Living every moment , with beauty and art.

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There are carnations in my room. And they’re fading. In shades of peach and pink. Fading, ever so gracefully. A few days old, and still so beautiful.

It inspires me. What a way to live ! And age. And travel.

These flowers celebrate life. We searched for the perfect shade and then saw as the peach flowers added so many smiles to a joyful occasion. The subtle beauty that the eyes glance over, the layer of charm that emanates. God has made all this beauty for our souls to rejoice over ! How fantastic is the Creator !

I took some of this beauty home, and put the carnations in a vase. And the loveliness only grew further. Away from their homes of mud and water, away from the light of the sun and the freshness of open air, and still so pretty !

Can I be anywhere, and still retain the joy of Home ?

Can we go anywhere and not struggle? Flow.

I read recently, our lives can be our work of art. Everyday. The work we do. The people we meet. The lives we touch.

Alone, together, traveling, Home.

>Beautiful Art.

 

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Using Our Time Well.

Time scares me, it also fills me with joy. It feels full and bursting, like a pulse rushing through, or so empty and hollow, with nothing to its name.

The desire is to have an organized, productive, happy day.  To move towards a goal.

Then I watch a lot of TV on the internet or read or run errands. And the work happens in between. Or on a busy day, I only work and work and its frantic, high energy and full of stress and joy.  Always a rush or no rush at all , it seems.  Truly a pendulum of the clock :)

We judge our time according to its productiveness, or its happiness, or the ability to come back to peaceful state.

Or we forget all about time and get caught up in emotion.

Am wondering if there’s another way at looking at this ever-present, ever slippery, invisible concept.

Can it be, what good did I do today ? Practical. Real. Pebbles. Raindrops. That light up the world.

A kind word, appreciation, a smile, some giving, some humble taking, a blessing.

At the end of the day, as we wonder of usefulness, purposefulness, goals, direction, the question can be.

What good did I do today ? Who did I help, in blessing, saying or giving

I’ve been looking at the stars and paving the way, and sometimes its dark or the star’s light is too dim or its just lost in the sky. So I am lost too.

Yet, what I have, is the little space in front of me, to fill with , I have Guidance from Up Above. It says, to help the traveler, the neighbor, family, the needy.

I can’t keep thinking about time, and what to do in the morning, and then afternoon and then night and then feel bad if it gets late, or am confused, or lost or something.

What good did I do today, now, this moment ?

What defines me, chasing stars, or walking towards Light.

In this moment, all moments. Light.

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Remembering You

There is a beat in the heart, the joy of music, the rhythm of fun.                                                   A pre wedding party and so much laughter and happiness in the air.

In the car back home, the song plays, ‘say my name, say my name. Mixed with the Hindi song ‘oh hamdum suniyo re.  Oh dearest listen .’

Our hearts desire – to find joy in the bond of friendship.
Our hearts song heard by those we love.Shared, accepted, danced to.

Things of this world.

A profound conversation with a friend, a teacher on how we can get so easily caught in the things of this world. It’s unsettling, unnerving.  A quaking in the heart.
Where is my peace, if I am running , chasing, some worldly goals. Will the music, the clothes, the parties, overtake my calm.
And so wherever I am I pray. A small blessing, on the greatest teacher (pbuh).

And a resolution. Wherever we maybe, in a crazy crowd, in wrapping gifts, in buying flowers, in sharing an occasion. All is from my Lord and in it all, I can smile at every single heart and send them a small dua. Of happiness.  
I can forget me, and focus on the person in front of me.
For the world, is about leaving me behind.
The me always gets left behind.
A smile, a kind word, a dua remains.

So I watch a fantastic family come together in joyous celebration and wish them even more happiness.

I enjoy the soft yellow of my dress.

Remembering You at every breath. The worry of getting lost in worldliness is gone.
In a packed crowd am thinking of words to write for You.
Here , I am because You said so.
Home, I am ,because the heart doesn’t linger anywhere.
Everywhere. Always
All You.

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To Be Content.

Happiness is suddenly not all that I thought it was. It is fickle, it is fleeting, addictive.
How we chase it. And it never stays. Never there.
Wrong chase this.
Happiness doesn’t need to be on a pedestal.
We yearn for joy and shun pain.
Yet it’s all from The One. Up High. Wisest. Kindest. Most Powerful.
It’s all from Him.

If I embrace all these emotions, just the same.
If I watch them and see them play,
just the same.
If I laugh at them for their childish silliness,
Or value them for teaching me compassion for the human experience.
Or if I simply see them as the breeze that touches us and flows away.
All from Him.

If I am content with His every Decree.
The people He’s made.
Their struggle with life and reactions.
If I cease to want to change. Emotions. Actions. Others.
Myself.
If I see it’s all His Will and Plan and Divine Grace.
Our basic breath, my food, my home.
Love and Grace.
All from Him.

Then the urge to change the world dissipates. Evaporates.
Surrenders.
Accepts.
All His Will. And I am razi (accepting).
With life, emotions, happiness and pain .
Content.

All His Grace. All His Will.
Contentment. 

All from Him.

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Accepting Storms

I always thought, that we have to find a cure for sadness, a remedy for tears, a solution to pain.

Who wants to live with a hurt, an ache, a thorn in the foot ?

So we live trying to prevent it, escape it, erase it.

It seems this struggle defines so many of our lives.

A move away from difficulty.

Its as if sadness and pain are unwanted. Yet I now see, that the cliff, the fall, the volcanoes, are as much part of life, as the summer and spring. I can’t run away from them, I can’t label them as ‘bad’. I can’t keep stuffing them away, or keep trying to solve them.

There will always be a storm, that will uproot trees and that’s the way the earth is designed.

Call it a test, a trial, a dusting of rust, a road of patience.

This is balance. To see suffering and joy. And not wallow in pain and not lose self in laughter.
Mostly, to embrace, recognize and deeply accept, that there will be hurt, there will be lows, and that’s how the earth rolls. That is simply The Creators Will, and that’s it.

I will pray for ease, I will ask for sabr (patience), and I will persevere on. Not wishing away what Allah decree’s, but embracing it always. Not making hurt the cornerstone of that day, but just a wind that passes. A wind that may require me to stand firmly in the ground, and keep balance.

It is now, to not give so much importance to turmoil, to not wish it away for the winds will keep changing and the boat will rock. It is foolish to think I can set sail and not meet bad weather.

It’s easier to accept a storm may come and will always come and then come again.

Life, this. Perfection is Elsewhere.

Action Plan. Beginning with Intention. There will be sadness and pain, hurt and disappointment. Don’t dwell it in. Keep sailing on.

Simply accepting this makes me breathe easier, feel lighter. Praise Him and send blessing upon our beloved Prophet (pbuh) through it all , and all .

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From sadness to ease. Finding Home.

As sadness steps in, as a yearning emanates, one turns again and again to Our Lord.

In the pink strokes of a setting sun, in the birds that fly home.                                                   Our solace is knowing how glorious is The One.

The Quran says , “Everything in the heavens and on Earth glorifies Allah.” ( Al-Jumu`ah 62 : 1]

And what am I doing ?

I, me ; I am a minuscule part of this world, I am magnifying thoughts in my head to one/millionth their actual value and making them spin as if its my whole world.

What can I do really ?

Struggle , wishing for what isn’t, fighting what is, enlarging it in the mind’s eyes, lodging it in the hearts veins.

Or :

Can I make this moment beautiful ? Can I find my place, my flow, my beat in this Glorious Creation ?

Struggling is real. I will embrace it. And it may even linger. But the sun does set. And the birds do find rest , at Home.

So there is sadness and a struggle. There is also the lights of Hajj House shining in the distance.

Can I smile now ? Can I bring grace into this moment ? Can I do some good and take the focus off myself. ?Can I be full of awe , on being part of His World.

A breeze flows by gently.
An ease . The lightness of a soul .
Forgotten the heaviness of the mind, the hurt in the heart.

An ease. The lightness of a soul.
And we flow on.

“Are you not aware that it is Allah Whose limitless glory all creatures that are in the heavens and earth extol, even the birds as they spread out their wings? Each of them knows how to pray to Him and to glorify Him; and Allah has full knowledge of all that they do.

To Allah belongs the dominion over the heavens and the earth, and to Allah will all return.” (The Quran, An-Nur 24:39-42)

 

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The dream of Light

 In a child’s heart, dreams are born. Then, ever so often, as we grow up, we forget the dreams. Then we begin a new pursuit for ‘what is my dream, my goal, my ambition?’ We look and we yearn and we struggle and we learn.

 One day , in all its simplicity, it appeared before me, my childhood dream, my song. It made my heart smile, like it did when I was a child.

 I went to help a child with her homework, only to find, she was copying down an urdu poem, a hymn, that I used to sing as a child. It was my favourite.

 I set out to teach but became a student instead. I thought I was a grown up helping a child, but the child reminded me of my own dreams, my song, lost to the years.

 All these years I have been on the quest for Light, for goodness, for Closeness, for Peace. I’ve always thought this was a grown up quest, but it seems like its a path we’re on from the beginning.

 And a poem, I recited in childhood, had all these . Light, Closeness, Peace.

Here goes.

 To my lips come a prayer, as a longing of mine.
May like the candle be this life of mine, O Lord.

May the world’s darkness disappear through this life of mine!                                                            May every place light up with the sparkling light of mine!

May my homeland through me attain elegance and beauty.                                                                     As the garden through flowers attains elegance and beauty.

May my life be like that of the moth , O Lord                                                                                              May I love the lamp of knowledge, O Lord.

May my work be supporting the poor.                                                                                             Loving the destitute and elderly.

O Allah! Protect me from the bad.                                                                                                         That path which is good, make me walk that way.

To my lips come a prayer, as a longing of mine.                                                                                May like the candle be this life of mine O Lord”

-The poem is by Urdu poet Allama Iqbal. 

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