Sunday, November 24, 2013

This shade of green

The grass is greener on the other side. 

This is something I keep thinking about, always because I'd rather be 'there' when I'm 'here'. Sometimes, regardless of where these places are. We sit here knowing we can't be there, and from our distance we see only the color but we're not close enough to see the weeds and thorns of there. The demons of there are invisible to our eyes, you haven't even vanquished the demons of here yet. Imagine going there carrying those with you. Too many demons for you to fight at once.

Our vision is just too blinded by the beautiful green of there, and our shade here pales in comparison. This is the illusion of there. This is one the of gravest flaws of us humans, we're never satisfied until we've exhausted our options. It's good to an extent, it pushes us forward so that we never stay where we are, but more often than not, it makes us never ever satisfied, always looking for the next thing. Always looking for that better shade of green. Only ask for there, when you've smelled the flowers of here thoroughly, when you've sat on the grass staring at the stars at night getting lost in their beautiful light, when you've taken endless walks on the pavements, when you've carved your name on trees and met everyone you're supposed to meet here.

If your smiles are strained here, work on making your heart smile first so that smiling becomes easier on your lips. If your steps are heavy here, unload the world from your shoulders, it's not a weight that was meant to be carried by you. If your hands can't hold unto anything and you're falling fast here, steady yourself on the certainty of here. The sunlight will show up tomorrow, it never failed you before, has it? If that doesn't help, fall freely. The fall won't last forever, the ground of here will feel firm under your feet after you stand again.

If nothing works, maybe here's not for you. But unless you've tried to make it your own, you'll never truly know.
We need to find pleasure in the substance of here, rather than dwell on the pale of its green.

Saturday, November 16, 2013


Today I read a book that made me think about my blog's name.
I thought about changing it a lot, I mean I've had this blog for a few years now and surely I've managed to spread my wings by now, right?
I'm not so sure.

Maybe I don't feel like there's any point in spreading them anymore because, well, I can't really fly. And if I could, my feelings of being caged/trapped by myself would be too strong for me to even attempt flying.

"I wonder what you will do with your wings once you have found them. I wonder how far away they will take you. And I fear them, for my sake, at the same time that I hope for them, for yours." 

I wish I could feel free and fly. My ultimate goal is to be tied down to nothing. So perhaps, till I can safely say I mastered that art, the blog name remains as it is.

And I remain yours,

Monday, October 21, 2013

[Excerpt] The Examined Life - Stephan Grosz

I get to her office. I ring the bell. Shes got a buzzer system. What am I supposed to do if she doesnt release the door straight away? Should I ring the bell again? If I ring again, will she think Im annoying? Then she releases the door. Her office is on the fourth floor. I have to take the lift. Id like to take the stairs, but if I walk up, Ill be sweaty. So I take the lift.
But the lift is a bit of a problem. I wouldnt want anyone to see that Im going to a psychoanalyst Im antsy about that. So I get to the fourth floor and make it to her door. On the door she has one of those push-button combination locks, so that patients can let themselves into the waiting room. Sometimes I fumble with the lock and I get the combination wrong. Is she listening? Is she thinking, What a klutz?
Im in the waiting room five minutes early. Should I start reading something? She once told me that it was interesting that I had started to read something despite the fact that I had only a couple
of minutes before the start of my session. Maybe I shouldnt read. What do I do if someone else comes into the waiting room? Do I smile? What do I do if I see her colleague do I say hello to him?
Is there a rule about this stuff?
Shes one minute late coming to the waiting room to get me. Now its two minutes. Has she forgotten me? She comes into the waiting room. Do I look at her, or not look at her? As I follow her into her consulting room, do I look around the room, or not look around the room? What do I want to see? Am I trying to avoid seeing something?
Now Im at the couch. Do I really lie down and put my wet, dirty shoes on her nice clean couch, or do I take them off? Do patients normally take off their shoes or not? I dont know. If I do take my shoes off and most people dont, I look peculiar. But if I dont take my shoes off and most people do then Im dirty. I decide that Id rather be peculiar than dirty. So off come the shoes.
By the time I finally lie down on the couch, Ive been through all of that. This entire discussion my sense of being reproached and my sense of self-reproach, this whole saga of doubt and trouble all of it has been conducted before either of us says a word.
Tom downed his espresso.
It took a long, long time probably a couple of years to really divulge all that toing and froing clearly because, frankly, who wants to let someone else know just how absolutely small your own preoccupations are? But Dr A. kept returning to this sort of stuff, kept encouraging me to talk about it. We spent weeks on that shoe thing, for Gods sake. I wasnt expecting that.

This feels like something I'd talk to my therapist about, if I had a therapist. This story touched me because of how real it sounded. 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

A Thing is never seen as it really is*

*Quote by Josef Albers

Have you ever had strawberry and grape fruit juice? It's not very good, but mom makes it for the guests sometimes. She says it's good but I can't see it that way. It's unbelievable how others don't see the things you see so clearly.
My brother thinks it's funny I laugh while watching the Mentalist, because it's a crime show and what is there to laugh at? But he doesn't see it the way I do, and that makes all the difference, doesn't it?
I also laugh out loud while reading, I know that a lot of people do that. Don't look at me like I'm crazy.


It's funny how we live pretending, we pretend we don't know about something waiting for someone to officially tell us, we pretend we didn't see someone do something and we treat them as if we didn't see it though we know something inside of us changed. 
I don't know if our pretend is out of decency, respect, our hope that they would overlook a few things or is it just deceit and how we got used to leaving things aside and avoiding confrontation.


Is the world falling apart? 

Thursday, August 8, 2013


I want to sit beside a stranger and say 'Tell me, I'm here.'
I want to give someone the comfort of being heard, of unloading, of even if everyone around them heard them going on and on about something, I want to be the one they tell that story to from the beginning, someone who doesn't have a preformed idea. About the stranger, about their friends, about their life, about anything else. I would sit, listen. And after they've drained their heart out, I'd sit. They wouldn't expect a reply. We'd watch people passing by. Taking turns in releasing our sighs. Knowing that at least a few sighs were less loaded because of me.
I'd never have the guts to do it. So I can only imagine it in words.

Maybe we need a campaign that says 'unload your heart for free'. I'd sit at that booth.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Last July I got my driver's license. I've been legally driving for a year now, and I really thought time will make me a confident driver who enjoys driving. Truth of the matter is, I don't really enjoy driving. I'm stressed most of the time and the cars on the road each presents a danger. I don't think of it as a way to let go of stress, or clear my head.

I'd rather be seated in the backseat and someone take me where I want to go. Car rides are usually a good thing, they make you look at the scenery, see the cars passing by, have time to contemplate. Imagine someone who takes refuge in the backseat of a car goes to not just the front seat, but to the driver's seat. Funny how life forces you out of your comfort zone to teach you things.
However, having my own license, and recently, mom's car has its benefits. You don't have to ask your family to get out of their way to drop you and come back to get you.

It's not without it's funny stories though. Just at the other day, going early to the hospital. I made the mistake of going inside to park the car. I stepped in too keenly and then the front got hooked to the pavement.I didn't think that was ever possible, but it happened.
I suck at directions, and even on the way back home I find myself asking which way should I be going. It can get a little annoying but I'm slow at processing a few things in life, and directions is one of them. 

I need a personal driver, don't you guys think so? 

Friday, July 19, 2013


We try to polish our image, knowing we're not perfect. We need validation from others to go on. We polish it even by trying to make ourselves look bad, consciously and unconsciously. The problem with this polishing is how superficial it is, we don't look from the inside, we look at our reflection in people's minds and go from there. People regard us as 'good' because of them, not because of us. Are we innately good or bad? I always argued in favor of us being good, and still if I had to discuss this my mind would always go towards the "goodness". But when it comes to applying this to you, things get confusing. You're not as clear cut as the fundamental question itself.

One day a few months ago, I was upset for some reason. I really couldn't talk or be near anyone. Unfortunately that time, I was too upset to hide it well. One of my friends tried to hug me, but I was so far off. I couldn't feel the warmth of the hug, I couldn't appreciate the tenderness with which it was given, I was so far gone into my world that I just wanted to break free. I wanted out. I was going to cry, because of a hug, because I didn't want it, because how unfair it seemed to me that I was getting suffocated and how unfair it was to her that I was inwardly rejecting this hug. It happens with other situations, I try to view myself from the outside, and I can't find another explanation for how often people forgive these misgivings than their innate goodness.

How good am I innately, to want others to let me do them good but refuse to accept their goodness? It's confusing, and it's not where I hoped to find myself in life. It's not an image you like of yourself, it's a thought you keep pushing away, it's a memory your mind refuses to accept.
Refusing kindness because it wasn't the right time for me, as if kindness has to be timed and acted according to my personal needs.It's curious to see how your values not matching to how you act. Fearing the person you've become.

I need to re-evaluate me as a friend.

Friday, July 12, 2013

أعمالنا لله

رمضان مبارك عالجميع.
دائماً نتمنى من رمضان أن يكون أفضل من الذي أسلف، لكن بنهايته نجد أنفسنا نعلق أمالاً بالقادم. و نحن لا نضمن لنا غداً.
نحاول أن نساعد أنفسنا و نساعد من حولنا بأي طريقة كانت. نصلي، نقرأ قرآن، نبتسم، ننصح. لا ندري أي من هذه الأعمال سننال منه رضى الله.
من المؤسف أن يذهب تعبنا هباء. نعمل خيراً و ننشر عملنا: نخبر أهلنا و أصدقائنا به. نكتب عنه على الفيسبوك أو تويتر. بطريقة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة، قد تكون نيتنا صافية بأننا نريد دفع الأخرين على فعل الخير، لكن قد يضيع عملنا بنشره لأننا نريد ثناءً أو أن نرضي غرورنا، أو نشكل صورة حسنة عن أنفسنا لدى الآخرين. و من المفروض أن يكون عملنا لوجه الله خالصاً.
من مشكلة هذه المواقع أننا نشر حياتنا بشكل علني، و لا ضير في ذلك، لا ضير في نشرنا للخير و لدعاء قد يفيد غيرنا، لنصيحة قد يعمل بها غيرنا فيستفسد بها و ننتفع نحن بالمقابل.
لكن أرجو أن تفكر قبل أن تتكلم عن عملك الخيري، أرجو أن تتذكر حث الرسول لنا على أن "لا تعلم شمالك ما أنفقت يمينك"

Friday, July 5, 2013

Sun & figs

I’ve gone a shade darker (or a few, but who cares really). Blaming the sun isn’t the answer, I could’ve used a stronger sunblock but the thing is, my daily intake of sunshine doesn’t exceed the two minute walks I take to the Lecture hall. Anyway, increased melatonin secretion will do that to you (as well as living in this part of the world). My sister was the one who pointed it out, when I stare at my reflection, which is not infrequent, I usually look at how tired my eyes look, my nose, my hair, my hair and my hair. I have hair issues, but don’t we all? Except if you’ve got your own hair stylist, then you’re exempt from hair issues, but not from my envy.

Figs. I’ve been craving figs for ages now, I think this state will go on forever. There doesn’t seem to be figs around. I ate a dried fig last night, you know to compensate a little for my hunger for figs. I saw a dead ant inside. I’m sorry I don’t mean to disgust you but bear with me. I thought if I didn’t look at the fig, if I was absorbed watching TV, if I just ate it, that ant would be inside of me now. God sometimes makes us see things, he makes us notice little things. He opens our eyes for a minute to protect us, when for so long our eyes are so blinded. We never see life around us and we complain we’re not “living”. It’s our souls that are blinded, not our eyes. We see clearly. We see the colors, we watch the movies, we read the books, we just never notice anything. Every few weeks, I home back home by the bus. The ride takes over 2 hours. I still don’t know the road well after nearly a year of living there. I don’t like the road at all, I hate going back to the hostel, and I miss my family. These thoughts are always there on my mind, they stop my from noticing things on the road.
It’s not just that. At times, if you asked me what color my tooth brush is, I’d take a few minutes to remember. I never learn the way to any place we go to, and I drive now so it’s kind of an issue. I never pay attention. I feel my head crammed with so many nonsense and I never have in my head what I need to remember. I don’t have ‘be kind’ or ‘do good’ playing in my head, I don’t remember to be patient until after I’ve expressed my frustration and complained. A second to take things in before they’re tagged and labeled by my ever-so-ready brain. A second to appreciate things is all I need to take. 

 I feel I need to go inside my brain and de-clutter it. Throw away all the things I don't need. 

Till then, I'll keep craving figs and trying to take deeper breaths and sharpen my gaze.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Getting books in a dream

I've been dreaming a lot lately, don't know why. I think it's my disturbed sleep habits. I'd like to tell you about the one I had last night and I woke up happy not knowing why before I remembered the dream.
An -imaginary- writer gave me books he bought for me from a bookfair, they were -imaginary- books I was looking for and his -imaginary- published books along with some notebooks.
I think I sat on the floor checking everything and I was telling my sister that one of the books I just found out about that day itself and... It wasn't romantic in any way, the writer must have been just a little younger than my dad and the joy those books brought me in the dream was immense.

May you have better dreams and a better reality.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

“The unreal is more powerful than the real. Because nothing is as perfect as you can imagine it. Because its only intangible ideas, concepts, beliefs, fantasies that last. Stone crumbles. Wood rots. People, well, they die. But things as fragile as a thought, a dream, a legend, they can go on and on. If you can change the way people think. The way they see themselves. The way they see the world. You can change the way people live their lives. That's the only lasting thing you can create.”
― Chuck Palahniuk, Choke

Thursday, May 2, 2013

What surrounds us

Walls were supposed to be protective, from the world outside. When it got stormy, you were safe from the harsh wind because of these walls. We make walls poetic because they surround you all the time.
You long for freedom. You go for a walk and we see the walls, and suddenly, it's oppressive.

These walls are limiting, preventing us from seeing the world. We can't be dwelling in endless comfort anymore, they can't keep imposing these walls on us. The 4 walls of our rooms are more than enough.
Skies are withheld from our sight, imagine our view was the sky while we lie awake thinking of our problems at the end of the day. How insignificant they would seem, how better our sleep would be, how small we would feel.

Walls shielding the vastness of the world from us and shielding us from the insignificance of ourselves. We need more of 'the great outdoors'. The immense sunshine and the total darkness. The two extremes we try to imitate by turning the lights on and off.
Are the walls to blame here or are we?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Frogs and Growth

The weirdest thing that happened today was that I saw a frog, a small one. I haven't seen one in years. It's practically a desert here, and even though we had a downpour a few days ago (I doubt it rained frogs, but you know... water) I keep thinking where could it have come from? I'm thinking the sews but I'm trying to push that thought away.
The life forms this place attracts (besides humans trying their best to get on with a life that revolves around studying) are mainly insects and more insects. Not much room for diversity but the insects like to proving otherwise with unexpected types showing up on your walls, invading your space and if you ever thought of checking your phone in the dark...they shall flutter to the screen and freak you out). I'm only trying to have you imagine what it's like to be here. And believe me, even though this place is packed...there's much room for self-growth. Seize the chance while life doesn't expect much from least yet. No frogs to turn into princes, no responsibilities.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Lifetime occupation

"Why can't I just read books all the time?"
"You can't save lives doing that."
"Maybe I can save mine."

Friday, March 22, 2013


Timon Y Pumba

Can we say we're lost if we don't know the destination? If we don't know where we're heading but we're aware of the route we're taking. We're just not sure of where it'll take us, it could be to so many places. I always remember that episode of Timon &Pumbaa when they're travelling together and the road they're taking diverges into two roads. One with sunshine and trees and the other dark and creepy. They argue over which one to take, Timon chooses the one with light because he's afraid of the dark while Pumbaa chooses the dark one knowing that at the end of the dark road there must be light and you can't judge things by how they seem to be.
Not a really clear concept, and though Pumbaa is right in the end, his dark road turns out to be the better one you can't really choose based on what he did.
Somethings are clearly good and simple, others are just bad. However, one wonders. What if? What if the dark road you're on simply needed you to turn the light on? Cheesy as if may sound. What if you knew you were doing what you want to do, clearly aware of the reasons why you should be happy but you're not. All you need is something to spark a flame.
Darkness is merely the absence of light. It's nothing by itself.

If I were to choose a road, I'd probably camp on the diverging roads waiting for company. Any road is endurable with good company. Of course that means I'm indecisive (and that I am) but it also means I'm flexible. Put me in the water, I'll try to swim (though I don't know how), put me in the air, I'll try to fly (though I have no wings) and put me on a road, I'll walk (I have two legs).

So... hakuna matata!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

In pursuit of the perfect book

Imagine standing in front of your piles and piles and piles of books and asking the one that will shake you to your core to step forward and declare itself so you can be changed forever. Amazingly enough, it does. And it's not what you asked for, it's everything. It's words filling the fibers of your heart, flowing through your veins, echoing in your ears and throbbing at your temples. Both an euphoria and a headache.

Dead ends you can't walk through and mountains you easily climb. Characters living in your head and haunting your soul. Words coming back to you while you try to sleep and scenes playing before your eyes as you try to have a conversation with a friend.

Stalling you and pushing you forward. Making you stop breathing just so you appreciate your next breath. Clinging to the hem of your dress as you try to move on and daring you to read other books just to see you running back to its pages.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wedding bells

It was my wedding today, and my sister's. We forgot all about it since the legal paper that was signed at court got tossed aside. We didn't think that day would ever come until a family member reminded us. But we never forgot, we knew it was today. We just surrendered to everyone else. They’ll tell us what to do, we’ve been listening ever since we were born so why not let them handle today fully? You don’t have to do much anyway, you don’t even have to smile at your wedding. If you looked scared that’s alright, it’s only appropriate to not want to part with your family. People looked down on brides who smiled too broadly, they had no shame.
My family pretended to forget too, they wanted us too numbed to have a say on how the wedding went. That was the easy part. I had a good night’s sleep yesterday. I put off all the worry to today, knowing it would unleash itself soon so I just waited. I had my usual breakfast and I washed the dishes. We have a saloon appointment. I casually mentioned I wanted to lift my hair this time. I've never lifted my hair for a party but if not as a bride then when?

The injustice of it all overwhelmed me then as blood rushed through my blood vessels so that my heart can pump to suit my feelings. Lifting my hair for my wedding. Who knew I’d be saying it? I thought maybe I’d first try it at my brother’s wedding but mine was first. I’m not sure whether the double wedding was a good idea or not. Do they want to get rid of us together? Or do they think we’ll help each other through today? I’m not sure, but I know we’ll be too far gone in our own little world to be of any help to ourselves much less to the other. My sister knew this too.
I started crying. Not all at once, a runny nose first then a single tear followed by an unstoppable flow.
Before we left, I went to talk to my dad. I asked him why did he put us in this situation when he knew we weren't ready yet. I must have said other things I can't remember because he sat there in front of me and he...started crying too. It was his emotions getting the better of him, making him admit to his hasty mistake. A mistake too profound to be undone, his pride and dignity would be lost if he backed out. Of course, it was pointless. I just knew I had to say it, maybe the confrontation would give me something to laugh about years from now.

I was too young, and so was my sister. We were engaged to sons of respectful families. I didn't know my fiance's age, job, likes and dislikes. I thought there'll be time to be introduced. I tried to use my dismissing way of thinking but the thoughts were too violent to allow their dismissal this easily. I succumbed, I fought the horror of images of him chewing out loud, demanding a cup of coffee I didn't know how he liked, him coming home to a burning rice pot, finding the shirt he wanted that morning wrinkled un-ironed, me standing listening to his fury and watching him realize my insignificance, that I had no sense of how to transform these rooms into a home, so unlike his mother. He feels an anger at my family for not teaching me how to decently fulfill my duties as a wife.

I saw it all, as vivid as a nightmare you just woke up from. It’s funny how you only remember the nightmares vividly but the good dreams vanish quickly. Another irony of life. I considered refusing to go to the wedding but I was technically already married. There was no escape, not one I saw then. With these ideas I sat in the saloon's chair. Ready to have hundreds of hair pins inserted and a blinding hair spray.

I began an endless prayer to my future, one that would go on inside of me till the day I died.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Storm

I don't know when I noticed that my words lost their usual warmth, became wary and dull. My arms which used to be quick in comforting are now paralyzed. I lie on my bed all day. I feel something looming. As you feel a rainy day coming, clouds begin to gather in the sky without warning and the air suffocates you. You wait for the rain, it might clear the mess but it might also cause irreparable damage as well. There's just nothing you can do about it, you just have to weather the storm as best as you can.

I sit idly, I think of how I've changed. I think of cutting all ties with the world before I make a mistake I regret the rest of my life. Mistakes are inevitable but the ones I end up making are meaningless, they're not the grave kind that teaches you something and they're not the silly kind that makes you laugh over them later. If only you could choose the mistakes you make. I wonder if that would make me feel better, but I doubt it. I'm thinking my way out of having to seriously think about what I'm secretly most afraid of. I might lose this ability to feel, what if I stopped caring? What if I woke up one day and found no pity in me, no sympathy?

I think I hear something. It's the first droplets of rain finding their way to my window. I'll sit this one through and hope I survive intact. I'll wait for the sunshine, it's bound to come no matter how long the storm rages outside.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Silly little things

Braiding my hair has become a reflex of some sort. I braid the upper half first then join it with the rest to make it look neat. Otherwise my hair is a big mess. It’s all over the place, and that’s depressing. I take gotta-check-if-i-changed-into-a-green-monster mirror breaks while studying. It’s just an excuse to take a break. But so is the I’m-craving-a-hot-drink or i-need-to-put-a-face-mask-right-now. 

I wonder if I can be productive the way I wish I was. Write about anything, take a walk to just think, listen to myself, tidy that desk, start that book I always put off, surprise myself with something I wouldn’t usually do.

That’s life isn’t it? Doing the same silly things over and over again and calling them a personality.All you can do is make these silly little things a little better, a little less self-centered and hope they make you a better person.