As salaam alaikum,
If there's one thing about this blog that has stayed constant over some time now, it's that I don't usually blog about current events. The last time I really wrote about any current event in-depth in a journal, kind of, it was 9/11. I was not yet blogging, and even my own journal leaves much to be desired about the discussion. I don't know...I've always had difficulty writing well about current events and my feelings about them. It always seems forced and artificial, even for things that I care a lot about.
Now, as I end third year and return to the world of the living, one would presume I'd be able to keep up with current events, right? I know this is day 40-something of the oil spill, I know there have been some wild fires. Sometimes I feel guilty for not being like nearly every other Muslim blogger and putting in my own two cents about the current strife in the Middle East, the Freedom Flotilla, something.
The fact of the matter is...I only like to discuss things that I am well-read about, or things that are matters of pure opinion that do not require me to be well-read. Therefore, I do not blog on current events because most of what I have to say are gut feelings based on what little I heard about whatever event. I prefer to read and take in, but I never feel as if my opinion is adding that much to the situation.
Similarly, I don't post anything with heavy theological or scholarly significance here about Islam, because I am not an authority.
I keep it light on my blog, usually. Maybe in public health school I'll have more time to read and I'll actually post about current events more, so this blog won't seem as vapid...
...all the same, once I emerged from the ruins of my life after third year medical school and saw the light of day again, I must say...a lot of things don't seem real anymore.
It all started with the cloud of smoke that covered the Boston sky and much more of the Northeast on Memorial Day earlier this week. I read in the news that the smoke was from wild fires in Quebec and that there were 50 burning over the weekend, 8 of them out of control. The fact that smoke from Canada could settle over Boston and it still smelled of burning wood was amazing to me. It was almost unreal.
Then my mother shared with me the story of the 30 storey sinkhole in Guatemala City, and things seemed even more unreal...
Then, on day 40-whatever of the oil spill, she talked about people washing birds [with Dawn! like that commercial] and then setting them back in the wild, and I'm like, wait...they'll just get all oily again. And how are they washing individual birds when there are whole flocks out there affected by the oil? And why do they have these workers "cleaning up" at the site of the oil spill when the oil is still spilling, and they broke a diamond-tipped saw just trying to get this thing to stop, and...
It's terrible, but with that, I just laughed.
I came out of third year a different person. This world is unreal. Life really seems like a dream right now. It seems malleable, volatile...reality is no reality at all. A diamond tooth saw broke, the oil is still spilling, millions of gallons, and folks are trying to clean individual animals and are setting them back in the wild where they're just going to get greasy again. Workers cleaning up oil which is just going to come back, they're getting sick, and the employer is talking about it's "food poisoning."
If the Stylistics were right about people making the world go round, man...that's why nothing seems real anymore. People do not make the world spin, no, but the reality people create for each other on this earth is pure insanity, man.
I feel so much less afraid of the future in this world of artificial reality. I'll take this life as a long dream that I return to every morning after I wake from sleep. I can eat, sleep, use the bathroom and feel pain in my dreams now, so it's essentially just that. Everything feels real, but it'll be transient. One day I'll sleep or otherwise will not wake up. Transient, temporal...that's what life is. I don't exist. You don't exist. This building I'm sitting on is as permanent as that building that was swallowed up by the sinkhole.
The true meaning of being Muslim kicks in. I place my life in the hands of Allah (swt). I place my trust in His hands, I submit my entire life to God. But this no longer seems like a confining thing to me. It's rather a comforting thing. It's my refuge from Satan, yes, but more than that, it's my refuge from the insanity on the outside, the artificial reality that has been created by cultures, nations, societies, whatever your artificial division of human life.
And so I'm able to sit back and laugh at things that are ridiculous because I've been blessed to be in a position where I'm not in the thick of turmoil.
But I'm not making light of turmoil and struggle that people on this earth are facing. I may not have the imaginary balls to post about these current events [because mine are imaginary, even in this artificial reality, if I may get cheeky about it], but know that I have the presence of mind to pray about them all.
We're all presented with this artificial reality and our challenge as humans is to try to approximate the actual Reality as close as we can, and live according to His laws...my belief, anyway.
Food poisoning, indeed...hah!