As the light starts to fill the sky and the warmth of the sun spreads on the Mediterranean Sea, a flicker of human shapes spread along the Cornish from a distance. Old men and some young ones too scatter along our beloved Cornish, one of the last democratic public spaces in Beirut, holding their fishing rods and their wicker baskets. There is nothing I love more in the morning than that little picturesque strip that has become a landmark of Beirut and its mix of people.
Through out the good times, the bad times, and the really bad times, those men stood there in front of the sea, silent, fishing. This little spot we call Cornish, I believe, is for old men who dream while awake, whose eyes no longer flutter but squint in the sun’s naked white journey. Their hands roughened by time and salt water dexterously cast their fishing rods into the sea.
As the city lights reflect on the waters, they stand fishing on the rocks, open souls with heart at sea as the windy waves mount up and curve and fall, and round the rocks the foam blows up like snow, and let life bring what it may, these old men will stand there come rain or shine for eternity.
They sit there singing, bringing their tales of old and new. Their life is like the sea, it stretches far and wide. My hope for them when life does dry up that they will stay side by side with the sea. Somehow that little stretch of natural formation carries the soul of fisherman from generations past.
Because I find peace in this picturesque morning on the cornice, I #livelovelebanon and I will #fighton
The water color painting is by Martin Giesen of the cornich in Beirut