The Roof

This morning I began to cry. And with tears tumbling down my face I began to sing. At that point of wounding, there right there where it hurt like hell, the light was entering, piercing, scalding, cauterising, after years of deadness...I was taken by surprise, knocked off balance...I wept and sang.

I remember every second of the day the music died. I was not singing Bye Bye Miss American Pie. I was sitting in a wheelchair struggling to breathe, struggling to keep my head above water.

The news had just broken, of a young man, a teen of 19, who was beaten nearly to death, whose eyes hate had tried to gouge out, whose bones hate had broken. The Day the Music Died, and I stopped breathing. Frozen inside. Shifted into automatic pilot. Broke guitars. Closed the lid of the piano, locked it and threw away the key. The music died .

Shortly after that cruel day when terrorism broke into my house Shlomo Artzi released a song, King of the World. .......

It was only this morning, drinking my coffee at my yellow table many kilometers and a few light years away in Shariya, village looking at a picture of another teen who had survived, similar but worse hate,that I realized that I could barely help my son back at that time. There were holes in my roof so I could not be a roof to him. But I could help to be a roof to this young man so determined to live and to win.

I went with some trepidation to my computer. Searched through my dead and buried albums. Found the one I was looking for and blasted King of the World full volume throughout the village. I remember how I would stand outside my son's room and sing this as a prayer and decree...Get up, become whatever you want to be, because for her, you will always be King of the World.

"There inside a bed, in front of a giant blue wall, cold and cheap, sometimes you moan with no sound and still Mom is there is guarding even when you are older, changes your clothes and says that you, the King of men, for her you might as well be whatever comes to your mind. For example the king of the animals, or king of the mountains if you climb somewhere. Get up and be whatever you want to be, because for her, you'll always be King of the world. " There you are always what you want, only chose", so she says. And you ask, " what else is possible, what I wasn't yet, I probably won't be. " Get up, become whatever you want to be. For her , you will always be King of the world." Artzi.

My mind, my everything was focused upon and engaged with two young men, mine and a second one of mine, recently inherited when he escaped the regime of the black flag people....a child soldier, too old to be child, too young to be a man.

We here are simply the Lost and Found Office and some how we found this lost one, Just a few days after his release from the black flag armies in Syria, Then he disappeared. He lost all of his memory, Long term and short term , it was gone. Nothing was being retained, not even from hour to hour. We ached for him, worried over and knew that we had to bide our time, trusting that he would return the due fullness of time, which is always perfect.

Two days ago he came to The Hope Centre, in Shariya camp, with a grin that would outdo that of the Cheshire Cat. My heart breathed again. He wanted our help. To set up a fruit and veg stall on the corner of the market. His idea. He had been to the mayor of the village, the mayor said no. He went back telling him that he had just been released from captivity with the black flag people. The mayor said yes. That explained his priceless grin.

I asked him, what he needed. A roof was his answer. A roof. A roof and a fridge. Today we are providing both. The roof, we are the roof and we will give him a roof.

Today the Music came back to Life. It's on this journey of buckets and roofs where those who are apparently empty always have something more inside to be poured out...and the holes in the roofs are healed, and young men, get up and become whatever they want to be. Kings of the World.

Here's to Life, to Music, to the Lost who are being Found and to the King of the World who revives us again.


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Shariya Camp, Dohuk, Northern Iraq |

© Springs of Hope Foundation - Designed by Shachar Kantor - Photo Credit: Khalid Photograhy, David Cohen Cymerman