Saturday, 26 December 2015

Whose moonlight...?

Moon over Florida.
"Look, Shafi, look! The moon," I called to my 4-year-old nephew as we stepped outdoors on Christmas Eve.

The light poured through a dark web of branches and leaves, and I twisted and turned to see all of the moon.

"Shalikum, moon," my little nephew said, meaning, Assalamualaikum, moon. Peace to you in the name of God, moon.

I thought of the many on social media who had been excited about the Christmas moon, and the news saying it was rare, and for a short while, I too had bought their thrill and had believed it was indeed a Christmas moon.

I got to thinking how Guyanese-American Muslims were posting on FB, and emailing, Christmas messages of peace and love, seeming unaware that on Christmas Eve, the Muslims in Guyana were celebrating the birthday of the prophet of Islam. A journalist in Guyana, Romel Roopnarine, remarked on FB that the birthdays of Muhammed (peace be upon him) and of Jesus (peace be upon him) were being celebrated one day after the other.

And I thought about the moon being full on the night of Youman Nabi, the birthday of Muhammed (peace), which coincided with Christmas Eve this year...I'm not sure how often this has happened before as his birth date changes year to year on our calendar, being calculated according to the lunar calendar. 

"How could anyone say it's a Christmas moon?" I asked myself.  "Whose moon can it be? How can anyone stake claim when it was created for all? What drives us to always stake ownership, to grab, to clutch?"

In the darkness of my room that night, the realisation came to me that this moon which has sailed across centuries, shining on heroes and cowards alike, long-gone and living today; the same moon that has lit upon peace and war; drought and flood and grief and joy, on this night, was showing us the link between two brothers, separated by eras but united by light.

Monday, 14 December 2015

Off to Florida!

Guyana, Dec. 6. 2015...

Morning, Guyana


...stretch, yawwwn, switch on de Dinosaur TV (no, dat ain't a brand)...

...de man with de funny hairstyle is saying something about banning Muslims going to America.

"He can't be serious! America can lose money," I think, then I suck my teeth in one amused, dismissive way and continue packing. Huh! Not even dat man can diminish my excitement as I try to decide what to wear to travel...

Hand-and-machine stitched denim skirt


...something warm but it shouldn't make me sweat. I ain't know what kinda weather gon hang around with me in Florida, I got to pack light (see de light across de patchwork denim skirt?)...I'm only going for a few weeks...


Closer to de travel date though, my imagination creeps up like one o' dem scary scenes in a horror movie, duum-duum-duum, a cold hand squeezes my heart and pushes it up into my throat. Aiyyy, hold me before ah faint, my legs feel weak, ah want to lie down, aiy, mamma, my stomach churns like if I am on a Disney ride...not that I ever been on one, and Annie been pestering me that I *should* go, "you can't go to Florida and not go to Disney," she says in dis hot, aggravated manner that she got, and I argue back saying that I always prefer to see nature whenever I visit Florida.

"Psst, psst," my wutliss (wicked) imagination whispers, "Dem immigration people gon hold you in a cold, white, sterile room where voices and feet echo and metal chairs scrape and rattle. Your family gon fret in de waiting area, not knowing what happen to you..."

I know dis gon sound mighty frivolous but...

...I chuck all o' that aside and, while packing, I think how I might go shopping for round, retro, 70s style eye-wear...