when self care looks like not going on adventures (there is always adventure)



The first night we were in Marrakech, souster B and M decided to go to the night market after dinner, while I stayed with Remy (who fell asleep almost immediately).

I didn't have the energy to go to the night market at Djema el Fna (I knew from my pre-trip research that it would probably be overwhelmingly touristy and crowded for me, especially at night during Ramadan), especially because I hadn't slept at all during the red eye over (unlike everyone else). I am a highly sensitive person and when I am tired, I am even more so.

But the beauty of the night called to me, and I didn't want to go to sleep, so I sat up for a little bit, listening to the singing being broadcast from the grand mosque from the serene porch outside my bedroom at the ryad.

(And writing about my day on Facebook, which became a nightly ritual.)


Not knowing what I was listening to exactly, I guessed (and was correct): it was prayers and a chanting of the Qur'an, called Tarawih. Very similar sounding to the chanting of the Torah, with an Arabic flavor. The chanter's voice reminded me of a CD I have by Hamza Shakkur who is a Sufi musician from Damascus - the CD I have, Sufi Songs of Damascus, includes a chanting of the Qur'an.

I was so mesmerized, I never managed to get a recording of it, which in the end seems right. I have the memory of the music inside me.

(Go to this YouTube video to hear this chanting from outside the mosque.)

Some might say I missed the adventure, not going out to the night market. It is, after all, one of the things tourists are supposed to do when they go to Marrakech.

But I had the adventure I needed to have, listening to this beautiful chanting, absorbing the beauty and peace of the ryad at night.


Soaking it in.

That first night wasn't the last time I choose not to go on the "adventure" everyone else went on. M and B have a lot more spoons than I have. I have learned the art of self-care these past few years (especially during last summer's bout of bronchitis).

And it was fine. It was more than fine; listening to the chanting was a uniquely Moroccan spiritual experience for me. (Music transcends religion.)

I don't always need to have the adventures everyone else has. I have let go of my old fear of missing out.

Being is my adventure. That means sometimes I go out and do the fun, exciting things. And sometimes I stay in and rest and the adventure I have is my own being. Thinking, writing, reading, resting. Listening to music (or birds). Taking photographs of details, including myself. Poeming. Journaling. Being.

Being.

Yes.