Archive for the ‘ Sensible Thoughts ’ Category

When death came, I shed no tears.

Listen to: Sometimes by Wes Willenbring.

Winter departs with just another soul escaping to the other side. She often wonders what this other side is. They speak of it greatly in movies and books; there is always an aura of white light depicted in pop culture. Then a soul leaves its body, just like that. She never witnessed a death, even in movies, she’d close her eyes afraid it would come after her. She would also skip paragraphs that spoke so beautifully about death, she failed to see the beauty of it. She could never come to peace with the idea of moving on so easily. Death is such an easy thing for the dead, they say. They will look over our shoulders from up above and guide us, they tell her.

—-

My grandfather passed away when I was in first grade. I remember coming home one day, running towards my mother’s room as I normally would, only this time her arms were not open wide to embrace me. They were wrapped around a wooden chair with her head leaned down. She was crying. This had been the first time I see my mother cry. I threw my big purple school bag on the ground and ran to her. The hallway leading to her room felt as though it was stretched longer than it normally was. I reach to her, kiss her forehead and pat on her head asking what had happened. Her voice was shaky, her crystal blue eyes shimmering with tears, she told me, “Jeddo ra7, noora. Jeddo ra7.”

I did not understand what she meant by him going, I just cried along. Her tears ached me. I have never seen my mother cry this much or be wearied by sadness for that long. We were not in Syria at the time and I think part of her being sad was because she did not get to see him one last time. I have only met my grandfather a few times back then, and my memory of him is quite hazy. He was tall with white hair, pale skin and blue eyes. They tell me I inherited my height genes from him.

Edna, my grandmother, still wears her ring after all these years. She has a picture of him in her bedroom. He was quite the handsome young man. She never tires of telling my sister and I stories of him whenever we visit. The most prevailing memory I have of him, however, was while hugging my mother as she cried him away that day.

My father grew up as an orphan. He often tells me of his beautiful mother and how she passed away at an early age. Grandpa re-married a few years later, as tale goes by, but my father tells me it is always different without a mother. Sometimes, he closes his door and listens to folk music about mothers. I dare not disturb his solitude, for death has shaken it to its core.

Death steals. Sometimes it comes unexpected and takes the young away, and at times, we feel its presence before it arrives. So we make space for it. We set aside our lives and feel a certain heaviness painting our days in grayscale. It comes in rescue of the ill and leaves a void within us. It is us, those who mourn, that feel it most. I believe the only time we do not feel the ache of death is when it comes for us.

I grew up fearing death for my loved ones that every night, before going to sleep, I would pray to God to keep my family safe. I would pray for each person in my family. I often cried as a kid. I never understood death. But my mother, she cried when it came. And my father, he closed his eyes in silence at its mention. So I cried, not because I understood it. I did not. But because everyone cries when death arrives. Then they smile.

Then in my early adolescent years, my friend died and I could not cry. Not one tear. At first, I thought there was something wrong with me. I still do not know why I could not cry, even when I wanted to. I think I cried in fear of death so much so that my tears ran out. I rarely ever cry. I do not know why. Crying gives such comfort and people always refuse it. I wish I could cope with my sorrows in tears. It would be easier to cry them away than to bottle them up like I always do.

Perhaps, this is why I am too cold, too heartless, too apathetic – because I could not cry when she died. I went on with my life. I refused to think of her. I packed her belongings in a box and gave them away. She gave me a novel once, I had forgotten its title. After she had passed I sat hours staring at the novel. I could not read for years. I could never finish a book. I always felt cheated with no endings to my novels. I wrote instead. I mark everything to read and leave novels unfinished. I only started to read this year. Every time I go to that place, right between the covers of a book, I see her shadow haunting me. I wish I could cry her away, even now, but I cannot. I am devoid of emotion. I am heartless. But I cried once, I was not always heartless.

Women and Language: Is English biased against us?

This is an informative post.

Being a linguistics student and a wordsmith, I tend to give most of my attention to lexicon; how people talk, the words they choose, their tone, their auxiliary verbs, their dialects, their adjectives, their lack of adjectives and so forth. It fascinates me and opens up my eyes to a better understanding of this world. Really, it does. I believe in linguistic relativity in very limited forms; Perhaps, in a vise versa sort of way where we, as a society, influence language.

Hint: Linguistic relativity is a theory developed by Benjamin Lee Whorf. It basically means language affects the way its speakers think and behave. The theory, however, was well in mind of thinkers and scholars of the 19th century.

Now, English as a language favors males. It is biased against women. Not the language itself but the language we structured, the terms we coined, the behaviors and connotations we gave to it. Let me first give you a brief outline on women dialects.

Robin Lakoff, a linguist, developed several theories on genderlects. She proposed that women speak differently from men. Now, some of those models she proposed are quite interesting because I myself, as a female, do them as opposed to the males I know. Even when media addresses women, they tend to use different tactics and lexicon to seek their attention. Here are a few:

  1. Color terminology: If we took two magazines: One aimed at women, and the other at men, we’d notice that when it comes to colors, female magazines are apt to use more variety in colors. So blue isn’t just blue, it becomes teal, iris, periwinkle, azure, and turquoise. However, in male magazines, blue is just blue.
  2. Empty Adjectives: Females are more apt to use those, males not so much so. For instance, pretty in female terms becomes: gorgeous, stunning, elegant, dazzling, cute, and whatnot. In male terminology, however, pretty is just pretty.
  3. Tag Questions: Women tend to seek conformation more via questions, so for instance, a lady would say, “I look good in this dress, don’t I?” or, “you think I’m crazy about you, don’t you?”
  4. Indirect requests: Although Lakoff’s theory involves what women tend to say more, I do believe men do this often as well. These would be something like, ‘I am thirsty,’ or ‘its cold’ or ‘I’ve been feeling down lately,’ in lieu of asking for water, a jacket, or a hug.

She also proposed that women tend to be more grammatically cautious than men and are less apt to use weak expletives. A student of hers later on developed genderlex, meaning basically men and women speak differently. And we do, to a great extent.

Then again, language is what we make it, right? When some terms come to mind, they don’t sound right. We live in a society that subtly favors men. If we take, for instance, words describing men vs. words describing women, we’d really notice how awful the situation is.

Have you ever heard the term family woman? I did not. But family man is something more common. Ironically, when googling family woman definition the top result was Wikipedia’s domestic violence page with no definitions, and when I did the same thing with family men definition all I got was definitions.

Then again, career woman is there. Ever heard someone introducing a guy to you and saying, ‘he’s a career man’? Obliviously both terms exist, but when speaking of a spinster people tend to shame her for being a career woman, whereas a bachelor with a career is considered someone ‘too good to be true.’ I am aware that bachelorette is there as well, but there should be equality in terminology as age progresses. There are dozens of those, I am extremely disturbed by the fact that we let such minuet differences slip by. I am not being picky at all. I am being observant, and I do not like what I see.

All in all, I believe a society that dominates men is bound to have a language that supports it. I wrote this post hoping to cover Arabic language biases against women. That is, however, proven to be difficult due to dialects. But my interest in genderlects will hopefully drive me to write another post on why we’re in the 21st century and women are still fighting for their rights in the Middle East. Here’s a tip: Always start with language.

Soul searching: What are we really looking for?

Listen to: Prayer by Eleni Karaindrou

I have always wondered to myself if this hunt ever comes to an end. Though, I never knew what exactly I have been searching for.
Lately, I have been pondering the thought of soul searching and what it really means; is it an endless search for that missing piece of the puzzle, or a changing variable to fill an ever so empty void?

As I try to answer this not so new raised question in the chambers of my thoughts, I find myself caught in a timeless capsule of open conquests with no prey in hand, and no trophy to place on a dusty shelf of accomplishments. I start to pace slowly in this capsule of mine and think of what went wrong – or did nothing ever go wrong but my perception of accomplishments and this soul searching hunt of mine is not well adjusted?

We are all hunters, huntresses in my case, and this life is in fact a virtual game; those games where one builds a character and hunts for little mushrooms and snails to kill in order to level up. The more we level up in this game, the more experience points we gain. Now, I know these games were based on reality – but what if, say, we twist the table and look at life through a virtual game, rather than looking at a virtual game through life?

I mean, everything belongs to this continuous circle. It never ends, it keeps going and whether we like it or not, we keep going as well. Then, if we look at life as though it was the ultimate game, and events as sequenced spins of the same circle, where does that leave us with our so-called soul searching? Does that make us settle for best fit of souls? Or are we in charge of this game, can we slow the pace of this circle? Can we logout whenever we please, or is that the fine line that separates virtual games from reality?

I seem to be proposing far too many questions for a short-lived post like this to answer, but to me, it is rather unanswerable. The idea of soul searching is one I never seem to grasp, because even when I am not searching for a soul, for whatever reason, I find myself discovering minuet alterations of this soul of mine that make all the difference. Does that mean that this soul searching is something implied on us, rather than us wanting it? Or it something we choose to be content with, something we do not mind living with, or something we have grown accustom to?

As I maintain this soul of mine; an introvert of thoughts exteriorized with an extrovert personality of actions, I find it to be troublesome at times, perhaps more often than I would admit. Perhaps, time is the only cure for us to mould into our own wax seat of heaven or hell. Perhaps, the conquest of soul searching is nothing but a fancy concept coined by therapists to bill us with a higher pay the next time we visit them – or when we actually do decide that seeing a therapist is the next key to the puzzle of the hunt of our lives.

Regardless of how much of a variable beings are, the only constant factor is that crave to fill an imaginary inner void that seems to cover light-years of distance. We have repulsed from our interiors so much so that we spend our time trying to make the world a prettier place; our malls become too fancy for flip flops and socks. Our mosques and churches become too architecturally valuable for us to pray in, so we stand in front of them, take pictures, and post them on social networks. Our houses have become too filled with pricey junk of vases, colorful paintings, and big flat screens with overwhelmingly unneeded resolution, just so we can see things clearer.

So we can watch our movies in HD. So we can get the most likes and retweets. So we can feel that we belong to a society that we can always turn to when the soul searching turns out empty. We are too lazy to accept that it is not the hunt that has gone wrong – it is our perception of reality and how idealistically skewed it really is.

How is it, though, that the more beautifully sculpted this world becomes, the uglier it is from within? Why is it too hard to look at a white blank avatar and feel so agitated? What is wrong with nothing but white? What?

Misfit in distraught: Wallows in Nostalgia

Listen to: Personal – Stars

Echoes of shadows that once occupied this land have united in a haunting matter. Each chanting a rhyme of its own, those ghosts have become the best of me. I try to fill chasms with whatever passing thought in my mind, yet I fail miserably.

I seek it, them, us, them; I through them – My most joyful years, my most painful memory, when shall you departure and set me free? I lost more than I can gain. I admit, I destruct and distance those near. But no, those ghosts are evocative in such lingering matter. I blame fate, not I. I blame distance, not I. I blame all, even I.

Dearest of Diaries,

If not yesterday, then it must be today. Today has come, but today is a mere reflection of yesterday’s failures – Perhaps tomorrow, then. And if tomorrow is a duplicate of today, could it be the day after that, or the day after that, or even the week after that, perhaps, a month after that, or maybe, a year after that.

I woke up this morning longing warmth. Maybe it was the cold air filling my bed sheets that penetrated my beats. I could not distinguish that odd sentiment I within me, it felt so awkwardly familiar; I hoped to the demons it was not one of those days.

I walked down the hallways and my feet paced to the speed of surroundings almost stopping me – entirely – the reoccurrence of echoes has wearied my senses out. I sat on the edge of the world, overlooking trees and wondering how lonesome they feel standing up tall without a companion or a lover. Who hears them wallow at night, I wonder.

I took the elevator; I chose to defy the slow motion nature of this damned day. I stopped it halfway through and took the stares instead. I saw a stranger’s stomach acid all on the floor and suddenly my stomach let out an acid of its own to mix with that stranger’s barf and for once – belong.

Yes, yes, pathetic, ironic, idiotic, dramatic, annoyingly dramatic.

I changed my outfits today as often as I remembered to breathe in order to stay living. Perhaps, living is half as good as being alive. Or maybe it is a curse for those damned.

My dearest of diaries and most of agonies,

Shall I tear you a part once your numbered pages are done? What shall I do then, my worries and aches do not have an expiry date, and it seems that the more ache I feel, the more the void widens allowing room for even more failures and departures.

My hopes are that of any misfit; non-extant. I have given up on a country to belong to, a lover to go home to; a success to live up to, or even a simple thought to relate to. I have become my greatest enemy, standing in my own self’s way.

Love: When a Huntress becomes hunted.

Listen to: Einaudi: The Crane Dance

On a red sheet bed she lies with the lights turned on. Her cover no longer keeps her warm, nor does her pillow comfort her ever so sore neck. She tried to change her sheets, cover, and pillow. Perhaps, even change her bed, but no – nothing seems to work right anymore.

As her chest heaves for air, her lungs refuse to share the breath of freshness they get and suffocate her instead. What is it now that bothers her, she only wonders. For love has come and gone unwelcomed in its stay and celebrated with its departure countless times. What do they say about love, forbidden at best, forgotten at worst, somehow, is it quite the opposite with her.

No, this post is not about love or the taste of its illicitness. No, it is not about culture and how it lures its believers into disbelieving in the purest of emotions due to differences only considered as a barricade for those who seek an excuse not to love. But what is love to begin with. What is that feeling we all feel, what is that touch we all lust, what is that kiss we all desire, what is that hug we all long for, what, what, and what.

Somewhere between the heartbeat and the other, her heart skips a note. Somewhere between the footstep and the other, her feet travel to a world only lovers enjoy. Somewhere between the thought and the other, the neurons in her brain defect with emotion. Somewhere over the valley of forlornness she no longer wants an assured stay, rather, freedom to choose.

Sadness does not live in her like many others, for she has been living in a kingdom of confusion and misery for as long as her denying heart remembers. No – she is not the case of many other wondering souls amongst this earth. She has somewhat of discomfort with staying in one place for far too long. She is a nomad in emotions and finds no true campaign but loneliness, for it has been true to her more than any other.

A migrant from the land of lovers is who she really is. Though, never was she a devoted lover but an observer of devotion and true love. How could they; those lovers, stay true to themselves and each other for a time period that lasts for eternity?

She is no lover and knows no devotion to chains of commitment. An explorer is all she ever was, really. The only love she carries within her is to explore the mystery in others, and somewhere between being let in and wanting to exit, she feels their pain and wishes she never went in to begin with, but never does she regret – not even once – walking in.

As she twirls across her white walls, she sheds yet another loving soul off her pure untouched heart, only this time wonders, how long till she becomes the victim of her own hunt and instead of being a huntress for true love, becomes the hunted for obscene vengeance.

Not a liar, no. She never lies with her words, but she masks them well enough not to be exposed. Had anyone ever asked the right questions or dared to play against her distraction, they would see a world no one has ever seen without wanting so desperately to hold on to. Guilt is for the sinful, not her. Tears are for the remorseful, not her.

Alas, they were all roses in a jungle full of poison.

Temptations: The Sagacity of Demons.

Listen to: The wind, for it cries – silently, with her tonight.

This is it; she thought. This is the end of the end, and it was not as happy as everyone described it to be. The road she walks is engraved in failure; the air she breaths is saturated with disappointment; this darkened sun is beaming pain instead of rays of sunshine; and that poisoned ivy she lived on has taken the best of her.

Pain; leave – her pleas, screams, shouts are maimed. No response; but more pain of pain. She had drunk enough pain that pain itself ridicules her absurd weakness. Ah, no more hiding, no more fear; she thinks to herself in front of a careless crowd as she removes her countless masks. Yes, all of this fakeness; exercised happiness, restricted thoughts, trained optimism, yes; yes, all of it goes.

As she breaks down and melts into nothingness she is accused of overdramatizing her masked emotions; enough, enough. What do they know but what she allows them to know. Who plays whom; she wonders. Is she the master of her own? Or is it they – those who hurt her, those who abandoned her, those who ridiculed her, those who judged her, those, those, these, these, them, and all of them.

Today she looks into the mirror of her true reflection. How could they be silent to this much ugliness; she painfully doubts. Mostly all people have a balanced equation between their interior and exterior, but she is not most, she is one young lady staring into a mirror that reflects both her insides and outside; a painting of herself. O, the atrocity of it all.

Her thoughts are a complete mess. This is the first and only time of her life where she felt vulnerable towards nothingness. That monster that creeps within us; that mass of darkness that never takes over has almost taken over her entire being. She has those dark thoughts; God Forbid. She prays they exit her mind, for she can fight her demons for only so long.

She has searched long enough for the source of the pain, and alas finally located the bleeding wound within her. The source of agony, the beauty in ache, the throbbing of the truth; the mother of all woe lies in front of a helpless her. The only way to rid of this net of darkness, and those damned thoughts; is to rid of herself.

She wonders if this is indeed the end. She thinks of a well to write, but she owns nothing worthy. She thinks of wisdom to share, but she is only an inch of age. She thinks of love, but finds no one to share it with. She thinks of family, alas, they had all given up – or really, they never cared to begin with. She thinks of friends, but no – she spent her life building walls and fences around her that no one pushed through. She has no one but her vulnerable self and vile demons.

Those demons are thoughts of self-riddance; forbidden they are, forsaken she will forever be – she wonders at this late of night if she would ever see the light of day again. Perhaps this darkness certainly got the best of her. This earth never welcomed her, its people always harmed her; even what nature gave her as family, and at most those she devoted her life to. Not only did she fail in her battles, but she lost the ultimate war against pity and pride.

Maybe God has better plans for her, but for now – she has no plans to herself but to cease the inner war within her, begin anew – or end it all and for once; taking control of her destiny.

Note: She never knew they could this much pain in this world, or God would give power to anyone to harm one person by such means and depths. She never knew it would get worse than her worst; and there could not have been any worse than what she was in.

A Soul Drenched in Agony

Listen to: Dustin O’Halloran, Opus 37.

The moon has shifted a little, and is about to fade away into vast heavens. Clouds move gently towards the chirping of birds as though they want to engulf them. The stars, however, refuse to shine. For they have grown out of this sickened earth and traveled afar in search of a new land to mystify.

The weeping soul of a demonized woman is nothing but a mere mask she wears within. Humans and common courtesy only meet when humans agree to only wear masks on the outside; sheltering themselves from a peripheral world. Nevertheless, that is not the case with this woman in specific. She has indeed grown out of her desperate wallows and misleading thoughts. What was once the most common, and occupying thought in her head, is now a traveling cloud that has almost emptied all its rain within her and soon to departure.

Her demons have taken over her soul and like every other time; she has no control over herself but to witness as she falls apart – tragically. Her countless wonders and tiresome thoughts have rested upon her soul, and yet another night is spent with the owls of lonesome and forlorn.

Her sin is not anew, for she has been forever guilty. However, to realize something and to commit it – are two entirely different states of mind that only meet in one breaking point to imbalance the cartilage of hope. Nonetheless, she has become anew. She never stopped praying for her other self to rest in peace, but this other self of hers has an impish, haunting ghost. She enjoy its company; the ghost. Metaphorically speaking, that is.

For years and years proverbs were passed on to generations and were told to her. Alas, her soul is too deaf to hear cries of the past and her eyes are too blind to see an obscure future. Those thoughts of hers; she is certain, will be the end of her one day. The question is not how, or where, but when.

To live within each line of her words has been her only asylum. Indeed, she is nothing but a lost soul that roams this earth in search of a sanctum. Hitherto, never did she peek inside of her screaming soul to see the sanctum within it; strangled, silenced, and forsaken.

Her dreams are the poisonous ivy of time. Those wishes of her, they are of a young maiden that merely wants a peaceful mind. Thus far, she craves pain and the endless struggle of her days. She has a sense of belonging to agony. More or less, she knows no other companion in this limited life but ache and feeds only on poisonous ivy.

Wasted and inebriated is her mind at awe. Her acumen is poor and drained of strength. Ah, the weeping soul of a lost woman, so tempting, so tiring, so deceiving, so secrete. Myriad days pass as she involuntary sets back by standing put. Her footsteps are washed away by passing sand and wind – that is how fragile her path truly is.

“No more” she utters. Ironically, fate screams with a frightening thunder and bolting lightening that she does not set the rules. She; just like any other lost case in this world, has no power over fate. How could she, anyway. She has no control over her desires and vulgar aspirations.

Common courtesy always wins. Thus, she will always fail – because her nature is to defy nature itself. The stubbornness she has is surely genetic. Somehow, it resembles the ugliness she sees every time she sets her eyes on mirrors.

Instead of smashing those reflecting mirrors, she lets their beams refract inside her, and plunge the wounds deeper within. Scars are a work of art, she believes. One day, she knows those scars will be her source of pride. Until then – she seeks solitude in a cave one step away from fantasy and one step back from reality.