Hello…Is anybody up there?

Is there really an omniscient, omnipotent God who is up above the clouds watching over us humans? Did this supernatural being actually create everything on earth, and in seven days? Is the “big bang theory” valid? Are heaven and hell existent physical places? Religion: man-made or God sent? The totally random thoughts that go through my head, usually on rainy nights when I’m all cuddled up in my bed. Then I stop and think to myself – “all these questions CAN drive a person crazy!”

When I was younger I would always hesitate whenever someone asked the question “What church do you go to?”

I would be torn between lying and brushing the question off. It was a dreaded question to little me. I had every reason to dread this question, living in Ghana where the majority of the population is Christian. If you did not exhibit “obvious” Muslim traits, you were automatically presumed to be Christian. And if you gave an answer that was contrary to what was expected you ended up being interrogated like an alien from a different planet. The words that usually followed my answer were “You are not Christian”. This phrase was not uttered as a question…it was more like a statement of shock accompanied by a look of horror (which amused me sometimes). As I grew up and learned more, this phobia vanished with the growth of my understanding. I felt more and more grateful that I was born and raised in a Baha’i family. I genuinely believe this gave me a different perspective on life and that it greatly affects my way of thinking and how I act in situations. If you have never heard of the Baha’i Faith…well, Google is your friend :). I am going to give you the basic principles of the faith though: God is one, mankind is one, and all the religions are one. Unity. We are taught that all the different founders of the various religions in the world, are manifestations of God sent by Him to guide mankind according to their needs in that particular era in which these messengers lived.

These teachings have left me pretty open minded when it comes to the subject of religion…and everything else, actually. I’m generally open to discovering, learning and discussing about new things; culture, religion, places, ideas. I’m a believer of astrology, zodiac signs, karma- all that “universe energy” business. The sky (along with all its inhabitants) is my favorite thing in the world. I pray, as often as I can, to a supernatural force which I believe exists. I do not understand why there are different denominations within Christianity neither do I understand why there is so much violence associated with Islam. I do not believe there are ghosts among us. But sometimes, in the back of my mind, I question everything I know as being true because…well, because I am in the habit of asking too many questions! At one point in this “question-everything-existence” of mine, I had a crazy thought; what if this world was an illusion, a dream. What if I woke up one day to realize my whole life right now was a made up fantasy in my subconscious mind…a figment of my imagination? I thought I was crazy to think this but apparently, I am not the only weirdo who has had this same thought. Rudolf Fabyan has too (thank heavens!).

I got a call from a friend recently. Somewhere, during the conversation, he mentioned he had to hurry off to do everything he wanted before he hits 35. His reason being that he had estimated he was only going to live till then. He explained that he believes he’s in a dream and due to the fact that he’s not one who sleeps for long, the dream was not going to last for very long before he wakes up…umm yeah! he probably watched ‘Inception’ one too many times. This friend I’m talking about here, is one of the most enigmatic persons I know. His brain is a complex maze filled with an extremely weird mixture of thoughts and nonconformist views. See, Elorm does not believe there is a God neither does he believe in the teachings of Christianity. Religion is, in his words, “a bunch of stolen rituals and man’s beliefs”. A conversation with him will either lead to an argument about the credibility of the Bible or leave you questioning your belief that there is no life after death.

When it comes down to it, however, everyone has something they believe strongly in; whether it is a God or god, the moon, their own person, or maybe a made up place. Some people put their faith in the unknown or have contrasting views to what is norm just to keep a sense of uniqueness about them. We are not required to hold the same views but it is best, however, not to put down what someone else believes in because for all you know, that may be what keeps them sane in this cold, cold world.

So, stay true to you.

Bisous….Mona

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L’autre Bout

This is one of my favourite photos. I took it as part of a photo challenge at my university (which i won by the way..whoop whoop!). Well, this was not the winning photo but…it was my favourite to shoot.

L'autre_Bout

It was an overly sunny spring afternoon at the Quai du Rhône, one of my favourite places in Lyon. He walked past me to the tunnel with his guitar hanging over his shoulder. The magical tune he sat to play hit the walls of the tunnel and echoed back. He was so lost in his own world that I don’t think he heard- or saw- me walking up to him. He looked up at me when I said “bonjour monsieur”, and replied nonchalantly. I asked if I could take photo of him and he nodded without interrupting the magical melody. I backed up and got ready to take a photo. But then, another man came rolling by on skates. I took a second to think, waited for him to get to the end of the tunnel, and took several shots. My thought- a soul dancing away to the music from the guitar. I got a lucky plus. The “guitar man” looked up at the man on skates just as he got to the end; watching HIS soul dance away.

I used the tunnel as a frame and I noticed the distribution of light – one man in light, the other in darkness – only after I took the photo.

Hope you like it as much as i do.

Bisous.

How to make a woman blush….or NOT!

I rolled my eyes rapidly, mumbled an inaudible “merci” and ignored the ignorance of this middle aged French man, telling myself he had probably not seen any other “black woman” in all his forty something years of life. I mean, that had to be the best explanation. A few days later I found myself thinking that maybe I was NOT reading too much into it at all. Maybe I was right to think that, that statement was a backhanded compliment. And this was because I came across the Facebook status of a friend complaining about a similar statement said to her. I was even more convinced I was right when my aunt came home one evening and recounted an interesting incident.

She had met a man whilst walking back home from the local brasserie. He had stopped her only to tell her the exact same words the forty something year old ignoramus had told me some weeks before. Unlike me, my aunt decided to ask the gentleman what he meant exactly. Even more stunning was the response he had given her. “He had never seen any other black woman with all her features perfectly beautiful like hers were”, he said. You know what happens when you say something like that to the professor that is my aunt? You get a whole lecture and education on Africa and its beautiful black women. The irony in the whole situation was that this man was of Maghreb origin…Tunisian to be precise. He was African!

So I am still wondering to myself what prompts the utterance of this intended compliment. Ignorance? Genuine surprise? Awe, maybe? Or is it just a plot to make a woman blush in hopes of getting her attention…and then some?

Aside

Intensity

She had never felt this way before. Well, maybe she had…one or two times. But it was different this time. The butterflies fluttering away, the quicker pace at which that little heart beats, the wishful thoughts and oh so wild imaginations, the anticipation of the next “hello” ;they were all a little more defined…a lot more intense. The power of liking someone a lot.

And Then It Began

This is it. My first ever blog post. I am super excited being that, after years  of repeating “oh I’m going to start my blog” and procrastinating, I finally opened this new chapter of my life ( as I like to refer to it as ). So with a huge sheepish grin on my face, I lay here on my bed trying to not be a bore.

Sometimes, I feel like I’m a music box which opens up to play a tune so intricate and complex;

with a guitar chord here, a piano playing there, a drum beat in the background, a soft voice screaming at you ( the irony! ). Warning: it can get a tad addictive. About music, I am such a lover…well, except with all that hard metal rock stuff. Not a fan. I speak English and French and am a tiny bit obsessed with the language so, forgive me but there will be a couple of french words popping up from post to post. I promise, however, that they will not be so fancy that you need a dictionary at hand each time you are here. “Black, White and Coloured” is the title of this blog because THAT is what basically everything in this world turns out to be. One extreme or the other, and the intriguing in-betweens. So are my thoughts, my sentiments and my photography. Yes, I am a photographer…well, more of a hobbyist than a professional. A passionate hobbyist.

So with that said, I will be writing about pretty much everything that comes to me. I look forward to sharing all the COLOUR ( or none) there is, with you.

Bisous.