Authenticity and Aloneness

Authenticity and Aloneness are intertwined, one often born from the other.                      
By being what no one has been before : You.

Being authentic sometimes means being alone, growing up as the kid who never quite fit in, as the adolescent who didn’t always have the right words to say.
It means being a lost adult, giving yourself a chance to be found.

And when you do find it, YOU and walk along your path, at first you see you are alone, walking as everyone is in large groups to different places together,
But slowly and surely, they emerge from the shadows, those glorious beings who were searching themselves too while you were,
And together they share magnificent mysteries, known only to them.

by SHENAZWAHID

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Love makes us warriors

Love makes us warriors.
Perhaps a warrior of Love is far more than a warrior of war.
For in war, you wield your sword and if you use it right,
you can conquer with your power and might.
But to love takes maddening courage,
to stand naked, no shield or sword,
and offer up your blood and everything that you are, willingly.
Not knowing what the other might give,
nor does it matter.

You love, because you must love.
Because you can’t imagine it any other way.
You love, because you are love.
And you offer this bravely,
A warrior of the soul.

And what love brings is always a mystery.
Sometimes a sword piercing right through,
but if love is wielding this sword,
then painful as its thrust, Love is exactly what pierces through,
deeper to a place, we haven’t yet been.

There are times your heart beaming golden,
dances in love’s all consuming fire.
And the one to whom you offer this, turns his face away,
leaving you confused in his shadow.
But if it is love that makes him turn,
then she knows a dancer better suited,
to dance her ecstasy in harmony with yours.

Sometimes you walk her road alone,
And although it seems she has abandoned you, she never does.
She leaves you there alone, to learn what she has to teach,
to share when another arrives.
To teach what is so hard to learn,
that even though you may seek her in everything and everyone,
she lives in you and if you find her there,
you will everywhere.

If love is your true pursuit,
you will find it in the eyes of another,
On the corner of the street where you least expect it,
You will find it love warrior.

by SHENAZ WAHID

Everest is conqured, but not Machapuchare.

Z and I are walking around the Annapurna mountain ranges, when he gets his first glimpse of Machapuchare. He points out like a child would an elephant, “Look the fishtail, Machapuchare.” It’s beautiful I think, but he is besotted by its allure, always waiting for the clear skies to reveal to him, his favorite mountain.

He doesn’t know why he loves Machapuchare, he just does, like a love that needs no reasoning. Our local guide Mr.Indra tells us, “No one has ever been able to reach the peak of Machapuchare. Sometimes the first leg set onto it gets broken. Often those who went, never returned. Or those who did, were injured and unable to reach its summit. Planes and helicopters don’t fly over it, because of its powerful magnetic force. And now the Nepalese government has banned all trekkers from climbing its mystery mountain.”

However Mr. Indra, did have a morbid love for dark stories concerning death, so I looked up what Wikipedia had to say, just incase he was indulging himself. “Machapuchare has never been climbed to its summit. The only attempt was in 1957 by a British team led by Jimmy Roberts. Climbers Wilfrid Noyce and A. D. M. Cox climbed to within 50 m of the summit via the north ridge, but did not complete the ascent; they had promised not to set foot on the actual summit. Since then, the mountain has been declared sacred to Lord Shiva, and it is now forbidden to climbers.” It is not always the tallest mountains that are the mightiest (with all respect to Everest).

Something that Machapuchare holds within itself, is its own little secret that remains a mystery and allows none to tread upon it. Bare without footsteps in the company of the sky, we respect the mystery of its virgin peak. Sometimes instead of questioning how or why, you have to just revere mystery. We let the mystery be mysterious to itself, often like it is to be human. Science, Art and Philosophy; all explain their own idea of why we’re here and what we’re doing. Darwin would say Life is but the process of natural selection and Evolution. Ask the great Persian poet Rumi, and he would say life’s purpose is to Love. Many don’t even look further than the roles assigned to them by society that follow a prescribed order. Each has his own explanation, the poet and the scientist, the musician and the philosopher, but life itself goes on to be a mystery like Machapuchare.

by SHENAZ WAHID

photography ZAHID BARI