I had written these thoughts back in 2001 and titled the piece "A Safe Harbor." I encountered it a few days ago and reread it. So much has changed in our lives since then. I now have answers to some of the questions I once pondered, and many more unanswered questions, thoughts and feelings. But, the words still rang true so I decided to dedicate them and my new mixed media artwork to those early days here in America. Here it goes:
"A trip to Lebanon this summer. The countdown has started. The excitement is mounting.
Yara is eight, Tina is six, and memories of the last trip two years ago are still ever so vivid in their minds. Why wouldn’t they be?
There, they played… and played… as if they'd never played before.
They welcomed each sunset as the birth of the first night and awaited the next sunrise as if they’d never seen the sun before.
They felt home… safe… branches of a sturdy, shady, and fruitful tree.
They wondered every minute how come people they’d never met before loved them so much,
how come all the houses were their homes, and many forbiddances were … no more.
How come you left your country mommy and daddy? Why did you go there to America? Here are our people, our home…. Lebanon the village, the family, and childhood friends… Lebanon the generosity and hospitality; the giving land and starry skies… Lebanon the songs and dances and good times… Lebanon the stories you tell us at bedtime and we say “tell us more mommy, tell us more”…
I often wonder what my babies’ lives will be like.
Will their past and future, like ours, belong to different worlds?
Will they be like us, boats that have lost their anchor and wander endlessly between two destinations, one estranged and one a stranger…
Will they be like us, “chameleons who straddle two worlds”*…
Will those old photographs of their childhood when they visited grandma and grandpa and the whole clan be dumped "like a deck of orphan cards"*, fading memories of a lost world that once was but is no more…
Will they one day be back to Lebanon… but never feel home again?
God knows this would break my heart…
Why we left is not the question anymore… We are thankful either way.
Chameleons we will always be, you and me,
A true home we may never have again…
But let us please have a destination for our kids, an island between those two worlds…
Let us defy the laws of time, be it only… one generation at a time.
We can only do it together…"
Dimensions: 2ft (height) x 4ft (width); Piece already framed in dark grey wood. Frame not shown.
PIECE FOUND A NEW LOVING HOME.