Autumn, Dark, Essays, Nature, passion, Philisophy, Philosophy, Poem, Poetry, Reality, rumi, Sufi, Travel

The Prayer

The crowd stands in unison,
Shoulder to shoulder,
Like soldiers defending a fallen city,
The crowd stands in unison,
And the call of the muezzin begins…
The prayer of the twilight,
The advent of the feast of the soul,
Begins as angels shower god’s love,
And the revelers bask its blinding glory,
The nameless one remains sheltered,
Cloaked in the mask of disillusion,
The nameless one remains bitter,
Sheltered in the umbrella of his deceit…

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doors, Essays, Philosophy, Photography, Pictures

Closed Doors

In the vortex of puzzles and riddles that surrounds us in everyday life, there are few moments of absolute clarity. These are short and fleeting and are nestled between many mazes and are in fact very difficult to discern. But when you do find these moments, life becomes a little more clearer. Have you ever solved a mathematical problem knowing the answer in advance? The difficult question automatically becomes very easy. Our subconsciousness somehow works a little bit faster. But what does that have to do with anything? Have I understood the key to the mysteries of life? Have I unlocked the door of wisdom and pursuit?

Kinda but not quite.

I saw a movie recently while I was on vacation. I will not go into the complexities of it but will say that I didn’t enjoy it. It was long, meandering and really didn’t seem to have a purpose. Maybe it was the noxious odor born out of the decades that the bricks aged in this crumbling old single screen theatre but this movie seemed to be a metaphor for my life, and that thought depressed me. There was a line in the movie, which in hindsight is perhaps the few moments of it that I actually remember, the line is “unless you love, your life goes by in an instant” or words to that effect. I would like to take that a bit further. I say that unless you have a dream, or a pursuit in life, your lifetime will flash by in an instant.

I think about that and am afraid. What is this dream that I pursue? What is my purpose in life? My goal? Is there One or are there many? Is everything fluid or are some dreams more concrete? Maybe dreams are not meant to be concrete, maybe they are manifestations of each person’s frame of mind based on their circumstances. Maybe dreams are never meant to be realized. Maybe life itself is a dream.

These are all questions that I would love to know the answer to. But the answer does not lie in front of me, it is not wrapped in a nice box. It is not apparent. But I believe that the answer is out there for me to know. The answer is out there for me to pursue. In my wanderlust quest for the answer, I will find my dreams and I will discover answer to questions about myself and my dreams. That I believe is the true meaning of life. To open the closed doors of our hearts. This realization was the stroke of genius that I felt I saw. Some might say it was trivial or very obvious. They maybe right. It was not obvious to me. Things never are. But now I have the key, and the closed doors will not stay closed much longer.

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Essays, Photography, Poetry

Between Here and There

Its not very often that I stop enroute to somewhere during travel. Its not that I don’t like it, its just that I get too caught up in the process of travelling that I forget that sometimes the best sights lie about 5 minutes away from the highway.

 This cycle was broken last week during my travel to Michigan. Somewhere tucked off the side of the I-90 exists St. Joseph’s Park also called as Silver Lake Beach. Time did not permit extracting the full flavor of this location, but what we saw definitely interested us in coming back. This is a beach town and the fact that we stopped here in the dying days of summer seems almost poetic. We ate some hummus and had a Margarita pizza (surprisingly good) and then headed back to the car and continued on our path back home.

 Sometime in the future, I would love to return to this quaint town, return and sing an ode to the sunlight and the heat mirages doused by the fountains of the silver lake.

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Essays, Photography

A Little Comfort in Me

Its coming, It’s just around the corner, people carry on their lives pretending not to notice it, but you know its coming, and I know its coming. I’m taking about good O’l Fall. Fall has a myriad of emotions attached to it. It is my favorite season. The world looks prettier, people are nicer and there is just an air of comfort wafting inside your house. Speaking of comfort, here is mine. There is nothing that feels better on a fall night than a bowl of thick, creamy tomato soup and a grilled swiss cheese sandwich. Nothing.

 

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Essays, Photography, Pictures

On the Road…Again

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I live an interesting life, one that contains countless hours of monotone and some hours of somethings which are greatly different from my daily life. I was on the road last week. Travelling once again for work, seeking skills that the higher-ups think I need and I am trying not to construe this as a thinly veiled insult of some sort. There was the reassurance of having fellow travellers with me in the car which meant that whatever this skill was that I lacked, there were others who were right along with me.

After driving for about 5 hours we entered the famed ruins of detroit. Yes, ruins. I have seen similar ones before. Sprawling metropolitan cities which have been abandoned to their decay and vices and the results is a crumbling giant. Dont get me wrong, the city is still beautiful, the architecture, still magnetic, but as I was walking through the shadows of greektown looking at the empty streets, I realized that the best days of this city had passed it by. Whats left is a bunch of people not wanting to believe that. We still managed to survive this, ate at wonderful restaurants and saw possibly the largest french pastry assortment in the united states (a little ironic that we found this in Arab Town). At the end of the week, we left with mixed emotions. Sadness at having to leave a city that we called home albeit for a few days, and relief that we don’t normally call this city…home.

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Essays, Photography, Reflections

The Tired Traveller

It is a brutal world that we live in. Everything points towards the inherent cruelty of life. Even the sweltering heat of the summer seems to be a metaphor for that feeling. Life has become a race, a race where the finish line does not exist. We chase invisible dreams and are forever left with a feeling of longing. We are left unfulfilled. We travel the world, we work tirelessly, and we swim in the sea of life and fly into the expanse of the universe in our inexhaustible quest to become a fictitious version of ourselves. We are travelers.

As I stopped momentarily at a traffic light, my jaded mind wandered aimlessly and I looked around. This is the same light that I have stopped pretty much every single day for the past three years but for some reason, never saw what I did today. It was a reflective sight, in the sense that the image reflected the thoughts in my head. I wondered whether the birds were a manifestation of our place in this world. Whether they were a surreptitious message asking me to pause of take a deep breath. The birds seem to be doing just that. The birds tell me that sometimes, all that a tired traveler needs is a little break in your journey.

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Essays, Photography

The Autumn of our Lives

Fall…Or as we like to call it Autumn. The season of melancholy and contemplation. The liberator of the wool fabric and the redeemer of the tweed. Bring forth your cold and cover them with cloth. Cover them with layers and warm them up as they walk drudgingly along paths strewn with desiccated leaves.

It is the season which John Keats describes in his beautiful poem “To Autumn” as a “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”. It is the shortest of all seasons. Tucked casually between the dying days of summer and heralding the start of the blistering cold. The blue sky of the summer metamorphoses into a crepuscular gray seeped in coldness. The plethora of gentry that used to jaunt about in the summer, still do so, but not with the same joy, but with a reserved trepidation. I relish these months of autumn. Autumn or fall, call it what you may, they signify the same thing. They signify the Manichean area between warmth and Cold, between good and evil, between life and death.

The autumn of our lives and the fall of the summer. Heralded by the skies, and mourned by the trees. As I parse the sight and sounds around me, I am stunned by the sudden burst of coruscating color. Red, Yellow, Orange, Brown, Sepia and green, all dance together in a medley of vibrancy seen in the foliage around. This is the perfect time for a drive out into the wilderness. The perfect opportunity to spend time with yourself, sipping on hot chocolate and pondering on your place in the grand scheme of things. The autumn of our lives…That phrase keeps coming back to me.

Our lives are forever at precarious stages. Each person is in transitionary place. We are experiencing change, change in our workplace, at school or in our relationships with those around. These changes are akin to the colors of the season. Some changes are positive, expressed by the still resilient green, but most are caught between stages of strong emotion, expressed with the blood colored maroon and red, and some are neutral, like the yellow and the sepia, and some are emotions of death, signified by the shriveled brown leaves. Colors are like mirrors into our souls. When we look at a color we can detect our emotions and our complexities. A cheerful person looking at blue sees hope and life, whereas a gloomy person sees darker colors like red, laterite and black and sees the dark corners of his heart. This season reflects all of this. Forever associated with lonely lovers and brooding poets, this season is all about knowing who we are. Knowing our place in people’s lives. However, our purpose should not be defined by others. Our dreams and our struggles are best known to us. Others may show a passing interest, but like everything others do, they are hoping that you present to them an apocopated version of it, short and easy to understand. We are our own guardians, our protectors and our own soldiers. Our battles cannot be fought by someone else; we need to develop the strength to do it on our own. When we find that the course of life is headed on the wrong path, we have to take the opportunity to turn it around. Be the captain of our own ship, be the change that you want to see in the world. Autumn is a grim reminder that if we do not change course, bitterness in form of winter is just around the corner.

I sit pensively in my backyard wrapped in the warmth of my thoughts. I find calmness in knowing that I am part of nature in its most seminal form. The autumnal wind blows heavily, like the speech of an elder, heavy and contrived. The geese scream loudly in the sky as they make their exodus towards warmer lands. I see families walking about hurriedly, huddled together, their steps crushing the leaves making an almost pleasant sound. The wind pierces and colors my face in shades of red. The grayish sky bleeds into colors of red and black. As I watch the “last oozing hours by hours” the world continues, and life moves on, and the approaching night reminds me of the purpose of our lives, our struggles and our emotions…The autumn of our lives, the shield given to us, when we fall down. All we have to do, is get right back up.
 

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