Sunday, June 26, 2016

Birthday Book

To write a book has always been my dream - today it still is.
Then again, I already have written some books - 
if those books I wrote as a young child count:
books about the adventures of a hero in a made-up planet,
a book compiling random stories and tales of Pokemon.

And, then again,
maybe life itself is a book;
the first chapter written in words unseen
at the moment we draw our first breath,
or at the moment we start existing as a ball of cells,
or even when our parents first met.

If so then every birthday is a chapter
of a story which nobody knows how it will unfold, 
nor end;
the story of a hero in a made-up planet,
living out a compilation of random stories 
(and yeah, the odd Pokemon once in a while).

Perhaps, then, a birthday 
is a chance to take a pause.
To stop and reflect on how the story has panned out so far,
though it is so very tempting to rush to the next chapter.

Perhaps it is a chance to appreciate 
not just you, the hero of your story,
but also those 'minor' characters around you
who we too often disregard as 
playing only cameo roles -

the neighbour,
the canteen lady,
the person you passed by on the street today -

forgetting that they, in fact, have
kept us entertained, 
came up with surprises, 
gave our lives meaning
over all those chapters.

Also forgetting that those 'minor characters' 
are themselves developing; 
the heroes of their own books,
written in parallel to mine, but 
so often intersecting with my story.

I was gifted this book for my birthday this year:

"When Breath becomes Air"

a book not completed by its original author
because he died before he could finished it.
His wife wrote the rest.

A book about meaning, about identity, about mortality - 
a (surprisingly 😜) deep present from a person from
one of those characters in my life who turn out to be not-so-minor after all;
who has over the chapters entertained, come up with surprises, gave me meaning.
And yes, herself developed as a heroine.

Maybe I shouldn't let it stay a dream, 
and start writing a book..
If Allah wills, I'll live to see it to completion.
If not, perhaps someone else will finish it for me.

After all, perhaps 
we are not meant to finish our own book..

Thank you to all who wished me happy birthday today,
I am grateful to have everyone of you in my story, 
as I hope you are grateful to have me in yours.

(thanks Dik for the wonderful present :))