The world is a hazy orange. I feel my orange veil fall and rise against my breath. It’s a strange way to see the world. All the colors are tainted. I think of that old saying about rose colored glasses and wonder if this is what they had in mind. I was veiled this morning and have not yet adjusted to the altered perceptions that come with it. The older men nod at me. Only their eyes and beards show through their thick orange veils. My own is thinner to help a new veiled member adjust to the dimming of the world. The veil is to help us turn our thoughts inward. All life’s problems can be resolved through thoughts. It is a movement away from violence. Humanity fails with violence. Violence is proof of an individual’s failed humanity. War is the proof of a society’s failed humanity. They are acts of lesser animals. We have been given minds that reason. We can choose to walk away. The Hassan group is radical in its own ways and few are accepted to its ranks. In fact few choose to join it but it has influence the world over and again.
I follow the orange candle lights to where I will now be eating my meals. The room is quiet as they wait for me to sit in the chair provided next to a man with a short beard that does not hang below his veil. I can see his smile through his veil so he has not been here long. His nose bends over his mustache. He gestures mutely to my seat. All seat with me. The man seated at the head of the table with the thickest veil that looks more like a hunters orange blanket begins to utter words of gratitude for those around him, for the food, for the safety of their shelter. Others begin to add their own words of appreciation and they lay over and under each other like the weaved placemats I used to make at school.