Tag Archives: life

The Legend of The Green Olive

kapow-1601675_1920Let me tell you a story. This is the absolutely true story of a real-life superhero who almost saved the world. Before I tell you anything else, I need to let you know that this particular superhero’s name is “The Green Olive” (cue Arrow music – look it up if you don’t know what I’m talking about). Don’t laugh. Or actually, go ahead and laugh. You deserve this temporary relief from the grim realities of this world. Because that was The Green Olive’s mission: to save us all from the evil and tyranny that runs rampant in our times. The Green Olive’s reign lasted a brief few weeks. During this short span of time, he (and I only use he/him for convenience’s sake, so bear with me and kindly get down from your soapbox) did his job extraordinarily well. He lit up the darkest corners, and dusted away the cobwebs. He fought against injustice and made the world a better place for everyone who knew him. Unfortunately, since he was still under training when he gained his superhero status, one day he met his match. Like all superheros, he lived his short life in relative obscurity. Very few knew of his existence, and of those who did, fewer still knew of his reality. I only tell you his story because while he was anonymous to most of the world, he was and will remain a true hero to me.
Now let me tell you another story. And in the telling, I hope for healing, for myself and for others like me. This is not just a story about one person’s brief and heroic life. This is the story about my family and my child. You see, the origin of The Green Olive came from one of those pregnancy websites that tell you how long/big your baby is at any given week. At around 9 weeks, I was informed that my baby was as long as a green olive, and hence, a legend was born. A few days later, his tiny heart stopped beating, breaking mine and my husband’s in the process. Despite his short life, and despite the grief, we agreed that he had done his job, and done it well, and were grateful for every moment we got to spend with him. He spread joy and gave us hope. We fell hopelessly and fiercely in love with him when we saw his almost impossibly small heart beating for the first time, so much so that we thought our own hearts would burst. He allowed us to dream happy, crazy dreams. He made us worry about how weird he would be, inevitable, considering his geeky parents were making up wacky stories about him being The Green Olive (cue Arrow music), the adventures he would have, and the villains he would vanquish. He would be the greatest superhero of all time. He made us feel complete, that we had a future that made sense to us. The whole world seemed to open up, with endless possibilities. He proved, however, to be too good to remain in this world.
The ending of this story is not a strange one. I won’t bother you with statistics, mainly because our baby, like all the people we love, is not a number. What I will tell you is that miscarriages are more common than most people think, and yet, they rarely are discussed. Women are advised to hide their pregnancies for as long as possible so that if they do miscarry in those precarious early months, they wouldn’t have to tell everyone that they did. This advice is infuriating and unhelpful, telling grieving couples to sweep the death of an unborn child under the rug. Before I wrote this story, I debated whether I should. Should I share it with the world? Would anyone care? Would people think I was being overly dramatic, because, after all, this is “just” a miscarriage? I finally decided I didn’t care what other people would think. I decided I wasn’t sharing my grief, but rather, I was sharing the wondrous moments we got to live with our never-to-be born baby. You may not have known him, and may not think twice about him once you are done reading this, but to me, to us, The Green Olive was, is, and forever will remain, our own little superhero.

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Too many…

Painting palette

A solution to "too many"-syndrome?

I’ve noticed lately that my life is full of “too many”s right now, so I decided to post a list:

1. I have too many books piled up on my desk right now. Most of them are recent purchases from a book sale in which the fact that the books were on sale (more or less regardless of their final price) convinced me that it is OK to buy them. After all, if they weren’t on sale, I would be paying at least 20% extra. Never mind that the 80% that I did pay was technically out of my currently beleaguered budget. Never mind that I don’t have enough space to have all those books. Never mind.

2. Building on #1, I have too many books and journals I now want to read. All at the same time. Part of this is due to #1, and part of this is due to a project I’m finishing up this month that involves revisiting and translating a chapter of my MA thesis for publication in a trilingual academic journal (I’m only translating it from English to Arabic, though). Revisiting my thesis re-sparked my interest in the academic side of literature studies, which made me want to read every single piece of literature on earth. As well as everything that’s been written about every single piece.

3. I have too many things I want to write and do — all at the same time. As soon as I mentally check off an item on my to-do list (which usually stays in my head due to fear of concrete documentation of all tasks that call for attention), more seem to pop-up. This makes me dream too often about a very cool productivity tool I learned about in a fairy tale more than 25 years ago (and I’ve been dreaming about it for 25 years). The fairy tale is “The Shoemaker’s Elves”, in which the kindly shoemaker and his wife go to sleep at night, only to wake up and find that elves have happily finished all their work for them. I don’t know about you, but this nifty solution continues to feature high on my wish-list.

4. I have too many hopes hanging on the outcome of my young balcony-garden. That’s the thing with gardening, which is something I’m new to on a large scale (I’ve grown the odd plant or two or three in the past, but nothing on the scale of the project I’ve embarked on a few weeks ago). With gardening, you basically plant the seeds, try to take care of them and create as beneficial an environment for them to grow, and then wait… and wait… and wait… Of course, once any seedling comes up, the excitement makes up for all the waiting, but then you start worrying about all the other seeds who still haven’t germinated. Like so many other things, it’s too easy to take a seed’s lack of–or just late–germination as a sign of personal failure.

5. I have allowed too many days, weeks, and *yikes* months to pass without updating my blog. Enough said.

So, am I diligently working at solving  all these “too many”s currently in my life?

Well, I guess it all depends on what you think about the fact that I’m ignoring them all (except for this post) and have decided that the best possible course of action is to sign up for a painting course. Woohoo!

What do you do when you have “too-many”-syndrome?

[psssst… by the way, I’ve missed you all. Really.]


Filed under books, life, Readings