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Gatherers

March 15, 2019

He went to the mosque today, as he always does on Fridays. I often forget until we reconnect at the end of the day, when the babies are finally asleep.

‘What was the khutba about today?’, I often ask. I’ve joined him in the past, though not since our first was born. A clash of prayer and nap times.

I have not forgotten today.

The thought of him making his way to the mosque, preparing to pray and standing alongside strangers praying has haunted me all day.

Jaami3 is one word for ‘mosque’ in Arabic: the place that gathers. A place people come together to be together. Be present with one another, with themselves and with their Creator.

The thought that my man, the father of our children, may go to pray and not return has clung to me since 5:30 this morning.

That’s when I woke up. That’s when I heard the news, as I emptied the dishwasher, eagerly waiting for my morning coffee to brew.

All mundane, all seemingly meaningless aspects of life’s routine.

I’m haunted by the wives, the mothers, the sisters, the grandmothers, who have been denied their precious mundanity. Denied their loves. Their sons, fathers, brothers, husbands, wives, sisters, daughters…

Shootings in churches, in temples, in synagogues. Were these people at their most vulnerable, or at their strongest; present, open hearted, meeting with their Maker?

I will not linger on my anger at ‘murder’ instead of ‘terrorism’. Or the fear mongering, fostered by white supremacists/ nationalists groups and the media and all the other masks that cover the deep, deep sadness I feel right now.

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