A Trail of Words

Darn! And so my writing endeavor leave a trail. Sometimes the trail follows me, sometimes I am left alone.

I have decided to take a hiatus from writing. Period. When the opportunity presents itself, I still feel the yearning to jump in and take the reins, but I know my limitations only too well.

I was cleaning up my Juz 2 notes a while back, and Alhamdulillah, after some crazy whirlwind of rush-focus-scare-juggling, I think I derived benefits from it. I couldn’t help but take this from one of the Dua sessions, and this pertains so much to this post and what I’ve been feeling about leaving writing for a while.

This blog is titled ‘In Pursuit of Writing’. Writing is a form of therapy for me. I don’t really speak well, verbally. It may be a deficiency, and it may also be an effect of putting my thoughts to writing so much so that I have lost the ability to communicate verbally. To be honest though, looking back at my childhood, I don’t think I ever developed communication skills verbally. Almost everything was written down. And maybe, that’s why most prolific writers are a little weird. Am not saying I’m a prolific writer. Am just saying I am a little weird. I  hate maths. So for those of you who are analyzing sentence A, B and C, please do not make that deduction. It’s really not B +C = A.

This du’aa:

Allahumma innee a’oozhubika min ‘ilman laa yanfa’ wa min qalbin la yakhsha’ wa min nafsin la tashba’ wa min da’watin las yustajaabulahaa.

Oh Allah, I seek refuge with You from knowledge that does not benefit, from a heart that does not fear, from a soul that is not satiated, and from invocations that are not answered.


In class, this du’aa was taken apart, analyzed and elaborated upon. I love it when they do that.

But one part that really knocked down the main domino in my head, that then caused the domino effect in my thinking, was the elaboration and examples on ‘a soul that is not satiated’.

When you like or love something, you’re going to pursue it. Get it? Pursuit of Writing. Ahem. Someone who loves handbags will pursue handbags, amassing handbags upon handbags, keeping up with the latest design and famous brands. Someone who loves teapots will … amass teapots. Someone who loves fashion will keep up with the fashion world, the season’s color. etc.

I have many loves. Some of which includes baking, cake decorating, sewing, interior decorating, reading, cooking (if not done on a daily basis that is), arts and crafts, and the last but definitely not least, writing.

Ever since I have enrolled in this course (Taleem Quran Evening Course 2009), I have had to pare down on my ‘hobbies’. It became obvious then that a day consists of only 24 hours. Division became an occupation, and as I was dividing and dividing. Two digit numbers turned into single digit numbers. Whole number turned into fractions and the fractions grew smaller and smaller, and suddenly my mind and body reached its breaking point. At this point, all those numbers, along with the fraction bars flew off into space that is my severely exhausted mind, and remained floating, mirroring the feeling of helplessness I was feeling.

When this dua was being explained, it was said,

“In these 18 months you’re going to have to cap it a little bit. Do I bake a 5 course meal or do I just make a simple dish? Do I go shopping or do I study for exams? If the heart is attached to the things of the dunya, it’s going to be very hard. It’s like trying to pull a kid from a video game. You have to pull yourself away from these things for a little while, so we want our souls to cooperate with us.”

When I listened to that, obviously for the second time (since this was a past lecture), it was as if someone had turned on an eco-daylight bulb in my head. Hubs was telling me I should continue writing. And so have some other fellow writers. I had made istikharah and I was content with my decision, but there were times when I began to consider those suggestions.

This is the answer I’ve been looking for. In my case, it’s not 18 months, but rather, 3 plus years. And who knows if I will still be around after that, or tomorrow? If I am, who knows what things I can contribute in the form of writing.

In the beginning, I struggled with this; giving up writing, even if only for a while thus calling  it a hiatus. But after a while, especially after the istikharah, I was fine. Sometimes I still yearn to do it (I mean actively writing for publications) but I have come to realize that dividing fractions involves flipping and I don’t want f lip out.

So, my writing leaves a trail. A recent correspondence went cold after the editor realizes I am not the active writer he can count on to churn out articles upon articles for his publication. I lost an opportunity. I’m not too bothered by it. Which is strange, because before, I would have jumped at this opportunity with gusto.

Maybe that dua did a number on me, huh? Maybe my soul is satiated and cooperating with me in this. I sure hope so. I sure hope so.

Dear Writing,

I will get back to you when I’m done with this,  if Allah wills. Inshaallah.


Juli Herman


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