Steve and Adam went on a business tour. When they got some free time Steve took Adam to see a grand mosque that was a classic piece of art. It was made with white marble. With historical yet modern architecture. It’s calligraphy, crystal chandeliers and craft-ship were a piece of beauty. After appreciating the mesmerising architecture, Steve stopped.
‘One of my friends is around, I just got a text from him, I will try to meet him, can I see you in a short while’? Steve asked.
‘Sure, carry on, I will have a good look around, this place is so beautiful’, Adam said.
Adam had witnessed Steve’s attempts to bring him back to life throughout. He had done all he could. He cared for him and Adam did not want to disappoint his friend.
As a child, Adam remembered going to a mosque with his grandfather on Fridays.
He went inside the prayer room. There was no furniture inside. Only a couple of people saying their prayers on a carpet.
Adam sat at the back with the guilt. Few people were saying their prayers. He had no idea what they were praying, he could only see their body language. He saw them standing, bowing down and prostrating.
An idea of a missing link came to his mind. Life had also bowed him down by forces within and beyond his control yet there he was trying to fight the battle all by himself when he was not capable to cope alone.
He did not know how to pray, so he gently stamped his forehead on the floor, to listen to his song, to tell his story.
Like a super brain yoga, he managed to lift blockage in his mind, ‘to change his cleverness to bewilderment’.
Rest was all a confidential confession, hearing and a verdict between him and his creator, Who are we to judge?
Adam had learned how to learn. Like the change from night to dawn, it took its time.
When he joined Steve, he stayed quiet throughout. He had realised this was Steve’s plan to give him space to reflect.
He came back in his room and started to look for his wedding album that he had no courage to see before. His daughter had put it away somewhere, to prevent him from feeling nostalgic. While rummaging through the attic he had a glimpse on a notebook. He had often seen it in the hands of his wife. Adam got hold of it and took it in his room. He remembered his wife writing something, ’I write poems’, she said, ’they are about you and me too, can I read them to you sometime?’
‘What? poems? Well …you know what, I don’t understand a single word of poetry. Had always struggled as a student. Steve used to explain them to me. You must keep writing though, am sure your poems will be good’. Adam excused.
He always had an excuse somehow. He believed Sara had a bad timing for everything. She had to come up with an idea when his head was throbbing badly, or when he was disappointed seeing the dirty wall, rusted stairway, and dust on his piano. He had worked very hard and expected same from her, yet Sara did not know how to manage household perfectly. ‘What kind of a woman are you? I came home in such a good mood. You never fail to disappoint, do you?’
She had promised him to pay attention to his business while she takes care of everything else.
She never fought back. Was she guilty, lazy, patient, forgiving, worthless or a fool he could never tell?
He went to his bed and started reading the first page of the notebook,
Today, you were upset with me in the morning. Your favourite blue cotton shirt that you wanted to wear, was still in the washing. One of the kitchen cupboards had chocolate handprint of our daughter. Omelette had too much of oil and the bread was slightly burnt. You shouted at me on my housekeeping skills and I felt a complete failure yet again. I wrote this poem after you left, perhaps one day when you will have an interest in poetry, I could read it to you. Will you understand me then? Hope you have a good day.
Adam became anxious after reading. His hands started to tremble, his heart started to beat in a rhythm as if Sara was knocking. He started to read the poem with an empty mind.
I built you a house,
With a broken heart.
With a view so grand
And a sight so pure,
A place for you and I to grow old.
I built you a house with a stairway so tall,
With a grand piano and an old record player,
We can play our song and we can climb our stairs,
And I know the walls seem cracked and bruised,
But I built them myself and just for you.
Its cold inside,
And the furniture is daft,
The floor creaks,
And there’s no welcome mat,
The garden doesn’t have the roses you love,
I’m sorry about the leaky pipes above.
It is not the grandest of houses you might presume,
But I built this myself and just for you.
I built you a house,
But left out the doors,
It would be selfish to trap you within,
They say “ you should be more careful my friend ”
I tell them not to worry their minds.
For I have been robbed many many times.
Tears rolled down from Adam’s cheeks. Sara tried all she could to give him the comfort of the house. She loved him, she forgave him before there was any reason to forgive.
It was unjust of him to desire perfection from someone with ‘bruised’ heart, ‘leaky’ eyes and ‘cold’ mind. He saw her ‘daft settings’ but did not discover her ‘creaky’ soul.
She loved him and set him free, yet kept the door open for him to come back, even when there will be no more, ‘welcome mat’.
‘Who could keep the door of love open despite everything? It can only be you, only you Sara,’ Adam lost his mind. ‘I can read poetry, your handwriting is beautiful, I can understand you, your house is nothing without you’… Adam’s heart was shouting.
For the first time, he managed to understand poetry on its own and how he wished he had not understood a word.
He wanted to hold and kiss Sara’s hands, to talk to her, to spend a day just to look and admire her beauty. He needed her assurance, her fake smile, her pale face and her grace. He wanted to hug her, with all the imperfections he had seen before. He wanted to accept her on no conditions.
It’s only that the opportunity had expired, it was too late.
Jan was right to point, he had been learning ego, conceit and arrogance from everything fancy and majestic around, while Sara, like a worthless sand, was there all that time to teach him how to love and take care.
Sara had nothing extraordinary about her, she had plain looks, she was not eloquent nor very educated. Yet her love, care, devotion and patience made her irreplaceable. She somehow managed to support her husband, despite all barriers of time, space and existence.
Such is the power of love, even when it is done with a broken heart.