Saturday, June 07, 2008

Death: A Stranger Whose Being I Dread

In the memory of Nader Ebrahimi and his stories

I hate death. I know death is a part of life and that without it we would probably suffer from immortality. But, I still hate death. I don't even know if it looks like a scary beast or a beautiful figure who, one day, puts you on her soft wings and takes you above this world and shows you the real deal!

Who knows?

A great Iranian author passed away yesterday. He was very sick for the past few years. I am certain that he had mastered thinking about death during all these years of illness and silent flow of thoughts and memories. A writer who could not even write by the end of his life...How scary that is? A writer who could not write.

It agitates me when I think about all these amazing older authors, artists and thinkers of Iran. They are all from a generation that got trapped between the two eras of the pre- and post Islamic Revolution; a revolution that is the creation of their own minds and fists . They are the generation of terror. They are a generation of much unspoken and unwritten stories. They are a generation whose real stories we still do not really know. Many of them are taught to hide their illicit adventures and their mistakes in the closet. They are the generation whose stories and experiences we need in order to go forward. And yet they are getting older and uniting with death without having left us their real legacy: their stories. And a few of them who have given us the gift of words and stories, are leaving us to sleep a deep sleep in their state non-existence.

Nader Ebrahimi, too, flew away....May his memories and his stories remain with us and with those who come to this world after we depart...

Monday, June 02, 2008

Exhaustion of Continuity

You know I decided a while ago that I hate complaining. But, we all have our moments when we are down and not too inspired by life. Well, maybe now is one of those times for me. It happens rarely that my father and I get into arguments, as there is almost no use in fighting when we are not even enjoying the right of being physically in the same geographical region. So, even when we disagree on things (when we talk on the phone), we simply pretend as though disagreements do not exist and move on to a different subject. But, lately I feel tired. I am tired of having lengthy conversations on the phone with a father who is far away from me, with a father whom is left alone in Iran and who hopelessly awaits the moment when he could see us. I blame myself for having grown up in his absence and having grown out of the innocence with which I lived a great childhood and teenage years with my family in Iran. I blame myself for sounding like a “stranger” to him.

I feel my family and I had one thing that no one was able to steal from us in the past and that was “hope”. They took away our unity and our comfortable life, but they never managed to take “hope” away from us. It was that feeling of “hope” that would give us the concrete sense of pride. It was because of “hope” that we all progressed in our individual lives. It was “hope” that whispered every night in our ears that there will be a day that the four of us will have a happy meal in Tehran. Sadly, the strange concept of time is taking that “hope” away from us. I fear the day that “hope” steps outside and never comes back again. I see “hope” wearing his shoes and getting ready to leave. I fear his departure. It was “hope” that had made us feel the sense of “togetherness” during all these years of separation and anxiety.

The Star
Well, I never went back, I no longer suffer
from not going back, the sand willed it
and as part wave and part channel
syllable of salt, leech of water,
I, sovereign, slave of the coast

surrendered, chained to my rock.
There is no freedom anymore for us
who are fragments of the mystery,
there is no way out for returning
to oneself, to the stone of oneself
No other stars remain except the sea.

By: Pablo Neruda,
Translated by: William O’Daly
From: Winter Garden-
Copper Canyon Press

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