Evil Eye

Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

In 2001 my parents visited Turkey and came back with an “Evil Eye” pendant in the shape of a giant blue eyeball. My father hung it from the rearview mirror of the family car, where it was so huge it blocked half the view and slowed down the car by at least 15 km/h.

One winter night I borrowed the car to run an errand. On the way there, a vehicle in front of me braked suddenly; I managed to do the same but ended up gently bumping into its read fender.

No damage happened to the car in front of me, and none should’ve happened to mine either.

Except for the giant Evil Eye which, upon the braking, was flung forward by the force of inertia and smashed into the windshield, cracking it all the way down the middle.

“If it weren’t for the Evil Eye,” I told my father that night, “nothing would’ve happened to the windshield.”

If it weren’t for the Evil Eye,” my father replied, “God knows how much worse the accident could’ve been.”

Hilltop — a meditation

It’s the first day
of my autumn.
I find myself on a hilltop
alone like I’ve always stood.
The breeze whispers
in my ear
words I don’t want to hear.
The sun’s rays,
warm on my skin,
warm like my mothers’s
love should’ve been.
The sun’s rays fall
on the solitary trees.
The breeze
shakes their branches,
shedding their past leafs
as they stand waiting for
the promised rebirth.

The eclipse — a meditation

that night
on the rooftop
we stood
watching the eclipse

the darkness
growing darker
wrapped its arms
around us
as your fingers
found mine
and held onto them

your eyes
brighter than the stars
hanging above us
reassured me
that the moon
was coming back

Underground Buddhist

There’s a parable I remember but I can’t seem to find its source online, so if you find it or know it, let me know. I think it involved a Buddhist, but also maybe not.

One day a Buddhist woke up and found that his bedroom was a mess, so he fixed his room. When he stepped out into his apartment, he noticed that it was a mess. So, he fixed his apartment. Then he stepped out of his apartment to fix the world.

You make a difference in the world by starting from your immediate environment, according to the parable. You don’t have to start big, it’s saying.

Photo by Fabrizio Verrecchia from Pexels

In 2013, I was waiting for the metro one morning so I can go to my French class, where I would learn just enough to get by in Montreal.

As I stood by the rails and that metro came to a stop, there was a woman inside the carriage, she was maybe my age, and she made long eye contact with me through the window until the metro came to a halt, when she stepped.

I got shy. I’m not used to making long eye contact with people, and definitely not someone doing that to me.

When the door opened and she stepped out, she smiled at me. A big, genuine smile, I smiled back, and we passed each other as I got into the car and she left to her anonymity.

As the doors of the metro closed, I was still smiling big.

Inside the carriage, I looked up and noticed a man sitting across from me. He was looking at me and smiled back. He smiled because he saw my big smile. Then the lady next to him smiled at me too.

A few moments later, a few other people inside the carriage were smiling at each other.

“Whoever that woman was who smiled at me,” I thought to myself, “she has passed that smile onto so many other strangers.” A single smile doubled and quadrupled inside the metro. One act of kindness that made a carriage worth’s of change.

She was the Buddhist monk on her way out of her apartment to change the world.


Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels

When Rakan was still a year old, I would rock him to sleep in a rocking chair. And while I waited for him to fall asleep, I would rock the chair to the rhythm of his breathing, aligning my own breathing to his.

And then I would let my mind wander freely in that dark room.

And slowly, day after day, I realized that this was becoming my meditation. I called it “Meditations on A sleeping Child” and continued to practice it with Leil when he was born.

Once in a while, I’ll post a small piece of prose that’s sort of a “meditations”, a visual that has visited me) or that I’ve visited) during those nights, or more recently. They’re not meant for overthinking.

I am aware of the recurring themes of childhood and nature, and a deep sense of grief or loss that permeates those scenes. But I don’t judge them, just like they don’t judge me.

Side note: I don’t actually practice any form of mediation. I’m afraid of the dark, silence is too loud for me, and I can’t sit still in one position for too long before my body starts nagging.

The burial — a meditation

Remember when we buried
your grandma’s
dusty seashells
in your garden
and you said
if we watered them
for a week
and ocean would grow
out of the ground?
I remember how we
woke up to the sound of seagulls
gathered on the grass,
and we ran to the window
in your eyes,
I saw
the unwavering light
of hope.