Allah and Her Love-Dogs
by essayan hart
Lately I feel as if my heart is splitting inside of my chest. Falling in love with Islam, and yet turned sour by gender binaries. Conflicted by “Western” feminism, and the finger it points at the “other”. Torn reading Malcolm X’s autobiography, as told by Alex Haley. It is the end notes, on his murder, that stretch my heart thin as paper.
There my paper thin heart sits and thinks of the woman I am growing to love, deeply and foolishly, beyond all imagining. The falling begins and does not end, and I fear we will fall forever. Sometimes that fear is a hope. I am growing wings.
She is headed to the desert for a few days, and I am here holed up with my books. Essays written by progressive Muslims, in endless shade and contrast. I sit with a conversation with a fellow seminarian, also a woman. We feel ourselves drawn to Sufism, deeply and inexplicably, and yet we are shellshocked by the binary, shaken awake and left alone with Allah to dream of a different world, a different Islam.
When I speak the word Allah now, it resonates in my heart in deep pluralism. In knowing Allah as one, I know all G_ds as one, every prayer containing a fragment. I am able now to connect with the Jew, the Mystic, the Christian, and yet I know this feeling is seldom shared. I am humbled. I am tumbling stones inside of my own dervish heart.
All I want to do is bring them to her, to cool them in her hand.
I will write my love songs to Allah, to G_d, to Goddess and to earth, and whirl safe and secret here in my small home. I will wait for my love to come cool this fire. When she leaves me, I burn myself awake. When she is close again, I am born of blue flame.
It is Allah, it is Sheckinah, it is Ein Sof that holds us together here. I am willing now, willing to fall. I am offering my heart up to her lips.