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brother of mine, you are loved more than you know

Tubes winding everywhere like snakes coiled on rocks sunning themselves.  The mysteries of colour coded tubes.  We learned the language of red numbers, (diastolic, systolic) while our hearts moved to the rythm of drips and beeps.  We sat vigil watching your face, your beautiful face contorted to the angles of breathing tubes – Your body a battleground ravaged inside and out.  The shock of almost losing you overwhelms me….

I should feel safer now that you have begun healing but I am frightened that the minute I relax it’ll begin all over again.  I want you to lose the haunted look in your eyes that tell of your ordeal and so I will not tell you how I can’t sleep in the dark anymore.  Or how everytime the phone rings I think it’s the hospital with bad news.  Or how I can’t laugh too loudly or read magazines or enjoy food too much.  It all seems so frivolous – I’d rather stare at the wall for hours, trying not to think, trying to pray but losing track of what I am saying to God because I am so tired and scared. 

Slowly you make your way back to us – there is a long road ahead and the future is not known.  But God is Merciful, God is Gentle, God is Great.

Subhanallahi walhumdulillahi wa la illaha illallah wallahu akbar

Walillahil hamd



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Blessings, like raindrops fall from the heavens

When I am in the midst of a moment it’s hard to hide it from people.  I’ll be the first one to admit I can be a pain, perhaps a bit obnoxious and difficult – I like to think it’s part of my charm.   Although I have to admit I was quite charmless last week at the mosque for Jumu’ah.  I was in the throes of some ‘thing’ because I had just spent the last 10 minutes being shoved around by about a hundred women all trying to exit one door at the same time.  There is nothing like being shoved by kids, poked by old women and stepped on by everybody.  It’s guaranteed to raise my ire.  My sister just got back from Umrah and she said nothing will cure that faster than trying to navigate your way into the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasalam)’s mosque in Madinah.  You learn quickly to just go with the flow and smile.  That’s what I’m scared of most…losing my temper during Umrah- can you imagine?  I would die.

 When I finally got outside I was so grumpy and F could see it right away.  I totally blamed it on her because she HAD to get out of there right away…I usually wait until the crowds have died down a bit.  She totally ignored me (as usual) as I proceed to glare at her and mumble to myself in tongues.  She was talking to someone I had met before but didn’t really know so I stood aside, not being in the mood for small talk.  I said not two words to this lady, except to give my salam as she walked away- I barely made eye contact with her.  I felt kind of bad afterwards…I thought to myself “she’s going to think I’m insane!  I have a very hard time hiding my emotions…I hate it – it has gotten me into binds on more than one occasion.  So if I say I was in a bad mood that day – trust me it was all over my face.  Imagine my shock when I find out that this lady, told F that I seemed like “such  a nice person, someone who had a good heart, who you can see thinks of the akhirah”…

What do people see when they look at people?  Why do people see the things they do?  I remember being in the presence of a particular Shaykh once and he practically skewered me with his glance.  I felt like he could see me stripped of my pretenses, with my weak spirit just barely hanging on and it freaked me out. It’s a strange feeling to have someone see in you what you don’t.  I don’t understand what this lady sees when she loks at me- truth be told I find it a bit strange and it makes me uncomfortable.  At the same time I think there is a lesson in it for me somewhere and I don’t want this to become an anectode that I tell my sister as I laugh in a self-deprecating way.  Sometimes it takes a virtual stranger to make you believe in yourself a little more.  I just don’t know how to make it into something real, to be pondered over and nurtured. 

Amazing aren’t they, the myriad little blessings scattered across my path each day?


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stopping mid-spin for a brief bit of joyful meditation on a Monet

I haven’t written anything in a while – I guess real life has the right to claim you once in a while.  Cyberspace is nice to disappear into but the definitely not as tangible as other things. I’ve been busy with work lately.  I didn’t take any vacation this summer …I am saving 3 weeks for Ramadan this year.  Hopefully the time off will be approved -it’s almost official I just want to get that paper in my hand saying “oui”.  I really wanted to be able to spend time with my family who I  usually don’t see much of during the month, as well as get to the mosque more.  And to be perfectly honest I was not looking forward to working a month of nights. Last year I worked only nights because working 12 hour shifts during the day while fasting is so hard.

The summer has been a strange one for me.  I am feeling a bit out of control; like a spinning top that keeps going.  I can’t get enough sleep, I’m restless but so exhausted at the same time.  I’m  having bouts of insomnia too that are draining me.  I have a million little things I need to get done but my mind is so disorganized lately.  And my iman is suffering too. I keep wondering when I will get to a point in my life when I will stop making certain mistakes but I’m starting to think it’ll never end.  

Maybe I should have taken some vacation time!  I keep thinking “the next time I get a couple of days off I’ll get myself together”.    My sister and two of our friends are going to London tomorrow.  I really would have loved to go – I love London.  I’ve been there twice already but I would go back every year if I could.  Unfortunately If I ever plan to finish this degree my behind has to put aside travel for a while.

I guess I know what it is that is keeping me so wound up.  Sitting here and writing about it has helped.  Every time I hint to anyone about how I’m feeling they have tons of advice for me and it makes it worse.  Sometimes you just need to talk about it and have somebody hug you instead of trying to solve it for you.  Although I appreciate so much the people in my life – they care so much and give over the best of what they have for me time and time again.  I mean my friend wanted me to take a vacation so badly she offered to pay for my trip to England – she is a gem, one of the truest people in my life. 

One thing I have made time for this summer is reading and I have discovered the art gallery.  I was fascinated by Pissarro’s method of painting and standing in front of the Monet I was completely immersed in it’s beauty.  Seeing so many beautiful paintings up close was a thrilling experience – it filled and satisfied my soul for days.  I’m bringing F’s kids there on later on this week.

Here is a sample of what I saw:






So much beauty all around us.  I’m smiling as I write this  – I feel better now that I have spent some time with all of you.  Maybe that’s what I need … to write more and remember beauty often. 


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Happy Canada Day!

Spent a LOT of time with family.  Yay.  The kids were awesome as usual.  They are each of them beautiful characters and they make me happy.  The adults on the other hand …


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birthday girl

Happy Birthday to me..happy birthday to me 

Happy birthday to meeeeeee…. you know the rest.



Definitely not as cool as thirty-three. 

Dinner with the brother and his family – started out sour…I think he tries to drive me crazy on purpose.  But it all ended nicely.  We dropped by F’s house and she surprised me with a little cake.  I came upstairs and she had suck some candles in it.  It was so sweet of them.  The kids all asked me how old I was and I told them 29.  “Oh aunty…you look good, I thought you were 26!”, they said.  I love those kids.





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Weekend Notes

Today was a beautiful day – it went up to 32 degrees but with the humidity it felt like 42 at times.  I spent the day in F’s backyard enjoying the heat and the sun.  Her backyard is perfect – private and full of trees and flowers.  Space for thinking and dreaming. 

I finally took care of my tooth Friday.  It was literally driving me up the wall.  Between the first two dentists giving me different opinions and then having to go see this specialist I was ready to deal with it on my own – just pass the pliers…  I was in so much pain because the tooth was broken and chipping into my gum and it was just a big mess- now I have to fork over 2400 dollars to fix it.  I don’t know how much my insurance is going to cover – apparently for what I need they don’t have great coverage for.  So I spent the weekend recovering from my mouth trauma.

Saf is coming back on Saturday inshaAllah.  I can’t wait!  Time is a funny thing.  It passes so quickly but at the same time it creates all this space and distance.  It feels like the year flew by but it also feels like she’s been gone forever.

I’m off work till Thursday so I get to spend my time cleaning up and getting her room ready – I still haven’t decided what to do with the bike or the tv I stored in there.  If I had my way I’d toss the tv or give it away – anything I want to watch I get from the internet anyways.  Although I have to admit I miss my home reno shows and my animal shows.  The other day I was at D’s and I watched a program on snow leopards that live in the Himalayas, near Chiteral, Pakistan.  The beauty of that area was just astounding.  The winter months bring snowfalls that cover everything and turn it into a wonderland – reminding me of a winter scene in the book The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – you almost expect to see the White Witch poking her head out. The mountains have a wild quality to them, completely untamed and unconquerable.

Tonight at dinner we celebrated D’s triumphant return from her 60km walk this weekend.  She joined the End Breast Cancer walk this year.  I am so proud of her – she walked both days this weekend, 36km Saturday and the rest today.  What an accomplishment – she was almost delirious with fatigue and heat stroke but managed to come over for some barbecue.  She actually wasn’t as busted up as I expected – she has a big blister on one foot and she ached all over but over all she was a superstar.  The team managed to raise over 21,000$ too!  

The fans are going, the air is heavy and I’m sticking to the couch but I love it.  I’m hoping for a good summer…lots of sunshine, the smell of trees and flowers, fresh food and surrounded by love.


Here are clips from an interview done with the Snow Leopard documentary producer Nisar Malik.  Check out the scenery in the first two pics…and of coure marvel at the beauty of the main attraction 🙂



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I am feeling much better these days.  Some sleep helped.  I was actually a little bit of a hot mess, shuffling around in my bathrobe with my fluffy socks on…eating Chunky Monkey ice cream. I am still a little stuffed up but I’m pretty much back to normal.  Work was rough this week too – a lot of chaos and an inordinate amount of people who seemed to be the spawn of closely related relatives.  Not good.

I’m off now till Tuesday which is nice – I want to try and get the apartment in order for when Saf comes home.  I have to figure out where to put my bike now that she will be wanting her room back.  I guess I should clean the house too although it seems like a cruel cosmic joke that I have to work full time and clean the damn house.  I can do one or the other but not both.  Actually I can only do one.  Guess which one it is?

The Bouchard-Taylor commission released their report on the hijab and its impact on Quebec society.  I was pretty impressed-  According to the report, the apprehension felt towards non-Christian cultures and religions can be overcome by dialogue and interaction.  Also the government has the responsibility to have proper policies and programs in place to implement the recomendations the report makes.

 I wonder what sort of impact it will have.  Quebec is kind of a strange place – in some ways it can be very liberal and progressive and in other ways it is still a very bigoted place.  I love going  back to Montreal but I don’t know if i could ever move back.  The vibe you get wearing hijab is very different there than where I live now.  The hijab is so common here it can be a little irritating.  The other day I was at that grocery store and some little chit working the cash says to me ” I can see your hair just so you know”.  I was like “yes well that’s as good as it’s getting at 9h30 pm after 12 hour shift.”  The guy at Starbucks said the same thing to me too the other day – He actually leaned over and was going to tuck whatever was flying out back in.  You know people are used to when non- Muslims are giving you crap for not covering up enough.  But seriously, Alhumdulillah we have it pretty good here compared to other cities – I’ve never had a problem finding work or interacting with people.  I’ve been very blessed.

Here is a link to the report in case anyone is interested.



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