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Within the heart’s sea

The time I discovered…

Mirna Abdulaal


Dear friend,

Out of all the letters I have written to you about my travel, I discovered that the heart has eyes of its own – eyes that can unleash deeper layers of the universe. In fact, those with hearts that truly feel do not drown in their emotions, but swim freely and gently. To feel is to see the sea, that is, to see life deeply, clearly, and accurately.

‘Is this what you call a holiday? Getting lost in these clamorous streets!’ Mother cried, and then rested her head on her right hand. This hopelessness, which my mother felt, was not real emotion – it was vulnerable and deadly. It dragged you vigorously down the darkest depths of the sea and blinded you from its vastness and splendour. It is not a feeling – a true feeling – my dear friend, but it is mere passion.

Seeing the sea, however, was distinctly different. With the car’s speed surpassing time, my eyes slowed it down as it captured the different lives of Egyptians. From children thrillingly impersonating football players on the field, to young couples imitating love from movie scenes; the youth always carried a better understanding of the dream world. An old garbage man, presumably in his sixties, sat at the right end of a bench while a middle-aged woman sat smoking at the left end, both looking like they live inside the heart of a doleful painter. As the car stopped in traffic, I took out a few coins from my wallet and gave them to the little boy selling tissues. The joy of his innocent and sensitive heart was instantly revealed by a pure and content smile. It was not similar to seeing lavish hotels and large fountains, for these man-made creations did not produce emotion, but only simple sentiments of amazement and wonder. Though emotion is deeper than that, it links both your heart and mind, and through my heart’s perception and compassion, my mind discovered life’s true beauty.

As I looked at the different people, and the different lives they led, it all seemed to represent a large story that contained an infinite number of pages and chapters. Behind the suffering, the poverty, and the wars and conflicts, there is still a chain that connected everything to a bigger creation. It is much like the immense world of the sea – it has distinct layers of depth, some vile, and some wonderful, yet all come to form its outside splendidness.

‘Ah! We are finally here; Alexandria’s sea is definitely special. Now this is a holiday!’ Mother laughed, and then gazed at the sea with poetry in her eye

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