Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The song of Life

I’ve been lately beating myself over making the right choices. Especially about moving back home; the quality of life here compared to there. Child care, free medical care, free schools, safety, the activities and the adventures, the numerous possibilities here… The explosive situation there, the daily struggle to get things done, electricity, water, bills, schooling, doctors, the future that my kids will be doomed to have if things don’t change in their lifetime there, human and citizens’ rights, etc… Leaving a great job that pays great money here, which I’m never going to be making there…… YA ALLAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

Add to this all this talking about fears and happiness and weird dreams, made me listen too deeply into my music tonight. Of course it was Fayrouz who talked to me. It’s always Fayrouz who says the best lyrics in the most soothing voice at the perfect timing. Her songs have been the best antibiotics to all the invisible and powerful aches and pains that I’ve been suffering these past 20 years, 6 months and 5 days (give or take).

She says:
Beshta2lak la be2dir shoufak wala be2dir e7kik
(I miss you; I can’t see you or talk to you)
Bendahlak khalf ettor2at w khalf el shababik
(I call you from behind the streets and the windows)
Bjarrib enni ensa, btesrou2 ennesyan
(I try to forget and you don’t let me do so)
W beftekir la2aytak, reje3li elli kan
(I feel that I found you, and I got everything back)
W tdi3 menni kell ma la2aytak…
(but I lose you every time I find you)

And I remember how many times I have had this same dream, nightmare rather, where I’m in Zouk, enjoying an activity with my friends, a stroll on the narrow quiet streets, checking the old school, or visiting the neighbors… And I know, in my dreams, that I am in fact dreaming; and pray and shout to PLEASE LET IT NOT BE A DREAM THIS TIME, PLEASE LET ME STAY HERE, but… I kept waking up because that’s all it was: a dream.

And then she says:
Ya khawfi eb2a 7ebak bel iyyam elli jayi
(I’m afraid to keep loving you for the days to come)
Et-harrab men nesyanak, ma ettala3 bi mrayi
(I avoid forgetting you, so I don’t look even in the mirror)
7absi ent, ent 7absi w 7orriyti ent
(you’re my prison and you’re my freedom)
W ent yalli bekrahou w yalli b7ebbou ent
(you’re the one I hate, you’re the one I love)

At some point in time, I told these words to a guy, but with time I quickly realized that although I loved that man, the words were not meant to be addressed to him. I just got confused I guess, preuve en est he’s not the guy I’m gonna marry soon. But the fact of the matter is that the one I think of when I hear Fayrouz sing is bigger than any man; and our relationship is much more complicated and deep than any normal couple’s relationship. You know now why I got confused, eh?

In a way, yes, life here is better and more comfortable and safe, and there are a lot of benefits that make it easy to raise a family and the children will have a better life, and no I don’t want to be selfish but tonight I have an answer and this answer erases all my worries.

Listen to this song, and tell me; if you feel that deeply about someone, and you know that they’ve been deeply engraved in your heart for that long, what are the chances that if you follow this love it’s not going to work out? I highly doubt it. Impossible. And the biggest revelation of the night, thanks to Fayrouz, is to have finally found the answer to “Why don’t you feel at home in Canada ya Coco, although you’ve been living here all these years?

7absi ent, ent 7absi w 7orriyti ent
(you’re my prison and you’re my freedom)
W ent yalli bekrahou w yalli b7ebbou ent
(you’re the one I hate, you’re the one I love)

Because there’s a little dot on the map somewhere between Europe, Asia and Africa that heard my first cry, felt my first walk, tasted my first fall… A place that is bigger than any other in my heart and my soul, a country that gave me my blood type, my black hair, my dark eyes and my stubborn head. LEBNEN… This is the one I love, my first love and my last love.

Ana 7abbaytak 7abbaytak… Ana 7abbaytak 7abbaytak!
(I love you… I love you!)

So what about the quality of life? My kids future? My excellent job?

My countrymen who stayed and raised doctors, engineers, journalists, politicians, artists, shepherds, dressmakers, salespeople, policemen, soldiers, teachers, caregivers, mechanics, etc. are not any less important than I am. As long as we keep looking for happiness in the things we have, my family and I will have a great life. When Lebanon is the only “personage” that I see myself singing these love songs to, I don’t see why I should be miserable living the Lebanon life.

There is a reason God decided I should be born Lebanese …