Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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Of memory, identity and time

Of memory, identity and time


Days go by. I do my chores at home, go shop groceries and watch some TV. I translate old poetry for my amusement, watch a movie again and roll in the bed for hours unable to sleep. When I finally do, I sleep late: till the next afternoon.

The things I think about are trivial memories of my past. The way the street smelled of fruit in Krakow, how in Rome I talked to a man who I cried with and never learned his name, how in London I slept on the sidewalk and how these travels don’t mean anything to anybody else than myself (if I don’t write little stories about them, with proper narration). I remember the storm when I was 10, I remember my first cigarette years later, it was menthol PalMal. I remember when I was sad, angry, happy, lost, I remember everything like the memories would have been pierced to my soul.

These images cross my mind in my daily routines. I make coffee in the morning, one big cup with milk and sweetener, I look back in my diaries and emails for some inspiration. I see the questions of memory, identity and time rising up every time I go on about my day. But nothing is there to inspire me. The nothing in here means that those subjective emotions, sensations and atmospheres just stay with me. They won’t vanish. I wouldn’t be able to let go of them all. I look back in them and mindlessly change the water for the roses.

I am not fully here, present in tense, I look back in confusion and longing at the same time. The nostalgic mood hits me when an older tune plays on the radio. I remember that fight, that drunken night, that melody brings back what is long gone. I know things won’t change anymore that much: I have chosen this name, life, marriage, address and city. I have chosen this profession, these tattoos, these outfits to wear. But something in me still asks: what if I could have done something differently? What if there’s inspiration in those little images in my mind? What if they would mean something more in the end?

I hope they do. I hope the little girl in my poem finds my poetry and becomes happy again because of it. I hope the stiff literature researcher raises her eyebrows and smiles for a passing second at my work. I hope the reviewers won’t frown even when I do.

I want my insides to giggle again. I want to feel happy where I am, here, wake up early, make myself a healthy breakfast and wander down the street to a nice office in town. I want to make my family and loved ones proud of me and my achievements, not remember the smell of old newspaper ink and turpentine on canvas. I don’t want all those things back in my life – it would not only be impossible – but a horrible thing to say if I would. It is just that letting go of the past is so much harder when you relive it every day through writing. The inspiration has to be somewhere. I promise I looked everywhere already.

I live this life. Sometimes for example, a young girl buys oranges from the store. It makes me believe that she lives alone and can wake up in the morning saying: “I live the dream.” She’s powerful and independent and doesn’t apologize for anything from anybody. She runs her errands like they would be royal matters, buys more oranges or she might even buy stamps for her love letters. She is what I used to be. She is me, then, young. She is the moment where all your words and promises turn into responsibilities and life becomes a tad bit too real at times.

I smile at her politely and turn away. I drag the shopping (always the same: some Bonus Gold rolling tobacco, a twin-pack of Pepsi Max bottles and a multivitamin fruit juice) through the snow and reach the door for home. I unpack the shopping and turn on the TV, radio, take a hot shower, smoke on the balcony looking at the sunset and fill my life with noises made by other people to other people: through the screens, through the paper thin walls of this home, through the glass windows and to the street – and there’s no place for me in it all.

Not now. But when?


Story published previously in my blog at http://litheels.wordpress.com

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Comments
Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. beBee Global Brand Ambassador

#14
I wish you all the success of the world Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago #13

#7
I sure hope so. Various magazines offer the chance to get published, I just have to keep on trying.

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago #12

#9
I think I never have had a fan before. :D

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago #11

#8
I will have to give it a listen. Yesterday I read the lyrics. Powerful song lyrics, to say at least. Thank you for the recommendation.

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago #10

#9
thank you so much, Liesbeth!

Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. beBee Global Brand Ambassador

a most charming bee

Liesbeth Leysen, MSc. beBee Global Brand Ambassador

you have found a fan in me Eeva Maria al-Khazaali wonderful post!

Lada 🏡 Prkic

Lada 🏡 Prkic

3 years ago #7

Your post is such a poignant and beautiful narrative, Eeva. Unfortunately, it remained unnoticed then, the first time published, but not this time. Perhaps there is a right time for everything.

Pascal Derrien

Pascal Derrien

3 years ago #6

I read that one a while back it's up there with the best things I have read on this platform and beyond brilliant how you can catch and pen details in such a powerful narrative way 😉

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago #5

#3
such a great review and recommendation. Thank you, very much.

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #4

A stunning talent, this startling Bee!

Lisa Vanderburg

Lisa Vanderburg

3 years ago #3

Only just come across this gem Eeva Maria al-Khazaali; a poignant prose of longing and lost, regret and refute - absolutley beautiful!

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

Eeva Maria al-Khazaali

3 years ago #2

#1
oh, thank you! That is such a sweet thing to say. The question is also very interesting. At the moment I am very inspired by memoirs. Always have been, really, but seem to catch upon memoirs a lot online right now. I have considered it very seriously. I think I might be too young for it? I am in my 30's now - and then there's the issue of revealing personal and private experiences I am restricted to express (because of marrying a muslim). It might be worth the long shot if I found a way to express the most intimate experiences in a way that would go about with euphemisms and going on about it without really speaking about anything "forbidden" or "shameful".

Lyon Brave

Lyon Brave

3 years ago #1

You are very charming writer. Have you considered a memoir?

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