Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Outside the cave
Yesterday after the march, on the way back, with a group of friends, we immersed in some sort of a laughing hysteria. We started laughing for no particular reason; anything we said about the march triggered a wave of laughing. There was a strange feeling of happiness filling our lungs, a joy of a different nature. We suddenly felt an urge for a cold orange juice. "No, a gallon of beer," someone said. Everyone agreed. We ended up buying both, juices and beers, plus a bag of ice but we didn't drink any. The laughing was enough to make us queue at the door of the bathroom. Why were we laughing? Was it a sudden wisdom of absurdity? or an absurd splash of stupidity? We laughed at ourselves, at our heroic old days, at our dreams, at our strength and our weakness. We laughed at what seemed unattainable, believed possible, and thought realized. Maybe, but we certainly laughed because we simply missed laughing, the true laugh, the deep laugh, the sincere laugh. We do have fun everyday. We do enjoy our time everyday. We do laugh everyday, many times to make us pee in our pants. But those were shadows and echo's of a laugh on a cave's wall. Yesterday's laughs were utterly different. I do not intend to sound poetic nor romantic. But the sunny day seemed to have freed us from the cave. We could smell, see, and hear colors although everything around us seemed to be white. Our steps dragged us like sleepwalkers. We didn't care if we reach anywhere. We were driven. There were no leaders and no followers, only people, dreamers. How many times, did I dream of a day domestic workers would flood the streets of Beirut, drag their employers by their hair and spit on them? of Palestinian elderly women hunting down politicians and throwing stones and shoes on them? of refugees burning down the Lebanese flag in the middle of a busy street? of mothers of civil war prisoners and kidnapped renouncing their peaceful movement and resorting to violence? How many times did I picture a revolution, the one that destroys to build and that pains to give birth? How many lovers split? how many fates changed? how many lives destroyed? how many hopes crushed? My mind was flooded with those and similar questions as my feet swelled with every step. I didn't shout slogans but I wasn't silent. I had become a voice. For the first time, I felt that I belong. I belonged not to a particular group nor to an idea. I belonged to that free spirit that I could inhale, to that limitless space between ultimate freedom and the stupidity of believing it. On the way back, I felt an urge for a cold drink and for a laugh, like a laugh of a mother who lost a child long ago but forgot to cry back then. I cried.