So this here is my new, public, blog.
I’m not going to do the whole “story behind the blog” thing, because there isn’t much of one. I’ve been blogging on-and-off since I was 16, and in the past few years it’s been more “off” than anything else. On my other blogs (one from years 16-24, one briefly from year 24-25), after particularly long periods of non-journaling, I’ve gone so far as to vow to improve. Here, I will make none such vows. I will simply begin, inauspiciously.
Here is a photograph taken on the roof of my family’s house in Data Darbar, Lahore, Pakistan. It’s my sisters and I, in height and age order, me in the middle, dressed in a dazzling iridescent pink shalwar kameez and holding a purse (immodest as I was). In the background is a mosque (or, as we say, masjid). The masjid, I should say, because it is where we spent much of our time; where the city spends much of its time. It is home to the shrine of Data Ganj Buksh, the Sufi saint, and also Sheik Hindi, my 26 x great-grandfather.
tahira, saadia, robina; the roof of our house in data darbar, lahore; circa 1992.
Just over a month ago, it was the site of a terror attack. My heart broke along with the hearts of thousands–millions, perhaps–of others, and I realized, as I’ve been realizing since I was child, really, how closely we are all connected in this great tangle of life–how many heart strings we send out across the world, across history, and across each other. Every day these strings we send out, and more that have been sent out without our even being cognizant of it, intersect with the strings of others. They render us all, to borrow a phrase from a dear friend, criss-cross.
I’m utterly criss-cross, I know that much. Daughter of a Pakistani-Muslim father and a Brooklyn-Italian mother, brown and white, other and same–I know the criss-cross intimately. It is inside of me. But it’s also everywhere outside, as well. It is my neighbors and my friends and all the people I haven’t met yet and never will. It is the state of our world, and getting moreso every day.
So this blog is really a celebration of criss-crossing; full of all the things I want to say in all their tangledness. Thank you, in advance, for listening.