pioneer's truth

Why is anyone and everyone right-so long as it’s not yourself?
—  Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead
To paint Aisha as a victim is completely at odds with her persona. She was certainly no wallflower. During a controversial battle in Muslim history, she emerged riding a camel to lead the troops. She was known for her assertive temperament and mischievous sense of humour – with Muhammad sometimes bearing the brunt of the jokes. During his lifetime, he established her authority by telling Muslims to consult her in his absence; after his death, she went to be become one of the most prolific and distinguished scholars of her time.

A stateswoman, scholar, mufti, and judge, Aisha combined spirituality, activism and knowledge and remains a role model for many Muslim women today. The gulf between her true legacy and her depiction in Islamophobic materials is not merely historically inaccurate, it is an insult to the memory of a pioneering woman.
Ghastly Truth Ch. 2

Thanks everybody for your kind words. I hope you are enjoying this weird story!

Chapter One is here.


Emmy watches from the couch, blanket clutched tightly in her tiny fist, as he vacuums the living room of their little house for the third time this week. She used to be afraid of the vacuum, used to run shrieking to bounce on the sofa as soon as she heard the loud noise. Now she’s afraid of bigger, more frightening things and her feet dangle over the edge of the cushion.

“Alright, Em?” He asks as he finishes the last square and winds up the cord. She nods bleakly, and he holds back a sigh. She says so little these days. “C’mon then, bug, let’s get your hair done up, yeah?”

She follows close behind him as he walks down the hall to the laundry room and puts the vacuum away. He picks her up as he closes the door and carries her to the bathroom, where he sits her down on the counter and pulls out her hairbrush and headband from a drawer.

“You remember what we talked about, right?” She nods again and he’s careful not to yank the brush through her delicate strands as her head moves. “The people with the cameras are going to come and film us and our house, and the nice lady is going to ask you some questions. I’ll be right there the whole time, yeah?”

“Okay, Daddy.” Her tiny little voice rings through the bathroom and he smiles brightly at her.

She’s the reason for all of this. She’s worth doing all kinds of crap things, even working with his horrible ex-girlfriend. He’d do anything for Emmy. This is just today’s anything.

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We are pioneers, we are. We are some of the first people to explore a way of being that is not premised on survivalism as our operating principal. For generations, people have been choosing their career path, their life partners, their ways of being, based primarily on what put food on the table. It didn’t matter how one felt about how one survived. All that mattered was staying alive. But a new way of being is taking root, one that is premised on authenticity above all else. We are beginning to insist on living from our truth, choosing our path and our connections from the soul outward. This is why its so damn difficult. Torn between the mantras of ‘Grin and Bear it’ and 'Be who you really are’, we have one foot in each world, not entirely rooted in either. No wonder so many path travelers are in a state of confusion. We are saying goodbye to unhealthy connections while still lodged in a duty-bound culture. We are crafting a new, true way of being while carrying the shaming conditioning of the old world. We are laying down new tracks without a single footprint to follow. This is a profound consciousness shift on this planet. We are pioneers, we are. Pioneers of truth.
—  Jeff Brown