Decorate my hijab

Muslim. Woman.

Oppressed; must-be.

Ignorant, for sure.

You slap those labels on me.

I let the words stick.

Decorate my hijab.

I can see your eyes follow me.

The distrust, mistrust.

The confusion that comes when you hear me speak.

(Yes, I do have a voice.)

Women should be allowed to wear what they want, you say.

(I agree.)

You say; so take that thing of your head.

I reply; “But I-“

Must be brainwashed.


Written in response to the daily prompt Label

(Some background: I am a Muslim woman who has chosen to wear the hijab out of my own accord and have done so for over seven or eight years.) No pressure from my parents, extended family etc. etc. I find it incredibly ironic that there are people who claim they believe a woman should have the freedom to dress as she wants, but also argue that women like me shouldn’t be allowed to wear a headscarf and then claim it is a way of protecting us from oppression…)

 

A very confused person

When I was around nine my teacher gave us a new list of words to learn, taught us the definitions and asked us to incorporate them into a story.

I remember being taught the meaning of “Dilemma“.

My teacher gave a great an example of when he had been in a dilemma. It was a short, funny and most likely completely made up tale.

I usually really enjoyed these exercises but with “dilemma” I was…stuck. 

I’d never been in a dilemma, I remember thinking.

Did having to choose between mint-chocolate chip and bubble ice-cream count? [For the record, according to my year 4 teacher, the answer is no]. 

I distinctly remember being very cross with myself for not having experienced this thing my teacher was describing. (I was an incredibly strange child).

Forward to age twenty-one and… there have been a lot of dilemmas. There have been many, many occasions when I’ve wished that I could regain the innocence of being nine-years old. Times when I’ve been so confused between what the right decision was. Times when neither choice seemed right. Basically, times that have made me want to change my identity and find the most secluded cave on the furthest island that I could hide away on… *cough* not to say, that I can’t handle being an adult or anything of the sort *cough*

I am indecisive person as it is, so when it comes to hard things…it’s well, hard. 

I’m usually the type of person to think things through logically. Who categorizes and classifies and ranks decisions. Who makes pros and cons lists.

But I’m also quite intuitive.

And sometimes my gut says right and my neatly written logical assumption says left.

And I’m left in an even greater dilemma as I try to choose between gut and logic.

I wish I could be one of those people who just knows whether they are a “heart over head” or “head over heart” sort of person.

I don’t feel like either. There have been numerous times when I’ve ignored my gut and gone with logic and other times, when I’ve rationalised to myself that my gut is correct and original logical assumptions were wrong…

Scenario: I have a dilemma

Brain: Commence mission. Tasks: research, lists and conclusion

Research completed, list produced, conclusion found.Decision made but then…

Gut: I think this is the wrong decision.

Brain: well, the facts here clearly show X, Y an Z…

Gut: Sorry, I’m just not feeling this…

Brain: Maybe it’s food-poisoning

*wait a period of time*

Brain: Hmm, no signs we are physically ill

Gut: I’m telling you, it’s the decision that’s causing these symptoms

Brain: You may be right. Commence re-evaluation.

*Further research and lists*

Brain: After re-evaluation, I conclude that my research was of good quality. However, perhaps if we consider these other factors, then perhaps… Gut… you are right.

Gut: I am? I am? But no… you’re the brain.The list! The research! I could just be feeling ill!

ME: binge eat and proceed to feel ill.

So there it is… decisions, dilemmas and I … do not go together. I am neither a heart over head or a head over heart person. I am just a very confused person.

 

 

 

 

The inevitable fate of the Spark

There’s a spark,

it catches.

Excitement.

Plans.

Dreams.

Her mind runs away with a thousand and one ideas.

She can see it in her mind; the end product.

Knows what she needs to do to get there.

Passion.

Motivation.

Determination.

It’s all there.

Her pen leaves skid marks on the paper,

as she gets it all down.

This time will be different.

This will be the one.

She would nurture it,

protect it,

feed it oxygen.

She would…

But…

Oh-

What’s that?

Her hand stops.

The ink bleeds.

A bullet hole…

The paper is spoiled.

Ruined.

Worthless.

She needs a…

a break.

She’ll return.

She will.

She does.

Finds a barely legible sheet.

Struggles to comprehend it.

Tiny, scrawled hand-writing.

Wordsblurredtogether.

Black holes.

She frowns.

The door slams shut.

The spark dies out.


Hello again wordpress! After quite a long break (mostly due to university, work and inefficient time-management) I finally have some more time to write and read more blogs 🙂 This poem was in response to the prompt: Unfinished and is something that relates incredibly well to me at the moment…

 

 

Not quite ‘unstoppable’ but still pretty good

A couple of weeks ago, I was… a little miserable.

My confidence was low. I didn’t feel like myself.

On the one hand, I was annoyed that I was spending so much time doing nothing – what a waste.

At the same time, however, I felt resigned – lazy – weak. I didn’t want to do anything. My motivation had seeped away.

In hindsight, it seems melodramatic.

But I guess, everyone has those periods.

It’s like a haze, I guess, that somehow manages to blur our sight. It’s weird. Feelings are both amplified and numbed.

And then when you get through the ‘not feeling so great’ bit, you can’t remember what was so bad in the first place.

For the last month or two months, I’ve made a conscious effort to keep myself busy. And I have been, extremely, extremely busy. So much so that, I haven’t had the chance to do things that I want to – meet friends and family, read, blog…

(I really should have had better time-management.)

Yet, I’m glad I kept busy.

Because somehow through the ridiculous hours and deadlines and whatever, I’ve somehow found some motivation.

I’ve learnt things about myself which surprised me.

It’s pretty much well-known to everyone around me that I’m an introvert, that I’m shy, that I’m quiet.

I’ve always thought I would be terrible at public speaking or teaching or anything involving me being vocal.

I’m just too awkward. Just too anxious. Just too shy.

But I guess, until you push yourself into new situations – you don’t know what you’re capable of.

Over the last few weeks, I have had to talk to strangers in public, I have had to try and explain complex ideas, I’ve had to be encouraging – I’ve had to let my passion for a subject show.

And weirdly, crazily…

I enjoyed it?

So strange. Seriously, I cannot get over the fact that I actually enjoyed talking. I am someone who can get palpitations just walking across my office to the printer – my self-conscious brain tells me I am disturbing others, people are staring etc. etc.

In short, I hate attention.

And yet, I pushed myself and it was great.

I loved it.

I don’t feel Unstoppable.  (Too rational and aware of my own fallibility for that).

However, I feel pretty good right now. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last two months it’s this – I should say yes to more opportunities, no matter how outside my comfort zone they are.

Cold Burn

Her mother told her to stay away from fire.

‘Don’t get too close.”

It wasn’t a problem,

she was never a daredevil,

the fire didn’t call to her,

the warmth wasn’t alluring.

The chances of the flames touching her,

were slim to none.

She stuck to the outskirts,

stood far away from it,

content in her isolation.

She was stronger than the others,

resisted the temptation.

Someone should have told her,

there was more than one way,

to be burned.

It started slowly,

the cold,

then began to sit in her bones.

All alone, she started to shrink.

There was no warmth,

there was no heat.

The fire felt Oh, so far away.

She could spot it in the distance,

its’ red and orange halo,

surrounding the crowds,

all huddled together.

They looked smug…

and snug.

But she pitied them all the same;

didn’t they know,

how dangerous it was?

Fools.

Yes, the were fools,

she thought,

as her teeth began chattering.

The flames were at a safe distance,

far

far

away

but there was some-

thing,

some-

thing

occur-r

-ing,

it started at the t-t-tips,

and made it’s way up,

it burnt,

it burnt,

it burnt.

 

The fire suddenly looked inciting.


 

Not sure about this poem- a big experiment!

Daily prompt: Burn

My mother

My mother is warmth.

I watch her in Awe.

How she exudes her love,

her kindness,

her humour.

My mother and I,

are very different.

She is good with people.

(I am not).

She is resilient.

(I am not).

 

My mother is strength.

She’s the comfort to childhood nightmares,

she holds my dreams,

she knows my fears.

I never knew it before.

We argued.

We had disagreements.

I always said,

she wouldn’t understand.

I misunderstood

her warnings,

her advice,

for…

dictatorship.

I was a teenager,

(synonym for stupid).

 

My mother is empathy.

She forgives my transgressions,

she showers me with her love,

her concern,

and I…

I push back and say

“gosh, I’m twenty-one”.

 

My mother is not perfect,

she is over-protective,

a perfectionist,

she is too sensitive

and we argue,

we argue,

but these arguments,

are becoming

further

and

further

apart.

More and more,

we spend time

talking.

And more and more

I am in awe.

 

 

The abandoned

They made for a beautiful picture,

your Abandoned dreams.

Neglectfully discarded,

they still managed to scatter

beautifully on the ground.

It was strange watching them.

Each time you looked,

you saw something new.

Another piece of the story,

of the dreams and their shattering.

It was strange.

And sometimes,

when the light reflected harshly,

painful.

The glare was too strong.

You had to turn away.

Sometimes you could walk,

among them,

understand the reasoning,

for their abandonment.

 

On most occasions, the

shattered fragments lay dormant

and buried.

Abandoned under a sea of other choices,

until you step on one of the sharp corners,

and they prick you.

Angry at their abandonment,

they stab you.

It’s uncomfortable,

to say the least.

And then they start to reflect the tales,

of what could have been.

This bit’s the hardest.

If only you’d tried.

 

If only you’d tried.