Reflections

As I reach my 30th year of life this Sunday, June 4, 2017, I thought I reflect on what I have learned, am learning and need to learn thus far.

But first, I would like to give my thanks and gratitude to life, the Universe, my body, and God for supporting me these 30 years to remain alive.

I realize that I still have a purpose to fulfill and that is why I and everyone else is still here on Earth living. Our work is not done till the Higher Power decides so. I give my trust to God and align my soul to His purpose for me.

I learned and re-learned that we each have a vision. The more we are distracted, ignoring our intuition and overly managing our life rather than listening to God… we can’t see the bigger picture or vision for our life. This is why letting people or things go that have proven itself as not meant to be in your life is essential. Accepting people/situations as they are rather than fighting it to fit our image or beliefs is the way for peace and purpose.

I am learning that healing and being strong is a life long thing. Only because you learn how to be at peace doesn’t mean the peace remains forever. You have to keep working on that peace and protecting that peace. Sometimes we get caught up and lost in other peoples lives and agendas that we don’t hear our own truth. Sometimes we forget how to love properly and we give too much of ourselves to others that we are emptied. We then have to teach ourselves all over again how to be a healthy person mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Don’t neglect your health.

I know that I need to learn as a woman to practice valuing and believing in my self. Insecurity and comparison to others seems to be an all time high right now with social media. Many people will make you feel like you are not enough or not doing enough because of their own insecurities which they are projecting on you. Practicing daily affirmations, boundaries and being nice to ourselves is key to maintaining our confidence and self-esteem. We cannot give love if we do not have love in and for ourselves. We will only hurt others because we are hurt people, we need to heal our hearts and minds from our sense of low self worth.

Only we can give and make meaning for our lives, that is only our responsibility. Therefore, we have to know ourselves to get to who and where we are meant to be.

Overall, I am where I am meant to be. I can only be myself and live my own purpose.

I am positive about my future and that is the only way to think. Being a master of our minds through unbiased, factual and mature thinking can prevent a lot of stress.

I hope to continue as a great poet and creative writer who wrote with the intent to make life a better place for myself, others and future generations.

Love,

Laila

EYES VS. HEART

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In the eyes of a innocent child, tens of thousands of peoples are fleeing from their homes with loss in their eyes and pain in their bodies.

But in the heart of an innocent child, they see planes and trucks flying and driving to save one another from displacement and war.

In the eyes of a child, animals of the past are gone and more are becoming extinct, ones they will never get to see. The bees and the butterflies that we all once enjoyed as kids.

But in the heart of a child, gardens and forests are grown and protected with farms and people working to sustain one another in sharing of fresh fruits and exploring beauties of this magical earth.

In the eyes of a child, homelessness exists and inequality is becoming a norm in their eyes as they walk by the abandoned and stare into stores full of riches.

But in the heart of a child, all people deserve the basics and the ill are not punished for their weakness, love is spread to each other in a communal system. No one is left behind, and no one is under cruel judgment.

The child sees a world of disastrous consumption and disparity, but the child feels a world of beautiful community and sustainability.

Where is our world headed, in the eyes of the innocent child or in the heart of the child?

– Laila Re

NEVER LAND

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Travelling to different lands,
we still can’t find each other.
Falling onto one another,
we still can’t find whats under.
We focus on the material,
but life is in the immaterial.
We arrive to our destination
but never land.
How could that be?
We cannot escape
one place
for another
just because we land.
We carry the land with us
and we must still garden it from afar.
We re-plant
and re-build
and keep growing
even from a distance.
It is built in our nature
born in or outside of it.
The safe sound of landing
was deceiving,
it is just the beginning
of becoming closer to where we started.
Cause here I am
– continents and decades away –
reading a poem
about my Afghan land.
We have never landed.
We have never escaped.
It travels with us
like a spiritual companion.
My heart like a dead leaf
may have fallen in separation
but still it is food for the tree.
Its separation can still
play a part
for its survival.
My land like a tree during winter
is locked in a forever winter,
in a forever dormancy.
We can feel it in our
moments of emptiness,
and longing.
The leaf like my heart
will always nourish
and feed its homeland,
even through its departure.
We cannot part from the land.
It is part of who we are eternally.
It is us and what makes us us.
We are made to forever heal it
and bring it back out of its
coldest, longest winter;
out of its deadliest dormancy
and into its new season.
I am the land
and I will be reborn with it
in its long awaited Spring.
We have brought the land with us.
We have never left, for the most of us.
Except when we attempt to numb it out of us.
But do we ever arrive somewhere
when our spirits are always travelling
in between places
in between time
and their moments
that we carry or bury?
The land has been an illusion
for me of escape
just like time has been.
I’ve never left
and Ive never been without it.
I am my native land
and my native land is me.
I may not be on the land
but the land lives
within me
in my purpose, it breathes.
From my spirit,
I never land.
No matter how hard
I or we try to escape.
It represents the essence of true love…
it can be buried
but it can never die,
it can never be lost,
it will always be within us.
Even when we hate
what its become.
Even when its season
is ugly and terrifying.
Even when we must
take a safe distance,
We continue to love it blindly
Unconditionally
Hopelessly
for it to return
awake
and bloom again….
Did we ever land?

– Laila Re

Short story: Dark Summer

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She hid away in the darkness of the alley. How could she let him know that still after all of these years nothing changed how she felt about him. “Summer, where are you?” he shouted. With her head bent down, sitting on the floor, her tears fell. She knew he would never feel the same. And she didn’t want him to ever make her feel like that again. “Summer! Summer!” he shouted as he went the wrong way. His voice became more faint and faint.“It will be okay” she said to herself, “Let him go. Just stay, accept this fate. He will never love you the same.”After a few minutes, she picked herself up… and walked the opposite way. “I’ll never look back again”, and she left her heart in that alley way.

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My opinion on world peace or lack thereof.

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The United States, so-called purveyors of peace and beacon of hope, has been at war almost continually since 1776, “in the past 236 years, the US has been fighting some type of conflict for 214 years or about 90% of the time.” The US is in trillions of dollars in debt and still remains the military superpower of the world. Its military budget is over $597 billion dollars, that is as much as the next top 14 countries funding put together.

At this moment, the US is “bombing Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and possibly others.” That is at least 6 countries that the US is at war with, and it is costing trillions of dollars in borrowed money besides the millions of innocent civilians killed. All of these wars are for superpower interests and it is making the world more dangerous. The UNHCR says “65.3 million people, or one person in 113, were displaced from their homes by conflict and persecution in 2015…[it is] the highest level ever recorded and representing immense human suffering” Our global beliefs of the world fed by mainstream news is evidently based on ignorance and lies. Everything, unfortunately, is not fine and the current US presidential candidates – Clinton or Trump – is one sign of many that it is inherently corrupt.

Humanity is working towards a dead-end and a doomed fate because of this profit- driven lifestyle, which is clearly not sustainable for this planet. All 8 billion of us can’t have the “American dream” of a 4 bedroom house, 2 cars and 2 kids with steak dinner for all 4 family members . There is not enough space or natural resources for that kind of living. The earth is 70% water and less than 20% land. And only 2.5% of that water is fresh water for over 7.4 billion of us humans to use. We cannot afford to be wasteful and over-consuming.

I believe our priorities are totally self-destructive and pure madness. Is this the type of political, cultural and economic system that the world looks up to and believes in? Because this is only a recipe for disaster.

A quote I read today was “popularity is not a indication of quality.” Only because the American way of life dominates many nations, it does not mean its the best system. Popularity can be created by propaganda, force or limitation of options.

20th century wars were much more horrific and deadly in numbers but the quality of life in the 21st century continues to be worsening. Global inequality statistics state that “the richest 20 percent accounts for three-quarters of world income.” There are also over 40,000 species on the Endangered Species List which means our planets biodiversity is only declining. Biodiversity is critical for the Earth to remain alive since everything relies on one another. The Amazon rainforest also continues to decline due to de-forestation. I guess trees or oxygen is not on our global priority list either? Malcolm X once said, “Show me a capitalist and I will show you a blood-sucker.”

We are all being assimilated into this global western economy and culture that is evidently not sustainable, peaceful or healthy for us or the planet. The power of love for each other, the planet and the future is only weakening. So when will we, as individuals, take our power back to change direction? Or is human nature not intelligent or strong enough for creating lasting world peace?

I am trying not to be pessimistic but the results speak for itself on the current condition of humanity and this planet. This is about being logical and realistic. Are we that dependant on or brainwashed to this crazy system that we cant think long-term anymore? Short-term thinking is the death of our planet because profit-seeking without considering long-term implications is what is hurting us. We hear people chanting on the streets “people over profits” for a reason during social justice protests.

As the Native saying goes: “when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish caught, the last river poisoned, only then will we realize that one cannot eat money.”

There is endless forms of distractions or escapes in our society to keep us chasing the wrong things. However, we can never physically escape this planet. NASA, even with its annual $19 billion dollar funding, cannot save or transport us out of Earth when all we have left to eat is money.

What would your ideal, alternative society look like? What are the obstacles of and solutions for world peace?

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How I get into the mood to write…

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If I don’t feel compelled to write poems about something, I usually do not try to write. However, If I do want to get into the mood to start a writing session for lengthy poems… it is pretty easy for me because it consists of being at home, in my room or on my couch just by myself – which is what I’m usually doing in my free time anyway, lol.

However, for my short poems, those often pop up out of nowhere during anytime of the day based on what I was going through at that moment or thinking of. Those short poems I try to type immediately in my phone notes app. Almost all of my poems published were made naturally, spontaneously and freely that way. Sometimes those type of poems fly by too fast and are a bit long so I just end up having to enjoy it for myself because I don’t want to interrupt the poems flowing message.

When it comes to writing longer poems that tells a complex story, I enjoy writing them during the night and/or in the dark without lights. It gets me in the mood of solitude and vulnerability. My poems are usually heavy topics so writing during the day with noise, light and reminders of the everyday hustles of life is just not inspiring for me in terms of creating peace. I probably would be writing more angry, political poems about elitism, war and capitalism or just unproductively ranting. In the night, however, i feel like i can heal, recover and be more positive. I feel safer, relaxed and more comfortable in the night time.

I do not treat writing like a fixed-routine yet but that is the goal. Maya Angelou explained her writing sessions like a a day job, she would rent a hotel room and work there all day plus she would enjoy a glass of sherry wine. For writers who are unable to afford to write full-time and only do so as a hobby, usually setting aside a few hours before or after work on a daily basis seems to be the norm.

How I start my writing sessions is by playing music that is on my eternal wave, mostly of musicians who have a peaceful, soulful and slow vibe to them (current recommendation: alina baraz). It helps me to take each word I choose thoughtfully and carefully. I believe writing one sentence is like creating a art in itself. Each word has to totally connect to the next perfectly. Every sentence needs to flow with each other. So in order to be that detailed in my writing, I need calming music that I feel like also pays attention to its exact words, tone and message or theme.

My words have to flow out of me like a wave, and that wave is usually the poem in its entirety from start to finish. I don’t stop writing the poetic story until it has closure. All my long poems are done in one writing attempt because thats when its at its realest and closest to its essence. Therefore, its really important to get into the right mood to write in order to capture your inner truth. I need to be emotionally ready for the soul-work that poetry requires if I want to create therapeutic, authentic art for myself.

As I wrote in my previous post, writing is more than just consumption for information and entertainment. It is bigger than me or us – its a immortal and eternal purpose for justice, beauty and peace. I would like to contribute my own unique, positive difference in the world through creative writing. I try to take what I put out into the universe seriously.

Its been mostly personal poems that i’ve written these past couple of years because I enjoy rhyming and you can break all the rules of writing with poetry. I can place my words and letters wherever I like on the page, spell words the way I want, and the use of punctuations are up to me as well. I do hope to eventually write short, fictional stories where I can just play with my imagination and also challenge myself more with creative writing.

Think about where you need to be and what you need to make the most out of your own writing sessions. 

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My philosophy on writing and why I write.

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As an Afghan muslim woman displaced when I was a toddler from my native land due to patriarchal and hegemonic wars, writing is more than just an art for consumption.

It is a journey into yourself to peacefully and creatively heal, defend and battle. It is an art that seeks justice from a world that had you eternally lost and cut off from your sacred land and ancestors. It is to thrive spiritually when your homeland has been a war-zone your entire life and its news of tragedies follows you everywhere. It is to write in a world that would rather think for you and assimilate you into blind, ignorant submission of a deeply racist, sexist, perpetually warring and capitalist world. Writing is about taking back your power by telling your own stories. When it comes to American history of social control, enslaved racialized people were not allowed to read or write; they would secretly teach each other literacy.

Writing is tapping into your own memories – the good, the bad and the ugly. As well as tapping into the depths of your soul for that eternal world that society ignored or devalued. It is about finding the essence of who you are before society institutionalized you through schooling for the next 12 years of your life. It is about recovering all the hurt, untold stories or questions within you that you did not have the time or ability to resolve. It is about re-claiming your life, history and identity.

It is the world of imagination and creating something out of nothing. It is thinking not only out of the box but destroying that box to share with the world your own unique message. It is the unwritten words that God inscribed within you through your dreams and visions. It is something that no one can take from you…because its written in the stars. The more you write, the closer you get to God, to yourself, and to the eternal world of your ancestors.

Writing like any art, with a social-justice focus, is a magic of its own – the deeper you get into it, the more battles you’ll find and win. Writing is a rebellion against a society that wants you to conform and consume in a econonomic system that is not sustainable for our planet. Writing is a weapon against oppression you live externally and internally – a way to combat the junk beliefs you act on and internalized. Besides a political fight, it is a free and safe therapy, creative outlet or medicine for ones everyday life issues.

Writing is real work that takes time, effort, skill and thought. Writers should be valued like any other respected profession. It is more than sharing information or entertainment but a defence and a shield — it is what makes the world go round through powerful and timeless songs like”One Love by Bob Marley” and “Changes by 2pac”; as well as poems like “Still I Rise from Maya Angelou” and “The Revolution Will Not be Televised by Gil Scott-Heron.”  This is why art is dangerous and why popular culture is so tightly controlled – it can empower the masses and break down walls. It is an eternal weapon passed on to you that makes your purpose immortal. As 21-year old Fred Hampton said, before being murdered by the FBI and Chicago Police, “you can kill the revolutionary but you can never kill the revolution.”

Writing is creating beauty in your life and making a positive difference in a world that needs healing and for the future generations to know the truth of the past. Writer Toni Morrison said “I wrote my first novel because I wanted to read it.” So as the saying goes: create what you want to see in the world. And that is what I intend to do.

This is my philosophy on writing and why I write.

Therefore, an important question to ask yourself before you start your journey of writing is: what is your philosophy as a writer and why do you write?

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