Becoming

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Journey of a Life

Strong winds of a strange colour blowing from afar, carrying with them faces with strange features as if they were wearing a black mask.

It began to stir the branches of my trees, trying to uproot them. I was watching with eyes filled with sadness, as my heart pulsed with love for its tender fruits that swayed to the right and left. And its branches looked at me as if it wanted to say something. My only solace as I was watching this sad scene, was that its roots are strong and steadfast: their horrible faces will not be able to uproot them.

Their black hands began to break its branches; a branch on the ground, and another fell apart and its leaves flew away, refusing to be touched by the hand of treachery. I looked at it with tears filling my eyes, and my heart filled with sadness: will these faces change the features of my garden? No, they won’t be able to, because it was planted with hope and love.

Suddenly, I looked away, and saw a man approaching me, trying to give me one of their scary masks. But I rejected it and tore it apart. He said to me, “Take it so you can live here safely.” With hands full of hate, I tore it into pieces that scattered throughout the city. I walked in an unknown path like a lost person with nowhere to go.

Suddenly a vehicle passed in front of me. I stopped it, and before I got in, I removed the dust that hung on my clothes and shoes, and grabbed a handful of sand and hid it in a white handkerchief that my sweetheart had given me.

A few hours later, I arrived at a place I had not seen except in school books. I got down and there I was very frightened by the unknown fate that awaited me. I looked around. Everything is strange to me. The sky, the trees, the streets, people speaking a language I cannot understand. Fear brought me to the ground. I grabbed the white napkin and smelled my roots that brought hope back to me. “Rest assured, handkerchief, we will return soon.” With these words, I answered the handkerchief and the sand, who were giving me looks of blame and reproach.

While I spoke with my only memory, behold, a soft hand clung to me, and I only felt it when I stood with my head high, and a smile colouring my pale face, to the hand that pointed me to the gates of life. I walked in, and found many doors, including hope, love, patience, connected by a path that leads to a wide door called the Door of Life.

I walked in as happiness filled my heart, despite the challenges and the difficult paths that I faced. I had faith in a better future, and hope filled me, so I entered it with all my confidence and my head high until I reached a door that drew my future lines that awaited me.

I thanked God for everything, and I looked at the sky and found my trees smiling at me and reaching out to me, so I took a handful of sand and kissed it. Suddenly, its wings carried me to the sky to embrace my green trees again.

Becoming

By Héla Ammar
A site-specific installation in Shepherd’s Bush Market commissioned for Shubbak Festival 2019.
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