Sunday, September 30, 2007

Why I Fast

Every day my friend at work comes to me with a new reason why she thinks she is fasting, one day it is detoxing the body, the other day it is unburdening the soul, the latest one was self discipline. N, i found it, it's to be taught self discipline!
N: um.. why do you think we need to be taught discipline to begin with?

And it goes on and on.

My other friend asked me before Ramadan: will you fast N?
N: Yes i think so, haven't given it much thought, you?
M: I will i guess, but i doubt i will next year.

When i fasted in France my friends looked at me like i was an enigma, sitting with them over dinner having not eaten all day and turning down wine every day for 30 days.
But you're so cool otherwise, how does this make sense to you?

The bf had me on the phone the other day: are you fasting?
N: Yup
Bf (disgruntled): how could people assume that starving themselves all day is something that would make God happy?

I watch the people around me full of contradictions:
some pray but also drink and have sex
some fast and don't pray and drink but wont have sex
some do drugs and bash alcohol
some drink and bash drugs

most of them are on the fence, clinging to the notion of a god in case heaven and hell really were out there awaiting us, or are on the fence still and have some unanswered questions but the idea of god pisses them off, so they take no clear stand.

I had a three hour long conversation with one of my close friends about religion, not God, religion. At the end of which she concluded: so you don't believe in God at all?

I was puzzled, that's not true at all i replied, why does everyone jump to that conclusion?
If i have reservations about religion, i am rendered blasphemous
If i believe in God i am rendered backwards and brainwashed

why does everyone care so much to box?

I am a very simple girl when it comes to my belief in the existence of God.

I believe we are all made of the same thing, we are all essentially good, we shall keep living over and over again through different lives and planes. We are not going anywhere, we are already there, time is like a row of leaves, all happens at the same time, there is free will, and the free will coincides with the free will of the universe, the collective free will.
Hell can be your bad day or mine, hell could be the next life of a rapist having come back as a snail. But no on is to tell me that we were born with instinct that would lead us to rot in hell forever, or that i am to go through life with any notion that i need to be disciplined. The only discipline i need is to make myself stay positive, to prolong my heaven, to enjoy my life.

I have met many great people in my life.

One of the greatest people i met was a gardener in France, she was the kindest and strongest of women, after many months of a lovely friendship, she asked me, so you believe in God?
I said, yes, after alot of thinking i have decided that i do, you?
S: No i don't, i believe in me.
I looked at her admirably, and i told her that for me, that was the same as believing in God.
S: So you don't judge me?
N: Hell no, good on you.

That girl is one of the best people i know.

I have other great people in my life, some of them meditate, some of them believe in Islam and that they are sinners and will calm down one day. Some of them can't be bothered to think about it so pass on making the statement, and some of them are so turned off religion they've renounced the whole notion of it. Others completely and whole heartedly don't believe there is anything more to life than this.

They are all good people, they feed the poor, they try to make people smile, they don't take what is not rightfully theirs and they all earn their living and take care of their friends and family.
What more could you ask for in a person? What more could you want? At the end of the day they all live, we all live, and that is what we were all meant to do, just be.

Whatever your beliefs or actions are, do you think they affect God one way or the other?
You are what you make of yourself, only you lose or gain from how you think or what you do.
I don't know why people think God has anything to do with it at all.

And finally, if it all doesn't matter why do i believe in God? If there are no punishments or rewards, no endings and no beginnings? How is my faith in God so absolute?
Because my faith in God is for me.
It gives me a sense of belonging, a friend at all times, the comfort that i am understood no matter how crazy i am, it makes me feel like i am a part of something.
It's a selfish feeling, i do it for me not him/her/it.
This belief makes me strengthen myself, not expect him to bless me with strength.
This belief makes me able to go on when it's tough, not expect him to make it easy.
This belief makes me feel that no matter how lonely i get, I'm not alone.

Maybe there are people out there who don't need this, who are absolutely happy without this, there is nothing wrong with that, our fingers are not the same, and we would be foolish to want them to be.

So yogi's, Buddhists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, meditators, atheists and agnostics, and all those other people out there, you are all right if you are all happy, fret not, fight not.

I would celebrate with all of you if i were in your culture or with one of you, i'd light candles and chant mantras, i'd eat turkey and wrap Christmas gifts, it's all about sharing love and wanting good things, that's all we have to have in common.

And that is why i fast.

Saturday, September 29, 2007


One day when i was six, i got off the bus and walked the two blocks from where the bus dropped me off to my then home. I went up the two flights, and took a right to where our apartment was, i found the door open.
I walked into our apartment and found random people dressed in black sitting everywhere, there were chairs laid out where there usually weren't any chairs, all there was were chairs and women dressed in black. I recognized one as a friend of my grandmother, she nodded at me and gave me a faint smile. Confused i walked into my mother's room, the one she shared with my grandmother, and i found them both sitting on the floor with their back to the closet.
They were both in black as well, and my mother had both her hands on her head. Our eyes met, she looked at my sister who was also in the room, and motioned for her to take me into the balcony.
I went into the balcony with my sister, who told me in so many words that our father had died. She repeated this several times, and asked me if i understood, i nodded affirmatively, she hugged me, i think i hugged her back and we went back into the room.
My sister nods at my mother, i see my mother again on the floor with her hands on her head. She is not crying, i note that, and that is all i remember from that scene.
Next scene i remember my mother is taking me and my sister to her aunt's house, she leaves us there for what feels like a month or so, i remember skipping school for the while. I remember that the whole experience was weird and surreal. I don't remember crying or feeling any sadness of loss. The only disturbing thought is the image in my head of my mother on the floor, so very unlike her, looking as what i now understand as to be broken.

Everyone was overtly nice to me, and i didn't really get it. At the age of twelve i then realize that from the day that happened i was completely convinced that my father was pulling a stunt. He was living abroad at the time and he was close to moving back home, so to make his coming home extra special he pretended to have died, so that we would be really really surprised when he came back.

Aren't children's minds scary?

From age six to twelve there was to be no mention of my father in the house. I tried once, but everyone broke down and started crying, i decided against getting information from there on, it set the house on fire, so i went without.
Every year we would go visit where he is buried, somewhere in upper Egypt where the rest of his family still resides. At twelve i asked if i could go along as well, surprisingly my mom agreed, and i remember going with them to the family house, then leaving by car, taking a boat across a lake or river to a cemetery.
His tombstone was huge, and i remember being confused about that, wasn't it supposed to be on the level of the earth and humble?
I recited what i knew was appropriate, watched my mother horribly solemn, and waited for them to be ready to go.
I remember that on the boat ride back i felt the need to make things lighter, so i started telling my sister jokes. My sister and i were still friends back then. I knew this would lighten my mothers heart, and i saw her look at us from across the boat with a smile in her eyes.
That was the year i decided to admit to myself that my father had died. Ironically, we never went to visit him again, my mother couldn't do it anymore.

I still didn't cry, i felt no self pity for having lost a father at any point. I had too much pride and developed an allergy to sympathy, whenever someone would ask about him i would say he passed away, i would get the painful twisted face, and i would immediately say, hey no worries, that was ages ago! And i meant it.
I always had so much going for me, i was smart, got good grades easily, loved sports, was popular at school, always had great friends, and life went on. I never grieved the loss, i didn't feel the need to.

Then on my 19th birthday, my best friend of 15 years died in a car crash.
There is no describing how badly i took that, I remember having no grip and dropping things, i remember having no control over my tear glands for several months. I was a happy 18 year old whose only concern was partying on the weekend and saving up for trips with my friends, then came this, it was a blow to my priorities, to my perception of life.
That time, the few weeks and months after the car crash, was the first time my mother talked to me about my father. I learnt how he died, what he was like, what similarities i had to him, how wonderful he was, etc etc..
I was introduced to the man at 19, and i suddenly began to miss him.
I mourned my friend for two years, i am later told it was my mourning of both my father and her, i suppose that makes sense on paper, but the feeling of mourning was so claustrophobic that i just wanted it done with. I continued to miss my father, and i somehow wanted him back, it was not conscious, it was not rational, it was a gap in my heart that i was suddenly monstrously aware of, and there was no shushing it. It would not go away.

And as cliched as our lives usually are, i went from being a straight arrow goody two shoes responsible girl, who had only had one boyfriend who was her childhood sweetheart, to the girl who wanted to try anything and everything, to a hunger struck soul striving to devour all that was possibly out there.
I had several relationships, i broke men's hearts and got my heart broken, i took emotions to extremities, i was looking for an unconditional love that i wouldn't want to push away, i was looking for the love of a man that was so complete, it would fill the gap.
At 24, i began to understand the magnitude of self destruction i was doing.
I began to see that i had everything in my life under complete control at will, i began to understand that i was unbelievably strong in every way, except in my relationships with men.
I packed up and moved to France, i tore myself away from my mother and my then insane relationship, and i spent eight months walking the streets of the south of France, drinking coffee, writing and making my apartment into a home. I learned how to cook, how to clean, how to wash my clothes, how to pay my bills, how to save up money and how to be alone. I rejected all advances made by men, when my ex came to find me i drove to Italy, i realized again all that was great about me, all the things i knew how to do, i started traveling, and i finally accepted that no man or thing could fill the gap a father left. I understood that i had to love myself enough for me and him, and i recognized the power of being independent, of not needing external love.
The dark ages were ending, i was finally dealing with the loss of a father, 18 years later.

I've been in love and out and in again since then, i slip and struggle often with my relationship with men, but i find my peace with it through two things:
1. I know in my heart that i don't want anyone to fill that gap anymore
2. I know this is my baggage, its a part of me, and whoever loves me will love all of me, with gaps and holes and luggage and wounds.

Such is life. We all go through traumas, we all carry scars, we all have mutilated characters as a consequence, we all have our own reasons for aggression, distance and self defenses.
I pride myself on at least being able to see my faults and distortions, and apologize for them when they take over me.

This post is probably about a year over due. I've dreaded writing it, but now that i have i know that i always had to. Contrary to funny, sexy, amusing blogs, mine has always served first and foremost as my outlet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Things I Love....

Sandy Beach....

A juicy Steak...

A Good Book....

Good Wine....



Road Trips...

Sterling Silver

Hand Bags....

TV Shows.....

Big Comfy Beds....



Sunday, September 23, 2007


This is the nth time i consider posting job vacancies on this blog and decide against it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


I believe in the one God. The force, nature, the universe, the soul of the world, the source, I believe in the one God, and i don't care what you call him/her/it. I believe in the one God, in you, in me, in the drops that make the ocean, parts of one and all the same. The beginning and the end and all that's in between, the abstract, the all, the light and absence thereof.
I believe in the one God.

I follow my own religion, i mix and match all of yours and pick the ideas that feel right for me. Most of you will call me faithless, but i live with no guilt, no shame, no regret and am subject to no vengeance. I am fair and comfortable, i am my own persecutor, the consequences of my actions are my heaven and hell. I talk to God, we have good conversations, i am happy in my own skin and very comfortable with my ignorance and confusions. I am honest with myself. I believe that God is home.

I believe that the truth always comes out. Always. That's why i stopped lying, there's just no point, it's wasted effort, the truth always comes out. The only person i lie to now is my mother, i lie because i love her, and because i love myself, i lie to protect her, and i do it with love. I would have no fear for myself if she found out my lies, my only fears are for her happiness. I lie to her with no guilt.

I believe that good prevails. Eventually, maybe in a very very long time, maybe in another life, but i believe that good will win over evil.

I am right there in the middle, i was a capitalist, then a socialist, now i am right there in the middle. I believe in equal opportunity and everyones' right to medical care and education. I also believe that if you don't get off your ass and grab your life, you only have yourself to blame.

I am very big on compassion, very stingy with sympathy, i believe one bonds people and the other wrecks them.

I believe in education. If there's anything that would save the world it's teaching people how to think - for themselves that is-.

I believe that love makes the world go round. Not money, not contacts, Love. Love makes the world go round.

I believe in trust, there is no freedom without trust, there is no absolute without trust, there are no dreams without trust, there is no hope without trust. I spend most of my day battling my skepticism and trying to find a way back to trust. If there was one thing i didn't want to lose it's my natural inclination to trust.

I am addicted to travel, i believe that travel gives you perspective, gives you self knowledge, gives you confidence, gives you individuality. I am an addict of travel and change.

I believe the body gets ill when the soul gets tired.

I believe in families and children, and having a lot of people around you that love you enough to scream in your face.

I believe in monogamy, sometimes i thought i didn't, but i believe in monogamy. I believe that intimacy is precious and touching anothers' skin is sacred. I believe in monogamy of the body, mind and soul. I believe in only one person sharing my plate and bed.

I believe in freedom. To each his own every day and any day, i am intolerant to intolerance, the worst thing you can be according to me is judgmental. Whatever makes you happy as long as you don't inflict it on me. I am a true believer of freedom.

I believe in the one God. The force, nature, the universe, the soul of the world, the source, I believe in the one God, and i don't care what you call him/her/it. I believe in the one God, in you, in me, in the drops that make the ocean, parts of one and all the same. The beginning and the end and all that's in between, the abstract, the all, the light and absence thereof.
I believe in the one God.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

I'm So Screwed!

You Are 4: The Individualist

You are sensitive and intuitive, with others and yourself.
You are creative and dreamy... plus dramatic and unpredictable.
You're emotionally honest, real, and easily hurt.
Totally expressive, others always know exactly how you feel.
At Your Best: You are inspired, artistic, and introspective. You know what you're thinking, and you can communicate it well.
At Your Worst: You are melancholy, alienated, and withdrawn.
Your Fixation: Envy
Your Primary Fear: To have no identity
Your Primary Desire: To find yourself

Other Number 4's: Alanis Morisette, Johnny Depp, J.D. Salinger, Jim Morrison, and Anne Rice.
What Number Are You?

Johnny Depp, Alanis and Anne Rice... Can it get any darker???
I protest on the envy part though, where did that come from?