Prologue: Arabic Literature

I romanticize the idea that it is possible to teach the love of reading and learning. Or at least raise enough guilt to motivate the want to make better use of current technologies. Even if we’ve lost so many battles, the next one could be the one that counts. Always.

Chapter One: Why Audiobooks

  • Because this is one of the oldest ways of learning. People used to sit around the fire after dinner passing each other stories.
  • Oral tradition is more prevalent in places where literacy have been suppressed for late printing or censorship.
  • Audiobooks are easy to go through. Listening takes less effort for the brain to process than reading.

TIP: Do something more boring than listening to stay awake through the reading. Do something monotonous or repetitive, like commuting, laundry, etc. Since the brain craves efficiency, you might manage to fill that efficiently sleeping part of your brain with stories.

Chapter Two: Why Sex

  • Why else? Sex sells. It's fun. It’s a basic need. There will always be someone in the world interested in it. That is easy marketing for the audiobook format.
  • Good sex education can go a long way in fixing a lot of things. Anybody who can have some should at least have them well-done.
  • If they don't, here's one way of fixing that problem without risking embarrassment.

Chapter Three: Where Are the Arabic Sex Books in the Public Domain?

(Funny that I'm asking that question in English.)

If you know where the Arabic sex books are hiding in the public domain, please tell me. I have the time and interest to read and record them. Then fix the Arab world's problems one punta coition at a time.

Epilogue: Remember the Proof Listening Janitor?

Between information superfluity on the internet and the undercurrent bullshit of the social seas, the one thing that centers my scattered mini-universe is when I shut up and work.

When I have worked so hard that I can’t talk anymore, it is when I know that I have been happy.

I would have been happy if I felt like I’ve done this beat laptop, and every person who has given his time in researching, designing, manufacturing, selling, connecting it to the internet, to Librivox and the millions of hands that delivered Nafzawi’s writings to me, some justice.

Because all of their big kindnesses can only be repaid by passing it on in one project, one tweet, one kiss at a time.

Click to go to page

The Perfumed Garden, by Sheikh Nafzawi. Translated by Richard Burton. Read by Alia Makki who is very excited about her inaugural solo audiobook recording. YAY!

[Notes: Project ran between August 4th until October 30th, 2012. That includes one Ramadhan, two Eids, one trip to Bali, thirty-four blog posts, at least five rolls of funny organic cigarettes, countless kretek cigarettes and cups of coffee, three kilograms of sugar dispersed evenly on the hips, complicated yoga asanas and unmentionable times of masturbation suppressed giggles.]

Please make time to tell me what you thought about my reading. Did I bore you? Did I enunciate clearly enough? I would like to do more solo recordings and I’m only going to be a newbie for a limited time only, so this is your chance to criticize my performance before I turn too snobby for feedback.

I’m just kidding. Feedback is the stuff that keeps my spirit of volunteerism live and running, man. Any feedback would be awesome.

I wish you an enjoyable read. And thank you for listening.

PS. Chapter Six is the one with the funky position names.

There is a guardian watching after every letter in every Good Word. ~ Timekeeper

I fall in love every time I write a new story. It is one of my terrible writing habits. And it is one heck of a potent source of power.

Love that is as profit-oriented as that can never be consumed. It has to be a zipless fuck. A fuckless love. Because fucking is too messy. Nowadays, the cost is always too high. The young ones might not understand this, but every fuck costs lots of risks and hail marys. And the older we are, the less risks we want to spend our time on hail-marying.

Yes, grown ups want to fuck too. Very badly. It shows in our gestures and grins and disgustingly intimate conversations. But we can't afford it. We can't afford everything else that comes along the choice to fuck.

Being older meant that we come a baggageful of plans. We did not plan on having these plans; they just sprouted and imposed themselves on us. Every day. For instance, he believes that if he was good enough, God will unite him with his wife, rest her soul, in the afterlife. I believed that if I kept my legs closed, I could write about the experience in a public blog and not suffer through the misery of not posting for another day. That was the plan.

Unfortunately, our plans came with a set of habits. A set of habits that we stuck with. We sure did stick with them. We cursed through every moment that brought such ridiculously fuckless plans and habits. But we did.

***

Like everything else that turns out with plans, this too surprised us. Mostly because we didn't plan on making a habit of being friends for such a long time. Relationships just happen on their own too. You don't get an internet identity because you wanted to end up in a foreign place twelve years later, at the airport asking the only friend left for you in the world (whom you have met as that foresaid internet identity) if he would like to hang out with you for a day.

You do not spend years living in an exotic country because you want to develop an insatiable taste for tomatoes available only in his dusty kitchen, either.

And you definitely did not learn an intellectual language to lose this argument: "I'm a greasy man. Detergent removes grease! What's wrong with you, woman?"

No. Things just happened. That's the way the world works: Plans and habits form whether or not you want to fuck. And every time we do something in the world, planned or incidental, we can only hope that it is going to return to us kindly. We can only hope that we are braced with enough habits to bear through massive tests of character with residues of our identity in tact.

We spent a whole day alone together in the privacy of his home, in our shorts and t-shirts, and separate beds. Through our meals and giggles, we kept our eyes lowered. The subject laid itself on our eyelids so heavily that we only sighed and cut more tomatoes when silence wrung between us for too long.

And besides, we, the older ones, have developed habits so strict that they come to us in crude, undeniable forms. They came to me fully-armored, whispering angrily, from the moment I laid foot in that house until the airport gates closed behind me in the next morning: "Who are you? You don't belong here. Leaveleaveleaveleave..."

***

I feel like I’m breaking new rules every time I write. I promised I would not exploit my private life. I promised I would not divulge on sex. I promised a lot of things to guard my writing voice.

I've broken most of them by the end of this post. Soon I won't have anymore rules left to write with, and I'll need to make up new rules. Or a new habit. I don't know if I should care anymore. Things just happened. Even this post just happened to come on its own - Finally! - after a thousand rewrites.

I fell in love with him every time I rewrote this. I don’t mind that habit. I'm proud of him, and hope he will forgive me eventually for writing about us like this. About the rules we that we broke to test our friendship. And to test the plans that we have duly observed. And the habits that served and protected our identity.

Maybe some of these broken rules have some truth in my writings, and strum words that reverberate with someone’s tune.

"The feeling is less like an ending than just another starting point." ~ Chuck Palahniuk

"Do you love me? I don't love you. Sorry."

For honest credibility's sake, they had to look in each other's eyes when they said it. They repeated it to each other for the longest time. Once a year, at least. They wagered that they were going to be the last people on earth to repeat that sentence, and they would still not love each other.

So for the longest time, they were also the last people on earth, because everyone else had died from that disease called love. Everybody else got married and suffered all kinds of heartache. Had children who made their hearts ache. And loved their friends and parents and suffered so many heart attacks.

As if the love for one's self could suffice. As if the more they loved the more was got. This was worse, people who loved, they loved all the more because they knew it was non-refundable. The value was in its finality. Once you have loved someone, they had every power to destroy you, at least all the parts that you have reserved for allowing them to live in your heart.

And there was the kind of heartache from every kind of love. Love of food, love of country, god, ideas...oh the foolishness of man! If only they could love themselves a little better. If only they weren't so narcissistic to think that their simpering seeds and obnoxious offspring, springing from every imaginable place in germinal hyperactivity, spreading all over Earth like warts, was enough.

If only they could realize how deeply loved they are, each and every one of them, instead of posing like heroic saviors for every cause on Earth. That even Earth does not care for them. And the Universe is none the wiser with or without their love.

Which is why our hero and heroine never loved. And they have lived so long because they never loved. And soon after there was nobody left alive on Earth, they kept pushing it and to see where it might lead them. And to see who was going to mouth at the throes of death that same longing of recognition. Because love remembers. And even though they have loved nobody, a lot of people have loved them. And those who loved them have also been loved and remembered by a lot more others. And that was why, at the very end, when they were the last people who lived on Earth, the memories of everyone who have died loving someone or something was passed onto them, because the living's job was to remember.

(Even if there were people around them, they didn't see the others. They couldn't. The selfish are blessed with chronic unawareness.)

And so, the two most selfish people on Earth met every now and then just to reaffirm to each other of their lack of love for one another. And one day they met with the knowledge that they were dying. Their grey eyes aged and cold from watching all the people who have died for love. Indeed, they were the last people on Earth because they never loved.

They were the richest, because they never wanted, hence they never shopped superfluously. Also because they had the whole world divided between them and nobody to show it off to. Who'd want any more? What more could they have asked? They were the very healthy and fit because they had all the attention on their own biceps and abs. Smart and serious and sunny. There was nobody else beside them.

And they have kept it on for mere spite.

Then came that day, when they were tired, and it was the last winter of their lives. (They knew it. Selfish people always knew that they're at the edge of the world and everything is in superlatives every year.)

The fire was low and smoke was high. They held each other for warmth. By a mere look at first. Then broken sentences. "Do you remember when...? Not even if he...Do you think...?" A brush of skin. Then all three together: Look and skin and sentence. And then the fire got high and smoke low and a clarity passed between them. Something old and remembered and have filled the lives of so many and ended the lives of everyone. Something that was as sudden as it was undeniably real. Touchable. Theory. Fact. True. All. True.

And they didn't need to say it. Everything had already been said. And all that will be said has been said many times over. And saying it a hundred million times again shall not change a streak of paint or a micro digit of the millionth nth.

Inevitable as death.

“I love you.”

“I do I do  I do  I do  I do...”

Once they said it, they couldn't stop themselves anymore. A look became a stare. A touch became an embrace. And so on and so forth. And love grew, grew, grew within them. Choking their organs and blood flow, making them stupid and sick and slothful. They quickly grew wrinkled and excitable and unreasonable.

Then everything lit up around them. And everybody came back to life and cheered for them in a ghostly wedding and attended their graduate and graded and guarded parties and funerals. Everybody was there. Since they started loving each other they had to love everybody else too.

Once they said it, they couldn't stop themselves anymore. They loved everybody with obedience. They loved everybody with obligation. The more they loved, the less they remembered. Soon they forgot who they were. Soon everyone became somebody else's copy.

Once they said it, they couldn't stop themselves anymore. Until Somebody New came into the family. Then they either became like that Somebody New, or the other way around. Eventually everybody who loved somebody had to love everybody and everything that everybody did.

Once they said it, they couldn't stop themselves anymore. One love demanded his entire bands and tribes involved in that one love too.  They loved everybody because they had to. Because from this body he took money every month. From that body they were born. On the shoulder of one of those bodies their bodies were going to be raised. And so on and so forth until they had to love everyone and everyone loved everybody and that was that.

Hence, like when everyone else who have died before them, they too died out of love. Out of too much love. And everything more than just love. And everything that love brought along in a suitcase or a contract or a diseases or a set of children and series of hopes.

Love that lit their world. Love that ruined them. Love that made their ruin bearable. Love that made their unbearable ruin repeatable many times over. Till the end of time. Forever and always.

“There is nowhere morning does not go.” ― Leah Hager Cohen

Over breakfast, the Timekeeper started telling me a disgusting story about pigs and poop. I flipped, "I'm still eating, man!"

He laughed. "You ought to have a stronger stomach than that. I don't get sick from stories." A thoughtful pause. "I do get sick if someone got sick, though."

Then he remembered the night Ila's mother passed away. Ila’s Mother was the Timekeeper's step mother, the one who raised him after his own departed when he was younger. He was with her that night. She awoke with a fever and was vomiting blood. Her body couldn't take it and she died.

"How could someone die from vomiting blood, man?"

"She didn't just die from something she ate. She died from an illness in her lungs. Only, she never knew about it until she started vomiting blood, which was a few nights before she passed away."

And that resettled the air between us back to its snug storytelling mood. A life loved and productive to its last moments, oblivious to worry of illness, almost always promises a happy ending story. Death comes in many forms. This was one of the better ones.

When she awoke that night, she asked for milk. Since it was the Timekeeper who was on watch, he was the one prepared it for her. And she sipped it all with a straw.

Then the fever cooled, and it bloomed in beads of perspiration on her brow. The Timekeeper began to wipe her face, but she said, "Leave it, child."

Then she fell into deep sleep. And then some.

"It's one of the signs of a good death." And he said it in a heartbreaking sweetness that children reserve for the memory of lost embraces.

"Did you cry?"

He grinned. I shook my head laughing. How could I forget? One who sees both worlds is never lonely even in grief.

The hospital wanted to keep its reputation. Hence, when Ila's Mother's family requested to carry her body home that very night, the release process was fast. Fast is intimate.

They didn’t even bother casketing her. The men who loved her carried her body closely in their arms. They traveled through the night. They held her on their crisscrossing laps, inside a hired pick-up tub. The Timekeeper held her waist.

And it might have been the cold, or maybe as a private joke between them. That her post-mortem bladder relaxed, releasing its liquid memories into his living embrace.

Reading for Librivox

The process from recording to publishing in Librivox's catalogue is kinda long. 

An hour of recording, took me nearly 5 hours of editing. I don't know if this is normal or if I'm just that much of a noob. So between re-read, editing and meticulous perfectionism that is almost paralyzing, I get to procrastinate. And when I procrastinate, I wonder, “Why would anyone bother?”

Actually, why would 5000 any ones bother? Since, you know,

Over 5000 readers have completed at least one section, 272 readers have each completed over 100 sections, and 17 readers have each completed more than 1000 sections. [Source]

(No wonder English is becoming the common language of the literate.)

Behind every one of those thousands of books and recordings is a Proof Listener. Someone who listens to the first recording, notes the mistakes and survives the burps and farts accidentally unedited out from the original recordings.

A Proof Listener is someone with a saintly strain in their genes, if you ask me.

For, if reading for Librivox provides the instant gratification of being able to speak forever uninterrupted, then what do Proof Listeners get? And if, in the long run, the reader's voice gets immortalized in the public domain, unless he is a Dedicated Proof Listener (which is, by the way, very flattering to have), the rest of the Proof Listeners don't get that much credit.

Hence, it is my suspicion that if audiobook readers carry the threat of spreading about their deranged obsession with their own voices, Proof Listeners are God’s way of guarding the general public from that sort of insanity. Listeners who enjoy listening to the voices of narcissistic people talking to themselves endlessly. Listeners who, in one way or another, share a passionate ardor for literature in spite of their social and educational backgrounds.

Like this Proof Listener

Someone to read for

“Between Ennui and Ecstasy unwinds our whole experience of time.” ― Emil Cioran

Come

You know that feeling?

For a second, everything is blurred in jarring, pleasant blankness. Thoughts muted. Senses peaked. Conscious but void of identity. You are nobody. You are the world. The world is you. And it's is okay. And you understand everything and nothing. And that doesn’t matter. This is just how everything in the world works.

All that brouhaha with not a hint of kink, in a room full of fellow meditators. Or on a yoga mat, exiting a long practice. Or on the prayer rug, after the closing salams.

English and Arabic use the same words for both sexual orgasm and religious ecstasy. Probably because it feels the same. And it looks the same from the outside. The methods might differ, but the experience is basically the same.

Beata Ludovica Albertoni by BerniniThat’s pretty cool for a hermit with anti-social tendencies. And for anyone who would think that ecstasy is only available is for those who are sexually fulfilled.

(Compared to sex, asanas and sports might sound as fun as masturbation. I'm not complaining, though. Cheap, careless sex can do worse damage than masturbation.)

(Oh, quit smirking. I'm trying to say something here.)

Catch

I might be pushing the no-sex tab a bit far. But it I’ve been indulging in too much talk. And I need to strengthen my faith in the solitary nature of fluent work.

Qusai nags about practice. Practice that builds momentum. The goal to physical exertion is to calm the mind. The calm might lead to orgasm/ecstasy/rainbows.

Yoga isn't just a physical exercise. Meditation isn't just "not thinking". Repetition builds fluency. Fluency leads to easier immersion in work. You don’t talk when you’re immersed. And when you don’t talk, there’s a better chance to reach the calm. The calm might lead to ecstasy. Ecstasy needs a build up. Build up takes is repetition. Nothing happens just from a single stroke.

First that moment of jarring blank. Then orgasm or ecstasy. Then the happy, floating afterglow. It looks tedious and impractical, but the afterglow is always awesome.

If ecstasy justifies the past, then afterglow is for things to come.

The ecstasies have the same effect, however it arrived. A systematic restart. And like all restarts, it's only a button's press then it's gone. But, the afterglow that follows. Ah. That.

Cohere

Remember when the afterglow lasted all day? Everything we touched and did felt prettier and smoother. Like we are loved through and through. Like we can handle it all. A renewal of faith. A glimpse of God.

And what in the world is beyond us with a spark like that in our souls?

Muslim Note: I like to think that the positions in a Muslim prayer is a meditation designed for build up. A build up for the calm to arrive at the very end. When the person, the prayer and the universe come at the tip of a finger, testifying Unity (شهادة).

You're always you, and that don't change, and you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it. ― Neil Gaiman
Writing has been bugging me.
On one hand, I feel like I have these ideas and I want to talk about them not in the form of stories. Maybe I've been too busy playing poker online that I'm not allowing these ideas the time it needs to ferment into stories.
On the other hand, I feel like I’ve been blogging a little too much for my own creative good. Blogging has been the only form of writing I know, man. What if there are stories waiting to be told in the unbloggable form? What if blogging has been confining my writing in a sure comfort zone?
What if all I needed to do is write a few more words; let the canvas expand and watch it ferment longer? What if all I need to  is die a little more for the sake of the goddamn muses?
Where do these questions come from? Is this what they call artistic growth?
If only there is a distinct Career Development Plan for writers. Imagine having set milestones for writing: “After XKK words, you will move on to this form or that. Follow obediently; success & satisfaction guaranteed.”  (There is such a thing as mid-career writer, though. What is that anyway? Does it come between obscure tweeter and Stephen King?)
Say that there is such a thing as a career development for us creatives, maybe this is how the process goes:
  • Write short, bloggable stories.
  • Build a portfolio: Win competitions and get published on other people’s places (such as "&"?)
  • Whore around, get rejected and ignored a lot. (Yes, this has to be part of the plan.)
  • Then, if one is really that obtuse to persevere this far, one might finally figure out know how to weave 10’000 words in a cohesive piece of prose without dodging rotten tomatoes.
  • Eventually learn how to weave 10’001 words the next day.
  • And 10’002 words the next-next day, etc.
Well?
It looks like a plan. It looks like a mouthful of a long plan. And I only got until Tuesday. But it makes sense. Looks doable. I could innocently experiment with form and still have something to appease my obsession with Achievements.
Besides, what else is there left to do when you have an itch of a writing bug haunting you around?
On another note, I found it fun, really fun to have someone talking with me about writing while writing. Even if we're just trying out words and doubts on each other. For this reminder and the warm sense of community, I thank you, Saad.

(PS. Something like a bad habit is telling me that I’m ditching the plan and reverting straight back to telling bloggable stories as soon as I hit the publish button on this post. Dammit.)





There is this ridiculous show on NGC, Doomsday Preppers. In one of the episodes, a family moved hundreds of kilometers away from their home to get away from the beach in case the planet veers off its axial position.

Who plants these ideas in these people’s heads?

I remember something about the major earthquakes and volcanic eruptions causing Earth to tilt a little off its usual axis. Also, if I remember correctly, the planet has been tilting on and off it's axis a few times. It swings at a 2° range within the last 5 million years, I think?

That reminded me of the global warming and freezing thing.

In the case of global warming, every one is right as far as the beginning. Global warming begins with the sun. It has, though, very little to do with what we eat.

How I see it, in bullet points, global warming is like this:

  • Sometimes Earth leans a little too close to the sun, or a solar eruption happens. Both might effect Earth’s internal temperature.
  • When Earth’s temperature raise, the pressure of the planet's magmic core also raises.
  • When the planet's core grows too hot, volcanic eruptions ease the planet's heat.
  • A string of massive geological action occurring within a short period of time is basically the planet’s way of managing its temperature. The Earth acting like a pressure pot.
  • When the magmic core of the planet releases its pressure, the planet cools from within.

From outside, the volcanic ashes that spreads in the atmosphere cover the Earth from the sun's heat and radiation. The ashes make like an umbrella. It might or might not increase global warming. If it does raise the global temperature, then the string of geological action continues within a few years of each other. If it doesn't and the planet has released enough of its internal heat and pressure, Earth will then enter a period of global cooling.

Historical Worldwide Climate and Weather

That is just one half of the story. I don’t know why the volcanoes erupt when it is freezing. It is probably more complicated than how I described it. You might have more fun reading Historical Worldwide Climate and Weather than my ramblings.

The underline is that all these are normal occurrences by planetary standards. The tilting planet, the moving on and off axis, the comets whizzing and solar eruptions. They have been happening a lot. As often as global cooling and warming.

We just have really short memories compared to the planets and sun and galaxies. And I'm fine with that. There's very little that we can do about it. There is very little we can do to make better or worse global temperature on the galactic scale. Very little we can do, for instance, to keep the moon from veering off its orbit.

And if you're going to watch a show called Doomsday Preppers and start feeling rather anxious, remember that the dying part isn't the worst part of it yet.

"The coming death no longer seemed an evil, for it gave them an hour of slumber before it came. Hunger and thirst and cold—these were evils, but not death."
~ Honore Balzac

For, as far as the planet's geological and galactic positioning managerial staff are concerned, our lives and deaths and arguments and causes were never part of their grand design. Therefore, we might as well concern ourselves with things that we can directly and personally influence, instead.

Like vasectomy?

I release an involuntary snort every time I hear someone placing bets on the absolute goodness of charity organizations. (Like, come on, man, think about it a little. There is always a catch.)

...and on the idea of bringing more children to the world. (Because there are seven billion of us here. And because every DAY 5,760 more children become orphans. And they look like this and this.)

...and hipsters complaining about boredom. (I hope something bad happens to you so that you remember how boredom is actually too much of a good thing.)

...and the distortion between need and want. (You have between two, five or six needs to maintain your well-being. It does not include 192 bottles of nail polish.)

...and fanaticism. (Shouldn't we be over that by now? Nothing lasts. Especially feelings.)

...my writings. (Yea. I snort at my writings. A lot. Especially when I'm so stuck that I revert to mere bullet points. I’ll probably delete this post someday. Can’t snort all the time, can I?)

“But the eyes are blind. One must look with the heart." ~ Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

It was Eid. Gates were open and guests were expected even if the owners were not home.

The boy strolled in like a parading trooper. His family waited at the front of the house. The boy called for master of the house. He called over and again, growing bolder and louder by the turn. It wasn't polite, but there was no stopping a three years old on a mission.

When his voice was at that perfect pitch, Uncle Pi appeared. And the boy screamed with all his might: "EEEEEW! BLIIIIIIND!"

Who could blame a blind old man for traumatizing a three years old? It's not that Uncle Pi chose to be blind, or that he had anywhere else to go. His job was to guard the house. Even on Eid morning. Come screaming child or none.

It's a communal house that he lived in. You would be surprised how little a man needs. A row of tiles, layered with a mat, on the hallway. Just enough for him and his ashtray to share. And he sits there every day. If he was not too busy smoking his precious kretek, then he'll multitask it with a stare.

And you wonder how it is that the man doesn't kill himself out of boredom. We are at an digital information age, after all. Since he is even blinder than ever. Where would he want to go? With whom would he have to digitally socialize?

Stop. Rephrase that.

You know for sure that he has plenty enough to live for. Guarding the house, for one. And there are plenty of important daily engagements he must keep. For instance, there are his prayers to keep him busy five times a day. Assuming that he does observe.

Oh, of course he observes. What else is there to do? And the rice and water that he prepares for the house's inhabitants. Do the math. With twenty people to feed, keeping the rice stocked is a lot to do.

You have no doubt that sharing a communal house keeps anyone's ears filled. Blind or not. And you would like to believe with all your heart that, when everyone's gone, he isn't lonely. He would sigh in relief instead. And he would not dread the silence.

On nights like those, when the people are gone, you would see him sitting on the terrace. Elevated on a plastic chair instead of his usual mat. You would greet him as loud as the boy did, though kindly. You smile, of course, because he could hear that. Then announce the food you have brought just as loudly, "Eat, man."

You would assume, that when he is alone there, it would come to him like a whimsical tune. And the thought would tinkle louder into a grin. Since everyone has had their meals, he could eat everything left behind. That a full stomach turns even the thinnest mats into the softest beds.

You would assume plenty about a man who lives in blind poverty. Even if all your assumptions were wrong, you choose your thoughts. You would hold on to the giggles that almost choked you when he met your brother decades ago. You would hold on to the thought that he isn't bored, lonely or unloved. And that it remains bright inside of him.

You would hold on to the belief that there is plenty to live for, even for Uncle Pi.

“Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?” ~ Stalin

The Ceiba tree was taller than all the houses and people and animals that surrounded it. Nowadays it's rare to see a tree surviving that height without getting logged. This one did. Maybe because it's located in the middle of a graveyard and nobody wanted to catch a bitter ghost evicted from its trunk into their cupboard or something.

Anyway, a Ceiba tree grows to about 70-90 meters tall. I wondered how old it must be. I thought how the bigger a thing is in size, the longer it takes to grow into that size. Sequoia trees reach bout a hundred meters, and live up to a few thousand years. An elephant lives about seventy. Whales live long too.

Then I thought about the planet and how big and old it is. And of the mountains and the stars and how old they must be. And I remembered a popular hadith that mentioned that the first man was 60 cubits (or 30 meters) in height, and that he lived to about a thousand. And the people of his time lived a long time too.

Then the Deluge came, and God was disappointed in man and cut short their lives down to 120 years or so. Or maybe, because there were only very few people left after the deluge, so they had to inbreed.

Then again, according to the Bible, the Deluge was the last of the total wipeout antics that God did on the planet. If that was so, then everyone left on Earth today are the result of those inbred people!

I thought how, after the deluge, there were more people populating the planet and the harder a fight it was to survive. And the survivors who lived on strained resources gave birth to children with mutated genes. For example, children whose mothers lived on meager diet while carrying them in pregnancy had the tendency to hoard calories and become obese, shortening their life expectancy.

I kept wondering and thinking about a lot of other things. Until finally dusk came and I had to quit staring at the big old tree and go home. Its long old shadow still following me.

  1. On iTune, highlight and right click on the track/s you want to mark as audiobooks.

    Get Info1

  2. Enter "Get Info"
  3. Click on Options
  4. Choose "Audiobook" as your Media Kind.

    Get Info

  5. Voila. The next time you return to that track, it will start again from the last part where you stopped.
  6. You already knew about that? Well, that’s one less reason for you to not listen to audiobooks.
 
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