For God, not for the Virgins!

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If the earths and skies did not fit God

The human heart has always had

In every breath, I am a “daughter of time”

Of God’s glory

And of the human story

Of his story, her story, and mine

In life

A quest for love

Don’t you worry

A language delivered to you in the womb

Not at all tough

One, which requires no words

A state of mind, an open heart

A blossom in the hand

Let there be no halal or haram

Neither hell nor heavens

Look inside, for these elements are within

Not outside of you

In every depth, every human, you’ll find a clue

Only when we burn heaven and turn off the fire in hell

Will we be able to do good deeds without awaited benefits

For what is better than to love for the loved

To give, for the needy

To rescue, for the drowned

And to be a messenger of God on the ground

To let go of the virgins

To dry your body from the pools of wine

To believe in God

Without a spell, a verse, or a shrine

Bodies That Tremble

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From my night at the temple

I see no clash

To walk to a temple

Barefoot, in a narrowed path

To visit another tale, a belief, and bodies that tremble

Allowing the narrative to stem

Extensions of those people, hundreds of them

Not a dance

But an act of worship

Civilization in a glance

Wood on fire and people who desire

Not romance

But an act of power

Of a Goddess and a stance

A human body

Spinning around

Behind a mask and a gown, performing a task

Spectators to astound

Set loose; he runs toward the fire

Of a God or a Goddess embodied on the ground

Tens of people run to rescue him

Although he is Holy within

His body still fragile

Marked, a human

My body stirring with a single drumming pattern

With the lights of this temple

The candles in your church

And the lanterns in my mosque

A source of light

At the end of the tunnel

 

One of the ladies that does my massage therapy is Muslim, and before she applies the oil on my head, I hear her say “Bismilla”, which is something not surprising, and actually expected, as from her headscarf, I had already identified her religion. While the other lady is Hindu, I did not know what she was doing, as before she begins massaging the head, she bends, applies oil on both of my ears, hands, and feet, then kneels and performs the “Anjali Mudra,” the hand gesture most commonly used here in India. What she says right after, I unfortunately don’t remember, but since the gesture is, as far as I know, a sign of respect, I felt good vibes from it, but was still shy to return it back to her. I had a few sessions with both of them, until I related this very moment to both women and understood that they were doing what in essence is the same, a form of respect, protection, in the name of a force, stronger than our fragile human bodies. Indeed, we have in common, a lot, yet, about unity, the world remains uncertain!

My imagination or just my day!?

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Perhaps another visitor would visit my here and now.

Perhaps another visitor would visit my here and now.

If “the future is an illusion

And the past, an interpretation”

Hence, in this awakening humming rests a consolation

“I am home. I am here and in the now”

Because surely

In the present is a fascination

 

In the here

In the now

I met a scholar of Islam

Arriving from Kuwait, a Mauritanian man

But we met in neither

It was not our fate

Until in India when he soared toward us

His soul landed first

Fluent and translucent

Yet just like yours and mine

It remains a secret

Even from a mystic

The root to the self is a thin line

 

A small body followed

Loose and buoyant

The complexion of white Lenin on dark African skin

A big smile filled with adrenaline

Not of joy, but of a harmony

An awareness of what is in

He sat on the edge of a wooden chair

Recited poetry

On the ceiling he held static, a ponderous stare

We glided like birds emigrating from one land to another

From one era into the other

On waves. On clouds

Not filled with raindrops, but with emotions

From lovers to loved ones

Investigative of God’s creations

Until he set us loose

And right before I drown in my thoughts

Down the staircase he went

He vanished behind his white robe like a superhero

When I asked where he had disappeared

I was told to prepare us some Mauritanian tea

That the Muslim Arab generosity would not be recognized, he feared

He had mentioned that this tea is what makes him memorize, narrate, and see

 

Never alone

He sets the fire

Inviting guests through its smoke

A passerby, a visitor, or an outlier

Like the old Arab habit that he had elaborated on

Making us feel like foreigners in our ponytails, t-shirts, and sweatpants on

He told it so articulately

His lips dancing to every Arabic vowel

Even the deaf could read through this elaborate movement

Hatim Al-Tai used to tell his servant

Lighten, as the night is glacial

And the wind, you who lit the fire, is grating

Hoping a passerby would notice your fire

If it brings a guest, you are free

أوقد ، فإن الليل ليل قـر    و الريح ، يا موقد ، ريح صر

عسى يرى نارك من يمر    إن جلبت ضيفـاً ، فأنت حـر

 

Not Easy, Even Harder

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Path

Path

Not easy

To decide your death

Even harder

To learn to die before you die

It’s what the girl at the whorehouse learned from Al-Tabrizi

Can it be a universal truth?

That in learning to die is our birth

Though he may have taught me a different lesson

And revealed to you another treasure

Because change is subjective

He’ll knock on your personal prison

Once secretive, now an introspective

And ask me too

To search for my prisoner

A person in me, a heavy visitor

A cause behind this fever

Silent I thought I was, now a listener

 

Not easy

To think you had the world under a fist

Even harder

To surrender and stay still

To think there is no other way to go

To continue selling that soul

As part of the show

Until you realize you had already mastered death

Winning your soul

Answering a call

Certainly, an enduring source of wealth

Not easy

That in the first step, the peek of self-battles lays

Even harder

To be asked whether to fight or fly

To give in once more or do your best to survive

Becoming free

A mystic seeker is she

I Know Not

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The only statement I have under “About You” on Facebook is: “I don’t know what I know, “you know”.” Because even what I claim to know or to believe is relative, and is in constant change. Is it like this with God’s knowledge? Does it move or is it constant and stable? Thinking about it now and always; who knows what I don’t? What do I know that others don’t? Should there be a “force” that knows it all? Is it comforting to know that someone knows better or know more? Is this awareness accompanied with feelings of surrender, security, or fear, or maybe humbleness? And no, I don’t believe knowledge here carries a deterministic connotation nor an interference, but simply a state of awareness.
Knowledge

The Lab Rats and the Wheel

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Citizens here are lab rats – some paddle the wheel awaiting a stimuli, others escape from one maze only to find themselves in another, some control the experiment, and others record the results… Hence, everyone’s interest in studying this place, illusion, mystery..

Everyone wants a part. A piece of it. Not a peace from it.

The Hope Wheel

Uprising of Women

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In brief, this is the facebook page for The Uprising of Women in The Arab World: https://www.facebook.com/intifadat.almar2a?fref=ts

You can visit the info section to know more about its goals. However, you’ll obviously get the bulk of it, simply from the title.

Some people tend to avoid the whispers of The Universe. Dont! Read the signs! Join the Uprise.

Set loose of what’s constraining you. Your soul. Your mind. Your presence. Set free from a frame. A framework.

Vivid Journaling

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After feeling like a dumbhead in math classes, I have decided to give my gifted side a treat. Therefore, I have enrolled in a Vivid Journaling class, alongside my GRE classes. Yes, because when you feel stupid and slow, it is necessary not lose hope on yourself after feeling like a complete failure! Using crayons and water colors would definitely make you feel like an achiever!

This Vivid Journaling class has been a miracle. Other than it being extremely therapeutic, through allowing oneself to reflect thoroughly on one’s own past, present and future, but it also allows someone like me, who’s interested in both, writing and painting, to have them compliment each other.

Tasks such as: “write your life story in 50 words” may be shocking, but honestly, you’d want to try those. You’ll be amazed. “Draw a picture of what you think your family was like just before you were born”. “Try choosing a logo for yourself, not the common business ones, but an image that you would want to represent you now”

I drew this picture of a canvas covered with rhythms of pastel colors, like the Temple of Elements. However, I had my elements extend beyond the limits of the canvas, as if applying to my life. Can you see that flame? Perhaps i’m thriving to see those elements join and shine! I’ll leave that for the future to explain.

Don’t you want to be at peace with the time that is left? Surrounded by trees, I was there in a Buddhist position of solitude and peace. I wonder why I left those trees unfilled! Am I sitting on top of the earth? Maybe if you’re aspiring for a peace of mind, this is where you should be staying.

This is where I remember my beloved Jeddah, in the creation of bridges, in striving to reach the other side or simply in recognition of having an option to go beyond the limits.

Sometimes, no gravity is better than too much gravity.

My Only Memory of Turkish Coffee

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With crumbles of fried chicken on our plates and drizzles of orange juice forming a mess, my friend and I sat restfully on the dinner table, with two mellowed and dropped off stomachs. On the edge was a cup of Turkish coffee, sipped till the end, leaving a bottom layer of charcoal black finely ground coffee beans.

My finger slid through the darkness of the cup, extending rivers, alleys and hills, usually interpreted by fortunetellers. Shortly after, I had all five fingers caught in an espresso sized coffee cup. My friend and I engaged in recreating the moment, so from simply experiencing the texture of thinly grounded soft beans, to a facial makeover recipe.

Light bulbs kept glowing, and in no time, we had prepared an eye shadow for finishing touches while our fingers raced to paint every inch in black. We stood in front of the mirror, and I could see my skin transforming visibly, yet from inside, who am I, but me? I closed my eyes to sensations of spongy-circled movements that escalated from my chin, up sideways covering those pink cheeks spot by spot, cell-by-cell and freckle-by-freckle, wrapping the eyes and dipping the nose, in Turkish coffee. The smell of boiled coffee glued to my skin and my face was as firm as a sculpture. Only one thought could be spoken: “if I walked into Starbucks, people would definitely assume I was freshly baked coffee beans.”

We sneaked into my room to build a climax to our show. I wore my black abaya*, covered my neck with a scarf and wrapped my hair with a flowery bandana. We went down the stairs, opened the front door, all ready for an act.

“Ding dong.. Ding dong”, my sister opened the door, and with a mouth widely open, I could see her tonsils, and a scream so sharp, a 9 year old had pierced my ears. I carried myself into the house, back bent half way, a crutch keeping me from falling, and a voice so thin, I begged her: “It is the month of Ramadan, the month of giving, a month for the poor. Give to the poor, so your home would transform into a castle”.

It was dark; and my sister’s mouth still open wide; she turned around herself in circles, and then looked back at me. She took a closer look, but as they always say, don’t make eye contact when you’re lying, because my eyes had who I am written all over them.

“Sister?” she said. “Who’s sister? I stuttered, with stumbling lips, I pushed the smile inwards. No use, we fell on the ground laughing. My friend appeared from behind the stairs having it all recorded, in our minds, hearts, and smiles. * Abaya, Female gown that usually comes in black or other colors and that are traditionally worn in public.