Current Affair

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I love you enough to let you mess with my head. And I have this weird confidence that I have messed with your heart in the past 30 days. You, who are strong and stubborn, who stand tall like a rock against the current, holding up a house lit by oil lamps and a bridge to an hour ago.

But that current is me, and we’ll see.

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My New Best Friend (Or So He Claimed)

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There’s a reward for everything: like for the help I gave you and the five-year feelings I’ve had for you, I got your confession in return, saying you’ve actually been thinking of me as your best friend since college. What an achievement, especially when weeks ago you told me you’ve never considered anyone as your best friend and we agreed that the concept of best-friendship is bullshit. I’m happy to know we can now be hypocrites together ❤

The Reader

The Reader’s mind is filled with nonsense and wonders others cannot comprehend. It is a world of its own, separate from the imagery of reality. In it, the Reader creates a dimension where she lives, both eternally and ephemerally.

*

The Reader ages and identifies differently. She shares the soul of a black girl living in the 1930s; the anguish of the romance between two philosophical boys; the heroic aspirations of a group of demigods; the prudence and faithful suffering of a 19th-century family; the hunger for God of a Hindi-speaking sea survivor; and the cynicism of a Henry Wotton.

But does that come along with wisdom? Although unfortunate, the Reader soon finds the wisdom she knows applies not to the world of people, in which she feels like a toddler crawling from one point to another. Not knowing; not understanding.

*

The Reader used to be the sole ruler and subject in her kingdom, where she granted and was granted limitless freedom, but under the invasion of a reality against which she is powerless, the pain she feels for breathing in the wrong air is almost oppressive. Her opaque world becomes more defined with definitions that are both clarifying and confining; intensifying.

Among those definitions, there is a love she once acknowledged and now tries to ignore. To no avail, of course, as the cracks in her world leave the Reader open to the watchful eyes of the object of her affection, who lets her not forget, but reacknowledge.

*

He causes her sorrow, her beau, as he lives in pictures and scenes and has a stronger grip and firmer footing on reality than she ever would. He refuses to let the Reader fly and refuses to let her root; refuses to leave the Reader be and refuses to care. Still, the Reader loves like there is no tomorrow for that is all the language of love she knows.

Their love is lost in translation, or so she would love to believe, but it takes no time for the Reader to realize that the love she keeps is too much for still and moving pictures, too intense for a person outside her sphere, too overwhelming for her beau.

*

Upon knowing this, she writes for the first time a cry for help lest she dies in his world.

“Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity…”

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QS. Al-Baqarah

I have often heard people quoting this verse. I have heard various translations of this verse; the point is the same: “Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear.” Yet, today is my first time realizing that the quote is only a part of a long verse.

The quoted part itself has been one of my strongest supports in trying times. When I was logical, that is. When I was done with telling people and leaning on them, counting on them to make me feel better; when I was done trying out mobile apps and sites for depression; when I was done raging at everything… there would be times when I would look up Quran verses to find peace, and this verse always came up.

When it did come up, I thought, “Allah believes I can survive this.” Somehow I would make it through and made it through I did. And those realizations were so cheesy and cringy,  but it was just what I needed. Maybe it was some kind of The Secret thingy; you know, the law of attraction or the power of suggestion or such – yet I thought it was good to believe in something, especially when you were born and meant to believe in that.

Anyway,  I just found that the longer verse is quite humbling. While the often quoted part is more like Allah confirms that the burden we carry is within our capacity, the longer verse illustrates more about the plea of the worshippers to be pardoned and given mercy if we commit any mistakes, both deliberately and unintentionally, and to avoid that burden.

I think I am likely to arrogantly and wholeheartedly believe that I can take the blame for any mistakes I’ve committed; that the errs I’ve made is completely on me, and that I’ve expected certain consequences will follow. What I do not think of is whether or not I can actually take responsibility of all that.

Well, this verse reminds me more than what I had originally expected.

***

[UPDATE]

Adding this because it is a bit creepily coincidental: Muslim Pro’s Verse of the Day is this exact verse. The notification popped out right after I clicked ‘Publish’. Guess I really need to be reminded that whatever’s going on in my life right now, whatever’s hard for me right now, is within my capacity. I can survive this (looking at you, demanding and rude clients). 

“And whoever is grateful is grateful for [the benefit of] himself.”

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QS. Luqman

Twelfth day.

My fourth verse.

I’m starting to believe I’m not good with commitment.

Anyway! Here is a verse that basically says we have to be grateful for what is given to us, and it will affect us positively.

Today, I am grateful for a chance to retrace some of the memories I cherished the most. I am rarely at peace with my past, but this was the past I would’ve paid to stay.

The visit to this past also made me realize that I’ve grown much since then; I’ve discovered myself more, and I’ve changed, but change is good. Change is liberating.

It’s amazing how some places can make you feel better about everything.

“Unquestionably, to Allah do [all] matters evolve.”

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In my doubts and my certainty; in my desperation and my confidence; in my wishful thinking and my reality… this verse is something I need to remember. That Allah decides everything and settles every matter. That who am I but a mere human. That it is okay to let go and accept how it has been written to be.

It is hard. Still hard even after years and years and pain. Still, I need to remember.