Monday, February 28, 2011

Playful World Traveling

2009 was in some ways a low point in my life.  I was at a crossroads.  Some paths were closed off to me, some paths were newly opened to me, and some I wasn't sure how to find or if they were even there.  I had been through a very painful breach and learned that I had some friends who really weren't.  I felt like there was a hole in my heart, in my life.  (Sorry to be mysterious, but these are the essentials.)

The best way to go forward was to count my blessings every day and I began to do that.  My husband and daughter give me a reason to get up every day and make breakfast.  (I really started with the basics.)  My old (gradually less!) dilapidated house where something always needs painting, nailing, sewing, cleaning gives me employment when I need to not think...  I went back to graduate school (What's another 18 hours?).

I began to see a path through the wilderness of my mind:  a set of tasks to do every day, leading to a discernible end, building something worthwhile.  I wanted to talk about my feelings (but not dwell on the pain) and hear others' stories at the same time.  Self-help books and therapy didn't satisfy this.  I wanted a conversation in real time.

I started to sew again and found the world of YouTube stitch tutorials.  From there, I stumbled onto blogs.

Here was a group of people, all at different places on life's path.  Sometimes I feel I can help them, sometimes they help me, at all times we can support one another.  I am drawn to stories of family life, feminism, teaching, sewing and crafting, gardening, cooking.  Found some of those blogs.  I am interested in different cultures and ways of living, so I found some Amish blogs.

I went looking for Muslim blogs when a dear friend stopped wearing hijab because she felt threatened.  I listened to her (over coffee, what else?) with my heart in my throat, while her two little boys played at our feet.  She wants a good life for them -- doesn't want her "appearance" to hold them back.  What?!  That's just wrong.  I realized that I as a nonMuslim need to counter the negative climate by reaching out to sisters and brothers in Islam and celebrate our common humanity -- we need to not see any people as "other."

What I get in the blogosphere is encouragement and inspiration for myself every day -- and from people all over the world whom I never would have had the opportunity to know.  What a miracle!

I feel very fortunate to have found a true soul-sister in Salma of Visual Notes.  She wrote the Pledge of The Playful World Traveler.  Here's her link:

As  a Playful World Traveler I PLEDGE to:

* blog with integrity

* understand that while I have {my own} opinions they can be hurtful to others

*reject notions, ideas & words that humiliate and isolate others

*understand that I inhabit various locations simultaneously

that I can be an oppressor as well as oppressed at the same time

*identify and celebrate differences without being something that I am not
NEVER defending who I am (my background, race, class etc)

*know that the world outside my window is a trifle of God's creation & be thankful for his mercy

*understand that we all experience and handle situations differently

*reach out to encourage & support other bloggers when they are faced with the negative aspects of life, and 
celebrate the positives ALWAYS

*celebrate the beauty of humanity/parenthood/sister-brotherhood  
(trying to be gender-neutral here, so it's not just for women)

Thanks for this, Salma.  I am lucky to have you as a friend.


  1. the pledge seems very amazing and honest. Thanks for introducing Salma to us :) checking the link.

  2. Masha'Allah sis, that is beautiful and true. I always feel blessed by this community of women who come together, despite of and because of, our differences. :-)

  3. Aww, I am so happy to have met you. You came along in the most perfect time and helped me through a really hard time (and great time as well).

    Blogging is amazing because it connects people and teach us things about ourselves.

    BTW, I need your email. I tried to find it here but I couldn't. Please and thank you.

  4. @Wafa', you will really enjoy Salma's indomitable spirit.

    @Umm Aaminah, I feel blessed too. Thanks for being a friend.

    @Salma, I agree with you -- I always, always learn from the blogs I read. I'm sending you my email.

  5. Salma is a gem.

    This is a good read.

    I want to thank you for visiting with me the other day. I got sick after.

    In regards to the bully incident. I realize if I had spoken about it earlier, I would have gotten more ideas on how to follow up with the situation. I did ask my son if the teacher made those boys apologized to him and he said no. Which is not good. I always make sure my children apologize for doing wrong to someone else intentionally or by accident.
    Which means there is the possibility the teacher didn't tell the parents of these boys either.

    My son was made to change his normal pee habits because of other little 5yrs olds. I'm trying not to be upset about it anymore since it's past now, but with all the information I've read and received on my blog in regards to this, next time I'll be much more prepared to not think that the teacher will do what I think she will, but I'll follow up to ensure things are done and that my son isn't made a continued victim.

    The book you suggested. I will be asking the library for it, but I surely would love if you could spare sending me the copy you said you could. I would be very grateful.

    I'll email you my address.

    Many thanks.

  6. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  7. @Colette, I sent you an email regarding the book. Bullying should never be tolerated. I'm glad you're enjoying Salma's blog. She's pretty fabulous!


Tell me about it. What's on your mind?