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Alawiya Sobh, Beirut 2010 ©Samuel Shimon recognize it when it’s been lost to me, just the way my body has? I’m hurting, O Good One. I’m hurting.’

“Then I heard her voice ringing in my ears, saying: ‘Stand up, woman, the way you used to. Dance the dance of the dervishes, and of the people whose hearts are pure. Dance all you can, and after reciting the Fatiha, repeat the words: “Your provision,Your provision, O God.”Then light will come to you.You will feel it radiating from you, and you’ll become as transparent as a crystal.When this happens, place your ear to the ground, and you’ll hear your story. Remember that from dust we came, and to dust shall we return. Beneath the dust of the Earth lie all the stories of our lives, both present and past.You should know that every bit of time that passes of your life, be it a minute or a day, everything you experience, whatever you lose or whatever passes you by, takes part of your spirit and goes before your body to the dust. And when you die, your departure is simply your final story buried beneath this soil.’

“I trembled at her words, which sparked a longing in me to hear my own story. Doing as she’d instructed me, I spun and danced the dance of the Sufis until I felt a powerful light radiating from my chest and driving the darkness from the room. It wasn’t long before

BANIPAL 70 – SPRING 2021 81

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