Editor’s Note: March 2019

By Shameelah Khan

Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely.”

-Shams of Tabriz

The above quote is taken from the great spiritual master Shams of Tabriz, teacher and spiritual guide of Rumi. I first heard of Shams in the book The Forty Rules of Love by Elif Shafak, now one of my favourite Turkish writer’s. It was after having read her book that I was inspired to undergo a spiritual awaking of my own and I did so with great difficulty but with a profound awareness of what solitude may be and how, often-I knew very little of the state of being. It takes a lot to get to it, a lot harder than I had imagined. To find it within the self is to find the self. The need to understand loneliness in all of its painful-awakenings was at the root of my journey, which I continue to journey through every day. I guess- I owe it to my solitude to continue trying to find it.

In the year 2014, I decided that I would sit in a 10-day silent retreat. I fasted from sunrise to sunset and when I did consume, it would only be water, fruits and vegetables. I decided that my phone would be switched off and that under no circumstances was I allowed to engage with anyone. Below are some snippets that were taken from the documentation:

Day 1:

It feels as if I haven’t slept.

Not like this.

I think I will sleep for a few more hours

This house is silent

Day 2:

Am I awake?

‘Memories of sin flow through me like an endless dream of wantingness.’

I have to remember to breathe

What does it sound like?

Day 3:

I miss God.

Day 4:

I had a dream of the boy I met in high School

In the library

I remember only the bits of sunlight in the room.

Day 5:

Station of Playful teasing

Happy relaxation in speech behaviour


I feel like opening the door to breathe- just a little

Day 6:

I don’t know if I can fall asleep.

I miss my sister.

It has been awful in here.

Day 7:

Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs

I even hear voices now


The sun is rising

Day 8:


8 whole days of not speaking.

I’m speaking to myself

(And I’m not as funny as I thought)

Day 9:

My mother

Deprivation is the step to conquering the soul

My dreams about drowning in the ocean is reoccurring in here.

Tomorrow I will leave this world I built and speak to my family in the morning

We will have a meal together

Digesting memory

This issue is a compilation of how various souls experienced their solitude in the spaces of Self, history, memory, tragedy and joy.

-The Odd Team.

In this issue:

Short Stories:

Yearning – Courtney Molony
Bayda – Shameelah Khan
The Girl In The Pink Dress – Shabnam Palesa Mohamed


As I Stand Here – Tijana Šarac
ode to the renewing power of self – Juwayriya Bemath
Swimming – Aaliyah Kara


Bouquets for Armageddon: A Month In Solitude – Nkateko Masinga

Book Review:

Book Review: Frankenstein – Melissa Fortuin