You are a mirror for me, Bosnia, and I love you for that.
I love you for your people who can’t sleep. I love you for your people who have to fill the painful silence with their own voice. Or those who find they can no longer speak. I love you for eyes that suddenly look off into a memory. And for a laugh that reverberates your cells, reminding them they are still living.
I love you for both breath and God forgotten. I love you for no longer feeling fear because under fear is love and loved ones no longer live. I love you for needing to tell your story, longing for your innocence to be heard. I love you for building new life in ways you never dreamt, even as the old ones continue to tug at your heart. I love you for the knot that remains in your core, not sure how to move toward wholeness when your neighbor harbors weapons years past the time of letting go.
I love the way your days are long and short at the same time…. your time the time of life unraveled. I love you for hours spent sipping kafa, rest from what toils inside. I love you for the hard labor of rebuilding brick and mortar and bridges. I love you for planting roses even before the work is done.
This I share with the utmost humility… I love you for bringing me here to heal. Because I walk with a ghost inside, and among these people she begins to find her flesh.
A student here – a tourist here – and, yes – both healed and healer here. You teach me through the mirror you hold up to my soul. You teach me that the simplicity of my own yearning is what I came to offer to you.
Hear my story; yours I hear.
Witness my innocence; yours I witness.
Help me rebuild a life; yours I help you rebuild.
Experience my beauty; yours I experience.
Receive my generosity; yours I receive.
Let me write my nightmare as a chapter. (And please read this chapter.) Let me reclaim my beauty. Let me return to my sacred. Remade, yes, but the sweet scent of who I am perfuming the air. Allow all of me into your knowing of me. And as I become whole again, know the whole of me.