To be born of the marriage of joy and sadness and to be pulled from the womb of hate by the fingertips of love is truly a blessing.
I sit here today begging you to let me be. Though they tell you there is no use to me, I will share with you what I go through, and you can judge if there is use to me.
I feel, through my liquid window’s pain the anticipating heartbeats of a million mothers. As she relives the first steps of her firstborn son, waddling to her arms, the moments left till the train arrives disappear. I see while she rejoices in the past, lovers perch their heads off the platform, like baby birds searching for their mothers, waiting for the blinding lights of the train. I feel on the platform the thumping (thump thump thump) of a million hearts as they shake the ground more than 200 grinding wheels on a train, impatient to embrace their loved ones after the torture of time had taken its toll.
I witness the helplessness of a wife, counting grains of rice on a plate for her children, remembering with each grain the number of timers her daughter’s innocent eyes asked why Papa wasn’t coming home with food anymore, and the number of times she answered with silence and a hug filled with hurdles of love but no hope.
I touch the divine degree of an education fought for by a man who started of a boy as he wipes away days of sleepless nights spent soaking in knowledge upon knowledge. I breathe-in (breathe in) with him, as he smiles to the crowd, the dean’s hand in his, he is moments away from the victory of “Doctor”. I remember with him the endless hours spent sweating on cargo boxes to pay for a schooling that would someday lead him to a better place.
I share the pain of a body being eaten alive as the cancer kills its way through ripping apart the hopes of a child and forcing two lovers to bid each other farewell only moments after they promised to love each other forever and ever.
I smile with the bride’s father as his protective hand finally let’s go of his daughter’s, being shaken to that of another man, under a napkin of new life that will give birth to pride as baba will now watch his katkoota, his banoota, his ammoura, become the habibti of another man.
I wail with a country as it calls on the world to regrow its olive trees, to kick out its unfriendly visitors, to bring back the tunes of harmony, and to let peace settle in the most beloved of lands. I wail with a country as it sees no hope, stabbed in the back by its own two hands, and twisted to silence with its own mother tongue.
I dance with a nation, celebrating the triumph of being one’s own; hopeful of a better future controlled by one’s own two hands. I celebrate with them to the tunes of conquest, cheering my heart out with the victory of Afreedi.
I repent with the fearful heart of a sinned, shaking as it pleads the one Almighty to have mercy. I scratch my skin as she tries to wipe away what she has done; putting all her hope in God’s mercy. I shrivel at the fear of being watched with her, knowing that nothing can be done to undo the done.
I sit here today begging you to let me be. Though they tell you there is no use to me, I have shared what I go through, and you can judge if there is use to me.
So who am I to see the world while I am blind? So who am I to smile with every crease of every pair of lips? So who am I to remember with every memory, rejoice with every happiness, and hurt with every pain?
I am every teardrop cried by a heartbroken lover, every joyous drop of love leaked from the eyes of a mother. I am every wail of pain screamed by a suffering soul, every cry of disbelief rooted in joy, and every sigh (sigh) of relief accompanied by a hand raised to thank the Lord.
So let me fall to the ground, for my destiny is to be buried by the land each and every one of us was molded from. They will tell you nowadays it’s better to cage me in, as if the liquid stored in your eyes will somehow pump up your biceps because men are too strong to cry and women are just too moody. Well tell me now how many tears have been wept over lives that have been taken by the manly machine of war because men are too strong to cry but too weak to fight fears without weapons and women too emotional to stand up for their rights? Too many to count
So let me fall to the ground peacefully, as light as a drop of water and as heavy as the stories of history books. For when I fall to the ground, I sing to the soil stories of sadness and joy. I nourish the roots of trees that will grow strong to tell tales of my stories for generations to come. And later, they will dig holes in the ground, searching for treasure chests and golden coins, but they will find me instead to share with them the riches of your stories, your lessons, and your days.
So share your stories, teardrops included.