Momena jaan

My dear, sweet love

We met so close to the pain

You became my refuge

A refugee from my life

You, my safe harbor.
You taught me the love

The effortless, unfettered love

Of humanity

That only an other

Could bring to an other.
Spice Girls, dancing

Secrets, makeup

Dress up, history books

Best friendship.

Innocence. Adolescence.
My sweet Muslim woman

You taught me its beauty

I will preserve your heart

Your past, your future

Defend your honor.
I swelled with the five pillars,

Was embraced by divine love,

Grew from your nuances,

Benefited from your acceptance,

Bowed to Allah.
Never have I ever

Felt more Christian

Until I spent considerable time

With my Muslim family.
I stand for you, your family.

I pray, I cry, I beg for your safety.

Persecuted there, now here.

And yet your love abounds.

If only eyes were open to your humanity.
We are all brothers of Abraham,

Sprung from the same loins,

Pray to the same God,

Vow to uphold the same truths.
Now, we must band in brotherhood

Against all jihadists,

Muslim or Christian alike,

Banded in militant love,

Protecting the divine.

Into Oblivion

We’ve only just begun

With fresh eyes

And pleasantries

Slightly swirling

One another’s hearts

Stirring sensations.

My body

Not yet used to yours

Its smell, its oils

Your body

Not yet acclimated.

Learning preferences

Favorites

Even last names.

Your soul is new to mine.

In the newness

Your presence is the warmest blanket

A gentle breeze,

light summer rain,

Coziest sweater.

Simple, innocent, tender.

Let this continue,

I pray you,

Don’t change a thing

And this little bud, blooming

Will love you,

Encapsulate you

Into oblivion.

Black Albatross

It was more than 18 years ago now,

The day I watched your face

Turn from violet to blue to an icy white.

I stood there, holding your hoodie.

Complete shock.

This accessory smelled more like you than you.

I remember my mouth going dry from surprise and terror and fear and panic.

My ears recall the utter silence. Pin drop.

Those fibers on the black lining, rubbing.

Your body, more limp, making you look like a hanger, no longer holding up your clothes.

You’d cleaned your room. Spotless. Pledge.

No feelings, just data. Vacuum.

You and me, alone, in a clean room.

You lifeless, me dead inside. Mirrors.

I didn’t do anything. I just stood and watched. I’ve regretted that.

It was our only time alone before all the tears. I’ve regretted that too.

I remember you like you left yesterday.

Wearing socks.

I’ve stayed quiet with regret for so long.

What would I say if no one would judge?

I’d talk about the sigh of relief my chest exhaled when I saw your lips turn blue.

Knowing I could get out and not worry about you.

Chasing my dreams without thinking of the mess you’d become.

I’d tell someone that the last words that left my lips in that room was, “i couldn’t save you. I never could.”

It wasn’t I’m sorry or I love you. You were my loss, but a loss.

I’d express my anger that you left me at the worst time, without a friend. A best friend. You rejected me.

How I gave up my bunk beds because you’d slept on them with me, because I couldn’t stop seeing you hanging.

How you made me more different than I already was. Now I was the girl with a dead friend. Now I’ve watched someone die. Now I have even more issues.

Unrelatable and alone.

How you knew. You knew I had no one to help me with this. No one to turn to.

I wanted to yell at you, to call you selfish. But that wasn’t correct.

I would say I have never quite gotten the hang of being around dead bodies because you were the first. And there was nothing comforting about it.

How every time I’m around one now, how every time I even see Jesus on a cross I see your face.

How I never understood. How I don’t understand. Did you not trust me?

How sometimes, in those first few days, I slept easier knowing you were safer.

How sometimes, in those first few years, I hated you. I hated me.

Guilt. Relief. Anger. Calm.

You changed my life for the worse.

A terrible scar across my heart.
All I could show was pain or nothing.

For so long, nothing.

In a child, out an adult?

Protecting you then honoring you?

Who does that for me?

And all I seem now is selfish.

If only I felt safe enough

To say it while still alone in your room.

Perhaps then, this pain could dissipate.

Listen

I attend services at an Episcopalian church that has also acted as a non-denominational sanctuary for the people in my city. Its history is rich, and it is deeply rooted in teaching is congregants about social justice issues. Our dean, for the second time since I’ve been attending, asked during a sermon, “Listen. Do you hear what God is saying to you?” Today, he added, “What does God want you to feel today?”

Immediately after this question, I felt a surge of spirit. I knew I was in the right place, at the right time. As I was walking home, it made me reflect on how little we listen to our inner voice. To our spirit guides. Our ancestors. Those we’ve lost.

All too often we get in the way of truly listening to the world around us. This year, I want to dedicate more time to listening. To listening and even following the guidance I hear. I want to feel the spirit well inside of me outside of the walls of that church. I want to trust that voice more often and let it trust me. I want to resonate with love. With spirit. With a vibrancy that resonates.

Listen. Do you hear what The Universe is saying to you? Listen. What does The Universe want you to feel?

Epiphany & the Universe

I still meditate every day. My blog has transformed a bit to become what I need it to be in the moment as a result, but, believe me, I still meditate. I also have found prayer, which I guess has always been inside of me, but now, like a growing fetus, it’s become much more pronounced in my life. Perhaps, even, written on my body. Prayer is the new normal for me now, and I can understand the simple pleasure of ritual. 

As a child, I used to walk around with my friend V, and we’d talk about how we could hear the Universe “breathing”. Perhaps it was the wind, the rain, the elements descending, but I could hear the Universe breathing all over again. This personification has never left me, and it’s only grown with my practice of prayer. Now, I talk to the Universe… And through meditation (dedicated listening), it talks back. We have a relationship of which I’ve grown rather fond. 

Perhaps the new year, perhaps my time off work, perhaps the fact that I felt genuine, unconditional love from my family recently, perhaps the rain, but I have begun to awaken. I go to therapy twice a week, and I’m proud of that. Today, my therapist and I were talking about perception, with regard to my new eye glasses following eye surgery. Now, I can see edges and depth and sharper images. Now, I can discern between substance and noise. 

Substance and noise. Discernment. Those things come from meditation. From stillness. From presence. In that moment, with my therapist, I said something, she misheard my statement, and an epiphany occurred, out of the blue. Perhaps, a message from the Universe that two individuals heard simultaneously. 

I had an epiphany. I’m holding on to the places where I had the best boundaries because…i have never received the help I need to create them. To think my feelings, my lived experience, is valid. So I use others to get that validation instead of getting the specific help I need. 

In return, I’m able to send that request into the Universe, on its own, to be answered. To have my long underserved needs fulfilled. Do you know what my prayer to the Universe said this morning?

“Please, help me love myself and help make me whole so that I can love and belong to me.”

The answers are there, the guidance is waiting. You only have to quiet down and listen.