suffer from any unneeded excessive usage of complex sentences or vocabulary like other Egyptian writers who write in English sometimes do…yet, his flawless language and elegant phrases are a joy for sore eyes…his charming style, the humor his pictures have and the depth lying between the lines for thinkers to pick, is just amazing.

(really wishing my son would grow up to be half as talented)

Melancholia: A must read and must enjoy…

A road paved with chocolate truffles

Disclaimer: Semi-Spoiler.

The story was of a mature woman who had everything but maturity. she lacked it because she didn’t quit figure out what was she…she knew she had a profession and she knew she had friends, a husband and a town to live in and walk down its streets everyday…but she never knew passion…she never enjoyed the taste of anything…she never knew how it tastes like to be in love with a man because he shares her passion…she never enjoyed the deliciousness of food, instead she consumed herself in eating and following it by counting calories then feeling guilt because she ate…she never prayed…never talked to gid…never knew what god is and how is he…and at one point she panicked as she realized that she can’t keep living like this…it was that moment late at night when she slept beside him awake and the minute he opened his eyes to speak of another gap between them and said: “I don’t want to travel with you.”,  she then said: ” I don’t want to be married.”

If you would see her you’d either relate or/and think she’s an ungrateful bitch…but fact is…she was just held back by all her self  ignorance…she just had to get to know herself, pleasure and god…

As I watched a movie that i looked forward to watching for some time, I felt such an enjoyment that is actually indescribable…it was like all the times i had those magnificent swiss chocolate truffles.

Every scene in the movie tasted and felt like that…scenes felt like the ones i had here in egypt while driving in some winter late night rides while listening to my favorite music and smiling from enjoyment because i was alone yet having so much joy infused inside of me…

Other scenes tasted like the truffles i had in the dark movie theatre in paris when the saltness and bitterness of my tears were combined with the sweetness of the chocolates…chcolates that were meant to numb the pain i felt then…

Other scenes smelled like the truffles daddy used to share with me on early mornings while telling me the funniest stories about celebrities…

And scenes reminded me of a different sweetness…the kind that fills all my senses when i feel how Allah may whelm me with his kindness although i didn’t do anything to deserve it…

But most of the scenes were just like the times i stuffed my face with truffles without having any sense of taste…not in my mind nor on my taste buds…times when i was numb all over but just doing what i normally do out of habit.

The lady from the movie took off for a long trip in search of the taste of life and passion, in search of god, in search of  herself  and she ended up knowing about all of those and knowing how love really feels.

You would relate…to the exotic search for a truth…to the revealed truth about the illusions we talk ourselves into then feel miserable afterwards…

The movie is entertaining…sensious…inspiring…at several points it was really funny in a corny way (or maybe it was my weird sense of humor)…refreshing…indeed refreshing.

Two cons though:

-Julia Roberts is losing serious volume from her lower lip :S

-There’s a certain margin of silliness and superficiality that i couldn’t neglect.

For best results, get yourself some truffles and watch the movie alone with the intention to enjoy yourself…

Greatest line: “I do not need to love you to prove that i could love myself.”

so much fun 🙂

EAT PRAY LOVE

It’s time to stop!

It takes a very honest, a very insightful and a very faithful person to know when is the right time to stop.

To stop a deliciously painful relationship…To stop taking the roller coaster of failed projects…or to stop performing while someone’s actually great at what they do.

Stopping here doesn’t mean defeat, giving up or letting go…it means to win self-respect, to gain more value and to experiment new more suitable passions of life.

Maybe Fairouz, the one and only, who has one of the most unique voices of the last century and the contributor to the most special musical school in the middle east should have really thought about leaving her musical legacy as perfect as it is without the most recent contribution…an album that contained great music, and great techniques that didn’t manage to hide the age related crack in her amazing singing ability.

To have an ongoing  passion for music never means standing on stage trying to minimize the singing range of the phrases because it is not attainable any more.

To live the passion fully till the very last breath sometimes means limiting the disclosure and enjoying the satisfaction of sharing a kind of art that will live as long as humans will ever live…

Fairouz, of course can sing…a lot better than any of our current singers…but when had she ever competed with others?!!

She is the one, and the only competition really is between herself now and herself a few years back.

The glowing star will forever shine if left up in the sky…but if it would fall on earth it would turn into a burnt out stone…

Another perfection (Musical)

Although i realize how great and perfect and strong Celine Dion’s voice is…I was never moved by her voice…too sharp for my taste…well, except for “seduces me” which is my favorite and the first recorded single experience for me…inspite all that, check this song..how perfect is the vocal interpretation for the lyrics….how great is her control…the vibrato…the smooth deeper tunes and the passionate pitch free singing…i am in a long AH moment!