No Such Words - Riding on a Cloud Blog Review Jan 30, 2016

by Petra Zanki

You have two hands and two legs what are you complaining about? Your head is on your shoulders, she said. Yeah, but, no, what are you complaining about, she stepped on someone’s brain when she was leaving the shelter, she stepped on someone’s spilled brain on the street, when she was thirteen and going out and almost fell, we don’t talk about the war, ok, change the subject, but, there is no “but”, she is alive and that’s good, and she is ok now, isn’t she? yeah and he told me when they went to visit their relatives in another city when they were already refugees, dressed in their best clean clothes that they had, they didn’t want their relatives to pity them for being poor, as if being poor was something shameful, they didn’t come there to be pitied, they just came to say hi, they said, we just came to say hi, and they were so hungry and when offered candies, a kid, he said no thank you, we ate at home, they lied and sat poor staring at the candies on a low living room table, the red and white rounds inside the crystal bowl, wanting so badly to say we have our heads on our shoulders and our two legs and our two feet, we are fine, he, well, he is good now, what do you want to prove, everyone has a story like that, you are alive, that was then and now is now, can we change the subject, we keep quiet, we change the subject, what about the soldiers who were climbing the stairs, and grandma that heard them coming, she escaped through the window leaving sick grandpa in the bed because if she didn’t they would kill her too, or later when they became refugees her father asked her mom to please make him a cake, can you make me a soft cake, he said and mom was making him a cake every day, every day the same soft cake she was baking for him, mom, why are you making the same soft cake every day, dad dear, I want to have another cake mom, can we eat another type of cake, we always eat the same, dad, they dear they broke the teeth in his mouth with the machine gun buttstock, that’s the only cake he can eat now, we didn’t want to tell you are still a kid, these atrocities, please, that sniper guy, that’s you that he hit, no, that sniper guy, that was you that he hit, I cannot, and you still find the strength to sing beautifully, I bow to you, can we just, we cannot, we cannot talk about it, and if we cannot, can we just change, and what is this new system? it was one system before and now it is the other, and we had to swear on that old system before, and now we have to swear on this one, and it is again not good why did the war even happen, if we had to replace one bad system with another?


No. No: maybe, we let the light and word to those who have the courage to sing, to sing. Thank you Yasser, Rabih, and “Riding on a Cloud” for the painfully beautiful song coming from your large hearts, and to you who didn’t make them change the topic - thanks for enabling us to hear.