Wednesday, 12 August 2009

The Bulb is Back!

Salaam!

I’M BACK!!!
How “happy” are you!!

Its been an eternity (or at least it feels like it!), since I blogged here! Hope that doesn’t mean I’ve lost my 1 and only reader! Grin
Before leaving for Iraq, I had all these plans about what I wanted to write, how I would log my experiences here, keep a diary and add it with pictures and all kinds of cool stuff so that you could all share the experience, but the trip caught up with me quicker than I could run with it; there was packing, visits from friends, my failing health and a mad work schedule, that before I knew it, the morning of the trip was upon me, and when I sat to write my ‘alvida entry, my friend was at the door to run me to the airport!
I returned from ziyerat on Saturday evening (almost in 1 piece!), with a bad stomach bug, travel sickness and serious jetlag!
I spent a night in London and flu home on Sunday, and have been half awake, half asleep ever since! The sickness has gone, but I am still unable to eat properly without severe stomach cramp! I can’t get past the jetlag (which makes no sense at all; its only been 3 hours!). Turkish airlines conveniently lost my luggage, (it was mashallah returned to me last night), and so I spent the night watching ‘adult season on BBBC 3 (do check it out on Iplayer if you’ve not been following), and doing the washing!
I return to work tomorrow; just days after returning from Karbala, yet part of me feels as though I never went for ziyerat! Its hard to put in to words, like I said earlier, time ran away with me, and to a larger degree my expectations did too. I wanted so much from this trip, from myself mainly, and I failed; I failed my group, my family, but above all myself and my beloved Imams who called me for such a blessed experience. Its hard to know where to start with this one; it began on the very first day! Our group was small; 1 Iraqi woman and her daughter who were leading the group, and 2 Dutch revert sisters along with myself. I hadn’t interacted with them much before the trip, but I had discussed my visual impairment etc with them and they assured me that nothing was an issue and they’d be glad to have me on board. On our first morning in Iraq, they informed me they wouldn’t be comfortable taking me to one ziyerat or another because of the crowds, and because my not seeing was a bit of a headache for them. I didn’t know what to say, my embarrassment took over first, I apologised and tried to play it cool, but when we reached the rosa of Hazrat Abbas (A.S) and I had to wait outside, I could no longer take it! I just fell on the ground in tears! My display of emotion was seen as “irritating” by them, and these spats continued in various forms for the duration of the trip!
There is allot more to this story, most of it way too draining to write, but I shall recount my ziyerat experiences slowly over the next few weeks as they begin to make sense and unfold for me in my mind. Its true that each experience is intricately designed and selected by Allah (SWT) for us in order to elevate and progress us spiritually, though its often hard to see it when you are in the midst of frustration, mingled with emotion and perceived helplessness. That’s precisely where I was during much of the trip, and is the reason why I feel so useless and overcome by the feeling that I did nothing, I achieved nothing. I was actually relieved to reach London, I recited constant shukr on the way to my apartment and while I showered in Scottish water and flopped down on my bed! Does that make me worldly? Materialistic? Or simply shows how much I value those treasures that Allah (SWT) has given me? I really don’t know. Whenever I try to rationalise, the jetlag gets in the way, (along with the headache and sore throat I currently have! Another ailment to add to the list!). That said, I feel it is important to try and capture these moments before they run through my fingers as sand, like the moments that slipped away before I left, had I been more careful, more calculated regarding the group and my overall planning this situation may not have unfolded in the way that it did. Or, alternatively, I may reflect on it all next week, next month or next year, and see it in an entirely different light! In any case, there is more to follow, so watch this space if its not too dry for you!

Back in the real world, there is no news on the saga of my grievance and Inclusion Scotland, there is no new work for me, and there is a very nasty court letter from my facters (those who maintain our apartment block), demanding a huge amount of money from me which, if I don’t pay, will land me up in court! My mum is crying daily over this, while I am merely desensitised to it; (what is the point of weeping over things you can’t change!). I only hope that some of you might at least visit me in prison! Maybe I can persuade them to give me access to this blog to write and communicate given that I can’t send print letters!! Grin
Right!! Now you can see how messed up my head is, so I’ll go! The tube light needs her beauty sleep, her fuse replaced and some jushanda (throat really is getting worse, and I’ve sore ears!!) …,

PS, do you think this is swine flu?

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