Today at work, a colleague asked me, “Elfin, why do you look so sad all the time?”
I lied and said it was just my resting face and that I couldn’t do anything about it.
But I knew it was simply because I was sad.
Sometimes I wish I had a poker face so that nobody could tell I was sad. I’m trying my best but this place wears me down every single day. There’d be days when I’d go by leaving the office with tears in my eyes because everything was too much for me. The lack of love in the air. The inability to blend in. To find a person I could relate to.
Sometimes I wish I could be invisible. To go to a place where I could simply do my things in complete silence. I’m sick of carrying the weight of it all.
I hate it when people try to tell me or ask me stuff that carries the underlying meaning of, “why can’t you just be happy?”. If only I knew the reasons why.
“Befuddled believer! If every Ramadan one fasts in the name of God and every Eid one sacrifices a sheep or goat as an atonement for his sins, if all his life one strives to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and five times a day kneels on a prayer rug but at the same time has no room for love in his heart, what is the use of all this trouble? Faith is only a word if there is no love at its center, so flaccid and lifeless, vague and hollow – not anything you could truly feel.”
- Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
Alone in my house after this long and exhausting night, I pondered what had transpired. As miserable as I felt, somewhere deep inside me there was a blissful tranquility. For a fleeting moment, I caught a glimpse of it and yearned to remain there forever. At that moment I knew there was a God after all, and He loved me.
Though I was sore, sore all over, strangely enough I was not hurting anymore.
”Real filth is the one inside. The rest simply washes off. There is only one type of dirt that cannot be cleansed with pure waters, and that is the stain of hatred and bigotry contaminating the soul. You can purify your body through abstinence and fasting, but only love will purify your heart.”
– Elif Shafak (The Forty Rules of Love)
Amid this chaos I stood in a place of unperturbed silence and serenity, utterly indifferent to the world yet at the same time feeling a burning love for all the people struggling and suffering in it.
I tore away at parts of me
And stuck them in places you felt
The most ugliest
So you could be beautiful again
Just so you could stay
Sometimes when I look at everyone around me I find myself constantly being in this in-between space – and there I am all alone, alone, alone.