letters of an apathetic man

Some time last year, in a foggy vision where the part of my brain that distinguishes an hour from a minute was dizzy. In times like that you forget; what is time but a man made illusion? Aren’t the thoughts floating in space of the mind more dominant than anything else, such as time? Some time in October, my awakenings happen in October, simultaneously with times I forget to shave my beard. I was dining home on my one-man table, few inches away from my wooden floor where candles flicker, oh how they seemed like the only thing able to lose control and sway amid the breeze, unlike my body of matter that seems to be too submissive to gravity.

I keep the window half open, somewhere in the corner of my mind I am afraid that the scent of flowers in my decayed garden would think I am welcoming, or would falsely believe I can be a home to anything. The river of love does not flow through those who deny it. And those who deny it, forget -most of the time- that they are half water. 

Some time in October, I knew it should have been her in front of me, not the ghost of her idea nor her silhouette dancing with the flickering candlelight. 

It should have been her, but I have the habit of destroying beautiful things, and I know that women fall for the idea that they are the ugly reflection they see in me when their hearts are open for my words and their eyes see a false potential of myself. If those women would close their eyes, try to see me in a different kind of eye, a third one or something as such, they wouldn’t like what they see; I’ve adapted to the idea of resembling the uncomfortable void. 

And those women, they usually end up walking away from me because flowers don’t blossom without water. 

Serendipity Part 1

It was a cold and rainy night when it all started and I was by the window listening to the music composed by the journey of raindrops from the sky to the ground, and I needed a sign of love, not necessarily romantic love but just pure love. That which colors the horizon and watches over the trees.

“Where is it?” I wondered to myself, it was a question I frequently asked but still could not grasp the answer. One thought lead to another as the rain orchestrated my heartbeats as I curled up and fell into the world I created; my dreams.

My friend invited me over for breakfast the next day and I have the habit of taking all the time I need to get ready when I wake up, so I knew that when she told me to come at 7 a.m she really meant to say she wants to see me at 10 a.m. It was a weekend so I wasn’t worried about being punctual.

I wore my boots and sat on a chair, doing absolutely nothing while my thoughts wandered. “Coffee” I realised, that’s what I needed. So that was a motive for me to rush to her.

I took my time walking, steady steps, clear mind.

We were already on our way to a coffee shop that was a 10-minute walk from her house. I ordered black coffee. There is something heartwarming about bitter coffee that I could not put into words.

“My research is due after three days and I’m not half done.”  she said

“I’ll help you work on it as soon as we get back, don’t worry, the whole world can change in three days, the entire world!”

As I was getting ready for my speech to make her feel better and not panic so I won’t panic as a result, I saw a girl walk by the cafe’s window who looked so much like my classmate in fifth grade, so I ran out to say hi but she seemed to be in a rush. The reason I wanted to greet her was her unforgettable kindness towards everyone around her as a child, she was the kind of child who was obviously showered with love which made her, therefore, reflect it. She was heading to the left side of the cafe. As I was walking behind her before calling her name, a man in a black beautifully-tailored suit stopped me and gave me a cookie in a transparent bag with a post it on it saying “you are loved.” He looked me in the eyes for about three seconds after handing it to me, smiled and continued giving out those cookies.

I held it in my hands as I was looking at the yellow post it in the middle of people walking by, I laughed. “Timing,” I thought, “It’s amazing how things work around it”

I ate the tiny cookie and walked back to the cafe as I kept the note in my pocket.

You know what they say? Just ask a question and let it vibrate around the world without expecting an answer, and all the events that surround you will work their way to give you an answer, as long as you open your heart.

So where is love? And how does it surround me?

The moon soothing the night and the nocturnal souls below it, without expecting anything back, seemed to answer me…

© 2015 ALIA SULTAN

The Soul of Inspiration

Inspiration is unexplainable; how it takes shape out of nothingness and forces you to create something out of nothing and make it so beautiful, or ugly enough to be beautiful.

“Begin to write” the creature of the void whispered in her ear at 3 a.m as she was in the middle of the strangest dream where there was something in her brain that felt like electricity spreading throughout her body and the sound of an ambulance and everything that did not make sense in a dream, it was as if her body was a city where everyone was loud and busy.
“Begin to write” the voice whispered closer, as she woke up covered in sweat and shivers to the sound of thunder and raindrops making music.
Half conscious, she began to type;
“Who am I and what is my soul made of?”
She drank a glass of water as she glared at her typewriter, wondering, asking questions it cannot answer with the echoes of raindrops.
She stared at what she wrote long enough until it seemed to answer itself; sometimes no answer is an answer.
“Who are we, really?” she smiled, as if a secret was disclosed upon her, making its way through her cells at 3 a.m.
“Begin to write” she listened, more relaxed in her body, she did what she was supposed to do; she listened to the creature of the void in all his nonsense and non logical times when he’d ask her to do things; to create and write and become. She listened carefully to him and to herself until there was nothing else left to be said.
Then she went back to sleep, anticipating his splendid return.
© 2015 ALIA SULTAN

The Secret Glade

On the path that she was randomly and aimlessly taking down the green hills and in between the blue and white hyacinths there was a river. She stood there in the middle of the glade which was located somewhere she was not familiar with, her eyes tried to encompass everything as she gasped; the kind of gasp that is only heard before such splendid beauty that even the thoughts in your mind would stop to admire. And somewhere in the middle of all the colors, there were the pinks of dawn, so rich in color it almost stained her white dress.

On her skin were patches, they were not visible to the eyes but they were deeply, disturbingly felt, like poison. She held her hair as if a ponytail and swayed her left foot on the surface of the river

“What was that making the river so luminous, so alive?” She did not understand, as the sun was not visible yet. Nothing was flowing along with the river, there absolute silence besides her breath and the waterfall.

The water was a bit cold, but not cold enough to make her think twice about testing the waters further. She kneeled down to clutch the bottom of her dress in both of her hands so she would dip her legs fully inside. And as she did, the patch on her upper right leg detached from her skin and immediately dissolved into nothing in the water, and a tingling feeling of relief ran through her veins. Without thinking twice, she dipped both of her legs and drenched her body in water, and it was as if the water kept reducing the weight of something she carried for long. She looked up at the sky and thought she must have spent at least six hours here, but could the same thing that was making the river glow, make time as weightless as a feather?

She opened her eyes and it was 3 a.m and something was different; there wasn’t a hint of a patch left on her skin.

But where is the river? And where is the secret glade ?

© 2015 ALIA SULTAN

A lover, a Healer, and Such Things

Alone, in her far off home of greens and hues of red and purple flowers, she would reminisce about her life and ask herself how much her heart loved people, and if it was ever worth it to feel anything otherwise.

She believed in death and rebirth many times in one lifetime; she would look back at herself ten years ago and wonder how the immense pain she had been feeling could cause alchemy in her heart.

She would remember those whose chapters ended in her life and those who were novels that had open endings. She would send words of prayers to them wherever they were geographically.

She had so many plants and flowers and she would water them before she has her breakfast. You see, there was magic in the way she reads her favorite poems and the way she’d sway her fingers on her piano. And after 10 pm, she would sit on her porch and gaze somewhere, far away where it seems that she could see something no one else could.
She would place her hand on her withered plants and she would breathe out all the love she can, it was so strong you could almost see it in colors and light. And sometimes they would grow back and rarely, they wouldn’t. The core of her belief on her outlook on life was the birth and death of things and people, metaphorically, or even physically, and loving all the things that are in between in order for this cycle to complete itself.
She was a lover of everything, this is why she hears sea waves and shooting stars and laughter of babies before she sleeps, even though she’s alone. This made her a healer, something many don’t understand.
© 2015 ALIA SULTAN

Countdown

He’s in his grave it’s
Peaceful and silent
It’s not as scary as they
Told him it would be

He’s 77 and he
Wonders if her
soul is what’s
making the stars
shine as he
sheds his tears

He’s 60 and he’s
Right there beside her
Gazing into her beautiful
Face which seems unmoved
By time to him, she wakes up
And smiles to him, embraces
Him and tells him she loves him

He’s 55 and this is
when he decides he
doesn’t want to
work anymore because
he wants to have more of those
minutes of admiring existence
with his wife so he bought her
a bracelet with the word “explore”
engraved on it and they ran
off to see the world

He’s 42 and he’s
perfectly happy with his
job because now he
understands that
money is important, yes
but it is not all valuable
possessions a man can have
and he is one of the
most successful men
in the region
so he wakes up every morning
with less pressure
because he is everything
he dreamed he would be

He’s 30 and he
can’t believe there
is someone as beautiful
As her face as he rests
Silent before the beauty
of her eyes and the
full moon in the sky
“I’m going to marry her”
He thinks to himself

He’s 26 and he’s
Surrounded with
The most beautiful people
But he’s wondering
if he will ever
find a stable and successful
job and if he’d
ever find a woman who’d
make his heart beat

He’s 12 and he’s
one of those kids who
are afraid of the future
and are puzzled with
life but were moved
with a tremendous
force that kept
pushing them around to
understand all that
will ever be

He’s 2 now and he
just saw his mom
shedding tears of
happiness for the
first time after his
first unclear words of
“I love you” and he’s
Grinning with his
Tiny teeth

He’s in his mother’s
womb now and it’s
peaceful and silent
it’s not as scary as they
told him it would be

 

© 2014 ALIA SULTAN

Writing About Alice

In an evening of July, kids on the grass laid after playing around. It was twilight, it’s almost time to go inside. Their hands behind their heads stretched out on the ground, whispering tales here and there with childish fabricated events of imaginary knights.

On the grass they were as they said your name, quiet mouths and attentive ears, looking around for your trace and the pocket watch you left behind somewhere. I was watching them from distance, no, you are not a tale. Isn’t it true that the characters of our favorite stories are alive, dancing around in our heads somewhere? If it is, then how is it that far from reality?
I don’t know, nothing makes sense, and that makes perfect sense.

Beautiful, innocent eyes of children glancing at each other, dreamily giggling, enlivened by tales of dragons and heroes. Your name forgotten now, but not by me. I remember you hinted something like “reality and imagination merge” and there is no difference between them, “isn’t life but a beautiful imagination?” you said, so I light my candles and celebrate my dreams before I sleep because I feel compassionate towards you, as if I visit your head every time before you speak and I know exactly what you want to explain, so I understand you, and I understand your madness, maybe because I have my share of that too.
I still believe in the abyss of your mind with mirrors betraying your reflection and echoes screaming your name. And I know that the human brain is universe, and our eyes encompass infinity.

So I walked to the children, recited some of Lewis’s words that reminded me of wonderful people like you:

“In a wonderland they lie,
Dreaming as the days go by,
dreaming as the summers die:
Ever drifting down the stream
Lingering in the golden gleam
Life, what is it but a dream?”

 

© 2014 ALIA SULTAN