Cairo: and the saddest tale in the world

She was whispering when she told me.  About her father.  Her eyes looked away. It seems that one minute he was there and the next he was gone.  It was sudden.  He was not particularly old, you see.  Or sick. Or fragile.  

She murmured, choking,  I'm the most sorry that I didn't tell him.  That I didn't tell him enough how grateful I was  for all that he had done for me, all that he had taught me.  

She shook her head.  I never asked him about the things that really mattered.  Like the moments that stood out for him, shining, important in his life.  Like if he had ever been scared - really scared.  Like if he had ever wished for something more. 

And then she said in the saddest voice in the world, I just took from him.  I never gave.

She began to weep.  After a time, she  said, Now I will never be able to ask him.  Now I will never be able to give him anything.  Give him anything at all but flowers in the cemetery.


Afghanistan: and a tale of the ending

As I got in the plane, as I fastened my seat belt, as I lifted off the runway, I thought of all that I was leaving behind. 

 I thought about how we all skim along the surface -- how little we ever know, really know,  about each other.  Looking down with my forehead pressed against the glass, I contemplated all those lives, just dots, just points of light from a plane window.  But behind the points of light,  people, real people, who suffered, who were elated, who hoped.   I felt a kind of wonder, a kind of distress, a kind of sadness that I would never know them.  That I would never sit in their living rooms listening to their stories -- of the important things, the things with meaning, the things that counted.  That I would never hear the moments that had changed them, that had made them think differently, that had altered their views of the world. 

Distance would separate us, time would separate us, circumstance would separate us.  Religion, color, culture, politics and fear would come between us.  And we might never meet but for the briefest, most cursory encounters.    And we would stay -- all of us --  just skimming,

skimming the surface.


PS.  Thank you so much for those of you who voted for My Marrakesh in the Bloggies.  I appreciate your support!:-)