This is funny. I think this will be a nice follow up to my previous blog entry. I’ve become more jaded about creative writing recently. Or so it seems from this little stream-of-consciousness writing I came across that I wrote last month, I think, while working on a story script for very little Muslim children: Read the rest of this entry »
I’m attempting to organize, toss, or pack 15 years worth of stuff from my bedroom.
Tonight, I’m sorting through old files. It’s funny to see the papers of the younger me. A yellow writing pad, for instance, is scribbled with every insignificant creative thought that occurred to me. Here’s a sample (these funny things are headed for the garbage, but I couldn’t help but record a few first):
In (1660?) London, a (young?) architect Sir Christopher Wren looked upon the great ashes and burned pliers of wood – all that remained of
But alas, I’ll never know what it was because there my creative burst ended, and I never finished the sentence. Here’s another:
Turn left on Wood St.
Street, stairs, ticket for train, “door’s closing.”
“I’m looking to get married,” says the 40 year-old guy who has just entered the train at North-Clyborn.
This actually occurred. Except the man was younger than 40 years old. What he’d actually asked me was, “Are you married?” as if he meant to ask me to marry him if I wasn’t already someone’s. I was silent because I didn’t want to lie but telling the truth, that I wasn’t married, was an even harder option. By not answering though, I offended him.
To convey the creepiness I apparently felt the need to exaggerate his age. I guess I changed the dialogue for the same reason… Read the rest of this entry »
This blog is defunct.
But i had an interesting day yesterday. At work, there are two ladies that I like. One for her social justice activism and the other for her religiousness. I suppose I like them because their ideas are so much like mine. I got to thinking, these two really think like Muslims so much that they’re just one step removed from actually being Muslim. But they don’t know too much about Islam.
I have only one more month with them. And I only work there part-time. So I have to tell them at least one thing about my faith everyday that I’m at work. That’s what I’ve decided.
A perfect chance came literally as soon as I walked into the office. A co-worker was bragging with some humor to my officemate about the night he went to six bars, got drunk and even fainted from drinking. My officemate in turn began to talk about all her alcohol related instances. “I wasn’t planning on it,” the guy said. “It’s just that you begin drinking little, and when your hanging out with friends the drinks go around, and you drink a little more, and slowly you get to be in a really bad state.”
I thought: aha! Here i should join in, express wonderment that they can drink it at all. And say, isn’t that just how it goes? That’s why maybe it’s better not to drink at all.
Alarm bells rang in my head. Dawah Seminar leasson 1: don’t introduce people to islam through eating habits and rules. Begin with the beginning: the shahadah, that God is One.
So I bit my tongue.
But then my co-workers actually began to talk themselves, without the humor and bragging, about how dangerous getting drunk is. How anything could happen, and you wouldn’t know it. How drinking is bad for your health and also your safety.
This of course was the time to jump in. But….! I didn’t. Perfect dawah chance number… strike.
But these weren’t even my ‘targets.’ The co-worker I really wanted to target came in right after, with a child in tow. She thinks I’m Arab and she’s told me previously about the child’s facination with arabic television. So here was my chance to begin a chat with the boy and with her. And just talk about–oh I don’t know Arabic television! (Which I’ve never seen, but she wanted me to talk about it before and I inadvertently shut her down.) Surely Arabic could lead to some mention about Islam.
I didn’t say a word. Dawah strike two.
Needless to say, I was feeling pretty bad about not saying a thing on the subject everyone is most curious to hear from me about (my faith). The day was coming to an end. I got up to leave. My office-mate vented about going across town to give a birthday gift to a buddy, only to find the buddy had left his work that day. So in a well rehearsed speech, I told her that I hoped she had a good weekend and that the gift got to her buddy. “You know Muslims try to remember God throughout the day…”
“Uh huh,” she said, nodding, and her smile a little frozen. Ha ha, she had no idea where I was going.
“So one of the things we do is to say little prayers. And one thing we say that I’ll say to you now is ‘may God reward you with better.’”
She smiled genuinely. “Oh thank you! I like that.”
So with a limp dawah attempt, I could leave work happier. Of course I was translating “JazakAllah hu Khair,” which Muslims say the way we say “thank you.” And the proper translation kinda sounds lumpy as a phrase. It’s ‘may God give you good in return.’ Implicit in the meaning is good in the hereafter. …Which would make more sense to say to someone if I was receiving a gift.
Like I said, it was a limped attempt!
In other, unrelated news, I can’t seem to stop listening to a song from the Japanese pop group NEWS. Get this though, the song is called Weeek. ha ha.
Avoid looking up the translation for it.
So here you have it: NewsWeeek
So, the music obsession of this week is Jennifer Hudson. Which doesn’t mean I’m going to be exhausted of listening to her once the week is done–it just means that I can’t stand listening to any other music this week unless it involves Hudson singing.
The problem is no one in this house can see why I like her. That power in her voice, that emotion when she sings that main song from DreamGirls… they’d don’t hear it. “She’s just yelling her head off,” Ammi said. And even Saji scrunched her nose. But God! She sounds so beautiful! I listened to the Jennifer Holliday singing “And I am telling you,” and I think Hudson sounds a whole lot better singing it. More emotion, and her high pitched singing doesn’t sound like yelling and the power is really controlled.
The main problem is, there aren’t enough songs by her. I don’t think her personal album is out yet.
My obsession last week–actually for several of the past weeks, was classical violin. And not just violin, but violin played by an exceptionally great musician. For the first time, I began to notice a difference between an ordinary playing of a violin sonata and a playing by say Joshua Bell. Actually Bell was what started the obsession. I couldn’t hear anything but him, and then the next week I could only hear stuff that was as close to excellence as him.
Anyway, I need to find a Hudson fan from outside cyberspace to gush with. And I need to get some sleep to..
Eid is around the corner–December 30 this year–and S is nearly giddy with all the gifts she plans on giving to our nephews and nieces. Which is unfair really–she’ll get ahead as aunti while I’ll be forgotten beneath discarded wrapping paper.
Actually since last Eid ul adha (a whole year ago!), I’ve been planning on making cookies and wrapping them up in oval tin boxes. It seemed so brilliant then, so knew! And if Eid had fallen during my school vacation last year, I would have done it. Now, the idea seem rather stale: both sisters talked this week of baking cookies with the girls. The girls new baking set, courtsey of their school, would just make it more fun. Bah! Spoilers, all of them!
But now what? Do I go through the trouble of baking cookies with the kids, because they’ll have more fun that way, or do I just make the batch of cookies myself to give to my three siblings’ families? My poor little nephew’ll need gluten free, milk free, egg free, nut free, and wheat free cookies. Hopefully the camera will work too… and the kids won’t open and start eating the cookies the day of Eid, because then all the mess will be mine for the cleaning!
This sudden awareness and yet this sudden arrest:
Like a gazelle who spies the leopard’s spots and stands erect,
Its ears sensing strange sounds
Yet its gangly legs like roots do not sway and
For a moment their eyes meet
Before the leopard leaps and the gazelle runs.
I wrote this poem a year and three days ago. I almost didn’t recognize this as mine. This is the original and rough draft: Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been, in my spare thoughts, wondering what to name this blog. Should it be “rotten” for rotten writing and Jonny Rotten? Or should it be, “I stand here washing dishes,” as most of what I think I should blog come from here? But will people understand the allusion to “I stand here ironing,” by Tillie Olsen? Or should it be “the rest is silence,” Hamlet last words from the play? I stand here washing dishes, I like, but it is rater a long line, no?