Privilege

A shared reality, if not shared in the same way, is privilege.

The word bothered me for some time. It seemed like the one who accused others of a type of privilege forgot that they too benefit from a type. She who blames a white man for his privilege forgets her own privilege of money. He who blames a woman for her privilege of money forgets his privilege of a strong build. One who blames a man for his privilege of a strong build forgets their own privilege of sight. Of family. Of a slender figure. Of no shortage of food. Of the ability to hear. Of a higher education. Of both of their arms and both of their legs. Of a home.

Why is it that we pay so much attention to what we can see and completely forget that there are things about the person in front of us that we can’t see? There are, in fact, things that we do not know.

I may piss people off with what may seem like an oversimplification of privilege. But when it comes to this particular topic, I often see the same problem that stems from looking only at what others have that you lack. It’s a common trope of social media as well. This practice of ours is, in my opinion, such a major aspect of what propels us into mental agony, stress, and anxiety.

While I acknowledge the more severe types of privilege that I, too, would support positive change for, I think we should try and focus a little less on what we don’t have and a little more on what we do have. Because whoever you are, I guarantee you there’s someone out there who would kill for the life that you have.

 

Hi. Nice to meet you.

In learning that solitude is no friend to life’s shambles, I’ve learned that I love solitude.

If I walk into a cafe that’s buzzing with action and noise my first instinct will be to do a 180 and walk on out. I want quiet. To let my thoughts roam around and soak in the serenity of a room with a handful of others who love solitude as much as I do.

I’m not always a fan of people. I’m sometimes guilty of hating people. Guilty of blaming them for all of the problems in the world. People are greedy; they’re ignorant. They’re rude, arrogant, egocentric.

But, alas.

I’m wrong. People aren’t the worst thing in the world. My mother is proof of that.

I came across the thoughts of another regarding this. Their thoughts echoed my reflections. That socialization is important. That on the days when I hit a rock so far below, I will need another being to pull me out. I need people. As much as I hate to admit, I need people in my life. Other beating hearts. Other crying, laughing, annoying, wonderful creations to live among. Because my solitude is no more than a comfortable prison.

So there, above my musings, is my attempt at drawing half of my face. It’s a pleasure to place here a rather inaccurate depiction of my smile to help you bridge the gap between my words and my being.

But the smile itself is rather accurate. I actually do smile quite a bit, alhamdulillah.

One Day

When’s the last time you felt a real, genuine connection with someone?

A stranger, a sibling, a classmate, a parent…anyone. Anything.

These days life passes us by at a pace that’s immeasurable. We get tiny moments here and there with the people we care about, then we’re off to our houses as soon as we can to spend another bucket of hours watching a show we’ve already seen twenty times. It makes no sense that we crave real connections with people but also refuse to get out of the boxes that we live in for more than half of our lives.

This is more specific to countries with a lot of big metropolitan cities. Back home everyone knows each other. They get that raw connection simply by seeing each other, checking up, spending more time with others than they do without them. And here, I hear people left and right talk about how lonely they are. Reminds me of a song..

Take me to the places and the people that know me
Tryna just connect, thinking maybe you could show me
If there’s so many people here, then why am I so lonely?

But people have their unhealthy work hours here. They spend so much time making the money they need to enjoy their life that there isn’t any time left to enjoy it. Reminds me of another song..

I don’t wanna be eighty-five, singing
“Oh, no, I think I missed it, I was chasing money”

Is this it? Is this what life is? An endless cycle of repetitive “How are you? I miss you! It’s been sooo long!” texts that don’t result in anything? Is it seeing the people you love once in an entire year? Is it us anticipating, expecting a better life one day that is 100% not guaranteed?

Is it us putting off all of the important things for one day?

Big City

With its deafening dazzle and blinding hubbub. Always too much going on.

I used to want to escape it. Find a quiet tree house somewhere.. Now I embrace it.

I didn’t know if I wanted this piece to hang like this:

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Because I like to tease the city as much as I like

to love it. If the towers were pointed the right

way, it’d just be way too friendly. I thought

hanging it upside down might be a little

too unfriendly. So this way seemed about right.

But the thing that I love about big cities is that

they bleed. Sure, they’re bright, they’re

dazzling.

But they’re hard. Grimy. Difficult.

They’re too much.

So upside down is what worked. Somehow, it was familiar. Seeing the towers

bleed upside down reflected what big cities are composed of. People. Pain. Pandemonium.

It’s glamour until you look too closely.

Welcome

 

Welcome to stirred slumbers and absent numbers
to mental hunger and boundless blunders

Hello from serene anger and aggressive wonders
from going under and aging younger

May you find stumping stunners and peaceful thunders
innocence turned vulgar turned honey no longer

Where walkers become runners and mortality lingers
come fall from summers and spring from winters

Turn up your fiction and don’t silence your singers
grab hold of an arm and intertwine your fingers

Be neighbors and sisters who exist to assist
to be pissed with the gist of a colony dismissed

Resist the blacklist and tear up the short list
rain your worries and dance in their midst

To a future sun-kissed and hatred remiss
to the pleasure of mayhem
and absolute bliss.

 


 

Adieu,

Sumaya