April 29, 2009

Sometimes, you just need to stop and smell the dead bugs that have been sitting on that windowsill for the last two years

A few days ago, my feed reader led me to a fairly bad article that caught my attention.  I read it before heading off to work, shortly after it was published, but did not have time to share my comments at that time.  I thought to myself, by the time I get home, dozens of other people would probably say the same thing.  If not, maybe I'd leave a comment - it had been a while that I'd been an active contributor to the Muslim blogosphere.

"Dozens" was an understatement.  The response was angry, constant, unforgiving.  I briefly considered adding a comment to echo the overwhelming majority opinion against the article, but stopped myself - what more would I be contributing?

Unfortunately, that question has been popping up all too often of late, holding back my erstwhile love of writing - the idea that I have to be contributing something amongst the millions of other voices out there.  When I evaluate the odds, I feel outnumbered, and busy myself instead with local endeavours, finding my place in the urban community that is slowly becoming home.

The plight of my city has given me tonnes of material to write about - never before has the Ottawa Muslim community been under this much public scrutiny. My recent travels have opened new worlds to me.  My new family life has filled that void that pervaded much of my earlier writing and life.  So why, then, am I holding back my thoughts?

The most memorable feedback I've ever received about my irrelevant opinions came from an anonymous e-mailer who I don't believe was even one of the regular commenters here.  After searching my rarely-used Hotmail account, I was reminded about other occasions where blogging lost value to me, but how I came back in the end. Their words:

"... and Allah has given you the gift of writing.  Use this gift to remind people of what is important, or maybe just to pay attention to things we tend to take for granted.  With the right intention, this blog could be your ticket to acceptance by Allah."

So perhaps there is room to contribute to the world, at this little corner of blogspot.com?