So it’s crunch time. The house is being packed and sorted into a bazillion little piles, all bound in invisible string and tied directly to my heart. Every time a little pile- Khalid’s first artworks, Iman’s first story, Musfira’s baby blanket- fails to make the packing priority list, it stings as it’s tugged and let loose.
Every thing sold has a history, good or bad. Some strings were tied too tightly, and feeling them snap and fall away feels like being able to breathe again. Things I’ve wanted to burn are instead given away, things I wanted to keep forever in my hands will be left behind and then kept in my heart instead.
Growing up with a Mormon mother, I was taught to document, treasure, and save all these little piles of things and cherish them from one international move to another. I have carried with me a drawing my little brother made me in 1994 as well as the first tooth that I lost since I first lost it.
But growing into a Muslim, I have come to understand that this frantic need to preserve every last scribble is futile for three reasons.
First of all, Allah has sent angels to record every word, thought, and moment in my life with nothing less than Divinely powered accuracy. They’re doing a much better job of recording my life than I ever could.
Second, I can’t take it with me. Nothing will go with me into my grave except for my good deeds. Not even the doll my mother bought me when I was four. That would be exceptionally creepy.
Third, Allah will take the universe- the entire vast and incomprehensibly big universe- into His right hand and roll it up like a scroll. It’ll be done. Khallas. Finished. Destroyed. Why do I need to preserve what the angels have documented and what Qadr will destroy? Why do I need to preserve that which was intended to be temporary?
I don’t. So I’m not. The only exception to this is my poetry, and now that every dresser and drawer is being dumped out and aggressively sorted, random poems are coming out of the woodwork. So I may be posted random poetry here and there as I find it. And once it’s been typed, I will be throwing it in the garbage.