Left Behind

Freedom cannot be bought
It’s something you’re born with
But why do I have it
While you do not
Your natural birth order
Prevents you from crossing
An arbitrary border
You can’t see what I see
But you didn’t do anything
To be in that position
A passport is the key
But you can’t get one
It’s random luck
Unfortunately you’re stuck
In the place where you’ve always been
Without opportunity
Yet I feel deeply
You’re not different from me

You’ve shared your soul
Your humanity
Hopes, dreams, vibrant personality
I want to give what I have
To you purely
Not for charity
Because we are the same
We stand equality
Your life is valuable
I see you, feel you
I’m woven into your life
I want to move borders for you
Lines drawn on a napkin
Change your reality
The grand plan
But it’s not mine to change
And I don’t know how
I can’t explain
Why

Countries make decisions
About your life
Without ever knowing you
And seeing your vision
Your kindness and potential
Writing you off
Your a number
A statistic
Nothing special
Yet you are worthy
You transcend imagined borders
Civil wars and mindless orders
Viruses, variants, Trump supporters
Skin color and fear of the other
Your life means something to me
And you still smile warmly
From the other side
Despite all the things the world hurls at you
You still find
Hope

What is the value of a life
And who gets to decide
Who is worthy of freedom
And who gets left behind

Silence

Yes, I know, I stopped writing. I’ve started countless posts that I’ve abandoned halfway through. I went to Greece with the passionate intention to write about my experience, it’s just that, I’m not sure how to verbalize it, how to share it. I arrived in Leros and jumped into an exciting, emotional, overwhelming, and sad tornado that consumed me until the moment I boarded a tiny plane back to Athens. It’s taken me a few weeks of aimlessly wandering around Europe to sort it all out. Continue reading “Silence”

Barbed Wire

Barbed WIre

Barbed wire. Fences and barbed wire. A cement court surrounded by imposing fences and barbed wire. A policed metal gate opens up to gravel, concrete, metal containers and barbed wire. A military truck dumps crates of bread on the slab of concrete surrounded by barbed wire – breakfast. Children run around on the gravel, playing on rocks in the confined, fenced-in camp. All I see is barbed wire. Surely this is a prison. No? A refugee camp you call it. Hotspot, a prison to some – Syrians, Kurds, Palestinians, Iranians, Pakistanis a refugee camp to others. A border, separation.  Continue reading “Barbed Wire”

Queen of the Castle

Sunday morning I wake up with a busy mind and a desire to get lost. I grab a cappuccino freddo and set out on foot towards a distant castle, somewhere on the island. Dodging motorbikes, I ascend a road along the edge of a cliff, looking down at the maze of houses below, stretching out to the ocean. Indeed I get lost, looking for a path that will lead me to the castle. After making countless wrong turns, I realize the path I’m looking for isn’t a road, but a narrow staircase pathway. What seemingly is an entrance to a house is really a secret stairway leading to a quaint village on a beach. Continue reading “Queen of the Castle”

POC, Refugee, Resident

Seemingly, everyone I’ve met since landing in Athens has an opinion about the refugee crisis in Greece – locals, Uber drivers, NGO’s, police, and refugees themselves. Opinions are freely shared with me once I disclose what I’m doing here (teaching yoga in a refugee camp) and I listen, hesitating to form an opinion until I’ve had my own experience on the island of Leros, my home for the next month or so. Continue reading “POC, Refugee, Resident”

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