Last week my husband got an appointment at his dentist, It was a quick check up. I decided to have a look at the books at a charity shop that was next to the dentist. It was the first time to enter that shop and I did not know what I was actually looking for. Then just in front of me I found a “All for £1” sign; I picked up one of the few books in that section which looked really brand new as soon as I hold it, I saw my husband waiting for me so I paid the money and got the book.
This book is The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd. I liked it as soon as I read the first couple of pages. As far as I read, the story is mainly about a teenage girl whose mother died when she was little, got no friends, was bullied at school and even worse; her father was harsh and careless. The only pleasant and kind relation she enjoyed, was with her black servant: Rosaleen who suffered a lot because of the racial tension that exploded at that time.
So what is the relation between this story and the title of this post; The Clay? Before I got that book, I also started reading the Clay poem which is another beautiful poem by Elia Abu Madi. I wish I had learned it before or even my children learned it at their school; It really has beautiful meanings, images and language.
It was totally a coincidence! the book and the poem but I think they are too close in their message.
The poem is relatively long; so I chose some parts and will leave the link below in case you want to read all of it.
I really think it’s great and worth reading!
This is The Clay
At one time, Mr. Clay forgot that he was no more than mud
So, he walked insolently, bragged and boasted.
Body covered with fine silk,
He glorified himself in a self-admiring manner,
Purse full, he became haughty and rebellious!
Brother, turn not your face away from me;
I am not a charcoal, nor are you a bright star.
You did not make the silk you are wearing,
Nor the jewels with which you adorn yourself.
You cannot eat gold when hungry,
Nor drink strung pearls when thirsty.
In your fine attire, you suffer and rejoice,
Just like me in my tattered clothes.
Are all my wishes made of dust,
While yours fashioned of pure gold?
Or are all my wishes doomed to vanish
While yours are destined for immortality?
Nay! My wishes and yours, alike, come and go,
Like any others, for nothing is everlasting.
You, who so bent on exhibiting self-esteem,
When struck by disease, don’t you complain and groan?
Don’t you sigh and moan?
Are my tears bitter like gall,
While yours are nectar-sweet?
Is my weeping a humiliation?
While yours is victory?
Otherwise, why should you fancy yourself unique!
You live in a stately palace, well-protected by armed guards
And fenced all-around with high walls,
Prevent, if you will, the night from spreading over it,
Stop the fog from thickly gathering above it.
Notice how the light enters freely without ever asking for your permission!
So why should it be chased away?
You have closed the doors of your palace in my face
When chased by storms and threatened by inclement weather,
Yet you made accommodations
And generously provided for your dogs and cats.
Thus, I heard life laughing at me for my begging
And mocking you for your miserly denial!
Do you think you are strong?
Command the sleep not to overtake you;
Order the dark to turn away from your eyelids.
Ask grey hair not to approach and appear in your head
You are neither purer than nor superior to the dirt you walk on, which someday will enclose you!
Let no hate and enmity enter your heart,
I have turned mine into a temple of love.
I am more deserving of your love
Than clothes that will wear out and rot
And money that will be spent or lost
This is the link for the full poem; The Clay
Thanks for reading,
With best wishes,