Uninspired…and then inspired once again
I’m feeling very uninspired today. In fact, I’ve been feeling that way a lot lately. I feel like I have thinker’s block. In the same way someone who has writer’s block is unable to write, I feel I’ve lost the ability to think. I can sit for several minutes, concentrating, eyes shut, trying to focus, trying to formulate one coherent thought. Nothing. All I get is the buzz of Cairo traffic, talk shows, political debates, the never-ending report I have to finish for work, the image of Qadhafi dead, the mundane conversations I keep having over and over again about things there is no point conversing about, like “Do you think the Muslim Brotherhood will take over Egypt? Do you think Egyptians will ever be free?”. The questions that have no answer, and yet people insist on asking them. Buzz, just buzz, that’s all I get. I’m reminded of something Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk says in his book “Other Colours”:
“What’s troubling you”
“You already know. It’s these spring afternoons.”
“It’s worse than depression. I want to disappear. I don’t care if I live or die. Or if the world comes to an end, even. In fact, if it ended right this minute, so much the better.
It’s not a dark and morbid depression, and it’s not melodramatic. It’s just…perspective. This life we’re living right now is just a tiny dot compared to the afterlife, and when I think of it that way, it puts me at ease, it reminds me that one day, all this will be over, no more poverty, no more injustice, no more Qadhafi or Mubarak or Saleh or Asad, and no more boring reports for work. All there will be is justice.
It’s just an acute sense of the Quranic aya “Surely, we have created man into toil and struggle”. In the Quran, the actual word used that has been translated into “toil and struggle” is “kabad”. The original meaning of “kabad” is the middle of the day, or the hottest part of the day, or to be walking in the middle of a sand dune such that taking one step forward is with great difficulty. You are born into the world crying, that is your destiny and you have no say in the matter. You cannot choose to come out of the womb with a smile on your face, that is how you are destined to come into the world, but how you leave this world is up to you. We will all struggle through life, whether you’re living in a slum and worried that the water your children are drinking might give them cholera, or whether you’re like me, just exhausted by the lack of ability to think (that really puts things into perspective doesn’t it). But in the end, we will both leave this world, and that poor slum-dweller may leave this earth with a peaceful smile on the lips and the words “la ilaha illa allah” on the tongue.
I hope when it’s my time, I don’t leave this earth still thinking about that never-ending report I have to finish for work.