Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
الأعمال والأقوال بالنيات، ولقد كانت نيتي ولم تزل في راحة الله. أخبريني يا صغيرتي المحبوبة عما حدث لك أثناء العام الغابر. أخبريني واكسبي أجري
والله يحرسك ويملأ قلبك من أنواره
p.s. Mary is the Christian name of May Zeyadeh
p.p.s. To the Mai who is named after the May, Thank You ya "sagheerati el kabeera"!
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
~ Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers
Monday, December 27, 2010
The title is what attracted me, I simply "got" what he meant. Then the synopsis. Then the writer's bio (Italian, working on a doctorate in particle physics, one year YOUNGER than me, his first novel, won him the top literary Italian award Premio Strega, sold more than 1 million copies). I would've still bought it with just the title though..
"Prime numbers are divisible only by 1 and by themselves. They stand in their place in the infinite series of natural numbers, squashed in between two others, liked all other numbers, but a step further on than the rest. They are suspicious and solitary, which is why Mattia thought they were wonderful. Sometimes he thought that they had ended up in that sequence by mistake, that they’d been trapped like pearls strung on a necklace. At other times he suspected that they too would rather have been like all the others, just ordinary numbers, but for some reason they weren’t capable of it. The second thought struck him mostly at night, in the chaotic interweaving of images that comes before sleep, when the mind is too weak to tell itself lies.
In his first-year Mattia had studied the fact that among the prime numbers there are some that are even more special. Mathematicians call them twin primes: they are pairs of prime numbers that are close to one another, almost neighbours, but between them there is always an even number that prevents them from really touching. Numbers like 11 and 13, like 17 and 19, 41 and 43... Mattia thought that he and Alice were like that, two twin primes, alone and lost, close but not close enough really to touch one another. He had never told her that."
~ Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers
Saturday, December 25, 2010
I found myself re-living a scene I did with Saif my younger nephew more than 15 years ago.. Standing in front of that small flowery bush, I ask him to pick a flower for his mother. Unlike sentimental Saif, Nour is more compassionate towards the flower than towards giving one to his mom, he tells me it will cry if we pluck it.. I say, no, this one will not, it is too small and it is okay (me and my double standards to the kid!).. and he plucks it, and I say let's give it to Mama so then he says then let's take two to her and he does so (did he give them to her? I don't recall; "we" received some disciplining comments when we went back to the breakfast table!)..
I love him because of his big round curious eyes and the eternally amazed look that I know he won't lose as he grows up.
I love him because of the way I imitate him when his father pisses him off, telling him "eih ba2a ya papiii" with those impatient hand gestures.
I love him because I watch him managing -like I did- a firey father and a down-to-earth wise mother, and I see him taking after the two.
I love him because he is the continuation of someone near and dear to me.
I love him because of his cute funny imitation of his mom seeing a dead fly.
I love him because of the grown-up words he uses after his papi using the word "3abeet" to describe a naughty friend of his.
So here is to you Nour, with your round curious eyes, and your coloring books, and your quirkiness, and the beautiful little impatient lively person that you are.
Friday, December 24, 2010
Thursday, December 23, 2010
أحلامي رَكِبَتْ، أمسِ، قِطارَ الليلِ
ولم أعرف كيف أودعها
وأَتَتْني أنباءُ تَدَهْوُرِهِ في وادٍ ليس بذي زرعٍ
(ونجا سائقُه من بين الركّاب جميعاً)
فحمدت الله، ولم أبكِ كثيراً
فلديَّ كوابيسٌ صغرى
سأطوِّرها، إن شاء الله، إلى أحلامٍ كبرى
لا مشكلة لدي
أتلمَّس أحوالي منذ وُلدتُ إلى اليوم
وفي يأسي أتذكر
أن هناك حياةً بعد الموتِ
هناك حياة بعد الموت
ولا مشكلة لدي
أهناك حياةٌ قبل الموت؟
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Then you say hello
I can hardly speak
My heart is beating so
And anyone could tell
You think you know me well
Well, you don't know me
and -just for AN- the Michael Buble version http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7k2y08dSV4
Monday, December 20, 2010
~ American Beauty
Wednesday, December 08, 2010
“A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. I say ‘one chooses’ with the inaccurate pride of a professional writer who - when he has been seriously noted at all - has been praised for his technical ability, but do I in fact of my own will choose that black wet January night on the common, in 1946, the sight of Henry Miles slanting across the wide river of rain, or did these things choose me? It is convenient, it is correct according to the rules of my craft to begin just there, but if I had believed then in a god, I could also have believed in a hand, plucking at my elbow, a suggestion, ‘speak to him: he hasn’t seen you yet.’”
~ Graham Greene, The End of the Affair
There are little triggers that nudge our memories, calling back certain thoughts or ideas, or certain scenes to the mind. This memory came to me uninvited (as intrusive as memories are): the stocking.. I remember that specific scene from a movie, a guy taking a stocking off the legs of his lover, telling her he is jealous of the stocking because it gets to stay all day with her, and he hates the shoes because they take her away from him.. and slowly bits and pieces came back to me, and the resemblance was too much to ignore. The affair vs. the relation, with one person wanting one type and the other needing the other. There and then, I knew I wanted to get the book, and I knew I wanted to give it away when I finished it..
So there it is, a book about Catholicism, conjugal love, divine love, and promises one makes to self and to God. A story about the melange of love and hate until you can no longer distinguish one from the other. A story about the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end, and that exact moment when you just know there is no more.