I am struggling.
I am struggling to write, struggling to choose a pen or pencil (yes I still have to write it out on paper before I type it out) I am unsatisfied with every word, every sentence, every motion my hand makes in attempt to express –
Express. I’m struggling to express myself through this medium and it’s terrifying because I need writing like I need my eyes. I need writing to help me see my own misgivings, even if it’s already too late – I can always apologize later? Right?
My mom likes to say “Don’t be sorry, be careful” And it might be my favourite piece of advice. “sorry” seems to have lost it’s meaning, the weight of an “I’m sorry” doesn’t squeeze anyone’s hearts anymore. “I’m sorry” is watered down and never good enough to articulate remorse. And yet, that’s all we have, and if you’re an English speaker with no intention to learn another language, that’s all you’ll ever have.
That’s not what I want to tell you today.
Married for 8 months
Does the feeling of missing your parents ever go away?
Even after I’ve settled into a routine, started learning how to cook (dishes that he actually likes) and started looking at his home as my home, I still miss them. I think of them wistfully, as if I didn’t see them last weekend. Maybe I’m just slow.
Tonight I am making calzone (just found out what that is) I’m kneading dough and feeling like a wife. I’ve been quiet these past few days. He keeps glancing over at me-
In the car
In bed I hear his head shift before I feel his gaze on my face
Standing in the kitchen
Sitting together on the couch
“baby are you okay?”
I smile truthfully, “Yes honey I’m just thinking”
“thinking? About what?”
he smiled, and he crinkled his eyes at me, and this is going to sound so so cheesy (think mozzarella, it melts well) but it was the shared look I read about all my life, his eyes are brown, darker brown than mine, lashes as long as mine. His eyes are almost always hiding a hint of humor. But this look is more than inside jokes. Within his gaze I feel the understanding between us, the compassion. I feel the inevitable blush rise to my cheeks. I want to remember this moment, the tranquility that exists in this space. I want to carry it with me, to have this piece of peace.
I’m at a loss for words at how quick it all happened, how I can’t believe it’s almost been one year. One minute your life is THIS WAY and then the next it’s unequivocally THAT WAY.
I check the recipe incessantly, double checking that I’ve put in the right amount of everything, checking that the steak isn’t tough, I’m scurrying from
cutting board to rolling pin to pan – my grandmother would be so impressed.
He’s laughing at me from the living room, “You’re too cute”
He loves the calzone and it feels good to get something right.
The Last Monday of July 2017
I feel re-centered.
And that sounds horribly cliché because I’m doing yoga but that’s the point isn’t it: to feel re-centered and balanced? I’m looking at a chart and trying to fold myself in half for several breaths. I can’t do a handstand yet. But practicing is oddly therapeutic.
I’m pondering about the future and my family and my life and my afterlife and how grateful I am. Each yoga position slows time, I can feel my heart beat and I am able to isolate each limb, feel each every individual muscle stretch and I am in awe of my Creator.
I drove to Zeekoevlei, to visit friends, it was warm and the smell of cinnamon doughnuts filled my car. Taahirah greets me with a big smile, the kind that changes her face. Aqeelah, Taahirah and I head out to Hidden Treasures and I’m not entirely sure if that is just what they call it or if the shop is ACTUALLY CALLED Hidden Treasures. They engage in witty, entertaining banter that tastes like it’s been cultivated for years. I snag a beautifully crafted miniature clay pot, I like pretty things (one of many weaknesses) They try on clothing, I run my hands over the thrifted fabric, I saw a jersey, a blazer and a pants that I liked but they were too small. I’m dieting because “I want to wear what I want and not what I can” Aqeelah tries on a pants that makes her feel like a French model.
I am remembering a statement Taahirah made: You know effzed when I heard your voice I knew we would be friends.
I wonder how my voice sounds.
Muizeberg Beach is a marine biologist’s paradise, I learn. We play (yes. Play) in the water and I feel far away. I feel like I’m trying to see the end of the ocean – reach it. Touch it. I’ve always been fascinated with the sea, the waves, the creatures. Taahirah shows me fish eggs and it looks squishy and foreign and gross. I never liked things that look like bugs. I haven’t ever been camping or hiking. But even as I say “ew” I find myself wanting to be the kind of person that goes camping and hiking and scoops up something wet and almost alive just out of curiosity. I want to show Allah that I am interested. I am in wonderment at His SWT’s creations. We climb over rocks and I wish I were wearing sturdier sneakers. I feel a new sort of freedom, a liberating rush of unknown. And simultaneous shame, I have been living here for so long, swam in this very ocean, but I didn’t come here, to the each of the rocks, to feel salt water spray on my face.
I am quiet. I am taking in this minor epiphany in silently. My heart is swelling and I feel glorious happiness. And I want to talk about it, but my body wants to be silent. I wanted to write immediately, but my fingers wanted to be still.
I’ve been waiting a couple days to start writing this.
Back in Taahirah’s bedroom, she and Aqeelah become very griewelik, which is not a behavior that can be described, it has to be witnessed. They laugh and it’s light and warm and I feel the beauty of simplicity covering me like another layer on my skin.
I’ve been to Muizenberg three times in the last two weeks since I went with them. I can’t seem to get enough.
The beginning of the second semester
It is wet and cold and my beloved husband brings a jacket and a dry scarf for me at campus.
And I tell him he’s the best.