Read, if you wish

I confess: I am often alarmed when people descend to read what I have written. I fear who they are and what their intentions are. Here that inner paranoia: are they foes meaning me harm, or merely wanderers, interested in my thoughts? Leaning towards the former, of course I contemplate taking my website down once more.

Foes? Opponents? Who am I to worry about that? But it’s true: there are some powerful figures I fear — or rather fear what they might do. Powerful men with thin skins who object to the truths once articulated by this insignificant soul. Amongst them, both the respected sage, and the angry extremist.

I admit that I’ve rubbed quite a few of these up the wrong way, across the political spectrum, from far right supremacists to self-appointed representatives of minority religions. Some of them, I am sure, would love to impale me on a snooker cue. Others would like to find another way to curtail my freedom of speech, exposing me before their circles of influence.

But perhaps all of the above is indeed purely paranoia. In truth, in the quarter of a century I have been writing, few have ever been interested in anything I have had to say. I resigned to my place out on the far periphery years ago. Though I tried to cruise with the crowd many a time in my youth, I always failed spectacularly. What would the learned and wise gain from exposing me, the unknown one, ignored by all?

So despite the inner disquiet, I relent to the possibility that the new readers are merely curious passersby, momentarily interested in what I have written through the years. That could be true. It happens from time to time. So I sit here, awkwardly, in a strange state somewhere between fear and generosity, allowing the unknown readers to read whatever my typing fingers once put forth.

If there is benefit in it for them, whoever they may be, may it benefit them. If there is harm in it, may the Most Merciful transform it into something good, which ultimately touches their heart. If their intentions are good, may the One grant them the goodness of their good intentions. If their intentions are to harm me, may God protect me from whatever they plan.

To whoever descends on this quiet backwater, their identities unknown and obfuscated: read, if you wish. I suppose that’s why I write like this, in public, before all the world. I guess I always wanted to be a published writer. I suppose that is what I am, after all.

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