Sylvia Plath, “A Mad Girl’s Love Song”
Alice Walker, “Listen”
2/11/14; some peace of mind, a handful of words, a phone call once or twice. [I don’t need much else, I swear it, I do]
2/18/14; the greatest comfort is that you are kept alive and well in so many of our duas, wading through even the murkiest depths of our memories
2/20/14; instinctively suspicious of others’ motives, reflexively wondering if I’ll be surprised, inevitably paving the road for disappointment
2/26/14; my doubts have a tendency to eclipse any and every trace of rational thought
3/1/14; measuring benefits, but neglecting the drawbacks
3/2/14; if something brings no meaning to your life, and in no way betters it, why is it still IN your life?
3/4/14; measuring time around the gaps left by some in my being & the fleeting moments in which they chose to fill them again
That you are survived through du’a is the most brilliant beacon of mercy, that you are remembered daily is the most soothing of comforts.
truly, desperately missing the extended family I found in my dearest friend’s home (and my friend, but that goes without saying). I had never experienced that kind of warmth and genuinely unconditional love before, and probably never will again.
Despite my best efforts to be a part of this, I am instinctively drawn away. I’m not interested in learning any more, retaining anymore; I’ve tried and tried and I find nothing holding me here, nothing that suggests yes, this is it, this is right. I observe commonplace occurrences as one notes the behaviors of another species, feeling separate and entirely detached, remotely uncomfortable, even. This microcosm is suffocating, and I can’t possibly try and pretend I feel comfortable within it.
Nobody has ever measured, not even poets, how much the heart can hold.
Zelda Fitzgerald (via feellng)
Do you know how many nights I’ve spent twisting your English off my tongue? I do not take pride in your English. I want to stumble on my words. I want to speak with an accent so thick that it requires silence. I want you to struggle to understand me. Realize your English is not superior. Your English does not equate intelligence. Do not compliment me on how well I have accepted colonization. I do not want your pat on the back. I was forced to learn this language. I didn’t choose to. Your English disconnects me from my people. I am deaf to my own sacred language because of your English.
Your English has done nothing for me.
If you’re happy in a dream, Ammu, does that count?" Estha asked.
“Does what count?”
“The happiness—does it count?
Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (via rabbrakha)
I miss hearing the adhan at consistent, dependable intervals throughout my day. I can almost still hear the rustle of curtains as a shopkeeper disappears into a back room to pray, can almost still feel the vibrations from so many murmurs as men made their way up the same old streets at the same old pace towards the masjid. I miss the shared experience of blissful grogginess in the middle of the night; I miss watching lights slowly flicker on all across the street as Fajr Adhan rang clear across Karachi for all to hear.
I want to go back and thank the man that ran from one alley to another each night, pounding on doors shouting, "utth jao, Fajr ka waqt nikal rahaa hain!"
I crave the protection of so many folds and loose ends, the comfort of draping myself in the cotton cloth designed for movement and security. I miss being able to stare unabashedly at street vendors and smile widely as I pointed to the fruit I wanted.
My ears have been so desperate to hear a stranger address me as beti, daughter, or bibi, sister. I miss the world where language left no room for unfamiliarity. Every person was apna.
I cried the first time we drove through Karachi after ten years and I saw house after house with “Masha’Allah" painted over the entrance. aankein taras gayi thi, deen ko aise har jaga dekhne ke liye.
I don’t have the words to describe that feeling of being so finally and completely at ease, so at peace with your surroundings, with yourself. Pakistan is no paradise, and I make no attempts to glorify its society, standards, or government. It is not perfect, but it is the only image in my schema for the concept of home.