letter #4: despite the storm: the adventures of ola y chao
Forgive me for not paying more attention to your excitement about the heavy raindrops while we were on skype a few hours ago. I suggested that you go and enjoy the storm and then we can continue with our call, but you said if you went you will need three hours. Why didn't we pause for the raindrops, how did I waste such a moment? Why did i steal that moment from us? We were sharing some thoughts on surveillance at that point, how we are the consumers of our own fears.
Later, I asked you if i suffer from political apathy, and you said that i am politically alienated, and it all started when people were cheering for Saddam and i wasn’t immediately after we had to leave Kuwait. Chau, i am challenged when it comes to words, i am challenged in saying what i need to say, there is so much in my head. When it’s in my head, it’s clear. I see it, i feel it, i smell it. I can see the big circles that i always tell you about, the circles that are floating and moving and sometimes they meet and interact, and they breed and good things come out of them. They feed off of each other, they are strong separately but they grow much more beautifully and strangely when they spend time together.
When i was in Thessaloniki last time visiting you, and we were walking by the corniche, a storm was happening in front of us, we could see the lightning, and again you were so taken by the thunder and lighting happening in front of our eyes, in the distance across the sea, the water just a few steps away. And again, i stole that moment from us, i got distracted by some noise happening in my head. You are so patient.
I think about noise a lot. I feel more acutely affected by it and aware of it than ever, as a matter of fact i feel attacked by noise constantly. Cars, tv, sharp heels against the ground, electricity generators, non-stop-music, an uninterrupted confirmation of the invasion of earth. And i think it is no coincidence. This noise distracts us from what may be profound. Whether the noise is the sounds in our head worrying about the mundanities (as you would refer to them) of life, or they are outside of us confirming our bleak and fragile existence, they distract us from a possible moment of quiet when we actually may hear something.
I am worried that with so much to hear and see, and even with all our audiovisual tools, we remain blind and deaf.
Drugged. I am sure the noise dulls the senses.
A couple of evening’s ago, i felt the need for a brisk walk and some fresh air so I went for a walk along the corniche you mention above and i felt i was navigating my way through the crowds as much as i was through noise. Keeping to the edge furthest from the cars, keeping as much distance as i could from electricity generators and music blaring from shops and restaurants, i felt like i was hardly keeping afloat. I pushed through but with a lot of effort and not without a degree of panic.
I find myself thinking what might it be like buried under the noise of war? How does one think? How can one hear their own voice?
I need to get closer to the storm. Take a distance from all this that seems to be our achievement: cities and motors and non-stop-online-chatter. I want to sit at the feet of a sky and surrender to her. I want to stand under the fat drops of rain and be cleansed. I want to hear the thunder and the shower. I want to hear the thunder and the shower and nothing else and try to find if there is any honesty there.
I want you to know that i felt we were together in front of the thunderstorm. A theater of lightning which we were welcome to enjoy. Despite the fact that the lightning and thunder made you nervous, despite the fact the noise that was unwelcome, you sat with me.
هذه المدوّنة هي جزء من المراسلات بين علا وديالا توثّق مغامرات أولى إي تشاو
This blog post is part of the correspondence between Ola and Diala documenting The Adventure of Ola y Chau
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