Talking to Dust…erm, ok. Why?

by Irim Sarwar

Hi, I’m Irim, I’m new here, and I’ll be writing a column every other week. My spiritual patchwork quilt life will emerge through the columns, so I won’t bore you with it here, but you might look at the title and go, ‘Cthulhu’s tentacles, where did that weirdness come from?’

Well, when I was a child, I used to talk to the dust particles you could see in a sunbeam, and I have a very clear memory of sitting with my father in my uncle’s house as we waited for him to come back from…the kitchen? The library? The forbidden cabinet where he snuck a cheeky forbidden drink? (My family is Muslim, that’s all you get for now)…and I looked at the dust particles, stood up, walked across the room and said, ‘Follow me, my children,’ and they seemed to. I don’t know whether I thought I was going to have a passel of kids, if it was a premonition of becoming a teacher, or whether I was a Mother Superior in a previous life (that might explain the Catholicism in this one).

Hence, Talking to Dust —because that feels like what I’m still doing, but now it’s so much deeper and richer. Now, it has resonances of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials, a much-loved series; the rhythmic ‘Remember that thou art dust and to dust thou shalt return’ of the Ash Wednesday imposition of ashes; of the stardust from which we all come.

I feel like I’m in an eternal conversation with Dust, and I’d love to have you join me.

My first real column will arrive soon and till then, keep talking to Dust…what it has to say may just surprise you.

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