جمعه، مرداد ۳۱، ۱۳۸۲

Wednesday, November 27, 2002 AutobioTable of Contents Chapter Heading Page 1 The Style 2 The Birth 3 The Tree-Lined Street 4 The Elementary School 5 The Mountains 6 The Capital 7 The Sea (Caspean) 8 High School 9 The Sky (Turkey) 10 Arbeit (Germany) 11 The Ocean (NY) 12 Kansas 13 Missouri 14 Virginia 15 New Jersey 16 NASA 17 Dance 18 California 19 Aging 20 ********************** Chapter 1 Style Whom I am writing for? Is it for my shadow on the wall? Is it for leaving my name behind? Is it that I am bored and have not anything else to do? My answer is: I am indebted to the people who populated my skull. It is an ancestral warship, paying my dues to the ghosts. Fifty years is a long time. I have traveled in time and in space. Coming from Caucasian mountains to the Plateau, then to Ararat, the Alps, the Rockeys, and finally to the Blue Ridges. This was from a feudal, closed village of Taleqan to the Global village of the 21st Century of the New World with the super highways of fiberoptics, wireless satelites and video servers. Do I start chronologically, reminiscing the by-gone days, people and places; or kaleidoscopically collaging them in a stream of consciousness? Do I write about the big people or the little ones? Should I write about myself reflecting the others or observing them like a cameraman traversing in time? The style I chose is not my first choice. At first I opened up my skull and let it ooze out the memories, associated events, and my knowledge of later years. This is very Persian in circular story development versus American linear description. Even Joician stream-of-consciousness was abandoned in favor of Chekhovian sense-evoking description. In a way I follow a video camera in panning the scene with pauses on people. The sequential object description from the vantage point of the camera is also adhered to. The camera position, under the fresh contribution of Spielberg depends on the narrator/ observer. If it is from a child's point of view, the lens is panning at 4 feet, if it is a man, it is 6 feet high. Also I opted for sense evocation by emphasizing the tactile, smell, visual, audio, and olfactory. This is a Persian heritage in rugs, bazaar and architecture where all senses are aroused. In architecture a harmony of color, shapes, motion (water-fountain), smell (flowers), temperature (balcony, porch, sun-facing rooms). The associative process makes the theme development concentric circles and complicates the subject matter. One word, person, emotion, or event connects to another one and yet another one. And my knowledge of later years pad the subject with scientific/ artistic explanation. I reserve this explanation for a later commentary on the book. In a way the associative style has its own merits. It applies science to the every day life and annotates culturally remote words for better understanding. The culture I was reared was a closed, patriarchal and Sophic milieu. The civilization I am addressing is open, self-gratifying and Materialistic. The dichotomy of the past and present, East and West, spirit and matter; and in my case the element of future due to science make the matter more intensive. That is why I opted for simpilicity and sensuality which are universal; and after all they are integral components of the arts. These elements are the basis of world and past grasping and understanding. They are the basis of my attraction to Yucaton ruins in Mexico, a Navajo village in Colorado and Pergamen Musuem in Berlin. I can integrate in a Turkish village and the Village pub in NY. They relate us to the environment, make us flexible and adapt. They make us the same while we have our differences. Particularly, the marginal people who have rainbow color. the mainstream people follow the same life pattern all over the world in India, China, Egypt, Poland, Cananda. They work, have family, enjoy life, participate in their rituals without questions. However the cone-heads of our civilization each one is different. It is not an accident that they find their counterparts in other countries transcending borders. In a paculiar way in their diversity they contribute to internationlism. By being so many different shades, they seek closeness across borders and facilitate the cause of universality. Iranian Hedayat finds Chec Kafka, German Beethoven finds French Bonapart, .. Millions of these cone-heads never achieve fame, therefore not recorded in our civilization. However they were with us since earliest time. In Greece, Epicurus and Socrtis, In Iran Baba Taher Orian and Mowlavy,.. The mainstreamers perpetuate national life and the marginals cross over the national boundaries. This trend is very visible in London, Paris, NY, Tehran. Various nationalities are mixed and yet keep their identity with their grocery-stores, languages, and diversity. The European snobbishness of the bygoen era is gone. No more mass extermination of the Indians, Aboriginies, or the Africans. They even accept their own differences Scotish Kilt and Swiss shorts and colorful Slavic garmets, languages, and so on. No more cultural eradication of Vietnamese, Arabs, and Sikhs. It is beautiful when in NY or LA or SF so many cultural diversity one can see. I loved A~sh, then Supe, and now Pho. This is in 30 years. Imagine in 100 years how rich our civilization going to be. The table of content is to some extent chronological with topical heading. The topic is the highlight of the period when I remenisce the past. It is no longer walking from home to school. It is like looking from the Mars, my vacilation to and fro in several points: home 1- school, home 2 -school, home 3 -work, etc. ***************** Chapter 2 The Birth My father's mother was a well-built, self-centered, rugged woman. She had colonade legs wrapped in warm tight black pants and a jacket for top. Slow and measured she was in her walking and eating. She would chew the food like a cow regorgetating. She had an Egyptian royal stature, shown in their stone relief. Her sharp short tongue was an effective deterrent for others to reckon with her presence. Her ballance in life kept her from too much talk, emotion and sacrifice. I spent most of my summer breaks with her in the mountain. We used to take a bus to the outskirts of the Capital. Then, rent mules, mount up and go for two days. The narrow trail (mal-row) like a long dusty rope patiently neandering the foothills and valleys, reaching the top through seven defiles (gar-de-neh). Then winding down to the plain with the river spreading a leisurely bed of peples and sands. Every few hours the trail reaches a village with tall featherlike poplars and dark round fruit trees. The villagers on foot pass us by, men with khaki pot hats (ko-la na-ma-dy), exchanging niceties (khoda qovat, aafeet bashe, salamat be). Women wearing colorful flamingo skirts, carrying a big containers on their heads, and looking with a shy curiosity. At night we reach Honey Pass (Sar-e Asal), a tavern hidden in the mountains. Camping out under a tree, with the passing creek's murmur, the birds chirp, and there may be one or two other families next to us, yonder. Early night the milky way was like a white river over my head. In the middle of the night hearing wild calls from distant jackals. Before down a cool breeze touching my face. And at day break, the golden sun rays warming up my face. The mules impatiently hoofing on the ground and chewing the feed (o-loo-feh). We get up and go to the fountain, wash our hands, face and mouth. The chill of the morning would give us a shiver. Breakfast was aromatic and colorful. The samavar steaming with boiled water for sugared tea. The sour-dough, flat bread (la-vash), butter with tart taste and strong aroma, feta cheese white and sharp, a glass of boiled milk, a jar of honey, and some thick creme (tuk). Then, we bundle the mattress, comforter and cylindrical pillows (mo-ta-ka) with linens and put them on the back of the mules, sit on top and go. I always preferred footing than riding. My Grandma groaned about wasting the mule by not riding it. Me, I loved following the gipsy, old man with whiskers and wrinkels on his forehead of white top under the hat and tanned bottom above his eye-brows, the owner of the four-legged beasts who had a vocabulary of several repeating phonemes and curses for the mules. He would use these phonemes to speed up or slow down to halt the mules. He would translate my grandma's wishes for the mules. Grandma sits on back of the mule like Nader shah on top of an elephent- majestic and assured. As a matter of fact her elephentine legs were over my head when I came to help her mount or unmount. For me, the best thing was chasing hoppers with their exotic colored wings. You develop a skill in spotting them which have a khaki color camouflage, approaching them so hunterlike, and catching them in your fist. They ooze out a dark sap and struggle with their sharp, strong hindlegs to open the fist. You carefully unfist one finger at the time from the headside first. Grab the shoulders of the hopper with two fingers of the left hand. You raise it in victory against the Sun. Then the real bounty comes. Spreading the wings against the Sun, gazing at the purple color, even looking directly at the Sun using the wing as a filter. There were other colors in the locust's wings. Me, I loved looking at the wild flowers, brambles, thorns and bushes. They burst into bloom holding to the rocks, and waving in the wind with delight. Butterflies of small or big singly fly gracefully around. Honey bees do the same with roughness. There was one thorny bush, the shepherds use to start fire, called Ge-van. In the farm I'll go to the foothills and collect them by cutting their stems with a mashet (kha-je-reh), picking them, putting them in a bag, bringing them to Grandma; she used them in her tanboor to set fire for cooking and baking. The second day, early evening we reach the farm. Unload the mules, bring the baggage into the porch (Ay-vaan). We go to the fountain, wash up and come to the court-yard, sit in the porch for a hearty dinner of scrambled eggs, cheese, bread, buttermilk (dooq), herbs and nuts. She lights up a lantern (faa-nus). Then, we take our matress (tu-shak) and conforter (la-haaf) and lay the out on the rugs. I crawl into my bed and she in hers. Then, I ask her grany, tell me about genies, paries, aals, duale-pas and others. She will tell me stories of her kins encountering these creatures in the remote parts of the village. these folk-tales of real people and imaginary creatures are in themselves stories similar in the Thousand and One Nights. Since I mentioned the names, let me introduce them in a little details: Jen or genies are a metaphysical image of the village with a lot of counter parts and human relations. They mix with man ocasionally but it is better to stay away from them. Paries (faries) are erotic creatures mostly in pursuit of man seductively. They are beautiful and have seen them and heard them whispering my name. Aals are ver slim tall men, they are after pregnant women or newly born babies. Duale-pas are creatures with their legs twined together and they hop (shlang-andaz). I will tell later of my own and others encounter them. Me, I loved chasing the lone rabbits. Their twiking nozzles and fast hopping tested my speed. Other rodents, snakes and frogs were not that far away. With other cousines, we set a dam against the river. Lift the stones around and set them up. The heavier ones on the river bed, the smaller ones on top. The location was already known due to sandy bottom and depth; however, every spring the river over flows and breaks the dam apart. We repeat the task every year. My cousin with big hairy shoulders sits against the flow and the water played with the hair like wind with green wheat field. We, the younger ones jumped, paddled, and float like beavers. The sun was hot, the river was brilliant and we were like a flees on the knot going up and down. The Southern- flowing river is in the valley where on the West was a tall hill with a flat top, Malekupa. Around the banks are plum (alu), apple, and walnut orchards with spress and yonjeh, the feed for the cattle. Some nights on the way of irrigating (owpay) we come to the dam with my cousins. In the moonlight, the river is like a flowing diamond mass. The sparkle, the murmur, the white/blue color, the chill surrounded by the soft-colored trees. We bring a basket (chal-k) made of weeping willows shoots. Remove a few stones in the middle of the dam, set the basket there. ans wait on river bank. We colloect twiks and set a small fire. Using school paper and dried donkey dong (kha-re-gu), wrap up cigarettes, light them up with a branch glowing at one end, passing it around taking a puff. The bring in the fish the size of sardines and pass stick of weeping willows through them like shish-kebab. Holding them on the glowing chars, then eating them, lying down around the red glowing fire, they will talk about jins and paries. The Moon high above lighting the valley with the shades of mystery and distant birds qooing and the beasts screaming. The river is sourced at the snow-capped mountains to the north of the village. Once a summer a group of us cousins take a full day and go up to foot of the mountain with another village sitting there like the magic city of Shahrzad. The walls are coated with white chalk (gel). not many trees in this village, the windows reflect sunlight like magic. Climbing the valley following a river which is almost dries up in the summer. The village looks like a flying carpet rolled out at the foot of the mountain, white and dazzling. We had some distant relative there. they would give us bread and cheese, herbs and duq, and hugs and well-wishes. We head back and down hill we run like bumble weed in the wind. Somewhere, up the river, there is pluff or a wall of white clay where pigons have nest. The villagers get their gel from this wall. We climb up with danger of the layered wall collapsing to reach the nests. We never did find eggs. However, onetime a layer under our feet colapsed, we fell down like babylonian fort guards under the arrows of Cyrus the great's archers. Elbows and shanks were bruised, lymping we made it home. The wounds were washed with Mercury-Chrome, giving sharp burns. There is a shrine of a Saint under a lone almond tree on the slope of hill (katal). It takes one day to go there and return. We got on the trail early morning and were there at midday. The almond tree on the slope of the hill was the Saint himself in green robe (qa-baa) from afar. It was a dark dot on the khaki slope. Under the tree, the mud and stone shrine with cool inside is an adobe in the barren nowhere. The tree is the solitaire saint in a mystic state looking at the elements, every particle in the body of the saint dispersed in the leaves, barks and nuts. The Sun, snow, rain, wind and dust will carry the particles of the saint to the distant reaches, where red poppies and wild flowers are fed with petrified parts of the tree. It is a constant change in placement and no change in the constant particles. The village is in the valley of hills at foot of the snow-capped mountains. There are several fountains with cool water in the summer and warm water in the winter. Our spring was flowing fron under a big, black bolder. There are several large stones and a small pond under where we squat on the stones to get fresh water. It taste delisious and digest the food like a flour mill. In two-three hours we get hungry. Climb up fruit trees and pick cheries, apples, plums (a-lu), aprocut (shlaa-nok), mullberries, walnuts, hazelnuts, big plums (pay-van-di), black cherries (gil-aask), big approcuts (qay-si), pears (khoj). Or make ahole in the ground and bake potatoes yanked out of the fields, or cucumbers picked from the garden (jaa-leez). Then, there were birds, fish, and rabbits to kebab and eat. Or, go by one of the uncles, aunts, and other relatives get flat bread and cheese rolled like a barrito. Or spend the lunch in a cousin's house and have warm food such as soup and yugourt (du'aash), rice and toppings (po-lo kho-resh), stew (qe-lia), sunny-side up eggs and herbs (sab-zi), yugort, bread, dried mullberry, nuts,and fruits, or flat dried sheets of fruits. The wedding takes seven nights and seven days. Khaa-se-gary, shir-ni-kho-raan, ha-naa-ban-daan, a-ru-si, naar-za-naan, ham-maam, za-faaf. The Public bath in the morning is for the groom and his male relatives. It has big hot pool, where you climb several stairs to get to the oppening then get into the pool with the rest of the male family. Each naked with piece of 2 by 1 foot lenon (lowng) around the thighs. It is steamy and there is a sky-light (dar-jee) in the center of ceiling. After khees-khordan, kee-se-ke-shi, lee-fo-saa-bun, qosl in the pool, you come out to the paa-shu-ye to dry up with towel and dip your feet one at the time in the little cold pond, dress up and come outside. After bath, the cheeks are like pomogranate and shiney. In a procession we go to the groom's father's house. There is a band of gypsies playing sorna and drum accompanying us. The passion play (ta-zi-ye) had a troope travelling from village to village. They make 2 or 3 stops here every summer. All male cast with authentic attire and armors. Day time the sorna player and drummer stand on the tallest roof-top and play their tune so the villagers know the troope is here. The day performance is in the court-yard of the masjid. The masjid has three main parts. A large room with a manbar and some rugs where aaqaa sings religous songs and lectures on the saint's unhappy lives. The room has a curtain in the center where women sit behind the curtain and wail, while the men sit close to the roster and shake their head in sympathy with the saints. Then, hot-tea and sugar-cubes are served. Aaqaa drinks qandaab (sweetened boiled water). The court-yard has a mullberry tree in the center and through Ayvaan connects to the hall. On the second side of the yard there is shelf with big samavars boiling and tea-pots sending aroma in all direction. An old man sitting in the Ayvaan, puffing into his home made tobaco pipe, made of cherry wood. Another one lights up a cigarette, and the third one inhales qalyaan. Their faces is bronse color with namad hats the shape of a pot on their head. The children running up and down being restless. The teen-agers sit by the curtains and try to reach the girls on the other side. The play takes place in the yard. People sit in the Ayvaan and on the roof and on the to of the mud wide-walls. There is some fencing between the villains and the saint. The saint reciting long poems listing his forefathers and their good deeds. He has a scrole (tu-maar) in his sleeve and palm. We boo at the villain and sometimes through peples at him. The mother of the saint sits in a corner, sings sadly about the cruelty of the time, the loss of a dear one, and the widow-hood. The villain with hood (khud) and dagger runs around in victory. One time there was a friction between them. In one scene the saint was under a table topped with linon and a whole in the center where the head of the saint was out. In previous act the saint was slained and the head was set on the table to talk about an imminant vengence (taqaas). The villain stick his sword in the nose of the saint. While boasting about his power. It itched the nose so bad that the saint wispered some curses at him. He exacebated and kept tickling the nose. It became so unbearable the saint risen with table on his shoulders chasing the villain, circling the tree. The villain fled through the door and us children ran after him and then dogs barking and following us. The villain with his sword wavering in the air at the head of the line. The play at night was on rooftop of half a dozen houses. The roof was rugged and the lanterns (faa-nus) gave a mild light to the scene. Again there was singing and recitation, fights and crying. It was the description of the villagers life with the basic ingredients of injustice, death, vengence, and wailing. We have a ball because now there was no curtain. Families sit on the rug and we could run around tease the girls and watch and listen all at the same time. At the end of the play, a group of us get together and go to raid an orchard with grafty fruits of better taste, bigger size or otherness. The orchards are walled by a thorny bush (parchin). The bush is like Christmas tree planted in a row all around the lot with a locked wooden gate. We make a small hole under the bush crawl in, climb up the tree, pick the fruits, put them in our shirts. Then leave to a peaceful place and eat the fruits. The nights could be peach-black (zolemaan). We knew the way so well that we enter the target orchard and climb the tree. Sometimes, the owner, an old man with no teeth, hears the noise and stands in his porch airing out the worst profanities. He was scared to come to the orchard. One cuss I remember was "Aahaay, javaan bomardaan! Shlanokaan haraametaan! Sibaan yeki yeki be kosse nanetaan.." All the fruits you are stealing, one by one, in the cunt of your mothers.. There was a little run (ju), collecting drips from the rocks into a clear run, with exotic little wild plants on both sides. Part of the run had a red clay bed, soft like yogurt. I take an apple, pass a twick through the stem and around its equitorial a row of throns (parchin, like tooth-picks). I stick two Y-twicks on the two sides of the run, and let the water turn the apple by falling on the tooth-picks. This was called aa-be-dang. The apple wheel turning was fascinating. The weapon we had was sling shot (kesh-to-fang), a tool to catepult a stone at a bird. It was a Y-part from a tree, with two strips of rubber from bicycle tybes tied to tops. The other ends of the rubbers were attached to a peice of leather taken from anbaan, the sheep-skin, used for extracting butter from sour-milk. Here, we made everything. There were three items from the outside: matches, tea, and keroscene. The shoes (gi-veh) were made of old pants beaten into the sole, the top was woven together. Grandma had a flock of sheep in the mountain. The shepherd would send her wool, cheese in a sheep-skin, and gormeh (minced lamb meet, sauted in fat. This was enough to last all winter. The wool will be washed, cleaned (had some wild seeds stuck) and stranded. Then she will put a strand around her wrist and with a foot long spindle (chel) she will make thin canvas strings. The string is turned to a big clump, to be used in knitting socks, gloves, sweaters, and vests. She used natural dies to color the wool. The walnuts shells have a permenant dark brown die, rhubarb has purple color, poppies have dark die, suger-beets gave red and others. The die was also used to color the wool for rugs. They beat the wool under water into namad. She had a loom in the portch were she also wove bed-spread (chaa-dor shab). I had two aunts, one married, the other one staying with grandma. The marriage of the older aunt with blue eyes will be described later. The younger aunt had several friends. At dawn, we go to the fields (Maz-ra) to pick roses for grandma to make rose-water (gol-aab) used in pastry and halva. Haaji-daadaash with his wife, two daughters and two sons lived by the spring. Safuraa was a the younger girl, with dark and bush eyebrows and big hazel eyes. In the fields at dawn the dew so heavy that Safuraa would piggy back me for my shoea not to get wet. We pick wild roses, put them in baskets (chal-k). I don't remember the process of making rose-water, but I remember the bottles sitting on the shelf (raf). The room was cube with round edges, 3 doors, 2 windows and a skylight with ni glasses. It had a small shelf, where salt was stored with fresh eggs kept in there. There were cavities into the wall (raf), where my father as a fireball (shay-tun) cross from one to the next wall using the cavities. He also jumped between tow roofs over the alley, where noone has done that yet. He teased girls a lot, they trusted him. However, his brother was not trusted among the girls. The house had three quarters, a yard, a room with a porch, three closets (pastu) one leading into another, into a big room (khaa-neh), and the barn. It was built by the grandpa and my father and helpers. They used clay-straw mixture molded into thick tiles and dried under the Sun. The walls were 4-5 feet (va-jab) thick. The ceiling had poplar beams and twiqs with clay-straw to make a thick, flat roof. The used stone-roller (bum-qal-tun) after each snow/rain and shovelled the snow in the morning. Grandma and the girls (I had two aunts) go to the querry wall by the River get white-chalkish clay, mix it with hourse menure and water, to paint the walls. A water-repellant and sun-reflector coating. Both rooms had skylights (dar-jee) in the ceiling. Our room had two windws with no glass and three doors, one to the porch, one to the closet, and one to the alley with a western panorama of the valley, hills and the sky. The two-some square doors had arch (taaq) on top. the entrance door into the yard had a wooden-lock (klun). The walls around the yard had a flat top of 4 feet wide, made of poplar branches and clay-straw. The barn had a door to the alley with a whole under the threshold for chickens to go in and out. At dusk grandma would call her chickens feed the some wheat grains and push them into the barn. The a big round stone (qol-veh-sang)is shoved into the hole to keep the fox out. Our toillet was in the alley by an old mullberry tree, with the largest, greenest, freshest leaves in the village. The fruits were big mullberries (ro-tab) compared to another tree around the bend with soapy fruits (reshk). The tree was cut on top and had healthy off-shoots, was used for hanging a bag (gu-ny) for door. The toillet had a deep whole in the center with two black stones (khaa-raa) where we put our feet to squat. We used a picher (aaf-taa-be) to wash. However, you had to go to the spring, fill up the picher, bring in, then squat. At night we took a lantern (faa-nus). In the spring, the farmers (ray-yat) empty out the whole and use it in the herb garden. The herb garden had the followings: tarakhoon, tarah, garlic, shanbelileh, zafran, dill (shi-bid), parsly, mint (na-naa), ray-haan, tarteezak, onion, radishes (to-rob), sharqam, spinach (spin-aaj), beets (cho-qon-dar), ruhbarb (ree-vaas). Every day graney goes to the plain (sahraa) to weed (wee-jeen), water (eau), and pick (chin) the vegetables (sab-zee). She cleaned, washed and cut them; used some in the soup-stew (du'-aash), dried some for winter (zam-is-taan). In the mid-summer, we get a long stick (al-am-be), a bed-spread (chaa-dor-shab), a basket (cha-lk), and the mashet (kha-je-rah); and go to the orchard by the river. On the way, graney told me the following story (naql): There was a mother-bear with two cubs, named Abu and Babu, went to the thicket (bee-sheh) to eat konos, a dellicious brown fruit, the size of kiwi. Inside it has half a dozen seeds and tastes like Bavarian creme puff. The went andt went until they got to konos tree. The picked up the fallen ones on the ground. Then, mother bear climbed up the tree, shook a limb at the time, came down, and saw the cubs already ate all the konos. She climbed up again, shook another limb, came down. Saw all the konos on the ground were gone. She went yonder, dug a hole, put the cubs in the hole, put the dirt on their head, and said to herself, now I can eat some. Climbed up the tree, shook yet another branch, came down, ate them. She repeated until it was getting dark. Then she came to the filled hole, ruffled the dirt with her paws, and unearthed the cubs. They were motionless. She toss them up and down, hugged them, shook them. No, they didn't move. The mother bear put the cubs on her shoulder, moaning and wailing back to her cave, refraining: "Abu o Babu, babam ku? Bapote konos zahram bu." The spring and fall flood chewed into the land, with some of the plum trees roots hanging in the air. They were awesome reflection of the branches in the dried up river. There are three types of plums, alu, gojeh (large and juicy), payvandy. If they are sour, called sag-alu (dog-plum). Payvandy is a hybrid, larger and meaty. She puts the spread under a tree, asks me to climb up, shake it, then use the stick to reach the far braches. She gathers the fruits and puts them in the baskets. Then from under the the tree, she would point to branch with a plum on it saying, "ba-be-jaan, yekim anja dara." I'll come down from one limb to the trunk to climb up the branch using the stick trying to cut the stem. The branch under my feet broke and I landed flat on my back on the grass, motionless with arrested breath. She came to my head, rubbing my little hands, calling my name. I was unconscious, she start moaning (shi-van), "babe-jaan paayos beeshim. Babe-jaanam mord, az dast raft, in gojeaan zaram bu.." In a few minutes I gained consciousnes, and opened my eyes, her big head was close to my face, with the big tree above us like a peacock tail and the sky blue and reachable. She took a piece of nabaat from her char-qad covering her hair against dust. Put the crystal candy in my mouth. The helped me to get up, we took our tools, she put the basket on top of her head. I used to play with the stick, riding it, probing into the plants, sticking in the creek, or hitting braches of other trees. She used the alu for drying and making thin layers (lavaashat). We had them over the wall (chi-ne) to dry under the Sun. Every day I had to climb up the gate to get to the chineh and turn them around so the bottom side get brown too. The juice, fermented and warm, was very different from fresh alu. Eventually, they dry up, she will bag them for winter, used in the aash or stew. We had a payvandi orchard in the thicket (bee-sheh), there were water all over since it was at the bottom of the hill with water fountains. The wooden gate (aazengalah)was at the end of a paa-vaaz and the lot had a thick thorny bushes around. In the Southern side, right at the boundary there was a spring with water clear as the tears. Every now and then, Gradma asked me take a little shovel and follow her to the orchard. I follow her to the spring. She tells me that, "again this Quch-Ali," an old man with no teeth and foul mouth," has violated the property line; push the thorn bushes back two feet (vajab)." Years later, I realized that they push the bushes into the Grandma's property in the morning when they come to spring to washup; had nothing to do with violating property line. One night several cousines, after a taaziah on the rooftop, we went to Qooch-Ali's Orchard. Jumped over the parchin bushes, climbed up the black-cherry, appercot, and apple trees, picked some, put into our shirts, over the belt. We were like pandas holding to the tree trunks, when the owner heard us. His nerves were extra keen after a night event like wedding, taaziah, or abyaree (hand irrigation). Standing in his balakhaneh (balcony), yelling and cusing. One famous line was "all those fruits, one by one into your mother's cunt." We fell heavy like skonks, ran as rabbits and jumped over the thorny fence like kangroos. At a distance we still could hear his refrains about mothers, sisters and fruits. The stars up above were chrisp and the milky way was like a white river in the blue sky. The Moon was a golden tray hanging in there. the soft moonlight shone on the harvest. We head for the sahrah. The wheat and jow were cut, thrushed, and the straw were piled up high. It was chilly, and we unloaded the fruits on the ground, headed straight for the straw and dug in - only our heads were out. Each season had remnant of the past and the rlics of the next season. I noticed also resemblance between all of them. In winter it snowed, little pieces of cotton falling down. In spring it was the pollen and petals. In the summer it was fruits and nuts; and in the fall, it was all the leaves on the trees top the sound of the blowing winds. In the 50's there was bus sevice to Abyak, past Karaj; then to Assal where there were coal mines all around; then to Samqabad/ Abrahimabad with grape-vines. After that travelers hired mules to get to their distination. Then there was a truck ride from Samqabad (Sap-village) to the Shahrak. The first machine driven to Koolaj was by Abas who drove a Jeep to the village. Now, there is a black-top road all the way to the village. One time I was with a cousine who was studying architecture in Vienna and visiting parents for the summer. We were walking on the dirt road where the rain and spring water from the hills were cutting the road into a ladder-like way. He noticed that in Auatria, they dig a ditch on the mountain side of the road to lead the water away from the road. Then, he asked why they don't do it here? Later, I found the answer. The roads are contracted to people from the arid South who work there in the summer. The rain comes in spring and fall, when they are not there any more. In the fall, grandma gets several sheep-hides (khik) full of mountain cheese and gourmeh (minced mitton fried and salted). They were used in winter. In the summer she slaughter sheep and divide it with neighbors when they reciprocate later. There was no refrigiration. Qormeh was tasty, and with aroma due to some of the mountaine hers when sauted with onion in an omlette. The white cheese looked granular like blue cheese but with sharp taste and aroma due to Gorz (a mountain herb). We rolled a lavash (buritto bread), inside cheese and tarreh, tarkhoon. The sour dough conditioned us permanently. When later in Kansas where there were no sour dough bread; I lost my liking of the bread, thinking American bread notastes like straw. The notion was corrected in Sausalitto when I had sour dough bread tasting good. There is a public bath half way between the upper and lower village. It is another mud structure with willow trees around it. It has jacusi (khazineh) where after kiseh-keshi with rushur and lif o soap we go inside for a rinse (qosl). In the closet (rakht-kan) we take off our cloth and wear a lenon (long). The oven under the jacusi uses logs to burn. The water had the color of terip (siraby). The bath was steamy and a two-step stair leads to the openning of the hot tub. Inside we stand around the wall, for the bottom-center on top of the oven is hot. There is a cold fountain (pashuye) for rinsing feet. It is open all day, before noon for men and afternoon for women, with children divided in gender. The bath was a focal point in weddings. Folks believed that a pregnant (zahoo) woman should not be there alone; for Aals will harm her. An Aal is a slim, tall man who eats liver (joft a bacheh, plethora) with a white robe on. In the valley of the river there is the fertile cucamber fields. The evening and dawn dews make the cucmbers chrisp and juicy. The owner of one field had a teen ager girl, called zoleykha. One of my cousines was teen ager boy called Razee. He was adventurous and dare-devil. The next village up the river knew him as the younger Satan. He was fast, cunning, and fisty. One night after a wedding we went down the hill to the fields (jaleez). He took a black sheep skin and a bag (guny). Put the skin over his back and crawled into the field like an oar (goraz), picking cucambers, filling the bag. The field-owner's daughter saw the black skin in the field, tried to chase the beast. Razee lost his cool (betab) and jumped at her and pushed her against the wet furrows (karts), touching her thighs and pressing himself against her strong horizontal. It was dark (zolemat) with no moon. We were under the willows (veed) hearing their heavy breathing and moaning and graoning. then, he got up took the bag and walked toward us. I went to their field next day to see who is this girl who made my cousin forget his mission and try to please to the calling of her heart-strings that play soft and low amodst whisper and hush. She still had mud stain on her pretty flaminco/gipsy dress with black pants under. She had attached, thick, black eyebrows over her big black eyes. Her nose was like the tip of dagger pointing up with lush lips like yaqut (zaphire) her face with high chick bones were rosy and tan. A long neck and a V sitting on a Q was her upper body. She was like qazal standing on her hind feet gracefully, delicately and playfully. I could have fallen in love with not just one heart but 100 hearts in the first sight... One afternoon I was comming from the river-dam for swimming (she-naa-kon-ja) I decided to go thru the cherry orchid of one of my uncles. I had my trunk over my head to dry and going quitly up the river bank not perturbing the birds so I could see their colorful feathers. Amidst the young trees with glossy, red stem used for Persian long tobacco pipes I saw a white patterned with small flowers veil spread on the ground under the veil of the cherry trees. there was a wife of one relative who was from Tehran with one my cousin, Khosrow (Cesar) reclined and talking. She was snow white fleshy woman, he was olive bronze with strong muscular features. I heard the rumar that she had an affair with Cesar. Now, I coud see her Venus like flesh white knees and her full lushous bossoms busting out like Persian mellons in the donkey-bags (khorjin). She was spread out like one the sculptures of the Godess under the light passing thru the transparent leaves of the cherry trees as if the floral pattern of her veil was tattooed softly on the plaster of her cottony thighs. My eyes were like two flash lights focusing on the fuzzy parts where the has never shone. I could still smell the woman's odor which was like a beehive with invisible bees emanting to get to my nose. I sat down and looked at the interplay of light, color, and flesh. ******************** Chapter 14 Virginia 12/18/93 It is Sunday; full of sunshine and clearity. The stripped down trees enhance the visibilty. I drove to Gaithersburg to see the Uncle - to walk around the lake in the Montgomery Village. He is large in many respects, with the extremes of emotion. His sister's son, married with a daughter and another one on the way, died in a car accident in the Provencial France. posted by Sam at 1:11 PM Tuesday, November 26, 2002 SUFISM The Sufi, through creative expression, remembers and invokes the Divine order as it resides in a hidden state within all forms. To remember and to invoke, in this sense, are the same; to act on a form so that that which is within may become known. The Sufi thus re-enacts the process of creation whereby the Divine came to know itself. The receptacle in which the creation is re-enacted may be an external form such as an artifact, or it may be the life form of the mystic that is transformed. Here the very soul of the Sufi-to-be reaches towards the Divine center through the mystic Quest. Divine Spirit Divine Spirit Arc Arc of of Descent Ascent Mystic Quest Human soul Human soul According to the followers of the Sufi path, Sufism in its essence is timeless; but its historical manifestation begins with the descent of the Quran. Some sources trace the origin to an incident that occurred to the Prophet Mohammed. One day, while he was teaching the verse, 'God created the seven heavens', a special meaning of this verse was revealed to him. Ibn 'Abbas, the great transmitter of his Traditions, who was present, was later asked what the Prophet has said. Ibn' Abbas answered, 'if I were to tell you, you would stone me to death.' Through this allusion to the inner meaning of things, the meaning that is not comprehensible to all, the inner path to God was opened. The Companions of the Prophet were devout men who performed acts of meditation and constant remembrance of the Divine through its Names and through repetition of the text of the Quran; and after the death of the Prophet this group spread and trained disciples. The name of Sufi was still unknown. At the beginning of the eighth century AD (2nd Islamic century), these ascetics came to be known as Sufis. The derivation of this word is not known for certain. It may come from the word meaning 'wool', referring to the rough woolen garments they wore; it may come from the word meaning 'purity'. Some say the word stems from 'line', referring to the people who prayed in a line directly behind the Prophet. Still others among the Sufis themselves say the word is too sublime to be derived from anything. In another Tradition of the Prophet, his Ascent or Night Journey is described in part in the following manner: 'On my spiritual ascent I was taken to Paradise. I was placed before the door of a house. Gabriel was at the door. I asked to be let in. Gabriel said, "I am only a servant of God. You must pray to God if you want the door to be opened," and so I did. God said, "I open the door only to those who are most beloved. You and your followers are most dear," and the door was opened. Inside I saw a casket made of white pearls. I asked Gabriel to open the box. He told me only God could do so. I asked of God, and the box was opened. God said, "That which the box contains will be held for you and your progeny." The box contained two things: spiritual poverty and a cloak. When I descended, I brought the cloak with me and I put it on 'Ali's shoulders, and after 'Ali his children will wear it.' Special emphasis in Sufism is given to the forty Sacred Traditions, in which the Divine speaks in the first person singular through the Prophet, although they are not part of the Quran. The numerous commentaries made upon the Quran by the individual Sufis, and the Tradition concerning the Prophet, are also essential Sufi sources of doctrine. The books of the saying of the Shiite Imams are important, especially those of 'Ali, the first Imam of Shiism, which brings Shiite Islam very close to Sufism. Another important source is the great wealth of Sufi poetry, above all the Mathnawi of Jalal al-Din Rumi, which has been described as virtually a Persian commentary upon the Quran. Sufism also assimilated concepts through texts that preceded it in time. The criterion for assimilation was that the foreign element preserved and supported the central doctrine of the Unity of Being. The Enneads of Plotinus, for instance, was the most complete metaphysical text to reach Islam from the Greeks; and Plotinus was known to Muslims as the 'Shaykh' or spiritual master. Teachings of the Pythagoreans, especially Niomachus, were also assimilated. The writings of Empedocles on cosmology and the sciences of nature received much attention. The Hermetic writings of the first to fourth centuries AD, preserving the inner dimension of the traditions of Egypt and Greece, were translated into Arabic; one treatise that appears over and over again is the Pomanders attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, the founder of Hermeticism. Hermes is traditionally related to Enoch, and appears in the Quran as the Prophet Idris. Zorastrianism, the religion of ancient Iran, also influenced Sufism. The twin concepts 'There is law in Nature. There is conflict in Nature' helped to develop the great Sufi cosmological themes. The Master of illumination, Shihab al-Din Yahya Suhrraawardi, extended certain Zoroastrian ideas in his angelology of lights. Sufism spiritualized myths and legends from pre-Islamic times, from Persian, Arabic and other sources, by expounding their inner significance. Stories about the Buddha were assimilated: Avicennna based his story 'Salman and Abssal' on them. Returning to Quranic sources, the major Old Testament prophets and the sayings of David and Solomon were very important to Islam in general and to Sufism. The Virgin Mary, and the miracle of the Virgin birth of Christ, the Word of God, as contained in the Quran, are important Sufi symbols of aspects of the Truth: for the birth of the Word to the Virgin Mary is as the birth of the Word to the unlettered Prophet. The miracle of Islam is the Quran, as the miracle of Christianity is the Christ. Expressions of the Mystic Quest Laleh Bakhtiar, Sufi, posted by Sam at 3:38 PM Samad Behrangy The Black Fish 2 "We are trapped in the pelican's bag," she shouted. "But it isn't hopeless yet." The tiny fishes started crying and screaming. One of them said, "We have no way out and its all your fault. You are the one that deceived us and led us off the right path. Now he's going to swallow us and we'll all be done for." All of a sudden, the sound of ghoulish laughter thundered through the water. The pelican was laughing and saying, "What tiny fishes I have caught. I feel truly sorry for you. Ha.. ha...I really don't want to swallow you." The tiny fishes fell down begging. "Your Excellency, Mr. Pelican, we have heard so much about you. If you would be so kind as to open your blessed mouth just a little bit so we can get out, we would be thankful to your noble being forever." The pelican said, "I don't want to swallow you right away. But I have enough fish saved. Look underneath you." A few fish, large and small, lay dead at the bottom of the bag. The little fish said, "Your Excellency, Mr. Pelican, we have done nothing. We are innocent. It is this black fish who has deceived us." The little black fish cried, "You cowards, do you really believe that this conniving bird will let you go that you beg him like that?" "You don't know what you are talking about," they cried. "You will see in a while how this Excellency forgives us and swallows you." Then the pelican said, "Yes, I will forgive you, but under one condition." "Surely, just tell us," they answered. Then the pelican said, "Choke this nosy black fish. Then you will be freed." The little black fish swam into a corner and said, "Don't accept it. This crafty bird wants us to fight each other. I have a plan..." But the tiny fish were so concerned about getting out of the pelican's bag they would not listen. They rushed toward the black fish and she retreated farther into the side of the bag. "You cowards," she said softly, "you are trapped anyway. You have no way to escape and you are not big enough to overwhelm me." But they shouted back, "We must choke you. We want our freedom." "Are you out of your minds?" the little fish cried. "Even if you choke me you won't be freed. Don't be fooled by him." "Listen, I will prove it to you. I will go down among the dead fishes and pretend that I am dead also. Then we will see whether he frees you or not." Then, drawing the dagger the lizard had given her, she said, "Accept what I've proposed or I'll kill you with this and tear the bag and escape myself." "That's enough of your nonsense," one of the tiny fish wailed. "I can't stand it any longer .. boo .. hoo .. boo .. hoo," he cried uncontrollably. "Good grief, that's all we need," shouted the little fish over his crying. "Why did you bring this cry baby along?" Then she held out her dagger and they had no choice but to accept her plan. They pretended to fight a while. Then the black fish pretended to be dead. Then the other fish went up and said to the pelican, "Your Excellency, Mr. Pelican, we have choked her. The little black fish is dead." The pelican laughed and said, "You did a good job. Now to reward you for your work, I will swallow you all alive, and let you take a good tour of my belly." The tiny fish had no time to do anything. Like an electric current, they passed through the pelican's throat. But the black fish pulled her dagger and with one blow tore the wall of the bag and escaped through the hole. The pelican screamed from pain and plunged his head into the water. But he could not follow the black fish. She swam and swam without stopping. Now the mountains and valley had vanished and the river was passing through a plain. From left and right smaller rivers were joining and the waters were becoming even more deep. The little fish was enjoying this abundance of water when she suddenly came to realize that the river had no bottom (or at least she couldn't see one). She swayed this way and that way, without hitting anything. There was so much water that she was lost in it. She darted in every direction her heart desired; still she didn't come up against anything. Suddenly, she saw a long animal swimming toward her like a lightning streak. The sword fish with his double-edged blade. The little fish thought she would surely be sliced in half at any second. Only a quick dodge saved her and she soared to the top of the water. After a little while she went down again to look for the bottom. On her way down, she met a school of fish, thousands and thousands of them. She asked one of them, "Friend, I am a stranger. I have come a long way. Where am I?" This fish called to his friends and said, "Look, another one." Then he turned to the little black fish and said, "Friend, you are welcomed to the sea." Another one said, "All the rivers and streams end here. Of course some of them pour into the swamps." "Any time you like, you can join our group," said another. The little black fish was thrilled that she had reached the sea. She spoke with so much excitement that the other fish laughed at her and asked her to speak more slowly. Finally, she said, "Before I join your group, I'd like to look around. And oh, yes, I do want to be with you the next time you pull the fisherman's net into the sea!" "You will soon have your wish," one of the old fish said. "Go and look around first. But be careful if you go to the top of the water. The seagull is becoming quite bold these days. There hasn't been a single day that he hasn't hunted four or five of us." The little fish took leave of the sea fish and started to swim about on her own. After a bit she came to the surface of the water. A warm sun was shining and she felt its burning heat on her back. Softly and happily she paddled on the surface of the water humming a song she had learned in her village. She thought to herself, "All the streams and rivers flow here and make the sea. Separately, they haven't much strength; but together, they are a mighty ocean. In the same way, all the fish that have found the sea started out alone and afraid. But together they, too, are mighty. I want to live as long as I can. But even if I die, I will be happy knowing that my brothers and sisters are together in the sea. Already they are stronger than the fisherman and no matter how many are eaten by the swordfish and the seagull, there will always be many, many others left to carry on the fight. Some day, when all the courageous little fish in all the little streams of the world have joined them, they will be so strong that even their worst enemies will not dare to try to hurt them. Then all fishes will be truly free." She was deep into these thoughts when she suddenly felt herself being swept out of the water. The seagull had come from behind her and had caught her in his beak. She began to struggle wildly to save herself. But it was useless. The seagull had clamped her waist so hard that the life was almost squeezed out of her. After all, how long can a little fish live out of water? She wished that the seagull would swallow her, because at least, in the wetness of his belly she might live a few minutes longer. "Why don't you swallow me alive?" she asked him. I'm one of those fish whose dead body becomes poisonous." The seagull said nothing but thought to himself, "This little clever one, what is she up to? She wants me to start talking so she can escape." The shore was visible in the distance. They got closer and closer to it. The little black fish knew that when they reached the shore she would be done for. So she said, "I know you want to take me to your babies but I'll be dead before you get there and what's more, I'll be just like a bag of poison. You should at least think of your children." "Hmm," the seagull thought. "Precaution is a good thing. I'll eat her myself and hunt another fish for my babies. But, let's see now, could there be some trick to this?" He was thinking about these things when he noticed that the little black fish's body was going limp and motionless. "Is she dead now?" he thought. "If she is, I can't eat her myself anymore. Why have I wasted such a good fish for no reason!" So she called to her captive, "Say, little one, do you still have some life in you so I can eat you myself. Answer me, I..." But in the middle of the sentence, the little fish made a quick jump out of the seagull's moving beak. She was falling through the air and the seagull was diving down after her. The little fish opened her dry little mouth to the wet wind over the water. But no sooner had she hit the water and caught her breath than the seagull plunged into the water and, this time swallowed her so quickly that, for several seconds she had no idea what was happening to her. She only sensed that everywhere was damp and dark and that there was no way out. There was also a sound; it was the sound of crying. When her eyes got used to the dark, she saw a very tiny fish huddled in a corner and crying for his mother. She went up to him and said, "You little one, why do you cry and ask for your mother? Stand up and think of a solution!" "Who are you, anyway?" asked the tiny fish. "Can't you see what trouble I'm in? Wa-a-a-h mamma." The little fish said, "Really, that's quite enough. Do you want to ruin the reputation of all fishes by crying so much?" The tiny fish stopped crying, almost at once. The little black fish smiled at him and said, "We must kill the seagull to free every fish from this danger. You will have to be very brave." "But we are dying," replied the tiny fish sadly. "How can we kill the seagull?" Then the little fish showed him her dagger and told him she would cut open the seagull's stomach from the inside. "Now listen carefully," she said. "You must start running around every which way. That will tickle him and make it difficult for him to laugh and fly at the same time." As instructed, the tiny fish started to tickle the seagull and she began laughing furiously, while, the little fish began cutting through the side of the stomach. "As soon as I've finished," she cried to her friend, "you jump out, okay?" The tiny fish, amazed at how his tickling the seagull had affected the giant bird said, "Okay, but let's make sure he is done for before we leave!" Now the little fish had cut a hole big enough for the tiny fish to escape from. When he ran by her, she grabbed him and pushed him out. But she herself, continued to stab the seagull. A few seconds later, the tiny fish was in the water. He waited and waited but he saw no sign of the little black fish. Then he saw the seagull twisting and screaming and finally he saw his legs jerking and he started to fall toward the shore. The tiny fish saw that the seagull did not more at all as he fell. He was dead, at last! But there was still no sign of the little fish. "And to this day, children," said the old grandfather, "there has been no sign of her." Then he stood up and said to his twelve thousand children and grandchildren, "and now that our story is over, it's time for all little fish to be in bed. Go to sleep now, children." The children said, "But Grandpa, you didn't tell us what happened to the tiny fish!" "Good heavens," replied the grandfather. "That's quite a story in itself. We'll leave that for tomorrow night. Now it's time to sleep. Good night." Eleven thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine little fish said good night and went to sleep. The grandmother and grandfather went to sleep also. But one little red fish, no matter how hard he tried, just couldn't fall asleep. The whole night long, he lay awake, thinking about the sea. posted by Sam at 3:24 PM

0 نظر:

ارسال یک نظر

اشتراک در نظرات پیام [Atom]

<< صفحهٔ اصلی