It took two years of counselling, with a trauma specialist, and a further two-and-a-half years of mediation, six years, all told, of separation, for me to finally start to let go. It hasn’t been easy; I cope by not thinking about it where possible; it has occupied enough of my time and heart and intruded upon me long enough.

When it does encroach upon me, every now and then, I make dua and endeavour to re-center myself, in the moment. Allahu alam what the future holds… I never thought I would be here and who knows in six more years where any of us will be. This day, this breath as it leaves my body and my Iman are all that I have; I let that anchor me. Alhamdulillah.

Sometimes I’m shut off and I all but forget and sometimes I suddenly remember and my blood runs cold and I catch my breath. The knowledge that I will never see him again brings both panic and relief… not always in equal measure. As my daughter lies tossing and turning in the cot-bed she’s fast out-growing I sit in the fading light fighting the urge to dwell on the thoughts of him that writing has stirred.  Continue reading

Should have known

I loved him even though I should have known better.
I should have known because he told me from the outset.
Told me he was damaged beyond repair.
He laughed about it.

I should have known because the writing was on the wall that he pinned me against.
I should have known.
I should be able to let go.

But I lie here with our daughter’s small warm feet nestled against my own
and my head fit to implode
at his remembrance
and the magnitude of the warped reality
that my mind can’t quite hold

27.04.2016

I came to Islam after a lifetime of instability, uncertainty and ‘searching’… sometimes my searching was conscious, if not active or decided, and sometimes it was nothing more than a longing for connection; leading me in all but the desirable direction.

I wandered and strayed, had adventures and made mistakes. I experienced the exhilaration of reckless abandon; and the consequences of it. I tasted betrayal and abandonment, all manner of pain and confusion and resiliently ‘bounced back’ each time, seemingly no closer to the truth

As the flutters quickened within I became more certain in my being than I had ever been that there was an Originator… a Creator… this ‘happening’… this miracle unfolding… was too incredible to all have been by chance… all credit, as due, I attributed to One beyond my comprehension… suffice to say I was convinced of ‘something’, yet I didn’t truly seek to understand.

Continue reading

Black Swan

A black swan cuts a singular path through the blue air… I turn my eyes upward for just a moment, surveying the apparent dome of the summer sky. Unusual cloud formations, seemingly motionless despite the welcome breeze, give the scene a surreal sense of pause… turning back the swan has disappeared from sight. A lone gull crosses my field of vision, black-tipped wings rising and falling rhythmically and unhurried; sun glinting on its pure-white body.

A yacht moves out into the bay, so slowly it could be imagined to be drifting, or even shrinking. Departing at a diagonal from me, its sail has already risen above the horizon, where fifteen minutes ago it had looked close enough to touch… now its mast is barely perceptible where sea meets sky; cobalt touching pale-blue serenity. Continue reading

I dreamed of you and when I dreamed of you you circled me, as you always do
You were there but absent, your presence present, as it always is…
Your scent and your shape…
In the corner of my field of vision, as you always are

And you chased me down… hot pursuit, relentless… like you always did…
Slipping away, retreating somewhere I can’t follow, as you always have

And I tried to reach you but you were gone, had to say I loved you but you’d passed on, couldn’t breathe without you and I couldn’t scream…
Eight weeks straight of crying

It was just a dream.

My breath comes fast and shallow; your image on the screen,
Standing in a valley dressed in khaki green,
Preaching noble conquest but it’s just obscene

It was just a dream

Need to tell you I love you, need to just come clean
Tell you I forgive you… for what it means,
Still long to hold you for all that it would mean,
Still scared to know you,
Still scared to show you my heart’s beating

It was just a dream

Haven

My feet have tread this shore so many times
Pebble crunch and damp sand
The scent of the sea
The ebb and flow creeps and retreats
And my soul keeps the rhythm of the waves
In the comfort of the dark that envelops me

My son is the light in the window
And it’s emanating glow
He’s the lighthouse beacon that cuts through the night
Now… and now… and now…
He is moonlight and moonlight on water
Illuminating my way back home
Seems he’s been here with me forever
His doe-eyes have seen more than he shows Continue reading

Seashell

They told us if we held it to our ear we would hear the sea and I did. I heard its familiar rush of ebb and flow across the pebble-beach, casting down and pulling back. It startled me and left me awestruck; not having thought such a claim could prove true. There, in that pearly shell daubed with peachy tones, sitting unassumingly on the nature-table, lay a whole ocean, invisible and mysterious.

I placed it against my ear and immersed myself in the waves of sound and the wonder of it. It soothed and captivated me. My small hands relished the unfamiliar texture of its surface; rough exterior and silky smooth within. My eyes drank in its exquisite colour palette and my young mind marveled at  its extraordinary form and nature; struggling to reconcile its other-worldliness with this place and time. It had a quality that set it in some other place I could not imagine, like a clue to some other world or existence. Within it lay the sea.