He had come to see the office to sublease it from me. I told him he could have my office and I would move my desk to the sunroom……….and suddenly all I could think was…my desk!
My desk bought in pieces from office depot, being put together by my family. Standing there all I could see was Tariq’s feet sticking out from under the desk where he was putting a screw into the side. His blue flip-flops loosely hanging from his toes. Shireen and Paul working on another piece.
This was a time when America and I were untouched by grief and were innocent of calamities. September 11 had not yet happened, Haroon had not yet died, Americans had not been killed and had not killed so many all over the world. The carnage to come was encapsulated and contained in a module to be released in the near future.
My desk has a memory attached to it, imbued in it. Or is it that I am afraid of change? All things change, which is inevitable the only unchangeable entity is Allah Subhanawataala. I want to sublease my office, roll back my practice a bit to give me more time to write, to enjoy my grand child to come and yet all I can think of……..is my desk!
It seems that by taking apart and moving that desk will fragment the memory and disintegrate the pieces scattering them into the unknown space where memories of the dead go floating into the space of grief while I run from one to the other collecting the pieces, and trying to put them back as a picture…………of joys past.
Change my friend the blogger says must come and must be embraced……….but with change we must give up our memories, it is like enforced Alzheimer’s where you do not want to loose a memory and which is attached to a material object and a time comes that you can no longer keep that object due to circumstances or disintegration of the object…….. And then what? There are no new memories to be made only old ones to be brought out, dusted and cherished with love and remember joys long past…….After my desk was put together and I started my practice, Haroon died and left us all shattered with grief and confusion. Rapidly after that 2001 came and 9/11 snatched the veil from the face of death and murder and mayhem ensued…
It is not the material objects that we love, but the memories they evoke.
I now understand why, when I used to take lunch for Mrs. C who was an elderly homebound lady, she would show me the pictures of her son who died at age 21, or the photos from her youth, when she was a young and beautiful southern belle. Her only child a daughter lived far away in another state. I would look around and everything was at least 50 years old though pristine in its old age and kept with care…………..those were the fragments of her memories that she delved into during her sunset years and perhaps they brought her joy and gave some connection to the life then with the life now.
Then she was a southern belle who had never seen a muslim in her life. Now she was a southern lady who welcomed strange Muslims who came to visit her each saturday and bring food and talk to her in strange accents. She changed from her old self to her new self and received us all gracefully. She was 88 years old.
Next time I see an old person hanging on to an old piece of furniture, a rug or chair, I will remember that it is not the object but the memories it evokes that makes it valuable and precious to them.
Should I move the desk, for I will have to have it taken apart to do so, or should I keep it a little while longer to feel the proximity of the hands that put it together…
What do you think?