Like a charging elephant, shot between the eyes, summer stumbled forward and fell in a cloud of dust. The silky shifts of Tishreens*, weathered by the harsh sun, blown away by overdue storms vanished from a cruel calendar. The opulence of an oil painting, fat with hues of yellow and loud with shades of blue swiftly altered to a harsh charcoal sketch of a dead chill. The subtlety of a water-colored autumn landscape lost in these times of common strife and personal ache. Would the pastels of spring ever survive, or will they too fall victim to the brutality of a heavy adamant winter? Only extremes, like idiots and thugs, seem fit for survival. I have no place to go, no time to be.

It’s not all about beginnings and ends. The man with the creased forehead sitting there at a corner in the cafĂ© had a mother once who combed his hair and tucked his shirt in. He had kissed the girl next door behind the blue shutters when they both were ten. He had walked under a rainbow and danced in the rain. He had worn-out his salad days at the Copacabana with gorgeous women whose names had long been lost in the labyrinth of his fading memory. Then, till dawn, they hugged and kissed, his beautiful Mexican sweetheart and he, on the bank of the Mississippi river while New Orleans lay sleeping.

There’s a first kiss, there’s a last kiss and there’s a kiss in between. By virtue of purity, the first one is remembered. By virtue of loyalty, the last one is honored. By virtue of exquisiteness, the one in the middle is forever cherished. The sweet taste of strawberry, the rich smell of roasted hazelnuts, the hot feel of slipping grains of sand between the fingers bring her back. The taste of her lips, the smell of her hair, the feel of her body, tight, so close and now gone.

He hasn’t strolled over the Great Wall of China, the man with the creased forehead. He hasn’t seen the northern lights of the aurora borealis. There are mountains he didn’t climb, bikes he didn’t ride. Untasted wines, undanced songs, unread words, undiscovered angels and demons. A novel to write, a fish to net, a hammock to hang, a cottage to build. A ship to sail, a sea to cross...

A life to live.

*Tishreens = October & November


Maysaloon said…
They say as you get older you no longer remember the years by their numbers, but by the names of the women you've loved or been with.

The taste of her lips, the smell of her hair, the feel of her body, tight, so close and now gone.

That sentence reminds me of golden afternoons in the park, my head on her lap looking up at a face, at beautiful hair. Years later, I wonder if it ever even happened, that moment of bliss.
Abufares said…
@ Wassim

"For I have known them all already, known them all: Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons, I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"

T S Eliot
Dubai Jazz said…
What can I say except WONDERFUL. As Rime has said before; nobody writes about life like you do Abu Fares.
saint said…
It is very peaceful post for a dramatic season. I liked your choices of pictures, specially the first one. You made me think again about Tishreens since I always thought of those months as the Syrian political season and you have flipped the perception to a wonderful peaceful portrait. Its also echo the season here on the east coast with the fresh multihued colors of the trees.
Abufares said…
@ DJ
Thank you my friend. Your diploma is cut ;-)

@ Saint
Tishreens (Tsharin) as we call them in Tartous has always been my favorite season. It's a little bit different this year due to MY personal situation as far as being too busy, ...etc. I normally take every opportunity to enjoy every minute I can spare. This is My summer, the time I feel totally at ease and in a vacation mood.
Better luck next year, to us all.
Katia said…
Beautiful, as always.
It's amazing how you can write about such personal things without giving away an inch too much! I can't do that; I bounce between extremes so much that it's either all or nothing with me. But anyway, your post incited me to post something I wouldn't have considered...
KJ said…
My comment didn't go through this afternoon! *upset*

I was saying... man you are going to beat me to writing that novel.. and I will be your first customer!

Enjoy the fall and embrace it... don't look at it as a gray time but rather as the end of the bad times... put a negative thought in each falling leaf and watch it go away. Let the rain come down and wash them away.
Ascribo said…
Sounds strange, but Fall is all about memories...is it the subtle change in weather that says winter is coming soon? or the falling leaves that's a reminder of leaving hour? Or maybe the quiet time it offers for us to contemplate? Or just the regret of all great things we didn't have time to do this summer...

I can't figure it out. But I envy you that you can enjoy the fall. I never had the opportunity to...Always back to college, leaving hometown, the terrible flu, and the gathering clouds...

Hope I'll find a way, someday, If only...
Abufares said…
@ Katia

Life is treating us this way, making us bounce between extremes. At times, I feel as if I'm sailing against powerful currents, just to avoid being grounded on either bank.

Even when I write about a recipe I can't help but get personal. Although, occasionally, I'm a third person and a total stranger.

Did I really say what I mean? I don't know.

The poem you just posted on your blog is beautiful. I always read you but have been making the mistake of not commenting often. Do forgive me as I'm about to correct myself.
Abufares said…
AND @ Katia

Please, please... get listed on Syria Planet so that I (and all of us) know when you post something new.
Blogspot is blocked now in Syria and accessing my favorite blogs one by one takes forever because of the indirect way I have to follow. When you get listed on Syria Planet, we will immediately know about your new post, thus making much easier.
Abufares said…
@ KJ
Fall is my favorite season and I usually wait for it with all my senses. This year, it didn't go that well for me. Even from a meteorologic point of view, fall has been screwed badly by summer and winter.
As for that novel, you'd better not wait for me and start your own. Statistically speaking, I'm past the age of publishing a first novel :-)
Abufares said…
@ Ascribo

We are all in the air together (i.e. kelna bel hawa sawa).

I long for more relaxing autumn days when my responsibilities/duties/obligations/preoccupations were less demanding.
The busier I am, the more bored I get...
Shannon said…
You have a wonderful way of conveying such a personal feeling that everyone can relate to...I may not have been on the Mississippi river as New Orleans slept, but the feeling I had with my sweetheart was just the same. Bravo!

You inspire me to write better!
Abufares said…
@ Shannon
Your words are always so encouraging. I feel good just by succeeding in making you think about your sweetheart (although it seems he's always on your mind ;-)
Paige said…
My summer is fading more quickly than I ever imagined it would. Fall does come too soon, and winter is a not so distant threat. I think that as we enter autumn, we all feel that we don't have much time, although my mother, who is very much in the midst of winter, says it isn't true. She says I have plenty of time. I'm still closer to 40 than 50, but I'm not quite sure how 40 happened. I woke up one day, and suddenly it was fall!
KJ said…
No one is ever past the stage of writing a novel :)

You can combine all your blog posts into an anthology and you'd give the world a great gift of recipes, wisdom, humor, and insights on what is happening around.

As a side note, the word verification spells "ugay" looooooooooool
Katia said…
You probably didn't read my reply to your comment, but I'm waiting for some of your lovely prose... in French this time;-)
Abufares said…
@ Paige
40 seems like yesterday to me and now I'm closer to 50 than to 40!
Yet, you and I are still in the middle of summer as far as aging is concerned. Autumn should be great and I'm really not worried much about it. My ups and downs, lately, are totally independent of time. They are more or less a reflection of the little nuances that make up a life.
My next post should be on the light side although I have no idea what I'm going to write about.
Abufares said…
@ KJ
A novel requires concentration and dedication. At the moment, I'm short on both.
I hate this word verification shit, but when I remove it I get these annoying promotional comments "THEYGAY" :-)
Abufares said…
@ Katia
Of course I read your reply but thought to myself OhOh! What have I gotten myself into.
Writing in English is like driving automatic transmission. To even attempt "now" to write in French is like being stuck in 1st gear on a highway while driving a tractor. The effort is too much and the result doubtful. It will be an exercise in futility and vanity I'm afraid. Please accept me in English and get yourself listed on Syria Planet :-)

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