i recall these meetings with uncompromisingly hard men as being treasure trove.
and the boy... -------------------------------------------
…in the white dress gets up
moving quickly to take up the coffee pot
and to let the old man take his place
in the middle
from where he can see his brothers.
and from where his hawks can see him.
and it is a bigger dish tonight
for it is eight to eat from it:
these seven from beyond Ar Riyadh;
from small places in the big yellow;
all of them happy to be sharing the same shadow
and their guest,
who knows G-Shock™ watches and Gordon’s gin™,
suddenly at a loss,
having suddenly found something better:
having found iftar after a long day
having found what fingers are for.
so i will not listen to lectures on etiquette
or on how to entertain:
“for when you eat with us you are in our care”
and unbleached flour is not a facial scrub
and beetles are not thrown in the fire by men
(for only One can commit a creature to a flame).
as the cooling sun goes down see,
it is one third now of Ramadan
see, how the moon gets fatter!
but not like us.
it was a very strange Ramadan this year. i really missed the numerous iftar invitations. it appeared that everyone took notice of the supreme committee and socially distanced themselves... but when Eid al-Fitr arrived, caution was thrown out of the window. inevitably instead of the expat construction workers in the camps sharing the virus, the locals shared it between themselves so generously that the number of cases made the SC
toes curl. thus they put police at every road junction, barricaded the beaches and we celebrated Eid al-Adha with very restrictive curfew. slaughtering was directed to the slaughter houses (although a few didn't hear this directive!) but at least the garbage collectors had less giblets to scrape off roadsides this year and we had less flies buzzing around.
sadly, i have not been into the interior recently so have missed those precious evenings;wriggling my toes through the cooling desert sands; sitting eating bread hot from the fire; staring into the desert sky once the embers have died down to see beyond our galaxy.
Thank you very much.
It was good to re read this poem again. i shall treasure the memories of these evenings once i make my escape from here. these 11 years have gone very quickly !
having travelled and share company with people from worlds "lesser" than the west i have come to realise just how shallow and dim sighted the west is...
having eaten with people who had very little but were willing to share it all with me, having slept on the floor of someones home because none of them had beds, having been to wedding celebrations in both city and countryside, having been shown love and acceptance regardless of who i am what i have where im from....
i know this piece well.
my husband and i are fasting for his easter. last year i complained quite a bit about our vegan diet. it was hard. i'd never had food rules before. it wasnt my approach to god.
last night i tried to cook one of his traditional fasting foods. it was okay but im glad no one else in his family got to try it [we are living in my country for now].
and yet i miss sitting round sharing a meal.
multiple hands in the one plate,the talking, laughing , loving that happens over a meal.
the fact that there is no rush. the fact that there is always more than enough. the fact that it always tastes amazing.
sometimes its good for westerners to know that they are not the most knowledgeable the world over... sometimes life is played on other terms by other rules much less selfish than the ones known to most.
Lol...I guess that political guy didn't realize that you aren't an American. The egocentric psychosis made evident by so many of my countrymen reduces me to gales of laughter. "How dare you not be American? How dare you not vote for our President? If you weren't born in America, how dare you speak at all?".
If you're not shouting or thumping your chest, that makes you a suspicious person indeed.
Makes me want to read all that guy's nonsense, take his words, scramble them up in a blender and send them out like troops against him.
But I'm having far too much fun bouncing Grandbabies on my knees and feeding them sweets when their parents aren't looking.
Yesterday, I took the middle ones out trick-or-treating. Grand Cody has an endearing habit of storing his used lollipops on the back of his head after he has finished with them. Grand Holly throws spectacular tantrums when her horrified mother tells her she can't eat the nuggets she has dug from her pearly little nose.
it feels like I have stumbled into the middle of something here, and it's adds to the flavour of it--
this makes me think of ritual, and courtesy and things that are done for the sake of themselves, because they are useful important things, and tradition and honour, and there is nothing else required, all else is pretense and excess.
In your reply to my “America the Beautiful”, in your alarm you conjure up, your poison pills as proscribed in ObamaCare’s Death Panels coined by Sarah Palin and in Obama’s own words take the pills and die (all you old and infirmed).
My patriotic rant you so deplore, explains your mental condition that is absent in your reasoning and heretic brewed reply, you so apply state as my vilification.
In your claim to “empathize” and my lack of balance, you yourself are guilty of disrespect not to empathize America, with a capital “A” that proves to me you’re not American, but a terrorist and un-American. Maybe even a Muslim yourself?
Because you think you think? Only proves you are what have called “a horse’s arse” aka a typical deformed demon-crap, with a consequence on “crap”. Muslims are painfully inhospitable to all and show no love of their children, when they shoot a young girl in the head because she wants to go to school. You are a frelling “IDIOT”.
You dare to further claim, “just like the muslims i’ve met and broke bread with.” This alone is enough to convulse any Christian. The Last Supper was the last supper of the Son of God (not Allah’s) who broke bread that is now quoted and stated clearly daily, you and Muslim’s daily blaspheme.
You and your title as Senior Management at Pleasant View Nursing Home, is a sad commentary of the abyss of America’s liberal education system of which you portray.
i am glad that you reposted this.... though since it is the eve of Eid, i am a tad late in my response. i can see why you would add these memories to your treasure trove. these men are a breed above the well stuffed individuals that sleep all day and party all night, then have you believe they are suffering, by putting on a well rehearsed, dying swan act.
most of us will never get the opportunity to experience doing dust. i really love how you have put you meetings with these men into words. so glad to be able to read this again. J
and this write, it is one without judgement on either side. like it dispells preconcieved notions of what one might think otherwise. whether it is the boy, the old man, or the g-shock wearing other one. all are part of a bigger piece on a smaller scale.
as well, i think of the honor, to be part of something held holy. to break bread, so to speak, after fasting all day. and to break bread in a fashion that is ancient and lived in.
i guess for me, this feels on the outskirts. like it's the real deal, if that makes sense. hearty. kinda like here, in the states, there is a huge difference from city and country living.
and always, there is something about being fed. seems there are 'kitchens' everywhere.