Thursday, July 12, 2012

What a Feeling

I had two highlights of today.

One was hearing a mom speaking to her children in Arabic at a catholic school Cheer Campe finale performance. I was there watching the girl I babysit perform with the youngest group, and I turn around and hear these "habibis" and realize I can understand most of what she's saying. She must be close to Palestine, not from Morocco or the Gulf....

After five minutes of almost saying something, I finally asked her, "lo samaht, bas min wein intkom?" Excuse me, but where are you from? About half-way through the sentence she realized I was speaking to her and she was so surprised.

"Tatakalum Arabia!" You speak Arabic! she said in modern standard.

"Ahki shweya, sakanat fi filisteen thaman shuhur," I speak a little, I lived in Palestine for eight months...

"Ana masriye!" I'm Egyptian, she said, and I was so excited that she was choosing to speak to me in Arabic. "wa inti min wein?" And where are you from, she asked, flipping her hand up.

No way she was confusing me withan Arabic speaker..."Ana amrikia, bas..." I'm just American...

"But your accent....I can't even do the Palestinian accent..."
"Ahki fallahi.." I speak village, I said, and laughed.

"Oh, for heaven's sake..." said a blonde cheer mom, who was obviously good friends with this woman.
"She speaks Arabic! And she's American!"

"I can see that!" the cheer mom looked at me and joked, "we tell her English-only please!"

The boy I babysit was staring at us like "whaaat."

I told the woman "sharrafna," nice to meet you, and we took off to go get popsicles.

While we were standing with our popsicles the woman went up to my again and said, "so you're the nanny?" I said yes. She said, "you know, your name means coral..." I said, "yani, fil bahr," you know, from the sea, poking fun at all the people who'd tried to explain to me what murjan means...

"....or Morgan Ahmad Morgan is what people tell me most..." and her eyes lit up..."you know that movie!" That was a piece of Egypt right there.

So that was as highlight, and it encouraged me to speak Arabic more.

The second highlight was running at the gym. I didn't stop for 30 minutes and that's really strange. I wondered on the way home what exactly it is that made me want to blow off all that steam. While I ran I thought about all the creative/fundraising/writing projects that I should be completing. They make me happy to think about, but they make me anxious too. Isolation and collaboration and success and failure...that's what kept me going, and I probably could've run across the country like Forrest Gump if my mom hadn't been waiting for me.
But My Pandora was on fire today. This was the second song to come on:

First when there's nothing
but a slow glowing dream
that your fear seems to hide
deep inside your mind.
All alone I have cried
silent tears full of pride
in a world made of steel,
made of stone.
Well, I hear the music,
close my eyes, feel the rhythm,
wrap around, take a hold of my heart.
What a feeling.
Bein's believin'.
I can have it all, now I'm dancing for my life.
Take your passion
and make it happen.
Pictures come alive, you can dance right through your life.