Sorting through a small stack of novels my mom brought me last week, I stumbled across In the Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish. I took it to the now sun-filled bowl of heat overflowing what yesterday, and for the thirty-odd summers preceding it, was a deep, cool pool of shade. I opened the book randomly to the first sentence of the second chapter, "We were born together on the open road of the chinaberry tree...one in two and two in one," and on the page just before it, this:
...ascend with your people, higher and farther than what the myths have prepared for you and me. Write, yourself, the history of your heart, from the moment Adam was struck with love, until the resurrection of your people. And write, yourself, the history of your kind, from the time you borrowed the sea's rhythm and manner of breathing, until your return to me alive."