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Sunday, November 16, 2008

After the Storm

We walked hand in hand on the desolate beach. The wind bluffed with erratic flurries and toyed with our unbuttoned blazers. The dying waves, frowzy with the aftermath of earlier rage, collapsed at our feet. The hoary sky shepherded dark hollow clouds in intimidation. The veteran eyes of this seafarer knew only too well that the storm had come to pass.

My son's little hand stirred in mine as he looked up at me. "It's not gonna rain tonight", he ventured with newly acquired confidence. "It's not", I echoed his words and ruffled his shortly trimmed hair with gentle fingers.




It had rained incessantly for days and nights. In our little town that is no longer little there is very little to do when it rains even a little. We wait behind window panes, flinching with the ensuing violent wallops of lightening, captivated by the brutal slamming of open shutters and the drumming of destined thunder. When the autumn uproar is over at last we file along the shore to appraise the aftermath. Crumbled timber litters the sand, lost cargo thrown overboard from hapless ships bearing the wrath of demented swells, dead cattle, relics from the past; acceptable losses no more.

I walk that stretch of beach again well into the winter until no longer I can. I lean on him and put my calloused hand in his as he shows me the way. "It's over, the rainstorm isn't it?" I ask. "Sure thing, it's over", my son's words reassure me to keep plodding along. "You know what, when I was a kid" I start, pointing my finger eastward and to the south, "it was all orange groves here, here and there". He faces me with a smile then pulls my collar higher around my neck, "yeah baba, you told me so". He sees the worried look in my tired eyes and caresses my shoulder. He pulls me closer and shuttles me home before the dark of night falls. The calls of enchanting sirens tempt us to wade into the sea. Their silhouettes well defined in the rays of the drowning sun, their breasts wobble on the troubled surface. The salty breeze fills our heads with memories, real and imagined. Slowly, we march back in lonely silence.

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's nice as always.
A

Mariyah said...

Abu Fares, this is where we see your true literary talent. Beautifully written and very touching. Thank you for sharing it with us.

abufares said...

@A
Thank you, as always:-)

abufares said...

@Mariyah
Praise from a woman who writes with a whiff of Tarab and a touch of silk is so gratifying.
Thank you.

Piscean Rubble said...

What a wonderful literary snapshot of a tender moment in time. Incredibly beautiful, Abu Fares. Om Anastasio

Anonymous said...

A piece of nostalgia, a piece of the present and what's to come... I wish I could walk down that stretch of sand and smell the ocean that seems to go on forever. It pulls me. Maybe one day.

w.b. yeats

Diana said...

Love it!

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Beautiful prose. Comes from a capable and outreaching writer whose senses capture the moment perfectly.

Thanks Abu Fares, great post as usual.

p.s. : there’s a hint of sadness there, was it real or just a style enhancement? :)

DUBAI JAZZ said...

Nah… now that I read it again I don’t think it is sadness. The sirens say otherwise!

Anonymous said...

Abufares, it is nice to start monday morning reading you,

abufares said...

@Om Anastasio
beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Didn't you tell me that one day?

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
One day, you and I... Just before the storm...
Then we'd have to hide somewhere... for days and nights until it's over :-)

abufares said...

@Diana
Glad you're dropping by every now and then, like a breath of fresh air after the storm.

abufares said...

@DJ
Wallah I miss you. where have you been?
I'm used to read your comments and I feel left alone without them.
Q- There's a hint of sadness?
A- There always is
The sirens, and despite their wobbling breasts, emphasized this hint.

abufares said...

@lê
Thank you my friend. Usually on a Monday morning you end up telling me about your fishing trip. How about it this time?

Anonymous said...

You're such a romantic!

I believe after all this time, if we do hide somewhere or anywhere, we will probably kill each other after one hour and be on each others nerves. All this little manias that one acquires with time will do us both in!

Unless we are "borrachos" or something!
LOL

w.b.yeats

JGM said...

salamat abufares
I am glad the storm is over...the little boy is becoming a young man...
You must be proud witnessing this transformation that tickles every one of your senses...Pitty the groves are no longer there...

Karin said...

SOOO beautiful dear friend ... as always!
I'll be in touch!

kaya said...

.........Sigh!......

abufares said...

@w.b.yeats
Beating up each other is part of the fun of course.
I wouldn't even think of hiding with you before I get you completely borracha :-)

abufares said...

@JGM
Indeed, as he makes his way into becoming a young man, so do we move along, albeit much more swiftly so it seems.

In the battle between human uncontrolled reproduction and the environment the latter lost without even a fight. Concrete monstrosities are taking over our entire planet.

BTW, this post(so I'd like to think) has a deeper socio political implication. "It had rained incessantly..." until the end of the short paragraph was more than a personal statement (although it certainly was that).
This is my twisted way of handling the dirty side of life that is politics. Our little town was meant to represent more than Tartous.

abufares said...

@Karin
With such a sweet soul you're apt to find only the beautiful things around you.
Waiting to hear from you dear friend.

abufares said...

@Kaya
Come sigh with me...
Does that have a meaning even? :-)

Anonymous said...

You know Abufares, I find myself every morning reading the news on the Internet, the absurdities of all the different leaders of the world, the irresponsabilty of fellow men and THEN... I look for your Blog and you always manage to put a smile on my face.

Thank you and have a good day!
w.b. yeats

Naji said...

I don't know...!

JGM said...

I would like to thank you Abufares for sharing that little extra bit of insight in your response to my comments on After The Storm post.

Spare me the politics please, I’m cluless lol... This out of sync & ugly concrete parade is marching through your little town , mine and many other little towns...

I just hope that there will remain a little patch of green, a little terrace for the vines to rest upon when laden with the soul of Arak and the Spirit of Wine. I just hope we’ll be left with a little clear blue sky upon which we’ll set our weary eyes...a space of air pure enough to be impregnated by the aroma of that very coffee from the shop on wheels in Tartous or any where else still capable of conceiving simple and beautiful things.

Have a nice day.

abufares said...

@w.b. yeats
By putting a smile on your lovely face you made my heart leap with laughter.

abufares said...

@Naji
You Semet, Semet then Fataret 3ala Basleh.
I haven't read your teasing comments in such a long time. Then you finally honor me by your visit and just tell me that you don't know!
Come on, even sarcasm requires a little more elaboration.

abufares said...

@JGM
Amen my friend, Amen to that.
One of my most traveled roads is between Tartous and the lovely little village of Bmalke (12km to the east and 400 m above sea level).
Not more than 2 years ago 10 of the 12 km were a continuous and lovely panorama of olive trees and rolling hills.
They are 8 km now. Tartous cancerous extensions have consumed 2 km in the last 2 years.
Sad!