Sunday, April 02, 2006

To All Those Who Have Abandoned Ship



I still ask myself if I did the right thing when I abandoned the floating city.



(pic: fisherman's wharf, San Fransisco)

It happened every time. Someone would look up and see her. Yet there was always one. It is difficult to understand. You wouldn’t understand how. You probably need to see it. A guy would be eating or just randomly passing by. He’d look up for one second. One second before the others. A quick glance, his heart would race and every time, every damned time he would scream. The people who saw her had this precise instant stamped in their eyes. And when they were kids, if you look closely enough in their eyes, you would see her.

Almost how the movie starts...With a hope, a dream, of a better life, of a different life...

"The ocean was his home. As far as the world is concerned, he did not exist. He grew up inside a cradle as big as a ship. Always hiding in the belly of the beast".

"He was bursting with memories and there was nothing he can do about it. He did not play music. He caressed the notes. His music sounded like silk sliding on a woman’s body. His fingers were as light as butterflies".

Years go by..
You see the ship.. you see the light creeping as he took his steps to find his friend. You can hear his heart beats. Almost smell the ruins of the ship wreck. He played his record.. And it goes something like this... Or at least how i thought it did...

- where the hell did you find this record
- where have you been all these years
- making music
- even in the war?
- Even when no one was dancing, even when bombs were falling
- Come my friend for you’re never really done for as long as you have a story and someone to tell it to. The world will be hanging on your every word.
- People always wonder why in winter we long for summer and the heat and in summer we long for the winter. That’s why we are never tired of traveling. Always chasing some foreign dream. Life is immense. A revolution in our head. You never hear the voice of the sea if you live in the sea.
Have you seen the city?
You couldn’t see an end to it.
Show me, please where it ends
I was getting off my ship
That was not the problem
It was not what I saw
It was what I did not see
In all that sprawling city, there was everything except an end.
No end
Where did the whole city come to an end
The end of the world
Take the piano. The keys begin (88 of them) and the keys end.
You feel infinite. Music is infinite.
That, I can live by.
The city is millions of keys with no end.
If the key board is infinite, no music you can play.
Did you see the streets?
Thousands.
How do you chose one
Just one
One house
One woman
One landscape
One way to die
All that world just waiting down on you
Aren’t you scared of breaking a part of the thought of it?
The enormity of living it
The world passed me by
Two thousand people at a time
Never more than that
I learned to live that way
Land? Land is a ship too big for me
A woman too beautiful
A voyage too long
A perfume too strong
Music I don’t know how to make
I cannot get off
After all I don’t exist for anyone
I will live and die on my ship.

I have seen the legend of 1900 (Based on “Novecento” by Alessandro Baricco and written by Giuseppe Tornatore) two days before I was supposed to leave my safety ship, my small cradle, to come to this country. I remember sobbing as I heard the last monologue. In the darkness of the theater, I felt alone and scared. I felt that I was venturing into the infinite. I was not sure about a thing. I watched the movie again recently. Today I realize, it is not about where you live, it is about what lives in you.
So abandon ship mates, don’t be scared of the infinite…
Life is enormous and that alone is glorious...

4 comments:

Ghassan said...

I remember.
what lives within us though, sometimes it is better to leave it at the chip.

Mirvat said...

If you can do that God bless. Some of us can’t. also it depends, some ships sank a long time ago, some never existed..

hashem said...

Mirvat....
....and some ships are still wondering in a vast ocean...trying to fit in a port, but with each stop, the sailors just find themselves going back....to the sea...looking for the better port...not knowing that they lost their lives sailing....or maybe, they chose, conciously or unconciously, the sea as a home....

Mirvat said...

yes hashem, i know. hopefully some port will be a home some day. Meanwhile the sea will have to do. be on the run and travel light. light hearted i mean :)