Monday, December 13, 2010

Now a Mother

It’s that hideous hospital odor. It makes my heart race. I feel faint. There is also that metallic aluminum smell. When will it be over? Sweat and pain. It’s endless. I smell everyone’s agitation. The nurses smell horrid, even my own perspiration stenches. I don’t want anyone to touch me. I am scared and tired. When will it be over? I hate the starchy sanitized towel they give me to wipe my face with. I am screaming so loud because of the pain. I never knew my voice could be so irritatingly shrill. I am surrounded now by strangers. I can taste a nauseating smell, I cannot escape it, and it’s coming from me. It’s my body straining, changing and transforming. I am no longer a girl, I have transformed. I am now a mother.

Home for the elderly

She awoke each day to the same nauseating smells. Every odor seemed to be the same combination of old, musty and stale. It was like rising from bed in the middle of a bowl of sour milk. She already felt like a corpse. Her body had become unfamiliar, frail, and hunched. She could hear her cryptic steps. Even her breaths didn’t sound or smell the same; they were wheezes and acidic gasps of a person being forgotten.
Everything around her offended her. All her familiar surroundings had vanished, leaving her miserable in this sterile incarceration of the elderly. The smell of death permeated the air. One by one the population of the prison decreased. Yet replacements arrived of new aging hopeless inmates adding to the chemical concoction of these walls. There was no longer the wondering of what tomorrow will bring because she knew it would be the same putrid, intoxicating smells.
The smell that kept her up most nights and the one she could never get rid of was the smell of unfulfillment, of a life spent in vain. A road not traveled, and one that will never be. It stank. It reeked. It came out of her body without permission and it was the most vile smell of all. She tried to wash it off, to cleanse herself but it stuck to her like a relentless shadow. She would bear it like she has tolerated all the other discomforts and now she would wait for death row.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

The Star

Standing there, she is untroubled by the gazing eyes and knows that this is common practice. She is so attractive. She stands fluttering her brightly colored feathers and waits for the opportune time to start her melodious entertainment. She has to wait until there are just enough souls gazing at her. She knows this will be the highlight of their day and she understands their inability to go through a day without her. She glides gracefully and gets her curvy figure in position. The anticipation of what will come depletes all the oxygen, and there is silence. She stretches her neck and the musical magic starts. Her exhilarating charming humor dazzles everyone. No one can deny her vivid vibrant art and everyone encourages her to maintain the performance. She cannot refuse them, they have come for her and she has existed for them.

Blind (Monologue)

Backdrop of a darkened sky, no lighting. Reduced spotlight on him. He is sitting on a park bench, his back to the sky. He is wearing classic outdated slacks with leather shoes, his shirt is tucked in and he is wearing a small vest.
Some tell me it's the most beautiful thing they've ever seen.
(Pause- looks out)

Others tell me, it's so mundane, they hardly notice it happened. They just realize it's time to turn on the lights.
(A light gets turned on from a nearby building)
Since, both these descriptions mean nothing; I rely on those who explain that they feel a chill run down their spine when it happens.
It's like a child who has been weaned from his mother's breast and no longer feels the security of her warmth.
The process is so frequent yet so magical and miraculous at the same time. It really makes us feel our insignificance.
(Throws a coin into the air in front of him)
The fact of the matter is that who lives, who dies, who laughs, who cries, who suffers, who yelps with joy, take her into their consideration. Their suffering is darkened by her absence and their happiness is magnified in her presence. She is dependable and versatile like clockwork and will never stop rising and setting.
(Pulls out the chain of an old pocket watch from his vest pocket)
I understand how we are only a dull speck in our galaxy, especially in comparison to her. She is the liveliest star. If the earth represents a grain of rice, then the sun is the size and taste of a watermelon. She is sweet, refreshing and pleasurable especially in summertime.
So, I realize how grandiose our universe is. And how I trivial I am. Yet I'm standing here, watching the sunset, waiting again to fill the void and to feel, hear, sense, touch what they tell me they see.
(Pulls out a small sculpture of Olivia from his pocket)
Olivia once told me that she saw all the shades of purple, orange and blue combined in her favorite sunset. That sight was so beautiful; she recorded it in her mind. So, whenever she feels overwhelmed by life, like so many of us do, she closes her eyes
(He then closes his eyes)
and feels the security of that beauty.
Of course, all I know about color is that it is a concept that humans have made to identify the different shades of the spectrum they see. For me, orange is tangy pigmented citrus with drops of juice trailing from her lips. Purple is sweet scented lavender perfume that is always on her nape. Blue is so humdrum like me that they have named our earth, the blue planet.
The lonely silence of the night without her is dreadful compared to the busy intensity of the daytime. I can hear the reassuring hustle and bustle of everyone I know, including her, going off to work, to school, rushing, pushing, shoving. Then, the magnification of the earth's music till it reaches the peak of the symphony, followed by the fading and the dying out of the instruments one by one.
These are worthy muted tones that accompany the sun setting.
At night, the silence of the moon and the darkness which is what I was born into.
It is daylight because I feel the warmth of the sun on my skin, she touches me like a tender lover. Her departure is not so dramatic because her touch slowly fades, and I feel reassured that I will awake the next day to her glow. I have seen her beauty and I revel in it.

Thump

The thump was not feminine. It couldn't be. Could it?
She took another arduous awkward step towards her chair. She could not believe how cumbersome her movement had become. She was sticky and sweaty like summer humidity and felt like there was not enough air to breathe. Although it was wintertime or so she thought.
The ripples of extra flesh were spread out everywhere like an endless highway.
She had long ago lost her voluptuous figure. She could not remember when it had gone. It was almost as if it had been kidnapped. One day she gagged when she saw her reflection. She did not know how many years ago had passed since then, and did not want to find out. Now, mirrors were one of her biggest fears.
Her breath was a labored heaving. She was scared to use her voice because it was quiet, and feminine. It was the only thing that had survived all this time unhindered.
Her shadow was alien even to her. She did not feel like she had aged as much as was apparent on her face and her body. Yet she had.
She wanted to hold back her emotional clenching whimpers.
The dark room was nothing but shadows. She was a slave to its walls. They had witnessed it all and this petrified her. The old rustic creaking wood with each decrepit step recounted her story.
She trembled as she pulled herself toward the drawer where her box was located. She thanked God that it was locked. She tried to deter herself because of the knowledge of everything that will come with it. She was starting to be panic stricken at the idea that she might open the box. She couldn't control her irritating shaking whines.
She held the box still hesitating to open it. She was burdened with regret, it is so heavy. It's like constantly carrying your children while always having your feet in quicksand and never arriving at your destination. She wished she knew what would have happened if she hadn't made these choices. Would she have had different things to atone for?
Or would she have been where she needs to be or at least where she should be? Her life had been difficult but whose life hadn't been? She had solely supported her three siblings. It's not that she was given a choice, there were no alternatives. She was the eldest and the sacrifice had to be her life for theirs. This is what she was meant to do.
There were three souls on this planet who are better off because of her.....Actually, only two souls. Samir was now in his parents arms. She wished daily that she could join them. Yet she feared dying alone and wondered how long it would take for someone to realize that she had passed. Would the stench of her rotting body be the first sign? How long would that take? If she wasn't buried right away, would that mean she would not go to heaven? She would end up in an abyss, lost with all the other confined souls. She was haunted by these possibilities.
To dissuade this rational she picked up one of Tamer's family pictures which he sent twice a year. Behind it was her sister Samia's graduation photo from university. She had gotten married to her university colleague and they have been living for years in the Gulf. She was alone now with the movie of her life being constantly replayed in her mind. Her unspent tragic life was continuously stabbing her chest like a serial killer that could not satisfy his hunger. Her heart so strained from all these years of blistering strife.
She mustered all her energy and opened the box. Her eyes swelled immediately at his sight. He was so handsome, so elegant, so perfect. He was everything she ever wanted and she never knew that she could love so strongly. He was her elixir to youth and infinite happiness. Yet he wanted more than she could give. He wanted her for himself and for her siblings to take care of themselves. She couldn't bear not living up to the responsibility that God had given her. It was her choice. She chose them. They needed her to provide for them. She had become pent up to her situation. Forever entangled in fulfilling the hopes and dreams of others.
She had heard that he also had waited for her for many years unable to love someone else. Then, hopelessness had overtaken him like the vast ocean. If she had chosen differently. Would she have had now a life of her own? Would she have had children, a husband, maybe even grandchildren? Would she have aged better, remained beautiful, taken better care of herself? Would she have been happy?
The easy thing now would be to die. She has done her duty, She was no longer needed, so why should she still breathe? All these emotions and this doubting are exactly why she didn't want to open the box.
She strained her wobbly body and started praying. She pleaded God, to grant her the patience and the understanding to comprehend his will. She begged God to let her understand his purpose. She supplicated God to reassure her that she had made the right choices. Most of all she prayed with all her might that God switch off the voices in her head. Her pleas were continuous like the radio station and she eventually fell asleep on the prayer rugs amidst prayer, tears, and repentance.
Today was just another day in her life. She no longer counted nor did she know what day of the week it was, not even what year it was. It was a day like every other day in her life. Her only company were her thoughts and they were her nightmare.

Friday, May 21, 2010

If the Universe were six feet tall

If the universe was six feet tall, then, I could look up into its eyes and see its creator. He would no longer be The Unknown. Then, I would feel more secure. I would know his limitations and there would be no obscurity. There would be clarity and understanding. If the universe was six feet tall, I would feel safe, I would know if we were the only human species. I would learn if we are just experiments. I would comprehend our intention on this earth. I could ask -is it simply to suffer, watch others agonize, or is there more to this life? If the universe were six feet tall, I would trip him and tell him, we’ve had enough. Take us out already, humans are despicable creatures and they haven’t learned the most basic and most important lesson of all. Love.

Red Town

The buildings were all long slender windowless like crimson cigarettes. These structures were divided into cubicles which contained a bed and a bathroom. Each fag edifice could hold 500 individuals. The streets were so narrow and constraining that they felt morbid. Most of the nighttime lighting in the town came from torches. One of the common occurrences was to be burnt by one by mistake.
There were no children in this town. So there was no laughter, no joy, and no naiveté. There were no elderly either. This meant that there was no reminiscing, no wisdom, and no experience.
Everyone arose early at the break of dawn and went to the same job that they’d had all their life.
The people of the town all wore the same ruby outfit. They all worked in the hellhole, long hours in the blazing heat. Every person had the same two breaks during the day where they ate aged apples and blood-infused meat for lunch and sour chili cherries in the other. Everybody looked the same. You could not distinguish males from females. Their bodies were identical, muscular lean figures, medium height, and pale, as if they had never seen the sun or felt her warmth on their skin. Their eyes were all blood-shot. They were all bald.
Murder was common because so much anger and resentment prevailed. There would be no punishment for these crimes. The town accepted this repercussion as collateral damage. The bodies would simply get collected by whoever was closest to the scene and dumped in any nearby flaming bin. The sexual encounters between the people of this town were ruthless, heartless, and never included any kissing. No children would ever come out of these encounters because all men had vasectomies and all women had hysterectomies.
New people never came to this town nor did anyone ever leave. No one seemed to age either. So time was irrelevant here, and no one had a notion of it. No one knew how they had arrived there and no one cared to know. Their anger and wrath is what thrusted them to continue their existence.

iPad

Hello my name is Sherine and I am an Apple addict. Isn't admitting the first step in overcoming an addiction. Or do you have to want to get rid of the obsession? Actually, my whole family is hooked on Apple. We all have iPhones, the four of us, even my 9 year old!!!It's pathetic, I know, there are kids starving all over the world. Both my sons have MacBooks,(these are for academic purposes- they need them- it's practically a school requirement). My husband has an iPad already and the rest of us are waiting on ours which should be arriving soon!!!! I think we've totally lost it. iTunes is our source for everything from games, to where we eat and now even it is becoming our bookstore. The truth is that we love gadgets and we end up using all their features. So, it's not as if it's a waste. We play family scrabble on the iPad. My husband reads more books, and magazines now because he has them always with him, in a more visible lighter format. My 7th grader uses the iPad Atlas App for his Social Studies. I use the iPages to write for my Blog and my little one loves playing Pinball and racing cars on it. So, it's totally justified for us to buy a couple right?
What can i say?
Hello my name is Sherine and I am an Apple Junkie:)

Nine and Crazy Heart

I just saw these two movies. I've been wanting to see them for a while and my husband and I finally found time these past two days to see them. I loved "Nine", of course I am a totally biased viewer because I'm a sucker for Broadway musicals. The dancing, the directing, the costumes, the songs, the story, everything was highly entertaining. Although we were interrupted a billion times by the kids and therefore the movie ended up being 4 hours instead of two!! Yet I still enjoyed it, and Daniel Day Lewis who I already thought was an amazing actor, really took his talents to new levels. All of them really showed the amazing diversity of their abilities from Judi Dench to Penelope Cruz. So clearly, if you all haven't figured it out by now. That's a thumbs up for me :)I recommend this one. So much fun.
Two days ago, I saw Crazy heart, I downloaded it from iTunes because it got an academy award for best actor and best song. I also really like Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. I love the song, and I think Jeff Bridges did a great job at portraying the character. Is it oscar worthy? Well, obviously they thought so. It's a nice story, it's a bit slow, and you get distracted easily. Overall, not too depressing and not too much fun either.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Cairo

I am currently reading 'Cairo, the City Victorious' by Max Rodenbeck. I would like to share, with all of you, this citation which he mentions in his book which is an excerpt from the famous Book: "A Thousand and One Nights" (Alf Leila we Leila). This quotation is especially dedicated to my fellow Cairenes. May we all remember that this phase of our history is just a blip, and that we were glorious once, and we shall be again:
"Travellers tell that there is nothing on the face of the earth fairer than Cairo. He who has not seen Cairo has not seen the world. Its dust is gold; its Nile is a wonder; its women are like the black-eyed virgins of paradise; its houses are palaces; its air is temperate; its odour surpassing that of aloes-wood, and cheering the heart: and how could Cairo be otherwise, when she is the Mother of the World?"

My favorite Erma Bombeck quotes

This woman is my favorite author of all time. She really helped me make it through the most difficult times in my life. She always manages to get a smile on my face. She always gives me that much-needed perspective that we need at so many points in our life. God Bless Erma for having shared with us her gift so we can enjoy it and cherish it forever. A great book to buy is “Forever Erma” which has a collection of her most memorable writing.

Here are some of my favorite quotes which I would like to share with all of you:

“Have you any idea how many children it takes to turn off one light in the kitchen? Three. It takes one to say, “What light?” and two more to say, “I didn’t turn it on.”

“Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.”

“When mothers talk about the depression of the empty nest, they’re not mourning the passing of all those wet towels on the floor, or the music that numbs your teeth, or even the bottle of capless shampoo dribbling down the shower drain. They’re upset because they’ve gone from supervisor of a child’s life to a spectator. It’s like being the vice president of the United States.”

“When your mother asks, “Do you want a piece of advice?” it’s a mere formality. It doesn’t matter if you answer yes or no. You’re going to get it anyway.”

“Why is it when you want a nice souvenir, you find a great shell in a gift shop, but some yo-yo has affixed a ten-cent thermometer to it?”

“Youngsters of the age of two and three are endowed with extraordinary strength. They can lift a dog twice their own weight and dump him into the bathtub.”

“I just clipped 2 articles from a current magazine. One is a diet guaranteed to drop 5 pounds off my body in a weekend. The other is a recipe for a 6 minute pecan pie.”

“You become about as exciting as your food blender. The kids come in, look you in the eye, and ask if anybody’s home.”

“Shopping is a woman thing. It’s a contact sport like football. Women enjoy the scrimmage, the noisy crowds, the danger of being trampled to death, and the ecstasy of the purchase.”
“The art of never making a mistake is crucial to motherhood. To be effective and to gain the respect she needs to function, a mother must have her children believe she has never engaged in sex, never made a bad decision, never caused her own mother a moment’s anxiety, and was never a child.”

Forever Erma

“I love my mother for all the times she said absolutely nothing. . . . Thinking back on it all, it must have been the most difficult part of mothering she ever had to do: knowing the outcome, yet feeling she had no right to keep me from charting my own path. I thank her for all her virtues, but mostly for never once having said, “I told you so.”

“I have always felt that too much time was given before the birth, which is spent learning things like how to breathe in and out with your husband (I had my baby when they gave you a shot in the hip and you didn’t wake up until the kid was ready to start school), and not enough time given to how to mother after the baby is born.”

“Mothers are not the nameless, faceless stereotypes who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose, but women who have been dealt a hand for life and play each card one at a time the best way they know how. No mother is all good or all bad, all laughing or all serious, all loving or all angry. Ambivalence rushes through their veins.”

This one is an all-time favorite, I’m sure many of you have gotten it in emails:

“If I had my life to live over, I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the ‘good’ living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have sat on the lawn with my children and not worried about grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television – and more while watching life.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren’t there for the day.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn’t show soil or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I’d have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, “Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.”

There would have been more “I love you’s”.. More “I’m sorrys” …

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute… look at it and really see it … live it…and never give it back.”

© Erma Bombeck

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

My teddy bear

Its velvety touch, so comforting, so smooth, it took her back to those days of innocence that carefree time when she was so happy. The highlight of her day was riding her bicycle, exploring the woods, and feeling the wind in her face. She was so naïve, so young, so open to conquer the world. She was seeing the world through rose-tinted glasses and she didn’t even realize it. She had Snow White for a caretaker and thought that this was what everybody had. She had more friends than she could count and more family relatives than she could name. She thought all relationships ended up in happily ever after and had never noticed even her own parents having a fight. She didn’t realize that she was average or maybe even below average at everything academic. She didn’t worry about her grades, being the best or even failing. Everything she did was rooted from pure desire to do it; who she played with, where they went, what they did. Sports were for pure pleasure not competition.
The food she ate was for pure love of it. No thought went to the amount of calories that were in it or its nutritional value, just the simple untainted fact of loving it and therefore eating it. She didn’t think twice towards how much money it took to get that dinner on the table nor did she feel a glimpse of shame for not knowing. It’s not that she was royalty; it was just how it was.
She possessed the most beautiful canopy bed with soft pink cotton sheets, the most treasured books with their unique sent, and the most portrait like family. She believed that anything that was wrong could be changed. She trusted that good would always conquer evil. She felt the security that all her problems would go away with a fatherly hug and a motherly kiss.
There wasn’t a questioning of God, of rituals. Everything she believed to her core without the possibility of doubt. She couldn’t fathom the notion that religion can incite fear and hatred, not simple love and compassion.
She had an entrenching steady love for her home, for the country of her birth, for seeing it as the best and most perfect place on earth. For seeing her people as the most kind, most clever, most humble people on the planet.
She had never had nightmares nor had she ever feared that the world would overheat, explode from a giant meteor, or fall underwater because of a giant endless tidal wave. These were unimaginable ideas, that the human race and she included were causing or could ever cause the earth’s destruction.
She assumed that all the people you loved would never get sick and would never leave her.
She had relentless ambition, insurmountable dreams and endless scaleable mountains to climb.
She never thought that being a woman was limiting. She didn’t even have a glimpse that with race came certain disadvantages.
Today, she craves that naiveté and she wishes she could live by that untainted view of the world.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Is success measured at 13yrs old?

It sure feels like it.
My 7th grader son came up to me and said: “Guess what Mom?”
Game over. I’m never gonna be special.
We had a talent show at school and I can’t sing, dance or play any instrument other than Guitar Hero!!! So scratch talent in those areas.
As for Art, I have problems making a straight line so don’t even try and convince me that I can sketch something- that mom is a mere impossibility!!!!
As for theater, I don’t mind it but I really bomb at it. You should see so and so. She can memorize whole pages in minutes. As for so and so, he acts any part out of any movie spontaneously at the snap of a button.
As for sports, I am not bad, I’m never the first to be picked in any team, nor am I the last. I like tennis, I’m ok but I’m not good enough to compete at varsity or junior varsity levels.
So that leaves me with grades I manage. I get good grades, but I’m nothing close to those guys who have everything figured out and are always prepared and always on top of things. Those 4.0 straight A guys. They are real geniuses. Mom I’m not.
O.K. Mom I got it. I love computers and I love gaming, but so do all my friends. I first thought. This is it. This is gonna be my edge. I’m gonna do game programming and I’m gonna get really good at it. To my surprise so and so have already published four games on the iTunes Store!!!
Mom I give up, it’s pointless, I have zero talent, I’m not super at anything, and I’m just average at everything. I’m not special. I’m boring. I’m never going to be successful. So what’s the point in trying?
And Mom don’t try to convince me that I’m wrong ’cause I know I’m right.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Does having two boys mean you're always the odd man out?

Between monopoly, PS3, Golf, Tennis and Soccer.

I have to scream- help!

I have to admit, I am the worst Monopoly player ever. I never knew that someone could suck at Monopoly as much as I do. I have really created new standards for how fast someone can lose!!!
I lose in 30 seconds tops. I don't know why. I used to love board games.
My husband and my sons are far better players. When I lose, which is every single time, I stick around to be the bank, sometimes I make them snacks. Then, I get bored and leave them because their game drags on for hours!!!

In sports: It's always about what game is on? Or did you check out the latest PS3 game?
I know I'm a girly girl; I love pink and shopping and manicures.
But that doesn't mean that I don't want to be included.

As much as I want to tag along and enjoy, the truth is I don't. It's not that I'm anti-social or that I don’t like spending time with my family; it’s just I feel like I'm in a man’s world and I am simply in the way.

I like watching sports - just maybe not every night!

PS3 is fun, I get it but the killing and the blood really bother me.

Even when it comes to fast food, I am a bore- my husband and the boys love KFC, Burger King, and Pizza and I’m always calorie counting!!! They seem to eat it and digest it entirely- but if I splurge and eat with them- it goes straight to my thighs and I need two weeks to make that burger vanish!!!

I like to work out, do aerobics but not competitively. So I don't really comprehend why it always has to be about who won? And the testosterone of “Oh! I totally crushed him!!! Etc...” I comfort the defeated, I praise the winner, and I tell them life isn’t about winning and losing, it’s about doing your best. “Mom you’re so lame”.

When it comes to going out to the movies, or renting a movie at home, the choice is usually “Action movies”. Don’t get me wrong I thoroughly enjoyed Avatar, Terminator Salvation, G.I. Joe and Star Trek. Really, really I did, it’s just that I wish we could go to the girly stuff too. My husband, bless his soul, took me to see the Blind Side and Up in the Air, so I truly don’t have any reason to complain.

It just seems now that they (my sons 13 and 10) are growing up, and our interests are growing apart.

Does every mother of boys go through this? Or is it just me? Where is the common ground for boys and moms?

The Transformation

I am becoming an ugly, old, dirty turtle. I don’t know when it happened. I think it’s something that happened gradually. The transformation was slow indistinguishable by the naked eye. It was creeping on. At first, only I could tell. I ignored it for a while. I buried it to gain more time. Then, the changes overloaded and happened. All I know is that I’m stuck and I’m tired. I can’t feel any of my toes. It’s not that I’m paralyzed. I am not sure if they went numb or if they’ve fallen off. All I know is that I don’t feel them. They have made my ability to move even more challenging. I find it so difficult to move, so tedious. One step feels like I am coming back from the dead. It’s hard, difficult and pointless. Yet I must move to get my food. Although, I no longer care for it. I also need to move to get out of harm’s way. Yet it is so tiring and so painful. Sometimes, I feel that if I lay completely still, motionless, dead-like, I will avoid endangerment. I will hide inside my shell and all will be well.
People don’t like me because my skin is prickly, thorny and foul. They feel I’m waspish and I must admit I am. The minute I get an opportunity, I attack, and I am ruthless. Why shouldn’t I be? No one has been merciful to me. Why must I be the compassionate one? I am scared. I don’t like being scared. I don’t like feeling threatened. This is why I turn dark and angry.
I am trapped, enclosed. Sometimes, I feel like I cannot breathe. It would be easier if I stopped breathing. But the merciful God has another plan; he wants me to continue. To trudge on because what is life, if it is not to learn to bear the unbearable. So I learn to like my confinement, my incarceration. I have made it pretty, I have made it tolerable. I can stay here forever. I can limit my wants, my needs, my ambitions to fit in here. The problem is that people keep approaching me, expecting me to be the butterfly I used to be. She is not here. I would like to put up a sign saying “Moved out- Gone to Siberia- No Replacement- No forwarded email-Please leave ugly miserable turtle alone”.
I am inaudible, and mute. This helps me go unnoticed. I have no color either, I know most turtles are grayish green but I am translucent. It’s because I have been diluted. I have been put in water on a daily basis ever since my transformation and soon I hope to be empty, a nothing, a shell. It is possible. I know it can be done. I will then attain my happiness; I will be heartless, bloodless and soundless.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Am I the only one that thinks Dubai US$9.5 billion is too much of a loan?

We read everyday about the horrors that our planet is facing from climate change to world hunger. Every week there is a natural disaster somewhere in the world like the recent ones in Haiti and Chile.

When you live in a city like Cairo, it is so easy to see the poverty and the struggle that so many millions of people have to go through to get basic sustenance like food, shelter and health care. Yet Cairo isn’t even the worst off. There are many places in the world that have to deal with wars and a struggle to stay alive.

There are so many reminders that the planet’s biggest and worst plague is the human race. Though, it is not all darkness. There are many humans who have gone above and beyond to ensure greatness and continuity of life. Alfred Nobel is one that comes to mind, Bill and Melinda Gates, Greg Mortenson and so many more.

These people throughout time with their philanthropy and their investment in the planet make us believe that there is hope. We can benefit our planet with a fantastic piece of art, a sensual piece of music or a foundation that devotes itself to eradicating disease or poverty or illiteracy.

As a world we have progressed so far technologically, and we cannot wait for the newest gadget or the latest phone or application that makes our life easier, faster and more efficient.

We just seem to be lacking on the other scale: call it spirituality, global consciousness, morality, whatever it is for each individual. We are definitely as a world not up to par.

So shocking things like Dubai receiving a US$ 9.5 billion loan so it can continue its Palm resort, among other development projects, makes me compelled to write about it and say “Don’t you people read the papers!!!”. Is this really where you want to put all this money? Is there no one else who has a more worthwhile investment opportunity? Ask Muhammad Yunus I’m sure he has some ideas?

Really? - Building some luxurious houses in the shape of a palm in the middle of the sea. So important. This is the ultimate project. This is what human kind has been waiting for? Yes I know, we will be able to see it from the moon. Great. Those of us who survive the devastation of the planet and make it to the moon are going to be really proud of all of you who signed this deal. This is what we will say “we are so glad that we can see a palm shaped island from up here”.

Thank you Dubai. Now I really don’t feel guilty about my Gucci bag.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The utter torment of being a parent and always second guessing yourself

It is so hard today to be the ideal parent. There is so much pressure to be perfect and that we have to live up to these very hard, very unreachable standards. One can no longer claim ignorance 'cause God forbid you are living in 2010 and you have not used books,magazines,newspapers,ebooks,podcasts,blogs,TV shows(Oprah & Dr. Phil),youtube nor the internet to teach yourself how to be a parent. If you haven't used all this information and gotten your act together? Then, you must really be a sad case of a parent and God should have never given you the chance to procreate. You would think that with all this information we would get it right. We still don't get it. Kids need love. That's it. Make sure you make them feel you love them despite their attitudes, despite their pushing your every button. Make sure they know you love them when they disappoint you the most. Make sure they know you love them when you feel you've been repeating yourself for the past 15 years and no one has been listening. Value who they are and what their temperament is and what their limits are. It doesn't matter how much TV they watch nor how many books they read nor what sports they play at what level of competence. Believe it or not even the music lessons and the art lessons aren't what is important? nor is it the number of hours they play on the computer, play PlayStation, Wii, or X-box. Nor is it the number of languages he or she's acquired. It's how much we love and accept them. After 14 years of being a stay at home mom, love is the key. Love is the answer. I know it's corny but it's simple and it's true. Love them and don't hold back, enjoy them. Then, only then will they become a force to be reckoned with.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hosni Mubarak

Where is Hosni Mubarak? Is he still in Heidelberg, Germany or has he gone to Baden to a rehabilitation center?
Amr Adeeb slipped on Saturday night during his program Al Qahira Al Youm and said that Mubarak left the hospital.
Yet all the newspapers in Egypt and abroad, CNN, Reuters and Al-Jazeera are saying that Dr Markus Buechler of Heidelberg University Hospital is saying he is recovering normally.
If s,o why did they stop making press conferences?
Did the Minister of Health of Egypt, Hatem el Gabali really leave to go to the US to attend to his sick wife?
Why are Egyptians always left in the dark?
Why in these modern advanced times, do we need to still sit in ignorance?
Were the tumors really benign? Is he recovering normally?
If so then why hasn't he appeared at all since the operation?
Why is all the state media and even private Egyptian media barely mentioning his name, while usually he is headline news to every story.
Why are the rumors continuing to spread? because he is absent.
Why is he absent?
The Ruling Family refuse to tell us because in their eyes, we are lowly peasants who live on their land and we do not deserve basic human rights.
This is what Egypt has become.
There cannot be so much smoke without a fire being somewhere.

Growing Stairs

I woke up to find myself moving towards the noise. I didn’t know where it was coming from. I grabbed a book, as if whatever would harm me, would be or could be, stopped by a book. I reached the stairs of my house to find them growing. I started to go up and to my surprise another step got added. Where are these steps leading me? To a glowing warm light, and miraculously bright. I want to get to it. So, I patiently wait for each step to appear. What is up there? I wonder. It is definitely supernatural, not of this world. Is God up there? Is it an angel? Are there aliens? Or am I just in a dream waiting to be woken up? The stairs seem endless now. I look back and I can’t see where I started. I only know that I must continue, I must find out. It didn’t feel that long ago to get to where I am. Looking back, I realize how much I’ve climbed. My curiosity is killing me and I know I have to find out what is behind this light, these growing stairs. So I journey on, I am not tired.

Hello Blog World

So I am about to start this journey into the blog world and i am not sure where it will lead me. I hope to write a book someday. maybe short stories. I'd love to hear your comments if you like, dislike, whatever is on your mind, dish it out. I am currently taking a creative writing course with Linda Cleary in Cairo, Egypt.
http://arc-theroadtoithaca.blogspot.com/
She is really great and I am starting to find a voice within.
Read on and tell me what you think.