Category Archives: Art

I Can’t…


by A.N. Bayat

I’m angry, you’re angry, everyone’s angry and if you are not angry you will be.

I went for hot chocolate with a friend last night. A lady approached us asking how she could help and how bad it all made her feel and she wanted to do something because she felt helpless. My friend told her we were fine and we appreciate it. She insisted that she felt so bad she had to do something. She offered to pay for our hot chocolate. At first, we said no and she was so distraught, so we allowed it. She said she felt so much better. Her husband pointed out that she wasn’t doing anything to help us, that we were doing more to help her by helping her feel better.

I thought about what he said, and that hit the nail on the head. I had someone message me yesterday to offer their help and support and in the same breath chastise me and judge me for posting what she thought were angry posts.  

It made me realise that so much of this, although it doesn’t affect many directly, it affects so many indirectly.

In the past few days, I’ve come across people who I thought were being insensitive or not empathetic. I felt they were making this situation about themselves while others were hurting, afraid and even uncertain about their futures. They tell me they feel helpless and want to help, want to reach out, how can they help and what can they do? They want to go to mosques and invite people for Thanksgiving and are concerned how that works. That’s thoughtful. Something about all that kept bothering me and I couldn’t pinpoint it until the hot chocolate incident.

It also made me realise that it is still everyone for themselves, even those it affects and those who say they want to help. This isn’t unity. There are enough people out there who really don’t care, who don’t want to help and people who it doesn’t affect directly. The rest of us – empathise.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I appreciate those who care. If you are judging me for how I feel or express my feelings and in the same breath want me to not feel it or express it to make you feel better, what is really happening? If you understand the anger of those of us whose rights and freedoms are on the line, then understand it, but don’t ask me not to feel it to make you feel better.

Don’t tell me, not to be angry, not to speak out, not to make waves, not to…Don’t tell me to help you feel better. I can’t even help myself.

I can’t empathise right now. I’m confused. I can’t lift you up right now. I’m exhausted. I can’t spell it out for you. I’m unfocused. I can’t help you feel better or tell you what to do to not feel helpless about it. I am trying to sort it out. I can’t be strong for you. I can’t be silent or polite for you. I can’t…I can’t…can you?

A part of me knows, I’m not angry. I’m disappointed and determined. You’re safe with me.

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Filed under Art, Change, Islam, justice, Loss, Phases, Religion

Once Upon a Time


They say perception is reality. If that is so, then there is beauty in everything.
There is beauty in the darkness as well as in the light.





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Field Notes: “Dear Joe…this is what I happened today…or what I saw, thought or heard…”



Sometimes when I am writing to him, or we talk about something, it inspires me to write. Those are usually the best times and the best ones. They are usually the ones where I dig deep. With him I let down my guard and am not just thinking, but feeling. I reach for deeper understanding. My field notes begin with “Dear Joe…this is what I happened today…or what I saw, thought or heard…”

I carry two books with me wherever I go. Both are addressed to the man in my life. He is my best friend, my muse and my confident, all wrapped into one. In one I do vent and just speak from emotions. Mostly it’s just saying things I don’t mean. The other is just me speaking to him, when I have no other way of connecting.  To me, he is my best friend. Right or wrong, that’s how it is. He’s my inspiration. Over the years, I’ve tried to distance myself from him and turn those feelings and connection into something different, something distant and disconnected. But, it isn’t just about feelings. Not for me. It’s about a place he holds in my life that is only of family. He is not replaceable and never expendable.

I have asked so many questions and looked beyond doctrine alone to understand this place, to examples and places beyond just what I am told. I can’t just believe without question. I have to know the why, how and what. I didn’t come back to my religion out of fear or hopes of some grand reward. I did so because I truly believe. Maybe I don’t seem to believe in the same sense as many people do or maybe not in the same manner as most. I didn’t do it through ritual or conservative dogma. I believe in the God who created us, gave us free will, expressed his most intimate concerns and expectations for us as people and a society. I believe in the God that taught us to love and gave us the ability to discern.

I don’t believe God put anyone in my path that has given me so much, for no reason. I have grown a lot in all the years since I met this man and that wasn’t something I did alone. That very much had to do with his coming into my life and being a part of it. It’s the biggest reason he matters beyond just emotions. It is why I believe he is in my life for a reason. He’s a blessing. Because he has made me a better person. I looked at all the aspects of my life. He has inspired me to grow and expand my worldview. He gave me wings and security so that I feel I can do anything. He helped me to progress and has shown me to love and look at myself in a critical way. He’s pushed me to be someone beyond who I was. He’s given me vision and helped me to have hope and believe. He is the reason I came back to God. I cannot ever see him as anything negative or have any regret. He is not a mistake. God put him in my life when I didn’t know I needed someone. He keeps him in it for a reason. No one has to tell me who he is in my life. I’ve known it a while. It’s why I came back to him. I do not see him as just sex or someone I love. He’s is beyond that in my life. Those are just the perks. I was once told that the definition of family is its members working to support, accept each other and see each other through. Whenever I think of him I can’t help but feel thankful, it’s always what I mean. When I become angry it’s always from fear. He’s someone I value and can’t imagine him not in my life. He is the one man I measure everyone against.

When he asked for another chance, I thought about it over and over. When he asked me to trust him again, I turned it all over looking for some kind of deception. Even when he expressed his feelings for me, his concerns and his struggles, although it scared me, I couldn’t turn away. I thought about all of it. I even thought to run. But, I pushed through those feelings and thoughts to try to be the woman who learned once again, that there is so much to life, to be grateful for all the gifts I’ve been given and to cherish every moment I’m bestowed.

He is my tether when I might just float away into my own world.

Sir Thomas Moore said it best, “You wouldn’t abandon ship in a storm just because you couldn’t control the wind.”

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Elements of Unconditional Love

12932715_10207869414786148_4531591342755493520_n…I didn’t always have faith …even when you did. Maybe there were times, you didn’t either or maybe you always have. But, those are things I haven’t doubted in a very long time. So, it does unnerve me when we are shaken because it becomes a new worry.





I feel as if you hold such tight control of the situation that you are not trusting me to be here for you and maybe that’s my fault as well because of my reactions. You are who you are and you like control and I am who I am and I don’t always initially react well to things. It depends on how I am approached…I suppose. Whether I react well or not I have struggled with trust and you know why. But even with all that, I have afforded you a great deal of trust. In the past I have seen the way you handle us as something else altogether but you showing me some of what you go through has helped a lot in being here and not immediately defaulting to feelings of betrayal or deliberate humiliation as I did in the past. I feel as if we have a repeat pattern and it’s not the one I always believed it to be. I feel that maybe it is that control element. When we are not together, before we met and the years in between, you have no control over us, so you try hard to have it, to get me and keep me, possibility because of your feelings and/or attachment to me. Then things do change drastically when we do come together again, because you do seem to try to maintain control and keep the upper hand…I think that is the part that I feel because when you have control of the situation, you also have control over me in a sense, and the ability to hurt me. I didn’t trust you in the past as much as I do now. I still struggle and become afraid, but not in the same manner because I do trust you more.  You try to remain in control, so you don’t get hurt and so you can manage things, your feelings, my presence or the power of emotions…the things is, that really neither of us has control over the other in that sense; because we both care. I have known this a while but not afraid to allow you to take control of us because I trust you, not to hurt me or use it against me.

…don’t know if you are or not giving me credit for my ability to be here for you, or maybe you are giving me too much credit in my ability to withstand a lot. Maybe you know something about I don’t. Yes, we have been through a lot and gotten through a lot to still be here and maybe you see that as evidence that we always will…It took me a long to time to realize that us not being fragile centered around your feelings because you know how you feel and what you have been through to stay…and I guess you know that as long as you have those feelings we stay…the thing is that our history shows us that this was not on a whim, this wasn’t just us acting and making decisions on feelings alone. It wasn’t something that just happened. There was something that brought us together, something that made us strong and something that has kept us together even when we have no other ties to each other.

This is one of those things, where I feel if I just take it for granted or become complacent that I will lose…but that’s just what experience has taught me in general. I think a huge part of me doesn’t trust that anything works out because well because of a lot of things and maybe too young I saw how badly life can fall apart and how easily it can… I can’t help realizing how it has affected me and my choices.

I don’t expect that you have all the answers…well maybe I mostly do. I see you that way and sometimes do forget you are human and don’t always have all the answers. That is the me that looks up to you and leans on you. I guess sometimes when I ask you to respond, I am not asking for an explanation. I realized that maybe you may feel you have said all that you know or can say or even have answers to. Sometimes, all I want or expect is to know that you hear me and you are listening even if you don’t have the answers. Because in that way alone you make me feel better and are enough…


…your struggle is not about me. He said as well that some of your struggle is more of a control issue because you caring about me leaves you feeling vulnerable and not in complete control of your feelings. And like me when I discovered the same thing years ago…not having control of something in my life, especially my feelings, was terrifying to me. Where once I was afraid to love, now I am afraid to lose. I stopped struggling against my feelings and accepted them and only then did I have any control at all; by letting go of control and trusting my heart in your hands even when I am afraid (the pastor saw that when I didn’t. I am not used to being bested that way) …The thing is, I am not your enemy. this isn’t me against you. Neither of us has the upper hand when it comes to feelings. that’s why, I step back and don’t fight you for it. If you need it, then I can be without it. That’s me trusting you. I trust you to guard us, to guard my heart and protect it as you would your own…I fight, then you take control and I struggle some here and there…but I trust. I count on you.  I do lean on you.

The fear comes in waves and then I take a breath and then I just have faith. I let go of control.

“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mathew 17:20)

Because I have faith in general, even a modicum, I trust you with me.

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Out of the Darkness

stock-photo-22949856-black-and-white-image-of-two-hands-reaching-outHe became a real presence in my life from the moment he stood in my door way, with those mischievous eyes and that knowing smile. From then on, I couldn’t imagine him not being in my life, part of my life and part of me. I was so nervous, annoyed, anxious, frustrated, every emotion tied into one, turned into itself and upside down. My skin was on fire and my head was a jumble of thoughts. My heart was beating in uncontrollable rhythms and he was hours late. I couldn’t decide whether to hug him or shake him. I was raw with emotion and he was cool as can be. The way he looked at me, his eyes following my every move. My frustrations turn to actions. I felt my hand on his cheek with a loud crack. He didn’t flinch. He never took his eyes off me. “The other cheek is jealous,” he said with that cool and controlled manner. Then that sudden expansive passion of raw emotions. He’s all things, all at once, perfection and imperfection. He is my chaos and my peace. He is my beacon and my light.


…all these years down the line and I cannot imagine my life without him.


I am the calm before the storm. I am that terrible silence that will shatter your very soul.

We don’t drift apart. We tear at each other, trying to untangle the silken web of love, affection and passion. We try to undo the layers of happiness and pain. We thought we could run fast and far, it changed nothing, not distance, not time and not silence. It hurt and smothered our joys. It took us into a darkness and we became lost. Then he looked and I looked. It was a slip and a slight and that light in the darkness, that was YOU; That was ME; That was US. We’re inescapable, insatiable and invincible. We were inevitable.

He is part of me. I am part of him.

In the fiercest storm, you are my  haven.

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My Sacred Name

        By A.N. Bayat


Unknown artist


You know my sacred name
not ever meant for all
You held me with your gaze
You hold my fragile heart
You’ve held it a million years
You’ve had it from the start

i should have walked away that day
i should have gone invisible
i  shouldn’t have answered your call
i should  not have given all
i should have closed my heart
i should have turned my back
i should have lost my faith
i should have sailed away
i should have forgotten you

no expectations
no love
no loss
no pain
no joy
no happiness
no us

what would life have been if I’d never looked your way?
What would it have been if I’d turned and walked away?
If I’d never taken a chance, what I would have missed?


i can’t imagine my life if i had never smiled
i can’t imagine it if i had never ever tried
i can’t imagine life if I’d kept it locked away
i can’t imagine it if I’d not left that door ajar

turned on that light
expressed that moment
or handed you my soul

What would our lives have been
without that loving tender kiss?
what would it have been
without that comforting embrace?

How would it all have changed
without your understanding smile?
How would it be different
without your caring patient gaze?

I would never have known love
happiness or joy
I can stand every ounce of pain,
sadness and tears
because you are always here for me
to love away my fears…


who ever thought I’d love a man
so course and rough around the edges
but loving from the start
that’s  why over all the years
all the distance in between,
No one else has ever held my heart


or known my sacred name

You’ve held it a million years

you’ll have a million more



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Filed under Art, bdsm, bondage, Communication, fire, Loss, Love, passion, Poetry, Politics, Relationships, Religion, sex, Story

Every Part of Me

By A.N. Bayat

I keep trying to see

what he ever did for me

he was never there

He never held my hand


He left me standing alone

in a cold desolate land

he didn’t know me

I left him far behind


He was never meant

into the sacred depths of me

to know my heart

to hold it tight


I hid all my joys

all my pain

every part of me

he could ever see


I learned to build

those walls

learned to wrap

in swaths of fears


I came and stayed

a mind full of turmoil

I hid my heart away

with all my repercussions


He was never meant to know

my lonely fragile heart

He was never meant to

keep it hidden away


I was never meant for him

Only for the wind

I was never meant for prison

Only freedoms I recall


He was just another captor

my first taste of loss

He was never but a incubi

the center of my chaos


He left so many scars

It was nothing but confusion

I set a world between us

where I could find my peace


He tried with every action,

and salty little lies to

drag me into his quagmire

I fought with every breath

to escape that fallow lonely life


He can never find his way

I was nothing but a mystery

behind a hidden door

He could never find the key


IT was only in my faith

I found my real escape

It was only with my love

I found my final freedom

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