Jacked In, Jacked Out, Jacked Up

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I didn’t think I would want to write here for a while, but as I lay here in my dark, silent room all I can think about is the pieces of me I feel I left behind. I close my eyes and try to wish myself back to the tiny room where I wrote to the muted strains of an unknown local band, but the stillness here mocks me in return. Racing through my mind are endless scenes burned into my memory…scenes that rose up during my brief evening nap in the form of a shop in Chinatown where I was trying to tell a young man to be patient until he got what he wanted.

In the book I’m currently reading, there are machines someone can “jack” into and enjoy a virtual dream world as though it were real…kind of like the way it happens in The Matrix. I wish there were such a thing I could use now to escape this reality for the few hours I have until I truly have to return to real life and work tomorrow. Even without such a device, I feel so surreal…between my recent experiences in California, reading the plot’s unfolding in the afore-mentioned novel, and enduring complicated emotions that seem to constantly bend like light refracted from an ever-shifting prism, I can’t seem to find a place inside to ground myself. I feel like a part of me is drifting through an alternate reality in a universe I’ve never heard of, while the rest of me stays here to attend to the perfunctory matters at hand.

In my soul, the tide rushes in with feelings of love, dreams of hope, buoys of faith; and recedes with fears fraught by uncertainty, tinges of loneliness, and reluctant discipline. All of it is captured in a bubble of wistfully beautiful memories, re-cast over and over until I feel like I can’t take it anymore. I push myself like this until I must act…but the only action I can take at this point is writing it all out, splaying it before my reclusive conscience.

So with that, allow me to change venues, so that I may complete this bloodletting in an adequate fashion.

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5 responses »

  1. This life is temporary. A time will come when this world and all in it will crumble and disappear. Yes, it’s comforting to be in the place that calls to your heart. But our true goal is Jannah. Raise your children, be close to Allah, do good work, make dua’, and trust that your life is unfolding as it should.

    The great scholar of Islam ibn Taymiyyah (may Allah have mercy on him) was imprisoned for some time in Cairo, then in Alexandria, because the forces of corruption in the Ummah did not like his writings. He was freed and returned home to Damascus, where he was eventually imprisoned again, and died in prison.

    Ibn al-Qayyim related that Ibn Taymiyah said to him: “What can my enemies do to me? My garden is in my heart; wherever I go it is with me and never leaves me. My detainment is seclusion (an opportunity for worship), my being killed is martyrdom, and being expelled from my city is a journey.”

    Ibn Taymiyyah wrote the following letter to his mother from Egypt; I don’t know whether it was from prison, or while he was free. I thought you might find it interesting:

    ***

    Indeed the bounties of Allah come abundantly, and His aid is never ending. We praise Him for it, and ask Him to increase His favour. It will not escape you, my contented mother, the fact that our stay in Egypt is for an important issue. The abandonment of such a task leads to the corruption of our Din and of our life.

    Yet it was not our choice to be far from you. Had birds been able to carry us, we would have come to you. But the absent one has his reason; and had you been able to look deeply into the affairs of the Muslims, you would not choose for me another place to the one I am in now. Nevertheless, I had never intended to reside here permanently. Instead, I pray to Allah to guide you and I to the right choice, and I pray for your well-being. I ask Allah to bless us and the rest of the Muslims, with His goodness and what that goodness encompasses of safety and benefit.

    Allah had opened for me His gates of blessings, mercy and guidance in a way I have never conceived of before. Yet I am always considering travel towards you, making the prayers of Istikharah. It is inconceivable for me, if given the choice, to favour any of this life’s mundane issues or of the lesser obligations of the Din, to being close to you. Yet there are great issues which l cannot abandon for fear of their general and personal dangers – and the witness sees what the absent does not.

    I beseech you to supplicate to Allah profusely. Ask Him to guide us to choose our best paths, for He Knows and we do not, and He is able and we are weak. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

    “It is from the happiness of the son of Adam to practice Istikharah and be pleased wîth what Allah had ordained for him. And it is from the misery of the son oaadam to drop tbe Istikharah of Allah and be displeased at Allah’s decrees.”

    Indeed, the travelling trader might fear the loss of his money, so he resides at a place until he is able to travel once again. The matter that we are in the middle of is too great to describe, but there is no power or ability but through Allah.

    Finally, convey my salam to the entire household, young and old, and the rest of neighbours, friends and relatives one by one.

    Was salamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh!

    Praise be to Allah, and may His Blessings and Peace be upon Muhammad, his family and companions.

    • I appreciate every single one of your comments. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that anything you have to say is meant to encourage and help others. I take everyting you’ve said in that spirit.

      You are exactly right. I don’t focus enough on the Hereafter. It’s something I actually mentioned myself several months ago in a previous post. It’s even something I made dua about after hitting “publish” on this one last night, before you or anyone else even had the chance to read it.

      And while that aspect of improving one’s character by disciplining ourselves to keep our focus and niyat on the right things could be discussed at length, I’m going to circumvent it all and just admit, bluntly, that I’m flawed in that area.

      Yep, in some regards I’m just a hot mess. I get so passionate about things I soar, and so broken I crash. It’s ME, though. And I’m tired of feeling like I should be ashamed of who I am.

      So maybe I’m not the most balanced person, and maybe I do get lost in the sauce a bit too much. It doesn’t change the fact that I never give up trying to be the best person I can, every day of my life. And in the end, no matter how high the highs, or how low the lows, I can walk away from this crooked little path and say I lived the life Allah gave me, through the nature He gave me, fully.

      I hope this isn’t coming across as defensive, because every guidance -no matter how or by which means given- I cherish and take with me ahead to my future. But a big part of forging ahead -for me at least- is learning to love myself even though my imperfections often outweigh my other qualities.

      So in shaa Allah, with time I will become more anchored to my eternal destiny. In shaa Allah, my pendulum of a self will swing back to center to stay. In the meantime, I will remain thankful for this crazy little nafs I’ve got to work with, because I can count on her to never do things half way 🙂

      Last thing I want to say is, very sincerely, thank you for sharing that letter from Ibn Taymiyyah. I have had very little exposure to his writings, given that I’ve been mostly associated with those who have variant understanding of who he was. I had made intentions to do more research into his life, and that letter was a perfect place for me to start.

  2. I’ve often felt that same way, usually waking up from an amazing dream and spending too much time trying to recreate it in my head. I think at times we all want to recreate a period in our lives where we felt most wanted, comfortable, or loved.
    I hope that you have found some peace with whatever you are wrestling with and that you begin to feel like the complete you soon.
    Take care…..

  3. I am human that was birthed Into this world like the rest of us so I feel I have a say. And so I say I just laughed out loud when you said you are a hot mess and that you get lost in the sauce. To people I know hot mess would usually mean you are a fine ass woman that has some issues and getting list in the sauce means the alcohol took over. Thank God for science that planes were create to get you back to California. Otherwise the old time covered wagons that used to take forever and a day would have really spun you into a whirlwind. And I also understand the abandonment. My supposed mother signed me away due to her mental illness when I was small. Living with relative to relative until my dad gets me back but with a price to pay putting up with mental and physical abuse with his live in chick. I have three friends that were adopted and see how that affects them as adults. Thank you very much for sharing. We can all learn from each other.

  4. I apologize for my misspellings and grammatical errors. Shame on me that I wanted to comment so bad. I write professionally. I should know better 🙂

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