On the Start of Ramadan

Salaams.

It’s the start of the holy month, Ramadan.

This year is the first time that I have truly participated in Ramadan. I am perfecting my prayers, making sure each is valid, and waking in the morning for fajr. Here, along the West Coast, we are blessed and only have to wake at 5:40 for the morning prayer.

I’ve also just finished my exams.

It’s strange, that as something ends, something new begins. I had expected to find fear, and apprehension and terror in the upcoming months, fear for the future, but as Ramadan has arrived, everything in my life has clarified. I know what I am going to study next year, and I have found the motivation to study, to succeed, to do well at school, and in life. But more than that, I have found that I am content. I seem to be accomplishing more, and the habits that I have formed that take up so much time and energy and pay off with nothing have fallen away, and been replaced.

Of course, not everything is clear.

Like usual, I have no concept of what my relationships with people are like. Living in the internet generation is difficult. There’s no talking on the phone all night, the way I used to do when I was younger, just starting high school, and we’d call each others home phones (“Hello Mrs Webb, is Katie there? It’s Louisa.”) and I’d sit outside, pressed back against the brick wall so that no one in my family could hear what I was saying to my friend about what had occurred at school that day. Now of course, if I want to talk to my friends, I text.

There’s sometimes a certain artificiality to texting, or messaging.

That’s not to say it’s not real. Relationships entirely conducted over the internet are real if you feel them, if they hit you hard. But there is a lack of the organic that you get in physical interactions.

For me, it’s this presence that makes it difficult for me to truly connect.

But I’ve always found it difficult to connect, so maybe it’s an ongoing thing. Maybe it’s something that transfers in and out and around the internet and so called ‘reality’ – or the physical world.

Anyway, this Ramadan I pray for many things: my parents to accept my faith, acceptance into university, those suffering to have sabr, the wrongfully imprisoned to be released, and the ability to connect, deeply on a level that sometimes I never seem to find.

Love,
Louisa.

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