Musings is a book of individuality that sets it apart from others. It is a true example of a fragmentation of the human mind that makes no sense yet is so sensible. As much as I would love the compilation to be organized with subtitles and divisions, I have to say that its disorderly manner of organization was very captivating. Reading through this book in one single night left my heart throbbing violently at times and barely beating at others. At every line I would either have a revelation, a gushing flood of emotions or a thought to ponder upon. I guess this was the intention of the author since she rightly entitled her book Musings.
The book encapsulates the author’s reflections on life, family, love, and personal growth. Although it does not follow a recognizable pattern of organization, it follows the progression of human thought that is raw and natural. This book succeeds in building a relationship with the reader’s mind and becomes immediately captivating. The short excerpts in the book do not resolve a thing for the reader; they just provide food for thought.
I can’t say that I agree with all the thoughts in the book, but I can say I have enjoyed the discussion within my mind. I remember one of these moments of disagreement when I read “you can’t brighten your loved ones life unless you burn yourself”(149). I can safely say that the author and I had a good discussion where I listed my reasons and examples and have made my point convincingly, in my mind! I love how the book insists that every small deed has a great impact on you and others:
You may be a good person and must have done well to others. But, if you have not done well to me, you will never be a good person for me. (31)
One wrong deed of yours cannot make you a completely wrong person, but it can completely wrong the life of one right person. (43)
Kindness to others is kindness to you too. (148)
There are some instances where I stopped breathing for a second as I read thoughts like “some prayers freeze as a sigh mid-air. Then drop on you as a blessing somewhere” (19), and there are moments when I sighed as I read “blessed are the people who are sent as an answer to someone’s prayers”(18).
I could quote the whole book and tell you every single emotion and feeling I had, but that would be futile. These musings are meant to be read as a personal experience, a journey that you must take with no one but your own thoughts.
Manal Al Jibreen
Assistant Vice President for Knowledge
Exchange and International Communication
Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.