October 05, 2014


I went for a walk in the park this morning. I am not going to tell you where it is; I'd like to keep this park to myself in the mornings. It's not in Taanayel, in case you are wondering. (The pictures in this post are not related to the text, btw)

October is when Beirut is at its best. This is the time when the city reverts to its old self. Schools and universities have started again, mountain residences have been closed up, visiting family members have flown back to their adopted countries, and temperatures have dropped to a level that a walk to the supermarket no longer is a sweating exercise. The recent rains have cleaned up the town a little, there’s a freshness in the air. 

It's a 'real' park; it's got benches and grass, and garbage cans, and lanes you can walk on. 

I like fall, although I cannot really pinpoint the reason why. Beirut's inhabitants go back to their daily lives; it’s our town again. We gather at birthdays where we compare generator prices for 5 and 10 ampere (for those unaware of the finer workings of the neighborhood generator; you buy your additional electricity – when government fails to provide – in clusters of 5 amperes. The prices vary according to the neighborhood you live in, and this is not a question of supply and demand, but rather a generator operator who knows how to squeeze his customers), and discuss if there will be a war, and if so, who will be on whose side. 

It's fall, as you can see.

It’s odd how in the light of somehow impending doom, we carry on as if nothing is happening. Biking events have been planned (here and here) , book markets are organized, and we try to be a normal town with all our might. 

It's used for races, now and then.

We know deep inside that it is never going to happen, but we happily ignore that and we cling to the memories of those short periods of normalcy we have experienced, and carry on like the little chamber orchestra on the Titanic that – rumor has it – diligently kept on playing even as the ship was sinking. I think the recent vice article is an excellent example of that. 
'This disregard for the violence that surrounds Beirut is not apathy. . . . It can be very surreal at times, but we can't let ourselves get paralyzed by these incidents. We have to continue living, and trying to live well.’ (from that article) 

In the early morning, there's still dew on the grass. 

We don't have the spiders that build the traditional cart wheel type of web, it's more like a funnel web type of thing. In the early morning it catches the dew drops.

It isn't ignorance that makes is ignore what is happening around us, as some people claim. It's the fact that we cannot (seem to) change it, we're part of a bigger picture and once you're on that wave, you'll have to ride it to the end. You might as well ride it as best as you can. 
How true that is.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures ! Glad you found your secret place for serenity. You deserve it.
Equally glad to see that Beirut still has such natural beauty.

Elie Touma said...

Your writings today is beautiful poetry to me. Fantastic photography complements and adds to enhance the ambiance. Well Done Dutch lady.

Anonymous said...

Hi S.

I was wondering about Spike. I see he is well (at least I hope it is Spike). I sometimes wonder about your very old dog, is he in Doggy Heaven? You need to writ eme and tell me about the 3 dogs in the picture. I am very curious.
As Always, you make me miss my acquired home or is it my real home since I grew up there?