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Category Archives: Sabbatical

The Bouquets

at street corners you’ll find her constellations quietly created small bouquets of weeds and wildness delivered from rain. this is how you know she has visited. -rose-water traveler Today, I…

The Hula Dance

We spent the day in Banff celebrating Canada Day, and I can’t stop taking fisheye lens photographs (thanks, Lolo!). Because it’s not an actual lens, but rather how you take…

The Road Trip

First, I went to the playground and spent the better part of 30 minutes on the swing set all by myself. The sun was shining, the playground is by a…

The Writing

Since arriving in Lethbridge, I’ve not been able to write as I normally do. This wasn’t a conscious decision; rather, I believe that it’s because I’m processing things which, for…

The Perfect Sunset

Tonight’s sunset is the only thing I want to share about this lovely day. Today, I am grateful for: 1. Watching awful rom-coms with my cousins the moment we’re alone…

The Ducklings

Ducklings and their momma crossing the street (in response to which I opened my door to make certain all traffic behind us had stopped, which they in fact already had)….

The Brother-In-Law

This is Omar, my brother-in-law. Somewhat of a big brother, too. He is, without a doubt, one of the kindest and love-full men I have ever met. Omar and me…

The Monumental

Who wants to think of the future when the present is this fucking monumental? (1) I came across that yesterday evening and haven’t stopped repeating it to myself. Because this…

The Challenge

There are two intertwined feelings right beneath this surface – failure and resentment. Only today was I able to actually see them for what they are, though they have been…

The Smoke

I think that God’s been smoking all afternoon. His sky’s heavy with thick grey clouds, thinning as they move away. Small splashes of neon gold confirm that this year, the…

The Waterside Hello

She commented on something which I had published, and I loved it enough to trace her back to her site. She was pregnant and healing through an extremely traumatic divorce;…

The Family Time

This is Denver. He’s a polydactyl baby, and very much Master of this home. One of my favourite things about family time is the doing nothing part, the not thinking…

The Refugees’ Welcome

A little over 24 hours ago I decided to surprise my family in Lethbridge. This is the freedom for which I can only thank the Sabbatical. I arrived in time…

The Parable

Preamble: To anyone who would defend a Muslim ‘leader’s’ hiding of his wife, and active pursuit of women other than his wife, because ‘TECHNICALLY FOUR’, know that your voice is…

The Creature Of Habit

That’s my baba and his brother, my amo. Do you now understand why people sometimes think we have a different ethnicity running in our veins? (Like, the actual and highest…

The Hillbilly Gardens

A thing I love to do is people-watch, and then make up stories about their lives. To myself. All alone. For abnormally long periods of time. Certainly this has something…

The Box

She was in town, and brought with her the sunshine. We couldn’t decide where to look, and were discussing just this very thing. Though the entire conversation was, as it…

The Thrift

I love thrift store shopping for two reasons. First, it’s where you find the greatest records. Second, it’s where you can imagine the most interesting stories. I counted the number…

The Blinders

This is a photo of my old journal, surrounded by the items which Hannah and me picked to create of it something new. This is what she looks like now…

The Passing

Father. Mother. Grandfather Ross, the three small markers at the bottom of the image. Muslims are gently encouraged to remember death. Do for this world and the next, always. And…

The Change-Up

When home, I bind myself to routine, rather than discovery. I’ve lived here all but four years of my life and have never wandered to learn that with which I…

The Body Tension

I love having guests. As equally, I hate being idle. I get too much into my head when I’m busy; it’s a recipe for disaster when I’m idle. To no…

The Summer Rain

Going for a walk in a warm summer rain is one of the most relaxing things I can do for myself. Today was one such day and I kept stopping…

The Reflection

While out to dinner a couple of night ago, Kareem asked me what I’ve learned so far during this sabbatical. I gave him my two instinctive responses, which still hold…

The Rose-Water Day

I love Ottawa’s summer vibrancy. Yesterday was our first actual hot day, carried into today and tomorrow. We are officially and fully in. Ottawa is an interesting city. I am…

The Dating Hopeful

Our first evening together, he said it was like watching two people on an incredible date. We couldn’t share enough, and it was impossible to tone down the excitement. Little…

The Home

Our friendship is 30 years old this Fall, my longest. We met during our first year of high school and never looked back. I spent the better part of this…

The Self-Care Day

Two nights of long and deep sleep, and a wake-up for morning coffee with this girl, in town from Afghanistan. Spending time with her was a perfect way to roll…

The Anchors

That’s us at Eid prayer. Two out of three don’t know where to look. Someone needs to give a course. Nearly ten years ago, I spent the Fall long weekend…

The Letter E

It’s the last day of Ramadan. Wild, really, that a full month has passed, and I am officially halfway through my sabbatical. Again, how does time even work? I didn’t…

The Lunar Confusion

It’s one of my favourite things to do – walking through older neighbourhoods where the trees are aged and Spring carpets their streets with blossoms. Especially, I love stomping on…

The February Sitch (part 3)

Iftar with baba and amo (the Arabic word for patrilineal uncle) was, as always, politics and religion fueled conversation. My brain always expands in such settings. As promised, a brief…

The February Sitch (part 2)

Make sure you’ve read yesterday’s part 1. Regarding my being ignored – to be clear, it was the construction company ignoring my requests for info regarding dryness of the house,…

The February Sitch (part 1)

On my way to meet Mariam for iftar, I discovered that even leopard print purple stilettos, and lime green Eiffel Towers fit right in with nature. Finally, I am ready…

The Postal Magic

I am a huge supporter of Canada Post and it’s employees. I was down with them when they were on strike, and when I need to leave a note in…

The Belly Laughs

This is Patricia. She is a beauty inside and out, and has no hang-ups about social media. On the other hand, there is Sharon who took the photo because she…

The Facts

I don’t think they would have noticed if I left. I want to remind my Muslim family of some very important facts about our Prophet, on which I hope everyone…

The Emotional Scab

When trying to find peace and calm inside of The Cloud Cave, this is what surrounds me – white lights, on the ground and on my small indoor tree. The…

The Open Mind

Better day. I managed to in fact sleep like a dead person, without maybe even moving the entire time I was asleep. Really hoping that next week brings some real…

The Third Eye

Again, no sleep last night and a back that feels each vertebrae closing in on the one beneath it. But, alhamduliLah, today there was a very small pinhole light which…