On wholeness

Arabs have lots of sayings and traditions based around keeping evil away, lots of sayings to prolong the good and shun off catastrophe, illness, or the evil eye of your neighbor’s envy. B’eed alshar ‘anak basically translates to “may this evil always be far from you” and is tagged onto the end of any conversation that even slightly references the evils of death or illness or general bad luck.

Death still comes.

I know this is a rudimentary point but, most of these sayings arise from superstitions that what we speak into existence is tangible, has meaning, has intent. These sayings are meant to portray our goodwill and keep at bay the evils in which we wallow.

Death still comes.

Sometimes it comes unexpectedly and sometimes it drags its feet and torments those it visits with hope, but it comes.

I used to struggle with this as a kid; was I not wishing or loving hard enough? Were my intentions not pure enough?

Watching my uncle die and remembering those that passed before him I thought, did we not wish well enough?

This is until you realize that death is not evil. Death still comes no matter how well we wish because it is not evil or foreboding, death is a step in the cycle.

Death is the last basement stair that you often miss. It might catch you off guard and most of the time you can’t see it at all, but death is there at the bottom of the stairwell, and it will catch you whether you remember to step down gently or tumble into the dark.

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