Libmonster ID: KZ-2205

TO BE BORN AGAIN AND KNOW THE ESSENCE OF THINGS

(Fragments of the story)

FATUMA GERRARY BENABDENBY

(Morocco)

  
  
 Know that the world is a mirror of life  
 And in every drop - the whole ocean... 
  
 



M. Shabestari, 14th-century Iranian Sufi poet

Twenty years old. A wonderful age. You have new ideas about a married couple now. They are two pigeons in one nest. Just like in the song, you, all filled with its sweet melody, begin your journey through life together.

One spring day, you and Ali decided to get married. Your family was startled, but they didn't stop you.

And now, in the large, old-fashioned house of your uncle, a rich spice merchant, the wedding ceremony began, although rather modest. Numerous relatives who came to the festival

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relatives were treated to mint tea with almond tubes to their heart's content. These people were always invited here when something significant was happening in the family: the circumcision of your cousin, the wake after your father's funeral, the return from the pilgrimage of your eldest aunt Hlima... The women were celebrating in a separate hall, singing and dancing, letting out loud trills of joy. Some swayed their hips gracefully, while others stamped their feet vigorously, beating out the rhythm of the melody.

You watched their merriment from under thickly smeared lashes, smiled back at their smiles, caught their tender and admiring glances.

She looked down at herself. You're wearing a wedding coat, even though it's not yours. It belongs to your cousin. Around her neck is a necklace of large, jagged pearls, which is also not yours, but that of your uncle Tahar's wife...

In the seventies, it wasn't shameful to borrow a wedding outfit. It is today that the consuming contagion of consumption condemns everyone to show-off, simply unrealistic in its pretentiousness and falsehood. At weddings, the invited guests sit at tables like in restaurants, devour the rich dishes-sometimes sweet, sometimes salty-drink milk rivers and foaming drinks, eating them with a pile of dates... Today, on the occasion of the wedding, a flock of sheep is being slaughtered, and orchestras performing ancient Andalusian music are invited... The aroma of grilled meat and fine seasonings wafts everywhere, and the tables are set with Chinese porcelain, Bohemian crystal, and English silver.

In short, at weddings they try to create decorations in the style of fairy tales of the thousand and one nights.

Will they help love? Do newlyweds meet the harsh reality of life? With normal and routine everyday life?..

Who knows...

Your mother Lalla Rita was your first role model. Although there is a big difference in education between you and her, but there are still genetic traits, similarities that go back to ancient roots. It's as if the mother is programmed to be a housewife, a good wife. But marriage also became for her a threshold to a new life, a door open to the breezes of time, the modernization of millennia-old traditions. Very quickly, she learned to be independent, diversified her life, and allowed herself to change.

Your father Bashir helped her in her metamorphosis, gradually taught her to think for herself, opened her eyes to many things. "I need,"he said," my wife to be a responsible, sensible woman who can be trusted in everything." "A wife should be the belt that holds up a man's trousers," he was fond of repeating the old saying.

What motivated him? Calculation? Clear vision, common sense, or just intuition? Or maybe he foresaw his imminent demise? But most likely, he wanted to give his wife the opportunity to avoid the fatal, from time immemorial, destiny of all women to be beings "lower in importance than men", doomed to inferiority, for which humanity paid a considerable price... Perhaps he realized that the best way to strengthen his power in the family was to share it with his wife.

One way or another, the result is obvious. It was your father who helped your mother's personality flourish. Having introduced her to knowledge and responsibility, he allowed her to release all her mental resources, all her abilities, turning her into a woman who solves life's problems well, made her an ally and like-minded person.

It also became our school-it taught us to be free. My mother was not only a woman, but also a citizen. It was she who nurtured in your soul a sense of responsibility, educated your will, infected you with the desire for freedom...

* * *

Immediately after the wedding, it was necessary to divide the roles and responsibilities in the family. It was a matter of course for you. You already had some life experience, beliefs, preferences, carried the weight of your mistakes and delusions, realized your weaknesses, but most importantly-you believed in life, and you had to continue it together with a new companion and spouse - Ali, a young man from a good family, beautiful, educated, healthy.

How to continue to exist? How to combine family and professional duties? How can you satisfy your passion for knowledge and your desire to love and be loved? How can you not forget everything that draws you to life - music, dancing, a sense of justice, a desire for light?.. And how to accept the fact that you have to give up something? How to give the fresh essence of everyday worries a special taste and aroma? How to find peace and quiet?

Instead of an answer, you are overwhelmed by banal difficulties, everyday worries, and the burden of many family and social contradictions. Everything gradually dulled your good will, purposefulness. You are tired, you are dissatisfied, you suffer from insomnia, your heart feels a lack of love... And you need to wash dishes, then run to classes, do housework, learn a profession...

You are already beginning to wander in the desert of family life in search of a way out. Everything is bursting at the seams. The husband also understands that he wanted something completely different, and his idea of family happiness does not coincide with yours at all...

First - questions, then-complaints, then-demands... You gradually lose contact. You start to think it's all his fault. You will no longer recognize him as your former lover. And he doesn't recognize you. You live like two strangers under the same roof. Although both are looking for the perfect love. And you continue to believe that only the good will of the other person is enough for this.

But everyone defends their right. He no longer wants to understand why your time is not entirely his, that you are busy with your own affairs... He's starting to get annoyed by the smell of your kitchen, the signs of your household fatigue, your headaches...

You notice, with some bitterness in your heart, that your quarrels have become more frequent, and you no longer distinguish who is right and who is wrong. Your souls are gradually becoming hard with stubbornness and pride. You are getting more and more distant from each other. Life pales. The roughness of your relationship becomes everyday.

You're starting to realize that this is going to be a divorce. And

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it will erase everything that once united you. And in doing so, it will kill some part of you...

But will you live more confidently?.. And he? Become happier? Will he find peace of mind?

And so, in spite of yourself, you start to think about what you used to think was absurd: you think that men are essentially polygamous, that you can become one of those Muslim women who live alone as rejected by Sharia, excommunicated from their husband's house. And he, meanwhile, lives like everyone else, tormented only by the fear of losing his masculine strength and power over a woman...

So how do we "patch up" (as my mother says) our unhappy marriage? After all, the Law is far from saving our union, it will be on its side. The law protects the conflict of his and my difference, and does not help to find their balance...

You're trying to make your husband hear you. You tell him about your thirst for real life, demand respect for your interests and beliefs... But by not stopping yelling at each other, both of you only deepen and widen the chasm that is beginning to separate you from each other. You gradually become a couple of people who no longer find a common language, people with wounded self-esteem.

You didn't realize you could get so bitter after the wedding. But this condition is caused by many reasons, including physical fatigue, pregnancy, childbirth, and breast-feeding... And this fatigue was superimposed on the need to constantly think about the children, about work, about home, about her husband. You were just torn between tradition and modernity. Between the duties of living according to the Law of our ancestors and the need to meet the challenges of a new time ,a "modernized" life...

I had to somehow hide this fatigue, not to show the exhaustion of my feelings and mental strength. Or talk about it quietly, almost in a whisper. And each thought that the other was to blame for everything, and shut himself up in his pride. And at night, not warmed by love, lying on the edge of the double bed, I thought that I had made a mistake in my choice...

But you had your own credo of love: to love is to enrich each other, not to take away what each holds dear... To love does not mean to win another... You believed that in the constant contradictions between men and women lie the origins of all social misfortunes, social ill-being. After all, children also suffer from the mutual understanding of their parents. In the end, hence the vices of our youth... And conflicts of races, religions, and civil wars...

A person desperately begins to believe in the miracle of salvation, to seek peace, kindness, and reciprocal tenderness... But sooner or later, from the realization of the reasons for your own bitterness, you come to the realization of your own strength. To the realization of the need to learn to respect the other. Gradually, you try to cope with the feeling of dissatisfaction. Somehow temper your anger, your stubbornness.

You should start with yourself, you think. And then he realizes that he is wrong. "After all, if I once chose my love," you think, " it means that I wanted to discover my chosen one, understand him, be able to listen to him, and not reject what I disagree with..."

For me, it was a kind of intoxicating sense of liberation, a celebration of the soul, as if I had grasped the tip of a ray that enlightens the mind, saves people like me who are shipwrecked... As if dressing your wounds, you gradually restore your lost connections with the world, heal your pain, sacrificing your demands on life, your selfishness. At the same time, you restore your self-esteem, convincing yourself that a lasting and lasting love is quite possible... If you take care of it yourself."..

But the main thing at the same time is not to separate from yourself, not to let your talents perish, not to betray the beliefs and principles that make up your personality, not to lose yourself, not to lose yourself in love for another and another for you...

And now you don't want to pack your suitcase and leave the house. If you try to take a risk, you can save your family. If possible, keep all the best things that life gives...

* * *

But from family problems to professional ones.

You are already 25 years old, you have a husband, a child, and all sorts of plans are swarming in your head. You are guided by the desire to listen to the other, to understand, to share their concerns, to create a better life. You're full of good will. Since you read the fable "The Dragonfly and the Ant" in high school, work has become an additional outlet for you in Life. Work is a source of inspiration, you thought, a window into the world.

And so, with a higher education diploma, you get a job at one of the state-owned enterprises that serve social interests. You go to work in the morning in a good mood. You realize the importance of your business. You make plans. But you can also see your surroundings more clearly. Along the way, you notice more acutely the poverty of Bidonvilles, the squalor of new buildings, and the despair in the eyes of the hungry.

While you still can not give answers to the questions that constantly arise in your mind. Looking into the depths of your consciousness, sometimes you feel how in you, like a hot wind in the desert, a whirlwind rises from the sand of different thoughts... And you come to work already tired of them, realizing that you are powerless to do something and change it. And it humiliates you in your own eyes...

The place where you work is teeming with all sorts of people. You dive into the ocean of meetings, discover the gamut of other realities, other lives. In the field of social problems, you meet both professionals and beginners. Some of them, who are smarter, have a heartache for their work. And there are also those for whom the main thing is a career, their own interests, money, for which they are ready to give themselves, humiliate themselves, beg...

There are people who are satisfied with their lives and always dissatisfied with something. Those who think they own the world, that they are omnipotent. And those who are aware of their weakness, helplessness. You see people who think. And those who don't think about anything at all. Those who are trying to get to the bottom of the truth, and those who consider themselves the owner of the truth... Those who are immersed in everyday life, and those who dream of a different life. Those who expose injustice. And those who feel its oppression. You'll meet corrupt people, corrupt people, and idle people. And those who act, who are able to judge the origin of-

page 74

smoke... And those who live by following only the rule to get everything out of life.

Here, women are almost details of the decor. And dressed in traditional long kaftans-djellabs, and wearing short skirts or trousers, they only fuel the imagination of men who enjoy the contemplation of their legs, then knees, then only an ankle peeking out from under the dress, then just catch their eyes, look into their eyes, mentally stroke their head, touching their hair, kissing them on the lips...

Men's glances cast at you teach you how to properly take your place in space. You need to learn to be more flexible and easy, to give up your childhood and youth stiffness... But you are simply full of trust in people, and therefore you take your work seriously-balance of trade, accounting analytics. You love what you do, and you give yourself completely to it.

Your employer is young. He's in his late forties. He's got a lot of degrees, and he's also a nuclear engineer by training. On the social ladder, he is at the very top - the CEO. He's as strong as a bull. And as if it raises clouds of dust on its run, which blinds its subordinates... He decides everything himself at meetings with employees - he does not tolerate anyone's advice... He likes everyone to keep their distance, and separates himself from others with massive doors with gilded handles...

You gradually begin to feel insecure, hesitate before asking him the right question, think that you have made a mistake somewhere... Then you double down on your efforts. In the end, he notices you, notes your perseverance, technical abilities, but does not contribute to the growth of your career.

Your progress is limited. As for any woman who is always in the background in any service. An accessory or decor of an ephemeral world order...

Your efforts to contribute are not appreciated. Your zeal will abate. You don't spend as much energy on work as you used to... Your knowledge is getting weaker, devalued, your senses are dulled, your emotions are lacking, and your work spirit is fading. There are no more plans swarming in your head - it is now full of thoughts about other people's lives. It's as if you've completely forgotten your goal of personal renewal at work... You're more concerned with other people's problems now. Conversations, gossip, sounding around...

You suffer, of course, because your hopes have not been fulfilled, but you console yourself no better with others. Society is struck by a kind of fear that at all levels of the social hierarchy - the same failures. A kind of fog descends in the soul, a feeling of weakness and constant fatigue reigns in the body. But gradually you shake off the numbness. And again you begin to hear, like a miracle, the melody of the heart, which commands you not to forget about your vocation, to understand that suffering should further sharpen your sense of responsibility for life, understanding that the main thing is respect for people who should respect yourself. You start to think that everywhere - on the street, at school, in institutes-your friends are everywhere... That you must monitor their health and the cleanliness of their environment, and protect their interests...

And you will try again, work in fulfillment of your civic duty. So what if someone is an administrator, and someone is a subordinate. Let it be like in school: teacher and student. The main thing is not just to serve, but to work. Like an artist who only cares about his creation. Like a composer who creates his own melody. Don't separate one from the other. Like body and soul. This is the essence of life...

From now on, even trivial things will seem significant to you. You will learn to distinguish between good intentions and evil intentions... And do everything in the name of getting out of the prison of your own "I". Towards people. To the society. Out of the prison of your own prejudices. To find a universal balance: after all, only a person who has found peace in his soul can build it together with others. A better world...

* * *

When your son was born, you suddenly felt that being a mother is not easy. In this mission - responsibility for the fate of a person and hope for his bright future, and fear that you will not be able to give him a decent upbringing...

But to carry out a new life in yourself, to open the door to the one that is boiling on earth, to let it out, means that you yourself were born again. And now both of you and your child will have to live anew, live together, create a different life, make it better. In motherhood, you seem to penetrate the depths of love, comprehend its new meaning, understand why people love each other...

So you teach your son to live. And he teaches you a lot. And very insistent. He himself gives you and your father parenting lessons, constantly reminding you of your family roles and responsibilities, which have developed in thousands of years of traditions. And they sometimes turn out to be incompatible with the new time. Modernization has turned parents into people who, in addition to the family, also have a civic duty, and they are always busy, always in some worries, they sometimes hardly hear and understand what you, their child, need...

You suddenly notice that your son has changed, has grown up, and you regret that he is no longer small, that he does not always obey you... And sometimes he reproaches you for trying to get him to do what you tell him to do. It becomes independent. He allows himself to talk about his father, that he hardly sees him, that he comes home only at night, does not play, does not study with him, and in general does not look at all like the Father that is written about in his children's books...

The father, indeed, is becoming more and more a generalized concept today, representing power, authority, and experience... A person who comes home, watches TV, is interested in what is happening somewhere in the world, then goes to work in the morning... Which almost always says the same thing: "I'm terribly tired. Don't bother me. Let me hear the latest news!"

In general, you are the only one who raises your son, monitors his schoolwork, takes care of his recreation, and his cultural level. You're afraid for him, worried about who he's dating. Is there any threat (drugs!) on the part of his comrades... You get suspicious. Sometimes tough and rough...

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As the years go by, you still patronize him, press him with your advice, restrict his freedom, and you are already exhausted from throwing yourself between work and family. You continue to impose on him your idea of life, your will, dictate your rules, teach him to "study well and work, work, work"... You forget about the main thing: the need to just love your child. And don't fill his soul with your fantasies.

And when he becomes a young man , he rebells. Against you. Against my father. Against the school. "There," he says bitterly, " everything that is taught goes in one ear and out the other. And in general, why study, if then there is no place to work?!"

You try to reason with him, to prove that it is easier for those who have an education to find a job.

But he, deprived of the lack of parental love and affection, has already hardened. He wants to resolutely reject the world of your ideas and old traditions. He doesn't want to live in a world where only money reigns. Rebelling against their authority.

And you start to respect his rebellion. The main thing is not to let the awakening of his consciousness fade away. Help him enter this world and try to find a life balance in it. "Let's work together to promote its renewal." Build a life based on equal opportunities. On mutual support and mutual respect. On generosity and forgiveness. To create a future where the horizons of life are open, where everyone is responsible for everything that happens in their country... Where everyone helps the other go forward... Where people feel that they are connected to each other by a strong thread... Where everyone has the opportunity to realize themselves. And where life can truly appreciate them...

Your son should have entered this world. Live your own life. Already separated from her parents, from her overly authoritarian father and overprotective mother, torn apart by her love for him and her daily problems...

Damn Life! It is not just an endless march, an eternal beginning of everything from the beginning, a constant battle between a person and himself. With others. This is the story of an endless approach, a search for the Innermost... Thanks to this, you can find peace and balance, learn to overcome obstacles on your way. Everything that creates fear and despair. What kills the person in you.

Damn Life!

But it is also sacred. For meeting her is already your salvation, Man. It is a precious gift, a sweet drink made from milk and dates, which is served to guests gathered for the birthday party to wish the newborn Happiness. Thanks to you, I now breathe the air that fills my soul, refreshes it, enlightens my consciousness, strengthens my strength, confidence that I can heal my wounds, become better, and devote myself to knowing the earth and illuminating it with my love...

How not to remember the sacred words that only Knowledge unites. "Those who don't know each other are at war."..

Your Hope is your Fatherland, your support, it is the only thing that allows us to overcome our mistakes... Bring it to the light...

Only with it can you try to live on. Fulfill your destiny from above.

Become a spark of her sacred flame. A drop of her boundless ocean...

Translated from French by S. V. PROZHOGINA


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FATUMA GERRARY BENABDENBY, WOMEN'S AIR // Astana: Digital Library of Kazakhstan (BIBLIO.KZ). Updated: 24.10.2023. URL: https://biblio.kz/m/articles/view/WOMEN-S-AIR (date of access: 05.03.2024).

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