Posts Tagged ‘dream’

Jabreel’s Inferno

August 20, 2008

“Per me si va ne la città dolente,

Per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,

Per me si va tra la perduta gente.

Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore:

Fecemi la divina podestate,

La somma sapienza e ‘l primo amore.

Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create

Se non etterne, e io etterno duro.

Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate!”*

Lately I have been reading Dante’s Inferno and while usually I can dismiss religious texts, it has inspired me to ponder on the (debated) reality of heaven and hell. I’ve never been a ‘Christian’ girl to the dismay of my Catholic grandmother, although in my youth I entertained the possibility and attended a couple of masses with her, and even wore a beautiful silver cross encrusted with shining azure coloured topaz. Although, I admit I wore it more for the beauty of it than the meanings attached.

My parents both rejected the Christian ways of their parents as they grew older, my father once walked in on my Nanna telling us what to say in prayer and cried in exasperation “Don’t teach them that bullshit!”. I was always told that I didn’t have to participate in Religious Education in Primary School, and while I did go in the beginning, I soon tired of singing ridiculous hymns and remembering verses, and arranged to be removed from the class. I’ve never cared for Christianity.

But I can’t shake the belief in Fate, that destiny controls my path and that I’m lead to come across certain things for my own benefit. I’ve never had an inclination to read the Inferno, but a friend of my sisters lent me a big stack of books and it was in there, along with the other two parts to the trilogy. Even then, I wasn’t too keen, but one of my lecturers mentioned it in class and said that no-one could ever reach the last text, because it was too boring. And so with such a challenge issued to me, how could I refuse?

So I’ve been reading it, and with each circle of Hell Dante passes through I wonder is that where I will be? Is this the torture I will suffer? Then I think, you don’t believe in this fairy tale bullshit do you? That death is followed by another life in a magical realm? Such things couldn’t exist. But then, why have I been influenced to read this book? I never wanted to. And it has planted a seed of doubt in my mind, a seed that may have been destined to fall into place to make me question what the world is about.

Not that I would apply that belief in Heaven and Hell to Christian beliefs, I would think of it as something that would push me back to an Islamic path. Otherwise, why would I have made so many strong Muslim friendships and fallen into their culture and beliefs so easily? In Islam, there is the notion that everyone has the chance to revert and it is up to them to take that chance. It seems to me that I’ve been given so much in the way of Islamic influence, so much information, so many connections, but my feelings towards it being truth are unfounded.

If I was meant to be a Muslim, then why was I born with such strong feelings against organised religion, and an unwillingness to believe anything that was not provable through science? I used to tell my Muslim friends, back when I was still on the path of reverting, that they were lucky to be born in Muslim families, because they never felt the conflict of reason versus faith. They used to tell me that the reasoning and signs that pointed towards Islam were all there, but I was allowing myself to be blind to them.

Another thing that haunts me is a dream I had, back when I was still ‘Islamic’, on the eve of Ramadan. The Ramadan before that I had been fasting only every second day, which was a stark comparison to the Ramadans I’d fasted before, when I would only miss out on a few days. And so, I began to wonder whether this was truly the path for me and said to myself if I couldn’t fast a whole Ramadan, I could never be Muslim.

Anyway, the eve of that Ramadan (I think it was 2005 or 2006) I had a dream that the angel Jabreel (or Gabriel) came to me and told me that I must fast, and that I had to look after a young majnun (Arabic for a crazy person, or mentally retarded person) or all would be lost. He didn’t exactly say those words, and in all honesty I can’t remember any exact words or even remember his lips moving, I just remember the message. And in my dream he was shining with a bright golden light around him, he had golden hair and bright, intense, scary blue eyes and he was so powerful that I was overwhelmed with fear, I was completely freaked out by him in a way that I can’t even properly explain.

I woke up straight away and then immediately thought, it wasn’t real, it was just a dream and turned to my side and closed my eyes. The moment my eyelids shut I saw the vision of him again, just as frightening as before, and I quickly opened them with a gasp. It was 6am, or something close to it, and the sun was shining into my room. I was pretty cut that I’d woken up so early because it meant I’d be awake and so, fasting longer, but I was too afraid to close my eyes. It would have been a good start to a Ramadan, being up so early and having a lot of time to listen to Islamic lectures and learn to pray, but that Ramadan I barely fasted at all. I ignored the message.

When I told my Muslim friends of the dream they were astounded. My best friends mother interpreted it and said that it was a very good dream, that it was extremely rare that one would be blessed to receive an angel in their dream and that the majnun was myself. They all could not believe that even after such a powerful and scary dream I was still holding back from reverting. Sometimes, neither can I. But then I think of the world through eyes of logic and reason, and Islam seems once again like a strange fantasy.

I still feel the guilt though, and I can’t shake it, especially after drinking. Even now, I feel bad for every sin and I try to stay ‘pure’. I wonder where I got it from, I was never enough of a Catholic to begin the guilt process. Its so weird being stuck in the middle. But I can’t get past the parts of the religion that I feel are wrong, even though it feels like Fate leads me towards it so often.

So I let it go.

*Translation: Through me is the way into the woeful city; through me is the way into eternal woe; through me is the way among the lost people. Justice moved my lofty maker: the divine Power, the supreme Wisdom and the primal Love made me. Before me were no things created, unless eternal, and I eternal last. Leave every hope, ye who enter!

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The Dream – Amud (For Lack Of A Better Title)

February 24, 2008

I had this dream a few months ago, it was really vivid and stuck in my head all the next day so I wrote it down. I remember most of my dreams, but this one was different. Yesterday I found what I’d written and I thought it sounds like a good story.. I might continue with it. Anyway, have a read and let me know what you think.. Is it interesting enough? Can it go anywhere? Any ideas?

I’m at a party. I look around and see people everywhere. They are ranging in age from teen to twenties and all drunk. They hold cups spilling alcohol, and cling to each other, rejoicing. They sing with their arms linked, yelling at me. Everyone is watching me. I recognise no-one. There are tables of food, and many bottles of different liquor strewn about.

The floors are marble. This is an expensive house, transformed into a party function place. But it is in a state of unruliness, it’s a mess. The youths have taken over this house.

I feel dizzy; I have no sense of bearings. I want to see where I am; I don’t understand what I am doing here, or what I was doing before this. I can remember nothing. All these people are strangers but they seem to know me, they revere me. Somehow I feel like I am their leader.

A young girl with dark blonde hair walks up to me; she is about twelve years old.

“I want to pick up my friend. She will drive.” She says pointing to another girl, who looks around fifteen.

Although I feel like they are too young to drive, I say nothing.

“Should I risk it?” she asks me. “I could run into trouble from the parents.”

“I don’t know.” I say and walk off through the crowd.

There is a staircase leading to a second floor with a balcony overlooking the lower level. I start to climb it, I want to see the whole party, and I want to recognise someone. I step over the drunken people, who are strewn about in various states of consciousness.

One of them grabs me, a man that looks about twenty three, a couple of years older than me. He has scraggy dark hair, and brown eyes. The hood of his grey jumper is pulled over his head. I try to get away but he won’t let go of me. I look around for assistance and notice that I have the attention of nearly every male around me. I don’t remember what I look like, but I realise I must be very attractive.

I finally get him at arms length and two guys standing next to me begin to laugh.

“Is this why you say you hate him?” One of them asks.

“Yes.” I say, although I don’t remember either of the guys, including the hugger.

The other one looks at me with bright green eyes. “But you also say he is a good hugger.”

“He is.” I did enjoy the hug, but he had bewildered me too.

“You know, you can be together.” Green eyes suggests.

“No, it’s not how we are.” I say with certainty, but without any reason in my mind to have come to that conclusion.

The three of them have formed a wall on one of the steps of the staircase. I push through them and make my way to the top. I look over the balcony and watch the party. They are dancing to loud music. I don’t know the song, but it has a fast beat. All the drunks are falling over, being sick. They look up to me with friendly eyes. I see the two girls who were going to go for the drive. The twelve year old climbs the staircase up to me.

“Should I leave to get my friend?” She asks. “Would you do it?”

“Yes.” I say. “But I’m trouble.”

She nods to her friend from the balcony and her friend nods back to her. She walks down the stairs and they both head outside. Suddenly, I feel a rush of guilt. These girls are young, and probably drunk, with little driving experience. In my head I know that I’ve drank many times, and driven for years, but that doesn’t mean they can do it safely. I follow them out but they get lost in the crowd. I go outside to look for them anyway.

Just as I get outside I see the girls jump into the car at the other end of the front yard. It’s too late to stop them, so I just watch the tail lights of their car as they drive out of the gates.

There is a red-headed boy sitting against a tree. He looks out of it, and is nursing his arm. It is broken. I look at his face, I know him. Finally I recognise someone. He is a friend of mine, his name is Horse. I crouch beside him and see that his pain is sending him in and out of consciousness. I remember Horse’s personality. He is sweet and kind. I begin to cry and frantically look around for someone who is sober enough to help him. I run to the entrance where I see another boy, unconscious, also holding his arm which is broken. Two people with broken arms? It can’t be a coincidence. Everyone inside is too drunk. How will I find help? I sprint back outside and see an ambulance parked on the other side of the street.

As I approach the ambulance, I see the paramedic outside of the van in a navy uniform. He is talking to some of the party-goers. He is very tall, and as I get closer I recognise him. It is Fadi.

“Fadi!” I yell. “I need your help! Since when have you been a paramedic?”

He looks at me with confusion but smiles. “I’ve always been one. Do I know you?”

“Yes, you do. I know you.” I remember that I have hugged him before, many times, and that his embrace is warm and protective. Even though he clearly doesn’t know me his presence is comforting. I remember that I have laughed and joked with him. He has been a close friend to me, but somehow he has forgotten.

“What’s wrong?” He asks me. He thinks I’m just another drunk person.

“My friend Horse has a broken arm. You have to help him.”

Immediately he begins to pack a medic box with supplies. “Show me where he is.”

We run to Horse, Fadi begins to try and take off Horse’s shirt but the sleeves have buttoned cuffs and are too restricting. Any way he pulls makes Horse scream loudly. I can’t watch any more. I tell him where he can find the second boy with the broken arm and leave him to do his job. I walk back inside the party confused. I wanted to hug Fadi, but he didn’t know who I was. I couldn’t even tell him my name, because I don’t know it. The Fadi I knew was not a paramedic either, not that I knew what his ‘real’ job was anyway.

The people at the party scare me. I walk around them looking for another familiar face, but there is no-one. Strangely, I feel no attachment to anyone, even the ones like Horse and Fadi who I thought I knew.

The sun is rising quickly, it becomes early morning and I feel sick and hungry. People start getting up from the floors, and everyone starts walking together in the same direction, out of the party. I follow them.

We approach a big museum type place; there is a huge concrete area in front of it. The people are sitting around here, reading books and writing notes. As they were at the party, they are all young adults from teen to mid twenties in age. They all look up at me and nod or smile. Everyone knows who I am but I’m not bewildered by it anymore. I expect it.

I step onto a fountain and walk over it. It has no water, only concrete. At the edge there is a boy sitting. I motion for his hand to help me down and he looks at me strangely, but gives it. I jump down.

I walk inside the big building and inside I see it is a school. There are chairs lined up in rows any where they can fit. This room is filled with younger students. I walk through the rooms and past all the rows until I come across the people my age, in a small classroom. A girl calls out to me. I know her name is Diana, and that we have been friends for years. I walk up to her and look for a seat but they are all taken.

“Group 4.” Diana says. “Tell them you want Group 4 and I will too. It’s on nuclear safety. We got it down.”

“Ok.” I say and find a seat a few rows behind her. Everyone in the room turns to look at me.

Some girls at the back of the room call me to sit with them. I take a seat at their table and they begin to talk to me of things I don’t know, or don’t remember. It makes no sense to me, its gibberish. Plates are handed around the table. They look to hold salad with fried potatoes in it. I begin to eat. I search the salad for meat, but there is none. The girls have already finished eating while I have been poking at my food, and get up and leave. I want to follow them so I try to finish quickly. Guys keep walking up to my table, looking at me and then leaving. I feel like I’m in a zoo, I don’t understand why I’m such an interest to everyone, especially the men.

A container of noodles is placed in front of me. I look up and see two guys. The older one leaves but the younger one still stares. He is attractive. I look down at the noodles and ignore him.

“Am I disturbing you?” he says.

I look up at him and realise that he is amazing. He is so attractive that I begin to feel butterflies in my stomach.

“No.” I say. “You’re ok.”

“No really, I’ll go.”

“Its ok, I don’t mind.”

“No, I’m leaving.” He says and begins to turn away.

“Just stay and sit down.” I insist and motion to one of the chairs. I accidentally hit him in the groin of the pants lightly and quickly move my hand away in embarrassment. My face goes red, and he stares into my eyes strangely. It’s like I’ve triggered something. He leans in close to me.

“Don’t you know me? Don’t you remember?”

“No.” I say with a shaky voice.

“Let me remind you.” He moves in close to my face, so that our mouths are almost touching. “We did this.” He whispers. “Don’t you remember that I am Amud?”

I look at him, and suddenly I do remember. His face is so beautiful, and in the back of my mind I know it well. His hair is dirty blonde and his eyes are hazel, and I know that I’ve stared into them before. There’s something between us, but I don’t know what. I feel that I’ve had intense feelings for him.

“Amud?” I touch his face and he realises that I remember.

He sighs with relief and says, “Good.” He walks behind me and crouches at my other side. “After we kissed my old girlfriend got so angry. She screamed at me and she hates me now. You should have seen the old you. You would have loved her. She was so cute. Your brother is good too, he’s still here.”

“I want to see him.” I say. “Take me to him.”

“Ok.” He takes me by the hand and leads me out of the school. We walk over to a grassy hill behind a house.

“My car is over there, but if your parents see us they will stop us and separate you from me.”

“No.” I say.

“I’ll get the car and drive up. When you see me coming, run as fast as you can and jump in the car. Do you remember what it looks like?”

I see an image of an old red Ute in my head. “Yes.”

I wait for a long time. A car approaches so I run to it. When I get closer I realise it’s not him. Suddenly two people I recognise as my parents burst out of the house I had been hiding behind screaming for me to come back. I run, looking into each parked car along the road for Amud. My parents know I am looking for him.

“Don’t go with him!” they scream. “You better come back or there will be trouble!”

Finally I spot Amud. He sees my parents and drives past me, a little too fast for me to get in. A girl bursts out of the house and runs after me. It is my sister.

“Amud!” I scream. He stops completely. My sister leaps into my arms and I push her into the tray of the Ute, hiding her underneath the tarp. I climb into the cabin with Amud and he puts his foot on the gas and speeds away. I look back to my parents and I see that my dad didn’t chase me, which is strange.

“You’re sister is with us?” Amud asks me.

“Yes, I saved her.”

“So she’s not one of them?”

“No.” I say. I knew she was on my side. When I saw her face as she ran to me, it was distressed; she needed to be with me. My parents were different though. It was like they weren’t themselves. I knew in their faces they wanted to capture me and lock me away like I was a criminal or something to be studied. The looks they gave me frightened me to the core. There was no love in them.

“I’ve missed you.” Amud says. “I’m so glad you’re back. When you were gone I was a mess. But I’ll never let them take you again. I’d heard you were back and I didn’t believe it. But then I saw your eyes and it was you. I couldn’t believe it was actually you. There’s so much we have to do now, so much to tell you.” He looks at me with tears in his eyes. “You don’t understand any of this, do you?”

“No.” I say, feeling a pang at my heart. He was upset, and it was because of me. I didn’t know how to help him, and nothing was making enough sense for me to even be able to try.

“At least you are mine again.” He says.

We stop near a Dominoes pizza place and an alley with a rusty metal gate, overgrown with tall grass.

“Amud, what is my name?” I ask him.

He looks at me sadly and a tear slides down his cheek. He opens the car door and walks around to my side, kissing me on the forehead through the open window. “Your name is Luli.”

“Luli…” I repeat. It sounds right in my head.

He walks over to the gate and pushes it open. “Wait here, I’ll look for the entrance.”

My sister climbs out of the tray and hugs me. She looks at me with grateful eyes. She turns her head to the sound of Amud rustling through the grass and frowns. “What is it with you and Amud?” She asks. “You’re on, then off, now on again.”

As she says this Amud steps through the gate and overhears.

“Minni.” I whisper. “Not in front of Amud.” Her name comes to me easily.

“I said it because I knew he could hear.” She says loudly.