This morning I was woken up by a crazy thunderstorm. I didn't quite understand what those loud bangs were at first. Were those fireworks? At 7 am??
Nope, just the beginning of the rainy season.
I must say that Lebanon is a very "explosive" country. I have heard more fire works in the past two months than in my entire life.
Also, I have heard gun shots for the first time in my life, which by the way, sound a lot like fireworks, except there is - quoting my Lebanese friend- a different rythm to them (isn't this just a totally poetic view of life?).
Fire works go bang (count 1,2,3) bang (1,2,3), bang (1,2,3).
Gun shots go bang-bang-bang-bang-bang (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8) bang-bang-bang (silence) bang.
But the most common explosions are not the auditory, but the human ones.
Laughter, loud, sincere, unashamed laughter.
Anger, loud, aggressive, impulsive shouting, pushing, banging.
Kisses (3 loud ones each time to say hello and bye).
Loss, so deeply rooted and concelaed it is obvious, especially when vivid memories are recounted with hollow eyes, and a hole in the middle of your chest when you hear them
Pleasure, with eating, drinking and smoking, a lot and often
I am sometimes surrounded, engulfed, by these explosions of emotion, left sometimes a little disoriented, in my head and also in my heart. Such intensity of feelings. I need time to get my bearings. And then another wave comes.
In Lebanon people have seen horrors I can't even imagine. And their resilience is incredible. Someone was explaining to me the meaning of the Lebanese flag: red for the blood shed, white for the snow on the mountains, and a beautiful cedar tree, to symbolize resilience.
Sometimes I feel like a winy little kid who needs to get tough, so I get to play with the older kids. Or a naive little girl, who hasn't lived. My sorrows seems small. My concerns sometimes petty. What do you say when someone shares an experience? I haven't found the words. I just listen.
I have encountered in Lebanon a pride I have not seen often. A desire to survive and prosper, no matter what. And all these feelings too, on the surface, ready to explode, with just a scratch...
How do you keep your sanity, how do you cope? With explosions. Explosions of fireworks, parties, love, food, abundance, joie de vivre, intensity, intensity, intensity. To feel alive. To feel something.