Wednesday, August 26, 2009

chain ek pal nahin aur koi hal nahi

judai yaar di--

aur ahista...

aaj phir kya mehfil saji hai- jo saawan agaya hain nazroon main phir

shayed unka aakhri ho yeh sitam---

shayed unka aakhri ho yeh sitam-
har sitam yeh soch kar ham seh gaye...

Truth- unfiltered

...just the plain and simple truth
do you realize how many ways we try to hide the fact that we are sad?

I do it-
All the time
I lie to the world
I lie to myself
So well in fact
That I convince myself!

I convince myself that I am not sad-
But where does that get me?
I end up at anxiety
Because the sadness does not go away
The hurt does not go away
The truth does not go away

All I get in return is confusion.

I have avoided facing myself
I have avoided facing my sadness
Because at a time it overwhelmed me
And I was afraid
That it would be unbearable
That I would crumble
Be lost and incapacitated
But I shall not
It will hurt
I will ache
But in the end
I shall be okay

I am sad today
Because I realized
I was hurt
Because I lost something, someone dear to me
I lost a love
And I tried To run
And I tried to hide
And I did
For a good long while
Until I ended up where I had started
Only this time I was bewildered
I had lied so well
I hid so well
Even I could not find myself

But I did find
And I did see
And I am sad
And I do hurt
And I did love
And I did lose
And it did hurt
And it does hurt still
And do I want it back?
But Do I still hurt
I still hurt
I still hurt

And yes I am sad
And yes I have run
And I do hide
And I make mistakes
And I am foolish
And I did falter
And I did call him
Because I want him?
Because I cared once
Because I loved once
And how was it

He was cold
He was indifferent
And that hurt!
And I felt foolish
Because I knew
That was how it would be
And still I called
I wanted to know
I wanted to see
If he could
Still hurt me
And he can
And he does
And so I hurt
And so I am sad

I am sad today...

Why did I call?
-because if I did
I could hide
The fact that I hurt
I would distract myself from the truth
I am a junkie like that-
If I called I might find
An answer
A reason
A justification
For all my pain

But there is no hiding
There is no answer
There is no reason
No justification

It simlpy is
What it is-

And it is that I am sad
And it is that I hurt

That is my truth- unfiltered
And in the knowing I am accepting
In the accepting
I am growing
In the growing there is peace
And in the peace there is closure

But for now...
But for today...
I am sad-
And that is the truth


It isn't something you can do with someone's help
It isn't something anyone can show you
Acceptance is a game of Solitaire

So here's to the beginning
Of the actual healing
Farewell to the anxiety
Of hiding from the facts
Here's to the knowledge
That hurt is still intact

I have a way of self defeating
I know it far too well
Even when I know better
I still don't know at all

I knew how it would go
I knew how it would end
I did it still
And laughed out loud

Iff Again...

I sat a while in Gandalf's office doing what it was I was doing and he stated what he stated and in the doing and the stating the truth emerged. A truth I faced reluctantly. A truth he showed me ever so simply, ever so gently, and as always ever so blatantly.

When all was said and done, awareness reached and self revealed, he asked me,
"Would you rather I don't?"
I replied, "No, John..."

And then there was peace.

"Do you realize that you look very different now?" he asked
"I realize that I feel very different now..." I replied.

"Anxiety is polluting your present", he stated. "In sadness you can look to the past and it will lead you to closure. Shahnaz, it is no crime to be human!"

And as I sat, moist eyed and silent. Aware and drained. At peace and in acceptance, he stated,

"I shall do you a favor and end it on this note so that you don't have to flit about like a flea on a griddle..."

I chuckled inspite of myself and stated,

"Yes, John- I have been flitting about like a flea on a griddle. Thank you so much. I sincerely am grateful for my hour a week with you."

And so the tired, knowing soul walked out into the sunshine- in acceptance of the sadness that it carried still...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The old-The new- and Everything in between...

When your past overflows into your present, blurring the sharp edges that you have been striving to define...

When old people, places, thoughts and feelings, leak into the new and turn muddy, the waters that you have persevered to filter clear...

When you struggle with the question- Am I better off knowing or not knowing?

When there is an ache, and a frustration. A tug and a sigh... A thought and a heartbeat that leaves you feeling awry...

That is when you have entered the land of


You may exorcise old demons
But they will still rear up unexpectedly to remind you-
There is unfinished business still.

You may put the past to rest
Let it go-
But will it, can it
Put YOU to rest
Let YOU go?

There is a dull ache
From a now forgotten memory-
There is a sharp gasp
From a past experience now relived

There are lessons learned
That need "unlearning"
There are familiar fears
That need a new "seeing"
There are molds of "old" people
That should not be used
To size up "new" people

And yet there are lessons learned
And experiences had
That have defined
And have taught
And thus
Can one so easily
The wisdom acquired
From the past

How can a balance be found
To learn from the old
And experience the new
Without bias and prejudice
To take some and leave some
To remember
To forget
The old
The new
And everything in between...

The delicate balance
The exquisite wisdom
The poignant irony
The gracious awareness

That we are all
At some point in time
Caught in the midst of


Sunday, August 23, 2009


When the truth happens
Where will you be
When faced with self
Can you be it
I was faced
With truth today
Held by eyes
That saw through me
I could not hide
Was held captive
I did surrender
Poured out myself
And spoke my piece
And felt relief
I was accepted
How beautiful
To be yourself
To speak the truth
And be accepted
Just for you....

I sat in peace this day today
I was HAPPy all day today....

(Ramadan Kareem- May all of you have a blessed month!)

Friday, August 21, 2009

Awareness and Understanding

When confusion reigns supreme and awareness begins to come, but slowly... When those we had put on hold because we did not know any more are remembered, and haunt our memories uninvited and yet are allowed, to linger, to stay, to continue on enmeshed in our existence-

Can we then say:

"We have an understanding?"

There is a term in urdu "Bay ikhtyari"
And a lovely ghazal that goes like this

...ishq atish...
...ho yaar sannu lag gayi bay ikhtyari...

Kuch cheezain aisi hoti hain jin pay hammay koi ikhtyar nahi hota...
Wo bas hain....

Zindagi main kuch aaisay laug hain jin ki zindagi ki dor ham say milli huwi hai...
Jitna chahain un ko bhar main phenkna,
Phenk nahi patay ham...

There are those in life whose paths are enmeshed with us...
They run alongside sometimes, and then they merge and run as one...and then they tangent off for a little while and go off on their own, only to return and cross paths again...

These are people I know too well...
These are people I am connected to...
I don't know how...
I don't know why...
But here they are...
And here they'll stay.

They are those who have emerged far from the depths of the cave. And they stand now in the light and yet from time to time we all have our moments of confusion.

I wrote to him the other day and asked forgiveness if I had ever hurt him. This is a person I am connected to- Don't know how and don't know why...

I made my peace today in my soul with him today...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Perfection is knowing all the things that make you imperfect and yet knowing that is who you are... and you are the most unique you that you will ever be.

The difficult part is embracing that perfection!

Moments that take your breath away-

In the midst of conversation a debate ensued-
In the midst of debate and torrid emotion, confusion, and internal conflict...
He uttered
"I know what you mean...but I don't think that..."
"You are one of the most beautiful girls I have ever known"
And it all fell into place-
Point of view
His point and mine

It is hard sometimes, to be you, to be true to who you are, and still have someone understand, and accept, and know, and yet not want to change... the you- that you are...

It is hard, but when you do,
It is even harder...
Because then you have to let your guard down and allow yourself to be you
Because then you have to allow yourself to be vulnerable
Because then you have to believe
Because then you have to live
And after only half-living for so long
You have to learn to live again
And living is hard to do
Because then you are opening up
To possibility
To happiness
Perhaps even loss
And hurt
Yes living- is hard to do...

And living is composed of moments that take your breath away...

Events, timing, memories and now

I was in love once...
And I made plans.
I planned a life with him.
I talked for hours and I thought for longer...
I planned events.
With him- and by myself, in my head
I planned to attend a friend's wedding with him.
And when we broke up
I cried an ocean.
I drove in search of him one night.
I chased a dream...
In vain-
And I was still defeated
At the end of it all.

When her wedding invitation showed up in the mail a month later, it felt like a brick wall had landed on me. I was reminded of that plan. I was reminded of him. And "him" was no longer there. I sat and looked at the invitation a long time. And I cried a long time. I wanted it all.
The fairytale...

Time went by.
Memories came and went.
And then new life
In unexpected places
In unknown ways
I was reborn
I was comforted
I was found
After being lost
I found myself
I wiped away my tears
And I walked on...

And then that day came
Her wedding day
And I got dressed up
And I went
And attended
The event
I had planned
To attend with him...
I went alone
I had a ball
I smiled
I laughed
I learned

This picture was taken right after her mehndi- I stand in front of a painting that I had painted, to represent our love... I am laughing and my eyes are closed. I am blissfully happy and content with me and where I am. I look like the face in my painting. The painting hangs in my bedroom.

It is a beautiful painting. I realized I loved the painting still. It represents not "our" love, but "my" love. It represents my hope to be loved back that same way. That is "my" face in the painting. That is "my" love in the painting. That is "my" dream. That is "my" lovesong. And one day I will find the person who can sing it in "my" heart and hear it in his...

Life is a series of events, timing, memories and now.
And I love my now.
I cherish the events.
I wait for the timing...
I treasure my memories.
But I live for now.

I changed the title of this one from "lovesong" to
"MY" lovesong-

Lost- And found...

Remembering is reversing...

"If in moving through your life you find yourself lost, go back to the last place where you knew who you were and what you were doing, and start from there..."

(Bernice Johnson Reagon- Sweet Honey in the Rock)

I was at a conference yesterday all day... and while learning was jolted into awareness by this one.

It spoke to me. It made sense to me. It was a gift to me-

I have been lost and seeking a long time and unknowingly I had stumbled upon this wisdom, but it had not reached awareness, not that is, until i saw these words... And now I am aware. I am there.

I am remembering.
I am reversing.
I am seeking.
I am finding.
I am reaching...

The place
Where I am meant to be.

It is a mellow place I am in at the present.
I love it.
I cherish it.
I enjoy it.
I live in it.

I heard this one yesterday, when I asked someone special to tell me their favorite song...
It left me speechless
It left me breathless
It made an impact

Because the song is beautiful
It speaks.
And it showed me a side of this person I had merely caught glimpses of...

Sometimes the simplest things about a person are the most significant.
I live for the simple things...
They mean the most to me.