ONCE WE HAD A COUNTRY!


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It has been long time since I’ve written anything. Though my mind is always cramped with subjects I want to write about with shouts, protests and moans but every time I’d sit in front of my laptop I ended up with a blank page or just a few poor meaningless words at the top!

The thing is with the escalation of the refugees crisis: sinking boats, razor wires, barbarian crackdown of Macedonia and Hungary, borders being closed and opened depends on the political rope pulled between countless interests, humanitarian countries and inhuman ones and the divided Europe in face of the huge number of refugees who got caught between borders! And I got caught between following the news, trying to do something instead of just moaning and of course I had the time to get depressed and moan about the hopeless situation.

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I felt whatever I would write about would be meaningless in front of the huge suffering of my people. Inside Syria or outside is a continuous hell. Without a homeland we became a burden on the world!

The last sentence drained my thoughts; it’s a heavy feeling! Normally when you’re visiting a friend or a relative and you’d feel you’ve become burden, you’d leave; you’d go back to your home, to a hotel, to somewhere else. Unfortunately we don’t have that luxury anymore!

I’ve come across a poem written in 1939, amazingly it describes the actual Syrian exodus! Europeans closed their doors in front of Jews because they were afraid of Hitler at that time. Or, that what they thought and said! What’s their excuse now? With the respect to countries who are taking the lead in accepting refugees and the many people in Europe and the world who are helping the Syrian refugees.

The frustration of feeling stranded between borders, in the sea and in our own home leads us to have one demand: STOP THE WAR! I wish if there were a magical wand to stop this fucking war!

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I’ll stop here before pouring my anger and I’ll share with you the poem of W.H. Auden from Refugee Blues. It tells the Syrian’s people story, but instead of one Hitler we have many!

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

The consul banged the table and said,
“If you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead”:
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
“If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread”:
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying, “They must die”:
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me. 

Hope in Goodness… but… I want to be human!


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Sunset in Palmyra… mourning the past day or a hope for another day?

I should do something… I need to do something… I want to do something! I kept saying in my mind and aloud after I read Five Hostages by Lawrence Wright in The New Yorker.

The story of five young Americans hostages– four of them were killed by ISIS– struck me to the core. Though I knew they were going to be killed, but I sobbed as their death was announced through the story. While crying and blowing my nose my mind scolded me in mean strange voices:

you are crying for those five Americans, what about the hundreds of thousands of Syrian who have died during this war, at least those Americans chose to go to Syria knowing the risk. Did the Syrian people choose the war?

but this is what impresses me more” I’d think. “It’s not their war, nor the Syrians are their people, but they chose to travel to Syria and help the people. They chose to be human.

And what I am doing here, I don’t have the courage to go and do the same. I’m far away weeping and feeling helpless. Is it possible that there are people who come to this world to sacrifice their lives for others? Was it their mission? Does that excuse me for being coward, thinking that probably I have another mission in life? So just calm down Diana and keep writing! I honestly don’t know anymore, but I feel I want to do something and I don’t know what.

Another thing hit me so hard is how much darkness has taken over light in that ancient land. Five years has passed since this war started and I’d still think that everything would soon go back to normal, how could I think that? I still hope! Or could it be that out of fear of the coming we block our minds? In The book of our lives, Alexander Hemon wrote about his experience during the ex Yugoslavian civil war: “The more we knew about it (the war), the less we wanted to know. The structure of our lives relied on the routine continuation of what we stubbornly perceived as normalcy.” I remember when I lived in Damascus; people wouldn’t send their children to school in a windy day. But now, if one road is under rocket shelling, students would take another road to go to their universities! It seems keeping the routine is the only way to enforce hope, to give the allusion that things are still normal or just to keep living!

An American photojournalist Matt Schrier, who was kidnapped by ISIS, escaped from his cell in Syria after seven months of captivity. He described how for months, the men were tortured sometimes by a twelve-year-old who beat them and shocked them with Tasers (The New Yorker, the Times). Just imagining that makes my bones shiver. How could a boy at this age be able to do such things? he should be still a baby! What a horrible things he had seen and lived? How could ISIS change him to a monster?

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Innocence

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Istanbul-Photographer
www.johnwreford.com

Those emerging facts still shock me every time, because I still can’t accept that the situation in Syria is that bad, that human being can be that evil. It’s not the fault of this innocent boy in becoming evil, it’s the fault of who opened the doors of hell on Syria, the fault of those who take their inner fight on the world, their Jihad should have been against their selves and the fault of everyone still carrying a weapon thinking he’s fighting for a cause.

Put your arms down whoever you are and give this land a break, let the lost souls rest in peace and the living ones have their lives back!

Land is love… faith is love… God is love… where is your love?

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The five hostages, from left: Kayla Mueller, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, James Foley, and Theo Padnos.COURTESY FAMILIES (MUELLER, SOTLOFF, KASSIG); STEVEN SENNE / AP (FOLEY); THOMAS PRITZKAT (PADNOS)

James Foley, Steven Sotloff, Peter Kassig, Kayla Muller and Theo Padnos… Thank you for inspiring hope in me, we say in Syria, if there is still one good person in the world then goodness is still there. You didn’t inspire normalcy hope in me but hope in goodness, in courage and determination. I want to do something… I still don’t know what but I’m sure it will be clear by just being human like you were.

Diana Atwani

Promises… Places… and a poem of hope


How many promises we make and how many we keep at the end? I wonder why we promise ourselves to do this or that, and when we can’t keep our promises, our best friend “guilt” starts eating in our stomachs. Where theses promises come from? Don’t they come from our wishes, from our souls? Could it be that we feel guilty because somehow we are embarrassed in front of our higher watching self, our loving observing eye, our soul?

Enough analyzing. I set this Blog and promised to write every week. It went well for sometime but here I’m now lamenting the broken promise! Now I promise to write whenever I want to share something, and hopefully it will be more often than the last few months. I’m posting without sending my text for proofreading, hope you bear my poor English, I just feel I want to post spontaneously!

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Istanbul this morning, my cup of coffee with my friends the seagulls

Istanbul doesn’t stop to amaze me every day and every second. I still feel it was the perfect choice to live here. There is fullness in it and there is void at the same time. In its fullness I feel at home, it comforts my longing for Syria, for my family and to be embraced by my homeland. And in its void I find a space to be creative; to write, to paint, to translate, or even to decorate my apartment in which I took refuge lately recreating my lost home feeling.

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My mom with my sisters having their morning coffee in Syria

Lately things get pretty heated up in my hometown. It troubled my heart. It brought back my guilt . My sisters and their children were living under the bombardment day and night. I am far away, safe and enjoying life. And another guilt would pop up: my hometown was safe for the last five years while other Syrian’s cities lived in hell, people there, lived in real terror, hunger and displacement. And there I am, worried and panicking as soon I heard a few bombs fell on my city! I’m torn out in my mind by my incurable guilt.

A dear friend who works for humanitarian groups told me recently my guilt is well-known; it’s called the survivor guilt. He said all you can do is hope and move forward. He sent me a poem written by the Bulgarian poet Kapka Kassabova, and this is what I want to share today.

One last thing before I leave you with those magical words: I want to thank my dear friend Rossella. During our WhatsApp chat yesterday evening, she told me: “you should keep writing, I’m a fan of you!” It seems I was waiting for this assurance, that someone will read my blog, or someone approves my writing, it’s a crazy mind game. But here I am, thank you Rossella.

There is a verb for when

The madness of a country

Turns against you

 

There is an epitaph

For being fed to crocodiles

Because they could

There is a sound for being

Unable to forget, yet humming

Small melodies of hope

 

I know someone who knows them

And translates them

For the world

 

When the world tires of listening

He wears them on his soul

Tattoos against silence

Diana Atwani

Tishreen Park


Five years since Syria started spiraling into darkness and still no flickering in the horizon.

Tishreen Park

Tishreen Park* by Diana Atwani

Damascus stretched its body

at the foothill of *Mount Qasioun,

waking up to a mosque call for prayer,

followed by the church bells at the corner.

Jasmine scent sneaked through windows.

Homing pigeons sang and danced on balconies,

in the early hours of a spring day.

  •    *    *

I would send my son to school

and rush to Tishreen Park,

vibrant with life at the first light,

where people exercised and breathed clean air.

The lung of Damascus, they called it.

There, I met my friends.

Together we walked and jogged,

or we had our coffee sitting on the grass,

enjoying the vast glamorous green garden.

Tall trees aligned the paths,

Shading them with long extended branches,

as if in a fervent prayer,

bearing beautiful flowers,

red, yellow and violet.

Jasmine shrubs were all around,

and the park glowed with pride,

sharing its beauty with visitors

who came from all corners of the city.

  •    *    *

Every time I peek into my heart,

this memory glitters alive.

reminding me of my beautiful Damascus.

Where I enjoyed the best years of my life.

Where swarms of sparrows

flew happily through the air,

flitting and playing between houses.

Where children played safely outdoor,

their joyful voices echoing in the streets.

Where cars’ lights, music and laughter,

lit up the late night hours.

  •    *     *

The sparrows have fled the sky of Damascus,

now sealed by black clouds and hatred.

Children’s voices are muted,

by random shelling and explosions.

Soil is dampened with blood.

Nights are shredded with bombs and pain.

A sinister wind blows heavy air and aches.

Now Tishreen Park is deserted.

Its shaded areas are feared and suspected.

Jasmine shrubs have withered in mourning.

Swings squeak facing the wind alone.

Trees still pray but with sadness,

praying for peace to reign again.

  •    *    *

I am far away hanging onto memories.

longing for a picture from home.

Restless, I look for a shred of news,

in TV, online, or in a newspaper.

I cry when I see homes ravaged by this insane war.

people in shelters, children running on the snow

wearing torn cloths and slippers.

No food, no schools, and sometimes

No parents.

I feel guilty: I am not with them.

I am safe.

I am helpless.

*Tishreen Park: is one of the largest and popular parks in Damascus.

*Mount Qasioun: is a mountain overlooking the city of Damascus.

Istanbul


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A jasmine projected its stalk filling every part of my body with green soft branches and moved up to the crown of my head as my friend painted a picture of me in Istanbul: “I can see you sitting in a café writing or reading a book, I feel you would fit easily in Istanbul.” That pleasant feeling grew in my lower belly, and the Jasmine just needed to be rooted so it could blossom.

My plane began its descent into the Ataturk airport in Istanbul. I was sitting on the aisle, but I couldn’t resist looking at those blazed rooftops by the afternoon sun and the scintillate water, which magnified the light and transformed the surroundings into a magical painting. Half of my body climbed over the person next to me who was sleeping, his head resting on the window. There was Istanbul, stretching its body between the Marmara and the Black Sea, like a beautiful lady, she lay on her tummy to tan her backside while the Bosphorus filled the hollow of her back with its refreshing water, which flows from both sides and connects the two seas.

Istanbul looked like a good sorceress to me, a loving lady who can’t decide whom she loves more, so she rests part of her body in Asia and the other part in Europe. With her body she unites both. And I wanted to unite both parts within me: the Middle East and Europe. In many things I am still a Middle Eastern woman, and in many others I am European. But instead of uniting both, they were always in struggle. I’d always activate one side over the submission of the other and so I lived in dualism in many aspect of my life during the last years. My eyes watched that magnificent view while my mind was busy trying to solve that equation of dualism and union. The wheels hit the ground and pulled me back to my seat and to reality. Istanbul enchanted me from the moment I stuck my head to the plane’s window. Maybe it was the perfect timing to arrive at that afternoon hour when the bronzed city glowed after the long hours under the sunshine. Maybe because Istanbul was beyond my expectations, before coming I was thinking how much it would be different than the Middle East, but it already looked different.

I walked to the man behind the glass and gave him my passport with a stressed smile; he smiled back. I had no visa, “What if he doesn’t allow me in?” I thought. But he checked my passport for a minute or two and stamped it, “welcome to Istanbul,” he said returning my passport. I almost asked him “is that all?” I moved a few feet away. I couldn’t control the contradicted contraction in my dilated face, my widely opened eyes, which now were filled with tears, and my big smile that almost reached both my ears. But I had to control a powerful energy that was building up in me. As if there was a big bird inside me and it was ready to expand its wings, fly and shriek. I wanted to scream, cry, and laugh out loud. I couldn’t believe that it could be so easy and smooth to enter Turkey; having a visa on my passport was always a mandatory before I enter any country and still it had never been this simple even with the visa shining in one of my passport pages, which is filled with colorful visas and stamps. I was welcomed to Istanbul without a visa or any formality.

As I got in the taxi, the driver tried to chat with me, but, to my luck, he quickly gave up, as his English was very limited, and I just wanted my eyes to fly. It wasn’t long before my head was turning from side to side trying to capture everything at all angles. I surprised the driver when I pushed my head next to him as a great huge and darkened grey aqueduct approached the car, then I rushed turning to the back, kneeling on my seat and turning my head upside down to get a better view of it through the back window. I thought it was the city’s ancient façade, but later I knew it was the Valens Aqueduct, which was built in the year 368 and used to be the water supply system during the Roman times.

The smell of the sea slipped through the closed windows, and I stuck my face to the glass waiting to meet it again. We passed the Eminönü bridge where people walked on both sides, and tourists waited with their cameras ready to capture their best shots, a few ferries lurched into the port while others were ready to drift away carrying their passengers, and the seagulls circled the air watching over water and ground. We passed Karaköy where people sat in cafés sipping their drinks while watching over the Bosphorus; they seemed to be meditating from far away.

As we started climbing the hill, I turned back to enjoy another beautiful view from a different angle; huge mosques were visible now around the city; their glamor emphasized by the four lit minarets that framed each giving a new glow to Istanbul. We reached the top of a steep hill, the car slid between lines of cafés packed with people. It seemed everyone was out of their home; everyone had a date with their loved ones or simply with their loved café. The hubbub of the people sounded like a sea waves. It felt like an invitation to jump in. This was Cihangir [Jihangir] the hipster artistic area, and there was my hotel, and here is where I later rented an apartment and where I still live.

“Istanbul is an amazing place.” I say when Turkish people ask my impression of the city. They’d tell me “Not all of Istanbul is amazing, but you live in a cool area.” I say, “To me, Istanbul is Cihangir, Cihangir is my home. I have my own bakkal (the sales man in a grocery shop) who thinks he can teach me Turkish by speaking in slow and simple sentences with me. I have my hairdresser who knows how to bring the beauty out in me. I have Turkish friends who are always ready to help me. Very often I bump into people I know when I walk on the streets. I belong to Istanbul and it belongs to me; a feeling I’d never had even in Syria.” I tell them “Where the hell can you have the best breakfast in the world till 5p.m in a café that at 7p.m puts on its soirée dress and become a famous bar, and then might also become a club after midnight?”

The blossoming Damascene jasmine in me is rooted in Istanbul; my Middle Eastern origins and my European open mind are finally united. Istanbul has bewitched me, freed me of my duality and I became the Syrian woman who is in love with Istanbul. And the huge white bird in me takes off sometimes, circle the sky calmly because it can always go back to its new home.

And here I am now, sitting in a café with my laptop in front of me. I left the warmth of my apartment, walked the uneven old tiles, took the stairs, walked up a soft hill and entered a café I am frequenting since I discovered it three months ago. There are many cafés closer to my place. Cafés and antique shops compete for spaces in Cihangir, but here, I know the waitresses who speak English, and they know me very well. If I forget my wallet at home, they don’t mind, “It is ok Diana, when you come next time,” they’d tell me. This café is part of my big home.

Maybe I had to pass through the tough life I had before coming here so I could grow. Maybe it was the only path that was meant to lead me to Istanbul. And maybe saying what I said is an excuse for my cowardliness. I don’t judge anything in my past, I don’t judge myself. But there is something that I am sure about it now: that there are doors that won’t open unless we close others. As soon as I closed the door on my marriage, doors started opening to me; Istanbul opened its grand high gates to me, on 12th January 2015 Istanbul granted me the resident permit offering me a new fresh life.

Diana Atwani

Five People I am Grateful for


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       I bow my head with respect to this year as it is coming to an end. I thank the happy and sad days as they’ve contributed to my growth and development. Before we say happy New Year and start looking in the future, I want to pay my respect to the past while I am still in this present.

      I want to take a moment and thank five people for whom I am grateful this year. It is a practice I found online a few years ago. I remember it was an overwhelming exercise for some of my family members when we did it in the 2011’s New Year eve. My nephew, who was barely 11 years old at that time, got very touched as the practice led him to an innocent journey towards his heart. Today I want to share with my readers the five people for whom I am grateful, and you are welcome to write yours in the comment section or at least try to write it to yourself.

 *     *     *

 To the five people for whom I am grateful this year:

        The universe has assigned you to be my life coach for 26 years; your lessons were tough and stressful. For a long period of time, I felt maltreated, wronged, oppressed and tyrannized, but now I can see how the life I had with you made me stronger and pushed me to seek my true self. Last October, your cosmic duty as my coach has reached its end by the divorce. I want to thank you, my ex husband, for the life we had together in its ups and downs, for it is what made me the person I am today. Thanks for pushing me to stand up for myself and for making me realize how much my family loves me. Thanks for reminding me that God banishes no one, and that the universe is vast and infinite.

*     *     *

     You stood by me supporting and comforting me whenever I was depressed this last year. You’d listen to me and you’d surprise me with your valuable advises regardless of your young age. With you I pass the most jolly and happy times because you are my best friend. Thanks to you my beloved lovely son, thanks for being my son.

 *     *     *

      I never told you about the problems I had with my husband because I always thought you wouldn’t listen or stand by me. Last July, I sought your help as my marriage was falling apart. You gave me strength every time I called you. You’d tell me: “Whatever comes from God will be good”, and your words would fortify me because I’d feel your unconditional love. You gave me support; I could lean on you. I was again a little girl who takes refuge in her dad’s arms; you made me feel safe again. Thanks baba.

*     *     *

      Many times in my foreignness, I needed to lay my head on your chest, to let go all my sorrows and worries, and to feel your supportive love regardless of the physical distance. They told me you are fragile, and they asked me not to tell you about my marriage’s problems. I didn’t want to hurt you although I needed you. But when I finally told you everything over the phone, your strong and determined voice surprised me. I imagined you a lioness ready on its paws to protect its child. Your love and prayers gave me strength. Thanks mama.

*     *     *

      Finally, without the light or the guidance I wouldn’t have gone through one of the toughest years of my life; it was the peak of my suffering through the 26 years of marriage. I am grateful for God for enlightening me through this year. I am grateful for my guide for directing me towards my essence. I am grateful for my soul, my spirit, and my true self. I am in all the mentioned and they are all in me. I am grateful for the wholeness in me, for my essence, for myself.

I can’t but mention a few more people for whom I am also grateful. My sisters: Sawsan, Randa, Roula and Nadine. My friends: Rachel, Nicole, Cigdem, Elena, Serpouhy, Micheal, and Eyad. And finally I am grateful for a beautiful soul I’ve got to know recently, to you my dear Carla, thanks for editing my article saving the readers from all the grammatical mistakes I always do. Thanks to every person gave me support consciously or unconsciously this year.

Happy New Year

Diana Atawni

لا تخف من الباب الضيق


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من دروس المعلم أومرآم أيفانهوف

هناك درس نتعلمه من الطريقة التي تخلع الأفعى جلدها. فهي عندما تشعر أن جلدها الجديد قد أصبح جاهزا تحت القديم، تبحث عن شق أو حفرة صغيرة في صخرة وتدخل فيها. يجب عليها أن تحشر جسدها لكي تعبر من خلال “الباب الضيق”، وهذه عملية صعبة. ولكنها تخرج من هذا المعبر الضيق في حلتها الجديدة بعد أن تكون قد خلعت جلدها القديم

وبنفس الطريقة، كل شخص لا بد وأن يعبر يوما من خلال “الباب الضيق” وذلك لكي يخلع جلده القديم، أي آرائه والعادات القديمة وطريقة تفكيره. ولا بد أن تصل إليك هذه اللحظة أيضا. طبعا سيكون العبور صعبا، ولكن لا تضطرب ولا تخف، بل افرح لأنك ستخلع جلدك القديم وتصبح كائنا جديدا ذو إدراك أكبر وقلب أكرم، وطريقة عيش تجلب البركات للآخرين

Look for Your Mission in Life


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       We come to this world to fulfill our missions. There are people who come to help humanity, others to paint, sing, heal, etc. And there those who come to deal with unsolved issues like patience, love, anger, pride, etc., … Our missions vary from a larger plan– e.g. serving humanity– to a smaller one– e.g. a person who comes to works on his anger. But all missions are as noble and challenging, no matter its size or content or aim.

As we grow up and become “conscious”, we fall in a matrix or a frame. The frame disconnects us from our deep senses and original missions. We consider gaining money; marriage; children or falling in love; etc. are what we came to do on earth. Yes they are necessary to our development. They are our duties, but they are not our main purpose in life. The subjects we take in the university leads us towards a diploma, they are important, but our last aim is the diploma not the subjects. Also in life we should never forget the bigger plan, the mission. If we don’t know the mission we came to fulfill, then it is good to pose the question and look for its answer. It will come one day. But don’t get stuck in the corners of daily lives.

During my marriage, I observed my life in its ups and downs, and its effects on me. I don’t say I didn’t suffer, no, many times I hit rock bottom. But I always managed to analyze myself and analyze what I was going through. I questioned the reasons of this tough time. Problems always surged regardless my efforts to mend things between my husband and me. My questioning led me to trust the higher will. I believe God is merciful, but I don’t believe in punishment. There are consequences for our actions, but that doesn’t characterize the actions as wrong or right; it is always as perfect as it is. Sometimes the “mistakes” we commit, shed light on new aspects, on new perspectives, on others or even on ourselves.

The troubles in my marriage provoked my search for myself; they cornered me and I needed an escapee. I took refuge in books, which helped me regain my lost personality. Books opened the door to my inner self, but I still had to take the first step to start my path. “Man master of his destiny” by Omraam Michael Aivanhove was a turning point in the way I regarded my life. I translated it because I wanted my family to read the book. That step cracked my shell. The editors contacted me and asked me to translate more books for them. Through translation I found part of myself, part of my potentials. It gave me an identity. Fear has suppressed my true identity so I needed an exterior one. Later, I realized that the ground is present below my feet. I remembered my existence.

After sometime, the pressure and instability in my life awakened my love to write– a hobby from childhood– I wrote and wrote. But as soon I closed my laptop, I hated it. I took a few online writing courses, which unleashed my true potential and maybe my true mission in life.  I was certain that writing is my mission in life but still I didn’t dedicate full-time to it.

Divorce shocked me regardless the sufferings I lived during the 26 years of marriage. What bothered me most was doing the divorce in a disrespectful way. When a man loves a woman, he asks for her hand with respect. And when he decides on divorce, he should give her hand back in the same respectful way. Divorce should be an agreement between both sides as marriage. My divorce wasn’t.

But may there was a cosmic need for the dismantling of my illusionary kingdom. It was the only way for me to stand up and fly, to reborn after death. After a few weeks of recovery, I initiated my Blog, I became a full writer, and I am more committed now. I’d wake up with a tingling sensation pushing me to sit in front of my laptop and to write. I don’t tell myself I “should” write, but I “want” to write, this is who I am now.

I don’t say that every one has to go through destruction to find his/her potential or mission in life. No, this is how it was planned for me, but not everyone has to go through same experiences.

Sufferings help us to go back to ourselves. If we are conscious and vigilant, suffering can lead us to our inner path. But there are people who surrender to the fact of being victims, and this is how they get stuck in deep holes of darkness. As long they are content with nagging and complaining, they can’t see the bigger plan. Not only they fight and argue with people around them but also they fight with God.

If we search for the meaning of our suffering, we find solutions, we change our conditions, and we take hold of our lives. Sometimes in wartime, solutions are not concrete and visible. But if we learn how to rise above and zoom out, we’ll be surprised to find an infinite number of doors and openings, it is an infinite vast world, and we have infinite capacities and potentials.

I always knew about my mission, but it was just an idea. Now I see the idea materializing and taking shape inside my soul. My mission and I became one. Search for your mission because it will give you a new impulse in your life.

Diana Atwani

لا بد للفراشة أن تطير


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بقلم ديانا العطواني

 وردتني تعليقات من الأصدقاء اجتمعت على التأثر الشديد، بعد نشري لقصيدتي “كالفراشة” على مدونتي الالكترونية

 ديانا شو هالحكي قتلتينا” !… “ديانااااااا… قرأت القصيدة والآن لا أستطيع أن أتوقف عن البكاء ولا أعلم 

.لماذااااا؟ أريد أن أطير وهذا كل ما أريد أن أقول

ما كتبته لي هذه الصديقة أكد لي أن قصيدتي قد حققت هدفها. أنا بالطبع لا أبكي على تجربتي بل أكتب عنها. هدفي هو أن أُوصل للآخرين ما توصلت له. نعم لا بد للفراشة أن تطير ومن الطبيعي أن نطير، وما شَعَرت به الصديقة العزيزة يدل على أن قصيدتي خاطبت روحها وذكرتها بأن أجنحتها موجودة، وبأنها تستطيع الطيران، وإن أجهشت في البكاء فذلك لأنها تذكرت بأنها يوما ما كانت تعرف لذة الطيران

جميعنا فراشات وطيور من الداخل، ولنتمكن من الطيران دائما، يلزمنا فضاء من حولنا يتسع لكي نفرد أجنحتنا، لكي نطير. ما يحصل دائما في علاقاتنا، هو أن أحد الطرفين يستولي على الفضاء بأكمله فارداً أجنحته كل الوقت من دون أن يعطي المجال للآخر ليعيش في فضائه الذي قدره الله له

ولنفترض أن أيضا الظروف الاجتماعية والاقتصادية والسياسية و…و…و… تساهم أيضا في “قصقصة أجنحتنا”. هنا علينا أن نثق بأن الله لا يضعنا في ظرف خاص إلا وقد هيئنا مسبقا بقدرات تمكننا من تخطي هذه الظروف، هذه الظروف التي تكون دروسا تمرسنا لكي نتجاوز كل ما يعيق تطورنا الروحي، وتدفعنا لاستعمال قدراتنا المنسية، أو أجنحتنا المطوية. وإن كان الفضاء من حولنا ضيقا، فعلينا أن نتذكر بأننا نستطيع أن نحلق عاليا فنرتفع عن مشاكلنا الأرضية التي هي ليست إلا مادة امتحان نقدمها مرة واثنتين وثلاثة إلى أن ننجح فيها. عندما نحلق عاليا، نعطي المجال لروحنا لتمسك بزمام الأمور ولترشدنا إلى الحلول المناسبة، حتى ولو كانت حلولا جذرية قد تجنبناها لفترة طويلة، ستسلط روحنا الضوء عليها وتعطينا الشجاعة لنخطي خطوة أو عشرة خطوات إلى الأمام وأحيانا قد نقطع ما لم نقطعه بسنين

أحب أن أشارككم بهذا المقطع من كتاب النبي لجبران في حديثه عن أهمية وجود المساحة أو الفضاء بين الاثنين، ويجب أن لاتؤخذ كلماته بمعناها الحرفي: فالكأس ليست كأسا، والرغيف ليس رغيفا، والمساحة ليست مساحة، والأجنحة ليست أجنحة

فليكن بين وجودكم معا فسحات تفصلكم بعضكم عن بعض، حتى ترقص أرياح السموات بينكم

أحبوا بعضكم بعضا؛ ولكن، لا تقيدوا المحبة بالقيود، بل لتكن المحبة بحرا متموجا بين شواطئ نفوسكم

ليملأ كل واحد منكم كأس رفيقه؛ ولكن لا تشربوا من كأس واحدة

أعطوا من خبزكم كل واحد لرفيقه؛ ولكن لا تأكلوا من الرغيف الواحد

غنوا وارقصوا معا، وكونوا فرحين أبدا؛ ولكن، فليكن كل واحد منكم، كما أن أوتار القيثارة يقوم كل واحد منها وحده ولكنها جميعا تخرج نغما واحد

ليعطي كل منكم قلبه لرفيقه؛ ولكن حذار أن يكون هذا العطاء لأجل الحفظ، لأن الحياة وحدها تستطيع أن تحتفظ بقلوبكم

قفوا معا؛ ولكن، لا يقترب أحدكم من الآخر كثيرا، لأن عمودي الهيكل يقفان منفصلين، والسنديان والسروة لا تنمو الواحد منهما في ظل رفيقتها

Like a Butterfly


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Like a butterfly

It was summer,

I’d just turned nineteen.

You were there, visiting from far away.

I’d wake up feeling that I’d see you that day

and would wait for you.

I’d keep my eyes on the road,

and I’d fly to meet you

as soon I’d see you.

You’d smile and pinch my arm.

I’d scream protesting with playful voice,

and run away.

 *     *     *

Like a butterfly dancing around a light bulb,

I’d hover around you.

You were the light I was attracted to.

And I was your muse, later you’d tell me.

Our playing was talking love,

but neither one of us dared to say.

You thought I was too young for you.

*   *   *

We promised each other forever love.

It seemed a simple promise at that time:

I loved being with you.

You loved watching me fly like a butterfly.

We were in love.

*     *     *

We got married,

and we flew together to a foreign land.

There I was a wife and

I had to learn to live with you.

Your shifts of moods would one day

make me the queen on your throne;

and later

I wouldn’t exist to you.

*     *     *

Your anger was thin lines that I couldn’t see.

I stumbled in and out the frame you had set to me.

I locked myself in a cage of fear,

and built its bars of things that

made you angry at me.

Your light grew stronger.

It blinded me.

It burnt me.

We fought and argued,

and for days, weeks or a month,

you wouldn’t talk to me.

That was your punishment

for mistakes you said I had made.

* * *

My wings shrank.

My soul ached.

One day I couldn’t fly anymore,

and you didn’t like it.

You said that I stopped loving you,

that I was indifferent and I didn’t care.

You said I wasn’t anymore

the butterfly you once knew.

You never thought why.

  *     *     *

I couldn’t be a framed butterfly,

You’d let it free when you were pleased.

You couldn’t read me, or understand me,

I withdrew in myself.

I became another person.

I changed.

 And you ask why!

by Diana Atwani