- in the name of Allah - 

imagine the tears of trees who would weep if they could speak, telling stories of how their sisters and cousins faced bedlam and assassins by the dozens, how much green have they seen fall to earth, endured the leaves as they turn to dust and vanished with time and hurt, such a cruel fate it must have been to stand silent, unable to scream or whisper while axes and death were rampant. just as easily as all those countless leaves fell of their once-wholesome trees, do vanish and crumble the dreams of any who grow old in reality's teeth. I must find again those precious seeds, the essence of life and purpose all rolled into one neatly stacked paper sheet, processed and procured, yes, but its example eminent as a product through hardship refined and assured.


- in the name of Allah -

Sometimes when writing it is easy to forget that not everyone has an insider's perspective, that metaphors or language used with its intended meaning in mind can be interpreted differently or missed altogether by those on the outside looking in. It's a distressing thought when writers have the awareness of it (that is, when they emerge from their thought bubble and remember that in fact other *people* will be reading what they write). It's with this in mind I will try to elaborate my present mindset and give the universe some clarity as to why I insist on being me and nothing else. 

From the outset, it should be obviously stated: I take things, every thing, much more acutely than most people. I "sense" subtleties in language, word choices people make, inflections in their speech, body language, delays in response, and various other kinds of things that may or may not be actually present, and not all things are sensed immediately, some happen after reflection at some later point in time. I'm not some super-genius when it comes to these things, I just process them very much, occasionally too much. 

The best way to understand that would be the expression: "walking on eggshells". If people (white people mainly, I've noticed) walk on eggshells, then I would hear the sounds the cracking makes (metaphor intended). Not only this, I wouldn't ignore the cracking as most people would be prone to do: instead, it would consume me to try and discern the motive behind this reluctance on the part of another, to try and understand why they would feel this way. Most often the case is people are afraid of confronting hard truths, especially in the case of others, but ironically most when concerning themselves (this kind of self-delusion is probably a worldwide epidemic). 

When you have a personality that natively processes things (events, culture, politics, etc) at either an acute or macroscopic level, and then combine that with a desire to comprehend anything or anything deemed mysterious, well you have a recipe for something very, very strange: me! When certain truths are reached in life, every person faces a challenge as to how to react to them. You might deem some of my perceived truths as imaginary or self-created, but they are 99% evident for the most part. I will draw the caricature of a few truths for clarity's sake.

One of my biggest peeves over the years has been the notions of culture, how it forces people into obtuse and obscure and irrelevant traditions simply for the sake of "its how its always been done". To take a personal example, the culture of my parents, who immigrated from Pakistan as first-generation Muslims in America some decades back. Being prone to reading between the lines, it was never really hard for me to see the kind of culture that was, the kind of male-dominated patriarchy where knowledge of truth was relegated below the level of 'political correctness' or what was deemed fitting respective of someone's level (ie someone of status was given more leeway with regard to getting away with things, with the inverse true for the poor or less fortunate = in short, clout and the worth of human beings was assessed by the amount of land/wealth/male children they possessed). If you told someone old school from this culture the color of sky as blue, if they had some interest in the opposite being true, they might try to pull some insane, utterly vague and useless argument to convince you otherwise that they were still right. As if this tendency wasn't frustrating enough, the level of nepotism and societal decay is compounded by this kind of thinking, part of the reason why the Pakistani government is so riddled with corruption and no one can possibly fix it (because the culture itself has been broken, for quite some time). 

Back to the point, how was I to resolve myself (my lineage being irrevocable) with what I saw in front of me? To go even further down the rabbit hole, I had the split of the "East" and the "West", notions developed only by people who couldn't think of any better labels lol. Part of the East was the Muslim part, which tried to establish harmony and take solace in the notion of "take the best of both worlds and leave the rest" - a most beautiful notion if I ever knew one! But alas, reality never plays out as fairy tales. To be able to pick and choose, really as if human beings had such a choice: we will be who we were 'meant' to be, as our personalities always have been, gravitating towards the very things our souls pull us to, regardless if our minds were deluded enough to think such trains would not reach their station. Nope, they will. It is a matter of time before anyone who is truly a liar comes to lying, before a preacher's true skin shows and his pedophilia emerges, before the true colors of the snake reveal themselves. Whether one is truthful or not, whether one would compromise principles for the sake of dollars, whether one would give their own blood and sweat and tears for ultimately futile pursuits, whether the object of true loves was chased in vain, all of these will come to pass for each of us, in spite of howsoever we try to fool ourselves. 

Given that inevitability, I cannot express the full amount of disgust and repulsion I feel when I hear about the idyllic sermons and lectures and advices of Muslims with claim to knowledge here in the 'West'. They continue to try and espouse something innately beautiful, Islam, in a manner wholly insulated from the land in which they physically live, pretending that their problems are so easily boxed and shelved, simply by saying a few words, the vast differences between their morally-centered way of life can be rescued; impossible to be so easy! Part of me shudders at the apparent naivete of the "religious" people these days. They keep on living, walking, breathing, laughing, going about their lives as if they have no idea of the chasm that lies at their feet, that what they apparently love so dearly has so much at odds, in some basic levels (capitalism vs morality, who knew), with the very place they call home. I'm no stranger to delusions, having had to fight off my own for so many years (losing a first real love to 'real life' being a primary stimulus), so I can tell when they are being pushed aside rather than dealt with or accepted. 

All of that leads me to my current frame of mind: where or how can I fit in such a world? Few things are as they seem, truth so often bent to fit people's immediate needs and desires, countries led to destruction on the basis of mercurial economic whims that may change from decade to decade (see: Afghanistan vis a vis Russia/US). Is my need for survival for great enough that I can mentally overcome these inconsistencies and forgo them for presently greener pastures? It doesn't look like it, hence the root for all of my recent writings, perhaps the story of my life. 

Alas !