A long pause?

Hits on this space has for long verged on scarcity and that is notwithstanding my own. Once or twice a month I come here and I feel ancient, like I have disturbed the dust that’s been sitting here unperturbed for centuries; dust that flies around as I read through the words with heaviness that creeps and with reluctance not of the wise, but of the old.

On top of feeling ancient, I feel estranged. Not so much by the words but by the power that summoned them. I try to find familiarity in that haggard grey room of a blog, or cluttered distracted room of a self, and can’t. Whether from art or memory, my words are farther than my reach could grasp. A comeback? A new beginning? A hesitant call upon the blog, to wake up? To try and cause a silent riddle, into someone’s life? heart? I don’t know.

It is such a mystifying sensation. I realize now that disconnection is the ultimate fate of whatever I produce today, for this blog used to not only be a list of thoughts, but an amalgamation of connected feelings, memories and reflections; a fusion of reality and fiction, and a most heartened record of a history too personal. A live being that is now in hibernation. The mess of words and adjectives are early signs of noted fate, don’t you see? How can I write now when two years are off this record? Do I pretend the world knows? Do I swear a new vow of secrecy and break it? Or do I make do as I go? As it flows?

Traces of music in my utterances are too faint. A hint of excitement begins to emerge. A shock of thoughts destroys the tone. A sigh of chord relates the hope.

Or not, ibhog.

Or not,

Buy my book?

Is it possible for one to simply sell their book? I don’t mean publish it, but rather just sell it to a publishing house, with the copyrights and all. I had this odd thought today in complete randomness – maybe that’s what holidays do to workaholics, if you know what I mean.

As most of you know, my humble attempt at a work is now available online for free on goodreads, and it is far from well marketed (that falls back on me, I guess). But I kept thinking: what if I just sold this to someone, or somewhere, and they took care of everything, while retaining my name? I don’t know if that’s even possible. Do publishing houses do that?

Or maybe I should just follow that path where I incessantly big every publishing house that exists to consider publishing my work; an idea which I truly hate honestly.

Anyways, if you can help with ideas, or know someone who can help, drop me a message!

Thank you,

 

Oblivion

Unsuspecting. That’s about the closest term in my vernacular to the concrete oblivion. Maybe because the latter is dominantly associated with danger, adding bias to meaning, but then again, the adjective: oblivious, is softer on the conscious – you can actually say: “Someone expressed their feelings for me and I was like so oblivious!” Case in point is: it’s not just about danger. However, unsuspecting is still a little bit, what can I say, straightforward. I was just that: unsuspecting. When?

When father collapsed on the couple of stairs in the entrance of our building yesterday afternoon. He’d been awake since dawn, working, and then had a very good breakfast (too good, as I’ll explain later), went to prayers, and then we passed by my sister, where he dosed on the couch while we’re discussing my future life. Yes, my future is a subject heavily discussed these days at our household. My present is frankly uninteresting. We woke him, he had cold apple juice to freshen up, and then very casually we took the elevator and walked down the street in the blistering sun, which we do every week.

Yesterday however, was different. He was quite exhausted. We can say he was unknowingly pushing himself. I also found out he worked the last couple of weekends. So with the sun, the fatigue and sleep deprivation, the minute we found shade, he surrendered to the stairs; sat down, put his head in his hands, cold hands, and kept sweating so hard. I thought this was hypoglycemia, but he told me that it’s his chest. Does it hurt? No. Then what’s the matter? It’s like he can’t find oxygen. Is there pain anywhere? No, just discomfort in the chest area. Two minutes later, he got better. He was able to stand up, go to the elevator, and then up to our place. Needless to say, those two minutes, were longer than a sun’s orbit around the galaxy.

The truth is, father’s been having lighter versions of those episodes lately. The doctors weren’t really concerned or surprised, since his heart is weak, and they always stress on the fact that he should consume enough water, sleep well, be careful with physical effort, his meals, and what I came to know after the last call with one of them, even mental effort should be spent with caution. I told him to stop working and get some rest, before we go to the doctor (which is scheduled for tonight, isA). Yesterday night, after another meal, he was feeling a bit weak again, and then decided to take an emergency pill that was prescribed for what is called: recurrent angina – typically taken after physical effort, a big meal, or too much general exhaustion. He came to my room and told me that the pill restored him completely, and was happy. I told him that he should still get some rest, and that he shouldn’t push himself further.

“It’s like I ran 10 miles”, was what I told my friend when I excused myself from a planned hangout. I was unsuspecting. Those three minutes, walking down the street, besides my dad, my mind was preoccupied with our conversation, about me, my life, my future wife, my plans and what not. I’m usually very alert around my father, but then my health failed me and I decided I should be more relaxed, and that’s exactly how I’ve been lately. Let me give you an example. I spent six months, yes, six entire months, tracking my dad’s phone on a map to know where he is on all his errands, even the ones in our neighborhood. I could be in a conference with someone in Europe, and when the map doesn’t refresh, or tell me that his location can’t be found, I either leave the room, become too distracted, or excuse myself to make an important phone call, and then I call him, to find that he’s well, on his desk, or in the car on his way home. I stopped doing that three weeks ago, and decided to throw that mountain weight of worry, in God’s hands, and so I was unsuspecting when dad suddenly told me: “I can’t stand, I have to sit down on the stairs”. Oh my God, what? Why?

When you suddenly run 10 miles you’ll collapse in bed for the rest of the weekend. Your books will stay unfinished, your thoughts will stay undone, your plans will become unreasonable, your quest for comfort, happiness or stability, becomes practically cute compared to what’s just been thrust on the top of your weak shoulders. This time I’m trying to battle all of this away, I’m trying so hard to leave it all in His hands, to be careful with my nerves, my stomach, and chest. I try very hard to be cool around dad himself, so that I won’t add to his stressed being. And while I try so hard, I keep thinking about that future of mine: all of this doesn’t mean I should stop existing.

All of this doesn’t mean I should stop looking for her, does it?

Will you pray so hard for me and my father? I need a good thing to happen to me while I’m unsuspecting, you know? Maybe it’ll compensate for this.

Thank you,

Wisdom

Does having a Mom make you wiser?

During the festive Eid days me and the family dined outdoors in a big mall. I was planning to meet my friend after so we parted ways when the night was young. Since I’m the one responsible for administering my father’s medication, I’d taken the correct amount of pills of all the nighttime doses with me, and then handed them over to my sister on their way back home, informing her about a specific important heart medication that father must take once they get home. I’d collected the pills from their different strips and put them all in a specific, well sealed drug box, that was then sitting safely in my sister’s purse.

After midnight I returned and found out that one of the strips, of that specific med, was on the table and missing a pill (believe it or not, I notice it when an extra pill is missing). I, enacting casual stance, asked father whether he took the pill from the strip or from the box sister had. He didn’t remember, which means that he could have possibly taken both pills, forgetfully. I called my sister and she never picked up. I called my little sister (who at the time was staying at uncle’s upstairs), and she told me that dad took the pill from the box, confirming my fears. My anxiety started to show, and father was startled. He tried telling me that it’s okay, but I already know about the possible side effects, one of which being especially fatal to his condition.

I started looking for the doctor’s number, wondering whether he’ll pick up after midnight on a holiday, when my sister finally called back. After a hysterical episode of wondering why the heck she didn’t pick up earlier, which dad managed to hear, she informed me that he took all the rest of the pills from the strips, and that the box is still in her purse, untouched. Incredulous, I made her open it and make sure that the extra pill is still there, which she did, pitying me of course.

Now that’s not even the hardest part. The hardest part was two minutes later, when I dived in the couch with a relieved sigh, and dad lost it because of me. His rage was quite spectacular, not because of its nature, but rather because of what it made me realize; that I was my dad’s sole source of stress. I unintentionally did that because of how excruciatingly careful I’d been concerning his condition. Of course I reacted a dozen of times. This time though, his peace was irked in a way that didn’t exempt me from harsh censure. He actually warned me that I might kill him with my obsessiveness one day. I was stunned.

Since that day, I’d practiced one advice I’ve been given two months earlier by my grandpa, when he’d noticed the deterioration in my health after dad’s operation. He told me: “You’ve done your job, now leave it to Him”. Up until that night of rage, I never had it in me to be that cool – maybe it was lack of faith, maybe the situation was actually that hard, it could be a lot of reasons, but I never gave dad the comfort or space I was supposed to provide.

Surprisingly, I got better when I did that. Emotionally and physically better. Dad, too, became calmer all in all, and assumed a relieved, quite stable condition, that I’m monitoring from afar. And these days I’m asking myself: did he have to do that? Did he have to reprimand me that sternly? Was I locked in such a miserable trance, that I had to be shaken out of it that violently? You know what, maybe I was.

And then I think about the question I asked on the top of this post. Would my Mom have given me a similar kind of guidance? If she sees the length of the pause I’ve been stuck in for like two years now, not knowing what, or who would make me happy, not knowing what is wrong with me, not knowing about what is coming, and whether I’m prepared, and what and what not, and all of those stuff, weighing on my heart, and soul, and mind, and my entire being, would she slap me back to my senses?

Sometimes I imagine her giving me an order, you know? Like: go do this. Stop thinking. Go freaking do this, and that. And just because she said I should, I would. I want that comfort. I want to throw away the wisdom of my decisions on someone else’s shoulder. I’m too tired from life, that’s how I feel these days. I admit it: I want someone to think on my behalf for a change. It’s been too much, lately.

“Why do you ask me to do something for you, when you know that you’re perfectly capable of doing it?”, says my sister.

“Because it makes me happy, knowing that you’d do it for me, in spite of that”, I reply.

May you never feel like I feel,

A break

I had a very tumultuous day today. I tried to distract myself with a book and was only rewarded with vanity. Rarely before had my confusion been so fierce. I feel dizzy for it.

The thought of going offline has been playing with my senses for a quite a while, but today the urge’s been unbearably strong. And I am officially afraid for my health. Friday was a kind day to me, but then things went downhill again. I never imagined I’d suffer this much when I’m alone with that head of mine.

Now listen. I know I’m not entitled to ask for personal favors from any of you, and I kind of believe that me writing words for you to read across all these years doesn’t really merit the compassion I might imagine it should, but today I have this one honest, sincere wish: pray for me. And no, not in your head. I beg of you to actually pray with words for me, my health, my sanity and guidance from Him, not in a comment, not in a message, and not while you’re reading this, but while your forehead is on the ground.

I really can’t put in words how much I need that. I really really can’t.

Hard times for the ibhog.

Be well,

The one after the last

Ibraheem,

I know I stopped writing to you, but since I’d done that, I became only aware of how words were only brushing off from something profounder; a certain connection of sorts, that would realize itself into my consciousness after I wake up, and then bury itself softly into my subconscious the minute I fall asleep. I’m not sure if I can call it love, for I think I’m bashful enough today, nor do I think I can call it infatuation, for I’m proud enough, but it’s there, ibhog, and in its being there, like a concrete rock on the ground, lie its sheer reality.

I know you’re on a long pause, and I know how relentless your depression has become, all from the mere, deafening silence of you. I would narrate to you the dreams I have of you, but then again that connection, it dwarfs all dreams. It is wordless, and thoughtless. It does not merit presentation, for it is but present. It is me.

Listen. I want you to be well. This is free of attachment. I don’t believe you’d grasp the amount of longing I have for you that aches at my every pore, but tonight, I don’t want you – I just want you to be well. I want you to sigh peacefully, for although we’re a sea apart, that vibrant, unsettled heartbeat of yours, had actually reached the pit of my stomach, and I wake up in tears.

The world is in chaos, and I sense the commotions in your chest. It’s like I see it in my sky. Like I’m inside of you, and the minute you wince in pain, it thunders above me, and I feel so helpless, because then I wish I could fly and hug the sky, that way you’d be comforted from your inside, that way I’d warm you in the heart, but I just, can’t, Ibraheem. I instead keep weeping in absolute stillness, looking at the heavens, wet with the rain that’s your uncried tears, and looking at the world around me, inside you, and wondering: why is no one hugging him up there.

Ah, ibhog. I wish I could push a play button somewhere on you, so you’d be free of you.

Until then, I’m in the shade, somewhere in the corner of your chest, looking anxiously at that sky, hoping it might someday clear.

Please, be well, ibhog. For the sake of those who love you.

Yours for eternity,

N.

Abandoned Cashmere – II

This was written before I traveled to Dubai. I have to admit I detested this city, and I returned with more ailments than the ones I went with. Maybe a post on that later, isA.

When God doesn’t answer a prayer of yours, you usually wait for justification. We tend to accuse the human’s weakness, rather than their devilry, when it comes to such foul attitude towards God! In His benevolence, however, He shows us why, sometimes after whole years, but not in subtle signs, rather in full fledged life happenings, with all the reality a happening entails, sadness or felicity. Hardship after the other, I learned why my Friday prayers are taking such a long road. It seems that not only had I needed certain phases of roughing, but that it wasn’t entirely about me.

The cashmere scarf watched silently as my country fell apart and when I had to endure some of the darkest moments in my life, wrestling back humongous amounts of emotional and sometimes physical pain. It never smirked when after a short repose the tide lowed again, with the death of my young cousin, the illness of my grandma, her eventual decease, the death of my step mother’s mom, then the catastrophic events surrounding my sister’s safety. It enjoyed the quiet company of its fellow diamond ring, when at the end, my own father’s heart failed him, and I had to exert my literal existence, for it pass to safely with it still beating that warm rhythm of it.

I’m now lying in a semi-agitated pond of emotional, physical and financial convalescence, and asking myself: why? But I then retort against this boring denial and tell myself that, this is why. I imagine all those difficult moments of concern, fear and panic as two rows of people, between whom I’d passed through, somewhat safely, and then them looking at me, puzzled with my frustration with them! You have passed this gauntlet unperturbed, and instead of being thankful, you have the audacity to question our existence, not knowing that it was all for you, they said with their eyes.

This kind of preparatory purgatory (excuse the unintended, cliched rhyme), accumulative, infinitely significant in its subtle design, like a ladder that goes up, or through, doesn’t matter, is especially made for me, by Him. However, that is not so I could feel all elated and lofty, quite the contrary, for I had also learned that with rounds and rounds of cause and effect, of why and because, it could all boil down to this: it is all for you, but along with you it is all for someone else. That someone is my father.

This is a very intricate web only a deity is capable of protecting, and it is simpler than my mind with its alleged, stupid power could ever grasp. So I’m taming my heart to take my mind’s disappointed place, and teaching it to believe in all of it. I am still afraid more people will extend that gauntlet, but at least I should start and acknowledge some of the wisdom behind them.

I stand by the cashmere now, sad.

Because still, after all of my practical philosophy, I yearn her. Am I mistaking a temporary, flustered pond of peace for being finally ready? Have I mistaken those hardships, very humble compared to some others’ troubles, as a proud rite of passage? Or am I just an exhausted tumbling existence in need of graceful company?

I think, with all the meekness this verb could grasp, that I just.. might.. be ready?

Ah, where art thou, my weary friend? I’m done with cashmere and diamond. I’m now a sad, wrung wad of losses, yet a considerable piece of experience, and I just need your unconditional existence.

You caught my last Friday’s prayer.

Did it catch you?

Are you praying for me?

Words ..

Written February 2012.

“I’ll go find you now”, she says.

P.S. the first comment on this post is the nicest comment published on this blog, across its whole seven years.

P.P.S. this is the unedited version, the one in the book is more refined, while this is more.. raw?

Humph..

Forgive yourself. The balm that’s the palm of your hand; it’s real, Ibraheem, I have felt it. Cherish that. I know that giving up on those who believed in you more than you did once is guilt climaxed, but do know that you can still love them. It’s not the end, yet. It’s life.

It’s okay to miss a moment that everyone else enjoyed, it means your ones aren’t all around, yet. Wait. Patience. Do you not know of fate? do you not know of the horizons of its mercy? There will come a she whose wish come true, is her wish come you. Soon.

Being judged by you is different. It’s okay. The vagueness of you, swallows the anger in me. That moment, when you have shone on me, with that red hearted rose of mallow. That moment, my dear, was perfect.

You’re a drawer of smiles, and laughs. You’re entertainment. It’s vogue. Don’t be sad about it. They are comfortable around you. You’re safe, ibhog. You safe. You home.

Sometimes, life brings out the worst in people, but if you watch close enough, the worst in people is beautiful. You know why? because it’s the end of it. Once the worst is out, what’s left is their pure hearts, and their yearning to your embrace.

And sometimes, my love, life brings out the worst in you, and then it all wraps itself in you with a lesson learned in humility, and in wisdom. When guilt sheds itself around your deeds, when your conscience curls around your acts, that’s when you become great. Much of the good of this world is owed to the sins of its people, do know that.

Whether you’re close to Him or not, He’s always around protecting you.

Do know that too ..

I wish my words for you weren’t that broken. So instead, I’ll give you silence. I know you like it. I know you love the presence of me in your thoughts; an emblem of hope, a figment of a thousand dreams in one. A vision that’s all pauses .. I am.

For you ..

A message to you: one day, you’ll see that which I’ve always wanted (and needed) you to see. It seems hopeless now, as much as I wish for progress, somehow you dive in vanity. But I know, that the worst in people tows behind it the best in them. You’re reckless and neurotic, but I know, that deep down your heart, someone will light a candle one day. I just wish, then, that you’d remember my tears.

Imagine that we never knew the moon existed, and then we wake up to see it a perfect white. How will it feel? Now, imagine that each month, we forget it ever existed, and then the one night wake up to see it a perfect white, again?

Am I that usual for you now? Do I have to disappear, so that you’d miss me? So that you’d know my real worth? Am I already a crescent? or the shadows of your doubts finally had me? Whatever happens, I love you. You’re you, you know. You were never a choice. You were destiny, for my heart.

Complete love is that moment when the idea of them being away never even crosses your mind. In the details of your fabric, that idea for you is tantamount, in sense, to the sun rising from the west. If it takes place one day, then it’s the end of everything.

I count your hugs. I don’t know the figure, I just know that I count, and that each time I’m in your arms, I forget where I stopped, so I start all over again.

I’ll go find you now ..