Sunday, October 11, 2009

Busy Ants

Some Fridays are great, or at least they have become great. I remember Fridays when I was a kid, they were depressing (for those who don’t know, in the Middle East Friday is the weekend, the Sunday of the Arab world so to speak). For some reason me and Fridays reached an agreement. Ok, perhaps it is not as sentimental as it sounds. It is just the plain old day off where now as a working person it is the only time I get to relax. Every few weeks I am blessed with a wonderful Friday, a serene day when things are quiet in a nice way.

This Friday I was having one of those increasingly rare moments of complete serenity sitting in the garden sipping my coffee when I saw a line of ants. They seemed so busy hurrying along, funny how “walking” could be such a chore that needs so much attention. Anyway, the busy ants were hurrying along in long, long lines, running, following one another tirelessly in seemingly endless lines. I wondered, does the first one in line know that it is leading such a long line behind it or it just happened to be the first by chance. Does it know that a tiny mistake on its behalf would make the whole line get lost? Does it realize that a minor shift in direction might eventually lead the whole line into a whole new territory? Does it feel the pressure that so many are following it? Who makes the choice of the first ant in line, is it elected by popular vote? Is it appointed by some high ant commission? Is it chosen by the elders after long and tedious leadership training? Did it take navigation courses? Does this ant report to anyone, or do they just lead by instinct and then go home regardless of the results.

I caught myself in the middle of this one sided discussion and discovered that I was applying my worries, fears and uncertainties to the leading ant and I wished I could ask it if it had any of our worries and pressures or if leadership was an easy natural task in their world?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Find Yourself

“Sometime in your life you will go on a journey. It will be the longest journey you have ever taken. It is the journey to find yourself”   Katherine Sharp

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I Hate Hospitals


I hate hospitals, I just hate them. Who doesn’t you might  say. No, mine is a special case of hatred.

There should be a pill for that, especially for people who are chronically disturbed by them, a pill, if possible that contains medication, , and hopefully induces a voice that goes straight to your head and keeps repeating that things will be fine, you know a counseling voice not a crazy one. There should be something, anything, but it cannot be left untreated.

A while ago I was in the hospital with a friend who was in for a minor surgery. While waiting and dreading being there, I thought about the hatred I hold for these buildings, was it the normal hatred that people have for hospitals or was it my own special case having been there so many times with loved ones. Maybe I resented them for oddly feeling at home in them and really detesting that fact and deeply rebelling against it.

As all my friends know I watch people all the time and in an effort to entertain myself while waiting I used my God given gift. In the cafeteria I was looking at people’s faces. The deeply concerned face, the “on the verge of tears” face, the “not-so-concerned” face, ones that look totally spaced out and not really there, ones that are in deep contemplation and deeper prayers, and then the joyous (normally it is a man whose wife just gave birth or someone with an old dying childless aunt that has a sizeable inheritance). All sorts of faces each with a story, and I wondered where do I fit in? How do I look to these people? Which face is mine? Is someone doing the same to me and putting me in a face category? I don’t care I just want my friend to be well. I know he will, I will leave here soon and know that at one point in time I will be back, its life, but next time I will be back with a resolved agreement with myself to forgive these buildings for being what they are. Just like with people you dislike accept their existence and try to let go of your feelings towards them. Can I? Will I?