We left Nablus’ ancient bathhouse. On the way to eat kanafeh, we somehow ended up at a Palestinian professor’s house. He was hosting a small gathering of international volunteers and a few men from Nablus, including teachers from the nearby school. The house sat perched high in the hills. The backyard balcony offered a sweeping view of the city below. The home itself was built with smooth stones and stretches of white marble with gray swirls. From the balcony, we gazed out at hills speckled with olive trees. The sunset draped the world in a blood orange glow.
I don’t know how the joke started, because I wasn’t paying attention to the group. I was busy nagging the school teacher with jowls and an untamed moustache. The one who brought us here.
“Let’s go, you said we were going to get kanafeh in the shuk,” I whined. He had promised we would just stop by this house for a minute to “say hi.” My host, a school teacher I met that same afternoon, told me the taxi would take us to kanafeh in the Nablus city center. I bit my lip when it drove us somewhere on the distant outskirts of the city instead. I had no idea where we were now. We entered a huge white home without any real furniture or shelves in the living room. Inside it felt like a skeleton without organs.
“I want to laugh so that later I can get angry like I need to get. I want to make and think something funny and tender and kind so that I recognize the opposite when it comes for me, so that I can say ‘No’ to a corporation, so that I cannot buy what someone means to sell me. Poetry is so high stakes. Humor is wholly tied up in those stakes for me.”—Wendy Xu, interviewed by Ben Seanor for Front Porch Journal (via bostonpoetryslam)
“She ran the back of her hand along the first shelf, listening to the shuffle of her fingernails gliding across the spinal chord of each book. It sounded like an instrument, or the notes of running feet.”—Markus Zusak, The Book Thief (via thebooker)
“You can totally be a feminist who has insecurities. Feminism isn’t about pretending we all feel like Wonder Woman, it’s about being honest when we don’t, and having the conversation on why that is.”— Tavi Gevinson (via queerintersectional)
“The thing with the War on Drugs is it tries to deal with a health problem as if it was a legal problem. Addiction is an effect of human unhappiness and human suffering. When people are distressed, they want to soothe their distress. When people are in pain, they want to soothe their pain. So the real question is, not “Why the addiction?” but “Why the pain?””—Dr. Gabor Maté in The House I Live In (via amelancholybaby)