Trees are the answer, and so is chai with oat milk.
Morning runs have replaced medication, and learning French has awakened my left brain.

Tall grass by the creek makes me teary-eyed, and summer rain makes me want to join a ceramics class
…to find joy, to find intimacy?

& then you called. It was good to hear you’re keeping well.

Quarter Life Crisis, More life, Next life

I prefer frozen blueberries to fresh ones because they last longer and color my oatmeal purple. 

I want to read all the books Italo Calvino has ever written, and I want to annotate them and leave them at thrift stores so people I’ll never meet can know me. I’ve contemplated even leaving my number in the pages, but the books could sit in boxes or high shelves for decades, and by the time someone reads them, something new may have replaced cell phones. 

Why would anyone lie to anyone? Why promise marriage or have families meet when your old ways were not of the past? I’m glad she told me. She said she felt worse because I treated her kindly. 

Why do people run the risk of deceit, knowing that when things inevitably come to light, you’ve both hurt the person and lost their trust? If you can’t restrain yourself from trouble, at least be forthcoming so that when you promise never to do it again, it just might mean something.

I’ve booked my ticket for NYC; I’ll stay with my sister in a place that makes me feel even smaller; I head back the morning of December 31st, NYE; I don’t want to wait to watch the ball drop… to watch lovers kiss, to watch loners watch lovers kiss, to see times square when the sun is up, streets dressed in trash, confetti and cigarette butts. Whose idea was it to drop the ball? What a terrible omen and is December 31st or January 1st to blame for dropping the ball? 

I will not stay to watch the ball drop. I prefer to be on a plane, eating graham crackers in my economy window seat.

I prefer blatant betrayal to subtle disrespect; the former lets me know how to deal with you. Why do people cheat?

When brushing past people on the train or on the street, who apologizes first? Is it the one who brushed against the other harder, or does it default to the one who always says “I’m sorry” because they’ve never learned to occupy space?

When we feel uncomfortable talking to others, we use headphones or make fake phone calls. Are there any other tactics? I ask because I could use more variety. 

Why is white noise so soothing? What does black noise sound like? Why does French toast taste so good, why do parents have to age, why do they have to get ill?

Why is romantic love so commercialized? Why can’t spinsters get a tax break?

Peace and Blessing, Karima O.

Soft Life

It’s an ode to the “soft life,” as they call it.
It’s Bill Evans’ 1964: My foolish heart on repeat (It’s what plays as I write this).
It’s locally sourced, overpriced pasta in my grocery basket.
It’s tiramisu for the train ride and tomorrow’s breakfast pastries tossed in there too.
It’s waking up without a plan for the day.
It’s finding your favorite things at the second-hand store- vintage frames for your doodles and hand-painted plates for the same three pieces of jewelry you wear religiously but won’t sleep in.
It’s coming home to your parents cooking a meal together- to your mom adding yesterday’s leftovers to the pot for “flavor”- they chose not to bicker today. Today you can be the child.
It’s an ode to the soft life- roaming downtown, eating meals alone by a window- to bookstore hopping and chatting with boutique owners. No, I will not buy that $275 dress- but I’ll still take your business card and fake interest for cordiality. You’ll say, “come again,” and I won’t, but I’ll give a wave and smile as we wish each other a good day.


A New Year, not a new me, just a few new habits

I didn’t plan to come on here and write anything, I was just avoiding the things I should be doing, and in that vein of procrastination, this abandoned blog of mine came to memory.

I don’t know what to write though. I haven’t put thought into this, and If I let myself think too hard about this, I’ll just close the tab.

Ok. So what I’ll briefly do is share things that have helped me feel whole again.

  1. Yoga Nidra before bed (find a guided meditation on youtube)
  2. Listening to audiobooks on 1.5x speed while I do things around the house/ run errands
  3. Taking two quick inhales for every long exhale to calm my body when I feel anxious
  4. Connecting with those I care about

That is it. These few things have helped me a great deal.

I hope this year brings you inspiration and clarity.

Peace & Blessings,


Slow Living

I’ve become accustomed to slow living. Before this year, I had an obsession with productivity. I no longer impose pressure on myself. This development wasn’t entirely an active choice. In part, being unemployed certainly helped, but ultimately it came down to my apathy towards life earlier in this pandemic. I knew I needed to get a job to save money for medical school, but I couldn’t bring myself to update LinkedIn or make connections. I knew I could’ve used the time to write more, but with more time than I’ve ever had came the least amount of motivation.

As the months went by, I grappled with different emotions. I fought against feeling sad by reminding myself of all the reasons my circumstance was favorable for the times. I had my health and the necessities. In adjusting my expectations for life, I was able to quell negativity. I don’t think I suppressed my emotions, but rather this change in my perspective gave particular emotions no chance to sprout; this is how I cope, it works, but it comes with losses.

In having this approach, I inadvertently suppressed my creativity. Often my best work is inspired by unfavorable emotions. Perhaps had I welcomed such sentiments, I might have created more beautiful things.

It is interesting, however, that this sense of apathy led to something very positive. I allowed myself to become slow. Anyone who’s seen me walk knows that I strut as though I have somewhere to be, and the long legs help. I’ve always considered myself late if I wasn’t 10 minutes early, and I always kept my to-do list by my bed for if I dreamt of something I needed to get done. I don’t wear my neuroticism on my face, I act relatively mellow as far as I can tell, but for as long as I can remember, I was always mentally ten steps ahead, fatigued from my thoughts, and never able to live in the moment.

This all recently changed. Waking up late or staring at walls no longer invokes guilt. I don’t rush phone calls with those I love, and I don’t care that my days aren’t deemed exciting by others. I relish just sitting without knowing what I have to do next because I’ve made no plans for my day. I’ve gotten used to this, and I have no idea how I’ll maintain the art of slow living.

Medical school and slow living do not seem compatible. Every medical student I know is hyperproductive and overworked. I have no regrets about this career I’ve chosen. It entails humility, compassion, knowledge, and many of the qualities I value. I owe it to my future patients to fully dedicate myself to understanding the mechanism and prognosis of a disease, but I must also remember that I am my first patient. If I am unwell, those I love and those I treat will not receive the best parts of me.

Although I’ll forgo indulging in slow living, I will keep from its lessons. I don’t know what this will look like practically, but the one actionable thing I will commit to is walking each morning without my headphones. I fill every bit of vacant time I have with a lecture, podcast, or youtube video. I’d succumb to being productive even in moments I had for myself. This will stop. While life will inevitably become busier than ever before, I will guard the moments that I’m not obligated to fill, like never before.

Peace & Blessings,

Tired with eyes wide open

It is very late, or very early, whichever does not matter. I drank coffee late because I could, I don’t always care for what’s logical. Although I’m awake and very tired, I accept the fatigue and take from it what I can. In the quiet hours, I toss and turn with ideas. On nights like this, such ideas don’t slip into the darkness of my shut eyelids.

This is a poem I wrote 5 minutes ago. Usually I’d wait to see if what I write can stand the test of time, but right now, I don’t really care. It’s 3am and inhibition doesn’t really work like it would at day. Days are for holding back because we fear how things may be perceived. The night is for not caring because things simply are as they should be & even if our eyes are wide open, chances are we’re too tired for questioning.

I cannot steer your ship, 
but I will send my message through the fish

And if before reaching you the fish is eaten,
I will look up and raise my oath for the eagle

And say someone shoots this bird,
then I’ll tell the herdsmen to spread what
they’ve heard

About my concern
about how I yearn

...for the one I have not met
but whose affections I hope to earn

When you get my message,
do not send one back,
just come to the coast
...so that you may see
If what I offer is what you need

Peace & blessings,

Karima O.

Things Must Never Be “A Sure Thing”

An entry from her journal:

I see the hand that plucks the grain, and see that it is missing something. It carries out the act, moving to the soil, and to the sack being filled, and then back again to the soil. 

But the hand moves without its own reason, it simply complies with a task like all the other hands in the field, and this hand is weaker for it, for not finding its own reason. 

Does marriage scare you? 

Committing to one person does not, but to feel taken advantage of terrifies me. I’ve seen how marriage can squander desire. The contract, although well intended, does not absolve insecurities or bad character. Even good people become so confident that a bond confirmed by ink signatures should weather all things, tolerate all actions, and worst of all, tolerate a life where there is no action at all. I understand that passion rises and falls, that it evolves with age and experience, but why must it die? 


Do not exaggerate.
Will the entire carpet unravel from a loose thread?
No, unless you pull it for days.
Which you won’t, for you’ve got obligations and a need for rest.

Carry on. The chatter is meek.

Why are you still standing there?
Can you not see beyond the folly?
Has the inferno’s keeper made your ground sticky?

In the distance, beyond the hills, are more hills.
You will not see the hills beyond the hills because
you do not like to travel, gossipers never do.
They are not used to traveling because they never bother with seeking to find the truth.

Peace & Blessings,



The Colorado School of Medicine has published this piece in Volume 13 of the Human Touch Journal. If you are interested in this poem and others like it, you may read more in my new chapbook “Socdaal”. The link for purchase is under the poem. I hope you enjoy it.



You may ask me to repeat myself,
but must you furrow your brow?
I split my tongue to speak to you.
If you care to know, I’ll show you how.

Down the middle of this pink sponge, there are peacemakers.
They don’t have to work hard when the listener knows of laxoox and ghee,
but when it’s you,
this pink sponge expands and shoves against my teeth.
The sponge splits you see?
The left is sharp with its grammarian formalities,
and as for the right, well it retreats to familiarity,
to laxoox and ghee.
The two are not yet used to each other,
so they tangle and delay delivery.

The peacemakers will declare unity.
They will march down the middle
and pull from both the left and right forcefully
They will then sew the two so tight, you will not see the red that trickles,
but I will taste it, the iron, the trial, I will taste it.
When speaking to people like you I always do.

So, spare the furrowed brow just because you’re confused
I’ll repeat myself,
but don’t you forget,
I must split my tongue just to speak to you.