Because my life matters to me.
Because I have been invited by Burning Man to sing the Call at Black Rock City 2017, so I began to listen deeply to the internet for the longing of Burning Man to return to the Oneness of all being.
Because I signed up as quickly as breath flows through a flute, without trembling.
Because I want my lungs, my wings, my baal and baad carriers to pump as divine engines, and a training programme will help them grow.
Because I am moving to London, and the marshes of Walthamstow are singing to me.
I ran a little too far today, along the Thames path from Tilehurst to Caversham. Heavy rain overnight lingered on the early summer morning as a dense, wildly perfumed mist. Frothing elder, baby oak, tight ferns and slender leaf hawthorn edging my favourite stretch of the Thames for 7 miles. I ran as much on the ground as through my thoughts – of leadership, of Islam, of my friends, of my producers, of a fresh love in my garden and how it might grow – until I stood between two dangling weepers opposite the house in Caversham that Daddy nearly bought in 1997, the house owned by Mr Horseman. I always pause here, on the opposite bank of the river from my father’s aspirations, and pledge to honour his dreams. I cannot help myself, I am his daughter. I’ll have a good house by the river for you, Daddy, for when you’re old, just you wait.
Stood between the two willows, their long tousled branches sweeping against my shoulders and elbows, three Egyptian geese appear, as surprised by me as I am by my slow, years long conversion to self-acceptance. I mean, really, as if something so beautiful and strange could be found right here, in Reading, beside the Thames.