November 25, 2008
by Suzan Abrams
My mother once did grace me with a deferment of the self that armed with a slight preoccupation, I would take into my fold; the hallucination of childhood fantasies, abcs, fairies, toyland misgivings, wildlife lost in the sahara and what have you. Then like the unravelling of wool eagerly wound back with a sharp swing into its rectangular ball, I too would reclaim the pleasures of a child's memory circling time long after, like the feel of winding ribbons or sparklers in my hand.
If classics made for the longest bridge of crossovers from spring bud years to the fading summer dusk, then of late in devouring the deep introspection that counts for a thoughtful but labouring effort and one which constitutes for translated Arabic fiction, my spirit has turned masculine; slightly jagged at the edges but rough, restless and running fast, locked only in a pursuit of the unknown.
Now I listen only to the voices of men, the writers, the poets, the philosophers and the scholars.
If their stories could shape my pose, I would have knelt quietly, my head bowed, my soul absorbed in the proclaimations of severe injustices and too, the cleavaged sensual beauty that abounds in the songs of a Middle-East exodus.
These are the voices well-meaning literature teachers forgot about. The voices that mainstream papers failed to carry. Yet, here they are and I have found them finally; devoid of pretension, quiet, guarded and closed to all but themselves. My spirit hearkens to a new sensibility in a way that nothing else may have managed. It feels encased in its hardness...lost in exile and ravaged by wars yet once more, gloriously rescued.
I am exhilarated as my sudden sprouting library offers sunshine for the strange long onslaught of winter years, doggedly sauntering ahead.