How could you insist on wearing the hijab amongst the brothers and cousins you've been raised with, yet display uncovered profile pictures of yourself on facebook?
I don't geddit.
It's either that you learned your religion wrong, or that secretly hoping that one of your cousins would have a crush on you.
And they call me the confused one…
Three of my uncles are buried in Ma'la cemetery in Mecca and, very recently, a cousin of mine lost her husband, Nasser, who was also buried in Ma'la as the rest of my uncles.
How I See Death
I imagine that, once the administration issues with the angels were done, Nasser met up with his parents and relatives and extended relatives, spreading news to the rest of his dead-kin about the living, eventually bringing news to my uncles as well.
I imagine my dead uncles surrounding Nasser with different and evolving dead-expressions, depending on whom they would ask about: expressions of worry and pride when news of their children are passed, expressions of jealousy and kindness when their wives are mentioned, and wonderment when shocking stories of some of their nephews and nieces (ahem) are brought up.
Readjusting how the weight of his doings are now burdened on his ephemeral body, Nasser would – for the rest of his death – repeat the stories heard from the living, and later – along with my uncles and the rest of the dead relatives' society in Ma'la – anticipate some else's arrival in their world to refresh the gossips and readdress the judgments.
The Stories They Tell On The Other Side
If Nasser was familiar with the internet during his life, he might have recognized the similarity in the living world – of such situation and expressions – in social networking websites, where the long gone and forgotten reappear in your screen.
He might have been amused to see that the same expressions my uncles wore when news about the living were passed amongst themselves, when someone discovered someone else on the internet.
I imagine the ancient dead asking the newly arrived (or recently departed, in living terms) the very same questions I've exchanging with my kin and friends when I meet them for iftar/coffee/sahoor/dental checkup: "Who got married? Who's unhappy? How are they doing? Who has been blessed with a new child? Do you remember? How am I remembered?"
The thought brought me to the resolution that I want to live well or better, at least. So that when someone dies, they can pass news about my life with laughter; how I got up and down the goodness scale and eventually settled in semi-self-satisfaction-and-acceptance,
The thought that when I die might put me in a position where your family and friends expect news about you, made me wish that you'd live well, or better at least, so that the news I pass to them would lighten their deathly burden and flick that glimmer of hope that, through you, their lives did not got at all in vain.
I wish you well.
The koteka, or penis sheath is a
"I submit to you that if a man hasn't discovered something he will die for, he isn't fit to live." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Big ideas are awesome. Big ideas give life meaning. Big ideas make us look and feel good about ourselves. After all, we are what big ideas we stand for; the sacrifices we make, the time and dime we spend.
Whether it is in the name of love, or freedom, or God, or Benjamin Franklin.
Big starts small.
Practicing big ideas flickers every day, and fizzles every night. Big ideas are tougher to stand up for when they are sheathed with dailiness. Ordinariness. Mundaneness.
Like underappreciated work, and loving the same person even if they're so average, even though you secretly think you could've done better than dying obscure.
But does it have to be big? Do you have to be famous and rich and married to have access to peace?
That is the core to these stories. (Kadang-kadang dalam bahasa Ibunya juga.) Take a big idea, pluck its plumes and see it among the mundane. Accessible to the ordinary John and Jane. So that the mundane regains its shine, and Jane can love John again. Even though and even if.
Which is kind of cool.
About the Blogger
Alia Makki. Thirty-ish. Saudi. Indonesian. Psychologist. Vipassi. Can be funny. Hermitic. Terrified of heights.
What she does: Write. Yoga. Tell stories. Massage. Sort money. Cross-stitch. Smoke kretek cigarettes. Refuses to get upset about things she can't change. Translating on TED. Showing off books she has read for lack of other sources for instant gratification. Audiobook recording and serious food & beverage consumption.
You can stalk her on Twitter and Email. And even Facebook. The point is, she's pretty approachable. Just be nice.
Featured in other places
Unless they're from the blogger's personal stock, from Feb 2010, some cheekiness can be found hiding behind the images accompanying the posts. HOVER over them to see the cheek. CLICK on them to be redirected to where the images were
Blogger's profile and webicon photos were taken by the ultratalented @RifaLee
- Yes, I'd like to be married one day, but not now.
- No, I'm in no rush, because children is not my right to decide on, when it is time, it is time. And the time is not.
- Assuming that I agree to be married right away, and crotch is desperate to be trafficked with flesh and semen (neglectful to the fact that marriage isn't always the only mean to have pleasures of the flesh satisfied), do you have someone in mind who'd dare to come and propose to the kind of she-demon that is me?
- Assuming that there is a fool absentminded and desperate enough to marry me into settledom, do you think that he has the strength and patience to tame a mare like me into servicedom?
- Assuming that – out of kindness – I spare this fool of a husband the dangers of losing his mind after living with me long enough to consummate and bear my tired womb with children, what kind of children do we think I'm going to raise other than Halflings of my own self?
Shove it, you fools.
Oh, and did I mention that my dentist is good-looking?
McDreamy material, I tell ya.