Dreaming

Inception to Realization

IMG_0801

A dream is a vision that is born in your mind and then grows in your heart with the promise of somehow making you and your life better. A dream is not some illusive fantasy or impossible goal; like say, becoming a dragon; that’s just silly and a waste of your imagination. There are components to every dream, a purpose and a direct link to the dreamer, so in that respect most of our dreams should be achievable; I say should and most because assuming everything and everyone can achieve a result is naïve. Think of a dream as your own mind’s spring. It’s the time that the promise of fruitfulness is given, a time when all that was buried or in hiding has the optimal environment to surface. Nature has always used spring to give birth and start new relationships, so why not our dreams?

Without dreaming we become hollow and mechanical, robots if you like. We succumb to whatever is pulling us, be it a job, dredge of life or whatever is tying you down. Many of our cultures teach us that dreaming is a bad thing, a waste of time, something we can’t achieve because most of us dream outside of our narrow cultural and social path. I say RUBBISH! No one has the right to tell you what colors to use to paint your life, or how to draw that tree, or how much you are permitted to achieve. I have always been a dreamer; my mind is on accelerated dream mode. So much so, that I probably come up with a dream on an hourly basis, and they are always life changing dreams. To me dreams are the antidote of stagnation, which is a death sentence in my eyes. Nothing stands still, why should I? Water becomes stagnant when it is confined or limited; this makes it a perfect place for infestation by bacteria and parasites   thus ending its role in being a vital source of nourishment and life. Today so many people suffer anxiety and stress and depression; I say from stagnation and the shackling of dreams. Sometimes life kicks us so hard we have a minor concussion and our dreams are delayed, but just like that stagnant water a path will always be found and dreams will find their way back to the ocean.

Dreams are not concrete and this will give everyone around you an uneasy feeling because they are not you and can’t see or feel what you do. Be prepared to battle for your dream, because in the beginning it is a baby, your baby and needs your protection. What kind of a parent would you be if you gave up your child because of the challenges? Every dream I had I fought for, argued my logic which made no sense to those listening to me and sometimes I lost people or things in pursuit of my dreams. Your conviction must be so strong and your faith so unwavering if you are ever to achieve. You can’t have a dream and let everyone and everything take a bite of it by modifying it, or crush it by dismissing you as able to achieve it.

When you have a dream make sure its clear in your mind. Don’t treat dreams in a juvenile fashion and say; “I wish” this or that. A dream is not a wish! A wish is something you don’t always control and want fleetingly most of the time. A dream is an achievement that you control. Look at the outlines of your dream; see the colors that fill those outlines. See yourself in it and capture that image so its the ‘screen saver’ of your thoughts, that way you will always be reminded to go for it. Have a chat with your dream, ask it questions and give it answers. If you have a conversation with your dream you will be better equipped to achieve it. Your mind will automatically work against you in this conversation and play the role of your dream and make it look hard or impossible for you to achieve; it will put all the obstacles up for you, which will in turn prepare you for the battle of logic and reason when people question the validity of your dream. Don’t be weak and don’t succumb to your own lack of conviction in your abilities. Take note of your conversation and expand the boundaries of your dream.

Evaluate yourself. So you had the conversation with your dream you know what it is and many of the elements of it, now ask yourself; can I do it? What skills or abilities do you have that will enable you to achieve your dream, and what do you need to acquire? Don’t say “I don’t. . .? Say instead I can learn or get. Find the tools you need to achieve and start sharpening your talents. Do what you can, give it your best and believe in the result of your effort, but don’t delude yourself; know your own limits. I for example, can’t do anything with numbers so although everything in life requires a level of math I choose the simple equations because these are my limits. Don’t let your psyche bite off bits of your dream with negative thoughts, tell yourself: “I will give it my best and the outcome is mine.” No one owns your dream therefore no one can take it or judge it, your choice your responsibility, but always respect yourself and those around you. Your dream is yours but the world isn’t so when carving that dream make sure you are a positive part of the big picture that is our world.

 

Be Blessed

I’m sorry my child

How can I justify this to you

I read in the news today that they are going to mass their air power and go after the bad guys, I totally agree that they should, but you my child, I don’t know what to tell you.  You did not choose to be born, nor did you choose your parents or religion.  This land of ruins where you live has already been horrible to you, and now this.  The bombs that will fall, will they fall on you?  How can I explain to you that it isn’t your fault, you didn’t do anything to deserve this and all of us can only watch.  I wish my hand could reach yours, and pull you out hide you in my bosom until its all over, but I can’t.  I’m writing to you and I know you may not be able to read, and probably will never see my post, but I’m putting it out there for you.  I want to declare my innocence from a deed that could hurt you and tell myself I warned you.

 

The world is a real mess and although we adults have found our path and although we struggle we are able to bear most of what is thrown at us.  We make our choices and bear the consequences, mostly.  What have you done?  What can you do?  I’m so sorry.  I have a son, a beautiful son, that I protect with all my being, but I am here living in comfort and able to give him that.  I wonder, if I were there and your mother what would I have done?  Probably dug the ground and buried both of us as deep as I possible could to hide from the bombs.  Probably screamed all day while rocking you in my arms hoping for a miracle.  Probably got down on my knees and prayed as hard as I could that the bomb would miss us.  I would have done all of that, and I’m sure your mom is already fighting harder for you than I ever could.  I hope you’re safe and I hope when its all over and you see the sun again you can forgive the world.  Know that just as there are bad guys, and guys trying to kick the &*% of the bad guys, there are people like me.  People who care and don’t want you to get hurt.  I hope that helps you not give up hope and turn into a bad guy, because you feel you were dealt a rough hand.  You my child will be a nail in all our coffins for we could not help you, we could not shelter you from the misery of this world.

 

 

Integrate or Irritate?

The world has abolished its borders and today we are a colourful mix of people, so much so that we have created ‘third culture generations.’  People born of parents from different countries, born in one place, raised in another and sometimes becoming nationals of yet another country.  So if my mom is Egyptian, my dad Sudanese, I was born in the UK and a national of Canada, who am I?  A global citizen who will never join the army!

Having lived in more than seven countries and traveled to even more, I never identify myself as being from anywhere.   I am where I am at the moment that I am there, and so on.  It always surprises me when I go to places like China Town, Korea Town, or whatever town in any  country that is not China, Korea or whatever.  What is your point?!  Ok lets bring culture to the world through bringing our own and sharing it.  I totally approve and encourage that, but it has become a problem today in many modern societies.

Take for example Toronto, we have amazing diversity and some of the most amazing ambassadors from all over the world, but. . . Regardless of how hard this city tries to integrate many people, some people are simply unwilling to shift.  There are some people who live and work here that don’t speak English or French!  How do they manage?  They work with their native language with their native people.  I am personally not sure whether that is laziness, stubbornness or simple disrespect.  Disrespect for this land that accepted to be your home, that you will at some point need to communicate with in its own language and share with it your knowledge.  

So lets ask ourselves honestly have we really integrated or simply dragged bits of what we left to recreate it someplace else?  Is it better to let go of where you came from and be absorbed into where you are or is it better to gradually erase the identity of where you choose to bring your world?

I personally believe we need colour in the world and with every new hue the rainbow of life becomes more and more vibrant, but please beware hue bearers not to spread your hues so wide that you do not see the other colours or worse still, that you cover them completely.

Be blessed

My Grandmother, myself. . .

I am from generation X and I’m not sure what generation my granny is from, but watching the advancements women have made in past years, my granny is probably Jurassic.  She lived through the British occupation of Sudan and the World War II.  An illiterate woman who was wiser than any PhD holder today.  Simplicity is in itself wisdom.  I think we have over complicated life and now need to work back to simplify what we tangled.

She woke up at dawn and her daily equivalent of a jog was tending to the animals she raised, kneading and baking the bread, milking the goat or cow and tending to her large family and home.  She knew well where she belonged in the food chain; the top.  Modesty was a mark of a good woman and no woman of her generation boasted her power, rather they were humble with heads bowed low in front of others.  There was nothing to prove, because daily life was proof in itself.  Husbands could not make it without wives, children belonged to their mother and family members had full respect for other family members.

Until she died in 1999 my grandmother never once, not even by accident uttered the name of my grandfather who left her in 92.  It was a mark of a good woman to never say the name of your husband, a behaviour that reflected modesty and respect.  Even before they had children she called him ‘father of so and so.’  I found this to be very disturbing as a child and would not stop questioning why, but I never really got a good answer, and seeing my mother call my father by his name, nickname and anything that she felt like, I knew this was part of a period long gone.  

Some of the customs we are handed down really have no meaning, but at the time they must have made sense to those using them.  My granny made everything herself, the sheets the covers, the clothes for the whole family, the artwork in the house and this leaves me to wonder what the true value of education is.  Today we teach our youth literacy, numeracy and a whole load of other stuff that in reality is not sustainable.  They will get jobs but can they be self sufficient?  So what is more important; life skills or job skills?  If like some are already predicting, society breaks down and we must all fend for ourselves, what abilities do we have?

I will never forget one afternoon when I was sitting by the Nile with my mother, I was very bored and becoming annoying.  She asked me to go collect some palm tree leaves and sticks, and she sat me down and made me a doll.  That doll was the most beautiful doll I had ever seen because it showed me the power of my mother’s ability to transform the mundane into an exciting toy. We have a farm on the Suez and one day my nephew was bored and came and asked me to go to town and buy him toys, I wasn’t going to go to town, so I sent him to pick some sticks and palm tree leaves.  When he returned we made planes and cars and he was happier than I had ever seen him with a toy, and kept spinning and saying, ‘my auntie knows how to make stuff.’

We all take from custom what fits and drop what is uncomfortable, but if we look carefully at the details we will find the moral and meaning.  Not everything that is old is useless and not everything that is new is better.  What have you disposed of that could be useful?

Be blessed

A gathering of women

Often in isolation and with minimal resources women find it a challenge to rise in any society and need to work ten times as hard to begin to be recognized.  The art of writing – creative writing workshops for newcomer women is an initiative by the government of Ontario, in which women gather together and release their creativity in the safety of like minded women.   Our gathering is guided by a real warrior (Dr. Althea Prince.)  One instantly knows this is a winning group, led by a lady who does not know defeat.  Dr. Althea has an impressive biography and she very obviously is a selfless giver, always helping through empowering those who feel helpless or need encouragement.

We are of all shapes and sizes, colours, ages and backgrounds, but we are all brought together by that thing we all share: ‘woman,’ and the thing we all hope to find ‘creative writing.’  Dr. Althea has gathered us to bring our voices out, to tell our stories and maybe we leave that much richer and empowered than when we came in.  The consequence for those of us who do not achieve the finish line is yet unknown, but I have a strong feeling we will all come out winners on one level or another, if not by choice then by encouragement and support.

There are some of us who are new to Toronto, others renewed, and others simply lost or a combination of all of the above.  Some of us speak clearly and it is obvious that some of us have lost our voice.  Among women, women are safe, supported and rarely judged.  This is the perfect atmosphere to detangle all inhibition and let truth and creativity flourish.  I remain unsure as to what will surface but I am certain it will be well received.  Maybe reality infused fiction, maybe a novel cry for help, or even a funny genera that can only be told by a woman.  Whatever the outcome, I am certain a woman or some women will have broken free of some chains, if not forever then for that day she will be free and heard.

Fortunately or unfortunately I have no horror to retell or injustice to fight, but that may be because I am a person generally at one with my life.  Acceptance is a gift and through it one is able to achieve much more because the options are multiplied once the obstinance has been removed.  Perhaps I need to dabble with fiction and make up my own drama or perhaps what is rosy in my eyes is thorns to others.  Interpretation is an individual lens and I can’t wait to start letting my voice out of the coma it has spent its life in.

Today I pray that every woman, man and child on every patch of this planet speak from the heart and touch someone’s heart.

 

Be blessed