Minerals are known as the spark plugs of life.
Photo above: Marya McCormick, author of the THE SIMPLY WELL PROTOCOL
This post is about Zahra experiencing migraines during her accelerated nursing program at the University of Rochester in 2019. Click "read more" at the right corner to see the full article.
this post on instagram @za_ispharazi
As Rochester experiences some humid summer days, I find myself missing the Rainforest more and more. (Tarantulas and all.)
After five years of consistent visits and long term live-ins in Peru, coming back to the States with the intent to spread my roots, is still remarkably challenging 2 years later. (Though I was born and raised in NY.)
You see, living in nature has its obvious threats like snakes, insects, and arachnids, but here in our modern cities the threats are more subtle. For example the way laws, economics, and infrastructure are currently designed for poor or working class people (experiencing an emergency room visit recently in D.C. with insurance that is bound to NY, shook me); the shiny packages at those glorious supermarkets that contain disease causing chemicals, and not to mention the pollution of the very air we breathe, among other things.
And yet, being back in the States reminds me that NY is one of the best places in the world to live, evolve, and that we, especially at the grassroots level, have the opportunity to continue shaping it to be even better.
I’ve been finding that the key to wellness here, is to be aware of the Disease of Affluence
( #diseaseofaffluence ), caused by the willpower draining abundance we enjoy daily. The pleasures and luxuries of modern lifestyle induce a kind of waking slumber on us.
But! There is an antidote to this, and that is, the presentness the natural places of the world unequivocally require from us.
The cure in nature acts upon us, quite naturally.
The image just above was my inspiration for the novel the Oaql Seed, the first installment in what is now becoming the Tree Boat Series. Yesterday at 5:19pm I finished the last line of my first book. This is the “big project” I have been mentioning in passing now and then. The image below is of the first journal I ever owned, given to me by my best friend around the time I had to move out of Staten Island. I was around ten years old.
The little Zain inside me had to wait some eighteen years for his dream to come true. The older Zain finally sorted out a few things in his life and rediscovered his inner voice. [See? Patience pays little one. ]
After all our travels and seeking I have come to believe that though many of my childhood fantasies have been disillusioned through experience, as an adult it is my duty to uphold the sense of magic that got me to write this book, that is compelling me even now to write this blog post. Through creative works we are able to share feelings of presence we have felt in peak experiences of our life. Sometimes these peak experiences come in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest in a traditional ceremony and sometimes they come in the middle/end of a good book. The point being, that people can be moved to presence in a huge spectrum of contexts, what is left then is to somehow recreate, and share that feeling in the hopes that the torch of inspiration is carried on.
The first time I set out to formally write a full length story was back in (hold on...must sift through old computer docs...ah! Here it is!) the year 2011. The next iteration seems to be sometime in 2014. Then 2015 another attempt, 2016, 2017, and by the middle of 2018 the rusty clogs were cleaned and greased. The story began taking on a life of its own and I began thinking about it more and more as I was sitting in my postbacc classes. Though there were large gaps in my story writing process, the real work was being done in my journals with seemingly unrelated content. Just the daily act of journaling experiences, thoughts, and jibberish at times helped me find my voice. I was able to look back at journals from my teenage years and be like...”Yeesh! Someone give that boy a hug!” And other times I looked back and thought to myself, “Wow, that boy was really onto something there. Huh.”
Well, one journey ends and another begins, or is it all one long journey? Now I’m writing drafts of query letters, finding readers, editing, researching, and putting the final touches on the book as I aim to publish it through a major publishing house.
So fam and friends, keep those prayers and good vibes coming. It’s really helping :)
Many happy returns of the slightly warmer day here in NY!
The picture above is of our office/creative workspace/living room/library/and sometimes dining room all in one! So I (Zain) just made it to Rochester day before yesterday in a u-haul filled with many of the things you are seeing in this photo.
To catch you up: on the first day of classes of my spring semester at American University in Washington DC I find out that I will not receive any further Fed Aid as a post bacc student. So my options were: take out more personal loans or move back to New York and take the same courses for a quarter of the price I was looking at in DC. I freaked out for a total of five solid minutes, literally five minutes. And then?
And then I got excited! Actually my new worry is that I enjoy being a vagabond too much. I mean I got to packing my things as if I were packing for a trip to Hawaii. All jokes aside, there are great reasons to be thrilled about the move.
1. Cheaper classes and financial aid, as I am a NY resident
2. Experiencing another city
3. Adding another place to my list of "I've lived there" stories
4. Affordable rent and more affordability in general
And...the most important reason of all!
5. I get to be with my One-and-Only again!!
When Zahra finished up the midwifery program in El Paso, TX she came to live with me in DC for about 3 months last year. She got accepted into the U of R for the accelerated bachelor's of science in nursing program, which she began on January 14th. We lived apart for 13 months while she was in El Paso, and because of this nursing program we were looking at being apart for another year! It was really good for us to have some time apart the first time, but this second round wasn't feeling right. I mean, we're the kind of people who do what we have to do and would've moved forward...
But I think something deep within us wasn't havin'it! We manifested a change, that flipped my life upside down, and yet felt so good.
Now here I am writing this in gray and snowy Rochester happier than ever, making nest and having a great time with the lovely Zahra.
So I've applied to schools nearby our apartment here so I can begin my premed studies again in the summer, or at the latest, by the fall. Amidst all these changes, work, and studies we're not much for blogging but we still keep up with our creative endeavors.
In my case I'm getting close to releasing a major project, one I've been working on directly and indirectly for years; one that I'm going to take a professional route with...hopefully before medical school starts. SO! *hint* *hint* pray for me- send the good vibes of inspiration- and love, as you all probably do anyway.
Hope all is going well (because January came in like a wrecking ball for many) and let's make this a love filled, evolutionary year to remember!
ps- thank you for the blog request Miss Erica, that's the kind of inspiration I need!
“To have faith is to trust yourself to the water. When you swim you don’t grab hold of the water, because if you do you will sink and drown. Instead you relax, and float.”
-Alan W. Watts
"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
"You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails"