Dear Mr. Jet Lag

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Souvenirs from my last USA & MEXICO TOUR on my desk: one of my fetiche mugs bought at “Anthropology” store in Charleston; book “Art as a way of Life” offered by Yara Dance, in Savannah, Georgia; little positive messages collection offered by Nourhan Sharif in New York; the booklet from my workshop “Introduction to the Secrets of Egyptian Dance” made by Shawnie Anderson in Anchorage, Alaska.

3.30am

Me, the (dis)comfort of a nocturne matress – another one – where the whole world seems to be relaxing and sleeping. Except me. This is a matress made of excitement, adrenaline, jet lag and new dreams beaming in my chest, not allowing me to rest.

I´ve just returned from my USA & MEXICO TOUR and I couldn´t be happier. Many things didn´t go according to plan – I´d envisioned a different trip but, you know what?, it was perfect just as it was. Not what I´d planned; no, sir. But perfect in its divine imperfection.

Time, experience and the willingness to learn teaches you there are many, often unexpected, roads leading to Rome. In other words: I´ve finally come to terms with the realization that dreams DO indeed come true in their own time, despite – or because of – all the planning, work and faith you put into them. It´s like the Universe has an agenda of its own, one you must coordinate with your own personal agenda. Sometimes, both agendas agree, the timing is in harmony, forces dance in the same direction and in the same rythm. More often than not, they don´t. That doesn´t mean they won´t reach an agreement, eventually. The patience to keep working, believing and creating with a certain detachment towards results or the pressure of now is your homework. Many give up on the way up; faith fails them or they fail faith; “real life” gets in the way. Ah! I pray I´ll never lose the shine in my eyes, that shine that is your DREAMER identity card.

I´ve learnt some lessons. Many, in fact. In Egypt, around the world. I hope I never stop learning and surprising myself.

Back to Mr. Jet Lag. Fried eggs, black coffee and cheesy reggaeton music on my speakers – that´s how I spend the first hours of each day since I´ve landed on what I call “the base”. My overcrowded agenda bites me you know where – come on, girl, chop-chop! – while my body begs for rest, compassion and some (much deserved) appreciation.

The memories made – from New York to Alaska; from Alaska to Savannah; from Savannah to Mexico – shine in front of my eyes, mixed with the stars of a dark night I seem to experience all by myself. Another 3.30am wake up call. Some more eggs, black coffee and cheesy reggaeton. God knows why. Or maybe not – maybe God, or whatever we call It, doesn´t care. I am tempted to believe in this kind of solitude when I wake up, once more, like a dishevelled clock, in the middle of the night. Life seen through the eyes of an insomniac, ghosts and upside down perspectives included, isn´t pretty. I´ve learnt that as well.

The Mystery of Life plays The Cards and we´re mostly blind creatures staring at the sun, gazing at its rays, pretending to understand what wasn´t made to be understood.

I flip through the photos, videos, emails and dance material shared in the tour. I nod and smile. The mathematics that silently rules us never fails to amaze me and humble me.

The world is going crazy, crazier than ever, and the Oriental Dance world is not an exception. Yet, somehow, we gotta have the discipline to build a wall between ourselves and the collective madness, a way of remaining sane in an insane world by occasionaly retreating into places of truth, divinity and utter simplicity. Not letting praise or critics get to us; keeping the devil of comparisons ashore; realizing success and failure are mostly mental constructions that don´t define us, give or take value from us as human beings. And human beings is what we ultimately are – glue that one on the fridge´s door, sister.

I wrap my stage persona around a green fallen leaf (remains of Autumn, Winter baby) for a little while, and walk barefoot with my mother. I go back to my cave, to work on my new book, to breathe, to cleanse, to make sense of the chaos, to redefine my goals and who I want to be. I observe a bird and run in the woods. Then I know, or remember, what actually means something beyond the world of appearances. This is an exercise I consciously do – who would want to become a proud member of the Collective Self-Destructive Machine? I know I wouldn´t. ´wont.

I return home, that place inside of me where I know what´s important, and from home I breathe deeply, gathering the energy and renewed purpose for another, bigger, higher flights. Here we go, Mr. Jet Lag. We have a long, LONG way to go. Bring those eggs, that black coffee and that ridiculous reggaeton with short, sleazy singers hanging around half naked plastic dolls; bring it all; bring it on, baby! I´m ready. Sleepless. Dizzy. In Love.

Ready to take off.

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Me, wearing the marvellous cloth by Nourhan Sharif (SharifWear). Photo taken by Samer Ibrahim in New York

 

 

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