Smooth Criminal

September 8, 2017: Crescendo

As she came in through the window, was the sound of a crescendo.

He came into her apartment, left the bloodstains on the carpet.

She ran underneath the table, he could see she was unable.

So she ran into the bedroom, she was struck down, it was her doom.

Annie, are you ok? Are you ok, Annie?

Dag gone it !


From Michael Jackson: Smooth Criminal


In Finite

September 7, 2017: Finite

Between 0 and 1 lies an infinite amount of numbers.

Among 88 keys exist an infinite combination of sounds.

Inside one’s brain hums infinite thoughts.

Within one glance lies an infinite truth.

The infinite lives in the finite.


Ashleigh Comes of Age

September 6, 2017: Anticipate

In some sense, it was better for her not to anticipate anything at all. Ashleigh was coming up in the world, ready to take it by storm. She left her loving community for the big city, far far away. When she arrived, Ashleigh could not hold back her wonderment. Sky high buildings, flashing lights, beautiful people of all shapes and sizes, and everything she imagined it to be. After settling in to her new, humble abode, Ashleigh was ready to live the life she dreamed. It did not take long for her wonderment to turn to confusion, anxiety, and disillusionment, however. The way the world worked outside her corner of it was much different than she anticipated.

Commitments, responsibilities, personal relationships, romantic relationships, politics, international affairs, racial relations, injustice, historical inequities. All these things merged with love, hope, creativity, ambition, inspiration, the new and exciting.

It was a lot for young Ashleigh, all at once, but she has a strong heart. She began to write to herself. She began to think for herself. She began to take the world as it is.

She began to let go.


They Believed

September 5, 2017: Elevate

Ready, set, go! They were off, on a race to the bottom. They were on a mission to win, no matter what. The winner, they believed, would be the fastest. The fastest, they believed, would be better than the others. The best, they believed, would be revered, respected, and righteous. Little did they know, of course, that the better person is not the fastest or the best, but the wisest. The wisest, they believed, is the smartest. Little did they know that this was not so. In fact, the wisest is who elevates others. This way, she wins because they win.


Watu and The Man

September 4, 2017: Educate

A well educated man stood upright on the long carpet before the Main Hall. He took a deep breathe, expanded his chest, took two steps forward past the high door and mechanically turned his frown upside down. He greeted Mr. Hanafi with a munificent embrace, partly to avoid making eye contact. He disliked Mr. Hanafi, and only Mr. Hanafi did not know. He proceeded to work the room in a routine fashion, until he met another man whom he had not seen in the Main Hall before.

This man, Watu is his name, is also a well educated man. He also stood upright. His shoulders were relaxed and his hands by his side. Watu wore an easy smile and a clean shave. The man greeted Watu with a bombastic hello, and Watu replied in humility. The man’s smile was still an upside down frown, and it slowly reverted somewhere in between smile and frown as he began to engage with Watu. It was clear that Watu was just as educated as the man as their conversation dove deeper into similarities and differences of regional philosophic traditions, but it was not clear to the man why Watu held the public good in such high regard. To the man, an individual must work hard to grease the wheels and put himself on top, for the well being of him and his family. To Watu, an individual must work hard for the well being of him and his family, and fellow man. For without fellow man, Watu would merely be a human body who has not (yet) discovered fire.

Here they were – Watu and the man – standing in the Main Hall, exemplars of humanity. The educated: as rich and poor as society itself.



When the War Came

September 3, 2017: Priceless

He could not sell his watch for any price. It belonged to his father’s father, and his father’s father before that. It meant too much to him.

She could not sell her bracelet for any price. It belonged to her mother’s mother, and her mother’s mother before that. It meant too much to her.

When their son came, he knew he would wear that watch as his own, one day.

When their daughter came, she knew she would wear that bracelet as her own, one day.

When the war came, they knew they would do whatever it takes to keep their son and daughter alive and well. They sold everything they had left.

In the end, some things are more priceless than others.


Until the End

September 2, 2017: Continue

When he realized he would never see, hear, touch or smell him again, he felt as if his heart stopped forever, but it continued to beat.

When he received notice that his job was no longer his, a mountain of debt struck panic in every corner of his body, but his heart continued to beat.

When lightening struck, thunder roared and the earth quaked, his home crumbled into pieces and he watched his past and future die before his eyes, but his heart continued to beat.

When his refuge was raided and destroyed by bandits and evil, he knew he had been betrayed by humanity, but his heart continued to beat.

When he was attacked by the law with stones and pellets because of his long beard and white kufi, he felt the tides of injustice crush his faith, but his heart continued to beat.

The only thing keeping his spirit within him is his heart, continuing to beat until something, something unbeknownst to him, has its final say.



August 31, 2017: Memorize

She had all the answers. Everyone came to Ditma for advice. Close friends, classmates, family members, friends of friends, neighbors, girls, boys, women, men, even parents. They came to Ditma for guidance on all their problems: career advice, study lessons, overcoming self-doubt, relationship troubles, high anxiety, financial woes, fitness and nutrition, the whole gammut. Many had not slept for days, but after they met with Ditma, their frantic minds would slow down and they sleep without a hiss.

Ditma would patiently listen to the troubled souls vent their fears and troubles. She would give them their full attention, and her ear. Once her desperate clients would finish talking, they would look at Ditma with longing eyes. Ditma would then close her own eyes – though this part of it was really for show, and her own amusement – then open them back up again, and simply repeat an approach she memorized from the internet on how to tackle the challenge of her particular client. It was quite simple, really, but what made Ditma different was not her uncanny memory and stock of recipes. Rather, it was her ear. She listened. People felt respected. All along, they had the answers they were looking for. They just needed a boost, from Ditma.