Part 4 – Saturday at the village #1
Saturday at the village, I drive into the small streets. Kids are running on the road, sewer is running down the street. Men are standing in doorways, the muezzin is praying out loud.
I go up to the third floor of Z's house. I will be interviewing some women here today. Z's. opens the door, "Make yourself at home," she says. "I'm going to help my mother, she has guests." I'm sitting alone at a stranger's home in the middle of the village; I hear kids' voices from one of the rooms. Z's. told me her kids promised they will not disturb us.
The house is spotless. On the walls, there are some paintings, and the shelves are a display of decorations; mini darbukas and hand drums, a golden pot and fancy porcelain cups. Later, she will explain that these are souvenirs she brought back from Egypt, Jordan, and Mecca.
Someone knocks and I open the door. I am the hostess now. M. walks in dressed all black and red with a big smile on her face. "Ahlen, make yourself at home." I wink at her. We sit down at the table. She asks me to put on some Bach, piano, and we begin to talk.
The conversation was about her choices in life. Travelling, not getting married. She almost did, she was already engaged, but then her beloved suddenly got sick and that was the end of that. Since then, she's been trying to rebuild her life, to write poems, to help other women in the village that need to be seen. Women like R. who walked in just as we finished. She was almost unnoticed as she sat in front of me wrapped in a blue shawl. She spoke in a low voice, words that penetrate the heart. She had this frailty, wrapped around a stubborn hinge that is unwilling to give up on living life.
After they left, I allowed my body to absorb the intense sensations and my hands to sketch some more.
Two weeks later, both of them told me that they cannot take part in the project.
There will be no interviews. There will be no embroideries. Even though there are already some beautiful sketches, and an oil painting that was casted aside before I even reached the face.