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note #20: Ojalá

More so than ever, a radically changing attitude as a matter of fact, i find myself admiring more and more the wisdom in the expression إن شاء الله. inshallah.

إن شاء الله

God willing

Ojalá

I am uncomfortable even writing it here, confessing it to this space and in writing (my mother said never to write down anything we had any desire to keep a secret), it is an expression i grew up feeling distrust towards: it gives too much power to god, it is a loser motto, the expression of the lazies, the helpless, it translates into no or i-do-not-care or or maybe or i-am-too-weak-to-commit. Now as i am more inclined to see myself on the camp(s) of the losers, lazies and too weak to commit, this expression has acquired new translations that stem from humility and an acceptance that indeed we are not as high and mighty to be in full control of our lives. Inshallah is an appreciation of the power of nature, a balance between the attempt to make plans and dream and aspire and the surrender to that which is bigger than us which include other human whims, other creature doings, natural elements, accidents, chance, mutations and deviations. We want, we plan, we take into account conditions and variables, and we attempt and we try the best we can and we hope for the best. At any point on the journey the weather changes, the car breaks down, people fall in love, someone dies, a detour is presented, a father is diagnosed, plantar fascia partially ruptures, a residency application is accepted, he is also a music teacher, the grand canyon is on the way.

I used to think it was an expression exclusive to us. But i have found it since used by others.

إن شاء الله

God willing

Ojalá

The frustration with the change in plans, the self loathing about accidents, the failure to deliver on a commitment, the assumption of health or guarantee of life, the blindness to what gifts maybe delivered in getting lost, being late, missing a ride, being forced to take a break, being forced to deal with a change are the results of arrogance and an attitude that is bound to disappoint.

I am now thinking my attitude I can/must control my life was exclusive to those of us who think that the only place for us out there is as a plug in the big machine, automized, fit snuggly in one’s place, freakishly repaceable, a yesterday very much like today, a tomorrow with a blueprint.

On a walk, towards the end of the time in Lama Mountain in New Mexico, I almost bought land. Estimated casually over dinner at $150,000. For a moment I believed it. For many reasons it was impossible. But I saw it, for a day or two, the chair facing west.

إن شاء الله

God willing

Ojalá

Arrived to the edge of the continent. Such an anticipated meeting with the ocean. I lay on the sand and imagined the daily walks. Some jogging perhaps? Sunrises and sunsets. Maybe even swim in the cold water, i am sure i can do it. But not this afternoon, i am lazy, stretching to the warm sand as the fog descends. Tomorrow. I will swim tomorrow. No matter how cold the water is. Tomorrow i hurt my foot.

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