Black and White

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2014 by thecountessshadow

 

 

I am a fan of the “black and white” world! black and white cinema, black and white photos, black and white thoughts, black and white anything! Black and white world is heavily loaded, very symbolic. For the cinema, it is the nostalgia for what is old, the sweetly weird sensation that crawls into one’s nerves when the ancient/old shows up, may be it is that life sucks and we enjoy the delusion that old times were better and more relaxing, may be it is just some sort of longing for the origin in a simple way, who knows what it is?! For the photos it is elegance! I think that most people I met felt the same, black and white photos are elegance, coloured ones are joy, which may point at something interesting which is that elegance and joy do not go together, but that is another story. But if elegance is the underlying reason that most people (or at least myself) find black and white photos interesting, attractiveness is the reason making black and white thoughts so invading! Radical ideas are so appealing and so scary, and being so appealing makes them more scary, and the scarier they become, the more appealing they get! Like Adam’s apple, you want to pick it up, but you are afraid, like sex, everybody wants it, but everybody is conditioned to think of it as a sin and that makes it an obsession!

I was thinking about how much I admire Che Guevara, how much his life inspires me, then I asked myself whether I would choose Che Guevara as a president in democratic elections if that was an option? I was astonished to find that the answer was NO, and I was far more astonished to find that it did not take a lot of time to reach that answer! I would love Guevara, I would follow him, cry over his dead body (if I ever had the chance), but I would choose a compromising liar, a cunning politician to rule! I think the reason for this is very obvious as a charming radical revolutionary would be a dictator once in power, a very wild one indeed, while a cunning politician will remain the way he is, just a cunning disgusting creature, and though I disrespect him, he won’t bother me beyond inducing a desire to vomit which is a thing I can deal with!

As the radical thinker I am (sometimes) I find it troublesome that a figure of mine is not absolutely perfect. I love perfection, and I seek it in my figures (just like a teenager though I am not anymore!), but I can not bend the facts to create a pseudoperfect image. I think that is why the black and white world interests me, it is like it only shows the prominent things, and leave the other details so pale to even be noticed, it creates an inspiring world, but a dreamy one, an unreal one, like a verse of poetry that ignites your mind with one thousand thoughts, but it is just a spark that may cause a fire anywhere and lead you in any direction (of your choice). Radicalism is so appealing like nature, like a cottage over a hill, or sitting around fire in a cave, so lovely to think of or try once in a safari trip, but so tiring to live constantly. The problem with Guevara is not that he is imperfect, it is simply that he is not designed to live in a presidential palace and rule, he is meant for living in the wild and fighting for justice, and that is the role nature chose for him (or may be the role he chose for himself), just like a tiger living in the wild, so graceful as it races the wind, but how well would it do if it is forced to rule over other animals and eat one of them whenever it feels hungry?! I understand the example is so defective, but I hope it is clear enough to convey the meaning I wanted to say.

In nature, a tiger has its life and its role with no responsibilities other than survival, and so is the deer, a rabbit and every other species, except for our species, the most complex one! Our human species was blessed with the mind, but the bless was the very curse itself, it blessed humans with the ability to create a civilization and change nature but created an urge to keep looking for a meaning for their life beyond mere survival. Humans are the only species whose members spend most of their lives doing things that are not related to their survival, they spend more time inventing tableware and table manners than the time they spend in securing the food itself! Their search for a meaning led them to many great things, like morality and manners for example, but at the same time, created a wild constant struggle inside them, a struggle between the mind and the flesh, survival and morality, natural radicalism and civilized compromise, a struggle between what they are and what they can learn to be. It is the mind,the learning tool that made a human being able to change the fate imprinted on his genes, and become confused. Imagine a deer that joined the military and got trained to kill and suddenly found itself playing the role of a wild lioness, how would it deal with the situation, what sort of struggle would it feel when it changed the nature loaded on its genes?! Then is it that humans have distorted their nature with the mind, it may seem so, but if you look closer you would find that the mind is the most important tool nature has provided the human species with, and as any other species they used what they got so how can they get blamed for it? If you go with this flow of thoughts you may reach a conclusion that this struggle is exactly what was meant for humans by nature, as if it causes some sort of individual suffering but leads to a better collective result for the whole species from a survival point of view. If you ask me what does this have to do with the “black and white” thing, I will go back to our military deer! Imagine that deer watching a black and white photo of a free deer racing the wind in the wild, and try to find out how would it feel? Personally I believe graceful silence would be that deer’s reaction when it watches that photo, an elegant and relaxing photo for it, I think it will keep looking at it and its mind will dive deeply to the origin creating a blank look in its eyes (for an outsider), then it comes back to real life, puts the photo away and gets back to its new life.

I do not know what you are thinking about this discussion, but for me it is a major problem (I am a fan of problem solving that I may invent problems out of nothing to solve them!) and I deal with it in the way I invented for myself to relieve that struggle and I am sure each of you has his own way for that. I believe humans are meant to act like a pendulum, constantly moving between radicalism and compromise, naturalism and civilization, “black and white” and colors! In other words, we have no way but to think/feel radical, and to live with compromise! You can be very radical in your thoughts and feelings, it is the only natural thing, but you have to be rational enough to know that the other, is another black and white radical phenomenon that you have to accept to allow a colored joyful image to be drawn. You do not have to fight your nature to reach a compromise with the others’ thoughts or feelings to partially accept them, but all you have to do is to accept their presence, and accept your totally different sort of presence, and only by allowing different shades of black and white to exist together, a joyful colored image can come to life. So let’s say, I love to be a black and white thinker, but I enjoy living in colors, what about yourself?!

 

Her Wild Stallion

Personal Cinema

Posted in A Different Perspective with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 27, 2014 by thecountessshadow

Northernlights

I love to read, it is one of my passions, the word is very accurate as I really love the act of “reading” rather than the content itself, I noticed that lately. It is true I do have my own preferences in what I read like everybody else, but I feel as if I am more flexible in those preferences more than others (I know), and that is not because I am more cultured and well read than others, not at all, but it is because I enjoy the reading ritual itself! Yes, For me it is a ritual, with special preparations. When I feel like reading I start setting the stage, making myself some coffee, turning on music, putting my ashtray beside me, and some other details that are irrelevant. I understand that those details may appear normal and irrelevant themselves, and everyone must have his own habits and ways of doing things, reading or anything else, but I have a feeling that for me it is a bit different, as if it is some sort of fetish! I conducted a simple experiment on myself by choosing a poetry book I love and just sitting down to read it, and I found myself feeling differently about it, yes I still enjoyed the book, but the joy was much less than what I used to feel with the optimal conditions for my reading ritual! I started turning on some music and I felt better, then I changed the place to my preferred corner in the house and I felt far more better. It may seem a meaningless issue but it caught my attention, and I started thinking about my preferences in arts.

I used to believe that music was my favourite art followed by literature, but I started suspecting that, as I enjoy the reading material with special effects, sound effects, olfactory effects! and many other things which is more like the cinema! I thought about it for a while, yes I do love the cinema and the movies, but I can not say it is my preferred art, I even have always been a TV hater and used to feel it a stupid device! I started to think more about it and I believe it is as simple as this, I prefer the cinema, but my own created movie, where I am the director who blends the music, the written material, and everything else in a way that interests my mind. I remembered when I was a teenager and I composed some silly poems, I always insisted on reading them for my audience myself, sometimes even with the music that inspired me the verses! Yes I know I was a silly boy, but that is not the point now, the point is that I tried to transfer my own personal movie with all its effects! I noticed that I tend to do the same in this blog, I usually listen to some music that inspires me to write something, and I post the music with my thoughts below it, some other times, it is not music, it is a painting or even a quotation, but there is always something that inspires me. I thought that I write in this way because I am not talented enough to create a separate work of my own, as I have always thought of myself as having a lot of emotions without a strong enough talent to express them, and though this may be true indeed, it is not the prominent reason beyond that attitude of mine. It seems like my thoughts are an extension of that original piece of art, as if I am directing a movie of my own, adding my personal touch, and what I write or think of is meaningless without that inspiring core! It is like being a day dreamer in my own special way, creating worlds of my own from the given materials, sometimes I am just a watcher of these worlds and sometimes I enjoy getting involved myself. I do a very mad thing, taking those dreamy worlds of mine into my real life, creating an extension of the melodies or the characters or whatever according to the sort of art in the real world. I understand that that last part may seem a little vague if you are not my same type of a day living dreamer if there is anything like this, but explaining it would need a whole post, so lets just leave it here and go on. It is fantastic how many different feelings and visions I can have with reading the same poem at different times of the day, or with a different background of music, while drinking an evening coffee or a morning tea! It is like a magic puzzle that makes sense no matter how you connect it, and the more charming is that it is not about books or music, it is the fantastic design of life with endless possibilities. Life is the magical puzzle where there is no right or wrong pieces, the magical puzzle where all pieces can somehow relate to each other to draw the final painting of your choice, then you can take that piece away, and add that other one changing a detail here and there, with every subtle move creating a new road, making you fresh every single day! You may be young or old, depressed or happy, but fresh all the time, dynamic all the time like a sea wave that hits the land, then dive back to the depth of the sea..

Sometimes it feels like creativity is synonymous to flexibility, yes of course I understand they are very different, but to my mind at this moment they just sound the same! As if there is no demarcating line between what is inside and outside, like there is no difference between your friend X at work, and your friend Y between the covers of your book, and it feels like it is just a dance that all you can do is to join, adding your touch to it, and it becomes your own personal movie, or may be you put your touch to the big collective movie we are all creating, each coming with his personal film blending it with the big one, that is ever-changing, and it is just like that all you have to do is to recognize that secret (I am fond of secrets even if there are none!), that you simply create what you live like a god, live what you create like a man, and every moment there is a fresh chance to create/live something else. That secret gives a lot of joy that overwhelms me to an extent that takes me to the edge of madness to say that the ultimate creativity may be to do nothing and just join the dance, but again I feel like adding my touch to the dance by doing something, anything, many things may be, or again nothing! May be this is my own style of dancing, but it takes my breath away when my mind creates this new image of me standing over the summit of a hill looking from above at the collective dance, watching myself down in the crowds doing my part, it feels so graceful.
Unlike many people think, it is so beautiful to feel like a drop in the vast sea of people and life, but only when the drop recognizes how unique it is in its oneness, how important it is for the final image, it starts to appreciate the beauty of the collective group movie, or hmm, dance feels lovelier!
So now, the interesting thing, or may be the silly one, is that Shakira’s song “Quiero” was in the background playing as I wrote this post. If you ask me what is the relationship between that song and my words, my answer is I have no idea, but my union with Shakira has brought this post to life, the only difference is that unlike me, her talent is unbelievable and irresistible! At least, after suffering with my post, here is your treat, this beautiful song :).

 

 

 

Her Wild Stallion

Redemption Song..Bob Marley

Posted in Music with tags , , on June 25, 2014 by thecountessshadow

The wild dance!

Posted in Music with tags , , , , on June 19, 2014 by thecountessshadow

 

She: It is like a music of the body, calling for the body to dance and let its secrets out. I will dance and you will be disbelieving that

you are witnessing this magnificent dance.

 

He:  The darkness, the flaming orange red dim light, like fire, the music, this sort of music induces a very primitive desire inside me

it makes it glow, a desire you know!

 

Her Wild Stallion

 

 

We have no one but each other….ملناش غير بعض

Posted in Music with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2013 by thecountessshadow

This is a song called “we have no one but each other” which would be pronounced in arabic as “malnash gher baad”! It is a beautiful song presented by the Egyptian composer & singer Wageeh Azeez, one of the remarkable but not so famous Egyptian artists if you can understand what I mean. The words, the music, and the way he sings in this song are very Egyptian like, exactly as most of Wageeh Azeez songs. When I listen to it, it feels like it takes me one hundred years ago to the 1920s era, to a classic Egyptian small backstreet on a winter night. I can smell the grinded coffee grains with cardamom, the hot vapour rising from the tea glasses from behind the arabesque old bays, the foggy clammy breeze, I can hear the bubbling sounds of hookah of old men in that far corner, barking of a cold dog, and the footsteps of a young girl wearing her tight “melaya leff” and creating a lovely melody with her anklet and slippers, hurrying up to join her lover beside that tree, behind the huge old mosque, as he waits for her in the cold wearing his jacket and fez, and breathing in his palms to keep himself warm. I can see their shy eyes kissing, and their cold hands embracing each other. I don’t know if this makes sense to anyone, but for me, that image was very touching that it created a deep nostalgia inside me, and it was all inspired by Wageeh Azeez’s beautiful melody. Anyway, this song carries the essence of the Egyptian culture, and I hope you will enjoy it. It was my first time to listen to it a few days ago, it was a little lovely gift from my sweetheart that gave me warmth in that cold rainy night. I found it so beautiful and I wanted to share it with you. As usual, I wrote my humble translation of the lyrics below to help non-arabic speakers capture the soul of the song, but again, that is only my humble non professional translation that is never comparable to the beauty of the original words.

 Street-in-Old-Cairo_img_assist_custom-600x566  fd09ea77

We have no one but each other my love
Life gives us at times then goes
leaving us with joy and wounds

We travel and get exiled
but wherever we go
we have no one but each other my love

People part and darkness falls
and I just think he’s gone
once and for all
but unlike people
again he comes
and says
we have no one but each other my love!

We just live life
the way it is
It hurts us may be
but we learn about her tricks
sometimes sticking to it
and then we let go
but always embarcing each other
because we know
we have no one but each other
my love

Her Wild Stallion

The Prophet ( Gibran Khalil Gibran )

Posted in Poetry & Literature with tags , , , , , , , on November 21, 2013 by thecountessshadow

Image

You can not say whether he was an Arab Lebanese, or an American, simply because he was both equally. You can not tell whether he was a poet, a philosopher, or a saint, just because he was one weirdly beautiful mixture of all these things. He was like a bridge between the west and the east, like a point of meeting between a soft brook of emotions, and a vast sea of thoughts. In his short life he wrote many beautiful verses that were pearls of wisdom, but beauty is the word I prefer to use to describe his verses. He is Gibran Khalil Gibran, one of the greatest poets of all times. ” The Prophet ” is one of his books that is so close to my heart, in it, he spoke about love, beauty, death, and many other things in a very beautiful way. I wanted to share some of the verses of this book with you, and to bring it to your attention, hoping that you may find it as beautiful as I feel it.

When love beckons to you, follow him,

Though his ways are hard and steep.

And when his wings enfold you yield to him,

Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.

And when he speaks to you believe in him.

Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.

For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you. Even as he is for your growth
so is he for your pruning.

Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver
in the sun,

So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.

Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.

He threshes you to make you naked.

He sifts you to free you from your husks.

He grinds you to whiteness.

He kneads you until you are pliant,

And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for
God’s sacred feast.

All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart,
and in that knowledge becomes a fragment of life’s heart.

But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure.

Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s
threshing-floor,

Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and
weep, but not all of your tears.

Love gives naught but itself, and takes naught but from itself.

Love possesses not, not would it be possessed,

For love is sufficient unto love.

When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart”, but rather, ” I am in the
heart of God”.

And think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy,
directs your course.

Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.

But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:

To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.

To know the pain of too much tenderness.

To be wounded by your own understanding of love,

And to bleed willingly and joyfully.

To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving,

To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy,

To return home at eventide with gratitude,

and then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart, and a song of praise
upon your lips.

Gibran Khalil Gibran.

Her Wild Stallion.

The wild poem

Posted in Poetry & Literature with tags , , , , , on July 21, 2013 by thecountessshadow

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This is the second poem I translate and present in this blog for Nezar Qabani.

In a previous post, I translated his fantastic poem “I declare” and I wrote a short introduction about him if anyone wants to revise it.

As I mentioned before, Nezar Qabani is a fantastic and extraordinary poet who creates a totally different dimension for love and life with his genius and his sensitive yet wild emotions! This poem of his, the one I will be translating for you today is called “Al-Qasida Al-motawahesha “, an Arabic name that means “The wild poem”! Though the poem is so appealing to me, and is actually one of my favourites, the name itself was enough for me to adore the whole poem before even reading it! I think I like everything that is innate and wild because I simply love the basic and pure form of everything. I love women without make up, I prefer raw vegetables to cooked ones! I prefer deserts to well-organized parks! I am a man who hates the swimming pool, but adores water and wets his pants when he sees the sea! That is why Nezar Qabani’s poetry has always captured my heart, and that is why his intense poem, the wild poem has always been one of my favourites.

I am sure you must be feeling tired of this long introduction, but allow me to add the last, and the most important part of it. I have read parts of this poem many times to my beautiful partner, like I was singing it for her, and I translated it to make her happy, as she loves to give our songs wings to fly far away to be shared with the whole world, so this post is dedicated to you my beautiful partner in crime 🙂

As usual, you will find the original Arabic script, followed by my humble translation. I hope you will like the meanings within that beautiful, wild poem. 

 

أحبيني .. بلا عقد

وضيعي في خطوط يدي

أحبيني .. لأسبوع .. لأيام .. لساعات..

فلست أنا الذي يهتم بالأبد..

أنا تشرين .. شهر الريح،

والأمطار .. والبرد..

أنا تشرين فانسحقي

كصاعقة على جسدي..

أحبيني ..

بكل توحش التتر..

بكل حرارة الأدغال
 
كل شراسة المطر

ولا تبقي ولا تذري..

ولا تتحضري أبدا..

فقد سقطت على شفتيك

كل حضارة الحضر

أحبيني..

كزلزال .. كموت غير منتظر..

وخلي نهدك المعجون..

بالكبريت والشرر..

يهاجمني .. كذئب جائع خطر

وينهشني .. ويضربني ..

كما الأمطار تضرب ساحل الجزر..

أنا رجل بلا قدر

فكوني .. أنت لي قدري

وأبقيني .. على نهديك..

مثل النقش في الحجر..

***

أحبيني .. ولا تتساءلي كيفا..

ولا تتلعثمي خجلا

ولا تتساقطي خوفا

أحبيني .. بلا شكوى

أيشكو الغمد .. إذ يستقبل السيفا؟

وكوني البحر والميناء..

كوني الأرض والمنفى

وكوني الصحو والإعصار

كوني اللين والعنفا..

أحبيني .. بألف وألف أسلوب

ولا تتكرري كالصيف..

إني أكره الصيفا..

أحبيني .. وقوليها

لأرفض أن تحبيني بلا صوت

وأرفض أن أواري الحب

في قبر من الصمت

أحبيني .. بعيدا عن بلاد القهر والكبت

بعيدا عن مدينتنا التي شبعت من الموت..

بعيدا عن تعصبها..

بعيدا عن تخشبها..

أحبيني .. بعيدا عن مدينتنا

التي من يوم أن كانت

إليها الحب لا يأتي..

إليها الله .. لا يأتي ..

***

أحبيني .. ولا تخشي على قدميك

– سيدتي – من الماء

فلن تتعمدى امرأة

وجسمك خارج الماء

وشعرك خارج الماء

فنهدك .. بطة بيضاء ..

لا تحيا بلا ماء ..

أحبيني .. بطهري .. أو بأخطائي

بصحوي .. أو بأنوائي

وغطيني ..

أيا سقفا من الأزهار ..

يا غابات حناء ..

تعري ..

واسقطي مطرا

على عطشي وصحرائي ..

وذوبي في فمي .. كالشمع

وانعجني بأجزائي

تعري .. واشطري شفتي

إلى نصفين .. يا موسى بسيناء..

 

نزار قبانى

 

 

 

 

Love me

and in the lines of my hand

lose your way

I am not the man who cares for eternity

so just love me

for hours

for weeks

or days!

I am October!

the month of the wind

the month of rain and cold

I am October

so like the lightning on my body

just explode

Love me and be

brutal like Tatars!

Love me and be

so hot like forests!

Love me love me

wildly like the rain

and never be civilised

and never

never refrain

Like an earthquake

love me

like an unexpected death!

Like a hungry dangerous wolf

let your blazing tits

attack me

tear me and hit me

like the rain hits the islands

the mountains’ blocks

Be my destiny and on your breasts

keep me

like a carving on the rocks

Love me

and don’t ask why

don’t be afraid

and don’t complain

Just love me

and never be shy

Love me and be

both the harbor

and the sea

Both the home

and the exile

the violent storm

and the lovely sunshine

Love me in many many ways

love me in different ways

and never repeat yourself

for i hate nothing like a summer

that repeats itself

Love me

and scream it loud

for I refuse a hidden love

a buried love

without a sound

Love me away from this land of repression

away from our city that is fed up with death

and deception

Love me away from here

away from this city

for which love has never come

for which god has never come

Love me and never fear

to wet your feet in my ocean

for you will never be baptized a woman

with your body outside my ocean

with your hair

your breasts outside my water

Love me

with my sins and with my pureness

with my storms and with my cuteness

Love me and drown me

in your flowers

Love me and immerse me

in your henna forest

Undress

and rain over me

quench my desert and thirst

undress

and mix with my parts

dissolve in my mouth

and shatter my lips

my holy one.

Nezar Qabani

Her Wild Stallion