An Unstormable Knowing

One more round with the tempest.

She stands,

arms outstretched

in a daring embrace,

as she locks gaze with the eye of the storm.


Energy jitters up her spine,

and her tongue is dry.

She’s danced this whirl wind before.


Spun out over and over,

leaving breathless and dizzy,

that’s if she even leaves at all.


The tempest calls her name,

blowing temptingly in her ears.

Drawing her in just a bit.


One foot forward,

without conscious thought,

she’s already in forward motion,

Pulled in by the deceptive calm.


Still the weathered shawl of foreboding

settles on her shoulders,

and her skin pinpricks with that quiet

un-nameable sense,

that something is just out of step here.


She’s been around this tempest before,

this isn’t her first spin,

and lately she’s tired

of letting herself be reeled back in.


Emotionally battered,

mind windswept,

she’s intimately familiar

with the post-storm landscape.


The tempest howls,

the wind buffets at her mind,

the noise is reaching crescendo.


She turns inwards to the quiet within.

And asks a single question.

The answer makes steel rods of her legs

and she is at a stand still.


The question?

Is this, what you want, for your life?


Lightning fizzles

from within the tempest,

aiming at her stock still legs.

There is pain and tingling,

and the metal taste of hot electricity.

As the bolt hits at where she is grounded.


Is this what you want for your life?


Honestly,

the answer is so quiet,

it’s hard to hear it

beneath the roar of the storm.


Still it matters not,

because the answer becomes her vision.

She feels it right in the gaps.

She unstormably knows the answer

in every fiber of her.


She is steady as the tempest rolls over.

It flails and roars,

wails and hails.

Steadily drags at her core.


It comes with dark

and thunder and shuddering.

Shaky teeth,

and the shivering.


The storm is a mighty thing.

The knowing within is mightier still,

and she does not let the storm in.


She draws deep from within herself,

The strength to weather it.

At moments her legs falter,

and at times she is almost carried away

by the force of the storm,

still the unstormable knowing is her steadying.


The storm does its worst.

The knowing is unstormable.

The tempest passes.

She stands, still.


Her arms outstretched in an open embrace.

The storm has subsided.

And faintly in the post-storm ozone

she hears a new question.

What do you want for your life?

End of term

Hey loves,

 

It has been such wild twelve week ride. I’ve finished my first term of university, and it has been quite a journey.

 

I was wild with excitement at the beginning, buzzing and full of fuel, and so excited to get underway with my course. I had a beautiful moment of running up the stairs in our empty lecture theatre and calling out loudly “Counselling degree here we come” or word to that effect in my very first week. I literally could not wait to get started.

 

Then the work began, the assignments, and group projects, and reflective journals, coupled with family drama, and the usual parenting work, by week six, I’d gotten to a real low point. Just then the whole family caught the flu, at one point I was physically too sick to look after my boys.

Still eventually I regrouped, and out of the valley, I decided to start a youtube channel . Gradually I started to get back on course, digging deep to rekindle the passion for my degree programme. I kept working, and stumbled on some study methods that worked for me, pomodoro being chief amongst them, along side study vlogs and study with me’s on youtube to help me stay motivated.

And now here I am already in the winter break, and awaiting my results for some of my modules, and a 2000 word essay due for january 6.

 

Still, I want to document all of these feelings, I know I’ll look back on them someday as fond memories.

 

How are you all doing?

Did I tell you I’m recommitting to writing? Too long I let this limiting belief around my writing take root, that two year bout of writers block really took the wind out of my sails. I am embracing the wordsmith within once more, and I want to return to my first love. Novels, and short stories.

Watch this space.

2020 is a year of taking action for me bi’ithni’llah.

 

See you on the flipside

Take care,

Fine Words Weave 

 

Honest Writing

person uses pen on book
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One of the things that sometimes hinders my writing is, I want my writing to be honest. I am aware that my truth may not hold true for someone else, and it’s in that difference that learning and interchange can happen. Why am I writing about this?
There’s been a topic that keeps coming back to my mind, and I guess in some ways I’m afraid to write about it, publicly at least.
When I think about the reasons why, I think a lot of it is due to the fact that as a child I was repeatedly taught that “it’s not everything, that you tell to everyone”, said differently, ‘keep your business your business.’ As a child how do you judge that? How do you know what are the things you share, and what aren’t? Sometimes you choose to follow the example of the adults/ caretakers who gave you that advice. Other times you become paralysed by the indecision and decide it’s safer to not share anything with anyone.
The thing is it that by the time you become an adult with the capacity to re-examine things and make those decisions according to your judgement, you have already formed the habit of a lifetime, and might not even consider re-examining the decisions that you made as a child, that likely no longer fit your current circumstances, or perhaps even work against the life that you desperately want to lead.
I recently finished reading (listening to the audiobook ) “Maybe you should talk to someone” by Lori Gottlieb, there were so many insights and lessons within it, and days later, I feel I’m still absorbing some of the gems of it. One such point of interest was when the author mentioned her therapists use of something I had come across before but inevitably fell out of practice with. Allowing for space between an action and your response, means you can intentionally choose what that response will be, as opposed to a reaction, (which from my view is more about neurological pathways that have been so travelled that they automatically come in to effect).

Sometimes it is okay to delay your response, sometimes it is okay for your response to be, I don’t know, or ‘I’ll take some time to think about that’.

So currently I’m not completely sure when or if I will write about this topic which is weighted, and emotional and really important to me. I’m going to allow myself to sit with that uncertainty no matter how uncomfortable a feeling that is (which i could write a whole other post about) and, not let it be a driver of my decision i.e. deciding never to write about the topic, or just put it all out there just to be rid of the feeling. I’m going to give myself time to formulate a response, and then take action accordingly, and also remember that if at a later date that decision isn’t working I can re-examine it and change my course of action.

Do you have lessons from your childhood that could use some re-examining? Have you done any un-learing? What was that process like for you? Do you make space between an action and your response? How have you found that practice? Do you have different thoughts to me?

I really love thoughtful conversations, please leave your thoughts in the comments, if you’re reading this.

Take care,

Fine Words Weave

Exquisite

“Stop Digging!”

You hear in your mind

You’re not going to find gold here

Only pain and rocks and dust.

Keep digging

Just go on

Excavate and go deeper

You will find the fine pure beautiful exquisitiveness

Of your young innocent soul

Under all the dirt and soil and debris

Take it out

Shake off the dirt

It shines

So pure and Golden

It’s still you,

You’re still her

Pure

Uphill

backlit clouds crescent moon dark
Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

Some days

there’s nothing

left,

and you’re not

quite sure

how you’ll make it to the next.

 

Some days

you’re running on empty.

and you set your eyes,

on small, barely

achievable goals;

like make it through this hour,

or just muster up

the will to shower.

 

 

These words are here

a small reminder

for when you’re swimming,

up hill through sticky syrup,

 

 

At some point,

you will put your foot,

back in the stirrup.

It’s not today,

and that is far from a disaster

Hold on,

as hard of an ask,

as that sometimes is.

 

In the not

too distant future,

You’ll crest the hill,

Atop the saddle,

riding your way,

back to laughter.

 

Unheard

photo of bird flying
Photo by James Frid on Pexels.com

Unheard. 

That is the fear

That whispers to her.

It tries to convince her

Of the following lies;

Your voice does not matter,

You are not worth listening to,

When you speak you are not heard,

There is no value to your words.

 

Fear does not know, 

That she found a place,

Full of listening ears,

And learning

That taught her to vanquish fear.

 

To step on it.

Two feet planted firmly

On the face of fear

And jump.

Bend down, shift your weight

And spring forth,

 

Soaring high

Using past failure

As a springboard

For growth

And change

 

Gleaning lessons

They teach her

To lessen the fear-

Not listen to lies.

Come to realise

That what she does

Stems from what she decides.

 

Her voice does matter.

She is worth listening to

When she speaks she is heard

There is value to her words

 

Fear let me tell you once more

Listen to the sound

Of the springboard

 

My voice matters

I am worth listening to

When I speak I am heard

There is value to my words.

 

This poem was birthed from my experience in the Evolve during Ramadan course run by LaYinka Sanni, and having spent time in a community of women who shared their story and listened to mine. ❤

Welcome to the world

Alhamdulillahi rabbil alamin, All praise and gratitude is due to Allah the Lord of all the worlds. Just over a week ago the new addition to our family was delivered safely into this world. I can not adequately express what a privilege, honour, and humongous blessing it is to become a parent once more. How awed and humbled I am that this honour was written for me again.

It is not possible to thank God sufficiently for all the blessings that He bestows on His creation, but it is possible to try and remember to be grateful always.

Alhamdulillah.

This poem has renewed significance.

My Lord is All-Aware.

Thank you for taking the time to read these musings, take care. Posts might slow down a bit as we get settled in.

Lots of love and hopes for your peace in this life and the next,

Azeezat

❤️✨❤️

Hospitalisation and How it Affected my Writing

I was looking back at some old blog posts on a different host site, and I stumbled across a long forgotten post from Novemeber 2010. In it I wrote

…So that’s what’s been going on with me. Well that and a stint in hospital, which I think had completely broken me.

I’ve not been able to write anything, which in turn has led me to be upset… but I just don’t feel things the way I used to. It’s weird and horrible, and I hope no one has to feel the way I feel.

My sense of humour has totally changed. Things I found funny before are now not nearly as funny. I have officially become an unenthusiastic person. It bites and I don’t know how to change it, or how to feel things anymore.

I’m not asking why. I accept that this is something that has had to happen, because it did actually happen, I just wanna know what to do about it.

Reading this seven years later and being confronted with that former version of myself is hard. My heart swells and remembers the faint echo of its old wounds whilst reading this post.

It was written shortly after I was sectioned under the mental health act and hospitalised. I am someone who is pretty open about this having been part of my life experience, though I feel where I come from, both from a cultural and religious standpoint, there is still at times a stigma attached to mental health problems, and being open about difficulties people face in that regard. I stand by my resolve to be open about my experience though, because it is through sharing, open discussion, and sincere reflection, that I believe we all learn, develop, and reach new levels of compassion and understanding.

What is very weird though, is that I’d forgotten that my writing slump coincided with my being sectioned. Prior to being sectioned, I would spend countless nights losing sleep because I was pouring out a new story idea, or working on a new poem, or just scribbling my feelings out in a journal. After being sectioned I just couldn’t do it. I tried, I tried to force myself to keep writing, I even attempted NaNoWriMo from my room on the triage ward, but it just didn’t pan out.

For perhaps the majority of my life words and writing have been places of refuge for me; from spending summers folding a4 sheets of paper in half, stapling them in the middle and designing books, writing endless stories fuelled by a youthful imagination, to journalling during my time in boarding school, even those angst filled poems that littered my teenage years. However, in the midst of one of my most difficult life experiences, that tool and solace was lost to me.

It was not that I couldn’t access writing, it’s just there was something off about it, even now it’s so hard to express this in a way that makes sense. It was almost as though in the same way that my self confidence had withered away during my time in hospital, the creativity I normally overflowed with when it came time to put my fingers to the keyboard or even pen to paper had shrivelled up too. I can still remember the desperate struggle to write, how huge of a mental block there seemed to be, how it was almost as though I’d lost not only the capacity to express myself, but also the will to do so. I believe this is very much a parallel to how things stood for me at that time mentally too. It took a lot of work to get back on an even keel, Alhamdulillah! I do feel that this experience, as much as it knocked me down, was useful in that it was a way to start rebuilding myself with a stronger foundation.

Eventually, painstakingly slowly my love of writing did return. I started of with a journal, a hot pink faux leather bound lined notebook; no dates or days, just blank lined pages a year after I left hospital. I didn’t write every day, in fact weeks would go by and I wouldn’t pick up my pen at all. When I did write, I would write a sentence here, a paragraph there, and there were a lot of days where I couldn’t find the motivation to get out of bed, talk less of the mental effort it took to pick up a pen and organise my thoughts enough to write what I was feeling.

I kept writing though. A new year started and I was still using that same hot pink diary… occasionally. Gradually I was recovering, and so was my writing. Things were not exactly the same, just as I had been altered by my experiences, I believe my writing was too. At times writing can still be a challenge, but I am so grateful that it wasn’t lost to me forever.

To anyone who’s found that mental health issues have negatively impacted their writing I wanted to just put this out there, don’t lose hope. It can come back, it may not be the same, but the challenging things that we go through in life don’t have to forever be dark ink blots on the pages of our life stories, we have the capacity to grow from and learn from our experiences. To transform the inkblots into fantastic illustrations of growth and starting points for change.

Lots of love

The Truth

I want to write things

that speak to people about the truth,

that speak to the truth of all matters

that cut right to the heart of things

and don’t mess about,

that illuminate, and give you things

on which to ruminate.

 

I wish at the beginning I knew

that the truth

was the same thing

at the end as it was

at the start.

 

But the truth was

that things change.

 

Things that happened to you

things that you felt

they changed how you saw things

they changed how you heard things

and they changed who you were

 

See the truth,

the real truth

it never changes

It is unfaltering

and eternal.

 

That this place

is not the end

that where you start is not as important as where you finish

that your journey

to the Creator

is about more than your face

it’s about more than what you are able to amass in this place

it is about more than the pace

at which you move through life

 

This truth,

it is

about

your

faith.

 

 

 

Azeezat A.B.A