- in the name of Allah -

I asked for truth and knowledge and wisdom, being quite unprepared for the answer. what I found were the shackles of humanity's existence, the depths of everything permeated by injustice, inequity, corruption. we chose not when we would be born, how we will die, whether fortune or famine finds us. we chose neither parents nor childhood. every system that exists here, does so for our subjugation and enslavement, wearing whatever guise of good or ill it fancies. our history is littered with example: once mortal beings achieve power they seek only to ensure they keep it, that wealth becomes theirs, that those of lower status serve them to run their engine of industry. our laws and governments find most of their architects and puppeteers from amongst those who run the engines. institutions and purposes such as philosophy and sciences and arts all now kneel to the forces of economics, if it exists to further those ambitions then it is allowed to remain, else it is discarded in favor of something termed pragmatic or practical. economics, better described as the engine itself, only serves to keep itself going, that those who have wealth may accumulate more and more. if it did not serve this function the greed of men would do away with it until another more suitable system was found to fill the role. brilliant though it is, it appears only as a black hole to the ones who see the chains and aligned with ideals. the gravity from such a thing is so immense, so consuming, it tears apart most anything that ventures close, so long as that object has been torn from its illusion. for the ones who carry still their imaginary dreams and goals, the well never appears so dry or bleak.

on the one hand you find the deceivers consumed in hedonism, promising any lie that could possibly be imagined if only to become one of their company. a vast number of these lies are so blatant, so preposterous, they become known as lies soon as their utterance passes the lips. but for most people, it becomes easier to live with lies as they can be fashioned as comfortably and safely and seemingly benignly as possible. why focus on the ridiculously difficult truths when a million different distractions exist coupled with the ever-prominent consumption of intoxicants, allowing quick and easy dissociation from those truths? for their only virtue, I would count it being that these deceivers are so apparent. whatever means tried to disguise the truth it remains the truth if one removes all notion of fear or intrinsic bias. that is to say, if one has nothing to gain or nothing to lose from observing the most basic, unencumbered nature of this truth, it should be possible to keep seeing it, regardless of what coverings may drape it.

on the other hand is found the inexorable pill of faith, loaded with caveats about unknowable things such as the future and the penultimate wisdom that invariably surrounds all events. it promises equity in a future time, that all wishes will be granted, that all bridges sought earnestly will be built, in return for passing through a mortal existence fraught with peril and no control. what is missing here is certainty. one can walk the best of paths and find no salvation at their journey's end. many, many promises are made in return for willing submission to the creator's will, but there is no guarantee anywhere that any of those promises will ever reach fruition. the one and only salve offered by all of faith is hope, something you find in abundance when dreams can be dreamt but something scarcer than life in a graveyard when dreams have died. what can one who has seen both ends of this spectrum conclude? to have found a thousand promises empty, then what? how can one who hoped with all of hope and lost it all find again those dreams to be nurtured by faith? is the deja vu simply inescapable?

at the very very least, when dealing with deceivers I can accept and understand I am being fed lies, so there is no real issue with whatever consequence arrives. but the travesty of placing hope in faith and finding it barren, to be left wondering what was real or destined or imagined, being left utterly uncertain beyond imagining, what the hell can I find after this? is what faith shows the truth or a lie or whatever it wants to show me so that I follow a long-scripted road? it pulls so, so many strings, from the moment of our conception and creation, humanity was created in weakness and fault and desirous of self-destructive things. the very nature of our existence is corrupt, we corrupt the land, our hearts, the skies, every single thing we touch or even imagine becomes tainted- because that is how we were made. then we are told to climb an Everest's Everest of mountains to attempt to overcome our nature and find purity and light and truth. but the books do not mention the ever-present rockslides and avalanches and pouring mud and lava that will torrent down its slopes. so, not only was humanity created weak and singly incapable, but then the summits we are to climb are rigged to their utmost trying to destroy any who would dare the climb. the ironies here are suffocating, the call to rise while being given a broken and handicapped chess board to start with, entirely slanted with every fiber of the mountain rebelling with every step higher. the rock face quakes with the truth of reality, yet the only thing faith offers is that pill...trying to silence and subdue the pain, but it was the pain that reality and the climb itself created!

as if that aspect of reality was not enough, there is yet more. I would hate to have been born a female. imagine the hundreds upon hundreds of years of marginalization, of historic discrimination immediately attached at birth, long before a single choice of your own was made, to have been pigeonholed by so many civilizations and cultures as baby factories and home-makers, but especially being categorized as mere objects created for the amusement and endearment of men. what could possibly make that any worse? that the female nature appears created so it favors indulging the attention, that it was made to encompass adornment in all facets, almost expressly for sake of trying the hearts of men. when I try to conceive the disillusion a woman must feel over this, what she must face from the very beginning of her creation and being, I cannot fathom it. if I felt caged and helpless to direct my fate in the way of my choosing, then what must a woman feel, she who was caged at birth, who was raised to fit a particular purpose without any prior understanding or choice almost like an animal at a farm waiting for slaughter, before she could develop even an inkling of rational thought? how might she react to the ridiculous roles and burdens and stereotypes society thrusts upon her without any wrong or instigation on her part?

I have no answers to these questions, no answers to any of them. once I had a singular dream that I chose to let go, perhaps because I felt there was no path for me to make at the time where I could bring it into reality. since that era, I have slowly slowly found less and less in life to ground me, less and less I want to call home, less and less I can become attached to and find meaning in. when I was younger, the idealistic part of me decided that ego and ambition were too easily the tools of destruction, so I discarded them. thus, I've never really felt the need to ever prove myself to anyone, to have a serious, inborn competitive ambition to be more than others. I have always and only been me, from the days of ignorance into light into darkness, just me. you might call this depressing. there's no way to argue with that: reality is truly depressing if you open all the shutters and windows and doors. still, there is something I value- my parents and family, the ones who have always stood by me, always (eventually) accepted me regardless of what I was worth or what heights I reached or in what depths ensnared. their love for me has always been unconditional. it is probably the only reason I have not fully caved. the only reason at all.

as for the blog, I've noticed when things are going good and upbeat and positive and uplifting is when people tend to respond to posts more often. alas, this blog has not been that for years. I suppose if I cannot serve as a beacon to light, the least I can do is not be a signal to others into darkness either.


- in the name of Allah -

For most of my life, I had taken comfort in the notion that what was meant to be was meant to be, and what wasn't, was just an illusion the soul gravitated toward as a result of its own nature. As of late, this comfort no longer exists. 

Humanity is such a fragile species, perhaps the most fragile of all in existence. Changing with the passage of seasons, responding with severe bias to heat or cold, needing to maintain not only a relatively stable ecosystem but also needing to cultivate internally-accepted notions of morality or causality, so that the wheels of the mind do not spin out of perceived control. It is likely, as one philosopher once put it, that religion plays a major part in this construct, in keeping the veneer of the human condition standing, by acting in some ways as an "opiate for the masses". Religion gives people hope when times appear bleak, shows them a path for redemption when guilt overcomes them, makes promises to them when the future seems uncertain. For much of my life I partook of this medicine, not out of fear or need, but because it aligned with my soul. My heart was with my religion, seeking the same things it did and responding as it would have. Then, life threw me a curveball, a pitch I never saw coming, never understood until I swung at it and missed so completely, I was left utterly bewildered. It was after that moment I began to fathom the true frailty of being human, of how completely one's hope can be self-consuming, that if left unfulfilled, it shatters the meaning of every neighboring constellation in a person's galaxy. If religion promised the objective of one's soul as reward for its acceptance, I never quite found it. And if that was never found, then what meaning was there left with religion? Did it wish for me to once again place within it my hope, leaving to chance what may become of whatever remained of myself? Incredible, and likely, impossible. An investment was once made, with basically 100% of available capital. Everything was lost from that investment, the goal and the hopes accompanying it. Some notions of consolation would have me recall some gibberish about things meant to be, or, about some good delayed or ill averted. How useful are these notions when one has nothing left to invest in them? How much meaning can they possibly have? The pain is not erased, the totality of what happened remains vivid, how then can such delusional thoughts be given any credence? 

It is distinctly possible that this ordeal may serve as proof against me as I am judged. Ironic, isn't it? The ones who live and the ones who suffer should furnish the court with their own blood and tears the very evidences used in their conviction. If that is not cosmic irony, I don't know what is. To be created only to be destroyed over and over a thousand times till infinity. To be given from fountains of ambition or  desire only to be instructed on living as ascetics. When will these ironies end, the cyclic tragedies of being human ever cease?


- in the name of Allah -

In life, not every thing is meant for every person in similar measure. There are those who can consume enormous amounts of food and not gain weight, while others gain weight from even the smallest of meals. Then there are those whose experiences can help shape them into role models or reformers of societies, despite those experiences being tragic or horrifying; conversely, there are those who never knew adversity or its meaning, yet became the worst linchpins of industry and politics. The same things for different people can have starkly varying effects.

For one person, to love might mean stepping into a shallow pool with no risk foreseen. For someone else, to love meant diving into an abyssal trench at the very bottom of an ocean, facing constant threat of drowning or blindness or loss. Can any impartial observer say that love is equally fitting for both of them? It wouldn't be possible, would it? Some things, if felt too deeply or taken too far internally, can simply carry too great a risk for one person than most others. There isn't a cure, either medicinal or spiritual, for a matter such as this. It is simply an inherent aspect that an individual has, akin to being born with a specific gene than cannot be spliced away due to its inconvenience or tragedy or stigma. For one such as this, they can only be reached or discovered by others through sonar, as they must live at a different depth than most, a depth far down enough to suffocate the pain and avoid hearing the sound of joys in which they cannot share.


- in the name of Allah -

'shepherd of my soul'

in all the road I've thus far taken, whether winding path or staircase straitened, 
realizing now the sum of self and purpose, through times of trial in truth or surface,
truly all I ever was in part or whole, is just to be the shepherd of my soul


- in the name of Allah -

On Rain

Even on days dry as summer leaves, or when echoes from guns fill the autumn breeze, 
Even when war tears apart the peace, or when famine quells potential in its bosom brief,
Thereafter always comes the rain, to wash away in steady rhythm, the blood and pain. 

Even on days dulled from stifling winter cold, or when laughter rings from tragedies untold,
Even when greed rips open unhealed scabs, or when nature takes its course from wrath,
Thereafter always comes the rain, to spell the sorrow, as in a silent pictured frame. 

Whether in drizzle or downpour, maelstrom or monsoon, for any season not in tune, there's always rain to envelop the mood, a steady cleanse of humanity's grief, soothing wounds whence they could only seethe. Inevitable as wind, unkempt by needle of compass or whim, rain rides the waves with clouds just barely heaving, until a time comes to unload the burden and release what's within. Always falling, always wet, giving life to both soil and soul, no matter the presence of decay or regret. Rain restores and shines, joining with the light of sun to sprout rainbows from gloom or grime. 

- finished on 9.26


- in the name of Allah - 

In the grand scheme of things, my place is actually quite small. What a great relief! As goes my place, so are my personal concerns few and clear. In great contrast to the giant storm this world won't stop leading itself into, a perspective that finds me grateful to my Rabb that I can still see after all this time, after all my contradictions. Even when one's own grand purpose isn't clear, meaning and value and worth can still be found in the most mundane of relationships and connections. These are the most precious aspects of life, the ties that connect our descent into this existence with the path that leads us out of it. 

Why have I adopted 'Rain'? It is something I have always loved, found quietude and solace in. Maybe in my present evolution, it represents my state most accurately without any standard deviations. My past hasn't changed, what I lost then has not been regained. But I have concluded that, in keeping with 'me', I must allow the love from my past to persist onwards. I won't let it fade into ether, a consequence of choices and the paths this world carves into us. Nope, that love will remain mine for as long as I live, perhaps finding the yang to its yin in a more beloved incarnation. Dreams are nice as well, the bedrock of our soul and cornerstones of the heart. Alas though, it's possible to become lost within a dream, potentially fated to never discern real from illusion ever again. I can't have that, not if I can help it. Who could I be if I wasn't always trying to find the truth?


- in the name of Allah -

It's been a few days since Ramadan began, but all I find is an ever-increasing discordance between myself and what role I am/choose to play in 'life'. The things that this deen has always called me to, a moral compass, temperance, patience, justice, wisdom, essentially all the ideals I hold dear, seem so at odds with what reality I find playing out before me, like a broken record that will not stop playing its tune. 

For my own sake, the sake of my sanity, of holding things in perspective, I will delineate what I see as the roots of this misanthropy. We (humanity) had no choice in our creation, no choice in our existence, and no idea what road each of us follows. We are given a plethora of means to calm and subdue our fears and ignorance, platitudes labeled variously as 'faith' or 'hope' or 'science' or the like, sometimes even a medicinal approach is taken, all in an effort to blot out the dissonance between how we find reality as being and what we imagine it aught to be. Some of us will live as 'sinners' for all our lives, only to have a 'change of heart' or an 'epiphany' at our death bed, thus to be granted salvation. Lovely, such apparent mercy. Conversely, some of us will live our lives as 'saints', only to have our 'true colors' revealed upon time of our death, thus sealing fate of damnation. What a crazy trifle it can be, eh? 

For most people (I presume most since I don't know of any who walk the path I do), this is not a big deal. There are infinite ways of disguising the malaise, which manifests either physical or spiritual, as most either seek conformity/order or hedonism/desire. What happens when one inherently seeks neither? I could answer this with, "me", but that doesn't help explain or describe this point of in-between I seem stuck in. I suppose being an observator doesn't help matters, taking consistently the approach that gives me the widest angle with least bias. It's like seeing the whole of humanity as stuck in a giant maze, lab animals who are to be occasionally poked and prodded and zapped, until we find the right door in the maze to proceed further until its end...an end I conceive like a huge morsel of cheese. Or like an ant on an ant farm, slowly making tunnels until we find our way to the surface, only then to realize the roof is still shut and that's just how big our universe is, because, well, that's just the way it is, being ants and all. We're given all the means to our salvation in one hand, and all the means to our destruction in the other. What results when you take those two together? I find only chaos, unpredictability, irrationality, ultimately nothing but ignorance. 

A common refrain is that 'who are we to question our Creator', or 'what else can you do' (ie 'except run the wheel like a good little hamster'). I will never have enough knowledge or understanding, at least in this mortal life, to legitimately question my Creator, but that does not and cannot stop my soul from instinctively reacting like it's been placed in a very strong base, constantly looking for me to donate my electrons, only problem being that I'm not acidic enough and so there isn't much of myself, if anything, that I can give. Just as no one can question or cross-examine the pain a finger feels when stabbed with a needle, it is just an instinct the soul has, an implicit reaction to its environment, a reaction immune to moral dissection. As for the second refrain, I have no clue what can be done for it. Other than the occasional struggling to comprehend and angst arising from an inability to do so, there isn't much room for maneuvering. 

Among the ones who would steer clearest of this rabbit hole, I expect some notion like 'think of science or only the tangibles'. What a call that is. I love science, it endlessly seeks more knowledge, to correct and refine itself until it can arrive at some irrefutable certainty for any given field or subject. One thing science can never do, however, is be used to prove a 'moral right' or give justification for anything other than naturally-observed phenomena. The very second science is used to cross that line, the worst kinds of terrifying human delusions become suddenly plausible (ie recall the pseudo-science used by Nazis in their propaganda war, so that they could rationalize their bigotry and xenophobic arrogance). So, politely to such sane suggestions, I would have to say no; 'science' cannot clarify this boiling cauldron. 

All of this only brings me back to where I began, seeing no solutions, only questions, questions so colored with my experience of loss, that I sometimes see only clouds even on the clearest of days. Is there a way to manage this precipice, without forcing one's self to indulge of its coping mechanisms? Can a line be drawn even if the sand cannot be felt, or worse yet, gets blown away by the slightest of winds?


- in the name of Allah -

   In life there are at times things which must bleed, an ocean's tear falling as tidal waves, making space so one's soul may breathe. Even as ancient wounds revive, calling forth memory long since withered and dried, not every suture finds again its needle and thread, not always able to cuddle its nightmares and place back princes and princesses to bed. Some fountains, like the ever-wondrous heart, must flow free, even if their core seems worlds distant and apart. No streams can go where they please, without gouging their mark through the earth, pushing aside the dirt, taking from terrestrial life their leave.
   I've never carried any regrets, no what-if's about choices long since made, no second-guesses as to if my letting her go was perfectly (in)sane. I could not have been the guide for her road, not the shepherd of her path, unable to protect her heart, in the ways of knights long since past. My younger self was so gullible, so utterly naive, he could not grasp the price love took, when life dawned on dream, leaving in its wake, so many gaping seams. But though this scene might grisly gleam, truth at last shines through, giving rise to purpose, where one's love at last finds its due.
   Memories, it seems, are my last and only treasure, with fondness full a chest to brim, things I once let go in leisure, for wounds thought too grim. After all these years I've learned, some scars should never heal, always there to burn and pester, so one can recall through pain their heart, and what it meant to feel. We cannot be machines, cannot exist without blood in our veins, or desires beyond all our mortal means.The books will never close, the stories never cease, for long as breath remains in lungs, so too shall remain my pen, with ink from things which bleed.


- in the name of Allah -

It is among the most curious of oddities that I should ever be one to chase another's dreams, that I should take for my self and my own aims those held or imagined by someone else. Throughout my adult life, if I have been either somehow reminiscing over not having she-who-will-always-be-remembered, or I have been, in one way or another, trying to assert some sort of independence or distinctiveness from the collective hive-mind mentality that humanity (and cultures specifically) seems to propagate so well. From paths that others, notably family, try to lay out for me, I have rebelled and sought my own little sanctuary amidst the madness that is groupthink and (perceptably) mindless march toward uniformity in existence (ie all must walk the same path with the same routines). Maybe I am also subconsciously fighting the inherent boredom and monotony in those things, trying to find even in my earth-bound feet wings with which I might never stop dreaming. 

Some solutions for my case might be easy to implement, were it not for the fact that there is no pull for me here, no anchor in this mortal plane that can hold my ship stationary. I have always tried to resist the contemporary lures of men, of those things that bind and distract them (money, wealth, power, ego, etc). Some resistance works, some does not (particularly women, but I can blame that on biogenetics, right?). However, the result of the mostly successful resistance is that the common denominators for which men toil and trouble themselves (family, influence, children, etc), do not hold sway over me. Thus, because I cannot have those same kinds of anchors, I am much more likely to find myself adrift in this sea of ever-changing whim and wonder. 

Once upon a time, I had found myself an anchor, without actually realizing it of course. She was a wonder, not necessarily eye-catching to the untrained eye, but for one who had taken a peek into her soul, it was as if there was a supernova to watch, with me as its only observer. She knew me, called me an onion with many layers past which one had to peel (only much later did I realize: onions also cause one to cry by their nature, a telling notion I would think), felt with my own existence a resonance which I do not think fit to ever try and duplicate again.There was a certain degree of preciousness to the entire relationship, which was all too brief and full of reality's impositions, but a degree that nonetheless desired only its own preservation, at least in memory, of the innocence, naivety, dream, wonder, and bonds that two juxtaposingly complementary souls can share. 

What is there past this, except the unswerving dose of sobriety that reality can bring, polluting the whole of memories and trying to fixate its own path as the one worth taking? 


- in the name of Allah - 

impossibilities (otherwise known as dreams)

   sometimes I wish I was a stone on the shores of time, so that when in came the tides I'd be immune to its change, able to write my own metrics and rhymes. how much wonder it must be to sing one's own tune, to listen to the waves washing away but with no drowning gurgles of one's own to accompany the fray. 
   of my most contented moments, when she sat on that couch, beaming as bright as a moon, assured that love would prevail, when all I could do is feel pain, at being not ready for her sail. winds of fate blew her away, toward a more sturdy ship, of this I could never complain, but only take stock, of a heart slowly maimed. it was never a sudden shatter, nor a bladed knife in dark, nor a hammer's thud in angst, but a slow and precious diamond's dust in scatter, as I knew not what I'd lost till long after, and on me dawned the fullest cost. 
   all I'd ever sought, all I'll ever really seek, is a heart to hold in hand, a bosom to find in shelter, when tides decide to rise, and currents begin to seethe. what price I'd since paid in past, makes me think I cannot risk all my chips, or fear losing to the house all I now have. as the house always wins, and the fools always lose, there's only mere shadows left of doubt, to cast on which path I'll slowly choose. a jester not in costume, I shall run and run, until with knells my pulse rings in tune, waiting for fate's scythe, to at last draw its due.