He looked at her with narrowed slits, he hated her, he hated how she came into his life abruptly and took over. She took over his space, his food, his couch, his love. She just sat there taking all the attention away. She sat in her lap, how could she?! Did she not know she was mine? ALL MINE?

Crazed and enraged with jealousy he prowled around the house. Slowly scheming, growling, pacing. She came out of her room and he was all over her. HOW COULD SHE! Waltzing in here thinking she could take over!

He pounced her, he bit her, he stalked her because she took her away from him. Jealousy had turned the docile feline into a green eyed monster with jealousy.

I had always thought jealousy was a human attribute not something other creatures in the animal kingdom felt. I was proved wrong when one cat came in to join the family. The first was enraged and jealous beyond belief. The difference though was he showed it and became hostile immediately. Expressing his jealousy in the most aggressive manners I have ever seen including pouncing on the cat once she is in someone’s lap!

Needless to say the second cat, as cute as she was, had to go. But that isn’t always the case with humans and the stories of jealousy don’t always end so easily. The power play and the games are much more complex and intricate. The players who are involved, knowingly or unknowingly, are much more. The losses greater than lost fur.

At least with animals the communication is clear, the desired outcomes are predictable and they pretty much tell you what they want, if not with words then with fur flying!

Yesterday I bought a globe for a friend.. It was a joke, as she always has trouble finding places on the map. SO when I found a nice, fun looking globe I bought it for her, she could put it on her desk in her office and maybe win a geographical bet or two from now on, or just find Fuji or Qatar or any other random place. 

I found the gift amusing but she later referred to the globe as having the world between your hands.  What does that mean though? It got me thinking and I couldn’t really come up with any one answer. Here are some ideas to what that may mean. 

Having the world between your hands could be about being in control. Or is it to be fully satisfied? How about the epitome of success. Or is to be loved and to love? Is it the feeling that you are the most beautiful woman in the world, or even the sexiest? Is it to be as high as a kite? What about holding your own flesh and blood in your hands, is that the world? Is it the physical and mental satisfaction of climbing a mountain? What about conquering your fears? Is it that first orgasm? Can it be accepting your own mortality and thus your death? 

The world between your hands, as simple as holding a globe or more?

I still my pen because I still my mind. It leads me to places that I have visited time and time again. I am tired of my mind and so I am tired of where my pen goes. 

I still my pen because I still my mind. It leads me to beautiful places that only exist there. I want to share them only with myself and so because I am selfish my pen is quiet. 

I still my pen because I still my mind. It remembers a history told before. It remembers happiness and pain. It remembers laughter and anger. It remembers what cannot be shared, and so it forgets as does my pen. 

I still my pen because I still me mind. Nothing is worthy of the ink. It dries on paper with empty words. There is no story to tell. There is no inspiration.

I still my pen, I still my mind, I still my heart.  

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
I’ll and show you it faces
I’ll show you its places

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
You can hear it voices
You can feel its pulses

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
It is as old as time
It has many stories to tell

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
You can write your own history
Make your own tapestry

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
Meet the players
Feel its rhythm

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
A walk through antiquity
A walk through history

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus
See it through my eyes
See it through new eyes

Let me take you for a walk in Damascus  

We walked everywhere in the old city. We usually started and ended our walks from our hotel, The Haramain. Part of the walk was under a bridge where an old man resided. Every time we walked by there he was there hunched over an old tin can full of blazing firewood. This is a sight I never expected and broke my heart whenever I walked by. I always wanted to stop and talk to him, ask him why he lived here and slept hunched over his tin. I never got the chance because he last time I passed I had worked up the courage to do so, but he was gone and his tin was strewn aside with all the ashes scattered all over the floor. I wonder what happened to him, what he has seen, where he has gone, and what will be of him. 

The old woman of Damascus in Bab Sharqi though was very forth coming with her story, she stopped and spoke to us of her children, her travels, her health and only left us to continue her walk in the neighborhood after wishing us all the luck in the world and muttering a small prayer on our behalf. 

Our walks also had us stumble across a writer and artist who told us of his political imprisonment, his atheist writings and his love of women. He was a welcoming man with a vivid brush and a sharp pen. He was also a generous soul, and invited us back for lunch the next day. Unfortunately we couldn’t oblige. 

No visit to Damascus is ever complete without a stroll to the Nawfara Cafe. There if you time your visit right you can sit in the warmth of the café and hear the storyteller tell his tale. He spoke of an old Arabic hero Antar Bin Shadad. He spoke with humor, anger, passion, and anticipation. He involved us all and made each of us feel special. His art is a dying one and I believe he is the last of his kind that still tells the stories of old. 

The characters of the city are many, you can find them all over. The story teller, the twirling dervish, the baker making sfeiha, the man roasting fresh chestnuts in the street, the shop keeper who is a collector at heart, the artists, the old lady going to church, the men playing backgammon in the street, the bar keeper, the homeless, the children playing in the streets, the mothers, the fathers, the visitors and the residents. They are all there, no visit is complete without them, no walk realized without an interaction with at least one of them. 

The people make the place and the place makes the people. Damascus is one with its people. The city is in their faces, their voices, their actions. 


The Argeela bubbles
The sweet scented smoke clouds
I am lost in the headiness of it all
The coals swirl around, hot, red, don’t touch you’ll burn
I in hale deeply, knowing the danger, loving the effect
Her voice bubbles
In the dark, it gurgles, it laughs
In the dark, she is my vice
She is my release
She is my pastime, my leisure
My quiet voice in the dark
The voice of thought, of anger, of laughter and of pleasure
The voice that whispers sweet nothings all around me through smoke
She is my vice that I can not indulge
She is the voice I can not hear
She is my voice in the dark
She is the argeela.  

It boils
It rages
It reaches the rim
It surfaces
But it stays within 

I anger from silence
I anger from indifference
I anger from pain
I anger from words never spoken
I anger from within 

My pen writes in fury
My mind races with thought
My feet stomp the path way
It is all a hurricane circling within.

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