I know that it has been quite some time since I have shared anything with you. The truth is, there is no excuse except I have been in a state of deep contemplation.
Vivid dreams, and seriously felt moments of meditation have all led me to this present state of conundrum.
But even the way that I write of it betrays its gravity; only because of its consequence.
I have been living in the Middle East for some time now, and I have grown to not only appreciate and respect the culture but more importantly have become so much more comfortable in my skin.
Growing up in the Caribbean it never seemed like the right fit for me.
The bachanaal, revelry of all sorts, food and even I dare say, religion- predominantly Christian never made my soul sing or sleep in peace. Never.
Suddenly and quite unexpectedly, the Middle East affirmed the best parts of me.
I wake up at 5 every morning since I have known myself.
I don't drink.
I don't party and never did when I was in the Caribbean
And I never had an appreciation for the skimpy women's apparel which seemed to be distributed by 'Brek Bubby Wholesale'.
Finally, I lived in a place and in a culture where all of my quirky aspects were the practiced norm.
So when one day friends cheekily asserted that I had to be Muslim and further asserted that I really should convert, I could not help but see the validity of their argument.
Most of them drank... well all, to be honest. I was the only one who did not.
And waking up early every morning to the sound of the Ezan as a matter of routine to connect to Source and Spirit gave further evidence that living a life as a Muslim would not be so far fetched for me.
That began, on a very subconscious level, my dilemma. After all, converting to Islam goes far beyond an allegiance to routine.
As months went by with this weighing on my mind, I was granted an experience that has challenged me to seriously consider converting.
A friend, who is Muslim, one day nervously and quite unexpectedly for me, indicated that she would pray in front of me as I, at that moment, was in her room and would be there for an indefinite period of time. She could not put it off until after I left.
I indicated that it would not be a problem and that if she wanted me to leave, I would do so.
She insisted that I stay.
I am grateful.
I am so damn grateful.
I had never seen a Muslim woman pray before.
I will not describe the process, only how it affected me.
I sat silently, refusing to even flinch one muscle watching her. And with every act of prayer, I felt more and more at peace.
I began to think about what it would be like for me to do that every day, five times a day, given that it was not me praying in that moment but someone else.
I know that I say it in every post but it touched me soooo deeply.
If watching someone do it was that consequential, then I can only imagine doing it myself would be life changing.
Besides the intimacy of prayer, to be a bit shallowly honest, I have been obsessed with Middle Eastern/Islamic women's fashion. I know. I know.
To the Western eye, there is not much fashion to talk about as Islam dictates that Muslim women dress modestly.
With that being said, I don't think that I have EVER seen a group of women who were so elegant, graceful and stylish.
And trust me; trust me, fashion matters to them in every way.
To wear the veil of modesty would be a.... You finish it.
Is that you final answer?
As my respect for Islam continues to grow, I know that such an important decision cannot be based on the frivolous.
I am searching.