Close your eyes…

 

eyes

Close your eyes… open your hands wide and fly, in the deepest skies and the highest oceans. Splash yourself with the cold ocean water and continue to fly, unstoppable and self-aware.

Close your eyes…undress yourself from all that doesn’t allow you to dream and let calmness in your spirit. Let your skin pores breath in the humidity, the breeze, the morning fresh air… walk barefoot and allow the earth to gently touch your skin. Stare at the sunrise until the sun comes up. Close your eyes and with every time you open them, make yourself see a sunrise over and over again. Dare to see what your soul wants to see and don’t open your eyes before you make sure  the view is worth the opening. Continue to walk, barefoot… get into your chest the chill air, inhale the positive energy around you, let the grief out. Consume with your eyes the happiness in the playfulness of the children, in the holding of hands, in the peaceful morning meditation.

Close your eyes and give yourself the present of sight. Let yourself walk through time. Forget all you know, do not try to learn anything new, just dare to do. Do not build expectations, enjoy the moment without a future in your mind. Sit comfortably or lay down, relax your inner self and dream. Without a plan, without consequences, without chain of events, just dream and let yourself free. Move without the notion of space, open your eyes to the first thing that comes to your mind.

Close your eyes and fly… defy your own limitations, jump in a blink of an eye to the places you cannot even name, and feel the freedom in your veins. Get out all the pressure of the world of open eyes and dance to the music of your freedom to dare. Barefoot. Undressed. Soaking wet on the raindrops of clear water with a minty flavor. Close your eyes and see yourself and the world, the way you have never done before.

Sit still and gaze at the beauty of the world with no limits, with no obstacles, with no bumps. Feel her gentle hands closing your eyes, allowing you to see her world. Take her hands and fly together to lands of glorious beauty, to dreams and happy places, to homes and hearts. Close your eyes together, and become one with your skin breathing in the happiness in the particles of the ocean breeze.

Never forget to close your eyes. Do not allow anyone or anything stop you from doing that. It’s through closed eyes that you open the doors to unchained, liberated, undefeatable, aware and powerful self…open the doors to freedom from yourself and whatever tries to define it,  from notions and definitions, from limitations of nature and mind, from the inability to dream. For when you close your eyes, you dare yourself to create a vision that is only worth of opening your eyes again.

Memory Flashbacks of a Life You’ve Never Lived

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Have you ever woken up from a dream that you wished it was true? Have you ever closed your eyes and been flashed with images of you never experienced before? Have you ever walked on a street that reminds you of a memory, but not yours? Have you ever heard a voice that caresses your heart yet is unknown to you? Has there been a person you run to and felt so comfortable with although few seconds ago that was a stranger to you? Have you ever had a temporary amnesia of your life and started living for couple of minutes in your head the bits of the life that you kept dreaming?

…and then before attempting to answer any of them you start thinking: how eerie these questions are? To some they are eerie because they have never been asked previously, yet to others because of their sincerity. No matter to which camp one belongs, there are times in our lives we experience in one way or another the truthfulness of the answers to these questions.

As a kid, I always had dreams that would cut short and I would try to close my eyes again or cover them with a cloth just to fall back to sleep as to be able to continue the dream at the point it ended. Unsuccessful in achieving that I would wake up all disappointed with the taste of all that delicious food in my mouth as to face reality check when being called for breakfast. Being served homemade bread, butter and hot tea I would look at my mother while serving the breakfast, and say to her “mother, you should have come with me in my dream, there was plenty of food and since you think of everything always you could have taken some of it before the dream ended”. I never realized how bad I had made my mother feel with all those dream moments. As a kid, dreams were simple and very truthful, I rarely ever doubted that I jumping from a high building and flying was not real, but only in my dream I thought I had the special powers to make me do things that I cannot reflect in real life. Dreams, however, grow with the pace we grow as well. Not only do they grow, but the perception towards them changes. We wake up and simply say, it was just a dream without ever trying to dream that same dream again. Maybe it’s because we don’t believe dreams come true, or maybe, just maybe while we grew up we lost the ingenuousness and courage to continue dreaming. I for once, miss my dreams I had when I was a kid… miss dreaming of this huge celebration in the middle of a peaceful place with an endless table of all kinds of food I had only seen on TV, waking up in the morning the taste of my dream literally still fresh in my mouth, eating that so opposite to the dream breakfast, and see my mum trying to laugh to my silly comments. Now that I think of it, long before technology had it, my dreams were full HD: the colors were so vivid, everything so clear with this amazing zooming and slow motion options… Today, well today I dream of dreaming that dream of my childhood. It was a dream that made me feel good, a dream that made me go to sleep and keep dreaming… today’s dreams are different, they are dreams that show how much your reality sucks, dreams that you close deep in your memory lane of never to be revoked dreams because all they bring to you is an aftertaste of disappointment. Sometimes, just of curiosity and nostalgia, I close my eyes and try to recall the bits and pieces of my after dream experience I used to have years ago and what I remember is not necessarily the fact that I never got to eat the things I would see in my dreams, but my mother’s attempts to make what we had in reality be acceptable to us without having to quit dreaming. No wonder she is my hero now, because she somehow heard all our dreams, made our dreams hers as well, and made us live a life that some would not believe to have existed even as a dream. Not because we had everything, but the opposite, because we had nothing and yet I remember every single tiny detail of it more than now that I don’t dream and live better than before. When we grow up, we don’t dream, we just call our plans dreams… though dreams are not things we plan, but events that live in us without us having thought of experiencing. Our confusion of plans with dreams make it impossible for us to wake up in the morning, and say I will dream that dream again someday. It makes it cumbersome for us to find the guts to accept that dreams are little islands of memories that we never really lived but that are there to allow us depart from the hardships and failures we go through in real life and taste a little bit of joy.

 As a kid, I had this odd custom of closing my eyes searching for images different from what the present would have served me. Some call it day dreaming, I call it search of memory flashbacks of a life you never lived. Similar to the dream, you would teleport to places that don’t exist, meet people that haven’t been born yet, speak languages that you have never heard, hear music that no instrument can play… the difference though, is that for this it suffices your will to close your eyes, and instead of a black out to use that precious time in visiting the lives that you have not been predisposed to live. The mere force of closed eyelids would pay you the ticket to fly where no airline reaches. Eyes they say are the windows to the soul when someone look in them to search for you, but for you they are windows of hope, shades of opportunities, curtains of most marvelous plays once you have the courage to transform the simple eyelids to magical portals of search for moments of life so precious that reality does not have the force to withstand. The magic of the world of closed eyes is that it exists for as long as you will to keep your eyes closed whereas dreams are places you visit for a limited access time. As a grown up now, for as much as I qualify as such, I close my eyes to only sometimes find something else but the empty dark space. Even when something appears it’s more of moments I have lived or plan to live rather than images of an unexperienced world. Now even without closing the eyes I would change the image of the streets I walk on with the bits of memories of places I have been to find little comfort that I used to find as a kid.

There are other times, when one walks on a street and feels the memories that others have left there. The laughter of children playing, the crying of babies, the barking of dogs, the yelling of an old woman, the music of a wedding, the initiation of a new life, departure of a used life, a hunger of a family, garbage full of food, people dreaming, children growing, someone’s first kiss, the first break up of a girl, the last fight of a boy, a farewell, deep talks, rejections, embraces, good times and bad times… memories of one and all, of you and them, of the people, of the places, of the events, of the connections, of the emotions, of the souls, of the words and the sounds, of the movements and the actions, memories left in little boxes ready available for you to open if you take your time for that.

We often forget that on the paths we walk, we step on these memories, are part of them, bypass them, forget them, learn from them, recall them, put them to boxes, bring them back… we turn backs on them once they are left behind, only to leave them as a heritage to other people that will walk the same paths we did so that in their walk they become part of the history of all those that shared something in the streets that their memories came to life.

Leave them as opportunities for those who dare to live the memory flashbacks of a life that they have never lived!

The Tendency of being OK when you have the Power of being Great

wichita-fitting-in

It’s this weird feeling I get every time there is a change in my life, or there is a decision that I have to make that puts me in a crossroad of choice, in a quiz or a lottery where I leave it to luck to decide who will I be instead of having the guts to decide myself. Looking around and seeing people one by one swallowed by this notion of normal makes you double think about yourself and whether it’s time for you to settle down and just accept that there are some common milestones that people have and ignoring them makes you silly and a douche.

We are served with so many different definitions of what is right and what is wrong and somehow we find ourselves pushed through this force of adapting and becoming fit when we know that being fit means not being yourself. It is not enough to find a path, a reason to life, hook up with someone, finish school, get employed…surely it would be insane to state that one does not need all of this, but certainly not on the expense of not being you. Living in a rush, trying to come to a final conclusion, tends to make us decide to fast about something that will last too long. We do live in communities and our worlds should not be bubbles of uniqueness which can burst just in any given moment of time due to the outside societal pressure, however that is still not enough of a reason to make us melt into something that we don’t recognize as ours. The worst that one can go through is the path of change which has such deep effects on who you become that you forget how cool you were and somehow, for no apparent reason, you decide that being ok is not that bad.That being different and waiting patiently for a great thing to happen is a weakness and a lack of perspective forgetting that once all you were craving for is to remain the fish swimming upstream or the square in the middle of a set of circles. Being a square in a world of circles might look weird but the important thing to see is that although we are all made of a line, your line is unique and is not defined by the shape others have chosen for themselves or allowed others to do the choice for them.

Well this time it is not much of a change that has sparked my intention of cheating papers due in couple of days with just a piece of senseless and weird writing, it is rather the changes I see others making which makes me reconsider the decisions of why I am not making such changes as well. It all started in a wedding of a very dear couple of mine that I firmly believe will have joyous and fulfilling marriage ahead. In all that joy, dancing, talking, observing and thinking there were two main things that came over my mind which made me reconsider some of my past decisions and my thinking process behind them: job and apparently marriage. In a very intelligent and fruitful discussion I had with a quite kind person I met there I was awestruck by the perception I leave to others once they hear my story. I could not but notice the sadness and the anger that would show at the same time in the face of this person while learning that I had embarked upon a second masters and that I had been two years officially unemployed prior to that. The sadness in his eyes was profound and I felt this warmth deep inside that someone as unrelated and unknown to you can be so emotionally disturbed when hearing about a stranger’s debacle in life. But that didn’t last even as much as to allow me enjoy that feeling of worry for me coming from the most unusual place and slapped me in the face with the cold question “Why?”. To my surprise, this kind person was not just sad and angry that I had come across difficulties but that I was steering my own boat to this path I had never envisioned for myself. For a while I felt like I died and I was questioned about the decisions I made and the reasons behind them. I felt a stress of being interrogated about something that I had not the courage nor the will to answer, but yet of something I was quite much guilty of. And I couldn’t but get into the loop of that word I genuinely disfavor and started WHY-ing everything that had brought me to the position I am now. Not that I am proud of where I stand and let alone that I approve of my choice to start a second masters which weirdly enough would just prove to me that my choice was lame and stupid, but yet I had given my decision enough credibility and excuse that had made me be ok with it. The tower of cards that I called good reasoning collapsed when I realized that what I had done is to portray myself in the eyes of others as someone who has sailed to a direction he isn’t sure about while not even being able to sail. This kind person with his outmost sincerity slapped into my face a reality that I will have to deal with in the future but at the same time made me realize that I had miscalculated my long term goal  by actions which should have brought me closer to achieving that goal. The worst part is that I realized that although I had planned to be a square always, I stretched that much into adapting with the environment that I had become unknowingly a circle. Not wanting to break someone or trying to make someone happy or just trying to follow these rules that society had put in front of us often makes us walk the paths we never envisioned for ourselves. One crack is enough to make us become the average. My crack I realized was a job. Having found myself in the unemployed state made me consider options which are not perfect but rather ok, building up scenarios of eternally being unemployed just so that I excuse myself of the choice to do something I had no real reason to do. And you need just one single kind person, that you don’t know to point out how imbalanced as a personality you are when you leave others get into your head by putting for you milestones on your life: by 26 years old you have to be employed, married, housed, settled…and the list goes on. Just in order to fit a least one of the achievements I was envisioned to by the age of 26 I had made a choice which didn’t make me happier…it made me worse of as a matter of fact, which I understood today when friends of mine were weirded out to learn that my room is my life. Today I realized that the words of this kind person made a lot of sense, because not only was I unstable in my goals but I was unstable with my life by closing it up in four walls.

On top of all this was the thought of marriage. At 26, besides employment, marriage was the thing discussed about the most as milestone to be achieved, yet I had achieved none. While I decisively agree that the idea of being employed pushed me into a rushing decision which I should not have made, the idea of marriage was not strong enough to make me rush into it. Not that I haven’t thought or attempted to do it by now, I would be insincere to hero out myself from the provoking thought that I should have someone by my side but luckily enough I was unlucky in achieving that. Surely the need for someone to share your joy and sadness, to have as a support for important decisions you make, to fulfill your heart and soul is more than real in every single person but it is not enough of a reason to try it out so many times that the failures you go through each time make you less enthusiastic about achieving the goal of partnering up and finding your soul-mate. Marriage is a scary thing, at least that’s how I feel every time it gets mentioned. It sounds like a limitation to your options of meeting someone exquisite in the future, apparently not valid if you have already found that someone. My real fear of marriage lies upon the fact that just of the need to be married you settle down with someone that represents a limitation to your opportunity of finding the right one. The scariest of all is that on the way of just fitting the norm, you agree to change so much that you would not get married to yourself if you were given the option. It takes a lot of courage to wait until there is a person fit to walk with you in life while at the same time you are fit for that person as well and being fit would in no way mean to adapt and change so that you can bear with each other. Being fit means to be accepting of who the other person is and be happy with all that the package includes without wanting or attempting to change a part of it. Being fit means to be yourself around that person without feeling the need to change because happiness would stem from two shapes balancing and completing each other, and not transforming each other’s shape. Being fit means that you allow your partner in love to live freely the life of a single person in the mode of marriage giving to each other unconditionally yourself without the fear that after some time you won’t recognize your own reflection. For such a fitting, an eternal life is worth waiting and nothing less than that is worth of jeopardizing the sanctity of yourself. Marriage once such a person comes to your life is not a decision you have to make, but something that is bestowed upon you by the mere fact that you have found that special someone.

If the wait would look silly to those who follow rules and norms, then I proclaim myself a fool for if doing anything that is outside of the norm might look silly to many, to me silly is to do anything but what you want.

Letters…I prefer letters!

“Letters. I prefer letters.” was a perceived cry against the modern communication that got jammed in my mind in Alex’s last message couple of days ago.
It kept me thinking since, especially due to the fact that once upon a time I had realized that the chit-chat type of communication that the social networks and the seemingly demanding life imposes on us has contributed to impassive correspondence and thoughtless responses. At least this was true for me. As with everything that produces turbulent feelings, I had unconsciously stored that thought somewhere in the never to be touched department of my brain and gone on with the wave of modern communication. And unsurprisingly enough, the not-to-be-touched department wasn’t that untouchable. It needed a spark, one that came along unexpectedly. And here I am, drawn to write about it as if it is a person in itself pulling the strings of the puppet ME, trying to speak out against the tyranny that the modern world has done to the lovely, thoughtful, sincere way of communicating that prevailed until recently, letters.

I went back to Alex’s message and I couldn’t but not quote a passage that acts as an agent of my now-free thought.
“I think I prefer letters, long, detailed, thought-involving letters. Chats have increasingly grown disappointing and frustrating for me. I have discovered they offer a cheap and quick replacement for face-to-face communication, one I am not willing to take easily”, it said. It was all there, up to the last detail.
Chats although allegedly harmless, have challenged for good our way of exchanging thoughts and conversation. There are always same set of questions starting the conversation that have most of the time automated responses formed in our heads before the questions are even asked. The thinking part of the whole has long gone, for now we are used to type fast and answer promptly. The lols, rofls, omgs, and an never ending list of shortcuts have rendered our conversations to be filled with senseless and masked emotions since not much is left that belongs to the basket of the reality. The virtual world seems to have screwed us up well; that much that I believe there will be face screens in the future that will lol for us while we keep doing our job. And this is the part that has changed quite much in the era of chats, the time we invest solely to the person we chat with. It’s very in to be multitasking thus we tend to always do more than one thing at a time. The now old fashioned letters actually required us to devote some quality time to the person we would write to, think about the things we will write and the way to make it pleasant to read. Now we chat, listen to youtube, read an article, do our work, and not to forget, chat with other people at the same time. In turn it makes us forget the value that people have to us and downsized it to the need to respond but not delve into it.

I, like Alex, prefer letters, I always had. Notwithstanding the fact that I am a rebel in everything, I got myself loose and changed my preference, at least superficially. Lately I had noticed that I dislike chats but that never made me think how much I prefer letters. It’s the second thing I like most in communication after face-to-face interaction and socialization. Letters if nothing else show that I have valued you by taking the time and resources to get you a letter, write in it, and post it to you. Even if it is through email, it still proves how much I value you. You can call me a dreamer, a romantic, a lost soul, a traditionalist, a rebel, but I’m sure I’m not the only one. There are a lot of you that miss receiving a letter that is directed to you because someone cared about you; not like in chats where your either write to someone who might not be so happy about writing back or someone writes to you while you don’t really feel like talking to that person. Letters are ways to tell others that the time it was written belonged to you solely and you get to read it whenever you feel its most appropriate for you.

Next time I you write me on any of the chat services, be patient. I shall return your message, but not as an answer to your question or continuation of your conversation.
It will be in a form of a letter: a long, detailed, thought involving letter that will bring with itself an image of me, a reflection of my soul, and most importantly the needed value I should give you with each correspondence.

It will be in a form of a letter, because from now on, I only prefer letters!

The True Colors of Happiness

There is something called the happiness of a child. A happiness that involves doings things not always smart, right or fit to the society we live in, but yet pleasurable, fun and super enjoyable.

When children, we tend to do everything that our little minds can think of never regretting of doing so. We build our own fortresses we want to live in, make up friends we want to spend our time with, play games that no one likes to play, eat foods that make us fat, indulge in chocolate pleasures, fight and bruise ourselves, speak to imaginary friends, fall in love, dress like fictional characters, play grownups at the same time we hate being ones, and all that creates our little perfect world. A world where nothing but happiness is the language that is capable of describing the music that makes that world revolve, the words written on the walls of such life, the drama of indescribable genre. In such a world, we wake up every morning caressed by the sunlight’s rays and the gentle hug of a mother, jumping on an imperfect bed down on stairways made of music notes of positive thoughts arriving on not so rich but nonetheless amazing breakfast table. The eye of the child is small and sees everything in giant proportions, being fed by the tenth of what the adult’s eye sees. A child’s ear hears the music of a laughter, children’s play in the streets, baby’s giggling, bicycle’s bells, and most importantly it hears the music of love to which without being asked goes on dancing. Little things are capable of making our sadness go away, making us easily adaptable to happiness. While growing up, slowly all these features fade away and instead we dress up in customs and norms set by anything but us, giving a definition to happiness that we become so comfortable with as to forget that once upon a time happiness had a whole another meaning.

As grownups we tend to do the right things, often forgetting that the right thing is not always the best thing. We define ourselves by others, let them direct our lives and consequently become puppets that know only how to go by the rules rarely courageous enough to challenge them. We set certain goals and by that we create our life plan. We plan even for the days that we might not be around here anymore, nonetheless wasting a whole bunch of energy just to make those plans come true. All that easily disappoints us, since achieving goals in life is the new meaning happiness gets. We consider ourselves as happy only when we have got the right education, wear the right clothes, settle in the right job, marrie the right person, have the right house and possess the right amount of wealth. And it is the chain of right’s that makes our lives so miserable that a kid would pity us deeply. There is a saying stating that ‘people learn from mistakes’.  If we are prone to doing the right things always, and not make mistakes that is like deciding from the start that we don’t want to learn. We don’t want to learn what being happy is about!

If we could think like a child, we would let ourselves be ourselves, for deep down we dream of the child we used to be. We would be able to paint our lives with the true colors of happiness, dance to the truthful tones of it, and the taste of its candy flavor. Maybe, just maybe, we could than choose to get the education that is not only informative but fun as well, dress according to the colors we paint our world with, find the job that doesn’t pay much but yet fulfills us and makes us forget that we are working. We could then marry not the right person but the best person: not fulfilling the right criteria yet be able to watch movies that kids watch, stay in bed and cuddle, drink hot chocolate and eat cupcakes and brownies, hug whenever feeling a bit down, laugh until our chest would hurt, stare at the sky, play hide and seek and chase in the park, not be obsessed with the formalities of life and the material gains, love each other for what our hearts see and not what those around see. We could also live in a house that is furnished with positiveness, warmness, friendliness, playfulness, love and harmony. And lastly, we would be able to live without caring how much will others inherit when we die!

We, for sure, would be truthful to happiness if we could remain children in our definition of it!

 

The Beauty Proficiency Level (BFL)

 

I see beauty as a language in itself. One either speaks it well, or in subsequent decreasing levels. In the case of beauty one gets to be privileged to be born with the level of it signed down in the genes themselves.  Different people speak different level of beauty, thus we come to the idea of Beauty Proficiency Level.

Some people do not speak beauty at all, and beauty turns out to be a foreign language to them. Different from language though, beauty is a language quite difficult to acquire. The mother tongue of some in most cases seems to be so different that they never get to enter the beauty scale.

On the other side, there are some for whom beauty is mother tongue and comes out quite naturally. They speak it so well, that everyone dreams to have such an original touch of speech. No matter the sound that it comes with, the beauty language is always pleasurable to be heard when spoken by a native speaker.

In-between these two categories, there is a rainbow of colors that beauty come in with. For them all,beauty is considered as a second language yet not totally unknown. The Beauty as a Second Language(BSL) is usually natural leveling process, and sometimes can be learned up or down for some levels.  Immediately under the native level comes the proficient user of beauty, the ones that speak it so well that sometimes is hard to recognize their beauty speech from the natives. The proficient level speakers of beauty can be only detected if caught unprepared and in a bad timing such as early mornings or late afternoons, when their language level has been decreased by the excessive use of their mother tongue.

Next in line come the advanced level speakers of beauty who differently from the proficient users are detected in their proficiency level but still are always praised for how good they speak beauty. The upper-intermediate beauty level is attributed to those who speak and understand it but have serious problems with its comprehension. If put together with a native speaker, their beauty level is well recognizable as not good enough. The intermediate level on the other hand is something not to brag around with but still not be much ashamed of. At least these speakers can say that beauty is not a language totally foreign to them and that when tried hard, they can speak and understand it on a fair level.

The next three levels differentiate the low-level users from the non-users of beauty. The elementary/basic level of beauty is little above the knowledge level.  It’s almost not spoken as a language, but there are some attributes that favor these users when compared to the non-speakers of beauty. The pre-intermediate level speakers are close to the intermediate proficiency level with the exception that their level of comprehension is little behind and their beauty is not much noticed.

Similar to language, beauty can be acquired, but just in some cases. While for men this possibility is quite limited, for women it is more readily accessible. Even if not a proficient user, sometimes some achieve to boost up their levels by using different idioms and synonyms (make-up) that would make their level sound higher. In some cases the transformation, that the usage of these fancy wordscauses, results in such a speech that leaves others around breathless. However the effects usually fade of and not much is done to bring a real result in the proficiency level of beauty as a second language.

Similar to language again, beauty level can be decreased, in some cases even drastically. For the foreign speakers of beauty, even those in proficient level, if not used for some time, the beauty is forgotten and takes some time to get refreshed and recuperated. Even the native speakers of beauty sometimes can ruin their standard language by using too much of slang (clothes and accessories that just make beauty decrease in proficiency, words such as overweight and anorexia) and archaisms (old age!).

It would be unfair to discuss beauty only through the superficial outside look and leave out the other side of beauty standing on the other side of the coin. Besides what I already discussed previously, there is an inner dimension of beauty and that is the soul beauty. Contrary to the outer beauty, the proficiency level of inner beauty is determined by both nature and nurture. Some are born with the tendency to be native speakers of inner beauty while others remain for lifetime on the list of those for whom inner beauty is a foreign language. Quite a large portion of this kind of beauty is attained through age and the older one gets the more proficient s/he tends to get in the language of inner beauty. The levels of proficiency of this type of beauty are same as with the outer beauty ranging from natives, proficient users, advanced users, upper-intermediate, intermediate, pre-intermediate and basic/elementary users.  It can be increased and decreased, through extensive usage/updating and forgetfulness respectively.

When compared to each other, the two are tested in different ways. The outer beauty is usually tested with a first look test and the results are quite fast, while the inner beauty needs a lot more testing and the results tend to come quite late. Proficiency in the outer beauty can get easily decreased in a test for those around if the inner beauty proficiency level is low. On the opposite side, the higher the inner beauty proficiency level the more it is reflected on the outer beauty proficiency thus boosting up the total.

And to conclude, it seems fair to ask people now “Do you Speak Beauty?” or update the language bar in the languages you speak question.

Oh you beautiful soul…

 

Oh you beautiful soul…

If love could have a form and exist as a person

that would definitely be you

for I love you more than love itself

 

Oh you soul of my beloved…

I love you in this world

and I shall love you in the next

Near me or away from me

my heart shall love you…

As a beloved or even as a stranger

love shall be the medium to remember you…

 

I love you oh you soul so close to mine

with the joy and happiness you bring to me

and the pain and forgetfulness you come to me

 

I shall love your beautiful soul, your odor, your physical form

no matter if I am alive or dead in the midst of earth

I shall love you no matter if I am single, married, a parent

for you are the love that brings all those moments together

 

Oh you beautiful soul of my beloved

my love for you does not generate from talking

or silently gazing at your nur (light)

nor does it generate from the emotions that flow within me when thinking of you

or the coldness that your fear reflects

 

For I love you, oh you soul,

beyond the reason of loving

for I love you with the essence of love

with my belaa

with the will to have you as a beloved, habib in the next world

 

I love you with the hope of reaching His pleasure

the pleasure of the Lover of lovers, the Habib of the ahbab

I, my beautiful beloved soul, love you with my unconditional love…

 

Who am I?

I am the aim I give myself to be.

The one defined by the actions I do, the words I say, the life I live. I am the one that gets the meaning through the perception I limit myself. As such, my definition varies, according to my thoughts and their materializations, according to my beliefs and their manifestations, according to my relations and their actualizations. I am the reflection of Thy names and the attributes of the one He eternally cursed. The composition of flesh, soul, ego, reason and lust. I am the fight between them all, but I am also the winner of it.

When the ego (nefs) wins, I am it. I become the material form I strive for, the ambitions I represent, the love towards this world. I am the animal, the satan and the selfish self. I am full of myself without space for others in it, full of ignorance convinced I am smarter, full of misery in the mask of happiness. I target my pray and I fight to get it, until I realize I was full of myself so much that there is no space for it in me. In my EGO self, I love none but me, being the only  one worth of loving. My heart knows to hate whatever is not me, for whatever is worse and better has no place in it. In my EGO self, I am the lover and the loved, the marriage of me and myself in a communion of stubbornness, arrogance, conceit, haughtiness, self-liking, narcisism. I become the spectre through which the cursed one shows the colors to the world, I become his best advocate. In such a value of self, I come from nothing to end as nothing. The in-between is just an interval that either made the nothing more visible or made it fade, yet to end up as nothing.

I am also the soul that knows none of what the ego strives for. Through it, I become a subduer, submitter. I become the voice of my inception, the answer Kaluu Belaa (Yes, indeed). I become the moon reflecting the rays of light from sun, showing to the world the attributes of my Lord. I am the mercy, the forgiver, the source of peace, the pure one, the generous. I look towards the sky and get fed by what came  down from it as a revelation and guidance. The soul that I am had a beginning but has no end. It is eternal, manifesting itself through the limits and boundaries of the body. Within the nothing, it is everything. It is the meaning that makes nothing valuable, for it gives it a purpose worth being born and dying. The soul that I am knows how to convert the ending world into eternal result. Limited within the body, it is also limited within this material world. It has to fight with whatever comes into its path towards reaching the aim of testifying the Kaluu Belaa, and uses the limits for its expression. The world becomes a stage where the soul acts, where it shows its worth. It loves and awaits no love in return; is benefitial and gives thanks to its Creator for not being harmful; finds peace in what it shares and gives and not what it get; it’s a hands that gives not a hand that asks. It is a myriad of goodness for it wills to stand by its vow.

Yet, who am I? I am what I aim to make of myself. I am the abd (slave), selfless and filled with others. I am the fight between the reflections of His names that the soul tries to represent and the characteristics of satan that the ego abundantly accepts. I am both, and none. Because I am a human, that has been called upon with a purpose. To be a representer of Him on earth. I am the abd that denies to be satan, and who proves God’s words “I know what you know not” testifying to the angels that I am a creation that submits to Him who created him, bows down and prostrates to show his modesty and weakness in front of The Most High, The Almighty. I am the abd that knows how evil he can get, thus has something in his hands which resembles none of what he reflects. I am the abd that knows how to ask for forgivness and with it I resemble myself, for God needs no such thing and satan was to proud to have it. I am the abd that once mistaking, knows how to show his repentance and where to ask for it.

I am what I aim to be, and my aim is not to be nothing. For nothing is too useless to strive for, too empty to cherish and too unimportant as to fight for. I am not everything, for I wasn’t created to be so, but I am what I aim to be and that is an abd in the whole sense of the word.

Loving for the sake of God

After reading for several times the excerpts from Ghazali’s On the Duties of Brotherhood, and Habib’s great article on it, I couldn’t but share my reflections from the two.

While there are many important aspects that underlie the love for the sake of God, which in this particular case is funneled into the brotherly love for His sake, the following is my own perception of it as of always and also affected now by the works mentioned above, and by the vllaicim/friends that gave it a practical meaning.

To start with, I want to highlight the importance of ever wanting to have such kind of brotherhood. There are two dimensions that I understand this value:

  • The Prophet of Allah, salAllahu te’ala aleyhi we sel-lem, in a hadith has said

There are seven people whom Allah will draw under His own shadow on the day when there will be no other shadow: a just ruler; a youth who was brought up fearing Allah; a man who likes to say his prayers in mosques regularly; a man who remembered Allah so his eyes are over filled with tears , two persons who meet and disperse with sincerity to Allah’s teachings; a man who refuses to be seduced by a pretty and influential woman fearing Allah; a man who has given alms and concealed it so that his left hand knew not what his right hand did.

Being listed within the seven is enough to consider brotherhood for the sake of Allah as a calling in life, as something one should not pass to the other word without having. However, compared to other reasons that make one be shadowed in the shadow of Allah, one can see that in a modern world one is quite neglectful or unable to strive for all the rest. Apparently not every one of us gets the chance to be a ruler, so that he could try to rule justly. With the hectic time we have, one is unable to pray his prayers in the mosque regularly, and not all of us get to be seduced by women so that one can refuse to commit adultery fearing Allah thus becoming a Yusuf of modern time. Most of us might have passed their youth already not on the level needed to be shadowed by Allah.

So there are three things left to achieve such a degree. While of the three the most important one is to remember Allah and in doing so his eyes to be shed with tears, still its personal and doesn’t affect others. Giving alms in such a hidden way is sometimes halted by the fact of having something to give as alms. The one left, which is altruistic and selfless, which doesn’t necessarily require material wealth, is loving your brother for the sake of Allah, be it while together or when apart.

  • Yet there is another dimension which makes this love so unique and special. Committing yourself in a bond of brotherhood, you accomplish the meaning of a Muslim, who loves not due to kinship but for the sake of belonging to the same faith and for the sake of Him who has enlightened them with that faith. On this regard, Al Hasan says: “Our brothers are dearer to us than our families and our children, because our families remind us of this world while our brothers remind us of the Heareafter.” Our families have been given to us as an obligation, as a tie that we are not supposed to break, as people that we have to love and be there for them. A brother in deen is different because you choose to have him, naked from all the material gains and ties and dressed with the robe of Afterlife where the two would together enjoy the fruits of such a noble love. Furthermore al Hasan says, “If a man stand by his brother to the end then on the Day of Ressurection God will send angels from beneath His Throne to escort him to the Garden of Paradise.” May we all live to witness that. Amin.

Now, returning to Ghazali’s concepts of brotherhood and the obligations that follow it, there are few points I want to highlight and reflect upon.

His definition of the concept of brotherhood still leaves me amazed,

The contract of brotherhood confers upon your brother a certain right touching your property, your person, your tongue and your heart – by way of forgiveness, prayer, sincerity, loyalty, relief, and considerateness.

In a way he says it all: a brother in faith is a contract which one willingly enters into for the sake of God and with the intention of walking together a journey that will result in a reward. All one has, becomes shared for as the Prophet, salAllahu te’ala aleyhi we sel-lem, says, “Two brothers are likened to a pair of hands, one of which washes the other.”The brother gives all he has to the brother, the material wealth, the spiritual guidance and the knowledge he posses and his tongue, to articulate the praises towards his brother and correct him on things that do him no well in this and the next world.

The right the brother has over your heart is to have him there always until it stops beating. The heart should love endlessly and with no reserves, no expectations. Such heart is grateful to God for allowing it to be beneficial and not harmful to the creation. It is aware that the hand that gives is always better than the one that takes, thus expects nothing in return from his brother so as to be better in his deen. The heart that belongs to the brother finds joy in giving love, knowledge and his time and not in getting the same back. This lesson was taught to me by a very valuable friend that provided my heart with the cure it needed.

In addition, this love is accompanied by emotions and actions that are way too positive and not often used by people. A person in himself is a combination of the reflections of the names of God and attributes of the Satan. Forgiveness is the one thing that makes human special, especially the possibility not only to forgive but also to ask for forgiveness.

For one who has tasted the sweetness of brotherhood, the prayer is means to attach the love towards his brother with God. The prayer is communication with God about what he wants for his brother forgetting on the way himself. The prayer proves that at the best level of brotherhood the siddiq one (sincere), one becomes selfless filing the vacuum of the self with the love towards his brother.

Loyalty as a concept applied to brotherhood, means to be consistent in your love towards him, and continuous. The love that does not continue until the brother dies, was not love for Allah’s sake to begin with. The length of such love is endless because of the cause of it: Allah. He is eternal, so is the love in the brotherhood for His sake.

May we all come to experience such a profound love, which might become the cause to achieve the other aspects that shadow one in Allah’s shadow on the day when there will be no other. One becomes more aware of Allah through loving for His sake, and through being beneficial to His creations. Once we achieve it, may we not allow it to end and pray for it to be one of our arguments on the Day of Judgment.

Life Stories

It’s astonishing how different yet similar people’s stories are. Well, it’s even more astonishing how important they become for you once you listen to them. You find yourself partly or in a great extent as belonging to it. Your sole departs from the limits of your body and travels through time and space, merging together with the sole that conveys the story it has lived.

The moment people open their mouth, their story starts writing itself with the pen of memories, emotions and facial expressions. Words suddenly turn into pictures, put together in such a unique way that makes each storyteller a world on its own. So much emotions flow within you that you forget who you are and become the story you hear. You breathe in the memories and suck up all the emotions the storytellers portray. The trembling of their voice arrives in you through the vibes of feelings it is produced by, their tears become the seas through which you sail within their souls, and their laughs and smiles enlighten the dark tunnel which seems to have no end. In all this complexity of feelings, each one finds his/her own way of defining themselves, be that through their own or someone else’s story.

In the process of sharing life stories, there is an urge in you that makes you tell the story that best defines you or that you have thought the most about. When your tongue becomes the ambassador of your life, it gets a tremendous power over your choice of what to say. Suddenly you find yourself not only telling others something you didn’t plan to talk about, but telling the story to yourself as well. You tell and at the same time listen to your own story, so instead of a monologue there is actually a dialogue going on as you speak. In the struggle between what your tongue narrates and what your mind dictates, your story not only gets told but analyzed as well. You try to explain in the process the meanings of events, people, dates and what else not, not as much for others as for your own self. Once your story is told, you start feeling weird especially due to the atmosphere it has produced. The glimpses you get from your listeners seem to be full of compassion, understanding and empathy. It is as if in one moment the perception of you in the eyes of others has changed and you now get a totally different definition from them. Your story becomes a definition of you, a channel through which people have penetrated in your life, navigated through the most important parts of it and got acquainted with you on a deeper level. With it [the story] you have opened the gate to your soul and invited them in. Your life becomes a museum and your story guides the people through it.

Apparently, telling your own story is a quite important step towards listening to and sympathizing with other stories. By understanding the complexity of emotions flowing in you while you tell your story, wearing someone else’s shoes becomes a piece of cake, since all of them seem to fit you now. You hear other stories through the prism of your own, and get involved in it using the elements of your story. In that room of storytellers, you are undressed of the socially imposed and any other differences. You are genderless, statuteless and don’t belong to a particular place. You travel from Bosnia to Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Italy, Montenegro, Germany, Greece, and all over the globe, as a man and woman, a kid and adult, with family and friends. Your soul multiplies as many times as the number of stories told while you still hold the flag of uniqueness due to your particular perception and angle. The room you are in transforms into a time machine, sending you at exact times and dates of importance for the people who share their own story with you. Your eyes are windows through which sceneries are viewed, wells of tears through which sadness is expressed, and mirrors which reflect the soul(s) in you and around you. In a room of physically many, all it remains is a spiritually one.

At a certain point within all this process you realize that the treasure you have always searched for is in the diversity of the stories you hear. Your story now becomes part of this beautiful mosaic of life, without being any better or worse than any other. The feeling you have when you first share your story, namely as someone who is special in one weird way at the time the story gets out of the walls of yourself into the heads of others who listen, diminishes once you learn how stories overlap and how fulfilling it gets the more you listen. The uniqueness you once had becomes a pattern in the architecture called life, as each of your stories constitutes a building within the larger neighborhood. Finally your weirdness becomes an important part of the whole and you finally realize how beautiful life is, regardless of the sadness or happiness it contains in each story it is composed of.