The next step we take, the next word we say, the next thought we harbor, the next bite we eat, these are the small choices we make but how small are they really? It is all connected, every road we take leads to the highway of our destiny, or not. In this maze we call life, what is it that guides our choices? That should be what concerns us not the choice itself, because in the end, what is our main motivator?
When you have your first child you become privy to the most well guarded secret: you have just signed on for the most important and permanent job of your life. It looks so easy. Everyone does it. Our parents did it. Our friends and neighbors seem to do it. And then your child arrives! I used to hold important job after job before having my child, each with a heavy series of responsibilities, but I dove into them armed with the knowing in the back of my mind that I can just quit when I choose to. Then came the parenting job, and I realized that this is one job I can never quit!
I would not exchange this job for any other in the world because it is the gift that keeps on giving.
Day 58 of 365~
Image taken of my 8 year old daughter overlooking the valley of the saints in Lebanon, 2012
I was going through my archives of hundreds of thousands of photographs as one often does, when I came across this image of my daughter when she was 4 years old running through the cedars of Lebanon and it made me catch my breath. She is now 13, and time has tricked us all again. How relentless it is, never pausing, never letting us catch our breath. It is always later than we think, isn’t it? So many unrealized intentions, how does one keep up with life, or should we at all?
Pausing and dreaming today in the moment of what was, what is and what will be…
Day 57 of 365~
Image taken in the cedars of God forest in Lebanon in 2008
From the mega metropolis of 30 million to a quiet German neighborhood, from the 16th floor of a high-rise building to the lone house and garden, from the green polluted sky of shanghai to the intoxicatingly fresh air of the countryside… we find ourselves in a whole new ecosystem.
We took in a few fish to live in our small pond last week and since then they have been hiding as they get used to the new environment. We are not so different. I feel the urge to settle in and find my way in my new ecosystem.
Despite of all the change, something inside me is dancing in joy and wellbeing. Thank you Germany for the chance to be well and happy as we get ready to call you home.
Sometimes life invites us into a brief interlude between the folds of time. There we see beyond the obvious, we feel more deeply and we re-evaluate our lives and where our importances lie. The past month has been just such a life changing happening and as I emerge trying to find the end of a thread I let go of, I find that a whole new selection of threads present themselves to me. I pray that I may choose wisely where to get back on the train we call destiny.
Photographs taken during the past month in Germany, Lebanon and China
We find ourselves on a planet of duality; where there is day, there is also night; we wake up only to then sleep; we feel happiness only to be followed by sadness; and where there is life, there most certainly will be death.
And we feel that life is sometimes unfair, unjust and we wonder why the timings are all wrong and the big question rises in us: “what if?”. We desperately try to reverse time, to wish we had taken one step differently, that we had made a different decision, and it leaves us wondering if destiny is pre-written. We turn to religion for answers, we question our creator, we get desperately angry, then we sink into a bottomless pit of sadness, only to surrender and then move on trying to lift our head high and catch the thread of life we tossed to the side when tragedy met us.
And looking back at my posts from the week before my beautiful young brother died in his tragic accident, there were most definitely subtle signs to prepare me for this. The titles and natures of my images spoke volumes to me before the event.
“It’s later than you think” whispered the ghost of tomorrows lost~
This post is in honor of George Kheir, my departed young brother, a wonderfully warm, humorous, bursting with life and generous man who left a kind and beautiful family behind. May his soul rest in peace and go to where it was destined to be.
Today we had a little scare that Lea’s little finger was fractured. It was a close one, but luckily she escaped the worst. We spent some time after that looking at the X-Rays together and we were fascinated by the look of the human bone structure. It is incredible to see how much amazing engineering goes into the mechanics of the human complex, starting with the very foundation of our physical strength, our bones. And then one small accident and we can fracture that strength and spend weeks recovering. I remember breaking my arm 3 times as a child before reaching my daughters age (she is 10), and each time it felt somewhat heroic to go through the whole ordeal. And of course there was the white cast for everyone to sign 🙂
We face the world day after day, week after week, we get shuffled around in lines, into cars, buses and trains, we get bombarded with information and visual stimuli; and the only thing that keeps us sane is the inner sanctum of our lives. We manage to keep parts of us hidden somewhere deep inside, guarded, protected and fortified. In public we wear our outside face, the one we save for the daily battle.
Our inner lives just wait for us to take them to a forest, a beach, a walk in nature, just to have a moment out of confinement, a break from our self-created prisons.
In a world of texting, emailing, and ‘elf yourself’ video cards sent around for Christmas, it is so amazingly soothing to go back to basic crafts and to spend hours cutting, coloring, gluing and handwriting Christmas cards for loved ones. I suspect that as we speed into the future, taking the time to be invested in hand-made craft projects will be a thing of the past, when most things as we know them would be mass-produced and the charm of uniqueness lost forever. The last two days, we took the time, we played Christmas songs, created cards, ate cookies and had lovely long conversations. Another memory for the treasure box.
How often do I catch myself walking in the city with my eyes down watching the pavement and the flow of faceless people passing by. The city can do that to us, it can make us reduce humanity to a flow of bodies passing by, forgetting that each one of them has a story, a life and a face.