Open Letter of Gratitude to Lebanon

 Dear Lebanon,

Thank you for instigating my own personal 2012 apocalypse (hat tipped to Carolyn at Awesome your Life for the term). Thank you for giving me my dream job for one year, as well as the opportunity to refuse it in favor of greater adventure and higher ideals the next. Thank you for allowing me to gain enough perspective to witness my core values and feel out my roots. Thank you for AUB’s campus, my students, their poems, their stories, and arches. Thank you for Boushra , mountain tomatoes and Russian rifles, figs and writing games,  cedars and run-away train poetry readings. Thank you for small particle physicists and shadow puppeteers, alleys full of pubs and sea castles. Thank you for fish from stone souks, the ruins of Tyre, and the salvation of sea turtles. Thank you for blasé soldiers leaning on their machine guns. Thank you for Joanna, prison theater, campus Banyan Tree-climbing lessons, and Sufi parables. Thank you for Hiba, café logic lessons, labneh, and protests. Thank you for Maja, seabathing in Byblos, exploring islands off the coast of Tripoli, and the random discovery of and entrance to the oasis of Horsch Beirut. Thank for Ronald, the only lesbian bar in Achrefieh, hours spent picking up garbage on beaches in Saida, and the obscene amount of books AUB lets instructors have out at once.  Thank you for Rima, olive oil, hyenas, peacocks, Rusted Radishes, and long talks about god while floating on waves. Thank you for Elyssa and Umar, random knife fighting lessons at Eco-village, bamboo tree houses, farmers markets, and yoga beneath the stars. Thank you for bicycles, the Holy Valley, hiking groups that don’t need insurance, 1,700-year-old monasteries, caves and sleeping beneath Cypress trees. Thank you for Hana and Julia, healing puppies, weeks without electricity, and limes that are lemons. Thank you for Michael James Dennison, his cats, Lama, his sacred verse, his boldness in first adventuring to Lebanon and bringing me along with him. Thank you for the now deceased pig god of Luna Park, the Ferris wheel that fell over twice and the ancient cult of SerapisDionysusJimMorrison of Byblos. Thank you for dabke at restaurants you have to hike an hour to find, belly dancing, the English Department band, punk shows in Hamra, and the guy at the military permissions office for letting me go south twice without numbers and once without a passport.  Thank you for cheap buses and services, generators and candles, Mediterranean sunsets and starscapes in Chouf. Thank you for waterfalls, Adonis, French, Humbaba, and still existing. Thank you for letters, sea shells from which you pulled purple, and your temples of anchors that helped spread our most important myths.

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1 Comment

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One response to “Open Letter of Gratitude to Lebanon

  1. Crystal's Aunt Linda

    I Love you Crystal, you are Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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