Monday, June 6, 2011
the gates of dawn
i am here in Aleppo, 5.48 in the morning, in my little 8-dollar-a-night hotel room in the old city, listening to the cooing of pigeons and the miscellaneous tweets of over-energetic birds, window open facing the slowly rising sun...and i know i *should* probably go to sleep, but in this quick moment, i have to write something, anything, to document somehow, how absolutely happy and magical and ridiculous i feel.
these kinds of moments are rare in life, they happen fast and then are over, and as a writer you try to recreate the beauty and intensity of such times, on paper or on a computer screen, after the fact when you have the time to edit and refine your thoughts
i have no time or energy to do that, and no stability in my sheesha-filled, coffee-fueled, sleep-deprived brain..so i just had to say, right now, before i am lulled to sleep by a pigeon symphony lullaby:
tonight was pure magic. getting lost in the cobblestone streets of old Aleppo, just at the moment before the first call to prayer, before the dawn....watching men in long robes and women decked head-to-toe in layers of black hijabs and scarfs...seeing these few dedicated people, walking through the narrow alleys to the mosques while cats silently ran around corners, and shopkeepers slowly put out piles of fresh fruit...was the most haunting beautiful thing.
i have so much more to write, so much to say about the amazement that is Syria, the people, the families that stay up, small children playing in the streets while their parents drink tea at 2am....but if i dont sleep now, i never will. i will have to write more later and recreate the images in my brain, as with sleep, the vivid-ness might surely fade, and this poor substitute will have to suffice.
goodnight. from Aleppo.