28 Mar 2020

Durante La Cuarentena

I went on a long bike ride last weekend and as I was struggling up the Bay Bridge, I started thinking about the current state of “Shelter In Place” in California. It dawned on me that the only reason I knew it was the weekend was because I could go on a two hour bike ride while the sun was still high in the sky. It made me realize that life in its new state had a different flavor, of course I knew this already, but in this moment I FELT it. The thoughts that were in my head were all in Spanish, which sometimes happens when I feel things intensely. Spanish is my first langugage and it is a better language to feel things in. Sometimes I struggle to feel things that I can’t express in English, not for lack of vocabulary but simply because the emotions cannot be captured. I think this is a common occurance for people who speak more than one language.

One of my good friends, Michael has been translating poems between Arabic, English, French and Spanish since college.We have chatted about collaborating in different capacities, but this is the first we are actually making something together, which is super exciting! I could not think of a better person to translate my poem into English. So here it goes:

Durante La Cuarentena

Durante la cuarentena

No se ni que hora es

No entiendo la diferencia entre día de semana y fin de semana

No hay diferencia

Todos los días son iguales, aquí adentro de mi casa

Se me olvida que el mundo sigue, que los árboles están floreciendo y que la luna cambia de caras

Durante la cuarentena

Espacio toma otro significado

La distancia se siente profundamente, entre amigos, entre familia, entre compañeros de trabajo

La distancia es intensa pero es solamente física

Durante la cuarentena

Te das la oportunidad de conocer un nuevo lugar en tu mente

Una nueva fase de relaciones familiares, amistosas, y del trabajo

Aprendes un poquito más sobre la condición humana

Durante la cuarentena

Sientes nada y sientes todo, y bueno te da igual

Olvidas todo

Te da nostalgia

Quieres llorar

Comienzas a bailar, pintar, escribir, crear

Amas más

Vas más de espacio

Después de la cuarentena

Ojalá tengamos un poco más de claridad en la mente

Amor y paz en nuestro corazones

Generosidad y abundancia en nuestro espíritu

Y ahora

Estamos juntos (aunque físicamente separados)

Estamos aquí

Estamos vivos

Translation by Michael Karam

During the Quarantine

During the quarantine

I know not what time it is

The difference between weekdays and weekends, I don’t know

No difference at all

Here, inside my home, the days are all the same

I have forgotten that the world is moving

The trees flower. The moon changes faces.

During the quarantine

Space takes on a different meaning

The distance feels

Between family, between friends, between coworkers, profoundly

Intense, but only the physical kind

During the quarantine

A gift to know a new place in your mind

Renewed relationships with families, friends, and coworkers

Learning a bit more of the human condition

During the quarantine

Feeling nothing and feeling everything

All is the same

Forgetting everything

Feeling nostalgia

You want to cry

Start to dance, paint, write, create

      Love more

Make more space

After the quarantine

Hopefully our minds will be clearer,

Love and peace in our hearts

Generosity and abundance in our spirits

And now

We are together       but physically        separated

We are here

We are living