How foolish, in my youth, to think myself an architect and meagerly attempt to dam that river that has damned me to this fate of riding tides. For no construct, of man or God, could stifle that tremendous torrent of the mind’s imagination. The day had come when I could hold it back no longer, the dam gave way to a flood of creation, and I was swept away in its current. Thrashing, tumbling, down, down, down, washed into the black; white-knuckle-clutching at the sheets upon which lie my dreams, I drifted out to sea. For every drop of ink these pages catch, oceans more rush past—words unspoken, swirling in the random, waves briefly cast upon a beach of strangers in a fleeting moment of expression before they are ripped away, before they are understood. Now and again, I too wash ashore, like the sole survivor of a shipwreck maddened by the countless days adrift, wading on the shoreline, arms flailing and gasping for air. When you see me surface, do me this kindness: reach out a hand and take from mine the pages that I clutch—Quick! Before I’m taken by the undertow. I will return, as always, with the tide and with more pages stained. Older, if not wiser. But know the weathered eyes you see are those whose youthful glow you’d recognize, had not these ink stains dulled their light.
Safwan is a Palestinian-American fourth-year UCLA student from Southern California, who is currently studying Comparative Literature. His main goal in writing is to capture his life experiences through vivid imagery and lyrical rhythms, and to express them in a genuine way that might resonate with readers in order to bridge the gap between his experiences and theirs.