You are viewing a read-only archive of the Blogs.Harvard network. Learn more.

Sylvan Hollow

Gimme shelter in this world gone wild. A loner's dream of moon dust that's wild on the run. Just live and breathe, keep your eyes on the wheel in the sky, and bear the winds of March.

A Meeting

Posted in Uncategorized on March 1st, 2007

I thought the years would melt away,

I thought the smiles were true.

But then I saw we’d pulled apart,

And saw that Fate was cruel.


Changes! whispered every word,

As I felt my heart descend.

Flashes blink lights from the past

And to darkness they ascend.


I saw with eyes I had not owned,

And thought I was content.

Bu now I see with bitter truth,

That sight is always bent.


The motions of encountering a ghost from the past are untraceable. Hope rages, fear lurks, and elation and depression in turn will have their course. Change is inevitalbe, but we refuse to see it coming, and are always surprised when it rears its head. In the headiness of elation, we become giddy and silly, the emotions of the moment compensating for the hurt they can temporarily smother. In the throes of depression, we become whinging poetic hypocrites, victims of drama and bombast. Then we see the truth: we never saw at all. We have always lied. Each lie grows and conquers and yet we mistake it for truth. Love truly can be so blind.

Posted in Uncategorized on February 12th, 2007

So what am I doing today? Well, nothing much. Basically wasting my life away. Come off it, you can’t be insane and unreasoanable all the time, can you? No, I thought not. The song that’s currently playing right now is Edge of the Blade by Journey, but likely to change within the next ten seconds, as Neal Schon has been shredding for the past minute or so. Yep, there it goes. It’s ending. The next song iiiiiis…….Dirty White Boy, by Foreigner! Yes! I love this song. I sang some of it to Zahrah last night…cus I’m a dirty white boy…yea, a dirty white boy…a dirty white boy, and that’s about all I know of it. Although I’m not really a dirty white boy, nor do I plan on becoming one in the near future.


I’m supposed to be doing a couple of essays right now, but I’m still procrastinating..duh…ok, I’m gonna go waste some more of my life doing something equally useless someplace else.


No one’s been reading, have they?




Posted in Music on February 8th, 2007

On Neal Schon’s ‘Blue Passion’ 


The swell and the tide.
Fade and temper.
A rising crescendo.

Strings of a dream,
Forgotten and Faded,
Alone and Unforgiven.

A cry and a plead
Swirls and pools,
Surrenders at my feet
As clouds race across the sky
To covet the Moon.

He brings forth a dance
Of stars.

He has written
Of days before.

With kisses burned
Into the sun,
The days fade away,
Yet the poignant Sorrow…

His love and his fingers,
Like strange marks of desire
That call for Passion.

A calming now.

He moves within my soul,
Never giving up on me.

He pulls the strings of my heart
And bears himself with love.

He haunts that place.
That place in a Dream.

A Blue Passion
He has created,
He has fulfilled.

He remembers.


What they said to me…

Posted in history on February 8th, 2007

Looking back on the Greeks, I concede that they may be quite intelligent people. But their current football team is awful and inconsistent and I suggest the rape of every single player.

 A Greek proverb goes, “Have the Frank for your friend, but not for your neighbour.” Now, Frank, that doesn’t mean we hate you, or that you stink or something, but if you do, we advise you to stay away, anyway.

What the Greeks meant, of course, was the French king Charlemagne. And to be honest, who really wants France for their neighbour? They whine too much/think too highly of their football team. Yes, Zidane’s a good player, yes, we know he headbutted Materazzi, but no, he’s not a hero.

I digress. The Frankish noble Einhard, close personal friend of Charlemagne the Great, wrote in his The Life of Charlemagne, that “…the power of the Franks was always viewed by the Greeks and Romans with a jealous eye, whence the Greek proverb, ‘Have the Frank for your friend, but not for your neighbour’…” Basically, he meant that Charlemagne was a man everyone respected. Period. You gave him what he wanted when he wanted it. When he ruled the Roman Empire, the Greeks got skittish and were afeared he would try to take their quaint little empire. He already had Gaul between the Rhine and Loire, the Ocean and the Balaeric Sea, and part of Germany. But he went ahead and decided he wanted Aquitania, Gascony, the Pyrenees, all of Italy, and Saxony as well. Aaron (Harun?), King of Persia, got wise fast and formed a deep friendship with this Charlemagne.

That’s why Greece wanted him for their friend, but not their neighbour. And now I’ve forgotten my original point here, so you’ll have to give me a minute…

So what really constitutes a friendship? I thought friendship was based on trust, and even though Greece allied themselves with Charlemagne, they obviously didn’t trust him. But let’s be fair – who would trust a tall, handsome, war hero with fifty titles, King of this, Emperor of that, who could smush you between his thumb and forefinger? Then who were Char (I’m getting tired of typing out his whole name…) ‘s real friends? Do all powerful entities lose this sacrosanct edifice of friendship when, even though they may vow never to take another inch of land that they didn’t already have, they ascend their throne? Who would trust them? How lonely kings must have been in their hearts, how utterly estranged. All those rules, all those structures to follow in their presence! It’s everything they wanted, but it probably tore them apart.

Too east of Eden, just marionettes that dance to a tune no one else wants to play. It must be a terrible sacrifice, friendship, for a crown and some land. Sure, there’s a piece of paper from Greece that says, ‘We love you. Please don’t kill us.’ But words are words. People will say anything to survive. Who would extend his hand to Charlemagne and mean it? Did Harun mean it? What motives do we have for friendship? In the film Almost Famous, the ‘Band Aides’ – NOT to be confused with groupies – claim that groupies only sleep with stars to be close to someone famous. Boasting rights. They’re proud of it. Were the Greeks proud of their allegiance with Char? Or just scared? Their motives were probably more human, less base – they did it to survive. But Char probably knew. They knew. Who is not afeared of power? But alas, there must be something greater than survival. Isn’t there?


Posted in life on January 23rd, 2007

A great hero,

And a coward

Stood in the dawn

And wept for humanity.

We have fallen from grace

Thrown open our own doors

Tied our own hands

And surrendered our souls.    

I was watching the epic ‘Troy’ the other day, the version with Brad Pitt and Eric Bana and Orlando Bloom. As the battle scenes unfolded before me, I reminded myself that it was not real, could not be real. A film it was, nothing more. Yet I thought that the expression on Hector’s face as he watched Achilles’ Myrmidons sack the temple of Apollo belonged truly to Hector, not to Bana, and Achilles’ calm collectedness was a product of Brad Pitt’s understanding of the character. The obvious faded away. This truly was another world, one in which these men walked, and plundered, and burned. And I daresay it was a better world. Hollywood possesses the uncanny ability to construe and twist historical facts, but it must be doing something right – it is only films that depict war that truly show us ourselves. I compare our general fall from such grace to war because it truly depicts the grit and baseness of humanity. 

The bitterness of humanity is displayed upon the breadth of a sword that will impale a young innocent who truly believed in honour, and in valour. By our standards today, men like Patroclus, who donned Achilles’ armour and fought like the man he craved to be, are fools. But our greatest achievements, and the stories that fill our history books, are all the works of such fools! It is through war that humans better and worsen themselves. Today, the weapons of war are cunning, speed, and underhandedness. What do we fight for? The same things for which empires have fallen, and droves of soldiers sacrificed, in yore. Power. But the means by which we achieve those ends have degraded. The sword passed through generations of proud soldiers versus the big red button that will detonate a far-off nuke to some far-off place. Hand-to-hand combat has become tiresome, as seen in the differences between World Wars I and II. In the former, swords and rifles with little range. In the second, machine guns that made the revolutionary trench warfare obsolete – machine guns prevented the gain of more than a few yards of land at a time, at the expense of countless soldiers, lands riddled with fire, ash, blood, and dust. And as our technology advanced, our hearts became colder, as we chose to no longer pierce our opponent with our gaze in moments of triumph or defeat. We thought we had outwitted the slow, weeded out the weak. The Knights Templar, with all their swords, hearts strapped to their sleeves, wouldn’t last ten seconds facing the barrels of an armed tank. But whose valour weighs more? Whose sense of value, honour, love? Yet we stand so much taller. We place pride where shame belongs.   

So what does our method of war have to do with our society as a whole? Well, think about how often you email your friends or talk to them online instead of picking up the phone or calling on them personally. Dawud Wharnsby-Ali, the Islamic singer and songwriter, put it quite well:  I sent an email to my loved one, just the other day
It’s sad communication has evolved this way.
We use so many words but have so little to relay
As angels scribble down every letter that we say.
All the viral attachments sent and passionate insults we vent
It’s easy to be arrogant behind user passwords we invent.
But on the day the scrolls are laid, with every word and deed displayed,
when we read our accounts, I know, for one, I’ll be afraid.

By saying that I think techonology has failed to make us fuller, more whole people in general, I do not mean to say that is does not have any benefits. But what we have made is already taking us over, sapping us of our time and, frankly, the very thing that makes us human. We lose a bit of ourselves projecting ourselves onto a screen day after long day. How many of us take the time to read the stars at night, paint the colours of the rising sun onto our hearts? Read a book instead of watch a film? Write something instead of cruise the internet, bored senseless? Play football (the real kind) instead of playing video games (not that I have anything against video games, but moderation is in order)?

Sharper senses beget sharper minds, beget strength. Cry in the rain, and smile into the sun, lose yourself in the fog. Do something. Be something. Ours name are only cast in stone when we change something, not fade away into our couches, wear out our thumbs before the XBox (or the PS2, if you prefer inferiority). The point I am trying to make here, at 3AM on a Tuesday morning, is not that I disrespect our soldiers in Iraq, nor do I scorn any army. I just think that we’ve lost something in our quest for betterment. And maybe it’ll be nice to realise what that is.

Hello world!

Posted in Uncategorized on January 22nd, 2007

Yay, Umaima’s got a blog! Well, I love to write, so this should serve me quite well. Oh, wow, there’s too much on my mind, dunno where to begin. If you’re even on this page, I’m going to assume I’ve directed you here and you do know who I am, so I shall skip the introductions. I would appreciate it very much if, after you read my rants, that you leave a comment, just to let me know how you felt about it or whatever! I love to get feedback, and I love to talk, so all purposes served, all of us can sleep better at night…