Covid19 Resources (Virtual)

It has been incredibly long time since I posted. Besides being ashamed that I have not written in forever, I have been working on getting an MBA and a MS in Data Science. The pandemic has driven me back to writing, albeit for the purposes of this resource list.

Adjusting to a future economic recession and looking for a job in this environment is nerve wrecking. But I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned this past decade was that the focus should be on the present and what I can control now that touches the future.

I don’t know what the future holds, so I dont try to control it, even in terms of using my brain capacity to think through, around, over, near it. I know that in the present there are things I can do that position me for the future. In this volatile and uncertain time, it is ever more clear that I can’t control stuff in the future.

To that end, I am just sharing a repository of links, articles, and resources I have come across to cope with and manage this time in self-isolation, social-distancing, shelter in placing, quarantining. Hopefully, you find this useful. Will add to it as I get time and new links.

Corona Virus-19:

What is this Corona Virus, how to simplify the science, well watch right here:

TED Talk by Bill Gates on “The Next Outbreak” because you need to understand how public health works and the science behind pandemics. Gates’ breaks it down nicely:

  1. Harvard Medical School put out a Covid19 Resource Page.
  2. Politico begins exploring the permanent implications and changes the world will be facing post-pandemic, read here.
  3. The Atlantic explores the political responses to the pandemic and the sort of implications this will have, read more here if you’re interested in that sort of stuff.
  4. How business will be changing drastically due to Covid19 is not simply a matter of immediate certainty, but is actually a longer term “new normal.” This Economist article takes a stab at what these implications may look like.
  5. Covid19 also has implications for what Globalization means and the future of the free movement of people, ideas, goods, money, and, well, diseases, here’s a read from Foreign Policy In Focus that I think is good to frame that outlook.
  6. How bad will the economic impact be of the Covid19 pandemic recession? This Forbes article does a meticulous job of gathering all the major global banks analysis of expectations on future economic performance, read here.
  7. Annie Loewery writing for The Atlantic‘s blog Ideas, says that “No one alive has experienced an economic plunge this sudden” you can read more of her analysis here.
  8. Where will the economic impact of the pandemic hit? This article from the Brookings Institute is great place to start exploring that if you are ready to think long-term, check it out here.
  9. Islamic legal maxims and Q&A around the way Muslims need to approach this pandemic can be read here via Sh. Mustafa Umar.


  1. Spiritual Calendar for Pandemic – this is a wonderful centralized location of all the various religious (Muslim faith based tradition) opportunities that are happening day-by-day. Browse the calendar and sign up.
  2. Its okay to seek out help – Irem Choksy is a licensed mental health professional and a friend, we met through NewGround: Muslim Jewish Partnership for Change. Irem is offering free mental health support for the community in California during the pandemic crisis and you can visit her website for more info.
  3. This isolation thing is not easy on a social level, especially when faith makes the companionship and community component to worship so integral to the faithful practices. I can say that as some one who is on the border of being an extrovert and introvert, and a self proclaimed “selectively social” body, this has been hard transition.  I liked Shiekh Mustafa Umars discussion on “How a Muslim Stays Calm in Isolation” check it out below:
  4. The Majlis is online – my favorite spot in Southern California headed by my favorite Sheikh and Shaykha duo, Jamaal Diwan and Muslema Purmul, are offering all their programming online. They have always done that but now even more so its a blessing.
  5. Quran and Community – put on by SWISS, aka Sh. Suhaib Webbs’ production house. you need to register for it,
  6. Islamic Studies Course for High School students – again provided by SWISS, but in this course, Imam Daniel Hernandez of the Pearland Islamic Center, will introduce the Sciences of the Quran and the The Science of Hadith, go here.
  7. Physicians of the Heart – a wonderful (FREE) book that discusses the ninety-name names of Allah. Often times we only come from a perspective that looks at ailments from a physical and psychological perspective. There is a spiritual component to our bodies, and we should embrace this as part of our prescription in our lives. Not in exclusion to the other prescriptions but as part of the overall plan. Try using this as a beginning point for the spiritual prescription. Download it here.
  8. Sabeel Community has posted the Al-Fath al-Rabbani of Shaykh Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani class online. For me its kind of a big thing because we are allegedly descendants of the great Shaikh and this would be my first direct contact with his intellectual work. Besides that personal note, its kind of cool to see these different forms of traditional scholarship rising out of this difficult situation.
  9. Perspective: 27 Years of Solitary Confinement: Mother Jones has this amazing article from the perspective of Keith Lamar, who is serving a life sentence and has spent the past 27-years in solitary confinement. It is a worthwhile perspective buster for anyone feeling like they are at their wits end with this social isolation and shelter at home protocols. Through Samantha Micheals, Keith relates how he makes it through solitary confinement, read here.
  10. Train like an Astronaut – they spend days and months in space, isolated and caged in to this can. They should know a thing or two about how to manage not going stir-crazy, read here.
  11. Cabin Fever – read this Fatherly article on how to avoid cabin-fever here.
  12. Karen Armstrong on Loneliness, award winning author and former Nun, speaks about loneliness on CNN, check it out here with Christiane Amanpour.
  13. A Case Against Productivity, Now – Nick Martin writes in the New Republic that this is not the time to find new ways to optimize your productivity. “[I]n the face of historic disruption and uncertainty—you can actually get a lot done in home isolation!” Martin argues that America’s hustle culture is the cause of this conclusion, but thats exactly the point – THIS IS NOT A NORMAL THING OR A NORMAL TIME. Read more about his perspective here.

Career & Professional Development:

  1. Who’s hiring, freezing, laying off, rescinding offers currently – great tool put together by Candor that is a live update of real time situation for companies. The information is crowdsourced, but incredibly informative and it helps to know in real time what the ground reality is because there are just too many moving parts in such a volatile double-edged environment – economy and public health & safety concerns. Check it out here.


  1. Monterey Bay Aquarium : you can watch the amazing aquariums ever.
  2. The National Parks – you can now explore all these amazing National Parks because of Google, through their Expeditions Pioneer Program allow you to take virtual tours. Start here.
  3. Whale Watching – operators are taking folks on a whale watching trip, virtually obviously. Check it out here.
  4. The Georgia Aquarium: do you want to watch piranha feed on dinner? Well that just one of the upcoming live webcam events you can view at the Atlanta based aquarium. Check out there website here.
  5. The Northern Lights can be live streamed through the awesome folks efforts at the Churchill Northern Studies Center in Manitoba, Canada. They said that through late winter and early spring, these are the best seasons to see the lights. Basically  the perfect time to watch the live stream. Tune in during the darkest hours of the night, which are generally from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. EDT. has thelive link here.

Do Hobbies:

  1. Coloring Book: Over 113 Museums and libraries around the world have digitized their there collections as part of the Academy of Medicines program to offer up their collection for free in PDF. It has made an annual practice of inviting other libraries, archives, and cultural institutions around the world to upload PDF coloring pages based on their collections for the public’s free download. New York Academy of Medicine calls the program “ColorOurCollection“.
  2. Learn Arabic Calligraphy – while not free, you can definitely afford to get it right now if you can afford a little up front cash, check it out here.
  3. #DrawWithRob, budding young artists can share their responses to Biddulph’s tutorials, which he plans to share every Tuesday and Thursday at 10am GMT on Twitter, here at #DrawWithRob
  4. Video Games for this self-isolation thing – look sometimes, honestly, you dont want to do jack crap. And thats okay. And there is a great link from Wired to give you a clue on what games are worth purchasing (maybe even system?) in this new normal.
  5. Reading:
    1. 300,000 books are available in digital format for you to read thanks to the New York Public Library, here. There is a limit of three books that you can borrow because there has been a surge in the app’s usage now that we’re all at home, according to the library.
    2. 10 free digital books – Haymarket Books’ mission is to publish books for changing the world, and they are offering 10 free books (granted, they have a clear political bent), digital downloads, from their catalogue for folks to read.
    3. Listen to books:
      1. Award winning children’s book authors are reading books to kids and live streaming it, check it out here for archived sessions. For new ones, head over to the Kennedy Center here for Lunch Doodles with Mo Williams.
      2. Alice Aspinall –
      3. Ernest Cadorin –
      4. Vanessa Canevaro –
      5. Aidan Cassie –
      6. Anita Daher –
      7. Barbara Derrick –
      8. Zetta Elliott –
      9. Dylan Glynn –
      10. Monique Gray Smith –
      11. Alyxandra Harvey –
      12. Catherine Hernandez –
      13. Nadia L. Hohn –
      14. Rukhsana Khan –
      15. Alice Kuipers –
      16. Andrew Larsen –
      17. Jenny Lee Learn –
      18. Amy Leask –
      19. Kerry MacGregor –
      20. Elly MacKay –
      21. Wendy McLeod MacKnight –
      22. B.R. Myers –
      23. Kenneth Oppel –
      24. Barbara Radecki –
      25. Ahmad Danny Ramadan –
      26. Jerry Rideout –
      27. David A. Robertson –
      28. Esmé Shapiro –
      29. Danika Stone –
      30. Joel A. Sutherland –
      31. Jillian Tamaki –
      32. Nikki Tate –
      33. Vikki VanSickle –
      34. GE White –
      35. Steve Wolfson –
      36. Jessica Young –
      37. Werner Zimmermann –
  6. Learn Musical Instruments:
    1. School of Oud is offering free online lessons if you want to learn how to play that oud of yours. Check it out here.
  7. Learn to Cook
    1. Knafeh Cafe lets you make knafeh at your own pace by ordering a knafeh kit.
    2. Nona, or Nonna Nerina, is teaching us how to make stellar Italian food, follow along here.
    3. Virtual Vegan Classes via Chef Reina Montenegro of the San Francisco famous restaurants Nicks’ on Mission (and Grand). You need to email this address to get the Zoom info (email, but its pretty AWESOME to have this intimate access to such a great chef!
    4. My Quarantine Kitchen, features Iranians quarantined in their homes helping us all learn how to make some awesome Iranian food, check it out here.
    5. Bread Ahead, a London Bakery is live-streaming baking lessons on their Instagram account.
    6. 56 Dinners you can make with canned beans – Taste of Home put together a robust list of easy recipes, I maybe trying a few of them out and posting them on my Instagram, check out the recipe link here.
    7. America’s Test Kitchen, my favorite place and go-to food related learning resource online is offering 50 free recipes, check it out.
  8. Learn Art
    1. ART of the MOOC: Public Art and Pedagogy, Duke University – this course presents public culture and art in their radically reinenvented contemporary forms. The lectures link major developments of recent decades to wider topics like spatial politics, everyday social structures, and experimental education.

    2. Pyramids of Giza: Ancient Egyptian Art and Archaeology, Harvard University – “Explore the archaeology, history, art, and hieroglyphs surrounding the famous Egyptian Pyramids at Giza. Learn about Old Kingdom pharaohs and elites, tombs, temples, the Sphinx, and how new technology is unlocking their secrets.”

    3. Charting the Avant Garde: From Romanticism to Utopic Abstraction, School of the Art Institute of Chicago – explore all those who pushed the boundaries of rebellion into new heights which this course.

    4. Age of Cathedrals, Yale University – Explores the most astonishing architectural monuments —Gothic cathedrals. Getting a chance to dive into the art, literature, intellectual life, economics, and new social arrangements that arose in the shadow of the cathedrals and the cities they were built in.

    5. Visualizing Japan, taught jointly by Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Tokyo – these courses utilize images made by people who experienced the events firsthand, from the modernization of Japan to the post-WWII reconstruction of Japan.The archives of major Japanese cosmetics company Shiseido, on the other hand, explore concepts of modernity and are just one part of the awesomeness that is this course.
    6. Ideas of the History of Graphic DesignCalifornia Arts Institute – From the first 19th-century mass-marketing campaigns to the radical, psychedelic imagery of the 1960s and ’70s, this course traces the development of graphic design over the past hundred years.
    7. Comics: Art in RelationshipCalifornia College of the Arts – This course offers a look at the fundamental building blocks of the comic book medium.
    8. Psychology of Art and Creativity, University of Central Florida – What is creativity? And can it be measured? Both questions are posed by this course, which focuses on the intersection between art and psychology.

Physical Fitness:

  1. Planet Fitness is offering a bunch of their workouts. The workouts will be live-streamed at 7 p.m. ET each day for the next two weeks. And if you can’t make it live, the workouts will be available on-demand on Facebook, go here.
  2. Chris Hemsworth wants to work out with you in your living room, he posted on his Instagram: “Hi there all, during this period of self isolation and uncertainty, I am offering six weeks of my health and fitness program @Centrfit for FREE! Go to and sign-up.” check out his IG post here.
  3. Equipment Free Workouts by XPLORE Nutrition is great for those without the workout equipment.


  1. Watch walking tours of places you haven’t been, or want to revisit
  2. Explore the most beautiful UNESCO World Heritage Sites through pictures and videos online
  3. Start a list filled with Black-owned restaurants and coffee shops you want to explore
  4. Follow Black travel bloggers on social media for some inspiration
  5. Watch movies centered around travel.
  6. Check out these travel podcasts from Black expats

Distant Learning:

  1. Khan Academy – why not, why wouldn’t anyone be checking it out right now, go here.
  2. Scholastic Books, the company, its launched a website that has daily courses (free) for students from Pre-kindergarten to grades 6 and higher, check it out here.
  3. Lambda School – The recession is hitting, probably time to re-tool. Or maybe there is the situation of lay-offs. Over a million people have claimed unemployment. Check out this opportunity to learn (free until you get a job, then hand over 15% of your salary) and then get a job. Lambda School can help you.
  4. Textbooks and books, digital lending– To address this unprecedented global and immediate need for access to reading and research materials, the Internet Archive will suspend waitlists for the 1.4 million (and growing) books in our lending library by creating a National Emergency Library to serve the nation’s displaced learners. This suspension will run through June 30, 2020, or the end of the US national emergency, whichever is later. You can find books to borrow here without worrying about buying digital books for kids (or adults) in order to meet the academic curriculum requirements.


  1. John Legend celebrates shelter-in-place with a home concert called “Together at Home
  2. Erykah Badu performs live and totally kicks rear end, in her bedroom, check it out here.
  3. Stay at Home Online Music Festival –


  1. NY Times has a daily writing routine that you can get your kids to do (or yourself?) –  remote learning for kids maybe. But check it out here.
  2. Why People of Color need spaces to write, article written by Kelsey Blackwell in 2018 – such a timely article to revisit and to for all of us to try to create virtual spaces for ourselves to write collectively. Historic moment calls for heroic actions and collective spaces! Thanks for Faith Adiele for getting this on my radar!
  3. Camus on Covid19 – NYTimes opinion piece, behind a paywall, but worth while to read it. Given my existential bent, this was a good read, here

Theater &

  1. Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts is “digitally open” by live streaming performances and an expanded lineup of digital learning activities and workshops, which are all available for free online.
  2. 200 Indigenous Movies, thank you Canada, the gifts you keep giving the world! for Canada’s Film Celebration day, National Film Board of Canada launched the Indigenous cinema website, which is an extensive online library of over 200 films by Indigenous directors — part of a three-year Indigenous Action Plan to “redefine” the NFB’s relationship with Indigenous peoples, skip Netflix and watch these.
  3. BroadwayHD, a theatre streaming service, hit the web in 2015 and for a limited time are offering free online access to shows but are usually priced at $8.99 per month or $99.99 for a full year. The trial period is just 7-days, but hey, you can catch a broadway show for free!
  4. The 24Hour Plays: Viral Monologues is a Hollywood star studded online event you can watch as actors do 15 minutes of monologue and hand it off to the next actor. Catch it here.

Art & Culture

  1. British Museum, London – In the heart of London, filled with stolen art from colonial and imperial plundering, you can discover the ancient Rosetta Stone and Egyptian mummies, along with hundreds of other cultural awesomeness through virtual tours. Through Googles street view project.
  2. Casa Azul – take a tour of Frida Kahlo’s home-turned-museum is up for the taking to all those wanting to do a virtual tour, see here thanks to Google.
  3. Museum of Anatolian Civilizations
  4. Hagia Sophia Museum
  5. Ephesus Museum
  6. Zeugma Mosaic Museum
  7. Dolmabahçe palace
  8. Topkapı palace
  9. Jean-Michel Basquiat & Keith Haring Virtual Exhibit – The National Gallery of Victoria in Australia is going online and you get to see some pretty awesome work by Basquiat and Haring who are arguably two of the most influential and significant artists of our time – link here– but they have a lot of other virtual tours and exhibit write ups along with video covering history and biography of artists and movements.

  10. Guggenheim Museum, New York – Has the most amazing spiral staircase ever in the world and Google street view lets you walk up it. As you walk round and round, you will see some of the most amazing Impressionist, post-Impressionist, Modernist, and contemporary artworks ever produced – go here.
  11. National Gallery of Art, Washington DC – while not every thing is virtual, you can check out a couple of exhibits. Currently you can check out the (American) revolutionary era’s fashion sense,here, thank you Google.
  12. Musee d’Orsay, Paris – dozens and dozens of famous French artists are housed in this museum. Monet, Cezanne, Gauguin, Google – French painters working between 1848 to 1914, pretty much leaving their mark on western worlds identity can be found here via Google virtual tour.
  13. The Louvre, France: According to Fast Company, the Louvre also offers virtual tours on its website.
  14. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul: Google wants to take you on a tour here too. This popular museum is six floors of Korean awesomeness packing modern art from all around Korea and the world.
  15. Pergamon Museum, Berlin:
  16. Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam:
  17. Van Goh Museum, Amsterdam:
  18. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles:
  19. Uffizi Gallery, Florence: Well-known gallery houses, in the house of the Medici’s, the famous banking family from the Medieval Era, some of the most precious works of Western art ever created. The Medici’s are the cultivators and nurturers of the Renaissance. Google let you visit.
  20. MASP, Sao Paulo: The Museu de Arte de São Paulo is a non-profit. Artworks placed on clear perspex frames make it seem like the artwork is hovering in midair makes this seem fairly awesome, check it here thanks to Google.
  21. National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City: dedicated to the archaeology and history of Mexico’s pre-Hispanic heritage. I went to this museum and its amazing and inspiring. Thanks to Google, you now too can check out this worthwhile museum by checking it out here.
  22. The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago: “Explore thousands of artworks in the museum’s wide-ranging collection—from our world-renowned icons to lesser-known gems from every corner of the globe—as well as our books, writings, reference materials, and other resources” here.

Black History Month: Each Year I Witness

It is Black History Month. For the past few years I have consciously worked to focus my efforts to use this month to seek out history, learn about, and be reflective of Black America, Black Islam, and issues intersecting People of Color. You may wonder why a South Asian immigrant child is so focused on Black – read race – issues.

Its not that I chose to be singularly focused on the Black community, rather, the way I see it, America’s history is profoundly and intimately tied up with the construction of race issues. The origin of this phenomenon is the founding fathers.

They espoused high values- freedom, equality, and liberty- yet, subjugated black bodies to the depravations of slavery. These white men chose the basis of race to divide the nations population. Then a group of other white men institutionalized second-class citizenship under Jim Crow laws. For well over two hundred years, this was the reality of Black people and Black communities. This racism by white men wasn’t limited to Blacks- it extended to indigenous peoples and to Asians, as well as, to an extent, Eastern Europeans and Jews. And that is the nexus for America’s historical development, and will be for the next century or more, because racism just doesn’t stop existing when a small group of people have so financially benefited from it.

I simply find myself existing in this reality. I cannot just ignore it, especially as I am affected by it. Therefore, with an established month commemorating Black History, it makes it convenient for me to pursue this education in a critical and thoughtful way. I am responsible for my own future and I wish for my place in that future to be one of dignity and agency.

This year I made it a point to focus my study around James Baldwin. I read, Go Tell it On the Mountain, which I couldn’t stop comparing to James Joyces’ Portrait of a Artist as a Young Man. Where Joyces’ narrative follows an expected coarse, Baldwin was the first author whose ending I so desperately wished could be changed. Yet, Baldwin also delved deeply into the epistemology of spirituality and belief within the Black Church.

Similar to reading Joyce, I learned significantly about Christian theological teaching practices and questioning its efficacy. I wonder if the relevance of Christianity is not so much the secular society around it has an alternative construct to offer but because of the individual spiritual relation to it is so flimsy or altogether lacking that individuals see past it for other places of succor?

These two semi-autobiographical works of fiction fit perfectly with a reading of The Walking Quran: Islamic Education, Embodied Knowledge and History in Wet Africa by Rudolph T. Ware III. His work focused on the teaching of the Quran in West Africa. The epistemological approach to the Quran contrasted well with the faith affirmation that confronted John, the protagonist in Baldwins’ novel. I could better understand the West African tradition of Quran schooling in light of the sense of loss and utter rejection of Christian faith John experienced through the novel.

Quran schooling is a conditioning process for building up children, removes the parents, and conditions them to face the harsh realities of the world they will go back to become part of; whereas, John, he lives apart from the larger Black community in Harlem because of his families Christian belief of sin and sinners being removed from the body of believers. John wants so badly to be part of the larger community, yet he struggles to remain faithful. Nor does it help John that his step father, the Churches pastor, is also a flawed man, who struggles with his own faith and therefore can not properly provide John with the role model and affirmation he so badly craves. In the Quran communities of West Africa, it was the communal duty to create an embodied role model and the practices of reverence for elders that instituted affirmation of ones achievements.

The other critical aspect I found in Ware’s work incorporated the historical developments and responses to the Atlantic slave trade, by Quran teachers and Quran communities, as Europeans cultivated the brutal regime of slavery there. I found this highly instructive because it tore down the passive construct of African enslavement being a product of African wars where the Europeans innocently stumbled on a two pronged solution- taking the slaves off these rulers hands and supplying forced labor to colonial plantations. It was not a win-win, in fact it was a conspiracy to sustain and impose an economic model beneficial to Europeans.

The public school Social Studies version tells us that African rulers sold into slavery men and women captured in war against other African kingdoms. Yet, this does not explain the enslavement of 13 million Africans (of which 10 million survived the Middle Passage, source PBS) over the course of 100 years because that presents a state of perpetual war.

While this was true of Europe, it was not the case in West Africa prior to the Atlantic slave trade. Europeans, the historical documents presents, worked to create an environment of perpetual war between kingdoms. And when possible burdened debt on rulers for guns, weapons, and rum; that the rulers would resort to enslaving their own people in order to meet the debt payment, or else face the possibility of being enslaved, was the conscious effort of European slavers. It was this external economic system that Quran teachers and Quran communities rose up against and fought to depose rulers who betrayed their own people.

Stepping away from history, and towards a reflective criticism, I also read an incredibly important short piece by Ahmad Mubarak and Dawud Walid, Centering Black Narrative: Black Muslim Nobles Among the Early Pious Muslims. They did a superb job of contextualizing the importance of the discussion around race and reminding readers of the Black bodies that surrounded the Prophet and are Sahabah’s (Noble companions of the Prophet).

This work is complimentary to Ware’s as both point out similar internal Muslim race issues as being motivations for their individual works. Only diverging on the scope of individual biographies presented, as Centering focused on the time of the Prophet and Ware was concerned about the West African religious scholarly community. I appreciate Walid and Mubaraks’ work in particular because I never gave these historical bodies skin color and only now realize that before Arabia ever accepted Islam, Africa was already converting to the religion and providing it a spiritual, as well as, physical home.

Finally to round off my readings, I picked up The American Dream: A Short History of an Idea that Shaped a Nation by Jim Cullen as it had three chapters, out of six, dedicated to the national project and how the dream was shaped by the institution of slavery, post-reconstruction and post-World War II, with special focus on the Black middle class embrace of the concept even though it was legally and institutionally kept out of their reach.

The other aspect of this year’s focus was to incorporate Black history artistically and creatively. Because I am working on my photography skills, I felt the need to study the works of Black photographers. Since imitation is a form of flattery, and a huge step toward learning from the masters, I chose one photographer, Carrie Mae Weems, whose work I wished to directly imitate and reflect in my work.

Featured Image- Carrie Mae Weems, “An Anthropological Debate” from “From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried,” 1995-1996. Weems was invited by the J. Paul Getty Museum to peruse through their photography collection. “She selected nineteenth- and twentieth- century photographs of black men and women, from the time they were forced into slavery in the United States to the present, then rephotographed the pictures, enlarged them, and toned them in red. Each photograph is framed under a sheet of glass inscribed with a text written by the artist, evoking the layers of prejudice imposed on the depicted men and women” as stated by MOMA. Image from OpenLab at City Tech ART2101 online course.

In the Beginning – 16 Weeks of Digital Photography Class

I love photography. At least that is how Week 1 of the digital photography class at a community college begins for me. Signing up for a class was a normal trajectory of a general lack of success on the do-it-yourself pathway.

I’ve learned that I learn best, in most subjects, when given a formal classroom setting to learn the fundamentals of theory and application, as well as get constructive feedback from an instructor and interaction with peers engaged with the subject.

Photography has always been a part of my life experience. I often felt a deep urge to capture my life experiences with a camera- often being taunted by my friends as the “paparazzi.”  I felt that there would be no record of it if I didn’t capture some snaps. And without a record there would be no true memory. This fear stems, I believe, from how memories were transmitted to me as a child.

My particular familial experience includes not only the tribulations of modernization but also the aftermath from the brutal split with historical and geographic continuity in the form of the partition of South Asia and the further dislocation and dissolution of traditional family structures through immigration to the United States.

Three generations of my family have lived as refugees, immigrants, and foreigners. A people without a true sense of place, constructing from the past for the future in the present a patchwork of constantly changing understanding of what it means to be, how to conduct oneself, and to hold onto truths. I learned these truths and experiences through oral narrations, but I had always wished to see the proof- documents and especially photographs- of where we came from.

Susan Sontag observed that photographic culture is most prevalent in societies that have experienced traumas that shatter the past from the present, and in particular those societies that go through industrialization and modernization through brutal impositions. In my families context, it was not surprising that I held onto the camera for photographic evidence of my own journey, and in the hopes of keeping a record of my families existence, given the general lack of records that connected my existence to a historical past like so many of peers in school could point to.


I feel incredibly privileged. I am living at a time and in a place where I can now begin to document and piece together my family’s history. but I can’t help feeling a sense of loss given that many who held my families truth have passed away and my motivation only came with the realization that I am loosing the clarity of oral memories.

In this context this class falls into the larger mosaic of things I have pursued these past few years. I am learning to be a better photographer not simply because of my personal interest but because I hope to bring that skill set to bare on a personal project of mine to collect the remaining stories of living survivors of the 1947 Partition of India.

Here is to a wonderful 16 weeks of photography challenges, learning, skills growth, and reflection on the realm of digital photography.



More Than>Syria


Where do I begin to even share my thoughts on Syria. The slaughter of Syria. The human moral stain that is Syria. The collective human failure that is Syria. The suffering that is Syria.

When I first wrote something public about Syria, it was a diatribe (it was) on how Friday sermons unnecessarily brought up, associated, and even couched support for Syria’s struggle in the struggles of other peoples who for the most part were given passing reference prior to the struggle, or weren’t mentioned at all in past sermons. My point was, it was not necessary to associate and bring up these pains to justify support for Syria’s people. The tactic reeked of convenience in this context, and diminished the real prolonged struggle of people in places like Indian occupied Kashmir… Yet, the madness continued unabated, and here we are with Aleppo and me with phantom memories, whispered, echoing from my past, associating with the present.

What was I thinking when the current flare of atrocities from Aleppo sprung into the world’s conscience? I couldn’t help but share privately on Facebook how I grew up with the lesson of “never again”

What I find striking is that just in my childhood that “never again” has happened three times- BosniaRwanda, and later on in Darfur. The current brings the number to five, Syria and the Rohyinga forever interwined as the twin genocides of the new century, a declaration of the failure of international institutions and proof to humanities collective willful blindness.

I ended the post with how CNN will present a retrospective special on this in the future with a moral judgement and message with images of three Syrias- past which includes the shattering, the present, and a future. The solemn CNN presenter will look at the audience, stare intently through the camera to tell us “Never again should such horrors repeat in our civilized world.”

Sad, that words, pictures, videos, narratives and stories, facts and institutions are but flimsy props. Unable to move our collective human conscience. I fear for the future because with the proliferation of technology and information we become increasingly desensitized to those words, pictures, videos, narratives and stories, facts and institutions that present to us the reality of places like Syria in conflict. Instant. Gone. Done, forward. What is the “never again” supposed to mean?

That I never felt the need to visit Syria, also makes me sad. It did not have the attraction that is Lebanon or Turkey. It was not the siren that was Um-ud-Dunya, Egypt. It was not the place of pilgrimage that is Saudi Arabia. It was not the proximity to my family and familiarity to Western comfort that is the United Arab Emirates. Nor was it the call of a rich, recognizable, and ever so imitated arts, architecture, and culture that flowed east into Mughal India that was Iran. Syria was none of these for me, yet it has in many ways, become part of something intimate to my story- migration, refugees, and globalization.

Do figures matter to you even? How about this: Syria prior to the Assad regimes brutality had 18 million citizens. According to the UN 13 million citizens in Syria are in dire need of food, medical, humanitarian assistance and, or, are internally displaced. Another 4 million Syrian citizens have fled their homes in Syria and are now refugees largely spread across 5 countries- Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt. Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq already contain refugees from other conflicts; in Jordan, Syrian refugees make up 10% of that countries population now. Of the 4 million Syrian refugees, 2. 5 million are under the age of 18. Since the regime began its slaughter, the death toll stands at approximately 470,000 Syrians. There are approximately 65,000 Syrians who have been “detained and, or, disappeared” by the regime since the brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrations began. This includes a large number of children under the age of 18.

Figures: Amnesty Feb. 2016, NY Times, Feb. 2016; [MUST READ]  MercyCorps on Syria Refugee Facts; PBS on campaign of disappearance by Assad.

Now Syria is that childhood phantom. It is the whispered stories of places that no longer resemble the past because they have been wiped. It is the nostalgic stories filled with pain and suffering, as much as happiness, where momentous events took place alongside the deaths of family and loved ones to the genocide. Of forgotten graves of loved ones. It is the stories of history that are now superimposed by the horrors of genocide. It is the stories that are forgotten as echoes of a past because the present is unbearable and burdened by stories far to great to leave room for the past. Syria is the story of a past and future ripped apart by the present, leaving only shreds of both for those that remain.

Syria is pre-partition India. Syria is the roads, railroads, and shipping lines leading out of British India. Syria is my grandparents story. Syria is my parents migration and even mine from the home that was but a transition.

How do they remember whats been lost from pre-genocide Syria?


Who remembers Syria before this?


Syria is the story on the migrant trail north into the frontera. Syria is the international NGO’s, governmental agencies, human rights laws, non-profit churches and ministries that did not exist in 1947 South Asia. Syria was a constant presence as I spoke to Guatemalans, Hondurans, El Salvadorans, and Mexicans during my Root Causes Pilgrimage. Who remembers the migrant if not those that live with the consequences of migration and violence?

When I was packing my bags for Central America, I realized how little I knew of the people and the history of the peoples there. I knew banana republics, Chiquita banana, jungles, volcano’s and coastlines; the Maya, indigenous peoples who did not speak Spanish, dictatorships, Iran-Contra and American big-stick foreign policy. I made it a point to read, to find out folks from Central America to have conversations with.

As I write this post, I admit I know little about Syria even though many of my friends family’s are from Syria. Had I just stopped and asked once, “friend tell me about Syria, your Syria.” But I never thought about going to Syria; fly over country you know. But now we have arrived at Aleppo.

As my fellow traveler-writer-artist-friend April Banks posted about Syria, I repeat to myself each time I see a new article- “Syria. More than war.” Because it is more than war. And now is the time to remember that or else what will there be left to remember to guide us in the future. Pain. Suffering. Violence. Death. Abandonment.

So I turn to books. I turn to the Syrian voice. I turn to read, because reading is the art of preserving. It seems to me that morals, principles- “Never Again”- is not something that can simply be taught, it is a part of wisdom. “Wisdom is the soul” as Walt Whitman stated, and can only be sought after “in the float of the sight of things that provokes it out of the soul.” There is now clearer path to the soul then to read the words that pour out of the soul.

Here are a list of books suggested by April and do check out her page for TeaAfar/Syria/Via/Los Angeles event that chronicled travel stories made with teas, and in particular the travel stories of a Syria before the Assad regimes brutality. Many perspectives. Fiction, essay and journalism-More than war.

Breaking Knees by Zakaria Tamer
Damascus Nights by Rafik Schami
Sun on a Cloudy Day by Hanna Minna
In Praise of Hatred by Khaled Khalifa
The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria by Samar Yazbek

Syrians have a special place in American history. The Arab poet, Khalil Gibran, Omar Offendum shared with a small group at an intimate event, whose name was giving to my nephew, Jibran, wrote about Syrians migrating to [North] America at the turn of the 18th century a beautiful poem offering advice to these new [North] Americans.

“I believe that you have inherited from your forefathers an ancient dream, a song, a prophecy,” Gibran wrote, “which you can proudly lay as a gift of gratitude upon the lap of America.”

Yet, [North] America rejects these new refugees. Rejects to offer sanctuary. Why? Because we don’t know them. Like we did not know the Jews that fled the pogroms of Europe or during World War II while the Holocaust played its bloody brutality out. “Never Again” we teach children in elementary schools. World War II. Genocide. Never Again. Bosnia. War. Rwanda. Genocide. Never Again. Syria. Never. Again. We tell ourselves. Rohingya. Foolish rhetoric. Remember. More than war.


VONA: Future Advice on Writing

As I walk away from VONA, I have to remind myself first and foremost that I too am a writer. I might not feel comfortable embracing this label, with all my swirling self doubts and insecurities, but I am a writer because the craft of storytelling is something that lies deep in my genetic code. I fall into writing as a natural outlet of expression, even when I don’t intend to write there is comfort in writing things out.

I not only enjoy reading a well written piece that leaves me equal parts delighted and informed, but also to share the marginalized and not yet celebrated narratives that I come across. This is one aspect of what I want to share with the world. My natural tendency toward curiosity and wanting to understand the “why” of things naturally finds an outlet with storytelling.

However, story telling is an art that requires practice. Mrs. Faith placed the context so beautifully during our workshop when she bluntly shared with us that “writing is not gymnastics where you age out.” My coming to writing later in my life is not a disqualification from pursuing it.

In fact there are lots of examples of writers that practice and fine tunes their craft to put out some beautiful works later on in their lives. This silly notion that I have of “it being to late” is really not a barrier but rather just a bit of self sabotage in order to avoid the responsibility for putting in the hard(er) work required to fine tune the craft.

In terms of what I want to write, categorizing my end product- I find it hard to choose, and I also am against being externally categorized. This is something I came in to VONA to try to figure out, but am now leaving feeling that I have to resist. Many writers of color have struggled with this genre categorizing.

The current case of author and journalist Suki Kim’s There is No Us was a topic of discussion for many side conversations at VONA. Kim spent 10 years researching and visiting North Korea, often as an undercover journalist. Her reporting was compiled together into the book that recently got published, but was miscategorized  as the North Korean Eat, Pray, Love but also as a “memoir of self-discovery” by her publisher.

The hard hitting journalism that presented facts and investigated the lives of North Korean elites in conjunction with the history of the peninsula were trivialized and dismissed. Kim went from being an investigative journalist  who risked her life to go undercover and came out with documentation that marked the historical transition taking place in the largest gulag nation that exists in the world to being a woman exploring her roots.

For me literature is about telling the truth, even if its in the form of fiction, and the job of a writer requires them to sit with their own discomfort, with their complexity  and with painful histories, facing them head on in order to call them by their name and move forward. This can be a cathartic process for the writer, but it can also be an enabling process for the reader. Sadly, what Kim’s case highlights is that writers of color even when acting on their agency can be further muted and marginalized simply by the way that external perceptions – business decisions?- categorize their work.

The VONA experience helped construct a mind frame I have to keep as I work on figuring out how to do this writers thing. The “publish or perish” mindset is a non-factor and I can appreciate aging with the craft of writing. I am not depending on writing to be my livelihood. In fact, I think I would hate writing if it were to become that. In fact, I totally look forward to that being my end goal. Anything and everything that comes out of this is just an added benefit.

And that reminds me of this quote, “[t]alent is insignificant. I know a lot of talented ruins” shared James Baldwin. “Beyond talent lie all the usual words: discipline, love, luck, but most of all, endurance.” Thats the key here, to endure failure with my work. To endure the process of putting out things just for the purpose of putting out – the power of prototyping. Eventually through the love I have for the craft and the discipline will develop a unique refined voice.

The Intrepid Traveller

I had no intention of blogging through the entire VONA workshopping experience (Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4a, Day 4b). The fact that I am is a testament to how inspired I am by all the intense writing energy, ideas, and the learning around me. Today was the final day, and it was about presenting our edited selections from our manuscripts during the workshops and we have a collective performance showcase of all the workshops.

Our instructions were to reflect Travel Writing from our workshopping experience. The way we collectively approached this was to list- listing is a favorite thought processing tool for Faith! We began to brainstorm and as a group concluded that the best way to create was to also help others prepare for their trip to VONA.


In listing, drafting, and editing my portion of the piece I wrote down a quote from the poet Colleen McElroy for purposes of inspiration:

“It is how I find my way back, in the dark, to some place that made me take a second look at myself while I thought I was about the business of exploring someone else’s country.”

~ Colleen McElroy

In exploring another place, movement takes us physically away from our comfort zones. I enjoy both the process of transitioning and even packing for the trip. Like McElroy, I followed all the rules as a child. My form of misbehavior was less confrontational and more personal. But even in this I never ventured beyond the boundaries laid out by my parents. Whether it be culture, religion, or the families honor, I played it safe.

Though I was born with an innate desire to travel, like writing, its hard wired into my genetic code. If I don’t travel I fall into a funk and get angsty. My parents on the other hand were home bodies, comfortable with the known and the established routine. But change was going to come, and when it did I broke free and embraced the need to be on the move. Before traveling the world, I moved each year to a new apartment for close to ten years. Like the lines in Sam Cooke’s song ‘A Change is Gonna Come’, writes McElroy, I too was born next to a river, the Indus River, “and just like that river I’ve been running ever since.”


What I have learned from traveling is that history and politics aren’t to far when you are an American Muslim male. My portion of the piece, presented below in its unedited form, are the things an American Muslim male needs to pack in order to travel in a post-9/11 world.

This is a packing list for flying while Muslim and male-

Pack away your Arabic- sensitive ears dont understand your “Insha-Allahs” from “Allahuakbars”;

Stow away your prayer rug and ritual prayer, fearful eyes can’t make sense of faithful hearts;

Store a disposable razor to shave away that travel stubble, fashion has no place in the color coded national security system;

Brace yourself for accusatory stares, trailers trained on healthy doses of “see something, say something”;

Pack your branded clothing because nothing says “I’m an American” like consuming Lacoste polo’s, Ray Ban’s, and Tumi luggage;

A for good measure slap that shit with American flags to be extra patriotic;

Paste on an extra big smile and carry a manufactured cheery disposition, because no one feel comfortable with a mourning brown man stuck in introspection and loss;

Carry that blue passport with pride so you can be an accessory in a line of white bodies, blonde hair, blue eyes, and cherry sun tanned red cheeks.

The Workshop Virgin

I suppose this blog post is an update of sorts. Wednesday has come to an end and the VONA Voices experience is now heading toward a speedy wrap up.

I find myself still feeling lost about this whole process. The questions remain unanswered. Do I feel any where nearer to accomplishing my three stated goals? Not sure. But I am conscientiously embracing the ambiguity of the process. The excitement, its still palpable. Yet I realize a week is absolutely worthless to the whole writing-crafting-process.

In short, I am a workshop virgin and its clearly playing out externally from the internal commotion. Also, I feel like these posts are capturing the internal self doubt and casting it out there for the whole world to read.

This is my constant internal state. Constantly feeling like an imposter, feeling like I just don’t amount, feeling like I have to try ten times harder then other people, when in the end I will fail and therefore I should just give up immediately to go relax at the beach. Anyway.

I would recommend VONA to others. Except, I would share with them the following:

  1. Try to experience a workshopping experience locally first. Craft a piece and take it in to a space where others can read your work and critique it for you. This feedback and working on your piece is what the workshopping experience is all about. Unlike me, you may have a clear(er) idea of what your end product is. I submitted a piece that was meant to be a stand alone piece. Whereas, I find that others who have a larger book length piece, from which they submitted a select number of pages for workshopping, truly benefit more from the VONA Travel workshop experience. Or maybe everyone does and I just dont know.
  2. When you come to VONA, come with your piece as an end goal. Unlike me, where I am coming with the personal insecurities of being a writer and trying to learn what a writer does in terms of craft. I seem to be coming in at a much lower rung of the actual VONA experience offering. I think in that light, I am not fully benefiting from what awesome sauce VONA has to offer.
  3. If you want to pursue an MFA, then this is definitely a good place to test run an MFA experience plus make some impossibly awesome contacts with folks teaching and going through an MFA experience. One thing I realized from VONA Voices, which is crystal clear, I don’t want to pursue an MFA. I never had an inclination to do it in the first place, but I now know that its not even an iota of a possibility. I believe there is a way to DIY the MFA process for those serious enough about writing.xT

On Verbing the Workshop (A VONA Post)

I am still amused by the concept of “workshopping.” Its an actual action one can do and does in an MFA experience, or in writing. Every time I hear someone using it as a verb, chuckles start up across my mind and work hard to suppress an external expression because I don’t want to offend. I just am trying to get familiar with the verb form of the term.

But I realize that I am not that unfamiliar with it. Yet, I am also not sure what I am doing here. That last point I suppose is part of my continuing existential crisis.

Where have I encountered “workshopping” before? I thought the idea odd- people gathering together to sit and critique one another. What if you dont like to share your work publicly, or you don’t like someone there? But in the writers world, workshopping is a critical component to one’s craft.

In fact, one of the first times I ran across “workshopping” was when I read Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”. She spent a long time “workshopping” what eventually became Wild. I also had two friends, one Jason Magabo Perez who workshopped with VONA, and Taz (from #GoodMuslimBadMuslim podcast) who had encouraged me to apply to VONA and who was part of the South Asian group of creatives who organized workshopping and creative circles in Los Angeles.

But to workshop my work, I still had no clue what that would look like or what I should expect from the process. Right now, I feel apprehensive at the idea of strangers having read my work and are about to discuss the selection amongst themselves (while I sit there listening and taking notes!).

While we are verb-ing nouns, I need to come up with how to properly do “touristing” in Miami. I want to take advantage of being here and not having family to visit. Usually trips out to Miami were done with family time as a priority, leaving little time to go explore the place. But now family is living in Boston, and Miami is just another city for me to come explore in equal parts.

By the way the University of Florida campus is such a nice small encapsulated campus. Very easy to get around, and the architecture along with the garden like outdoor environment is just splendid place to spend time writing. Everywhere I go I run into wildlife and nature doing its own thing despite humans manicuring and controlling it.

Four Points to VONA, Or the Nagging Question: What Am I Doing Here?

I start with four points, stumble through four thoughts and end with four, gems thats where VONA presents itself so far at the end of the first full day of workshop.
Today was the end of the first full day of “workshopping”, which apparently is a thing you do in a MFA program. I had spent the plane ride over to Miami, Florida reading the manuscripts of other participants in the VONA Voices Travel Writers Workshop. Four things stand out:
  1. I have no idea what I have signed up for, let alone what an MFA experience is all about. This makes the whole thing even more intimidating.
  2. I honestly can’t even compare my writing to these manuscripts I am reading. They are so good, and honestly raw.
  3. I don’t understand poetry, and in fact, I find myself really despising it and despising myself for despising it. Whats this visceral response to poetry about?
  4. As the first/second day comes to an end, I don’t have any answers to my questions but rather far more new questions piling up on an already extensive list of unanswerable questions.
Besides these four immediate bothersome things, I am still really excited to be here. Miami is a great change of environment. The moment I stepped off the plane I got hit with a blast of hot humid air and it hasn’t let up. In fact, during the first full day of workshops the clouds gathered from out over the Atlantic and dumped a gracious amount of rain all over us while we were making our way back from lunch.
I really am happy to have a functional room, and my room mate didn’t show up (this is a constant ongoing occurrence in my life!). Its odd how the smallest things can change attitude. My room at home is not functional, its also not set up in a way that makes me feel welcome. It just exists, much like my current status in life. So having this little space that I can fully control and that provides functionality is a huge blessing that I am realizing the importance of now that I have it.
I also have retreated into my introverted self. I am not going out of my way to make new friends. I am not going out of my way to connect with people outside my workshop. I think the biggest reason is that everyone here embraces their ability to write and their perception of self as a writer, whereas I still feel like an imposter and like a visitor that stumbled upon this magical place where writing is the center of everything everyone does. They seem to know the secret to writing, whereas I am still not privy to it. (Please someone fill me in on it!)
I am trying really hard to focus on the writing and the craft, but also, its Ramadan. Having to fast while here, not having the Ramadan environment, thats proving to be a bit more difficult for me. This is the first Ramadan where I am not fully engaged with it. I am leaning toward skipping the fasting so I can conform to the VONA schedule and make the most out of the “workshopping” experience.
Some unrelated yet still significant gems from the experience so far:
  • I dont know much about travel writing, I don’t think that I saw it as a separate genre of literature prior to this workshop. But Faith Adiele, who wrote Meeting Faith and is the facilitator for the travel workshop, framed travel writing as a by product of the imperial endeavor that came into being as an independent genre today. I think that places me in the larger scope of the genre at the intersection of status quo and disruption.
  • Faith also reiterated that “Writing isn’t like gymnastics, you dont age out,” which was a good reminder for me to keep embracing this challenge and working on it for myself.
  • In discussing today’s manuscripts there was a constant focus on the “Show vs Tell” dichotomy in the writing craft. This is part of the craft, and a good writer stays clear of “telling”, rather they are very articulate in showing the reader.
  • English is my dominant language, yet its like a suit, a bit uncomfortable at times. English, like the suit, works and gives a sense of pride. When the suit looks smart you feel good. But that doesn’t make the suit, or the English language, less constricting. Its not like a second skin. Urdu, while its familiar and a source from which I can draw comfort, often makes me feel like I am being viewed by its speakers as I view a white girl wearing a sari and sporting a bhindi- silly, a bit of a token. If I had a language of choice, a second skin, its the language of silent thoughts and observations in my head.

Expectations for VONA

just finished packing up for my trip to Miami, Florida. I will be spending the week out at the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables for the VONA Writers Workshop. I am really excited about this opportunity, as it was part of my self development goal for 2016. I was asked how I felt about this opportunity. It turned out to be a heavy question. I realized I have some intense mixed feelings.

My expectations for VONA are a bit bi-polar. However, the excitement is still there. On the one hand I don’t truly know what to expect from the whole experience and don’t have much in the way of expectations. On the other hand, I have a short list of three goals that I am hoping to walk away with from the VONA experience. I know my position is contradictory in its construct: How can you not expect anything and still come up with goals for yourself? Yet that is where I stand going into VONA.

I believe the latter position stems from the fact that I don’t view myself a “writer”- let alone a “creative” person. So long have I shied away from labels, even had an extreme repulsion to any sort of label, that I have lost the ability to embrace the power of being defined by a simple word.


Worse, in not embracing defining experiences, I have not worked on the skills and craft that go with it, in a professional or targeted way, in this instance writers and writing. I don’t have expectations of VONA because I don’t know that this experience alone will provide me with what I need to walk away feeling, or being, any more comfortable with calling myself a “writer.” (Do I really know anything about English grammar to call myself a writer?)


The other part of me, that constructs three goals, is the practical side. Not wanting to simply go into something and walk away magically having accomplished something, I want to set some base metrics to measure the success of the experience. Especially since I am spending money on it! Here are the three goals:

First, I wish to experience the writing process. Or at least the writing process through a self describing and accomplished writer’s perspective. 

This may sound weird, but I always get discouraged by the way I write. Always feeling that my process is inadequate,  and being alone in my writing process, I find myself frustrated and often times stop at the initial stages of writing. I realize I have an idealized, maybe romanticized, view of writing. for example of the writer sitting down and pounding out a piece of polished publishable work, something like Jack Kerouac’s drug induced madness “On The Road.” I think being around writers and an environment focused on writing, I can shatter some of these stereotypes.

Second, I have been blogging for years and in my writing I have noticed a change. 

In fact, I have consciously made changes in my style over the years. However, I rarely get feedback beyond people telling me they have read my blog. I crave constructive feedback on my writing. I realize that compliments, while appreciated, are not the same as critical feedback. If I accept that i am a writer, then to grow as a writer I need critique that will challenge me to find my “authentic voice.”

Finally, I hope to identify my voice and its place of authenticity. 

I always felt that as a person of color, my writing is not really all that important in the greater context of American society. I mean there are so many more white people, and what person of color will want to read my work. Plus, I don’t consider my work all that relatable. This is a massive self-defeating perspective, but its one I contend with when I sit down to write.

Where do things stand as I wait to leave for VONA- Insecurities galore!

But look, this came out of my 2015 taking stock of myself process and from the Artist’s Way exercises. I simply have to embrace the discomfort I feel and not deal with making sense of it right now. I can sort out the feeling later. Plus I have a lot more material to read over and write my notes on for the Travel Writers workshop I am participating in, so I will focus on that on the plane ride there.
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