Monthly Archives: February 2014

anouar brahem and late night thoughts from 2012.

february 6, 2012, 23:23


love [romantic] is the last thing on my mind right now. i dont feel like i can really, truly, give anyone my all. i am too consumed with what is happening in this country. i am too consumed with giving my all to help it succeed. i am trying my absolute best to leave politics out of this entry. you have no idea how difficult it is. essentially though, i am a little bit ‘off’ in terms of my writing tonight. so many times i feel like just pulling out a pen and paper and writing my thoughts down. but its so difficult to do that here without getting stares left and right. then you don’t want to open up your bag on the metro ride, because you might get it snatched. afin de compte, each time i decide to sit down and make the time to write, i find nothing to write about. its a dilemma really that happens to me quite frequently. i do, however, know that i have a solid interest in documenting my life here in tunis. so i will tell you what i plan on doing with my day tomorrow, so that you have a small glimpse.

tomorrow, i should be waking up at around 8am, and if all goes to plan, head to the flea market a few blocks away. i am looking for a nice skirt or a funky dress. following my little flea market expedition, i should be heading straight to bardo (not sure whether by metro or taxi – ill figure it out). i will be meeting with sami hicheri, a member of the opengov initiative i have recently become involved in. we should be having some sort of coffee then making our way over to the constituent assembly. we will be meeting with some parliament members (around 7 of them) to discuss the concept of opengov with them. after that, i plan on having lunch with a friend. then i should be going home.

im listening to anouar brahem and his music is fatally inspirational. when i listen to it, i feel like i just want to sing. i just want to write. to laugh. to create. and only create under a tunisian sun. “ritek ma na3ref ween,” just came on. the anouar instrumental version. what passion, what beauty! the music skips around like a young child at play. the notes. the boy, barefoot and dressed in clothes that have a few holes in them, kicks around a ball in a run down neighborhood. the sun is setting… and his hair reflects a reddish hue. he smiles.

i connect with this land so much. no words can even try to emulate the feeling i get just reflecting on this connection. i connect with the natural aspects of it. the colors. ah, the colors. the colors of a small road in downtown tunis. at the corner of your eyes, you see hues of white, grey, and blue. sometimes beige if you’re in the medina. straight ahead, you see people – which is where all the color is anyway. you see black (lots of black, especially in the winter), yellow, and bright bright [shameless] red from the men’s chechiyas (my favorite). i never want to leave!

at the same time though, i sometimes feel a bit lost. i have yet to catch on with the culture here, and when im honest with myself, i feel a bit naive. but im trying to, and i think i have made some progress. truly, i have. in any case, i am well-liked and well-received by near everyone here. i just feel like a little kid sometimes who is discovering her world for the first time. remember how i mentioned the colors? well, i feel like im learning to appreciate each color in its own right all over again. blue, for instance. there is turquoise, royal, aqua, etc. there’s also sidi bou said blue, raf raf’s sea blue, old plastic tables blue, and old tunisian man’s shirt blue (the kind with the buttons). you know what it is? at the end of the day, i simply flow well with the atmosphere here. my soul is more at ease with its surroundings. maybe that’s it exactly. my soul has discovered its friends and loved ones on this land – not in the states. the souls living in the soil there have so much negative energy its toxic (native american souls who have suffered infinitely at the hands of bloody massacres carried out in the name of supposedly ‘god-given’ rights to expand – they will never forgive – i walk around with the intrusive, painful thought that beneath the soil lie these souls). the foundation of the united states of america is toxic. tunisia does not share that history. it has had its fair share of wars in the past, yes, but after all – my loved ones are not colonials. you know what? forget all the political stuff. its very simple: i am finding myself to be near and close to those dear to my soul. i am near my grandfather(s). i am near my role models – st. augustine and farhat hached. i am near the soul of Olive, Eucalyptus, Orange. i am near the meditarreanean’s exhalations… near the whispers of running my hands through soil. i am under a sky that st. augustine lived under. i am here.

here. ive missed you so much, tunisia. so, so, so incredibly much.

i am here.

lost, loved, happy, but after all, present.