Saturday, March 08, 2008

Fare thee Well, Rockin' Hejabi

It ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe

It don't matter, anyhow

An' it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe

If you don't know by now

When your rooster crows at the break of dawn

Look out your window and I'll be gone

You're the reason I'm trav'lin' on

Don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe

That light I never knowed

An' it ain't no use in turnin' on your light, babe

I'm on the dark side of the road

Still I wish there was somethin' you would do or say

To try and make me change my mind and stay

We never did too much talkin' anyway

So don't think twice, it's all right

It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal

Like you never did before

It ain't no use in callin' out my name, gal

I can't hear you any more

I'm a-thinkin' and a-wond'rin' all the way down the road

I once loved a woman, a child I'm told

I give her my heart but she wanted my soul

But don't think twice, it's all right

I'm walkin' down that long, lonesome road, babe

Where I'm bound, I can't tell

But goodbye's too good a word, gal

So I'll just say fare thee well

I ain't sayin' you treated me unkind

You could have done better but I don't mind

You just kinda wasted my precious time

But don't think twice, it's all right.

-words and music by Bob Dylan

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Hey there for all of you readers still hanging on and reading my blog. I'm facing a serious dilemma and I'd like to hear your input if possible.
I am not in fact still wearing the hejab. I removed it this last August. It was simply too much weight for me to carry, the glares, the uncomfortable silence I'd get from people...and I know too well what they were thinking. Hadn't encountered any outright comments like some other muslimah sisters have but I'm sure they were to come someday. I have been dealing with a recent bout of serious depression (lifelong cycle, just a dip recently) as well and the hejab weight/burden just isn't helping me. I don't need the "negative vibes"/energy of hatred projected at me, thank you, I hate myself enough without anybody's help.
So, I am in fact not "Rockin' Hejabi" literally, anymore. However, it is VERY tempting to put it back on, to be that person again. Except for the hudge problem that creates. Which is; it's not to please God, but for wordly gain. Doing something that gives one the appearance of "being religious" just to advance oneself in dunya (the material world), as opposed to "akhira" which is the spiritual realm, is a hudge sin and a disease of the heart. But I haven't done it. Not yet anyways. But it looms before me....hey, it worked for Matisyahu! (shut up Shaitan!)
BTW I never have stoped practicing islam....or tasawuuf for that matter. I actually feel like I'm deeper into my practice without the outward hejab, which is definitley a weird experience... but I am nevertheless grateful for it.
I am delving deeper into my music; composing more, and polishing my songs, lord knows inshallah performing them for a real audience instead of alone in my room for once! Although I am excited that I'm moving forward with this dream of mine, it is also downright scary. I am purely, rawly scared. I want to protect myself from disappointment, from failure. I want to be another person so that if I mess up there won't be much of a consequence for me.
And deep down, I hate to admit it, I long for recognition. I know it's my ego (nafs) but I do. I want to be popular. I want to be on the stage again. It feels so good to perform. It's one of the only things in life that actually does make me feel good. I'm so sick of this depression. Of feeling worthless. Of feeling like everything I do isn't good enough. And I feel like music is the one thing that has hope in it for me.
Inshallah (god-willing) this whole put-the-hejab-back-on-because-it'll -make- you -famous- because- that'll -be -your- golden -gimmick -and- without -it -you'll -just -be -another- singer -in -a -wasteland -of- indie -folk- singers -temptation- ...will pass.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Space

Please visit my Myspace page.... and also please bear with me while it's under construction.

I'm putting rough drafts of my songs on there... and I'd LOVE your feedback! You can click on "comments" under any song then PLEASE rate the song (towards the snowman being cold/bad and towards the fire meaning "hot" or fabulous/ you think it's great). I need feedback desperately, so I can polish up.




Sunday, February 03, 2008

No Homeless Shelter in White Northern Kentucky

Homeless poop on the Suspension Bridge, Cincinnati, Ohio.
DSC_2048, originally uploaded by hjoew.
Let's face it, the economy is going for a nose dive right now in the United States. Times are hard. The value of the dollar is falling. The feds cut interest rates by .75%, then by another whopping .5% (they usually make more conservative moves, like .25). When the value of the dollar goes down, that's called inflation- the price for things stays the same in the rest of the world, but seems to get more expensive here. A great example of that is the increased price for barrels of oil. It's not really more expensive, our dollars just don't buy as much. We're being driven into a recession, and home mortgage foreclosures are up by 25% this year in Boone County.
But I digress. As I write this, I'm comfortably sitting at my computer in my warm, safe cozy home.
I have been haunted since I heard that there is no homeless shelter, at all, in Northern Kentucky.
Boone county, KY recently held a "point-in-time" homeless count, sponsored by the Boone County Human Services Department and the Vineyard Christian Church. The last point-in-time homeless count documented 45 homeless individuals in Boone County, 247 in Campbell County and 501 in Kenton County. Results of this year's count are expected back by the end of April.

There is the Fairhaven Rescue mission in Covington, but it apparenlty only can house men overnight, it isn't a place that routinely provides shelter to women and /or children.

There seem to be several shelters available on the Ohio side;

Drop-Inn Center Shelter House

Project Connect Homeless

Open Door Ministry

Cincinnati city Gospel Mission

Why is there such a difference? Lord knows that there are plenty of people with money living in Northern Kentucky, so the reason can't be financial. In the aftermath of Cincy's riots as well as the rising property tax situation, a lot of Cincinnati's well-off people have actually defected to NKY in recent years.

The reason can't be that there are more churches in Cincinnati. Northern KY is actually the World's cradle of Creationism, what with Ken Ham's Creation Museum and all. Many many people here are Pentecostal. A lot of people on my street are Catholic and even have the money to send their kids to private Catholic parochial schools.

I hypothesize that the cause of this disparity has to do with being biggotted, racist, ignorant, and the fact that people are just plain selfish.

For God's sakes, this is the area where people who *know they are well-to-do are asking for free Christmas presents! Yes, that's right! I went to my son's school in December to get names from the "Giving Tree", a charitable project where we take a name of kids or whole families from the tree and go buy them presents so they get something for Christmas. Well, while I was selecting names I ran into the lady who runs the project and found out very disturbing information. She said that almost all of the names on the tree were from families from our school! Now I know the economy is not doing well and consumer debt is at a record high, as well as unemployement and mortgage foreclosures- but PLEASE! These are NOT the kind of people I thought I was giving charity to! I thought I was helping REAL needy kids or the homeless or somebody who coudln't afford to buy their kids enough food... not middle class suburbanites!

Seriously, folks, this is a real disease. EVERY familiy that lives in this elementary school's boundaries is middle or upper-middle class. NONE of them are certifiably poor and the very fact that they think they need handouts so they can keep up thier glitzy, wasteful, middle or upper middle class lifestyle for Christmas makes me want to vomit.

Kudos to the black community in Cincinnati for taking care of the truly disadvantaged. You have real Christian values.

God-willing we can create something of similar heart for the homeless here in Northern Kentucky.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

One Love- Matisyahu is a Dervish

"Matisyahu" is a Hasidic jew who happens to be an amazingly brilliant reggae musician. I am so inspired to see someone who embraces an "ultra-religious, conservative lifestyle" succeeding in the limelight. The music world, especially, is filled with talented people who have absolutely no f*&^%$-ing clue what they really stand for- Brittney Spears comes to mind immediately, but also the slews of musicians who have committed suicide- Elliot Smith, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Elivis Presley, Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, the lead singer from INXS...the list goes on and on. Fame and fortune will chew you up and spit you out if you don't have a firm foundation, if you don't have a solid rock to cling to.

Matisyahu, to me, is living the fullest expression of a human being worshipping our Lord. He is living the true meaning of the word "Islam" which means to "surrender". He is the definition of a true "muslim" which is "one who submits himself to the will of God". The Light of God is shining through every aspect of his being. Apparently that's what being Hasidic is all about.

The Muslim community has a lot in common with the Hassidim. They have many of the same customs regarding dress code, prayer times, etc. However the most profound thing I find about the Hassidim is that the basic premise of their spirituality is that it isn't enough to follow the letter of the law, or to merely say the required prayers, to wear the correct religious clothing, etc. but you must have the correct feeling.

A person's inner state is more important than his or her outer expression of piety.

"Man," says the Besht, "must always bear in mind that God is omnipresent and is always with him; that God is the most subtle matter everywhere diffused... Let man realize that when he is looking at material things he is in reality gazing at the image of the Deity which is present in all things. With this in mind man will always serve God even in small matters."

The Quran also echoes the same message;

"To God belongs the East and the West, Wheresoever you turn, there is the face of God. " Qur'an 2:115

Friday, December 14, 2007

Between Jerusalem and Jericho

40 Days in the wilderness
I hunger
I thirst
Temptation looms from
She who is cursed

Turn my stones into bread
I will be your Feast
Fill yourself with me
And so be relieved.

This burning
I faint
I'm delerious
A mirage looms before me
inside of your kiss.

If I worship you
I'll rule all the Worlds
And surely God will save me
If I jump down on your sword....

Except this isn't an accident
You here before me
the angels won't catch
the one who jumps Deliberately.

You could be my Messiah
sent to give me some Bread
A magician, a miracle worker
Who's gone to my head
You might liberate my oppresssion
If I flee into your arms.
No, you're just an apparition
of Seduction and Charms.

You're Nothing.
Just a bass player in a rock and roll band.
Everything you have offered
Is right here
In the palm
of my own Hand.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


My son turned 8 the first weekend of this month. We had a big shabang party for him complete with all the classic childhood games; pin the tail on the donkey, button button who's got the button, hot potatoe, duck duck goose, and the highlight of course, pinata! A great time was had by all, and I still am a bit in shock that he's actually 8!

So the camera sat in the cabinet for a couple of weeks and then the other day I finally downloaded all of the pics onto the computer. Whoa! What a shocker to see that there are these gorgeous orbs in almost every photo from his party!

I have been told by others about orbs and I have seen quite a few pictures of them, but never have they shown up in any of my pictures until now.

1448. Abu Hurairah and Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said,

"When a group of people assemble for the remembrance of Allah, the angels surround them (with their wings), (Allah's) mercy envelops them, Sakinah, or tranquillity descends upon them and Allah makes a mention of them before those who are near Him.''[Muslim].