note# 14: little internal conversations on the road
I am trying to find summer only to realise i am following winter. And winter can be beautiful. Breathtaking indeed. Stunning (freezing stunning and pretty stunning sorts of stunning). I learn that i like winter and it is not a simple emotion because i hate it too, hate is the wrong emotion. The cold makes me nervous, that agitation akin to when i feel hungry or misunderstood. . Feel it in my bone yet not run away from it. But seek it. Talk to it. I would do March again in North Carolina by my beloved Roan Mountain. It taught me to see winter. (Not all the south is warm in winter, not all the south is south, the south is made up of many states and each one as big as a country and each country can have mountains and sandy beaches, as well as cold and hot winters. Still learning what it means to live in a really really big country).
This place is huge. Mile upon mile and more miles of everything: trees and asphalt and cars and food-that-is-not-food-chains and houses, street signs, radio stations, and churches, and empty factories, haunted towns, full towns, and land. So much land. Space. Upon space. Endless space. More space after space. Behind the trees, until the foothills, behind the mountains, around the lakes. With so much, how does it still feel so deeply poor?
I will never understand what america means by poor.
[how is it that one human/one family/one constructed-fabricated-citizenry is entitled (literally has a title of) a piece of land, exclusively, while some die drowning, thirsty, naked, sad, searching for a place to lay their head, hold a child, cook a meal, fuck, dream?] (who owns oceans?)
I saw with my own eyes space where a million refugees can fit, ten million and all the homeless and undocumented and the wretched of the earth.
I cannot help but feel america is a spoiled needy self centered brat who can never be happy. And that is sad. And dangerous.
Were you not afraid going through Alabama? In the six years i lived in San Francisco (beautiful healthy clean rich whitening exclusive San Francisco that introduced me to the darker depths of madness and apathy), how many sit-ins and shared videos and tears and anger did we contribute to the war-scene for (our) trans and black and latinx (fellow locals/ourselves) and repeated their names rippling waves in a crowd that will go home more broken. Do not ask me if Alabama was scary, San Francisco was terrifying.
Funny, (not funny at all), growing up in a war torn region trying to keep afloat sinking and bobbing at the surface of the Mediterranean (until the boat capsizes--the vocabulary of refugee-nessness)/colonialism, “why can you not find peace over there?” “oh what a violent part of the world that is.” “i wish people there could find peace.” Like where? The streets of america? For whom? The white? The black? Growing up we learned america was the most dangerous place to visit and that exclusively meant usa. But i try harder than to believe all stereotypes and generalising notions of peoples until they insist on proving correct (when i am too tired).
Why does the desert make me nostalgic for what may have been of my relationship with my home-desert? Arrested relationship. Interrupted. I want to be back in Wadi Rum. I look for those cool mornings in New Mexico. I am seeking the wild. Wilderness within and without. I am still in the city, on the trails by the Rio Grande, on the freeway looking afar. I want to sleep awake under a star-crazy sky. Will i venture? Will i be invited in?
Growing up in a country that is mostly desert (it has several micro climates, including the Jordan Valley), there are many connotations one learns about the desert. My country was a sort of bridge (a gap?/a confused geography born of colonialism, drunkard army-nights, modernity and occupation) between the Mediterranean and the Arabian Desert (including الربع الخالي). In popular chit chat, the desert/its people are often synonymous with poverty, ignorance, ignored, marginality, nothingness, barren, boredom, uninteresting. It took me a while to go like “ah, wait a second!” the desert is awesome you fool. Open them eyes. I love the desert.
The power in a plant pushing through offering a deep pink
The humbling in knowing every drop of water counts
The cuisine which needs no fridges and sweet tea with sage