“You are so young, so before all beginning, I want to beg you, as much as I can, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. Resolve to be always beginning - to be a beginner!”
Today, I don’t have much shalaye to do. But I have been doing a lot of reading. And that paragraph by Rilke’s is what I’m sharing with you today.
It is likely that you haven’t reached the peak of your life yet, and you still have a lot of growing to do. There’s so much of life to look forward to. New people, new memories, new lovers, new sunsets, and sunrises. I hope you never lose your sense of wonder. I hope life continues to surprise you and you revel in the joy and beauty of it. I hope you never lose yourself searching for answers, as these will come, regardless. I promise you it will. While you wait, remember to live in the moment. In the little joys: The hugs of your siblings, the voice of your mother scolding you, the tap-tap of the rain on the roof, the gloriousness of the evening sun on your face. And the big joys: The smile on your lover’s face, the feel of their arms, the acceptance letters you richly crave and deserve, Cowrywise’s notifications of your funds ready for withdrawal. These are the culmination of what life is. The little tiny moments of pure joy. These are what you’ll remember on your deathbed.
And I hope when the time comes, you go empty - but full. Empty – having exhausted and shared all the light, talent, and grace within you with the world, holding nothing back. And full - having being richly fed by the beauty of sharing your light, and gift with the world. And when the time comes, I hope you go gently into that goodnight. But before then, live everything.
So, I'm sitting here with my family members on this cold Friday evening. I’d not gone anywhere today except for Jum’ah service so it’s been chilling since morning. I’m bugging my mother about what’s for dinner, my sisters are trying on a new cloth and I’m here sitting crosslegged typing to you, Beloved. In this moment, I am content.
Since the last time I wrote to you, there hasn’t been much going on - or I can barely remember anything. In writing, I finished my best ever short story yesterday and I am mighty proud of it. It took me about four days to finish, and I could see how things I’ve read or been exposed to influenced it a lot. It was almost like an illustration of the fact that you have to read read read to write as I could really see that in it. I hope I get to share it with you soon. Also, I think I have been able to find a routine with balancing reading and doing other things, and I’ll be test-running to see how that’ll work.
These are thoughts that occurred to me during the course of the week that I find shareable. Think of it as epiphanies.
Success is a numbers game. You’ll have to keep doing the work for a while before a singular event grants you visibility and your previous work (read: portfolio) will then speak for you, and you'll finally blow.
People are more likely to give you if you have. Rich people are more likely to get free services and gifts than poor people. This is a result of the fact that their circle is of same people, and also because people gravitate towards success.
It is easy to give in to self-pity and victimhood. It is much harder to accept that your suffering is not special - and by extension, you are not - than to accept reality and be proactive about things.
Writers are the most nonchalant people to be in any form of relationship with. These people have multiple rejection letters sitting in the mails, & their favorite magazines have rejected them more times than you ever could, yet they keep pitching them. Your one rejection of them is insignificant, just smalls.
My Dad is peeping through to read what I’m typing rn and that’s my cue to round this up.
Till next time,
I'm definitely going to go through your whole list of write-ups today. I'm so glad I discovered your newsletter- 16 months after you uploaded this issue. Lol
Reading your write-ups is addictive! I'm fascinated by every bit of it.
Thank you Maryam, it is always a delight reading your letters!