In the Name of Allah, Master of Mercy in this life and the next
An Artist’s Life: Through a Dusty Lens
It started innocently,
I began taking pictures with words,
They warned me: You have to suffer for art worthy of the name,
Is art of any price worth the torture of going insane?
There’s nothing wrong with you on the outside,
So why is my inner landscape so torn?
That I have to fill your vision of me with a happy,
Is it from other than the pain of the past from which I seek to hide?
I’m not insane,
“That’s a matter for debate”
He said warmly, but matter-of-factly,
As we engaged in one of the sure ways to heal,
To open up to each and release,
The painful memories of the painful past,
See they kick and scream until the damage they do,
Is too extensive to hide.
Days are filled with the pain of separation,
Or with the overbearing weight of guilt,
Sometimes, you see them in your dreams,
Sometimes they materialize,
As wraiths out of lamp posts,
On the lonely drive at night.
If you bottle them up, they’ll pop,
Others may think you’ve been branded with the sulphurous mark of the devil,
Yet you know the devils that plague you are those borne in the mind.
Beware of lacking in self-care,
The harm that you do to yourself may go unnoticed,
Rest assured others will not fail to be aware,
Of the unsettled state that you find yourself in,
Because something is just not right.
Something isn’t right,
But maybe now the time is right,
To realise that it makes a man to ask for help,
I mean, you’d have no qualms asking for a surgeon for a broken limb,
How much more to see a doctor, medical or spiritual for a broken king?
Hearts and mind, seat not just blood and thoughts, but souls,
And they are tough yet mortal vessels.
Allah may have said that He doesn’t burden a soul more than it can bear,
But where, or when did he say,
You’d have to bear it on your own?
The slave of Al-Bāsit
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