Monday, August 29, 2011


 Self-portrait, Nevine Sultan

You dodge me, My Ghost.

You shy away
when my light flares
inside the silent spaces
you inhabit.

And, for this,
I have no words.

Though I would like to say,
Sit with me. Hear me.

I would like to say,
I cannot stop myself
from picking roses
and clipping their thorns.

But, to whom
does it matter?

Blood is drawn, spills,
and tomes are scribed
in the dungeons
of silence.

My Ghost, only you know my essence.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sky, Sea, Sand... and Me

The following are entries from my journal while on vacation.

* * * * * * * * *

August 2, 2011

Here. I am Here. And I feel as though time has stopped still and I am trapped inside it. The sun slows down when it passes over me. The moon pauses and observes me. My heart skips no beats and misses no flashing moments of revelation. Everything is seen… perceived. Every instant is experienced in its nuanced profoundness. Here. I see things differently, obliquely. I see things as if from a hidden dimension. Here. I wait. I stay. I breathe.

Though. I realize. Here is not forever.

But… the sun is being abducted by orange and purple and silver faeries. And I want to watch while they pull her into the sea and lay her down to sleep…

August 3, 2011

We went outside to be with Life. With earth and trees and birds. Several couples crossed our path as we cycled over bumpy patches of sun and shade. Every time we crossed another couple, we smiled and chimed, “Hello!” and then continued on our way. To nowhere. To anywhere. It didn’t matter where we were going. We were going, the rhythm of our blood pumping our life in all of its violent beauty inside our veins. The moisture of our exertion keeping our backs damp… keeping them craving the touch of the clean air… and reveling in its arrival.

But… what divinity! An outing with no destination… no agenda. What could be more divine than that? What could be more simple, more raw, more pure? And how with Life we were!

August 4, 2011

This morning. The sea moved with a primitive insistence. A jagged and necessary lovemaking with the sky and the sand. The waves rose and fell… rose and fell… again… and again… with their own insistence… wanting to steal their moment of elation.

What was today? It went by as if in a reverie. Everything fluid. Water. Sky. Sand. People. Me. Us. And my vision of it all.

My eyes saw as if underwater. As if interrupted by waves. And the waves were the pendulums of the sea and the sky. Pendulums that did not swing, but undulated. And we undulated with them. Undulated to their rhythm. That primitive, jagged rhythm of insistent lovemaking… everywhere.

Can one be overwhelmed by the exquisiteness that is Life?

I am overwhelmed.

August 6, 2011

I looked stunning in my royal blue evening gown! Diamond studs in my ears. Black hair decorated with a simple white flower. Can I say I looked stunning? Oh, hell! Why not? Women are so busy acting coy about their physical beauty these days. As if being beautiful is a mortal sin. Well, I did look stunning! And I wasn’t the only woman who looked stunning. We all did! How we sparkled beneath the lights of the casino… so nice to see! There are few more off-putting sights than that of a woman (or a man) going out for the evening dressed inappropriately.

I remember when J. [a former colleague] came to a school function in a pair of black flipflops. Sure, they matched her little black dress, but it was hard for me to keep my mouth shut. I remember telling her, “I can’t believe you’re wearing those!” And her telling me, “What’s wrong with them? They’ve even got little rhinestone thingies on them!” Oh, my! I thought. Thank you for doing us the favor of making sure you had little rhinestone thingies on your flipflops. You really shouldn’t have troubled yourself! Yes, I’d fantasized saying these things, but had instead kept quiet, not wanting to spoil the evening with my part-sarcastic, part-judgmental attitude. Truth be told, though, she looked like a middle school student volunteering for a charity carwash.

I mean, it takes the same amount of time to slip on some stylish pumps as it takes to slip on some dead-skin-infested flipflops. So put on your heels and walk like drums are hiding in your legs… violin strings are threaded through your veins… waiting… so deliciously… to be plucked… and left to SING!

* * *

i hear you stir in bed.

you are disturbed,
not by the sound of
my scratching on paper,
but by the mysterious and
unshakeable feeling of loneliness
that shadows your sleep.

you have always been gentle.
you have always held me
as if you are afraid of breaking me,
but, i am not so fragile,
i want to say.

yet, the sound of my inner voice
in my ears
fills me with melancholy.

and, as if you know…

in sleep, your sun-brushed lips
hunt the air for mine,
and you mumble, i love you,
so joyfully, so givingly,
expecting nothing in return.

August 7, 2011

A late start to the day, this morning. But then, last night, a late night.

I wanted to do… nothing. Yes. I wanted to do nothing, while feeling an inner compulsion to do something. After all, one can’t just while away one’s time doing nothing. Especially that precious vacation time… here one day, the next… gone!

But, why not? I’m always doing something or the other. Why not relax and let things flow where they want to flow? And since, this morning, nothing was of pressing importance, I decided to chill.

But, for me, chilling is something I must focus on doing. And by virtue of focusing on chilling… chilling is not exactly chilling anymore, is it?

CHILL. What a lovely word!

And… what a lovely ocean!

August 9, 2011

there is a stillness in the air, tonight,
a silence borne on magical wings.
a solitary silence,
cut by the hollow sound of our breaths,
slow and meditated.

and we sit on the cool tile floor,
backs against the wall,
legs stretched out against the ripeness of the sky…
and the freshness of the sea
and the slant of eternity where they touch.

this place…
THIS one… right here…
as pure and as flickering and as quickening as it is
is not what matters.

it is not about the place
but about who is in the place…
and what is happening to them
at any given point in time…
and what is happening around them…
and what is happening
INSIDE them.

i catch myself nodding off,
though, certain nights,
my eyes can find no peace.

i see myself a child,
walking upon an emerald meadow,
twirling my long black locks between my fingers,
and running wild.

sunlight and clouds
twine through my hair like colorful ribbons.
invisible stars
swing between my shoulder blades.


i am flying.
i am flying.
i am flying.

and nothing will bring me down.

August 10, 2011

We went parasailing, today!

Oh, buzz buzz buzz!!! The last time we went parasailing was… what?... when we were on our honeymoon? I can’t even find words to describe the elation and the liberation and the HIGH of it all! Flying through the blue sky, with the blue water below you… the deep blue deep blue deep deep shimmer of water! Everything in my eyes was blue… the most beautiful most shocking blue! I am still inside that universality.

August 11, 2011

dance with me?
you said,
and you smiled at me
that dimpled smile
i know so well.

and i said,
all nervously,
my heart strumming in my lips,
like i was a teenager all over again.

and we danced…
and we danced…
and we danced…

and others danced around us.

but only we were… together.


i have come to a point where i feel so… here.
so… present.
so… in the moment.
nothing else matters but now.
nothing that happened before.
nothing that will happen later.
all of those events are insignificant.
what matters is my discovery of myself… the different pieces of nevine… the OTHER pieces… seen as if glimpsed, by happenstance, inside a fragmented looking glass.
the day’s happenings fall around me with finesse and perfection.
the night’s events, too.
they fall… with grace.
and i dance inside their opacity.
and you dance with me.

we dance together… you and i… to scattered time.
we dance with no calculation, no precision.
we dance with such emancipation!

we are here… here.
ghosts. apparitions. we are.
dancing our way through the entrance to eden…


Tomorrow. We depart. Tomorrow. We return to what we call Home. And, how I miss Home! Ridiculous, really, but… I miss my trees. Not my flowers. Not my plants. Not my herbs. But my big, independent trees. So mature and self-sufficient! I have always believed that trees have souls. My trees have souls and their souls are whispering to me, Come back! We miss you. Come back! As big and as independent as they are, they are craving my conversation… my stories. They are waiting for me to sit in their shade so we can talk. And we will! Just as soon as I get back to that lovely thing we call daily living. That lovely thing we accuse of being predictable and cumbersome and cliché, but when we take ourselves away from it, we are left craving it all over again!

I loved it here. I loved every moment I spent being alive and knowing it. I loved every particle of life that touched every iter of my being. But would I want to live here… forever and ever? I don’t think so… because… if I did… it would become daily living, too.

I’m coming home, Trees! Every sun- and sea-kissed fragment of me! Hurrah!!!