Slow burning & the ironing of ribs…

BurningThis body we carry around is such a vehicle. It has its own set of really sophisticated detectors; it produces tears when our heart is touched by something sorrow-brining or joy-filling, two emotions on opposite ends of the spectrum. It gives us burning sensations when we feel great joy, or great annoyance, or great anticipation. What is really impressive is that it uses the same set of symptoms to indicate a host of contradicting emotions. Our knees can become jelly-like when we win a prize, go on stage to sing, receive really bad news, or get an unexpected bouquet of roses.

The burning sensation that eats away at our nerves, making us cough nervously and ready to shoot ourselves, can be brought about by many stimuli… it can be triggered by intense locked up emotions that you fight all day long so you won’t express them impulsively, colossally, crazily. I know people with great ability to bear the heat of anticipation, love, emotions, joy, sorrow; they aren’t the “burnt onion” kinda folk.

On the other hand when one’s onion is the type that can turn into charcoal the instant love starts forming in the horizon… expect a lot of suffering. Suffering is not limited to bad things in life, suffering is a word that signifies an over-activity of emotions taking place around the body, the ribs included (Um Kalthoum was right when she sang: Yakwee Adlo3ee – ironing my ribs). When suffering hits the heart that’s when we enter the red zone, but if it’s still in the ribs, bones and flesh, then it’s orange, or yellow, depending on the intensity.

We suffer when we fall in love because we aren’t trained to take high temperature. If we were built from something other than flesh (like Light, for instance), I think our ability to sit calmly inside the fire of love, like Prophet Ibrahim, would have been double fold (“Ya naru kooni bardan wa Salaman 3ala Ibrahim”). I admire people who burn and brace themselves and carry on with life without any sign of fatigue. The “khroo2” (weak) type, like this writer, melt under such pressure and start walking into walls (fooot fil 7eetan).

When fire starts burning the flesh of the impulsive type of woman with onion-ready-to-turn-into-charcoal temperament, then expect a lot of suffering. You try to relieve yourself from some of the internal steam by filtering through some messages here and there, not as an attempt to win over your beloved as much as an attempt to stop yourself from exploding.

I don’t know if the slow ironing of ribs can be captured on x-ray… Ya Mogheeeth.

About 50% Syrian

What is identity? I was raised Arab (of varying origins), with a Syrian mother, and Moroccan, Lebanese and Tunisian great grandfathers and grandmothers. I always felt 50% Syrian, and this percentage mattered to me more than anything else. Love of my life, my late Sufi grandmother, is Syrian... all her bedtime stories were about her life in Damascus. Damascus is where the heart dwells.
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10 Responses to Slow burning & the ironing of ribs…

  1. Yaak says:

    The last 3 posts read like a monologue trilogy (well written, nonetheless).
    You are consulting your “Heart” to unveil your “Fate” with a thick-skinned “Damascene gazelle” who is seemingly burning your rips. Right?

  2. 50% Syrian says:

    Right on the mark

  3. Yaak says:

    I quote a sufi who was once asked about women, “Suffering their absence is much lighter than suffering their presence; but suffering their presence is better than suffering a burning fire!” It applies equally to men.
    The fire he had in mind was the burning fire of desire. Desire (“Tanha” in Buddhist terminology) is the root cause of suffering.
    May I wish you peace of mind over the infinite stretch of being. A happy new year is such a farce!

  4. 50% Syrian says:

    I wish you the same and more, and thanks for the compassion sent from the beyond.
    yeah, new year is in deed a farce. I got an invitation last evening to a drinking-all-night new year’s party. With burning ribs around, that was pretty tempting. You open one door for desire and you start snowballing into other paths you thought you divorced.

  5. Yaak says:

    Following the sufi path is very much like learning to walk on a tight rope. We should expect many slips and falls.
    However, a pendulum is bound to swing back, but only when it reaches its end point.
    Just let go, but keep alive your higher witnessing capacity to see through the mist of desires.

  6. 50% Syrian says:

    Those are more or less my thoughts. The funny thing is a few days ago I was reading in Ibn Arabi something about slipping, i think I thought I was immune to it… we walk the path and don’t slip not because we are cool, it’s Allah carrying us all along… the minute we think it’s us, we fall into a black hole, and when we do the only thing that makes us survive is holding on to God like a child holds on to his mom’s robes. It’s good to remember.

  7. Yaak says:

    Cool! Now you know exactly when to make me rest my case.

  8. 50% Syrian says:

    I am grateful… God bless you 🙂

  9. saint says:

    50%, delighted to read your advices, very passionate, however I have two questions for you:
    – This follow your heart theme you talked about in the last two posts, does it only apply to believers or to any heart? What do you think?
    – The material you are reading to Ibn Arabi, is it in English or in Arabic and do you know of any resources on internet? Because Rumi’s translation is wonderful is there equivalent translation to Ibn Arabi

  10. 50% Syrian says:

    Thanks saint 🙂
    – Allah is the only one who knows if the heart is a believer or not – sometimes on the outer shell people might label themselves as skeptics or atheists but inside their hearts they are light. So I guess Ibn Arabi’s advice for following one’s heart applies to those who have one.

    – I read it in Arabic but I know that on Amazon (or somewhere on the internet) you can buy the English translations of “Al Futoo7at al Makkiya” (The Meccan Revelations). There are other translations for Ibn Arabi but I was told this book is the most “trusted” – in terms of authenticity.

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