As I hold my breath and let it relax throughout my ribcage, I feel the need to talk to love. As love is my truest friend and comes in all colours. To love, this is what I wrote today:
"Love with all its thoughts on you.
Devouring its subtle glances as you moved.
I was there, inquisitive for every detail that made you, you. Tranquilized by labour and the day's work, I let go of my every sorrow and turned to you with kindness and forgiveness. Never to forgive myself for the pain that I brought to you. You were always delighted and I shared my pain with you. You never uttered a word of sympathy and congratulated my motive. Each notion paid tribute to my undying note of orchestrating chaos. You still loved me love. You quote my beauty with verses of great voyage and deliver a beautiful smile. I am loud and independent, yet, I cannot fathom any commitment without your consent. I wish to become you as you desire me.
When we find ourselves, we find our other. A reflection of ourselves but in another. It is a beautiful union of universal matter and an orchestra of emotions. Alisha found her true love and followed the trace of opportunity that was written for her. Being in a world, predominantly accessed by digital media we tend to miss out on opportunities surrounding us. Read my next blog post REAL . GOOD on self discovery.
Embedding her palms
In emerging crystal banks
Gentle strokes along her limbs
Along crevices that bloomed once again
She stood humbly as florals drifted along her skin
Give birth to a being rendered in light
She bares herself
Reigning in crystals delight
Air, water, white
Written by Sarah Hussain
Photography by Melissa Matheson
Midnight to living at 29
By Sarah Hussain
As I converse with my inner light today, I hadn't the idea of the pain she had been afraid to admit. It wasn't an ordinary form of frustration but a transition that she was asked to submit herself to. She needed a calling but what she didn't know was that her soul was the one calling out to her. It was as if an alarm was going off constantly but being silenced every time it tried to wake her up. Her slumber was nonexistent to the people around her, her voice would vibrate off her surroundings and then come back to her. Not one individual could hear her speak because they didn't care, they would intoxicate her rise with sultry smog and diffuse her glow with their own anxiety. Then one night, she was confronted by a task that was pending and she thought, "if I combine healthy choices with productivity maybe this will finally complete itself." She took back a step and reminded herself that the work needed to be done by her. Herself. Loving herself.
No one can make you feel good about yourself better than yourself.
29 - to each and every being in your life craves your energy. Note to self, learn to be selfish for yourself. Everything is temporary.
Awakened state - 2017
Stylist/Henna/Direction: SarahHussain (@breathofhenna). www.breathofhenna.com
MUA: JenelleForde (@jenelleforde). www.jenelleforde.com
HairStylist: ChristinaGomes (@christina_gomes). www.suprememobileandspa.com
Photographer: MelissaMatheson (@melmath)
Wardrobe: MonaLisaBridal (@mona_lisa_bridal_gallery)
HairAccessories: IlienaGeorge (@ilieanageorge). www.ilieanageorge.com
Model: JennaBorisevich. www.peggilepage.com/models/jenna/
Pulling away the layers of the embellished fittings from around under my bust. I couldn't breathe. As soon as I exhaled my head leaned backwards to straighten my spine. I could not fathom the weight. I felt as though, heaven's greatest had forgotten to take His mighty hand off the crown of my skull. My surroundings were muted by the silence of colours escalading through the corners of my eyes as when the sun's rays would highlight the cerulean waters of the ocean; the veil dropped. I fixed the trinklets hooked onto my bangles and ran a sliver of skin down the side of the embroidered bands to the crevice of my breasts. My fingers poised upwards as my gaze lowered, and I started to walk.
The circulation in my waist was concealed and the fluidity of my hips began to sway along the weight of my skirt as I caught a glimpse of her. She looked gently and recited, 'chasm-e-badoor' (to ward off the evil eye). I acknowledged her graciously with a smirk. Alas my neck, which had no meaning; as though it never existed, began to let go of its poise. Gravity showed no mercy as I sauntered towards my reigning throne.
O' Eyes of despair why are you lurking through the windows of my soul.
This is my awakening and I have wished for this ever so dearly.
The details were ideally a dream, a miraculous world woven of the finest silks and the warmth of the lavender incense had the room glowing. I could not see the aisles of leisure and freedom.
I was raised on the mountains where the birds nurtured me with freedom and my relentless behavior gave heed to the winds of the storm. I never even tied my hair. My locks would surround my body as a void of protection and wisdom; virtuous.
My veil, the veil you have so well defined as my best also came with a world that you never did tell me as I slept. A world of perplexed thinkers, a surrounding of voices in constant turmoil; one where I would never find peace. Truth is that, you; she, her, you never made it clear or found a reason to exist within the turmoil. You simply lived. Did you?
You're probably reading this entry thinking about the stereotypes behind women who are of culture, of belonging to a realm of traditional cultivated thoughts. Minorities? No. We all exist in the world of discomposed thinkers and segregating activists - within our own homes. I love my husband, I truly do but to acknowledge him as my complete that isn't one-hundred percent true. I hasten my ordinary every day without a doubt, my sleep is no longer filled with intrinsic adventures. It is no longer my own.
Creatures that blossomed from an unearthly
Incomparable union of sacred rituals and blessings.
Bred in silk-spun wombs
Their spines inhaled the nectar
They bathed in the syrup of that very nectar
Where branches of saffron blended
Together with the milk of almonds
As the nelumbo nucifera carried them afloat;
The Indian lotus.
They were raised as warriors
Their hands soft as the belly of a hummingbird.
They were voices
Without pain or cries.
There was once a time
When all was countless
Spirited and free.
Thankfully there is still a mother,
I wish to be.
As I raise my head, the floral garlands on my wrists revive the glow overlooking my view. The glow that one believes to exist when in union with harmony. It was him all along. My grasp is liberated to unfold this very letter that was embedded in my soul. I had been immersed in the depth of his presence, as he held my hand, he looked into my eyes and his smile opens up another portal. I now recall those dreams that you so generously gifted me as a child, "O' love of mine, your being is to be with the very best. The all vital state of your existence is when you know yourself and he accepts you true."
Stepping on the stage to be crowned, as his wife, with him, a man - his name was announced. This was your letter and my day is today. Your recitings before I left home were to protect but to also instill the very teachings you were taught. The veil is of a prevailing state. Laughter of a blooming household; a shelter for the traveler, a mirage of passage through cultural narratives. I was the center of my home. The veil was my power and I wore it as my crown. A veil is worn by a Bride on her wedding day, an entitlement not every woman can carry forth.
She is a warrior and life is her battle.
Credits for the work seen in the highlighted editorial within this written response:
Thank you Genna of Loft 404 for allowing me to bring my verses to life.
An excerpt from a letter I wrote:
"I humbly accept this union of tranquil bliss and flourishing friendship, devotion and sentiment. This, now, here is infinite as I have waited for this time of the awakened state. I am aware of your delightedness and as I too am delighted. We are aware of the challenges that will grace us with their hindering ventures. But, you and I both know there is nothing that we have not advanced through. We are OK. My friendship will coexist with my love for you as you are what defines my state of being a woman. I hope you can say the same or at least that this moment acknowledges our harmony together. You bring challenging discourse to our times of union as do I and we are still here. We all possess baggage and we need a state of revival - when I met you, you revived me. You shower me with endless opportunity and you are aware of what whirl winds I attain. Let me be open to you, I will guide you and astonish you with remarks but to cherish you as heaven's greatest gift is to not say the least. You are that presence I had seeked for; a longing I had wondered about since the first marriage I attended. I was ecstatic about the trinkets of embellishments and what love was. The veil, if it may weigh heavy, we will pull through. Never to let go of your hand in times of distraught. You are what defines great men and I have been so very privileged to have you in my life."
These stories are woven in between veins, hidden away; so deep beneath our corsets. Our souls, entrenched in words that are broadcasted only through our hearts surrounded in cages of bone and blood. Here you see Hania Zaman - our BRIDE in an exuberant arrangement of thread work and embellishment. Created by one of Pakistan's finest Bridal designers ELAN. When is marriage instilled in a young girl? Why do we dream of great romance or that marriage is eternal bliss? Culture to its finest craftsmanship. A great woman always says, right after sunset 'Never wish or feel ill about your future, especially when it comes to marriage. Hold true to your being and remain strong. A great man of your desires will come and keep you happy. This is my wish' - Mama.
in the realm of
Quoting my dear Mama isn't to raise any form of bewilderment. She tells the truth. We work hard to maintain a balance between life, family, honour, respect, fitness, health, meditation and everything else you can possibly imagine. So why not wish for the best, the greatest; your greatest! This is how she was raised and millions of other young girls. To be calm and collect while the world is in turmoil. If your family ever needed you, you either complete your work in advance or you let your breath be your regime. Can you imagine how life would be if with every breath you breathed another thought, another movement. Every step you took was to build your home with love; fervidly contending to your children and significant other. We need several minutes to complete a task, how is this possible? As we grow, we acknowledge our mothers and run around aimlessly trying to build our own force in our homes. My tongue raging endlessly in English after coming back home from school, exhausted while she drinks her cup of tea. I didn't know she was relaxing. She never once needed to, or made it seem that way. MASHALLAH. She listens and till today she is there. A Bride is a woman defined by her upbringing; her mother, if not present, then her father, a sister, a guardian. What I love about this this photograph which was taken by the very talented Athena Blude is that this portrait evokes Hania's eternal elevated state as a BRIDE. Her memories extended in her long hair, woven up towards the sky and gracefully dressed by the heavenly veil. Her jewels are subtle as she wears her simplest all gold set. This is her moment and she remembers all that she was told, heard, read, wrote and folded in secrets close to her heart. Within one breath, she remembers it all.
I am absolutely in love with your work
and would be ecstatic if you could do my bridal henna!
My wedding is on
2016 in CT/RI.
Hand drawn by Sarah Hussain of BREATH OF HENNA. Now seen in ink on Bridal Henna Diaries. 2016
It was a blessed summer's afternoon in Toronto during Hania's consultation. Streams of sunlight were highlighting both of our faces while she was sitting in a cafe in Connecticut. While talking to her, all I could focus on was her smile, saturated in summer's eternal bliss. Was she ever so delighted to talk to me about her henna affairs. The smile channeled its way into discussing her appeals into the detailing of Bridal henna and that she adored intricacy. Why would she not? She had two beautifully crafted ELAN gowns for her wedding and reception day where labyrinths of embellishments and threads would talk history. ELAN ELAN ELAN. I was interrupted by a thought where all I could think of was, this was it! An explosion of cultural dialect and Pakistan's exquisite realm of art and design. Memories of my mother's valima (reception) gown flew into place as a flock of doves to a seeded temple. My mind started to tick and tock and then suddenly an assembly line formed into a very tight; inflexible area and I said YES! Within hours before I boarded my flight to LGA airport, Hania had received her Bridal rendering and was ecstatic. I am more than overjoyed with her Bridal Henna Diary as it's my most treasured artwork within Bridal Henna.
Dearest Athena, you have instilled beauty, memories of our childhood into these opulent wedding photographs for dearest Hania and Zahan. Traditions are evoked from the veiling of floral bangles and ornaments adorning her Mehndi (day 2) stain.
Then, it happened…I was to be married. The life that you had shown me was suddenly nonexistent; as if the moon had been unstitched from the very night of hope. Awakening that morning surrounded by a floral breeze and white porcelain teacups, I could see myself admitting to the cultural hesitation that I once was so good at avoiding.
Being a middle-class family member, I encouraged my personality to shine in Ammi’s reception lehenga (bridal skirt and top) because I knew I wanted to keep her close. The words myself, I, me and being suddenly all reflected a woman I had never thought envisioning. Everyone around me was here to criticize, a glimpse of struggle or discomfort, a constant inquire about why I chose to marry this late. All I can think of is my happiness, underlined with threads of resham with Ammi's smile. Thank you Ammi for letting me love myself first.
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