Tuesday, 1 January 2008

the calendar begins anew...2008

I wish a year full of adventure and discovery for all my lovely readers.

Even though I don’t believe that time is linear, I think the calendar new year affords the opportunity to reevaluate. I do believe that regret and guilt can not only make your life unhappy, but actually shorten it. If we live every day with a sense of the possible, I think we can ‘repair’ the yesterdays. Regret nothing, for even if it was a ‘bad’ decision, it brought you to where you are today. We learn something from each turn in the road don’t we, and how can we regret that? If you are not where you want to be today, start toward your goal – there is always enough time because it is the journey where we learn, not the destination. Anything is possible because if you change your mind, you change matter – that is a scientific truth. What you think is what you are.

I think we cannot possibly conceive of what the Universe truly has to offer, not only in the physical sense but the spiritual. It is not only more advanced machines we need to measure the components of space, but more developed minds to comprehend the truth of the Universe. I have never understood the tendency of established religions to narrow the perceptions of their believers to what they dictate as dogma. Why would you do that? Oh all right I do know why – power. But why would we settle for that? If we continue to search for what is true, for what we are capable of, for what we can understand, for what we can sense and perceive – doesn’t that make us as individuals more knowing?

It seems to me that people are at different levels of understanding the Universe – by education, culture, upbringing, physical restraints, or fear. I think there is room for all levels of understanding, but only if there is compassion and tolerance. I think we can see in the world today what intolerance, rigidity, and fear have brought us – war and the violence of terrorism, poverty, hunger, and children dying from diseases that can be controlled with a simple vaccine. I think in this new year it is time to take power away from those few, controlled by fear and the hunger for power, and those who want a wider worldview to take power. I see no reason why this can’t be so. Aren’t there more of us than there are of them? But do we want a more tolerate and peaceful world more than they want money and power? That appears to be a question that needs an answer.

Those are my thoughts at the beginning of 2008. As always I hold that I could be wrong. If proven so, I am willing to revise my views.

Now back to Eid Al-Adha. On Friday, the second day of the holiday, I took a walk through the medina. It was quite a singular experience. As I entered the medina I saw several young boys building a fire with apparently whatever they could gather – pieces of wood from orange crates, scattered pieces of charcoal, and wood from broken walls. Stretched over the fire was what appeared to be chicken wire, you know that thin wire in an egg crate pattern. I thought, they must be cold, but they would do better to build the fire in a lee. Walking further in I began to see a fire about every twenty to thirty paces and the purpose became clear. They were roasting the sheep heads! From the feasting of the day before I can only imagine. Young boys were sitting to the sides of the fire with hammers and knives removing (with a great deal of enthusiasm and glee) the horns from the heads of the sheep and goats. All of the fires were catch as catch can, made from whatever was handy that would burn; and the means by which the heads were held over the fire varied from chicken wire to old rolling carts. One group outside a bank of apartments had a real outdoor bar-b-que set-up with walls around their fire and a metal grill formed from an old bedstead. The people from inside were bringing out the sheep’s heads to the young entrepreneurs who had an assembly line working to roast the heads, put them on a piece of wood that was then returned to the owners. I watched this little scenario for a while before turning into the depths of the medina. I have read that the face meat is very tender and the eyeballs are considered a delicacy. The brains are eaten with fresh bread.

As I walked further into the almost deserted medina, which I expected it being a holiday, I noted what I did not expect – there were NO WOMEN except for me. NO CHILDREN, NO TODDLERS of any sort. The fires were all tended by young boys and teenagers. The men were gathered outside the doorways of the closed shops. And nowhere did I see another female. It was creepy and I began to feel a bit edgy, like I didn’t “get the memo”. By the time I was truly nervous I was all the way through the medina and the only way home was back through. I actually considered a taxi but there were none to be found at the usual station by the market. I walked on to the New City where again groups of men were gathered at the occasional café that was open and serving tea. Finally I did see ONE woman – a westerner having tea with a western young man – tourists. I decided I best hoof it back home. I can assure you I made my best time ever through the shortest route through the medina to the Oudayas! Let me say that not one chap gave me a threatening look nor in any manner made me frightened, it was simply the situation and memories of Afghanistan long ago.

I ventured back out on Sunday and all that was left of the celebration was to be found looking down – there were fresh blood trails everywhere I walked.

A few shops were opened and I stopped for some Clementines. I spotted some peaches while there and discovered the fallout from a drought year – the peaches were 130dhs/kg! Yikes, but they were yummy.

Ciao lovely readers.


Kaycie said...

I think we're on the same wavelength, Lady M. My philosophy is that everything in our lives happens for a reason known to the universe, but not to us.

I'm glad you returned home safely. I can't imagine feeling trepidation at walking through the streets of the city where I live. Just one of the more exotic trappings of your surroundings.

Happy New Year! I am wishing you the best for 2008.

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

Happy New Year, Lady M. You always make me think, even when I'm feeling quite lazy.

jmb said...

Nothing to argue with here Lady Mac.

How strange to find yourself the only woman about this day. Still nothing happened and perhaps they were all having private celebrations of something and it was nothing sinister at all. I wonder if you'll ever find out.

A very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you Lady Mac. I assume you are going to relate the travels which kept you incommunicando recently.

Ian Lidster said...

May your year be blessed.

Pamela Jeanne said...

And a very Happy New Year to you, too! Thank you for these wonderful and thought-provoking ideas. I shall bookmark and come back to visit these ideas regularly through 2008.

All the best and then some...

Winchester whisperer said...

Happy New Year, Lady M!

Ellee Seymour said...

We are preparing for the snow here Lady M while you tuck into your fresh peaches and clementines.

debio said...

Well, lady M, a new year and more cogent thoughts from you!

Comforted by what you say re regrets and guilt; let 2008 be the start of the years to look forward and merely put into practice what we have learnt from our previous existences.

I wish you such a good year - and ever onwards.

lady macleod said...

and A joyous New Year to you as well!
thank you for coming by.

Happy New Year to you. Yes, the thinking is required eh?
thank you for coming by.

I think all the women were at home - either preparing or cleaning up. One more reason to be glad to be a "western woman" eh?
Happy New Year to you. Um...some things I cannot reveal on the blog you know..
thank you for coming by.

May your year be full of adventure and love!
thank you for coming by.

pamela jeanne
I'm always glad to have you come by to visit! I hope your New Year is filled with love.
thank you for coming by.

winchester whisperer
Back at you!
thank you for coming by.

ellee seymour
Ah but the snow is fun as well! Albeit I do know that toward the end of the season is becomes a bit wearing... :-)
thank you for coming by.

Indeed! Well said. Good wishes to you always.
thank you for coming by.

KarenO said...

The best of the very best to you too for 2008! :)

Sparx said...

Hello Lady M - happy new year again! Nothing to disagree with in this post as usual! Did you ever find out if it was indeed a day where women don't go out or was it just coincidence?