I did not go to Manila to watch a concert

It must’ve been a surprise for people who just knew me recently that I would fly across the South China Sea to watch a concert. Especially when I’m now ‘known’ as somebody who wrote about Sufism in her book. Those who had known me for a while might be surprised too, thinking “she’s not over him.”

I’ve also read about people judging Muslimahs in hijab acting non-Islamically at concerts, so I had that as a priority. I was an obvious Muslimah who was wearing her religion on her head, in a country where a province was just liberated from terrorists the day I arrived. That was first in my mind, that I acted according to my beliefs.

It wasn’t difficult. I just had to be me. Who I am is in line with my beliefs, and David Archuleta plays a big part in that. He’s not Muslim, yet he radiates light. He’s not Muslim, yet in his speech and mannerisms, he’s more Muslim than the Muslim boys I’ve met. That’s when I realised that it’s not your religion, or how much you know about your religion that makes you a good person. It’s when you know who you are, that whatever you do, the rocky boat shakes you, you come back to who you are. I supported him for that, and I still do.

By the way, Sufism is the mystical, spiritual part of Islam. Sufis are not concerned with the outer aspects of the religion, but on the relationship with The Source. They work on the inside-out.

No longer do I have huge pictures of him on my wall, neither do I know about all of his new songs. I was obsessed as a teenager, but I find it impossible to be crazy for him now I’ve earned a real, deep, respect for who he is as a person. I still have a crush on him, but who wouldn’t? He’s such a wholesome, great guy.

If I had gone to Manila to watch a concert, I would have bought front row. I know you know I know I can. In fact, a TV producer told me “I would’ve given you front row concert tickets if I knew you were up there all alone!” How the heck did I know a TV producer in a foreign country, whereas in my own country I don’t follow anything on TV? I have no idea. Just going with the flow.

I did not go to Manila to watch a concert. I went to experience this light everybody has, but keeps it hidden in their own shadows. David’s light has dimmed and shined over the years I saw him, but this time he was illuminating.

Open your windows, let the air in, and you will shine as well.

“If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?” – Rumi

1500 Miles To See David Archuleta

Disclaimer: this post is going to be less about David Archuleta but more on my insights about the whole trip. I travelled 1500 miles to see David Archuleta. Specifically, 2430 km or 1509 miles.

When David announced his mission back in 2011, there were things I guessed:

  1. I already guessed it. He prophesied it in Who I Am.
  2. He will be back
  3. and I will be there when he is.
  4. I guessed it will be in the Philippines because his fans there are crAaAaaZzy

Years went by and I totally forgot about these things. I stopped reading his updates, downloaded/bought his music when he released them but I just didn’t care to know more anymore. It wasn’t important to me anymore to know about everything he was doing.

It was my last week of teaching in Jakarta when he announced going to the Philippines. Light bulbs went on in my head and I¬†knew where my salary’s going to go to. I’ve been looking for meaning more than I had been looking for money, so if I hadn’t accepted the teaching job I wouldn’t have been able to afford this trip. Another story about this teaching job: I didn’t want to do it. But I guess now I know why I did.

I travelled from my home in Malaysia to get to the airport in Singapore. I bought priority passes and front rows because I just wanted to focus on my trip there. But things don’t always work out the way you plan.

Strange New Old Feeling

Dear Fifi,

I was just about to turn off the laptop and lie in bed and blink at the ceiling. I know I’m not turning the air-conditioning on that’s why I’ve already opened the windows. Don’t know about lighting the aroma candle or not. It smells lovely.

But I decided to write down about this strange old feeling that I’ve been facing for a few days now. It’s called procrastination. Where you have many things to do but you don’t want to do it. I don’t know why. Is it because I have a trip coming up soon so my head is there already? This work is important to me yet why am I not getting anything done? It’s strange, isn’t it? I’m not a procrastinator, I know. I get my work done when it’s supposed to and I get them done with pride.

SIGH. I don’t know. It’s like I’m stuck with lack of information. And it’s not that I lack information, somehow fear also accompanies it, not being good enough, etc. It happens to me too. As confident and “strong” people say that I am, I am only human with these thoughts. But that’s okay. I know that I’m not going to stay with this feeling forever. I don’t have to do anything, I think.

All these while I get nothing done because I’m trying to get something done. Wow what paradox is this? That when you fill your thinking with too much things, nothing new comes in. Oh well.

I hope to go to sleep and new ideas will come in.

Good night.

Love,

Fifi

Workin’

Hello!

There are so many things I want to write about on this blog but since I’m not making it a priority, it’s not getting done. Currently I have so many things to do. That’s why I tell people: if you’re free now, soak up all the free time. Someday you’re not going to be free and you’re going to wish you had some free time. Just let life flow. If you’re not doing anything, don’t be worried. If you have too much stuff going for you, slow down. The concept of time is something we made up; some people could get a tedious task done in 30 minutes, sitting with someone you dislike for 5 minutes feels like 30 hours, admiring a crush from afar for 30 minutes felt like 30 seconds. We made time up.

I might be writing a new book too. I MIGHT. Bookstores want it thicker. My publisher wants it thicker. But like I said, I don’t like to read books that go round and round and round. I was also told A Nobody’s Observations is going to be in its third printing so alhamdullilah. I haven’t seen my book in person at a bookstore by the way, since it’s only available in KL. Last week while I was in KL I visited a bookstore to see my book. I was told they’re out of stocks everywhere. I can’t believe it! I even asked my publishers to confirm and they said yes. Weird right?

This became longer than what I intended it to be. All the best in everything you do.

Love,
Fifi

Chemical Imbalance and The Mind-Bicycle Balance

I look at my siblings and feel the urge to pinch them. Use my index finger and thumb to grab hold of their flesh, and then twist it 360 degrees. I imagine the satisfaction. That’s what you get for being so annoying! And a gritting feeling formed around my jaws, my gums, and my teeth. I need to bite. I want to bite to release this uneasiness in my oral cavity. My adult brother sat next to me. I announced, “I WANT TO BITE YOU” and I sunk my teeth into his arm. Yuck, you smell, I said and I pushed him away from me. He laughed. No satisfaction I got from biting him either, since he does a lot of arm exercises and has more muscle than flesh.

My teenage sister I look at her and stories began forming in my head. She’s so irritating! If only her boyfriend knew she was like this he wouldn’t even want to be with her. The stories went on some more. What if the guy appeared smart and handsome on the outside but after marriage it turned out he didn’t have the habit of flushing after toilet use? Yuck! I don’t ever want to get married.

When Fifi Said Yes

Fifi walked down the stretch of benches which felt like a mile long. She’s in Indonesia, not really sure how long a mile was but it felt forever. Her hands she held out to greet the “seniors”, some of which greeted her with a warm welcome, most lukewarm, and there were a couple who shook her hand with obvious dismay in their eyes.

She didn’t want to think about it. Before she got there she heard many tales about vicious seniors spitting venom to cripple you but let you live enough to tell the tale. It was Scouts Day – everyone dressed in brown and she made it a point to dress in white. Why would she want to dress like everyone else? Fifi scanned the row of males to look for any comforting familiar faces. Males were always nicer to her than females were, and she had become acquainted with four of them months before her arrival.

A seated tall, smart-looking stranger caught her eye as hers caught his. He gave her a broad pleasant smile and she sat at the only empty seat in front of him. She heard him nudge the man next to her and then she knew, he was under this witch’s spell.

Moses VS Pharoah

Came across a Facebook post I thought was interesting. Well, interesting enough for me to want to write this post. It goes like this:

A preacher asked his audience:

“If you were in Moses and Pharoah’s time, whose follower would you be?”

“Moses, no doubt!” his audience responded.

“Are you sure?”

They were very sure, they echoed.