the mind of a self-proclaimed كنداكة

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Entry #15: how do i love

Note: This is deeply personal to me. I kind of just wrote it because I just love so much. It’s laden with references that only parties present would understand. It’s very very very very personal to me.

I love the idea of love but I don’t know how to love.

But what is love?

It could be mama’s work toab thrown across the living room couch while she stirs the mulah at 6 pm, barely making it home in time for lunch.
Or is it my baba’s calls of “Inaam!” when he brings in a fresh bunch of grapes from the local grocer?
No, it’s my brother’s replies to reckless Snapchat stories of hazy nights with my best friend
“I don’t like this.” He types.
“Ugh, he’s so annoying.” Seven dimensions away I sigh.
It could be my sister’s text this morning
10:52 am
I’m barely awake. But she knows.

No, I don’t think it’s any of those.

I’m lost. I’m so fucking confused. I love love but I don’t know what it is love. I keep finding love. How do I find it when I don’t know what it is? Where it is?

Where is love?

Is it in the arch of my foot when I shift my weight to my toes and elongate my body to wrap my arms around friends’ shoulders?
Or does it pump the adrenalin through my system when I realize mama hasn’t come back from “court”?
I think it might be in the corners of my nephew’s mouth as he flashes his tiny square teeth emphasizing the “i” in “Homi”.
It must be in me cradling his head peppering kisses across his forehead in the backseat of his car
Because I can’t show him how much I love him outside
And I don’t know how to show I love him otherwise
And I do
I think I do
I know I do
Do I?

If I don’t know how to love, then how do I love?

How do I explain the tingling in my toes as we sing Beyonce in a classroom with no teacher, knowing that this is the only lesson that matters?
How do I understand the warmth in my chest when we video chat across a multitude of time zones that feel like one?
How can I interpret the calm in my soul as we hide in the back of the balcony, chain-smoking shisha behind our parents’ backs, trying to collectively drown our misery and strengthen the chains that keep us together?
How would I justify the excitement in my body when they say, “Asali okhtik wa akhok namshi natghada wein”, and it finally feels like your family is complete for the first time since 2009?
How do I explain the wrenching of my gut when I remember September 2013?
When I hear “Ilz”? “Mushtageen”? “Roll thru”? “We?”?
What does it mean?

No, I don’t think it’s that I don’t know how to love. I think I love too much. I never learned how to love because this to me is love.


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Entry #10: A heart that is too heavy to bear

The horrific things happening in the world right now, the U.K., Afghanistan, the GCC, South Sudan, Yemen and more, just wow. My heart is so so heavy. Hearing Philando Castile’s murderer has been acquitted was the final straw. Don’t you ever tell me that institutionalized racism doesn’t exist. Don’t ever tell me that black lives hold the same value as white lives. Don’t you EVER tell the Black Lives Matter supporters that it should be All Lives Matter because we don’t owe you a lesson on slavery (which deadass still exists) and the comparative worth of black lives. Black people will never know peace, ever. I just want to know, when I move to the US will I have to continually explain my worth and justify why I deserve to exist? Will I have to shield myself and make sure I don’t look suspicious (whatever the hell that means) so that I don’t get shot for being black? Tell me, when is it going to end? When are black people going to be able to breathe and live? “All men were created equal” suuuuure. It’s messed up to the very core when blatant homicide isn’t punished. Black people will never be safe anywhere.

I lost all hope in everything. Last year, when I met the British ambassador to the UN, I asked what is being done to help Sudan. He told me lots is being done but they have more pressing issues. I understand there’s a lot on your plate but no particular UN effort has been successful recently in my opinion. You tell me we just don’t matter as much, I bite my tongue and hope that your efforts elsewhere are working. But they’re not.

I’ve been avoiding talking about politics and social justice recently because I feel absolutely helpless and angry. The world we live in is gradually getting worse and no amount of countering we can do will ever be enough. I’m tired, you’re tired, everyone’s tired. I can’t even properly articulate myself anymore because all that comes out is anger and tears. I’m completely over it. But I will embody the angry black woman trope until my dying breath. Solange Knowles simply and eloquently sang, “There’s a lot to be mad about.” No truer words have been spoken. I cannot rest with a mind buzzing like this. I cannot rest with a soul that is THIS heavy. I cannot rest until we all know what peace is. As we’re not able-bodied middle class white cisgender heterosexual men, we’ll never know peace. To everyone who has ever been oppressed by the system or screwed over by a tragedy, my heart and soul are always with you. I’m always behind you. Until then, we need to find a strength to fight everything that’s thrown our way. I love you, always and forever. All I can say for now is rest in power, Philando Castile. You deserved better. Black people deserve better. The world deserves better. #nojusticenopeace

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Entry #7: what you are

Bones, dust and energy. That’s what you’re made of. You are the essence of life.

From the bend of your nose, to the curve of your lips and the arch of your back, you’re made of divine geometry. The twists and turns of your brain, secured with intricate thoughts and emotions, a result of divine potions. You can never think too much, feel too much, experience too much, because you aren’t too much. Your every atom is worthy of existing.

How does your soul feel right now?

Does it carry the weight of the world on its shoulders, or the weight of your world on its shoulders? You’ve been through hell and back. It’s etched deep into your skin, I see it in the crevices of your eyes, I can only imagine it’s engraved in your soul. Your battle scars are life and art, and your soul should wear them with pride.

Don’t you see it now? You’re perfect. Love yourself. Believe in yourself. Be yourself.

Are you content now?