Monday, November 22, 2010

Bipolar, between Happiness and Sadness, Validation and a Thank you (to You!)

We are all bipolar. Torn daily between emotions of happiness and sadness. I have been thinking about this over the weekend, and it appears to me that the best place for us to be is smack in the middle of the scale, not too happy, not too sad.

How can I be truly happy when my mother passed away at the age of 67 more than eight years ago? Yet, I cannot be entirely sad too because I know she is in a far better place, and in the company of eminent and saintly persons - no doubt continuing her chats with her family and friends, with members of her Ikebana Club, Speakers’ Club, Muslim Women’s Association, Puspanita and with the chief and mothers of the aboriginal settlement that she regularly visited with her informal charity buddies, and not to mention with the cohorts of close friends she has made around the world, in so many countries.

How can I be truly happy when beggars are roaming the streets for loose change, when millions were murdered in Rwanda, when daily thousands died in unjustified death all around the world because of a personal vendetta, a political pogrom or a young toddler shot in a crossfire between rival drug gangs in the townships of Colombia? How can I be truly happy when a maid is abused by her deranged employer right here in Malaysia, or there in Saudi Arabia, when a lorry driver in Iraq is decapitated by the bandits they call Al-Qaeda / Army of al-whatever, or when a Palestinian boy of 9 is used as a human shield in an Israeli army raid?

How can I be truly sad when my son is smiling at me, when Heche says "I love you too", when I can feel the reverberations of the Prophet in everything that I see, hear and touch? How can I be truly sad when my father is still alive, kicking and smoking at the age of 76, when my aunt calls me inquiring of my family and especially Mika, when I keep bumping into people who I admire for their tenacity, wit, honesty and humour, when I see people beginning to see other people through the prism of love, and not be hidebound to the illusion of race, culture, religion and nationality? How can I be truly sad when outside right now, there is a street sweeper who would smile and wave at me everytime I pass him by?

How can I be truly sad when I know of so many people who have lost so much more than me, but who are still able to smile, hug, kiss, laugh and love? They are like giants compared to me.

And finally, how can I be truly sad when I can still take time to share with you a little of my irrelevant life, loves and loathings(hehehe) - To speak out to the anonymous void, and to be heard and appreciated?

Some Sufis and other mystics will say that “Pah! When you are on the path of wisdom and piety, why need you for validation from others? You will derive your happiness and joy direct from the Divine Fountain itself. Your pandering to the whims of others is a sign that you are not immersed in Divine Knowledge yet.

But you see, I am neither a Sufi nor a mystic. I am me. A sinner, and if I must take pleasure from ‘the low-brow discount basement side’ of the Divine-Pleasure-Mall, well so be it. I still find ordinary people, ordinary music, ordinariness itself so beautiful, so graceful and so humble that I am contented already with my allocation of happiness.

And validation and appreciation from others? Of course I like it! It is a fuel to my fire, and an affirmation that I am not doing all that bad. Of course this doesn’t mean that I am doing all that good either, but so what?! I am a weak sinner, yet you still accompany me in my sinful blog. I thank you for that. Your magnanimity in the face of my heretical writings in the name of Love will not go unnoticed. I may not know your names, but you are not nameless to me at all. You are my friend, my brother and my sister. God bless your kind hearts.

Now go out there and have a great Monday, sunshine!

Pax Taufiqa.
Footnote - 'Ikebana' is a Japanese flower arrangement art, 'Puspanita' is a volunteer organisation of the wives of federal government officers of Malaysia, and 'Perak' is a state of Malaysia from where my mother's family originates.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, thought provoking post. And you too are such a valued friend to share so many wonderful, delightful treasures for the heart and mind. Thank you.

From your friend....

Milky Tea said...

Thank you for taking the time to drop by. Life is not easy, ever. But I do not think it is too difficult - take care and live life to the fullest. I am trying (now)!

Salams :)