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BOREDOM AND MEANING IN A REFUGEE CAMP

Aqsa Khalid (born in Faisalabad, Pakistan) is a Psychosocial Counselor with a focus on humanitarian and emergency settings. She has a background in mental health and migration studies. Her professional and academic journey in the past few years has allowed her to work and interact with migrants in different countries including Pakistan, Turkey, Germany, and South Africa. She wants to write about overlooked but important issues. This poem revolves around the thoughts of someone who is in a constant state of boredom due to prolonged and uncertain circumstances, and bring in reflections about the will to have meaning in a presently purposeless life.

 

Sitting on a floor mat of my camp

Hands clamped together

Yawning from this boredom and endless fatigue

A lot of time at hand but no aim

Neither will nor any meaning.

I ask, what can I desire today?

Not pleasure,

But one thing to do each day.



My existence is a repetition and an endless wandering

This wandering takes me to an empty and gloomy land

It reminds me of my loss.

What charm is there in being dull and bored?

It’s neither interesting nor does it attract attention

I ask, what can I desire today?

Something must happen, must I stay, or must I go?

I should know, and not be in a limbo.



Am I absorbed by the crowd,

Or do I still have my will?

Are my thoughts and my spirit free?

This boredom echoes something back at me.

I must wisely listen and face it

Lest it get me.

I ask, what can I desire today?

Will to thrive, not just survive.



I am afraid to want, to wait, to hope

Afraid of the nothingness that might follow.

All the excitement has said good-bye,

For better or for worse.

I tell myself; my wonder must not die.

And today again,

I ask, what can I desire today?

Desire for a desire, perhaps.