Sunday, May 20, 2012

the last stop...

I am sitting here, waiting for my last stop… watching my memories accelerating before my eyes, like watching the world from a moving train… trees…  cities and crowds… mountains and meadows…. ruins and barren lands. They all keep coming one after another…. nothing seems in common between any of them except the beholder, I am the only thing connecting all these odds together…. As if all this time I was a spectator to my own life, I was sitting in that corner all the time watching… just like watching the world from a train…. And after all, I think I've enjoyed watching… this is what I was made for…

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

dreams never die...

I have always been haunted by this illusion that everything we dream of in our life, even if it never came true, it stays there forever at that moment in time when we have dreamed, trapped in the time continuum in some kind of ethereal world or dimension, we just leave it behind us and go forward on our way. I imagine it as a beam of light breaking the darkness of a long corridor, then you look at the corridor from the other side and see so many dust particles shining and floating within this beam like they are trapped inside... the corridor is life, the beam is our way in life and the dust particles are the dreams we leave behind... they mark the tracks where we have walked…..

I cannot imagine that dreams are just brain chemistry, just biological data stored in our brains on some complex protein molecule, they just lie there inside this brain cell, and vanish the moment this cell dies….. dreams, these mysterious and beautiful entities that feel for a while like a living creature within our souls, they cannot be such a plain material fact, we ourselves we cannot be just a group of cells that live a biological cycle according to a predetermined genetic material, then just “go”….. Life cannot be so meaningless and aimless, just a transient existence of a biological entity in the time-space continuum that just come to an end regardless of what took place, regardless of what this person did in his/her lifetime… if it was like that, then there is no point from anything we do except temporary enjoyment…. Life then would be so ugly and unbearable….

There must be a meaning for everything that happen to us and everything we do…. The universe around us speak for itself with its spectacular equilibrium and engineering, our existence can’t be as well a random coincidence…

Dreams must be there waiting for us, forever….. We live them again and again in our life time when we day dream, then we die, and carry with us all our thoughts, emotions and memories… all the dreams, all the moments of joy and all the sad ones… all our choices that marked our way in life….. All these things displayed like a motion picture along that part of the time-space continuum that we were in….. Just staying there as single consecutive frames, for eternity… marking the sparkle of our existence in the grand life of this universe…. And dreams mark the most ethereal part of this motion picture and the closest to our hearts and deepest within our souls, they embrace our hopes and flourish with our joyful moments…. They are a part of who we are… they are the dust that fall off our souls along the way…. Like the cosmic dust, that gives birth to galaxies and stars… and keep glowing like it will never end…..

Sunday, May 29, 2011

the end of the day

Why do I always get my inspirations late in the night when I am about to sleep? Why do I get this turmoil of feelings and thoughts? Why do I get to see so clear then… just when I say to myself that it’s time to sleep, just when I make my mind to end the day…. Just then, someone opens the light of my ideas…. And my feelings seem so alive…. I feel nothing is standing between me and myself, and then I can see so clear inside myself and reflect on the outer world and on my life… why? Why? I noticed this long time ago…. But every day I was lazy to sit down and start writing…. I didn’t know what I could write… I was afraid of unfolding something new about myself that I don’t know…. I did not know where it would lead me…. But I had no doubt that it will take me more and more in this lonesome road I walk in….

Even when I do not write, I still do not go to sleep… I keep on doing anything…. Just anything.. and sometimes nothing… sitting here, then sitting there, listening to this song, then that song, play some music, reopen that website that I have already opened a dozen times…. And I keep wasting my time like I am running from something… I check the clock and realize that it’s already too late, that there is no escape, that whatever I do time will never stop and the clock will keep on ticking and sooner or later I have to accept it and end the day….

Why? I know that I am not the only one why feels this… but still, why? Is it because what going to sleep means? It means another day is gone, another day of our limited life is over… and it’s never coming back. But why don’t I just put myself to rest … another day is coming anyway! …. It’s coming very soon, I won’t feel anything, just close my eyes and I will be there very soon…. But is it really the idea of losing one more day in my life, that’s what we resist?… is it that I get so close to the fact of our transient existence when I witness with my own self this process of letting go another day, the unit with which we count our existence on earth…. That’s why I get these mixed feelings of nostalgia, melancholy and inner peace… nostalgia for the days that passed me by, melancholy for knowing that they will never come back and peace for getting so near to the truth…

Is it loneliness? Avoiding going to bed alone? Does it hurt us so much from the inside? Loneliness is a very harsh experience for sure, but why does it ache so badly at this time precisely? Still a confusing fact…. Or may be going to bed a lone is a strong reminder of my loneliness, when the word outside is so quiet, streets are empty and deadly… and no sound but the nightingale and the echoes of its singing reflected on the inhomogeneous buildings of this big city…. People are all in their homes, in their beds… and it’s only me and the night out there…. That feels so nostalgic… I think I am getting closer. I remember one thing, how bad was this feeling during my stay in Sudan, these lonely long nights at my single, small and windowless room…. It was awful…. Inescapable loneliness, that’s how I can describe it…. There was nothing to do, no one to be with and nowhere to go…. How bad did that moment feel when I stretched my arm to turn off the light… I always tried to escape it, I used to do the same things and try to find any excuse to stretch the day a bit… but all in vain. Back then I felt loneliness as I have never knew it before, although loneliness as an idea have always seemed kind of appealing and inspiring to me, but at these days I really knew how cruel it can be… and again it was mostly at the end of the day. I remember so clear this feeling I had when I laid my head on the pillow, and I suddenly feel lost in this darkness… my mind just stops and everything seems so quite that my mind is not left with anything but myself to percept…. And the feeling gets more profound, and my loneliness is no the loneliness of a man with no companion within the boundaries of his limited society, but it rather felt like the loneliness of a world citizen, who is lonely in this whole world…. It was a feeling of a lonesome existence….

So yes, loneliness is a reason for why I escape from going to bed…. I think it’s all the reasons together, not just loneliness… in the end I am a human being, not a machine, my feelings are very complex and interlaced…. But it feels good to unfold these motives and feelings of my own self… it feels more relaxing and coherent… but I am just afraid of losing my spontaneity and reactiveness with each fact I confront myself with and accept…. I am afraid of becoming colder and colder….

Saturday, May 21, 2011

everybody wants to be found

We all hide under a mask, waiting for the right one to uncover those mysteries of our souls, buried deep inside each one of us.... we seek connection and love, we want to be seen for what we really are and get accepted in that way...

How I wish to be found. How I dream of being seen for what I really am…. But I found this to be so hard, to almost being impossible…. And like so many other explanations of our life philosophy that I seek, I found this again to be due to the imperfection and weakness of our human nature…. That’s the reason why many of the things we dream and long for can never be in real life… that’s the reason for so many of our frustrations….. That’s why those dreams will always be as dreams, and we will always try to approach them and cope with these frustrations through our artistic creations…. We will always be on this quest to find this happiness that we dream of…

Everybody wants to be found the same like you do, we all want the same thing, we all have the same defect… we all see inside our own selves than we see in others.. we all live within the borders of our percepted existence… it is so hard for our sight to get through these borders and reach to others..... but you must keep your palms stretched and reach out for others if you want them to reach you, may be it will cause you to be hurt or disappointed sometimes, may be you will be more vulnerable... but if not, you might hurt the right one when he comes, or he might pass unnoticed.... how great would our lives be if we all reach out and try to look for the human being inside each other.

At least we can try to reach as close as we can to this dream world…. It’s all what’s in our hands… never lose hope, but at the same time, don’t expect anything…. Accept life as it is… enjoy what you have… try to search for a meaning in everyday and every event, in every person you meet and every spoken word… search for the joy of living life as it is, not the frustration of longing for the life as you want it to be….

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the visionaries

I have always had the tendency to categorize human beings, perhaps since I was a child, I remember going in a stage of some kind of body parts categorization….noses, hands, feet and lips…!! I don’t recall exactly how I got interested in this, but I just noticed that there are certain patterns that are repeated among humans…. I started studying these patterns and relating them to racial origins and personalities….. As I grew older and the evil side of humanity started to show itself to me, I started categorizing people into good or bad, and I kept doing so for a long time, I don’t know…. Why I couldn’t see the different colors of the spectrum…. Perhaps because I always kept myself isolated, living in my own world with my own rules, I always liked to look to the world from a distance and see the big picture….

But it’s very hard to resist the shearing forces of time and life….. After going through many disappointments on the personal level, not just love, but the different kinds of human interconnections, I started to realize that not all people are like me, they do not think as I do…. The boundaries between right and wrong are not so visible for many people and are different for many others as compared to myself, and even when it is visible for some, they might have a different logic than mine, they might see the same things but with different colors…. Not all people think that much as I do, people have different priorities than mine, people can look to life in a different way….. Although even then it seemed to me that my way is the right one, which is most likely the case for every one of us, we all think that our own way is the right one… everybody looks to life from his own window, that’s why the view is always different…..

Discovering this was some kind of shock, but it answered so many questions and lots of things, especially about my relationships, started to make sense…. And I continue to look around, think and then look around again, analyze and reflect… and learn about life and my own perception to it….

Recently I discovered a new scale for categorizing human beings. After the critical events that took place in Egypt and after going through these hard times, that somehow and magically show you so many things about the people around you… they always say that hard times tend to expose the inside of us and everyone show up with what he really is…. It is strange how weird and unexpected we behave when we feel threatened… it is strange how highly evolved creatures like us are still controlled by our survival instinct. In these hard times people tend to naturally and unintentionally group themselves or gather into fewer groups… in a strange unexpected process, some sort of natural selection…. Even more, they gather despite many differences in their backgrounds that in their normal life would make it very unlikely for them to meet… you see enemies becoming friends and friends becoming enemies…. You get close to people you never knew before and you get far from other to whom you are bound by blood…. And so on.

Anyway, some people have this ability to see beyond the material boundaries of our perception…. a vision, the ability to see what’s beyond and believe in the unseen and the untouchable… some people can fight for a dream and have faith in it… and in many cases they stand for and have faith in the moral value itself not the outcome, i.e. it is not for the benefit they might get, even on the long run…. It is just the idea, what they believe in. I can also describe it as being able to see the bigger picture without being distracted by little details, having an imagination of the how this bigger picture can evolve in the future…. Again it can be described as vision! I can describe it as being able to believe in absolute morals… justice, equality, love, peace… etc. without being distracted by their needs and benefits that can distort their perception of these values…. Its again vision and vigilance! But surprisingly these virtues I described, they mostly have nothing to do with intelligence, education or wealth of the person…. These people just exist discrepantly among various sectors of any human society…. It seems again like another black & white classification, like the good & bad classification that I used to have….. Could it be true? Am not sure, could I be missing something? Maybe…. but the sure thing is that there are still so many things to learn about this strange world…..

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a lifetime under a dictator regime..

Friday 28/01/2011, my home in Alexandria, I looked from my balcony to see a crowd of people, less than a kilometer away, they kept marching closer and growing bigger, I started to hear their voice from a distance… as they came closer I started to hear what they were saying…. they were calling for freedom…. Their voice started to be so loud, like nothing I ever heard, it echoed deep inside me, really deep….. It awakened a part of me that I never knew, or maybe I have forgotten about, some feeling that I have never experienced before…. I felt my heart beating strong… their voice was like a call for my soul….I felt something inside me that wanted to jump directly into the crowed and melt with them…… my mum begged me to stay, I told her that I have to go, I have no choice…… she said, ok, but don’t take your cam, I told her I will hide it well, I kissed her, grabbed my bag and rushed down the stairs, not knowing where am I going…. Not knowing what might happen…..

Mid-August 1987, sweet long summer days, playful moods, unlimited trust in the world..... My dad said we are going to the beach…. on our way, it was so crowded, there were so many policemen and soldiers lined on the road…. Things were messy… my dad cursed “the hell with this man” ….. I looked around to see which man he means, but found no one to suspect…. I asked him, what are all these policemen, he answered “the president will pass” …. I thought “wow, what an important event” and thought how great it would be to be able to see him…. I stood on my knees on the front seat beside my dad, looking right and left to the infinite lines of soldiers on the sides of the road, and the crowed behind them….. Some waved to us to hurry, before they close the road….. Many hours passed, the day was near to end, we were on our way back…..the soldiers were still there in their places, but this time they were standing hand in hand, so that no one can pass…. I asked my dad why are they still here, he said they are still waiting for the president….. I paused for a moment and said “why don’t Mr. president just say when will he pass exactly?” he said “because he is the president!” ……..

September 1988, after settling once again in Egypt, as I have spent a deal of my early childhood abroad due to my parents work, joining the Egyptian education was a traumatic experience for me as a child, despite being admitted to a private school, all I can remember are flash backs of a dull humid crowded classroom, 60 students or so, loud noises, two students fighting and me shrinking in my fraying desk…. wishing this was just a bad dream….. few years passed, the flash backs I get are of a small sandy and ugly playground, students running everywhere, chasing each other randomly with no certain goal except letting the energy inside them come out…… I remember a small dull music room in the basement with few crappy instruments that are barely used and barely work, this old piano and that old man who taught my class one year…. He always seemed so sad, I felt so much pity for him, I don’t recall him ever smiling or saying much, or ever seeing his beard shaved, he always had this shabby look, but he did his job from the heart, he believed in what he was doing…. I could see in his eyes a kind person and an artist…. With lots of misfortune….. he taught us an old song about Egypt, a very sweet one, I can still sing it till this day, I can still remember the warm sound of his piano playing harmonizing with the choir of us the children…. The echoes can still ring in my ears…. Although it was just one music lesson a week, just 45 minutes, I always waited for it, and it got better every time when we started to learn the song well….. but…. Before the year ended, they told us the man is very sick and he is not coming back soon, I guess he died later…… and I never went to the music room again………

A life time of frustration and disappointment, no place for dreams to become true….. you are not what you can do, you won’t be what you ought to be or deserve, but you just get what is available for you to get, you don’t decide but rather you get crushed by the system….. no matter what potentials you have it won’t make a difference, no one would care for it, and even those who care cannot do much, and even if they try to do they won’t find the enough or proper tools and if they found they will find a thousand obstacles…..

Generations that were not taught how to enjoy life, how to see the beauty of the world around and appreciate it, a nation degraded from morality and self-respect. Most people struggled desperately for their primary needs, food and shelter, living under constant stress… how can these people be expected to find other meanings in life and other reasons for living than their own survival… time by time art and all sorts of things that address our human soul receded from people’s minds as they receded from schools and every other aspect of life…. Life was so dull and colorless like those ugly dull buildings condensed in the streets of Cairo, covered by layers of smog, the same buildings that they live in…. Innocence was lost…. And for many who tried to find a meaning for their lives, since they had no hope for this life, they had no way but to hope for the other one …. It is living to die… and religion was the only exile… that’s why extremism found its way among these hopeless crowds.

But, despite how I hated the situation and how I hated even stepping out of my home and felt alienated in this society, I never blamed the people, never…. People are all the same everywhere, same souls, same dreams, same needs for a good life, hope, a future for their children….. But when you deal with people as if they are not human beings, they simply lose their humanity…

I was one of the many Egyptian young people who lost hope and stopped believing that dreams can come true, I was one of those people who did not care, I even stopped watching T.V or reading newspapers, on the 28th of January I saw a protest passing under my home and heard the thundering voices of the protesters calling for freedom, it awakened something inside me, something that I have lost a long time ago….. Since that day, the day that I saw my people smiling to each other for the first time in my life (I mean it literally), the day when I felt that I belong to this land, the first time I feel that I am one of them… when we all felt that we owned the streets…. I rediscovered my country and my people and for the first time of my life I was proud to be an Egyptian, for the first time in my life I felt free and knew how wonderful this feeling is.

Egyptian people have amazed me like they have amazed the world, seeing their coherence and sympathy in these protests that went non stopping for 18 days, earning their freedom and breaking the iron fist of this regime peacefully, maintaining their stability for 18 days without any police, any supervision or any authority, a condition that can literally mean absolute chaos, but on the contrary, the society strengthened its binding forces…. And we won the battle! All this happened despite all the harsh conditions that people have been living through the last decades… I have no explanation for this except our legacy and cultural heritage, this civilized behavior that have been passed over from one generation to another and showed itself all of a sudden….. This image of Egypt, the dawn of human civilization that we all carry in our hearts despite the bitter present that we live in, yet we deal with this present like a nightmare that will soon be over and we get back the real Egypt, the Egypt that we have always loved and felt proud of, the one that me myself have always felt to belong to…. this legacy is the torch that lit those dark times…..

Friday, January 7, 2011

It was all about sharing

I used to have so many dreams, my childhood and adolescence were a racing track for my ambitions, and the sky was really the limit. I saw no boundaries and no limits for my capabilities, always felt that I was so special, and I knew that I was going to be someone special.

But I didn’t know the ways of life, the things that people do to achieve their goals, it never came to my mind that I have to twist reality sometimes or may be lie or be someone’s dear friend to reach my goals. I thought that being capable and talented was more than enough, no need ever for concessions… no need to bow and bend for the rules of society….. But I was wrong…..

Time was passing by, I tried to do things my way...… to deal with life according to my own logic, and I thought I was so strong, stronger than society…. I thought my logic would be seen by so many people, that they would see it as clear as I see it…. I thought they would care… But again I was wrong…..

Life is really a journey that we all walk alone, no matter how many people surround us, we are always on our own, may be it won’t be so visible for so many of you, but I finally could see it so clear…. Despite how painful it is and how sad it makes me feel, but it’s just a part of reality. Because I always look for the true deep meanings of things, and extend my reaches as much as I can to see where everything ends, which is in a way part of my tendency to minimalize and abstract everything, I was trying to reach the essence of human connection in its most intimate ways…. but it was not possible, just impossible to be, like it is against the laws of the universe. That’s how I came to my conclusion, and that’s why it won’t be so evident to many people, because not everyone would embark on such an experience, but trust me, you can never judge something or know it for real unless you see it all, see where it begins and find where it ends.

No one can deny his own existence, no one can be more conscious about someone else than about his own self, that’s why human connection in its absolute form is impossible to be, there is always, no matter how big is love and close are the souls, a thin line of separation….. That’s why we are always alone, and no human beings can merge their existence together…. We can have as close friends and spouses as we can, but at a certain point on the journey we will be totally alone, because this is what we really are…..

Now when I look back, I see that this is what I was really looking for, connection and sharing in their absolute form, all my other dreams were just ways to support and reach this dream. And perhaps being an introvert by nature, having my own logic and ways to conceive the world around me, making me isolated from society, they all added to my sense of loneliness, the sense of being misunderstood and this wild unlimited desire for intimacy.

Monday, November 8, 2010

the memories we leave behind

Days go by, one after another, falling behind us, like those dry leaves falling off that big tree on a windy autumn day, blown away by the wind, unnoticed….. Our memories keep pilling with all the joyful glances and the sad long hours, we drag them behind us as we move forward and the burden gets heavier by time. Sometimes we pretend that they don’t exist, or maybe we just forget about them, but soon we realize that they live with us, those memories are imprinted inside our souls forever, they make us think and see things differently, look back and learn and see how everything make sense. They keep us warm and keep our company in the lonely nights, they draw a smile on our faces…… we long for the joyful moments and wish they never came to end, live them again with our imagination….. and how strange… how they can feel like real, how can we remember those little detail so accurately, how can we smell a scent or hear a sound the same way like it was…. Then we experience this strange feeling of serenity and nostalgia yet we feel this hand squeezing our beating hearts, when we realize how heavy is the burden….

What a strange creature are you time, I dare you if you can make things happen again, you are just like us, forced to go on, having no choice but to move forwards, you too wish if you knew why, if you had a second chance.....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

the randomness of our existence

life is an interaction between individuals who have completely different goals and non of them know whats in the other's mind, this profound randomness is part of the uniqueness of our experience of living with all the joy and sadness that come with it, as we explore our own selves and the world around us in every moment that pass us by, yet, we need to step back every while and look at it from a distance in order to see its beauty and figure out a reason for why are we here.

Friday, July 23, 2010

walking the landscape of my life (I)

Step after a step, I feel myself moving forwards in this mysterious journey that seems so vague and foggy sometimes,, that you can hardly even see your fingertips. It’s something we are part of, yet we know so little about it.... and hardly know its roads and no matter how much we know or we pretend to know, we always walk and see these roads for the first time, with every step we take, we lay our feet in somewhere we have never been before, sometimes we try to follow the steps of those who walked this journey before us, sometimes we try to share it with our beloved ones, but in the end every track is made only for one, though the tracks cross sometimes, but only for a glance of time, even if we think someone is walking with us, we are always alone in our own unique experience of existence.

And here I am... walking the landscape of my life, with the echoes of my childhood still lingering in my ears, looking in every corner along my way to unfold my own present, and tossing my dreams far away ahead of me... so that I may find them one day in my future…