The Grating Key to Eternal Bliss

Nablus, West Bank

She was grateful.

A big mountain rose above her, and behind it, one settled by good God-fearing people. The road leading there had been a rather bumpy one; it was infested by apostates. The lights of the city stretching between Mount Ebal and Mount Gerizim shone, at times, like the bling on a bedazzled wedding dress and, at others, like the will-o’-the-wisp winking in graveyards at night. The clouds were the color of tears and blood, like the ones that had been shed by the people on the ground in their fight to preserve their country and cultural identity. She had been feeling lost and alone for a long time, but now, she had finally managed to return back home.

She was grateful.

The day was lit up with hope, the sort that made her eyes all watery. She was a senior at university and appreciated all academia had done to expand her horizons without keeping her from staying true to her roots, but she had missed that red city where she had taken her first steps into the big topsy-turvy world. She wondered whether she would now be able to find in that place, whose memory she had kept enshrined in her heart, a safe spot to profess her undying love of life. She trusted it to reinforce the image she had of it; she really needed a place to belong.

She was grateful.

God works in mysterious ways. The Bedouin spend their days tending to their herds and playing the flute, which is never boring because of all the dangers that lurk out there. The Bedouin know what beauty hides and are hence cautious in front of people who desperately try to make everything seem beautiful, or not, for after all, everything is so startlingly, indescribably and foremost inexplicably beautiful! How does one describe the scudding of red clouds across the sky and the blushing cheeks that shine like candles in gardens in the fall? As stated earlier, God knows best, while working in mysterious ways. There is nothing like chewing dry clay to grasp the sacred meaning of it all and love unconditionally.

She thanked the stars for having chosen her and that place to be one and the same, and then skipped off. The memory of how soft the soil was, how sweet the wine and how hard the stone would lodge in her brain forever.


Written by Fuad Zubeidat.