Animal lover

Dear animal lover… I’m sure your little doggie is absolutely lovely… yes, wonderful… but, you know, not everyone wants to be charged at, barked at by or leapt upon by your little four-legged friend, every single time they go for a walk. Be considerate, maybe… or at least have the decency to apologise after your pooch has left muddy paw prints all over a stranger’s trousers… or has terrified a small child. Just sayin (out walkin). The score so far: one charge and leap, twice barked at aggressively. Maybe it’s just me.

Strange wiring

There is definitely some strange wiring in the background connecting us, which proponents of a material-only world cannot account for. Another one this morning. Feeling blue, I was just thinking to myself, “You know, maybe I have depression.” But just as I’m thinking this, my phone rings and it’s an old friend who is going through a really tough time. It put everything in perspective. I really should express more gratitude for great blessings.

On loyalty

On unswerving loyalty to family, regardless of what they do. We are held to a different standard:

O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kin, and whether it be for rich or poor: for God can best protect both. Follow not your desires, lest you swerve, and if you distort justice or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that you do.

Qur’an 4:135

Our way is to speak the truth even against ourselves, even if it pains us.

Hate no one

Right on time, a friend shared this with me today:

Hate no one, no matter how much they’ve wronged you. Live humbly, no matter how wealthy you become. Think positively, no matter how hard life is. Give much, even if you’ve been given little. Keep in touch with the ones who have forgotten you, and forgive who has wronged you, and do not stop praying for the best for those you love.

Attributed to Hazrat Ali

This, the path we are called to, capturing every emotion that has innately sprung to mind this past spring. Forgive me for what I write in ignorance and anger.

A new paradigm of self

At risk of gaslighting myself — very popular contemporary terminology — I am prepared to concede in my mid-forties that I may have completely misread and misunderstood events that occurred all around me in my youth. This concession is, of course, the result of hours spent reading research papers investigating different aspects of the impact of a chromosome disorder that I am wholly unqualified to interpret. But such is the quest for understanding.

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Forgive

“Be forgiving. Be forgiving. Be forgiving.” This, a reminder to my self, whenever that inner voice returns to churning over the past. That voice says, “They wronged you!” and, listening to it, I begin to feel bitter once more, penning a great screed. No, but moments later, I remind myself, “Forgive, forgive, forgive.” These the inner battles.

Bu kalp

I know you asked me not to write anything about you, us or our life together. But I can’t help it. I get emotional thinking about it, tears in my eyes. I have never known anyone like you, capable of embracing me just the way I am, and sticking firmly at my side through all the tests that life has thrown at us. Bu kalp sonsuza kadar minnettar.

Laila

Tilda is the Ferrari of Basmati rice, but no one can afford it anymore. Fortunately, there is still Laila, the BMW of Basmati. Leave all that £5.99 special offer crap: that’s the Robin Reliant of rice. You might as well just serve up a plate of sand.

Pop!

I went for an eight-mile walk with a friend on Saturday. We were active for hours. Although I was getting tired towards the end, it was fine. No problem. But this morning, simply reaching into my laptop bag for a mouse, my back went, “Pop!” The nausea and pain that followed was intense. Here, the middle-aged body, reminding me that we’re no longer young.

Sharing draft

Hmm, perhaps I won’t publish my writing in installments after all. Maybe that’s not the right approach. Perhaps I will share it another way. Email hello at tjbowes dotco dotuk and I’ll send a hard copy, inshallah. Summer reading; no urgency.

Unspoken

There’s something I never told you. Actually, there’s lots I never told you. But this one is bigger than everything else. I never told you, I suppose, because our relationships were fractious then. And, well, because I was struggling to come to terms with it myself. And because I had little reliable information at my disposal to make sense of it then. So I just carried it within, and never spoke of it to anyone.

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Apologies

I apologise for what I need to apologise for. But I also apologise for my apologies. I apologise for returning from oblivion, reawakening all that was forgotten. I apologise for my self-centred ego, seeking to be heard, or recalled. I apologise for everything, borne of a manic outpouring of my soul. Really, forgive me. Forgive me.

Gone

The trouble with blogging is that you have no idea who your readers are. This can be both a blessing and a curse. Mostly I take solace and refuge in that anonymity, but every now and then something happens which causes me to pause for thought. No, not so much pause: I will be found scrambling to immediately unpublish everything.

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Go with the flow

In 2001, a close friend of mine from university days invited me to go with him to Brixton for another friend’s wedding. A convert of West African descent, he was always much more rigorous in his approach to faith than I ever was, converting five years before me, in his mid-teens. Despite trying his best to steer me in one direction, he knew I was a lost cause, too laidback for my own good. But still he was going to try.

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Hypocrisy

I don’t actually have a problem with hypocrisy. We’re all hypocrites to some degree. How others choose to live their lives is no business of mine. All I object to is hypocrisy enforced with violence, or the threat of violence, or consequences undefined. That I can’t abide.