|Tala A. Rahmeh
When death is in the air there is always a heavy silence that
fills the lungs with a suffocating sensation. Everything seems gray
and colorless. Life stops in its tracks.
It seems to be godís way of reminding us of his presence; his
breath approaches the back of our necks and chills run down the
When death is present we feel hollow, echo fills our bodies and
we find nothing to say. Words run away and we stumble inside
ourselves in an attempt to fill the inevitable void.
Hope escapes the strings of our thoughts, and a heavy sense of
loss sinks our hearts, screaming inhales our silence and sucks it
After the world falls to pieces it gathers itself again and
springs up from the blueness of the sky of this country, Palestine,
the one place on earth that always seems to gather its pieces, and
We hurry everyday to collect the remnants of an ordinary life. We
wake up, have a light breakfast, reach our destinations and swim in
seas of things that seem to matter at that specific earthly moment.
We could have been other people, somewhere else where those
moments linger to fill up a day, make up a memory or create a being.
But here, we have to shake ourselves up and remember the existence
of checkpoints, soldiers and indefinite waiting.
Waiting, waiting to cross a checkpoint, get a permit, lift up the
curfew, end the occupation, waiting to reach home, inside home.
The harder we try, the more numb we get, most things stop
mattering, the way we see ourselves, the way the rest of the world
sees us, the way we make our tea and coffee, even our eggs, we stop
being recognized, our faces blur entirely, we even start looking
alike, even when our colors differ, that sad look blends with our
original features and erases what could have made us different.
And then as we are sitting somewhere, we read a story, watch a
child run around or listen to a song and just like Palestine we
manage to remove the dust gathered over our thoughts and stand up to
face the waiting.
Faces start to clear up and we could finally remember ourselves
through other peopleís eyes, smiles begin to break the heavy silence
and the aroma of death, the greenness of land begins to unravel, our
feet loosen up and we feel like we could walk again, feel the
sensations we forgot about again.
We grab our senses and push ourselves out of that unsafe refuge,
then fumble and stumble towards humanity that awaits past
checkpoints, hatred and bullets.
Tala A. Rahmeh is a student at Birzeit University in
Ramallah, Palestine. Her major at Birzeit is English Literature. Her
work has been published at www.miftah.com , www.birzeit.edu and