The Box – Part 3

Helplessness is a deep emotion, it is when grief fills every part of your soul with the deemed thought of a lost future, where having control on what may happen is not within your scope, being truly lifeless with emotion, glaring into the reality of pain, when even melancholy feels bad to be surrounded by you, that is when you decide to lose your true self. At this moment, captivated by the indulgence of safety within my box, I want to feel helpless, but I had hope, I knew somewhere, sometime, or somehow, this train ride of confusion I am in will eventually stop and drop me to the right destination, to my home, to where I feel I belong, that is, if only I knew where home was.

At this moment, I am still trying to figure out where I am, or where would I be tossed once again. It seemed like it was just hours when I met the first person, or looked at them directly into their eyes, I haven’t felt safe until that moment, I had a moment of truth, that moment where I realized I would be saved, a distant thought now comforts my struggle.

I heard a foreign language,  I didn’t understand, but I grasped that I wasn’t in my native country anymore, they were discussing something, then suddenly I was picked up and then blasted to the ground once again, then I heard laughs, this hurt my legs as they were numb, I tried to knock once again, I wanted to tell them that this box was not empty, I was in it, but as I was attempting to knock once again, they picked me up and slammed my box to the ground yet again, my back cracked, I was then picked once more, at this moment I gave up trying to rescue what was left of me, I knew this hit final or not would be the end of me, I felt my back crack once again as gravity took my body, my eyes watered its outer self, I prayed I wouldn’t be put down once again, I prayed they would hear me, I prayed they would be gentle on this box, but the laughs got louder and louder, until I couldn’t hear anymore and dozed off to oblivion.

I woke up suddenly, I wasn’t dead, my legs were fine, my back hurt but it was probably because of the position I was in, curled up like two polar bears in a jar, it wasn’t easy to correct your position, I just hoped for a toss so I could turn. I didn’t hear voices anymore, it was silent, it was empty, I couldn’t feel where I was, I placed my ear closer to the crack at the far edge of the box, I felt the strong wind blowing, passing by the box in high speeds, suddenly my box rocked back and forth, I was in a car, going fast, where was I going once again?

After some time the car stopped, this journey felt longer, but this place is familiar to me, the breeze, the smell that surrounded the box felt old, but known, I knew where I was, or I thought I knew.

I was picked up, and this person walked slowly, held the box tighter, he whispered some words, those were signs of being worried, I felt he is going somewhere he knew and was hesitant, as he was walking a tear fell on the box, he began to pick up his speed, running but I felt in slow motion towards somewhere, he put me aside, and another door opened up, I peeked through the box I wanted to see what was happening, a lady walked out, beautiful, with grey dark hair, wrinkles around her eyes, puffed face, but she was surprised to see him, she was glancing at his face for some time, then she just hugged him tightly.

I knew her, I didn’t know him, but I have seen her someplace, somewhere, I am not sure how or when but I know that I have seen her. Then it hit me. This was my mother, and she doesn’t know I am lost, almost 15 feet away from her. She hugged him and comforted him, before walking in she asked him about carrying the box he left outside, I started to knock and scream, wishing that she would hear me, hoping she would help me, but he smiled and nodded, she then kissed him and they walked inside.

I am left outside once again, now I know the true meaning of being helpless.

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Contemporary Venice

It was 6:00am on Saturday the 25th of May, the countdown to Venice has ended, and a new heartbeat took its place. I sat on the edge of my bed looking at my bag, my clothes and my room pondering the fact that this will be the last time I see my room for another 6 weeks. I felt anxious, nervous but definitely prepared, I knew that this experience will eventually change my life onwards, the many journeys that we take in life generally give you some sort of new meaning to what is happening right now in yours to keep and yours to forever cherish, this motivated me to get off my bed and move to the airport.

Rushing through the infamous duty free at Dubai Airport hoping to reach my plane as I was almost 5 min late, I passed through many people going in different destinations in their life, thinking to myself, some are on their usual family trip, some to attend a funeral, some to find happiness, or even work. This time I have a reason, I am those people that go to a certain destination to do something, to achieve something, to find new understandings and to finally maybe better themselves by adapting to a new culture. I have a purpose. I boarded the plane, it was old, smelly and a bit hot but I cared less, I was on my way to the land of masks, to the city of bridges, to the life of the renaissance and trade. I was off to a new exploration, and slept to further ponder on what to expect.

Myself and the programming/photography crew arrived to Venice and moved quite swiftly through passport control and got our bags fast, all good signs from Marco Polo airport until now. Leaving the airport I was surprised because the weather was beautiful, not many would agree with me but I am a sucker for good, cold, uk-inspired weather and we got just that in Venice. We jumped in the water taxi and went to the San Zaccaria square, as we finally glided slowly to the pier my heartbeat was silently tapping my rib-cage wanting to visually see what my eyes saw, it was amazed by the sudden calmness of my body that it needed a break from itself and reach out to see my surroundings. I wish my words could resemble the beauty of this place, the way the people are exceptionally friendly and exceeded almost every possible expectation that I had in mind.

I met Mariam, our mentor/coach/boss and most importantly friend at the pier waiting with open arms, after the quick embrace, I was eager to see where I would stay for the next 5 weeks of my life, where would I be to explore my new age. The apartment was tucked in behind a hotel which was almost 10 minutes from San Marco square (the hustle and bubble of tourism in Venice) and almost 13 minutes from the Arsenale which was my new work space. It was a 2 bedroom apartment with all the needed amenities to go on life with, I was so grateful at that specific moment to the UAE pavilion for giving me such a chance, such an unforgettable chance.

Work has started and we rushed to the Pavilion, we got the boxes organized and books prepared, from press packs to VIP packs everything needed to be done. Luckily the next Adel would arrive to support, and I was looking forward to reunite with a dear friend. At night Venice turned into a dark medieval dragon raining non-stop for hours, making the sea water hit the hard blocks of marble around the grounds of the grand canal, I was so surprised by the weather, didn’t know if it was a blessing or a curse. After having dinner and going through this day, tomorrow is a new day.

Adel arrived in Venice, and the day was sunny with a gush of wind racing along the clouds. After showing Adel the apartment, we then went straight to work, carrying multiple boxes, organizing and giving a helping hand when needed, I felt like we were one team, a true family working as one.

It was time for the Press day (only invited press from the Venice biennale team) and we got our formal Emirati clothes to raise our heads high supporting our own country in a city where history is a piece of treasure. This day was the most nervous of days, due to it being an important first impression to make and how we will cope with this. At the end of the day we had almost 450 media/journalist/visitors (VIP) to the event and this is just within 9 hours. Tomorrow is a new day and a new journey.

One thing readers, and interns coming to Venice:

Venice is not smelly, Venice is not boring, and yes Venice has Wifi.

Welcome to Contemporary Venice, a new world of old Venice.

Arrivederci !

Standing watching a beauty afar

Standing watching a beauty afar