A year ago today, I was just reading the final pages of a very beautiful book: The Butterfly Mosque, an autobiography by G. Willow Wilson.
I jotted down a few thoughts on that day:
The snow has been steadily, quietly falling since yesterday evening, blanketing the city by degrees.
I’ve spent the morning in bed to finish reading “The Butterfly Mosque”, by G. Willow Wilson. In general, her autobiography and the early works that accompany it, particularly “Cairo” and “Air”, have taken me by surprise in the past month.
It’s very beautiful, very passionate material. Her writing style is not flowery or ornamental, but her subjects are often deeply romantic.
Over and over, Wilson’s work is very much about love, and the way that different kinds of love intersect. Love of family. Love of community. Love of humanity, love of beauty. Love of truth and fairness, love of knowledge and reason. And entwined at the heart of things, a braided knot of the three passions that are most fundamental to her: love of self, love of partner, and love of God.
Listening is the root of all wisdom, and reading is one of the most potent and intense forms of listening. The central holy book for 1.7 billion people on Earth is called “The Recitation”, and in many respects “Islam”, a word which translates literally to “submission”, seems to be a life-long commitment to listen.
I haven’t gained much real knowledge of Islam as yet, but I can begin to see how little I know. And that is something.
I’ve been pretty quiet about the books I was reading last year. As I’ve said before, I was primarily reading these volumes for myself, to stimulate growth and foster a better understanding of the world. I feel I have further to go, and I am still walking the path.