What Matters In Life

It’s Easter weekend. Christians around the world are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. Easter time for me reminds me of my village Ainjar, in the east of the Bekaa Valley. The smell of baking coming from almost every house while walking on the streets. Children beaming with happiness in their new attire holding baskets of colored eggs in their hands. That’s how I would like to remember Easter. Because for my children growing up in Dubai it was a different story. The late Gabriel García Márquez wrote:

“What matters in life is not what happens to you but what you remember and how you remember it.” 

The much loved writer Gabriel García Márquez passed away this week. From his books, ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and ‘Chronicles of a Death Foretold’ were among my favorites. What was genius about him was that he saw the extraordinary in the ordinary. He made simple everyday life universal with his stories. The characters and the events in his books are so real that they can be easily transposed to my village even though the setting is very different.


The other week while cleaning and tidying my desk, I came across a few of my notepads. I realized that I have written on the first two pages of each and then left them in my drawer, only to start new ones and then abandon those too. They all had different dates on them. Opening one, I read…

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.” Gabriel García Márquez

That’s right. “Life obliges them to give birth to themselves.” My notepads, each dated differently, mark all those times that I have decided to put the past behind me and start all over again and recreate myself. But apparently I haven’t been able to do so since all of them are empty except for the first two pages.

Again to quote the great writer:

“Wisdom comes to us when it can no longer do any good.” 

He was a writer that I would have loved to meet in my life. Neither him nor his work can be forgotten by the coming generations.


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