It was an odd feeling coming home to this city after being away for a short while. Come to think of it, that oddness started to show itself from the moment I left where I was to fly back to this city I called home for the time being. The overheard comments people made about the citizen as I was queuing at the airport, the incidents in the flight, the chaotic feeling in the airport, and the traffic on the way home.
It was not only about the surrounding. It was also about what was going on inside.
I felt a bit disturbed when the comments in the airport was made, when I was in the midst of the incidents in the flight, when the buses were not arriving at the airport, while I was stuck in the traffic on the way home, not to mention the different route we went through which took us to unexpected places.
Several times, kind thoughts occurred, inviting me to return and to listen more attentively to what was really going on. Interestingly, another visiting thought came by, telling me that it was not just about me. It was a collective consciousness, or lack thereof. It was (too) about the place. I was feeling what was going on in the air.
Now suddenly everything feels a bit less personal. There is growing restlessness that slowly immersing our skin, like an osmosis process, without us realising it. We get more sensitive both in a positive and negative way—perhaps more in a negative way. We easily get anxious, annoyed, and even angry about (sm)all matters.
Something is stirring, or being stirred up. An entropic force at work. I am curious as to what it is, as to what this really all about. Whatever it is, I know, or rather I believe, that the quietest spot amidst the storm is in its eye, because there is no such thing as outside the storm. Avoidance is not an option. We are in stormy weather. We need to be in the eye of the storm to find the quietude and stillness. A step outside of it would be a step too far.
Despite this, I know that I am well protected and cared for. I have my friends and families around me. I was given lots of facilities that made the journey easy and, if I allowed it, enjoyable. Everything actually went smooth. The dramas were probably more in my head rather than outside. What an interesting illustration of life. How blessed I am, we all are.
I remember once upon a memory in another faraway place I also call home, my friends and I were having our ordinary lunch. Ordinary with one exception: the room felt more erradic than usual. People bumped into each other more. Plates and clutteries sounded rather noisy. There was a bit of heigthened pitch of voice.
A friend passed by and I signed her to approach me. She did. I told her what I observed. “Don’t get caught up in it. Give it some space. Ask why you are shown this and how you need to be in it,” was the response offered. Precious.
I took it to my heart then, and I am carrying it with me ever since. The response came up again now, as I am going through whatever it is I am going through, as we are all going through whatever it is we are going through collectively.
Another word that I keep close to my heart emerged: “Repose.” And know, He is Truth. The Compassionate. The Merciful.
Post script: Just as I posted this, a friend posted this online:
Be in the center
The Scriptures reveal that our heart is the control or command centre of our life. As described in Quran: “…..And know that Allah intervenes between a man and his heart and that to Him you will be gathered.” (Al-Anfal: 24) In the Bible,”Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart” (Matthew 22:37). Ibn Arabi wrote in Futuhat: “The heart is His Throne and not delimited by any specific attribute, but it possesses all the Divine attributes and names.”
The heart is the locus of Divine self-disclosures within human existence. Vision of the Divine Presence can be attained through the eye of the heart. As Ibn Arabi says: “For the hearts are eternally and unceasingly, by their very primordial nature, polished and pure and resplendent (mirrors of God). Therefore every heart in which the Presence of God is manifest insofar as the Theophany of the divine Essence.” Purity of the heart is a path and preparation to experience unveilings Divine Presence.
Perpetual remembrance of God is essential for purification of the heart. Trough remembrance of God we are focusing ourselves to be in the center. As Ibn Arabi says: “You are the receptacle (anta al-inâ’) and I am I (wa anâ anâ). So do not seek Me in yourself, lest you suffer and toil; and do not seek Me outside yourself, or you will have no pleasure. Never stop seeking Me, or you will suffer torment. So do seek Me until you find Me, and then ascend! But follow the right adab in your seeking, and be ever-present (with Me) as you set out on your way of going….”
A strong message indeed.