By Musa Askari
Was it not an act of peace I brought you water – you refused.
Was it not an of peace I stood watch over you – you turned away from me.
Was it not an act of peace I respected your silence – you never acknowledged.
Was it not an act of peace I supported your cause – you did not make me an ally.
Was it not an act of peace we laid to rest those dearest to us – yet never to visit their graves again together.
Was it not an act of peace I trusted you – despite the doubts.
Was it not an act of peace I kept my own counsel – yet others traduced my name.
Was it not an act of peace I asked for repeated dialogue – yet that olive branch never grasped.
Was it not an act of peace when I said let us make peace if not now but in the future – yet you admonished my invitation.
Was it not an act of peace I listened to your grievances and injustices suffered – yet you waged a war up on my soul.
Was it not an act of peace I embraced you and comforted you – yet you assaulted me.
Was it not an act of peace I shed tears before you – you did not give me your shoulder.
Was it not an act of peace I wrote to you words of peace, of vision, of soul and immortality – yet it was the fears of this life you sought to appease ignoring my call of transcendence.
These were acts of peace and many others. Acts of ablutions I performed over my life to wash away the pain as like a worshipper before the act of prayer washing away the dust of life. You may have performed such ablutions/acts of peace yourself over your life.
Now I turn inwards, lift my gaze upwards from there, higher, where all the sacred places are within reach. In search of a new Life. A new place of peace where heaven and earth meet.
That “place” where the bowing forehead of a worshipper touches the ground in salat, dua-prayer, in zikr-remembrance. That “nuqta” scribed by the pen which is our prayerful self. There we may write upon the scroll, if permitted, to be unfurled as witness. It is at that point I wish to reside awake, asleep, upright or upon my side. The flute returned to the reed bed. Lay me there to rest innerly waiting to depart I ask the Lord of All Being.
You will remember me as I you and that will be the final Act of Peace unspoken. Remembrance that this life and name and identity and history are but impermanence mixed with the shadow cast by Soul’s association with Body. Let us not be hypnotised by shadows and look instead for Reality. For there is peace in abundance even at this late hour and setting sun of our lives. Peace to be had in solitude. In the sound of silence.
Let us pilgrimage there innerly, silently, in prayer, in tears, in meditation, in love, in remembrance.
The life was what it was, a shadow, yet purposeful. There is “little” else to say…..