I Found My Heart

I found my heart upon a hill

That was to the sky a sill.

Though it lay upon old will,

I found a stone, that I found still.

For Abid Abdelaziz, poetry isn't just words on paper— a means of self-expression or contemplation. For Abid, it's something more, something that connects his spirit and gives him meaning as a child of Palestinian ancestry, and most importantly it is a way for him to exist.

Abid's mother is Russian, and his father, Palestinian. His family came to the U.S. when he was seven years old. He's an American, yet always felt connected to his faraway and symbolic homeland, especially after visiting his father's hometown of Silwad (a village outside Ramallah) three years ago.

"Growing up, I always felt connected to my Palestinian side, and in high school began to explore what it means to be a people of diaspora," he said.

Abid began writing poetry his junior year in high school, amid dialogue with fellow students about the Palestinian situation. Yet it wasn't until a bit later that he truly began to use words as a means of exploration and allegory.

A Student of Life

College is often a time when students delve into learning more about themselves, and where they stand on issues—or rather, what issues are important to them.

"At one point when I was beginning my studies, I really thought about the Palestinian question, and at the same time, I was reading a lot of poetry. I realized that what I did have, was poetry, and I could use that to figure out an answer to the question." said Abid.

And so, he created a WordPress Blog, and began to chronicle his musings and typical life questions: how to enjoy our surroundings; living mindfully; exploring the essence of human existence.

"I live in a co-op with a hundred people, so word got out," he said.

Indeed it did. Abid started his blog two years ago, and it now has fifty followers—and counting. He has received hits from around the world, from India, France, Bangladesh. And for the longest time, much of his views from the Middle East were from Israel.

"In everyday life, we have little experiences, and I can turn it into a poem for Palestine because the message is universal," said Abid.

A Serious Hobby

Abid is now a graduating senior at the University of Texas, Austin. His love for nature and the outdoors has led him to study geophysics. Among his learned skills are seismic acquisition and signal processing to survey ocean floors, in search of locations to drill for petroleum.

Having once delved into the works of Robert Frost and William Yeats for inspiration, he now finds inspiration in momentous times, such as walking through campus.

"Sometimes I will see something, and will think of a stanza for weeks before writing it down, and sometimes I just feel a light bulb go off, and I run with that idea," he explained.

As many of his blog views are based on word tags and casual browsing, he tries to write his poetry in an engaging matter; he will sometimes post a single stanza for thought, and he often includes pictures from his travels in posts.

Since he will soon be working for an oil company, he will be on the road for weeks at a time, and will have time to further explore the world.

"I want to hike the Appalachian Trail from Maine all the way down to Virginia, and am thinking of doing a state each month," he said.

Furthermore, future goals include publication in literary magazines, and putting his name out into the print world. No matter, whether drawing inspiration from the philosophy of the late Mahmoud Dawish, or using poetic syntax to paint pictures of scenic mountains, Abid will have the words to enliven his readers everywhere.

Follow Abid's blog, and subscribe to his Facebook to read his poetry and interesting posts.

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