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Systole + Diastole
the cycle of life
What if people spent less time figuring out how to rip others off and more time building themselves up from the inside out? Fcuk those muppets who tried to take my Mastercard on a shopping spree. No, I’m not buying you $700 worth of whatever it is Aritzia sells, fcuk that. Anyway, all is well here is a short + light post for today.
*NB :: I’m aware of the recent appointment by the Canadian government on Islamophobia and I have my reservations about it and I will address those in a future post.
I wrote this about 3 years ago and it’s still true. I am feeling drained today and learning about British Fascists, their connection to Arab nationalists (ahem my favourite1 Grand Mufti) and also to the Ben Yehuda Street bombing in Jerusalem 2.1948, so here is this short piece (below the image gallery strip) telling you what you can learn from your own heart muscle.
I think I am deciding that I dislike religion and love God + His prophets + the Qur’an + other holy texts. I don’t want to be a part of any community which espouses so much hatred and violent opposition to anything different and which espouses so much hateful rhetoric to westerners and refuses to take responsibility for its collective sh1t. I am not defined by others I am defined by my actions towards those others.
So, religious groupthink = no. Seeking God = Yes.
To be a Muslim is to seek God and go where He leads, that is what I am living. To be a Muslim = a big responsibility (thinking for self typically is, that’s why we get an entire childhood to prepare us) and most of us really suck at it and I feel sad about that, the way I feel sad that I could have loved my own mother more and better. Why couldn’t I love my mother more than I hated my sisters? Why couldn’t I love her more than I hated what happened to us? Why can’t we love God more than we hate each other? Why can’t we love God more than we hate how we feel in the moment? Isn’t hating God because I feel sh1tty a bit like hating my home because my lounge carpet needs vacuuming?
Seeking God and thinking for oneself feels rather lonely, it involves leaving community and belonging behind when God ceases to be there and that’s so fcuking hard. Sometimes, like this week, I feel like packing it in and giving up. Maman + Daddy didn’t raise a quitter. The things that present the most challenge are the sacred lessons. I hate that and I know its true — true as a swig of Buckley’s mixture that tastes awful and works. I don’t know what that means beyond what it means.
I am like that servant in the Bible’s NT parable, the one asked to do a thing who rails against it and flips out and dramatically refuses and then knows in my heart what the right thing is and then does that right thing I said I wouldn’t do when asked. I think there’s a little of that in all of us, and I sure am glad my parents dragged me to church to listen to sermons, the lessons live on and they make sense—I understand what they meant by The Living God. To be alive = to transform, the very essence keeping us alive involves exchange, perpetual exchange that happens so effortlessly we never notice.
What can your heart (Qalb) teach you?
Systole. Diastole. Contraction. Expansion. Repeat. This cycle of life powers our being. The heartbeat comprises two sounds: S1 and S2. Electrical cells in the heart muscle fire, causing the heart muscle to squeeze itself, ejecting the blood to throughout the body, facilitating the perfusion of all tissues and organs. This force makes the first sound of the heartbeat—S1. The heart muscles relaxes to perfuse itself—the four chambers of the heart fill. When the valves close they make the second sound of the heartbeat—S2. A shortened diastole means the heart receives less perfusion. A weak ejection means the heart becomes congested and the body, inadequately perfused and oxygen starved.
Life requires balance to sustain itself. Nature gravitates toward balance—homeostasis. Everything in nature cycles—this is the blueprint of God. We forget, in the dimly lit chamber of our humanness, that the seen world exists as but a reflection of the unseen. The heart muscle must contract for life to continue. The uterus must contract in order to birth the fetus. The seed must split itself in order to sprout roots which will sustain and anchor the plant. Suffering is an invitation. Suffering is a door. Touch that invitation, open it. See the door—your wound is the door.
Your wound is how the light gets in.
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That’s sarcasm, FYI