Posted by: Mermaid | January 13, 2017

عن تلك الدقائق

لا أعرف الرجل معرفة شخصية. فقط كنت أسمع عنه كثيرًا بحكم أنه كان مدير أختي الصغرى المباشر لمدة ستة أعوام. كنت أسمع أنه قوي، يهابه الكل، ذكي جدًا وماهر في عمله وأنه يستطيع أن يفعل ما لا يستطيع أن يفعله آخرون. يتم القبض عليه في قضية الرشوة الكبرى بعد أن أدلى المتهم الرئيسي في القضية باسمه. نترقب في منزلنا سير التحقيق عن قرب.ا

في صبيحة ثاني يوم من التحقيقات تبعث لنا أختي الكبرى برسالة أنه انتحر. أتسمر للحظات ثم أبدأ في الارتعاش بشدة. أهاتف أختي الصغرى لأتأكد من الخبر ولأطمأن عليها لأنني أعرف ما قد يفعله هذا الخبر بها. هاتفها غير متاح! أطلب رقم أمي، ترد بصوت مثقل، حزين به آثار بكاء وتؤكد الخير. تخبرني أن أختي الصغرى عندنا في المنزل وأن حالتها سيئة. أنهي المكالمة وأنظر إلى شاشة الحاسوب بدون أن أعي كلمة واحدة أمامي. لا أعرف بما يجب أن أشعر؛ بالشفقة عليه؟ أشعر أن أحد ما هزني بشدة، بشدة ومازالت دواخلي ورؤيتي تهتز. هل هو متورط في تلك القضية بالفعل؟ هل انتحر أم قُتل؟ أدعي الله أن أظل صغيرة في الدنيا بلا جاه أو مال كثير يفتنا قلبي.ا

يمر يوم واثنان. أحاول أن ألهي عقلي عن التفكير به. ولكن تلك الدقائق تطاردني؛ تلك الدقائق قبل أن يفارق الحياة. بما كان يفكر؟ لديه طفلان. ماذا كان آخر ما نطق به؟ الشهادة؟ “يا رب”؟ “سامحوني”؟ هل بكى؟ هل فكر في وجع قلب زوجته وأولاده؟ ماذا رأى في تلك اللحظة ما بيننا وبين الغيب؟ ماذا رأى في لحظة اليقين؟ هل ارتعش قلبه ثم سكن؟ أم ارتعش ثم هلك؟

اللهم يا مقلب القلوب والأبصار، ثبت قلوبنا على دينك… يا رب لا تضيعنا :(ا

Posted by: Mermaid | December 31, 2016

َثوبٌ لك

تتجول في الشوارع الحميمية لتلك المدينة القديمة. تشعرها الطرقات شبه الضيقة بالألفة. تتمهل في خطواتها لتحتضن كل ذلك الجمال في واجهات المتاجر متوسطة الحجم. الفوانيس الصينية الملونة مع الموسيقى الكلاسيكية المنبعثة من مكبرات صوت مخبأة بإتقان تداعب حواسها فلا تشعر بتلك الابتسامة الخفيفة على ثغرها الدقيق وفي جانبي عينيها. تأخذ بعض الوقت حتى تستطيع أن تتحكم في فغر فاها لتستوعب كم الجمال والإبداع حولها. كم تفتقد تلك البهجة والخفة داخلها التي تشعر بهما في هذه المدينة المُرحبة.ا

تدخل إلى أحد المتاجر التي تعرض بضائع متنوعة؛ أوشحة، دفاتر تدوين مصنوعة يدويًا، فناجين قهوة برسومات قديمة، مرايا صغيرة. تتنفس تلك الألوان وتختزنها داخل قلبها لأوقات رمادية تعلم أنها قادمة. في آخر المتجر وهي توشك أن تستدير لتغادر تقع عيناها على هذا الثوب. بني دافئ بضربات فرشاة بأصفر مرح. تتسمر لدقيقة كاملة. تغمض عينيها للحظات وتفكر به. تعلم أنه سيعجبه كثيرًا. تريد أن تسير بجواره مرتدية هذا الثوب، أن تشعر بذراعه حولها، أن تراه يتنفسها داخله بجميع حواسه.ا

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عندما تفتح عينيها، تلمعان بحنينها إليه. تطلب من البائعة الودود أن تغلف لها الثوب. تغادر المتجر وكفها تحتضن الحقيبة التي تحتوي على كنزها الصغير.ا

ستقابله. حتمًا ستقابله.ا

Posted by: Mermaid | December 11, 2016

On Melancholy and Journeys

It is 6:00 AM. I woke up more than 2 hours ago. My biological clock is still not functioning well even after 4 days from returning from my trip to the far east. Early mornings are as dear to me as late nights. It’s the noons in-between that I do not like. I guess this is just me, intense in what I like and hate. No in-betweens.

December is my favourite month of the year, along with July. But I didn’t feel its entry this year because I was out of the country. When I came back and felt its presence, I did not get this happy state this month used to put me in. I’ve been feeling melancholic for some time. Not sad, just melancholic. December fails to wipe this feeling away now that the month itself carries the bitter memory of loss. Has it been a whole year already?! The memory feels distant and alive at the same time like a cold stone in my hands where I can feel the scratches and holes on its surface. Oh, nostalgia to little, simple dreams that were buried too soon! Breathe, Maya! Breathe!

This year was intense. Yes, this is the word, intense! I felt intense grief, happiness, anger, anxiety, excitement and anticipation. I would like this to change. I need to be less intense. To relax more and take things easy. I also need to work on my anticipation / expectations as I often get disappointed. I do not know how people manage to have zero or low expectations! I’ve been trying to do that but I fail miserably!

God has been the most generous, bestowing big and small blessings on me this year. I am forever grateful. I know that sometimes I focus too much on other heart’s cravings. I cannot help it. I just hope I’ll always have my eyes open to the other blessings that I can never be thankful enough for.

For 2017, only one resolution; slow down! Destinations are illusions. During our life, it’s only the journey we feel and experience every day. Being close to God, success, having a family…etc. are not destinations but big things that you get close to but never stop pursuing. They are not “check” stops in our lives where we just stop doing once we reach. So, slow down, Maya. Stop running and stop being obsessed with time. Walk and linger. Run, in a few cases, but remember to stop and walk again. Put down your spears and stop fighting all the time. Enjoy the journey, for every second and every step are past once passed.

Posted by: Mermaid | October 15, 2016

Did you not flame and I catch fire?

It’s the last day of the weekend. Last week was pretty difficult. I seriously consider going to the opera house to attend a classical music night but I feel a bit exhausted… psychologically more than physically. I skim through my movies library and decide upon Possession. This movie is another proof that I accidentally fell in the 21st century and that I am originally from ancient times.

Now I leave you with two beautiful quotes from the movie. The first is portraying the two lovers’ re-union after a long separation:

He: I shan’t forget the first glimpse of your form.

Illuminated as it was by flashes of sunlight.

I have dreamt nightly of your face…

And walked the landscape of my life with the rhythms of your writing…

Ringing in my ears.

She: I shall never forget our shining progress towards one another.

Never have I felt such a concentration of my entire being.

I cannot let you burn me up. Nor can I resist you.

No mere human can stand in a fire and not be consumed.

Second, at their old age, separated again, when he’s on his death bed she sends him a letter:

She: And now near the end, I think of you again with clear love.

Did we not?

Did you not flame and I catch fire?

Was not the love that we found worth the tempest that it brought?

I feel it was. I know it was.

Posted by: Mermaid | October 15, 2016

On Discipline, Psychological Hunger, and Cravings

Since 2010, I’ve been putting on 2-3 kilograms a year without being able to lose them. I ended up with 11 kg on top of the weight I am comfortable with. I refused to visit dieticians believing in my strong willpower and discipline. Indeed I managed to shed up to 50% of the extra kilograms but I would just gain them back in no time. A month ago I came to the realisation that I cannot do it on my own. I am strong-willed yes but not everything in our lives we can do or handle alone. Sometimes we just need help. And there is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with that, Maya! So, I started visiting a dietician and am slowly but surely losing the extra weight. Still a couple of months till I reach my destination.

I noticed two things during my diet. First, how much I appreciated what I took for granted before like fruits and bread. Now I’d chew on a date slowly with lazy pleasure enjoying the natural sweetness that reaches my heart before my blood. Second, I have a “free day” in the week. Because of all the forbidden food that I am not allowed to touch during the 6 days, I developed a psychological hunger that my body cannot keep up with. This hunger makes me buy lots of food on the 6th day in preparation for the following free day thinking that I’d swallow all that easily. Luckily, my body doesn’t give in to my whim of eating all that food and just takes samples of it sending red signals to stop at a certain reasonable level of food intake. Luckily tany, I listen to those signals and do not over-stuff my poor stomach.

When it comes to relationships, I always pick up those signals but I am not always smart in acting upon them. Sometimes the psychological hunger makes me fight too much and too long in lost battles. But I never settle elhamdolillah! I never accept something my heart or mind refuse

This psychological hunger, whether for food or for a partner, would never go away. Cravings are as inevitable as life itself. I hope God will always grant me the strength to never take what I do not want just because it’s what’s available now or because it would satisfy an instant craving.

May you never settle, Maya! And may your heart and mind’s cravings be fulfilled! :)

Posted by: Mermaid | October 2, 2016

A First-time Dahab-er

Some of my friends are addicted to the charming little town. I couldn’t go sooner because my parents feared the security issues happening in Sinai and because I feared the cats inhabiting the place! Finally, I managed to go. I expected it would be overwhelming, that I’d be head over heels once I set foot in the town. But it wasn’t the case. First impression was that it’s a simple, beautiful little town with friendly inhabitants. After staying there for a couple of days, the place got to me, got under my skin. It is truly enchanting, but not the sea or the people or the mountains. Its spirit is. Its little details are. It’s colours varying from endless shades of blue to green to brown. It’s palm trees and fallen ripe dates.

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I was lucky to have my first visit to Dahab with Nahla, my best friend. She has been there many times and knows the place inside out. After a day of just roaming around, she intrigued me into trying snorkelling in the Blue Hole. The journey from our hotel to the snorkelling place took around 15 to 20 mins by car and lots and lots of pictures.

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When we reached the Blue Hole, I wasn’t impressed, just another beautiful spot in the red Sea but nothing spectacular about it. I put on the gear, listened to some instructions from Nahla and then blooof… into the water ربنا ما خلقت هذا باطلا سبحانك إني كنت من الظالمين that is all I could say throughout the under the sea surface journey. Hadn’t I been dependent on having my mouth shut on the snorkelling mask, I would have had it open in awe. Yes, this is what this underwater world puts you in; awe. سبحان الله سبحان الله a world that is stunning in its beauty and harmony. I giggled, touched coral reefs from afar and waved to some of my fish relatives there and introduced myself as “the Mermaid of all oceans and seas”… Well, who happened to be wearing a life jacket, which is a trivial detail really :)

It felt like… Home. That I really belonged there, with the graceful fish, colourful coral reefs and sun rays that added glamour to everything under the water surface. Then came this moment when I decided to stop swimming. I just floated, let the current take control of where to move my exhausted body. A gentle sway carried this small, insignificant, worrying, restless creature… For a moment everything fell into its true perspective. For a moment, I could touch the light. And I sighed and smiled and breathed.

I didn’t regret so much not having a suitable camera with me there. Some moments and pictures are very well stored in our hearts. And forever will be kept and cherished there.

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Posted by: Mermaid | September 14, 2016

Home Delivery, Anyone?

Good and big things in life do not come easily. Progressing at work, a successful marriage, raising good kids…etc. All this come with sweat, time and energy willingly spent to end up with a gratifying, unique outcome – of course, without slaving our necks out. We cannot just sit in our living room and “order” a brilliant job or an outstanding relationship with a life-partner expecting they would be delivered to our doorstep and all what we would have to do would be just paying some cash! Duuuh! It doesn’t work this way! It never did and never will!

I know that what I said above is a given – or it should be! The reason I am blurting out like that is that the number of people I have been coming across in the past couple of years that have this “home-delivery” attitude is mind-boggling! Like seriously?! Begad?! If you are not willing to spend time, energy and lots of effort, expect TRASH delivered to your doorstep, NOT quality things!

Duuuh again!

Posted by: Mermaid | September 9, 2016

“You have Bewitched my Body and Soul”

It is Thursday night. I am home alone. It has been a tough week. A very tough week. I feel very exhausted. Heavy-hearted. I feel like watching a movie. I skim through the titles and I decide on “Pride and Prejudice;” one of my favourite books and movies.

Falling in love was so simple. When it has become that complicated?

The final scene with that great music at the background, he feverishly tells her: “I know you are too generous to trifle with me. I believe you spoke with my Aunt last night, and it has taught me to hope as I had scarcely allowed myself before. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged, but if, however, your feelings have changed… I would have to tell you, you have bewitched me body and soul and I love and love and love you. And never wish to be parted from you from this day on.”

It brings tears to my eyes and I smile. Sometimes we find love and sometimes love goes in a parallel road next to ours. Very close. A few whispers and breaths away. But a parallel road. And parallel roads never meet. They just never meet. Till the roads end.

Posted by: Mermaid | July 7, 2016

37 Years

And I have been on this earth for 37 years. I felt every second yet all my life is just a blink in time’s span. Just a blink. When life gets too tough, I try to remind myself that this life is not real; not get too much sad or too much happy. It is NOT real.

The past year was not the best of my life. At two moments, I was at the peak of happiness then just hit rock bottom. I am okay now. With scars but it’s okay. Don’t we all have our own scars for life. They tell stories we lived and they pose as constant reminders. Mine are reminders to keep myself in control. Not to be passionate but to have a calm face and heart.

Celebration of my birthday started yesterday with family getting an ice-cream cake and actually singing for me! Needless to say, I turned into a ripe tomato :) A few friends also called and sang for me on the phone :) I went completely speechless :) I do appreciate the blessings I have in my life; my family, my close friends, and the endless other gifts from God.

Today, I woke up with a light smile thinking that I am going to pamper myself. I put on colourful outfit and went out for breakfast. A month ago I got a planning journal. Well, for someone obsessed with planning, this is like a AWESOME gift! :D El mohem, today I started filling more pages; things I want to learn, countries I want to visit, habits I want to gain / quit…etc. Doing so, got me thinking that I need to get out of my comfort zone a bit. I need to stretch and try new things. Not too much bardo or else I’ll panic :D Change is good, Maya :)

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After finishing breakfast, I passed by a plants shop where I bought a beautiful leafy kind of cactus. It has tiny pinkish leaves. Pink is supposed to spread more. Colours! :)

After getting myself and mom two delicious cupcakes from Yummy Surprise, I headed home and spent the rest of the day with my dearest mom. Today was important for me. It was another assurance for me that I still can make myself happy. That my own company is a source of delight. Yesterday and today are a reminder that I shouldn’t lean on anyone except myself, close family and close friends.

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Colours and Sweetness

Maya, may you live and die with a smile and a light heart. May life be merciful to you. May it be void of passions but alleviated with colours, ever changing and ever growing, and with sweetness that is soft and fulfilling.

Posted by: Mermaid | April 26, 2016

أنا مش عايزة أتجوز!

العنوان اقتباس من ماما واللي قالتهولي من كام سنة لما سمعت عن كتاب “عايزة أتجوز” بتاع غادة عبد العال. ساعتها ماما قالتلي بهزار: المفروض يا ميادة تكتبي كتاب “أنا مش عايزة أتجوز”. ماما قالتلي كده لأني باشوف ناس كتير وعادة المواضيع مش بتمشي لأن حد فينا مش بيعجب التاني. حصل كام موقف مؤخرًا خلوني أقرر أكتب التدوينة دي عن الحاجات اللي بتقفلني من أي راجل، وأعتقد إنها بتقفل بنات كتير تانين. الحاجات اللي هاذكرها بالأسفل هي حاجات حصلت بالفعل فا بلاش حد يفكر إنها تهيؤات:ا

لما حد يبدأ يستخدم أسماء دلع زي: “حبيبتي وهاني” بعد يومين من بداية الكلام، ده نسميه إيه؟!!!ا

لو أنت مدخن، لما تكون مع حد من الذوق أنك تستأذن قبل كل سيجارة. ولو عرفت إن اللي معاك بتعاني من حساسية من الدخان وأصريت إنك تدخن يبقى حضرتك محتاج تتفطم الأول قبل ماتخرج مع ناس وتتعبهم وتجيب لهم الضغط!ا

ماينفعش تقول لواحدة: “إنتي ليه مش ماشية مع القطيع؟” فقط لأن آرائها مختلفة عن بقية الناس. مش لازم الواحدة تبقى معزة عشان تعجب حضرتك!ا

لما يتقالك: “لو أنت بتدخن فا مش من حقك تقول لمراتك ماتدخنش” بلاش تنتفخ أوداجك وودانك تبدأ تطلع دخان وتقول بصوت هادر: “دا أنا أدفن نفسي لو مراتي دخنت حتى لو أنا بادخن.” إهدى كده واسمع نفسك بتردد الكلام الغير عقلاني ده!ا

مش المفروض تستقبل مكالمات وإنت في خروجة مع بنت (ديت). لكن لو حاجة مهمة قوي، ممكن تستأذن بلطف إنك تاخد المكالمة.ا

لما تقول: “أنا أصلا واحد مميز وأي حد يتمناني” حاول تدارى بسرعة في أي حتة قبل ما الشاكوش ينزل على دماغك!ا

لو إنت مش معاك عربية، ماينفعش تطلب من بنت تسوق قرب الساعة عشان تعدي عليك عشان تخرجوا! أو إنك تطلب منها إنكم تخرجوا جنب بيتك / شغلك عشان حضرتك مش قادر تهز طولك وتاخد تاكسي! المفروض الراجل هو اللي يتعب ويريح البنت ويروح لها في أقرب حتة ليها مش العكس!ا

دي نبذة مختصرة جدًا من اللي الواحد بيشوفه. الحمد لله على نعمة العقل اللي ماخلتنيش أتنازل وأتجوز حد من أنصاف الرجال اللي باقابلهم!ا

Posted by: Mermaid | April 26, 2016

Running Shoes

I open that box with anticipating hands. I am not sure how I’d feel when I see those shoes. After getting injured because I didn’t use running shoes in my relatively long run five months ago, I bought them to run with him. But I never got the chance to. Now, after going for physiotherapy for a couple of months, I am advised to walk. I open the box and I feel numbed. I put them on and start walking. I cannot run yet. Some subtle pain starts to creep into my left foot and into my heart. I pat myself and tell her: “you’re one strong girl! It’s okay to just walk now, even with pain. Soon, you’ll be able to run. Just keep going, Maya. Just keep going”.

Soon, I’ll be able to run inshAllah.

Posted by: Mermaid | March 28, 2016

Moon

Moon with Watermark

Most of the time I feel I resemble the moon. People admire it and think it is really beautiful but in reality it has two sides. One side reflects light that is not its own. And the other side that people do not see is the true side; dark and unfathomable like an abyss.

May I always have my eyes open to the true side and may I never take credit for the light I do not possess. 

Posted by: Mermaid | March 11, 2016

“من حيث لا يحتسب”

تذبُل النبتةُ الموجودةُ علي مكتبي وتموت. أُخبِّئُها في حقيبةٍبلاستيكيةٍحتى لا تكونَ تذكِرةً دائمة ًأمامَ عينيَّ بالموت.ا

منذ بضعةِ أسابيعَ، أكتشفُ أن نبتتي التي أضعُها على سورِ الشرفةِ قد أكلتِ العصافيرُ ورقَها الأخضرَ وبدأتِ الأزهارُ البنفسجيةُ في الذبولِ والتساقط. أحزن كثيرًا ولكنني أفكر كم أن الطيورَ كانت بالتأكيدِ جائعةً جدًا لتأكل نبتتي. بعدَ بضعةِ أيامٍ، أشتري بعضًا من حبوبِ الأَرُزِّ وأنثر القليلَ منهُ على سورِ الشرفةِ. على الرغمِ من أن نبتتي تبدو ميتةً ولا أملَ في أن تُزهرَ مرةً أخرى، فإنني أسقيها بمحبةٍ كلَّ يومٍ وأربِتُ على الغصنِ الوحيدِ شبهِ الجاف فيها.ا

اليومَ، بعدَ مرورِ نحوِ أسبوعين أو أكثرَ وأثناءَ طقوسِ الاستعدادِ الصباحيةِ للعمل، أسمعُ تغريدَ بعضِ العصافير في شرفتي. أقترب بحذرٍ حتى لا أفزعها. يا إلهيَ! يدورُ حديثُ شائقٌ بين ثلاثِ عصافيرَ صغيرةٍ بينما يلتقطنَ حباتِ الأرز. حديثها عذب. تتسع ابتسامتي عن آخرِها وأنا أقتربُ أكثر. أدلِف إلى الشرفةِ لأضعَ المزيدَ من الأرز وأسقيَ نبتتي. أُفاجَأ بزهرتينِ صغيرتينِ قد نبتتا على قمةِ الغصن. لا تصدق عيناي! الحمد لله!ا

أتجه إلى العمل. يوم شاق، شاق. إحدى عشرةَ ساعةً متواصلةً من الاجتماعاتِ، مكالماتُ العملاءِ ومواعيدُ تسليم لا تنتهي. التاسعة مساءًا وما زلت في المكتب. أشعر بإرهاق هائل. يرنُّ هاتفي المحمولُ برقمٍ بلا اسم. زميلةُ عملٍ سابقٍ أراها مرةً كلَّ بضعِ سنينَ. بعد السلاماتِ، تقول لي إنها أتت من يومينِ من العُمرة وإن اللهَ قد ذكَّرها بي مراتٍ كثيرةً في مكةَ والمدينةِ وعندَ الروضةِ فدعت لي كثيرًا، كثيرًا. أتجمدُ للحظاتٍ من غير أن أعرف بماذا أجيبها. ثم تنسلُّ كلماتُ شكر ٍباهتةٌ من فمي قبل أن ينحسر الضبابُ فيبدأ صوتي في التحشرجِ وتبدأ عيناي في فيضانهما. أقولُ لها إنني كنتُ في حالٍ سيئةٍ جدًا وإنني بدأت أشعر ببعض التحسن فقط منذ بضعة أيام! تقول لي بودٍّ كيف أننا أدوات في يد الله يسخّرنا لمشيئته ولعباده. تقول إنها كانت تعجبُ أنها تذكرتني كثيرًا. تبدأ في الدعاء لي مرةً أخرى على الهاتف وأنا أتمتم بكلماتٍ غيرِ مفهومةٍ من بين دموعي غيرِالمصدقة.ا

الله كريم. تزهرُ نبتة غير التي نتمنى ويأتي فرَجُه بدعوةٍ من شخص بعيد. “ومن يتق الله يجعل له مخرجا – ويرزقه من حيث لا يحتسب.” أفكر: “من حيث لا يحتسب.” ولكن هل أتقي الله؟ ليس في كل ما أفعل! ولكنه كريم معي. ليس لأني أهل لذلك، ولكن لأنه أهل له.ا

الزهر رزق. والدعوة رزق. ” لَهُ مَقَالِيدُ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَالْأَرْضِ يَبْسُطُ الرِّزْقَ لِمَن يَشَاءُ وَيَقْدِرُ إِنَّهُ بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَلِيمٌ” أرضى يا ربي برزقي الكثيرِ منك.ا

Posted by: Mermaid | February 16, 2016

Wilt

Withering Leaves - Resized

I return to work after three days of absence. The plant on my desk started to wither a bit. I pick up the dry leaves. I stare at them lying on my desk. While growing older, parts of us die. Those never come back. I look at the plant and wonder if it is going to just keep dying or some blossom will surprise me some time soon when the buds are ready. It is easier to die. Much easier. I keep moving my eyes between the dead leaves and the plant with the semi-green leaves.

It is much easier to die.

Posted by: Mermaid | February 5, 2016

That’s All I Ask of you

Droplet of Life

I water the plant on my desk. I notice a fallen leaf that held a droplet of water on it. I think of you. This void within me becomes more tangible every moment. Will it grow more to swallow me some day?

That song starts to play inside my head:

“Say you’ll love me every waking moment
Turn my head with talk of summer time
Say you need me with you now and always
Promise me that all you say is true
That’s all I ask of you”


I close my eyes and whisper: A droplet of life with you is more to me than oceans with others. A droplet of life with you, sweetheart, that’s all I ask of you.

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