Quarantine Diaries: Day 54

13 May 2020 // 20 Ramadan

the details of my day are not worth mentioning. it was no different than yesterday and the day before and the one before that. i have nothing to say except this:

when lockdown started in mid-March, we were stifled with uncertainty and ignorant of how long it would take to get back to our lives. we were all baffled and in collective distress. the imminent threat and consequent anxiety were rippling all around us, invading our minds and permeating our homes and ghosting our streets. for the first time in our lives, we were all feeling the same emotions, thinking the same thoughts. we were separated and in isolation, but none of us was alone. we were all understanding and understood. those of us that didn’t get infected by the virus, they were sure sick with its looming all around. the thing with this pandemic is that it clogs our minds before clinging to our lungs, and sometimes it fails to infect our bodies but it surely succeeds in disrupting our lives. at this point we just held our breaths and waited for April.

when April finally arrived, we were only faced with disappointment and there was no sign of getting out. some of us took hold of their pens and filled their papers till they ran out of notebooks. some of us stocked up on canvases and turned their homes into galleries. some of us read book after book while some could not turn a single page. some of us spent all their waking hours switching between bed and the couch running marathons on Netflix as an attempt to escape the reality of the rising numbers and gloomy predictions. many of us cleared our desks and sat there facing those inanimate screens that were the only form of contact we had with the world. all of a sudden a lifeless object fed our need for human contact; it kept us alive and sane behind those locked doors and between those lonely walls.

we said maybe Ramadan would be it. it would come and bring the airs of Heaven along with it. it came, it blessed our hearts and cleansed our souls, but it kept us home, praying in the solitude of our tiny rooms. we prayed like never before. millions of us, scattered across the globe, asking God for the same exact blessing in a hundred different languages. we whispered to the sky incessantly like birds chirping at the crack of dawn and went to sleep with surrendered hearts.

we kept holding our breaths with the hope that May would bring our release from our homes — those houses of ours that started to feel too small and suffocating for our arms and legs that yearned to stretch and move. May came and it only succeeded to dishearten and disappoint. do we have any more hope left for June? i think we need to stop holding our breath and just breathe in our safe homes and befriend our new close allies — our masks and gloves — until our collective human fate makes a turn for the good and sees the light of day at last…

1397 Days Later.


when i looked at the cloudy sky today,

i saw you smiling.
i closed my eyes in delight,
but i could still see the light.
my heart brimmed with love
like a cup filling from the ocean.
it connected me with you,
and with God, too.
now i feel a delicious togetherness;
an unceasing lovingness.
it comes from God,
and it has the shape of your smile.

Jealousy

jealousy in relationships. why? i don’t get it. loving someone is not owning them. loving someone is not stealing away their freedom. loving someone is not guarding them to the point of suffocation. from what i see around me, we have no idea what the true essence of love is. we think that loving is depending on someone entirely, when in reality, true love is independent. it does not weaken the lover to the point that his whole life is in the hand of his beloved. that’s an illusion. what that is is need, not love. unconditional love sees beyond all those things, and is so much simpler than we think. it desires no control; it lovingly yields freedom. it gives and keeps giving out of love, not out of expectation to receive. true love between two souls does not narrow their whole existence down to each other’s presence in each other’s lives. love is so much more spacious than that. you love another human, but you don’t die when they leave. you love them so preciously that you don’t put the weight of your whole life on their shoulders. that’s the filthiest form of “love”; so much so that i pity those relationships because their basis is fear cunningly disguising itself as love.

so, back to jealousy. love your person, don’t imprison them. they are a bird in the sky of their own lives, and you are the beholder with the admiring eyes. you are the music to their dance. you are meant to uplift them, not bring them down just because of your own fears. love your beloved like God loves you. He gave you freedom, choice, and individuality. just like that. don’t strip your beloved out of her freedom, her choices, her individuality. support her. cheer her on. and you too. support him. cheer him on. know your places in each other’s hearts, and don’t let insecurity steal away your peace. remember, this is a companionship of not just bodies and brains, but souls too. eternal souls. souls that see beyond judgment and love without attachment.

Split

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i want to cry. it feels like a mountain of pain is building up inside of me. my eyes well up with tears, but as soon as i blink they disappear. nothing falls. there’s no door to release this angst. i feel the muscles of my face tensing, i feel how my teeth are gritting, i feel the grief that’s all over my face — hell i even feel it in the way i’m walking. i’m listening to the same two songs on repeat. i feel a strong urge to talk to someone. but i have none. it’s only me, my pathetic words that no one will ever read, and nature. i just take myself on walks. i’ve been walking more than i’ve been sitting, and i’ve been alone more than i’ve been with company. i’m not okay. far from it.

there’s this strange thing that’s happening inside me though. a co-existence of opposite forces. pain and gratitude. anger and compassion. fear and love. burning rage and calming surrender. the pain speaks, it invades my body with its sensations, and then gratitude speaks and its light permeates my body. i sense both a blankness and a sparkle in my stare, both lifelessness and vibrance in my skin.

i’m both happy and sad. both angry and understanding. both lonely and whole. i don’t know what to do, and i don’t know who to share myself with. i just walk and then sit on a bench and write and then walk again and sit again. i keep going in circles, and my head doesn’t even get dizzy. i just keep going, keep experiencing opposites and extremes. i feel like i’m drowning and flying simultaneously.

i don’t know what to do. i don’t know what to do. i have no one but myself. no one but my goddamned self.


{this piece was written in july during summer vacation. i wish i can walk around in nature every time i feel sad.}

A Moment of Reflection

 

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waves of words bubble through me yet i can’t totally catch the letters to write them down.

it’s the afternoon on a Saturday, and i’m sat in a café crowded with sound and motion.

table for one; just for me, my book and my coffee.

the world inside me feels like a sheer white curtain flowing with the wind. innocence, love, compassion. joy, joy, joy. and a most delicious peacefulness.

i choose not to voice my thoughts, so i write them down.

i bow my head to my book and underline sentences that feel like pure blows of oxygen to my lungs. sentences that the excited child in me urges to share with the next person and dive into discussing them.

i take a look at myself and my life and i see a succession of blessings, meaningful interactions, genuine connections, travel and exploration, pure love and outrageously overwhelming gratitude.

and it dawns on me that i truly am, in this moment, the sum of all the experiences i’ve been through and all the books i’ve read.

To Be Human

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are my words worthless?
are my writings meaningless?
is my voice insignificant?
do my actions have any value, any real effect?

what am i doing here
and why am i doing it?

it’s not about God’s answers anymore.
it’s about me making peace
with this moment,
with this not knowing,
with all this repetition day in and day out;
all this discord and misunderstanding,
all this attachment and fear and
strikingly vulnerable loneliness
of my humanness.

Writing and I

i want
to write

i feel
so plain

so empty
so useless

i want
words

but
i hate them

because
i don’t want

to rely
on them

to feel
myself

again

i should
be

just as
i am

regardless
of what

i do
and don’t do

i should
feel free

and worthy
and important
and creative
and alive
and beautiful
and genius

innately
within

Dives Into The Unknown

image
by Monica Loya

i sit in a car
the poet in me rises
as my identity blurs
with the cars and trees

i lose myself
as words find me
and lace me with
a sense of homeness
where i don’t have to be
a specific someone to belong

i can be without being
and i can breathe without
really feeling
and i can speak without
sound or effort
and i can connect without
fear or attachment

my fingers carry on
writing words
that i did not know
existed between
the very fibers
of my bones

i get lost
but it feels so safe
that i take myself deeper
and further into the unknown
as my papers fill and my heart
beats without any throbs
allowing me to glide
into the depth
without
disturbing
the souls
and birds
getting
lost
to find
themselves
too