There could hardly be a more delightful soul on earth than Naqiba. She was truly special. I admired her for her ability to swim in Green Lake and take pleasure in a daily muffin. I only hope that I can have her enthusiasm for life when I go into my elder years. I give all honor to the spirit of Naqiba. She is missed.
As a young mureed she was a dear friend who would not reveal her age. We danced in knome like hideaways, visited her aging ballerina friend, and she shared stories of her earlier days meeting Pir Vilayat. She was the hit of a party I hosted. Sitting among several men she broadcast across the room, “This is the Message, honey. This is the Message!”
Ahh, so many fond memories.
Her elfin voice, a bit quavery, but from joy.
Walking down The Ave. past a restaurant window where a friend and I are lunching, and I point her out, and he says How lively, you seldom see someone so filled with life.
Her cadging a ride home sometime when you didn’t really have time to go out of the way to Lake City but then again how could you not coz when you did you got to talk and giggle all the way home.
The Rorschach of her dervish self: “You can tell a lot about someone in the community by how they treat Naqiba.”
And my very favorite: About a year after I moved out of Seattle and left so many good friends behind, I got a flier from David Less Tours, and in addition to the listing of a tour or two, at least one of them to India, there was a picture of a recent tour group with the Dalai Lama. All of the people standing round close to be in the picture, most of them looking out at the camera, but there’s one short woman looking off to our right, beaming up with that incredible grin, and there’s the Dalai Lama his entire face broken out into a very large smile, grinning back at Naqiba, whom he has his arm around.
That’s our Naqiba–she’s probably walking arm in arm with some archangel even as we read this.
The way I met Naqiba was this – in the summer of 1980 at the Abode of the Message, we were, “by chance,” assigned to each other as roommates.
What joy! It was a perfect pairing, at least for me. It was my first time staying at the Abode, and who better than Naqiba to initiate me into the wild and wooly life in the old Shaker buildings?! I appreciated her right from the start, and figured, “If this is what happens to you as you get to be an older Sufi, I’m in!”
One thing I loved about her was that she seemed impervious to so much of the stuff that bugged other people. I mean, there she was at the Abode, at whatever age she was, living in a dorm room, sleeping on a rickety twin bed, with a 21 year old flower-child roommate, and flowing beautifully with it all.
I moved to New Mexico in the fall, and didn’t see her again until the next retreat (in New Mexico or Texas?) — and then after that we both wound up at the Death Valley California Camp. What joy! She was of course, still full of vim and vigor, and still willing to try new things – even go to Death Valley and sit in the 100 degree desert heat to meditate with Pir Vilayat. I’m pretty sure that she was the oldest murid there, although I can’t be positive, since I never did know her age. The good thing was that our efforts in getting to the camp and roughing it without running water, electricity or plumbing, (we had to haul in, by dirt road, all our water and all our food and all our other supplies for the week) paid off. Naqiba and I both got our lights switched on bright that week from doing practices out in the wilderness, and doing Zikr with Pir Vilayat in the tent at night. Pir seemed to transmit Murshid quite profoundly that week, if I recall. “You can’t hide in the desert.”
Very wonderful memories.
Naqiba, I am quite sure you are dancing with the stars now, and with Pir Vilayat too.