Archive for the ‘just stuff’ Category

Gone

June 25, 2007

I won’t be posting here anymore, goodbye!

Homelife Mosaic

June 19, 2007

Homelife Mosaic, originally uploaded by asiya2.

ah, the fun of learning how to make mosaics!

 

Temple of Self(or the egocentric nature of blogging)

June 19, 2007

fingerprints2, originally uploaded by asiya2.

My personal observation is that creative people tend to be very egocentric. I don’t mean selfish. Often creativity goes hand in hand with a rich sensitivity that lends towards a kind and gentle nature. The flipside is that it also leads towards introspection and neurotic self-exploration. I have been wondering about the notion of the creative self within the framework of Islam. We are supposed to focus on subduing our egos, not cultivating them. Is there room then for creativity as an expression of self or should it always point to something Bigger?

 

 

Am I my image?

June 18, 2007

…., originally uploaded by asiya2.

I recently discovered that a photograph of myself(or the top of my head) that I had published on this blog, had been saved as a favourite by someone on Flickr. So I went and checked out their account and found that my image was one of just hundreds of pictures of women in hijab. Then, to my dismay, I discovered that the person was into bondage and discipline, there were also photos of gagged and restrained women. Obviously this person sees hijab as a kind of fetish, ah such irony! So I was horrified and blocked them from my flickr and removed my photo from their site. But the whole experience has left me wondering about the nature of photographic images.

 

Initially, I was ready to delete my entire flickr account and even stop blogging. But then I thought about it again and reminded myself that it was just an image, photographs are not real, although we sometimes give them far too much reverence. For years I didn’t put photographs up in my house because of the traditional fiqh ruling that images should not be displayed. We only have to look to most dictatorships to see the role that images play in state propoganda, there is wisdom in this fiqh perspective I think. But on a personal level, I think it comes down to intention. We just have to maintain an awareness that images are just reflections, they are not real and they have no inherent power of their own. We should not invest too much in them. It’s interesting that when most people are asked what item they would rescue from their house if it was burning, they reply, their photo album. It is as if memories can’t exist without the visual reminder, tangible evidence that the event actually happened. Someone that I am close to wants to document everything “special”, if something funny or beautiful happens and it is not recorded, then it is a major dissapointment, a lost opportunity. To me, it seems like a removal of the event from ‘reality’, into the realm of ‘ideas’. Once a memory it is more special than it was when it actually happened.

 

In Islam we are encouraged to live in the present. It is in the ‘now’ that closeness to God is most possible because we are less veiled by all the mirages of our “selves”, our memories, precious and feared, our hopes and dreams. So perhaps part of the wisdom of the prohibition of images was not just the danger of the image itself being worshipped, but the more subtle danger of what the image represents forming clouds upon our capacity to be receptive. We become absorbed in our created world.

 

I have to say that I am fascinated by photography and embarrassingly, I love to see photos of myself! But it’s not an expression of vanity, it’s because I feel disassociated from my own image. It’s a kind of detatched fascination. I know that a reflection of my physical self is just that, it is not me. It just interests me to try and see what other people see, how I am from outside myself. But of course, this is impossible, I cannot be an observer of myself.

 

I don’t think I would be comfortable with posting photograps of myself if I wasn’t a hijab wearer. It is a barrier that I need, it does enable me to have ownership of my body, because whatever you imagine, you perverse individual who stole my image, it remains entirely that, your imagination. And your imaginings have no bearing on me. I have control over my physicality and it is not yours for the taking. Actually I’d like to thank you, because you have reminded me of why I wear hijab in the first place.

 

the beginning of a painting

June 13, 2007

the beginning of a painting, originally uploaded by asiya2.

 My hands feel so clumsy at the moment, I’m so out of practice.  I can feel this drawing rapidly losing itself into a murky mass. The beginning was promising, but then I added too much blue and now it is too dark. I will try and rescue it, but I may just make the mess bigger, in which case, at least I will have a photo to prove to myself that I have begun the making process again!

 

Studio Space

June 6, 2007

Self Portrait challenge, originally uploaded by asiya2.

 

  I have joined Self Portrait Challenge as a means of trying to challenge myself to start doing creative things once more. Yesterday I made myself a studio space in the corner of my bedroom. I am so thrilled with it that I keep just going and sitting there! June’s SPC is to take a photo of yourself in surroundings that express something about yourself. There really could be no better place for me to start than with a photo of myself in my new space.

 

It is a private, peaceful corner where I can dream and start the process of making again. I have missed drawing. Making this space is almost like finding myself again after motherhood. It sounds corny I know!

 

Must stop writing and go sit!

 

 

and a gift for moi

June 1, 2007

and a gift for moi, originally uploaded by asiya2.

 

Sydney Road has long been my favourite street in Melbourne. Although I’m not quite a local, I live on it’s suburban (and more affordable) fringe, I  spend a considerable amount of time there. If I was a street, I would be Sydney Road! It caters to all the sides of my personality. There are arty farty cafes that remind me of my pretentious youth, art galleries, op shops,  antique and bric a brac shops, places that sell designer gumboots, Lebanese bakeries and baklawa palaces, Italian cheese wholesalers, many, many places that cater for the fashionable and not so fashionable Muslimah! There are shops selling beautiful Turkish tiles, Moroccan tagines, bunches and bunches of gerberas and cornflowers.

 

The only thing it lacks in my opinion are bookshops. There are a few second hand places but nothing extensive. It would be the perfect place for a really good Islamic bookshop, not selling the stock standard lay preacher style or Salafi reconditioned texts, but something that reflects the complexity and diversity of Muslim thought and history. But even a standard good bookshop would make me happy, perhaps there is one already and I just haven’t found it. If I had the cash, I’d start one myself.

 

On yesterdays expedition I came home with this lovely hand printed fabric from The Olive Grove. I am going to use it to make a curtain for my kitchen. And since it’s been a very long time since I bought myself a present, I couldn’t resist buying some Jurlique handcream. Oh bliss!

 

Shopping expedition

May 31, 2007

Shopping expedition, originally uploaded by asiya2.

 

This was fun, our first proper shopping expedition all together since Littlest Son was born. We even went out for breakfast on Sydney Rd which my daughter thought was just fabulous and Littlest Son slept the whole time thankfully. And most importantly, we bought new gumboots!

 

Meet me(or other people) in Melbourne!

May 22, 2007

 meet me in melbourne

Come one come all.

If you’re a blogger and in Melbourne on Sunday June 17, would you like to meet a few other bloggers? The (almost) no rule Meet Me in Melbourne bloggers gathering will be in the Flagstaff Gardens in the afternoon from 2pm onwards in the vicinity of the kids’ playground, near the junction of Peel, William and Franklin Streets. You can come in any guise for as long or short a time as you like. BYO picnic paraphernalia if you so desire – perhaps some afternoon tea to share.

The only rule? A name tag with who you are and the name of your blog.

And no excuses, like you don’t know anyone or are worried your type of blog won’t fit in. It’s the perfect opportunity to get in touch with some of your on-line acquaintances and plan to meet up. We all share the desire to connect to each other through our blogs, so I’m sure none of us are too scary in real life.

Of course being Melbourne, the weather is something of a lottery. Please check on the morning of the meet for latest details and weather contingency plans at any of the following blogs:

soozs big adventure

muppinstuff

peasoup

If you’d like to help us spread the word (even if you can’t come in person) please copy and paste this post to your blog. We’re also working hard to bring you one of those groovy badges so stay tuned.

Meetme2

so does this mean I’m going? ehem, well maybe, I haven’t decided!

7 Random Facts

May 14, 2007

Shula tagged me for the 7 Random Facts meme. Let’s see what trivia I can come up with.

1.) I watch television out of the corner of my eye/s although my vision is perfect.

2.) I love polished wooden floorboards and old kitchen tables with carved legs and many dinner stories carved into their surfaces.

3.) I once got suspended from boarding school for gargling loudly in tune with the school orchestra as they were practicing.

4.) I was on the Deans Roll of Honour for two of my years at university. Another two found me debarred for failing due to non-submission of work.

5.) I am ridiculously self-analytical to the point of obsessing.

6.) My favourite place in the world is a town called Chefchaouen in the Rif mountains in Morocco, where all the houses are painted cornflower blue.

7.) My grandfather was in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

So wasn’t that fascinating!

I tag Shaz, Maliha and Suroor.