Saturday, 28 November 2009

Random Jottings

We used to get a newsletter from an Islamic organisation called The Message. I think we still do, but the best pages are no longer featured. Entitled Random Jottings (and this bunch of random thoughts is a remembrance/celebration to that) they had the funniest and yes the most random bits of information and stories on there.

Does every man think he is God’s gift? It seems so; from the most humble to the egotistical, richest to poor, black to white, big to small, and everything in between. You’re nice, there’s no doubting that, but your hardly Prophet Yusuf now are you?!

Being at the mosque for Eid salaat yesterday was nice. I love the takbeers and the atmosphere. It actually feels like Eid. And it’s also a bit of a fashion show. Many would complain against this, but I see it in the best possible light – and I love it. I love greeting my dad and brother when we come outside, it’s the only time my little brother will actually hug me willingly in public. I tried giving him a kiss just to embarrass him but of course he wasn’t having any of it. One day I’ll get it though! It makes me sad to think that one of these eids may even be my last eid at home with my family, if things are meant to work out that way. I know its life, but it’s still sad.

Yesterday I really felt like part of the community. This doesn’t happen often. Rarely. Hardly ever. Being in the mosque and then being greeted by ‘Hi Miss!’ and ‘Eid Mubarak Miss!’ was actually really nice. And meeting parents and being invited home for tea. I don know if it’s the recognition, and/or the stroking of the ego, but it felt nice nonetheless.

Even though I’ve been back a few weeks, people keep asking me about Ghana. (I wore my new long green dress from the market on eid day. Loved it) My response – amazing. And it was. A truly blessed experience. Beautiful in every sense. The people, the food (of course!) the place, the opportunity, the history and culture, the scenes and sounds and sights and smells. Observing lessons, even teaching a class, presenting at a head teacher’s conference, the British Council and Ministry of Education, as well as drumming and dancing and the beach, cape coast slave port, the market place and hotel. Subhanallah to the lush palm trees and breathtaking sunsets – the sun would sink below the horizon at an astonishing speed, with an array of fiery and pastel hues dashed around the impending darkness of the night sky. Sights that not even the most talented artist could have envisaged.

On our return, my friend and teacher travel buddy commented that we were returning to reality. But were we? Or rather were we returning to the bubble we are so accustomed to; of luxury and privilege and chaos and existence? Even though we were only there for a week, felt like it was much longer, and we weren’t coming back to life; that we had, amongst the deadlines and paperwork, forgotten what life actually is. But then it’s all relative isn’t it. Whilst they have a lot to do, we also have an immense amount to learn from them. Culture seems to get in the way quite a lot doesn’t it. I’m craving grilled chicken, with some salad and yam chips, followed by plantain, washed down with Alvaro or glass bottle Coke. And the kids are so amazingly beautiful, mashallah. I know why Madonna steals babies, hehe.

What is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to you? Not just a guy who thinks you’re pretty and wants your attention, but something that someone has said, and really meant it. A few things come to mind, but this is one I remember a lot.

Dad: if you were a fruit, what fruit would you be?

Me: ummm… a strawberry.

Dad: why’s that?

Brother: cos she’s small and red and round, hahaha

Me: hahaha

Dad: I thought you’d be a pomegranate.

Me: a pomegranate? Ooh I love pomegranates. But why?

Dad: cos pomegranates are nice to look at from the outside, but once you look inside, they are just fascinating.


Heard something on the radio news during the week that someone had been arrested / on trial for preparing, or inciting jihad or something like that. Jihad. Like seriously. Do you even know what it is? The philosophy behind it all? Do not use such a term so loosely. Learn and then apply. A little less intelligence a little more intelligence me thinks. So like, I’m in the news every day. How is the media portraying me now? Still the oppressed female, still the religious fanatic. Open your eyes and open your mind, and listen with your ears. And you’ll learn something new that you didn’t know before.

The next item on the news was about integrating Muslims and trying to include them in society. Ha. I wonder, did anyone else not get the irony in this?

Men really are like buses aren’t they. You wait for ages, and they all come at once. It’s been ages since I’ve been on a bus (literally, in real life). Two more to complete the over, let’s see if I can hit a six…inshallah ;)

Matters of the heart, and mind, and body and soul, all mixed up and everything in between.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Eid-ul-Adha 2009

The footsteps of Ibraheem. Sacrifice what you have been abundantly blessed with. As humanity gathers, and souls are cleansed, the hungry are fed, and thirst quenched. But forget not, that time passes, carries, at speed. And forget not, the promise you made, to yourself, your lord, of peace.

Memories, of what seem a distant time, a land, a space, seep though and highlight the day. Wishes of a future, nearer to The Creator; mind, body, spirit, soul.

As we gather with love, and away from it, as we share what we have to, need to, want to. As the footsteps in the sand are wind swept away, let your intention be pure, even if it seeks otherwise.

Blessed be your day, your time, your space, you.

Eid Mubarak.

Words, words are all I sung by Ronan and the boyz(one)

Words can sometimes never express what we really mean, or feel. They have this innate inability to never do what you want them to do. Or perhaps its our own inadequacies of weaving through the complexities of language. This whole communication thing has often gotten me into various degrees of trouble. Sometimes however, we find that someone else has somehow managed to articulate our personal philosophies. Perhaps what has been circulating around the floors of our minds or spiralling in our hearts. And you then feel glad that someone has managed to do it, albeit with that tinge of jealousy. Either way, at least words are there. But they'll often fail you when you need them the most. Or come to you too late.

A student gave me something she had written and wanted me to read it. It was simple, but so nice. I felt honoured that she asked my opinion - it wasnt really anything to do with what we wre learning about in class, well not explicitly anyways. It was about God, and life and belief and curiosity. Such a sweet nice talented girl. I really do wish her all the very best. When she asked for advice, I told her to keep writing. Whatever came to mind, whatever came to heart, whatever she wondered or felt, it would always be better on paper. Getting things out, whether anyone reads them or not, can free you. Like a release.

Having said that, I need to take my own advice. So much I've been experiencing and thinking and feeling that I haven't yet penned or typed. Stored away in the files of my memory, could be lost at any moment. I will write them, becuase I do want to. I want to keep this going, and improve it and improve myself. I dont want things to go stale. And that is quite scary. When mundane day to day life takes over, and you dont even have time for your own thoughts, your ideas, your hopes and fears and dreams. When the to do list is so long, that there is no longer time to live,merely exist. Or perhaps this brings my personal organisation into question. Either way, I've finally gotten this done. More msuigns to be outpoured in the near future me thinks.

I was asked recently by someone I had just met whether I had a blog, and I lied. I said no. Im not too sure why I did that. Well there's another lie. One always leads to another. See how words get you into trouble? It gets too confusing to keep up and cover each track. A split decision, I didnt want him to see it. Some very important people in my life do not know of its existance. Some do. Some may chance upon it. For strangers or family, its now in the public domain. Also said individual has too many close connections for the time being. Nice person, but Im wondering if in the future he read this, what he will think. Haha.

Words can escape you, elude you, delude you, trick you and make you fall. Make them real. Dont give me words. Whilst in short supply, there are enough of those already. Show me how you get down (a la migraine skank if you so wish). Let me see some action.