A list of beautiful things #25
bring your heart next to mine
Note: It seems strange to share a newsletter like this in such a horrific time of suffering. My hope with this edition is to offer an insight to the war through art, poetry and beauty, which have an important role to play amid tragedy.
“I wish children didn’t die / I wish they would be temporarily / elevated to the skies until the war ends.” A picture and a poem that says almost everything I want to say about the attacks on Gaza.
“Bring your heart next to mine! Let me feel you, darling.” — what a Palestinian mother said to the body of her daughter, who was killed in an Israeli air strike. The idea of this woman putting her chest against her child in order to be as close to her as possible makes me cry every time.
“Keep my stories alive so that you keep me alive. Remember that I wanted a normal life, a small home full of my children’s laughter and the smell of my wife’s cooking. Remember that the world that pretended to be the savior of humanity participated in killing such a small dream.” — journalist Tareq S. Hajjaj in a piece titled "This could be my last report from Gaza”
A Palestinian artist’s 1994 work, a life-size baby crib made of glass, “threatens any child in its care with shattering collapse and inevitable injury.”
Majd Arandas, a Palestinian photographer who was killed by an Israeli air strike, shares his last request: “I wish for the world to see the beauty of Gaza and Palestine.” Grant his wish and view Gaza through his eyes here.
Two Palestinian musicians sing about the beauty of their homeland.
“And now I would do anything / for a problem I could solve.” The final line of this heartbreaking poem by the Palestinian American poet Naomi Shihab Nye.
And finally, a reminder: "Just because people are creating horror, you don't have to stop creating beauty. Both are human … It's part of human nature to dream." — Katell le Bourhis, associate curator for special projects in the Costume Institute at the Met, in a 1991 interview with The New York Times.
And a little thing from me
I’ve been thinking a lot about parental love during this war — how much children mean to parents, how much parents mean to children and how love is transcendent. Here is a drawing of my mother “flying” to kiss me goodnight, as she has done every night since I moved out of the house 20 years ago.
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