belonging

The word doesn’t signify ownership or wealth of a person. However, it does refer to his possessions and does it in a friendly and compassionate way. Typical for those with these kinds of possessions would be a six-year-old child who empties his pockets to take joy in what he has collected.
— Doris Kalka, a secretary at the University of Tübingen, on describing Habseligkeiten (voted as the most beautiful German word in 2004)

Today, I want to belong. I want to feel safe and at home. I want to be aware of what it is like simply to be, without defenses or desires. I will appreciate the flow of life for what it is- my own true self. I will notice those moments of intimacy with myself when I feel that “I am” is enough to sustain me forever. I will lie on the grass at one with nature, expanding until my being fades into the infinite.
—  Deepak Chopra
owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy— the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light…
—  brene brown

You ask: What is the meaning of “refugee”?
They will say: One who is uprooted from his homeland.
You ask: What is the meaning of “homeland”?
They will say: The house, the mulberry tree, the chicken coop, the beehive, the smell of bread, and the first sky.
You ask: Can a word of eight letters be big enough for all of these, yet too small for us?

—Mahmoud Darwish. “In the Presence of Absence.” 

“It is the paradoxical nature of grief to lead us to love. There is a seed planted in loss, an evolution made in breaking, a genius found in separation that is rarely apparent in the heart of crisis. But often what looks like deviation is really proliferation, like satellite initiatives born from a group’s dissolution. Intimacy is forged in the hearts of those who know exclusion. To them is given the gift of tenderness which can mentor another through their own isolation.” - Toko-pa (www.toko-pa.com)

Artwork by Wojciech Zwoliński (www.dream-traveler-art.tk)

Belonging

The Azan pierces
the cluttered silence
with green.
I follow the streak
towards East
but my gaze falls
a mile short.

I chance upon
the spoils of autumn,
blinking yellow.
A peek-a-boo
of sorts,
a sweet secret
we share.

The horns blare
down the street.
The brown blobs
of humanity stand
in the way
of its steel gray
convenience.

And then the sun sets
in the West,
leaving my eyes
awash with awe
at the pink-blue-red
hued mural
of the sky.

I think if I try
hard enough,
I can still see
the black plumes
of chimney smoke
in the distance.

But this instant,
the bed of purple
inspires restful,
quiet unrest,
and the stars
blinking white-
a camaraderie.

So I’ll keep
the pallet
for another day.
I found
at last
a place for me.

Birthday lilies, brilliant book, freezing toes and quiet morning hours before the rest of the house woke up. I would tell you a story about four brothers in the heart of Nigeria, aspiring, breathing, loving and fishing. I would tell you all about it but I think you should read the book. Because no words could do more justice to this heartbreakingly beautiful book than the words within it.