Valley of the Moon

Wadi Rum, Jordan

To survive on this journey, we romance everything even stones. We imagine them gleaming in the darkness of the forest. Grief falls like acid rain and strips everything of its sheen, its associations, and the rosiness we had projected on it.

You end up in the valley of the moon, the Wadi Rum of the heart. You stand in this lunar landscape looking for signs of life, an oasis somewhere. No trees, animals, or human footprints, just the jagged rocks and red sand. No regeneration here poetic or otherwise. All seems seedless and waterless, exactly what you had imagined hell would be: howling wind, sand storms and no sight of the sea.

How do you survive all that bleakness? How do you reconstruct yourself when the central plank of you had been pulled? Will the sheen come back one day? Will you believe in metaphors again? Will you be able to deceive yourself into believing that this earth is not a detention camp and that there is a river behind the mountains.

Perhaps one day you will be able to see the dew sparkle on blades of grass. Perhaps you will enjoy the scent of jasmine again. Perhaps the pain would ease when the heart finishes its transition and its chambers become larger with more space for pain/love.

Until then you hold the demitasse your mother had given you and have another sip of the bitter coffee. One day baklava might follow, as it did when she had served it, and you will be able to taste its sweetness.



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