Tuesday, December 27, 2011

By the Token of Time...

I look back at the last ten years of my life and see the immense amount of change. I see the paradigm shifts, the outbursts, the tensions, the transitions, the pushing forward, the falling back, the temporary bouts of insanity, the moments of true clarity, the anger, the happiness, the frustration, the cheerfulness, the all of the above and more. But, when last year I finally had the opportunity to stand in front of a classroom and just share a part of my passion, to students who were unwilling given that American Government is a general requirement no one wants to take, I've felt the aforementioned feelings plus ten-fold. I wonder what influence Time has....

Time is a beautiful, yet disconcerting teacher. She challenges your forbearance, but if you withstand her, you reap the rewards. There are moments when engaging with Time, that you hate her so much, you'd like to cease her existence. You'd like to press that "pause" button for all of eternity. You'd like to rewind her, change her, fast-forward her --> but you can't. Benjamin Franklin says "Lost time is never found again" and to some extent that is true. However, you can never lose time, she is always there, silently with you. Waiting for you to take notice of her, waiting for you to remember her. You may forget Time, but you will never lose her. She is there, with your every breath, every step, every blink, every smile; Time is your life-long companion... Treat her well, and she will treat you well.

One of the biggest epiphanies about time I had, was when reading St. Augustine's Confessions during undergrad in my Ancient and Medieval Political Thought class... St. Augustine asserted that time, like human beings, are a creation of God. That God exists despite time, outside of time, beyond time. Upon reading that notion, I realized that Time, as a creation, as a 'being' needed to be treated as well as I would treat myself, my family, my friends, even my things... Time needed to be treated with the accordance and love; with justice and patience; with hope and with fear; with tranquility and with tension. Time needed me as much as I needed her. We exist together on parallel planes, in different forms, within the same universe.

I learned that over the last 24 years of my life, Time has been good to me. She helps me in tough situations, she gives me a piece of her whenever I need an extra moment to breath. She condenses and expands when I'm in tight situations. In fact, when Time is short, she gives me more; when Time is long, she reminds me how much of her I could forget, misplace, or neglect. When I remember her, I could swear I can hear her as she calls up to the Lord and says: "Reem remembered me... so, please Lord, remember her."

Maybe, I am in a mystical fantasy... Maybe, I am just one of those crazies who see things in material form despite their abstractness... Maybe, I fell in love with Time when I realized that our Lord made her specifically tailored to me. To be my best companion and friend. When I neglect her, I neglect a piece of myself. When I forget her, I forget myself...

Time is alluring, strong, patient, willful, nurturing, challenging, and thought-provoking. She is the epitome of beauty... there is no wonder that God swears by her in the Quran "By the Token of Time...."


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I hear you

I hear you, from the tranquil thrumming of a damascene 'Oud
to the patient plucking of a Korean Gayageum
in the whispers of the wind
through the chants of a Buddhist monk...
I hear you, through the vibrant and enchanting flames of a candle lit menorah
in the twinkling star, situated at the zenith of a christmas tree...
through the unruly curls at a young child's brow
in the spiral twirls of incense smoke ascending to the sky.
I hear you, in the rising steam of a hot cup of tea
through the purring of a contented cat
in the beguiling, trance-like dance of a dervish
through the murmurs and sighs of an unspoken secret
I hear you, in the romanticized memories of the past
and the hopeful enthusiasm of the future
in the restless pacing of a worried parent
through the excitement and passion of a new love.
I hear you, through the dense and impenetrable fog
in the flooding nourishment of the rain
through the blistering heat of the sun
and the dizzying whirl of snowflakes, as they coat the earth.
I hear you, in the storytelling of a native american elder
through the spirit of animals
in the history of souls
in the logic of time...
I hear you...
I hope you can hear me too...

Friday, December 16, 2011


In the wind,
faith, apples, yesterday
restless memories
of beehives... honey
combing away
the knots in your hair...
flowing like a plastic bag
caught in the wind...