Wish I could remember/Wish I could forget

Wish I could remember
the soft strokes of
my mother’s fingers
in my hair.

Wish I could forget
his hands,
strong as a tree trunk
But not so friendly, or kind.

Wish I could remember
The way you looked,
at the moon; and me.
And joked just to hear me laugh.

Wish I could forget,
the day you made me cry
like everything we had built
had fallen apart.

Wish I could remember
The pixies I would look for
Out in the garden, after
every Enid Blyton story.

Wish I could forget
The demons that I found
When looking for pixies
didn’t go so well.

Wish I could remember
the cracks in your voice;
and the way you look
when you read.

Wish I could forget
that I know how you look
when you are angry
or sad.

Wish I could remember
the way my best friend said
that I was the best thing
to ever happen to mankind.

Wish I could forget
the morning we both cried
Fighting, pain and cruelty.
And the desire to stop.

Wish I could remember
the patterns on your palms
Of lines that I simply
could not count.

Wish I could forget
the wounds on my palms
Picking pieces of broken glass.
Will you just stop loving me one day?

Wish I could remember
what not knowing felt like
why is wisdom
so painful to gain?

Wish I could forget
The never-ending coldness
of hearts that proved to me
how I could not save them, with my love.

Wish I could remember
The words of prayer, that you
whispered for me today
With tears in your eyes.

Wish I could forget
The terrifying things
that my mind screams at me
About the universe, and you.

For us,
everything hangs in the balance.
But high above in the stars
Someone is waiting
for us to just look up.

Advertisements

To the woman who saved my life

(But couldn’t save her own)

“Verily, we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return”

I couldn’t get myself to write after you passed away.

I spent days and nights awake, crying; wondering if it was allowed for me to mourn your sudden death. I felt guilty, so damn guilty with every tear that came out of my eyes, you taught me how to be happy. It felt as if I was destroying your legacy. That I was ruining what you did for me, even when I knew you could not do it ever again.

You were the reason I got my life and light back, Allah chose you for that purpose. How could I be so selfish and needy in my humanness that I let you become the reason for my grief?

The first few days I kept calling your phone. Hoping every single time that it was some sort of huge misunderstanding, heck, even a stupid prank- anything but the truth!

I looked everywhere for answers, but found none. No one and nothing could tell me why it had to happen. Why did you have to save my life and lose your own? What was the purpose of the briefness of our acquaintance or friendship or love? Why did you touch my life when you had to be taken away?

For the first time in my life, I shut myself in. I hid, like a coward. Pretended to be okay. I acted like there was nothing wrong at all. I didn’t let anyone, not even my own self see my pain. I made the pain grey in hopes that the colours of the world will overpower it and it’ll just fade away. But that’s not what happened.

What happened was far worse.

In numbing myself towards the pain, I ended up being numb towards everything else too. The grey didn’t fade away it took over all else and suddenly the moon, stars and the laughter of little kids could not make me feel anything. The love I had in my life, of all kinds, stopped making sense, stopped feeling real. It was a downward spiral into nothingness and I had begun falling.

But then, as always, Allah found a way to get me back. One conversation, one best friend, a few hours and the walls just came crashing down. My heart was cut open again, bare and bleeding.

I missed you.

I loved you.

You were gone. And it hurt like hell.

But that was okay.

I found my answer. Why did you touch my life when you had to be taken away? Because verily, we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return. You were never mine to begin with. Allah didn’t take you away, Allah gave you to me. For whatever amount of time, just before He called you back to Him, He chose to let me know you. So basically, you weren’t my pain, Allah made you my blessing.

So you see, the focus has entirely changed and I’m finally happy again. I know if you could see me now you’d be so proud. And that’s when I miss you most- when I achieve something. I have become so much more beautiful than I ever dreamed of and I wish I had a way to thank you for that; but I know Allah must be taking care of that in your grave. I hope He gives you the highest spot in Jannah. Ameen.

But just between the two of us, I believe you’re still watching somehow. I hope you’re as proud of me as I am of myself. You should be proud of yourself too. Not many people around me even know you because they never even looked deep enough to know I was sick in the first place. And every time I laugh or do good or feel like the universe loves me I wish I could scream it out loud that you’re the reason I achieved this. I cannot talk about you now, because I cannot talk about my sickness.

But someday, I’ll make sure the whole world knows your name. I kept your business card and your last display picture on whatsapp.

whatsapp-image-2016-12-24-at-3-01-33-pm

And I will remember never to.

Love always,
Maria

DANCES WITH INSOMNIA #3- “PAIN”

What is pain? And more importantly, why is pain?

All the pain that you have ever felt- may it be as a child who could not get what he wanted or as one who was denied love or as one whose children left him forsaken at old age- all these different stages of pain, you separated and gave magnitudes to. Consequently, the reasons you arrived at, to understand why each particular suffering fell upon you; they were given stages and magnitudes too.

Because of this separation, you missed the larger and universal purpose of every single drop of pain that you tasted.

You see, they say that there can be no true goodness, beauty or gentleness within you if you don’t go through pain. As if the compassion and love you have developed for the world is credited to your suffering and all the nightmares that you had to live through. How can one thing so repelling be the foundation upon which you became beautiful? And more so, if you have conquered suffering by still staying gentle, isn’t that your own doing?

Pain does not come to you to make you beautiful or ugly. It does not have that power.

The sole purpose of all pain is to break you open so that your soul stands bare in front of the truth it has been seeking.
And at that moment, it is you who shall choose to embrace that truth and become wiser; or reject it and fall into bitterness and folly. 

This is why all goodness and all evil has a painful past. The ones who are strong enough to break their ego and look at the truth that their pain has brought before them are the ones who attain beauty and gentleness. But the ones who are too afraid of their nakedness and vulnerability immediately start to build new walls around themselves instead of understanding why the old ones were shattered.

So remember, when pain comes your way, do not be afraid of it and do not hide yourself thinking that you must not show your vulnerability. No one can see it without your consent. It is only between you and God until you become the one to go around in self-pity asking for people to praise you through your suffering. But even so, know that having a visible openness is better than having none at all, and the best of them is the openness you keep to yourself not desiring love and praise from any other except Him. This kind, even when shared with your most loved few, is selfless and pure.

And when you have learnt to deal this way with your suffering, look beyond it and see the truth that your walls were not letting you see.

In order to gain true knowledge and grasp the secrets of the universe, you have to be bare and vulnerable in your own self, your “Batin” but complete on the outside, the “Zahir”. This is what lovers of truth and wisdom have mastered. Rumi says, “You have to keep breaking your heart until it opens.” This means that there will come a point when you have allowed your suffering and pain to make you so utterly bare in the face of truth that you will cease to build any walls. You will no longer need pain to teach you how to learn but you will be your own teacher. And you will be grateful for all good or bad that comes your way.

Things watching death taught me.

1. If we knew the amount of time we had left with each person in our lives, all we would do is tell them we loved them, and show it. NOTHING else but  that.

2. Everytime we hug or kiss or shake hands with or make any kind of physical contact with anybody in our entire lives; we are actually touching their soul, not their body. I learnt this when I touched an actual body- held a cold dead hand.

3. The biggest regret is not giving your best self to people. You always end up wishing you knew then what you know now. So you could be with them, what you are now; and better.

4. It can be incredibly hard to sob over a death. Impossible even. And that’s okay. It does not mean you did not love the departed. In times like these, just pray. It’ll be okay.

5. There is always a threshold point in the life of the “dying-by-a-terminal-illness”. This is the point when they realize they’re actually quite sick and might not make it. Up until then, they refuse to accept the magnitude of their disease; or so they make it seem- which is not really a bad thing. But it is extremely painful to watch.

6. They really do see angels before their soul leaves their body. That’s how they know.

7. No words and no power can ease the pain and shock. Especially for the children and parents. Only time, by Allah’s help can diminish it. There will always be a hole in your heart from they once were.

8. Every time you achieve something, you’d wish they were still here.

9. Sometimes it would feel like they’re right above you somewhere in the stars, watching everything. They’d pay occassional visits to your dreams. And that would make you feel like you were chosen for their love from the heavens. Best feeling ever.

10. You will never stop loving them. Not one bit.

“PAINTED FACE”

Heyy people. Below is a poem I wrote over two years ago. As I am busy with exams and heaps of books, papers and pens these days I thought to leave you with this. It’s a sad one though :3 To make up for that, I’ll tell you that I’m super happy and blessed these days Alhamdulillah. I’m growing. Sad never lasts. So don’t lose hope.
With no further blabber, to glorify the agony of doubt- I give you, “Painted Face”:

image

From the mirror on the wall, it stares back at me-
A pretty painted face for these strangers to see
A monster struggling to breakthrough from within
It must be put to sleep, to keep me from sin;

I have to turn away now, I’m frightened as can be
For my teary eyes scream, that, what shakes my beliefs
How long will I cry in empty rooms with closed doors?
Bruised by people and their thoughts; what is my existence for?

The pain, it stays, like a spear through my heart
Let us see if it eases as I turn it into words
And let me find the sane voice in my head that once ruled;
As a mind almost lost, makes the demons drool.

“THE SMILE”

Lying in the dark; lonesome as it is
As it has gotten
I wonder about pain and those who feel it
Myself and you
And the man in blue
Standing at the corner of the street


The street that has a hundred souls
Walking, talking, dwindling
But the man in blue he stands only one
Smiling, yet, wide


The blue of his clothes, it
Fades to grey
The light beams from his eyes
Come blurred by shy tears
He thinks of his deteriorating life
I walk to him.


He reveals the photo in his hand
Of his beautiful dead boy
Why do they smile?
Don’t they know they are suffering?


He says I would do the same

When in the worst of agony
Everything- becomes nothing
And I, an empty vessel.
With that, the photo, he puts inside
And walks away, smiling


But the smile, I perceive, is mechanical

And he, the empty vessel.
They do know they are suffering
After all…