Monday, January 7, 2013

A Memory

New year, new beginnings, more chances to make good memories. After the celebrations and the good wishes, I pen down my resolutions. The list is long and, of course, starts with the everlasting promise to get in shape. This year, I added another item close to the top: getting my book published. One more is to post my blog on time every Friday. Another is to honor those who did not make it to 2013.

Remembering my aunt . . .

When I think of my aunt, the aroma of extra virgin olive oil saturates my nose.
I absentmindedly lick my lips, the taste of fresh bread backed with thyme leaves causes my mouth to water.
I see in front of me a traditional dress embroidered with red flowers and a headscarf infused with the scent of rose water.

When I think of her, I instinctively look at my hands, examining my fingernails to make sure they are clean.
I check under the cushions of my living room couch for crumbs, dust between stacks of books in my study, run a rag above the fan blades in the ceiling, and scrub the tiled floor of my kitchen with disinfectant Friday mornings.
I spray my best perfume in the bathrooms, burn incense and walk around the house spreading special earthly scents.
I cook a feast for my family, remind my kids to wash their faces with cold water before going outside, ask about my neighbors and hug my friends' children.

When I hear my aunt's name, village women sing folkloric songs to announce a bride's wedding. Colloquial expressions in the Tul Karem dialect twist my tongue, my mind racing to translate and failing to catch the beauty of their collective words.

Her memory is a portal, calling me to step through, to be transported to my homeland, to connect with my roots, my heritage, my origin.

Lilas Taha is a novelist, winner of the 2017 International Book Awards  and is the author of Shadows of Damascus and Bitter Almonds.

1 comment:

  1. So beautifully written. May she rest in peace. Sana


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