Nina

I’m blogging on my tablet from the Caribbean, sitting above the beach, looking north to the water through the palms. My wife is napping in our room. It’s a new calendar year, the last month of my 44th year, and there’s hardly been time to reflect. I wanted to update in late December, but that month was as much a blur as the months that preceded it.

I’m not the old me, nor the new one really. More alternate timeline than reboot. As always, connections are cyclical. For simplicity’s sake–it’s a fresh start in a fresh year.

Islam. Marriage. A new home, for a while. New family/configurations/potentials. We’ve arrived through struggle, conflict, ordeals, explorations, prayers and blessings. We’re both aware of how fortunate we are and are both very thankful, Alhamdulillah.

(Yes, I know the last time I checked in about this I was a secular humanist. More on the subject another time. The Darwin card has not expired.)

We are a we. A real we, like I’ve never had the chance to experience properly. It’s my third time living on our street (in Toronto) since the millennium, and yet that’s unimportant to note. It’s the kind of reference to my past I’m trying to minimize. As I said to my wife just today, “I didn’t come still in the wrapper.” It’s a challenge for her, and it’s tough for me to think in reinvent mode all the time. It works out the way it should: we didn’t get here without accepting the landscape.

It’s a beautiful landscape, and I’m not referencing my current view with that metaphor, though the view is part of it; the result of commitment to it. We got here together, and I’m confident that, InshAllah, we’re going to shape and build a lot together in it.

Her name is Nehal El-Hadi. We met almost three years ago. She comes from a good, loving family. She descends from a line of healers, academics, poets, politicians, nomads. She’s lived in several continents. She’s incredibly bright, funny, supportive. A wiki when it comes to books, culture, hip hop, fashion, journalism, urban planning and the post-human future. A super nerd, like me. Most importantly, she not only tolerates but appreciates my frequent, tic-like lapses into music monologue/humming/drumming. We do things together because we both naturally want to.

We watch sci-fi together. By mutual default.

Soul mate? I know, I gave up on that notion years ago. I’m more than willing to discover it as the product of work/years. I get to explore the possibilities with a beautiful woman who considers me an equal.

Nehal is already a great wife, and a loving/loved stepmother. She’s someone who will be a guide for me and for my daughter Aderemi, and I hope we will be for her. Right now she’s enjoying our honeymoon the way I am not, and so, update submitted. Happy 2012.

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