Ishrat's Journey Home

Ishrat's Journey Home

A Story by Kaleb T. Clare

The story of a young Muslim boy who seeks for a spiritual guide to lead him through the illusions of the world and finds himself on a journey with a Trappist monk struggling with his own faith.

During the seeming darker days, the vindictive conflicted divisive days - it overwhelmed me to think of what I was leaving him.

That is what was tormenting me when I first realized our time together was soon to pass. Ishrat would be leaving in the morning ... him on his own journey, and I on mine.

"What would you tell me, papa?" [a name he fondly used when he was impishly teasing or other times deeply thoughtful] ... "what should I remember always, and take with me to guide my way a little while longer", he asked ... his eyes so inquisitively curious that I could no more leave him unanswered than I could leave the abbey's morning vespers without the nod of approval from brother Thomas.

A rush of adrenaline propositioned my wits to determine something profound and molding for a mind so fresh and innocent as his.

"Breathe, brother Kaleb ... pause and breathe and listen," my quiet voice instructed.

And so I did ... and so it all came rushing back up to greet me.

What do I say to this little One about the world in which he has arrived? How do I explain the madness without tainting his mind with fear or even worse with a deep sense of hopelessness and an overwhelming angst about "what is"?

This was my world ...

But he had changed me over time ... the nine months we traveled together- this 12 year old Muslim boy - this little One who saw things others only dreamed.

But he is new here. Ishrat was fresh to the world of here and there ... he knew little about the now and then's, the dangerous chasms between the you's and I's, and all the seeming differences a world made up of flesh and bone is crudely constructed ...

What would I tell him ...

I think I will first tell him to always remember to look beyond what is -
to keep his dreams fresh and new within his mind ... to acknowledge the "what is" but also look within it to find the joy ... no matter how dark or dismal it may seem - the joy will still yet be waiting for him.

I think I'll tell him that he has a specialness about him unlike the specialness he'll see within the world ... and one in which no one can hurt or harm or ever take away.

I think I will tell him that greatness is made from grand thoughts made real by bold courageous action ... to never let anyone or anything dull his mind by anything less than those grand ideas nor impede his courage to be bold in his choices to act upon them.

I think I will tell him to embrace at least one great love affair in his life - whether with a person, a passion or even yes, too, with God as he would perceive his God to be.

I think I will tell him to live his life with holy abandon ... to immerse himself into the very belly of life, grab it by the "short hairs", shake it up and turn it inside out ... dive into it head first and give it a great stir.

I think I'll tell him to be a passionate lover with everything and everyone he meets ... and that sometimes his passion might be for something and other times it might be in protest. The important thing is to live it with great enthusiasm . Don't settle for a half-baked life ... a partially alive semi-conscious life. Throw yourself into it completely, little One, and make every second count as if it is your only moment to present yourself to the Universe and show up completely authentic.

I think I will tell him to listen with an open mind, speak with an empathic voice and never ever go to sleep at night without lastly "putting the seat down" cuz girls don't like it if you don't.

I think I will tell him to love one more thing today than he did the day before ...

And the most important thing to always remember, I'll say to him, is ... sometimes ... perhaps not even very often anymore ... in quiet and alone ... you still remember who your best friend has always been - that teddy bear you hung unto in secret, long after all your friends thought Teddy was for babies but you still knew that Teddy was for life...

"When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments " tenderness for what he is and respect for what he may become."
" Louis Pasteur, French chemist and microbiologist

© 2017 Kaleb T. Clare

Author's Note

Kaleb T. Clare
All critical thought and suggestions are welcome.

My Review

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This was engrossing for it's sensibility and universal truth Kaleb.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Months Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaleb T. Clare

11 Months Ago

Thank you for your kindness, friend.

My purpose in writing the complete story is to g.. read more
Wow, simply wow. As I started reading the first words of your story, I felt engrossed, captured by the thoughts. I travelled from one picture to the next, thinking of fresh, young minds, tainted by the cruel world. Humor was blended in perfectly, and I felt myself smiling- A true smile. Purely well done.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Months Ago

0 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Kaleb T. Clare

11 Months Ago

Thank you for the kindness of your words, new friend. Anything that you felt is what you brought wit.. read more

11 Months Ago

Of course! Your words were utterly thought-provoking- my favorite kind of read. Thank you for sharin.. read more
This is excellent in every way, I think. I found it philosophical, sensitive and wise. A bit of humor thrown in, I smiled at the toilet seat advice.

This review was written for a previous version of this writing

Posted 11 Months Ago

Kaleb T. Clare

11 Months Ago

Thank you so much, Samuel. I appreciate your thoughts and feedback, my friend

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3 Reviews
Added on October 29, 2017
Last Updated on November 3, 2017
Tags: Spirituality, faith, guilt, enlightenment, the Christ, Nirvana


Kaleb T. Clare
Kaleb T. Clare

Winter Park, FL

I am a retired complementary clinical therapist who has worked entirely with the chronically and terminally ill throughout my career. I have been an avid amateur writer almost since the days I fir.. more..

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