The Barren Oyster


There are moments, brief moments, of clarity when all the residue of life's pettiness just disappears. The tide washes over the shore and nothing remains except clarity. The temptation to inhale the refreshed air is unbeatable. Subdued, you allow it to hit you - crisp, clean, and with just a pinch of sugar for the added sweetness in it all.

And then, there is everything except these moments. Its volcanic ashes are a combination of wasted respect, failed trust, ghoulish envy, and continued drama. The preservation of which amounts to relevant factors in quality control.

But can they be surpassed? Must all situations amount to some twisted combination of these factors, choking the necks of those who dare engage their surroundings? Seemingly, yes. It must occur because it is a great way to teach us appreciation. It inspires gratitude in the one who forgets. And it is in our nature to forget.

Like the pearl hidden amongst a collection of barren oysters, there lies a precious gem, the rarity of true friendship. To have just one makes you among the privileged. To have two makes you among the eternally indebted. To have more than two is currently unimaginable. Such is the difference between a friend and an acquaintance.

So while we play the game of interaction, while we pretend to care, while we pretend to respect, and while we pretend to trust, we can only hope that the tide will come by, washing upon the shore the oyster that sings the song of truth and sincerity.

I want not to hold onto anything else that the ocean may lay on the wet sand before me. I want not to tread on the pebbles of disappointment. If the oyster of companionship never arrives, I'll remain waiting; for my contentment is in the movement of the tides, and my happiness is in the breath of sweet air.

A friend cannot be considered a friend until he is tested in three occasions:
in time of need, behind your back, and after your death.
- Ali bin Abu Talib [may God be pleased with him]


Believer786 said...

That is beautifully written! I totally agree as well. I may have a 100 friends, but when it comes down to it, I only have *one* true friend.

Yusuf said...

"A friend cannot be considered a friend until he is tested in three occasions:
in time of need, behind your back, and after your death."


A thought provoking you can't really know who your true friend/companion is until after death?

Farzeen said...

Believer: Assalaamu'alaykum.
JazakAllah khayr. It's an experience common to all. I should note though that I didn't want to sound as though I'm disappointed in the way people interact and how we all often 'fail' to be true to each other. I know that from amongst all the people who I casually refer to as 'friends,' probably only one or two consider that I am their 'true' friend, though I hope more find sincerity in me. SubhanAllah. I guess it's the way of the world. If we think about it, it would require more energy than most of us could muster to be especially close to so many people. Good acquaintances have their places too.

Brother Yusuf: Wa 'alaykum assalaam.
I guess not. I find this quote beneficial not because it can tell me who my 'true' friends are. I already have a good idea of who those are, but even still I can never rely on them entirely. I love and treasure them, but each relationship has its boundaries. I like this quotation (which I copied from because it tells me what I need to do as a good friend. Regardless of whether my friends remember me after I die, I now know that I cannot call myself their friend while they live yet forget them after they die. SubhanAllah. May God protect us all from being forgotten in the prayers of the living after our deaths, ameen.

"Do you think that you will enter the Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They encountered suffering and adversity and were so shaken in spirit that even the Apostle and those of faith who were with him cried: 'When (will come) the help of God?' Ah! Verily the help of God is (always) near!" [2:214]



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"Be mindful of God, and God will protect you. Be mindful of God, and you will find Him in front of you. If you ask, ask of God. If you seek help, seek help of God. Know that if the whole world were to gather together to benefit you with anything, it would benefit you only with something that God had already prescribed for you. And if the whole world were to gather together to harm you, it would harm you only with something that God has already prescribed for you. The pens have been lifted and the ink has dried."
--Prophet Muhammad [peace be upon him]