Wednesday, September 17, 2008

on the fence

i'm new around these parts so let me introduce myself. my name's yasmin, i'm a vt alum (go hokies!), i like blogging, and i would like to help in a small way with dc green muslims (even though i'm from the VA). please find it within yourself to forgive my habit of not capitalizing, using many many commas, and just generally being one of "those" bloggers.

let's get right to it then- why? i'm here to share my views, help make some of the people around me more conscious of the decisions they make (and why), and figure out *why* issues of sustainability are so important to me. why indeed. when it comes to my intentions, i try to be brief (perhaps for my own lack of mental organization), so forgive me for my brevity. on with it :)

does anyone else like driving as much as i do? i tend to get my best thoughts while driving, and find it very easy to engage in dhikr (remembrance of God). granted, of course, that the driving is easy (sooo, not so much in dc proper ;). anyway, i'm a fan of analogies and they seem to come together for me most while i'm driving. here's my latest...

i was thinking about what it means to be "green," and how it's been described in "shades"- darker, lighter. i think even i've used that imagery. sometimes i feel like there's this hidden competition to see who's greener- having a hybrid vs. riding a bike vs. walking vs....i don't know. eating at mcdonalds vs. eating only raw stuff vs...not eating? not to say we shouldn't reduce our ecological footprint on our beloved planet, but what is our end goal, anyway? if it's harmony we're looking for, i think it's safe to say i've met quite a few harmonious people who aren't your typical "greenies." and God knows better (allahu alam).

i feel like encouraging sustainable behaviors is more a sensibility and less an argument- a demonstration of adab (manners), perhaps. (don't worry, i'm getting to the analogy)* and how, perhaps instead of each person being a particular shade of green, each person's sensibilities is like a field. some fields are adjacent and some share no borders at all. each is tilled in its own way, grows its own things, and yes, they even affect each other (runoff, cross-pollination, etc.). now imagine fences between them (happy fences, if the thought disturbs you). well, i'm on the fence on most issues. the benefit being that i know that even if the grass looks greener on one side, the potential on the other side isn't diminished.** occasionally, i pick sides. but in the case of my philosphy on being green, i like knowing that fences can be jumped.

*perhaps you should know before reading the analogy: i studied agriculture in college. maybe that'll explain a little.
** in particular, i studied soil. yes- dirt. that lovely dark (sometimes red, if you're from my area) stuff. it's important :)

ps - oh, i forgot to mention. i try to keep my intentions short, but i tend to ramble on posts (you win some, you lose some).


Heather said...

What did u study about dirt? I used to love mud...when we wanted to go to the beach I'd be like "only when the tide's out, so I can enjoy a vast expanse of mud!"...hahaha. Obviously I was a kid...I should clarify that...

Sanjana said...

ah, i LOVE driving too, esp. at night. some of my best "thinking" happens on the 8hr drives to TN. i'm not sure how to break this non-green habit...i'm thinking about taking up horseback riding as an alternative?

thanks so much for posting this!

Mohamad A. Chakaki said...

thanks yasmin! very thoughtful post, masha'Allah. the niyyah and the agricultural analogy. i think it's very cool that you're from Virginia. a beautiful state... and good driving, yes.

you should ask Ustah Abdurraffa about the Virginia song the kids at Al-Fatih made up last year. supposedly the first one extolling the beauties of the Commonwealth in Arabic! ;)


Mohamad A. Chakaki said...

BTW... you're the second person i've heard recently liken a "green" ethic to adab. i think that's a powerful connection. can i ask you (or others) for more on that? :)

hijabihoodlum said...

heather- everything! particle sizes to organic matter to clay content; if you're ever at my place, you're more than welcome to explore my textbooks :) you were a kid who enjoyed mud too, huh? it's great for pies and stuff.

sanjana- i'm more of a daytime driver. ever been to amish country where horse driven buggies are alongside cars on roads?

mohamad- will ask sheikh abdurraffa when i get the chance. more on that (manners and green...fitra to be added) later.