That was my initial reaction when it occurred to me how much Arabic I have forgotten over the years. It’s one (admirable) thing to commit to breaking your bad habits; it’s another thing altogether to really wrap your head around how much work you have in front of you.
So, the Buddhist influence kicked in. Take your mind off how far away the top of the mountain is, and focus on the hill you can climb right now. (And truth be told, even my meditation technique was comically broken. I was in horrifically bad shape; not physically, but in almost every other way. One of many reasons I appreciate this time to step back and reassess.) So I corrected my meditation. Once the muscle memory kicked in, it wasn’t as difficult as it seemed to relearn what I had lost. But, none of this was ‘new’ information to me. So I considered, ‘What has been taking up time and space that should be dedicated to more important things?’
This Ramadan for me was dedicated to ‘housecleaning.’ If I was in shock with how much information I forgot, I was truly embarrassed by how much junk occupied that space. Literally and mentally. Every weekend for the past month, I picked a different section of the Batcave and examined every single thing in it. The people at Goodwill fell in love with me, which is nice, but I don’t imagine I’ll be giving away this many material things again until I jump to the next tax bracket. I come home now, and it almost feels like I’ve moved.
Unpacking my mind was less taxing. No surprise to you, but the Dark Knight enjoys his time off the grid quite a bit. There were of course a few things serious enough for my people to tell me, ‘Hey, you need to read up on this right away (Brexit and Orlando to name two)’, but on the whole this month has been more ‘normal’ than Ramadans past. I haven’t been a complete recluse, but I definitely have taken enough time to fix the things that were broken.
So we continue. I can’t log on anymore without feeling like war is on my doorstep, but I press forward. On one of my rare nights out this month, I was driving home from a friend’s show. As I came through Hollywood, I passed by the Capitol Records building. ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ came on the radio at just that moment. And all my problems disappeared. In that moment, I was reminded, ‘I’m home.’ Nothing else mattered for a few minutes. I was happy.
I am happy. I have a family, a ‘Fam’, and an endgame to finish. I wish I could still point to Ali as a living example of what the best of us are, but he’s gone in that sense. And I’m one of many who beyond Ramadan have committed to take another step forward, to be more disciplined, to hold myself more accountable at all times, to be the best living example I can be for this beautiful community I represent.
One day at a time. One moment at a time.