it’s a tough conversation to have with a loving, pious moslem mother: the do you believe in god? one that i had assumed mum and i would never have, choosing to maintain our unspoken understanding instead.

we watched kieslowski’s red as my thirty-first birthday treat last year. later that night we went for a long walk and got talking about red’s morality. my interpretation of the movie: morality was relative and imaginary. my mother’s: it was absolute but often clouded (though people ultimately find their way back to the central truth). we argued our differing interpretations. mum finally convinced me to agree to hers though without forfeiting mine.

the question took me by surprise and took me a back, the dark night probably only partially hiding my reaction. my mother and i always try not to lie to each other, so i took a few silent minutes to decide whether to explain my agnostic but increasingly atheist position or politely evade the question. i talked her through my journey: the science education (engineering); the multicultural, multi-religious homes (dubai and london); the grating (to me) exclusivity of islam; and the destination: a beautiful and (my attempt to connect in her language) in some ways mystical love for nature’s deep truths (as described by simon conway-morris on the economist podcast below).
there is no doubt that my mother felt deep disappointment at that moment, but it was overwhelmed by a deeper satisfaction that an all too rare deeply truthful moment was shared.

my mother turns fifty five today and i am celebrating her inspiring open mindedness and open heartedness.

 

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  • str82ais

    Mother of all talks, eh? :-)

    Happy birthday to your mum. She doesn't look her age.

  • http://forsoothsayings.blogspot.com forsoothsayer

    had same convo with my parents over last vacation. it went pretty well but then they're not like other ppl. feel better now?

  • http://avantcaire.com avantcaire

    thanks ahmed- will pass the message on.

    forsoothsayer- feel better that there are others out there? yes! feel better for putting this out there? yes! i do feel that the religious generational chasm affects (as in gets in the way of) the parent child relationship though.

  • http://avantcaire.com avantcaire

    thanks ahmed- will pass the message on.

    forsoothsayer- feel better that there are others out there? yes! feel better for putting this out there? yes! i do feel that the religious generational chasm affects (as in gets in the way of) the parent child relationship though.



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