Shhhhhhhhhhhh just listen……..
Today was the general elections in Pakistan. Millions turned out to vote even though they all knew it was a very dangerous thing to do. Even though bomb blasts filled the air, and blood flowed on the ground. They still turned out. They still voted. Most of the time all you hear about Pakistan begins with a T, terrorism, Taliban, torture of women. But that is just a small part of the totality of Pakistan. There are brave souls who will stand in the face of all the T’s. Who come out and say “You cannot take our freedom”.
It is important to stand up to those who try to take away your freedoms. And today the people did. Men, women, young, old. It always amazes me to see the courage of the people outside the bubble. Things we so readily take for granted being born in western societies. Things like voting are very rarely if ever a matter of life or death for us. We only worry if we’ll still have time to stop at Starbucks once we’re finished. If we even bother to vote at all. I admit I fall in the later category.
Not everyone is that lucky and it humbles me to see the courage and bravery of these people. Average people. Like you and me and every other Joe Schmoe on the block. They inspire me to be more than I am. And give me the courage to continue through every day.
So today if you have a moment, please take just a second to remember all of those who stood up for freedom today and paid the ultimate price. Their lives.
site of a bomb attack at a polling station in Karachi
a young boy outside a polling station in Peshawar after a bomb blast
I’ve recently stumbled upon a new favorite show called “Sons of Anarchy”. It’s in its sixth season or something like that, but I just heard about it. Things take awhile to cross the pond. As I watch it, my heart rips in half. I think to myself I would give anything to have that. I know when most people see biker “gangs” all they see are outlaws, losers, uneducated, good for nothings.
But I don’t see any of that.
I see family. People who will be there for you regardless of how bad you fuck up. People who will have your back in good and bad. No doubt. No hesitation. Family. I never had that. So when I watch shows like Sons of Anarchy it hurts because I want nothing more than to have that.
Although recently I have started collecting a family of sorts. Picking from here and there and combining us all into one big hodge podge of chaos, but still. In another lifetime I’d have made someone a real good ol’ lady.
She felt each of them as the leaves crunched beneath her feet. Standing there staring at the house, the past flooded through her mind. What would they look like? Would they remember her? She kicked a small pebble to pass the time.
Suddenly voices filled the air. She inhaled deeply. They were coming.
Silence filled the distance between them. They had grown into such beautiful young adults. Yet she could still see the little boy and girl she remembered hidden within them.
Finding a strength she didn’t know she had, she whispered their names. “Alex? Cate? You’re so grown up. I-I can’t believe I finally found you.”
She wanted nothing more than to run to them, but she was terrified of how they’d react. She simply waited for them to find the words locked deep within them. After what seemed like an eternity, Cate broke the ice. “Mom?”
She lifted her head and let the tears fall freely. It had been 15 years since she’d heard that word. 15 years since she heard the sound of their voices. Voices of children she’d once held in her womb. The three embraced as if no time had passed.
An owl hooted overhead bringing her back to reality. The light of the day had disappeared without her noticing. She looked at the house once more. It was just a dream. Like always. Every time she came to the shell of the house she use to call home. Maybe one day it would be more than a dream.
It’s hard to imagine such a little thing having so much power. Yet its power over her is unrelenting. She tries to defy it as she twists and turns it between her fingers. Its coolness bringing comfort against her burning flesh. She knows it’s wrong. She had been strong for so many weeks, but now in the darkness. It sings its siren’s song and beckons her. The release is immediate as the cold steel of the blade begins its slide.
Up then down. Left then right. Leaving a crimson trail in its wake.
She closes her eyes and inhales.
She tilts her head back, allowing it to ripple through her body. When she opens her eyes, reality sinks in. She slides the sleeve down.
She walks out of her room and back into humanity. Her fingers teasing the sleeve. Sliding across the crimson trails left from yesteryears. Remembering the sweet orgasmic release of each one.
Such a little thing to have so much power. She tucks it into her pocket for safe keeping. Until the next time.
I never realized how the world lived until I left my safe bubble in the USA. When you live there, sometimes it becomes easy to put blinders on. To see the world through the microscopic lens of the media. But sometimes the media gets it wrong. Or at least isn’t able to fully allow you to see how the other half lives. Fortunately I’ve been able to take my blinders off.
Most people in the western world probably have never heard the word loadshedding. And if by some chance, they know the definition, then that’s about all they know. It’s hard to fully comprehend the full effects of what loadshedding can do to people.
Average, ordinary people. With hungry, sick children to feed. With elderly parents dying of heat stroke and thirst. Because there’s no electricity which means there’s no water. And in temperatures in the 120s. Loadshedding becomes more than a word. It becomes a death sentence.
Every day in Pakistan, the electric is off for 20-22 hrs. In the USA, if electric is off for five minutes, we freak out. I’ve done it myself so I’m not pointing fingers. But living overseas, when there’s no electric. Anywhere. Not in the home. Not in offices. Or schools. Or hospitals. No where. Day after day. A few weeks ago the entire country was without power. A complete and total black out. If you read most newspapers, it said it was only for two hours. But that’s not true. For the majority of people it was for 24+ hours.
It is impossible to understand what kind of effect something like this has on the people of theat country and it’s impossible to fully understand what it’s like to be unable to work, to feed your child, to turn a fan on.
Not because you’re lazy or selfish or any other reason. But because your government refuses to help the common people. To provide basic necessities that the majority take for granted. You flip a switch without a single moment’s doubt that there will be light. And yet for millions of people there is no light. No water. No jobs. Nothing.
I know some people might think “well serves them right“. And they think this because they have developed an idea of what the people in countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan, and all the Stans out there are like. But that idea is shaped by what they see on the media. And what you see on the media is not the entire people. It is not even a fraction of the reality of life in those countries. Are there evil people there? Yes. But there are evil bad people everywhere. In the USA, you don’t have to look farther than Columbine or Adam Lanza to know that bad things happen. But that doesn’t mean everyone there is bad.
I debate a lot about whether or not to write about these things. Because I know it’s not the politically correct thing to do. Because I know most people won’t understand. But I feel obligated to write about it. I feel obligated to tell the stories of all the innocent people who do not have a voice of their own. I owe it to them and to their children to speak for them because they cannot speak for themselves. I have no illusions that my words will have any impact upon their circumstances. But if enough people speak up then maybe some day there will be change. And every child will have basic necessities of electricity, water, education, food, medical care. My heart is forever tied to these people.
We all have our dreams. This is mine.
There are times when the world tends to spin faster than I’d like it to. Today was one of those days. For many years I’ve been living on autopilot. Never looking very far into the future. Doing what needs to be done to survive this moment and nothing more. It’s been a long bumpy road. With no end in sight at the moment. Mainly because there’s still too many hurdles left in between. I can’t think about the end.
But occasionally the shit I bury sneaks up on me. Like today. And when that happens I have panic attacks. Luckily three valium later and I was feeling a bit calmer. I could breathe. I think it’s the first breath I’ve taken in months. Sometimes I get so caught up in digging out of the rabbit hole I forget to breathe and then suddenly I start gasping for air. Like today.
And when it all comes rushing in I get overwhelmed and afraid. Afraid of all the what if’s and what not’s and maybe’s.
But mostly I think of the awesome support I have and don’t know what I’d do without it. I think of all the amazing people I have in my life and sometimes that scares me more than all the fuckwads I’ve dealt with for the majority of my life. Having people who care for me. Who genuinely care for ME. Who do for ME without ever wanting a single thing in return. I don’t know how to handle that. I don’t know what I’m suppose to do so sometimes having such amazing people around me scares the utterly living fuck out of me.
But then I remember to breathe and eat waffles and it’s all ok. Waffles make everything ok.
Poverty, hunger, pain and sorrows.
Rain falling in our room. We waged rebellion against tradition. Love conquering.
Separated but not separate, life intervenes and we wait. Lives unlived, yet on we struggle.
This weekend, we are revisiting a prompt we’ve done before. We are giving you three words and asking that you add another 33 to them to make a complete 36-word response. You may use the words in any order you choose.
Our three words are:
I can’t believe we’ve already crossed the 500 mark on the Free Ebooks Facebook page. Thanks to everyone who’s supported, liked, and shared the page. For reaching the 500 mark, I’m giving away $50 Amazon gift card and at 1000 likes will be giving away a $100 Amazon gift card. I am also going to be making a few changes to the page but I will announce that a little later on in a separate post. I know you all want to know who the winner is so
Andrew if you’ll email at alyssareyans (at) gmail (dot) com so I can get your info then I’ll get the card sent to you.
I feel like I should start this post with “When I was your age I walked ten miles to the store in the snow”, but that would be a lie it was only a mile and half. But lately I’ve been venturing out in this new fangled thing called the world wide web and I’ve found a lot of stuff that makes me feel extremely old. Like I didn’t know how old until I realized this was the Harlem Shake:
Once I regained the ability to speak and stopped my brain cells from committing suicide I realized things have changed since I was a youngin. And I’m not that old. I don’t feel old but when I realize how much the world has changed in the last ten years that I’ve been in my little hole it kind of amazes me. I mean even oompa loompas are being allowed out of the factories now and then to enjoy themselves.
It’s weird and strange all at the same time. I’m actually kind of enjoying catching up on all the things I’ve missed. It’s taken me many years to realize I need to be good to me and that it’s ok if I enjoy things. I spent most of my life punishing myself for all the wrongs I thought I did. Now I’m realizing I’m actually pretty ok. And it’s ok to be good to myself. It’s ok to allow myself to enjoy even little things like a youtube video. Or a movie with my husband. It’s ok to laugh and be laughed at. Of course this all could be the sleeping meds kicking in but I sort of kinda like where things are going. So now if you’ll excuse me I’ve got to learn the dub step.