War teaches you a lot of lessons. So many that in times of tranquility you can hardly think of one or two. You just want to feel that peace that tranquility offers. But at late hours, you seem to hold on, grab with all your might the one thing you have always whispered for and dreamed of. In my case, it is poetry. In times of death, we think of the things that are most dear to us as humans, as souls which roam this world and will eventually reside under the ground. Therefore, you cannot but consider all the times you have sat by your window at night and prayed for that one wish to come true. In war, you realize that life’s too short though you have come to that conclusion before when someone you know has passed away. The war keeps ringing the bell to remind you of it. With every bang. Scream. Shout. Whimper. Tear. You strive to survive the war thinking you want to fulfill your desire of achieving a dream.
A dream of poetry, of teaching, of inspiration, of learning, of love, of respect, of desire, of affection.
You fall in a coma, soaked in dusty dreams barely shining in the night; barely clear in daylight. You hear the drones and the F16s killing dreams. Killing pasts and futures and ruining the present. You see the death of the young before the old and think to yourself that you may never be the dream. You may never stand before a group of students and teach them about the poetry of love and peace. Teach them about the recollection of tranquility because in wars you have no tranquility. In wars, there is no peace. However, you decide to make peace with your inner self hoping for some calmness. Some beauty or some flowers, or anything related to nature and meditation.
You think of all the superheroes in comic books, all the superheroes created by Hollywood and find yourself the hero, the only superhero of your story. You are left with no superpowers and no “chosen one” prophecies but you have your heart. The same heart that cried over those whose souls were ripped off their bodies with one click. The same heart which was startled by the sounds of rockets being fired at you, your neighbors, your people. The same heart which was beaten over and over without being allowed to beat normally as it should. It is the heart, the same heart which saw the bodies of infants wrapped in white being prepared for their permanent stay underground. In their graves. Where the light of sun can never reach them but the light of God and His mercy and their innocence breaks through the gloom and widens the space. That particular heart, which tasted all the agony one heart can never comprehend, finally understands the importance of the passing second, knows that “So long as [the lungs] can breathe, or [the eye] can see,\ So long lives [the dream], and [it] gives life to [me].”
It may never happen. I may die tomorrow. I may end the journey of teaching and poetry before it even begins. But until that happens, I will gladly dream. I will gladly hold my pen and paper in the middle of the dark and write a poem about hope, about a future, about a dream. Because if the soul perishes, the memory may last a little bit longer. The dream will definitely pass on from a generation to another. Because people carry dreams. People die. Dreams don’t. That’s what the occupation should understand. Carriers of the dreams change. Dreams differ. But as long as the people of Palestine are here, on this land, the dreaming will never stop no matter how many lives are put under the ground. Put under the wreck. Put under the destruction. Put under the remains of memories. They will dream. They will survive. They will not need to strive for survival. They will live. They will dream. And no one can put a dream out. It is not a candle. It is not a flashlight. It is the past. The present. The future. It is everything that ever was and everything that will ever, ever be.