Friday, December 31, 2010

The Old New Year

Last year on such a day we were in Santa Barbara, CA. It was a wonderfully sunny and peaceful day at the coast; I got a chance to write my New Year's resolutions part of which surprisingly got published in Santa Barbara Daily when they were interviewing random visitors in downtown S.B.
Then the New Year came, 2010.
I was thinking today, on the last day of that new year, while sitting in my mom's house in Isfahan, that it was one of the most interesting years in my life, if not the most interesting one. One very interesting part of it was this recent trip of mine to the home country itself.
- I got a chance to visit a few customer physicians along with the sales people here and get a feeling of the market here. It was way above my expectations.
- The pollution in the cities is unbelievable. It is so amazing not to be able to see the famous Kooh Sofeh mountain on the Isfahan city skirt! I wish I had never seen such a scene!
- Then the talks my dad made and then my mom. It was surprising to find them talk about stuff you anticipate to hear from parents 20 years older than mine. But I think I understand.
- I am so grateful for the time I got to talk with my brothers. Shocking, but has made me prideful. Not to mention the reunion with my sisters.
- M and I got a chance to rediscover some forgotten points in our relationships.
- A is having a great time, receiving lots of love and attention, and eased out in playing with other kids. Especially with his newly discovered cousin.

Another interesting point of 2010 for me was my huge job shift from purely technical in R&D to somewhat technical in Marketing. I consider that an achievement.

Last night I got a chance to write my new year's resolutions and also reread my 2010 resolutions. I am amazed how things came true! Now, what will be the writings on Dec 31st, 2011?

Happy 2011 every one! Peace and salaam!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My special day

It is nice to have a special day! I enjoy my day a lot. It does matter to me, the day, and any thing that happens in that day comes across as significant, even when it is an email from a CEO with the subject of "the power to transfer".
I feel happy and satisfied. I like to document all the nice happenings during the past couple of days to remember...
I got an unexpected free special mocha in the morning, I received lots of notes and emails and hugs from colleagues over the course of the day, absolutely surprisingly I received a bouquet of Lily from a friend; a novel, lunch with closer colleagues, calls from yet more friends and families, and dinner with my small family. My M and A gave me very beautiful pearls.
We planted three trees yesterday and I cherish the coincident. And thanks to M's scheduling and inviting I had a very joyful time with friends at dinner.
Cheers to a wonderful special day!

Monday, November 22, 2010

"Take This Longing"

Grey. Blue. White. The sky.
Green. Yellow. Orange. Red. The leaves.
The Sun. The Rain. The Fog. The hills.
The still chirping birds. The trees.
The smell of wet dirt. The earth.

I love San Francisco Bay Area in November. And this year, there is nowhere else I wish to be at the beginning of Azar, the month of fire, the month I was born in.

Listening to the music, driving home towards the southern hills in the middle of the day, I was thinking I would go to Santa Cruz if I were crazy enough. And I am sure, I will be crazy enough one day and I will do exactly so.

"Oh take this longing from my tongue,
whatever useless things these hands have done.
Let me see your beauty broken down
like you would do for one you love."

Happy to go to the concert in a couple weeks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Europe Biz Trip - 4

Finally on Heathrow Express toward London Heathrow. Alone.

I am excited that I have free WiFi in the train. So convenient!

I made it to London Euston Station alright and my yet another very polite and attentive colleague collected me from the station. I met another colleague and the three of us attended a kind of Neurovascular meeting that started at 6:30PM and last at 11PM.

It is cloudy in London today. Yesterday though, as soon as I opened the curtains around 7:20 AM there was the beautiful sun just in the horizon of my hotel room window view above the London Eye. My colleague was very kind to suggest to take me to our appointments on the ground by riding his car rather than taking the Underground. It was quite an experience to see London by car. Last time I was there with family we just took the underground. I dread the feeling of being jammed in a contained space layers and layers under the ground. So couldn't be more thrilled to travelin on the ground.

Meetings all went fine and informative. And in the evening, when finally all the work related meetings were over, M.A. kindly stopped by my hotel. We walked the Edgeware road for some time, chat nicely, and had a quick starter together. It was awesome to meet her, relaxing, refreshing, loving. I walked to the M&S store in front of the hotel after saying goodbyes to here and found many pretty stuff there. Earlier also when I stopped really quickly to buy A a Trunkie I found John Lewis store full of very stylish attires. I like European shopping.


I got to Heathrow and found the Star Alliance lounge. Ah almost home :) And again the convenience of a free WiFi so I can finish this post.

Oh people are very proper and polite in UK. I like it actually but now, sitting in the lounge and aching for a comfortable positioning for my tired body, I hope they don't mind if I stretch my legs on the bench.

All my colleagues have been fabulous everywhere I went. I cannot wait to meet them all again in San Francisco in January in our global meeting.

Last night, sitting or laying down felt as if I was still moving. I have been moving hundreds to thousands of miles every day in the past week. I cannot be more grateful for such an uneventful and fruitful trip! I can claim that UK has been very kind to my travels this time. All my hotel rooms were nice with better amnesties. Also my jet lag was fading so I slept much better in the past three nights albeit short still. Happy that I am ending on a high note.

Thanks Europe! :)

Europe Biz Trip - 3

In the train, going from Liverpool to London, Alone.

It is half past noon and the sun is dimly penetrating through the clouds. It is grey.

I made it alright to France. Got to Charles de Gaulle. Flew to Bordeaux where I had a couple good and quick appointments. Had a good French food with colleagues and tried the yummy foie gras for the first time. Made it to the airport just to run to the gate and fly back to Charles de Gaulle. The wait was supposed to be short but there was delay which made it possible for me to call home. Boarded eventually and sat in plane, on the ground, for another two hours until they decided the fog in Dusseldorf wont interfere with landing.

I was listening to “The New Earth” audio book in the plane. Got me intrigued by talking about the depth of the reality in human, and how I am not the feeling, but I feel the feeling. And how Krishna Murthy said once that “I don’t mind what happens”. I felt like smiling at this :)

So. I got to Dusseldorf after two hours delay. So I contemplated staying in Dusseldorf rather than traveling to Essen by taxi in such a fog that prevented the plane from taking off at Paris. But decided I would think about it later. At Dusseldorf, my bag did not arrive. It was still in Paris. And I thought “I don’t mind what happens” :) Filled in the paper work, decided to take the chance and go to Essen, got to my hotel safely. And on such a nice that I had no bag with me, no toiletries or nothing, the hotel was not a nice one. It had a single bed, tiny. There was hardly any thing in the bathroom and I had no new cloth. Washed every thing I could to reuse tomorrow. And finally got to bed. After 4 hours I opened my eyes to find myself unmoved. Checked on the wet cloths and got back to bed, thinking “I don’t mind what happens” :)

Met my dear colleague in the morning who had brought me some cosmetics kindly. I decided I could survive without. Made it through the day with a very interesting and strong minded customer. But a fruitful meeting still. He offered me and my colleague a very yummy cake one of his patients had brought him. My colleague was very attentive and smart and I enjoyed spending the day with her.

To Dusseldorf again, collected my bag, and rode the plane to Manchester. In all Italy, France, and Germany I found it not difficult at all for people to think I was from North America. I felt my accent was perfect. ;) Unlike in US where occasionally I would be asked “where are you from originally” implying they could detect my non-American English accent. A chatty and polite British business man was sitting by me in the plane to Manchester. We talked about work and MBA and traveling by different airlines. He saw my passport when I was filling in the custom checking card. He thought I was Canadian. Later, he asked what kind of accent I had. Well yes, back to an English speaking country and I was caught ;) He claimed he could be George Clooney in the Up in the Air because he had already travelled more than 1.5 million miles. He had interesting wisdom to share for an occasion when your bag does not arrive at 9:30 PM local time and you have a meeting right the next day.

Made it to Liverpool from Manchester AND, my room got upgraded to Executive! I though there was justice in the world! :) Later, with the room service I ordered came the desert with a note “compliment from Nemo” and I thought that should have been my project manager whom I wrote to about my not so smoothly taken trip last night. It was a charming surprise. I had a very unusually nice falling to sleep experience. Slept very well, albeit short, thanks to the nicer room and fresh clothing and nice shower and sweet dessert and nice chats I had with my dear Sh. K. and my M. I was collected again by another kind and charming colleague and she took me to my next meeting. I had a nice appointment with more confirming points for my project. I am in train to London. Excited to be in one room for two nights in a row. And so very sleepy.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Europe Biz Trip - 2

In the air. Flying over Italy into France. Alone.

I was supposed to be in Bordeaux this morning but a chain of events last night caused me to miss my flight and not get into any other flight for the night. So I came back to the same hotel I had checked out of that morning. I was told there was no regular room available and they gave me the deluxe room. I preferred the regular room of the night before as the so called deluxe room was full of insects. I believe that was the gift from the beautiful Swan Lake behind the hotel and the rain. The only problem was that I prefer not to have insects as my roommates and I couldn’t sleep a bit last night. Just waited till 4:30AM and got up and left. The hotel reception advised I should have changed my room but I thought there were no other available. They were very kind and I wouldn't mind to go back there again, hopefully in a more sunny weather so I can explore the lake may be.

In the two days I was in Milan it was foggy and rainy, cloudy in its best. Italians seemed to me as really warm as you would find in movies. They do talk passionately about any thing and take food seriously. It seemed not odd or uncommon that in a restaurant the tables were just side by side each other and if there was a forth sit available a total stranger would come and sit there. I thought what an admirably closely knit nation! And Linate airport, well, a bit of a memorable experience I should say.

I am going to Bordeaux, will be there only for about 3 hours. And will go back to Dusseldorf via Paris again.

Happy Eid by the way to my readers who celebrate it! Best of the best prayers to you all!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Europe Biz Trip 1

In the air. Flying over Atlantic toward Europe. Alone.

Deactivated my facebook account a few days ago and since then I am yearning for my blog. I have inspiration to publish my thoughts again.

M.R. once encouraged me to really publish myself. He said he had notices that my writings were vague, as if the meanings wanted to be hidden beneath the words. That I buried the meanings I was trying to say under layers and layers of sentences. I smiled at his observation. He was correct I thought and I liked it. I thought I was too revealed already and being tagged as reserved in writing was somewhat an achievement even.

Tonight though, I better not type. I am too ready to reveal myself.

It is tomorrow, which is today.
I am in a hotel in Milan. Past 2PM here and it is dark and raining. The hotel looks fine but in a rather residential place. I think I will stay inside, no dining out.

In the transit security line in Frankfurt there was an old doctor in front of me who decided to swap his turn with me and hence, started talking. He was funny actually. In the short conversation time on the line I found out that he disliked United Airlines, he had been to Milan a few times and thought it was a large industrial city with very good food, and that I was crazy to think that after travelling all the way from San Francisco I was going to be functional and working tomorrow. He was German, a kind chatty sort.

My flight attendant from Frankfurt to Milan seemed curious about my origin as he asked me where I was from and when I asked why he said he thought I was from Eastern Europe but then when he checked my last name (!!! really curious!!) he couldn’t figure things out any more. His forst guess was Eastern Europe (!!) and he thought I was there for vacation. Why should I come to Milan on vacation in November? Hmm, may be for a nice walk in the Italian rain! And then a cup of tea yummy!

Need to get to work, have stuff to take care of before the big day tomorrow. I am meeting with a few customers and I am not sure if they speak English. I wish I knew Italian! I remember I started studying Italian when I was in middle school. My dad had two self instructed Italian learning books and I had started memorizing phrases. Wish I had gone further than the first few pages! Gosh I could memorize things much more efficiently back then and I thought I didn’t have the sharpest memory! How stupid! And I know 30 years from now I will say the same thing about today ;)

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Steam is raising from the cup of tea. Her cold fingers punching on the keyboard, occasionally brushing over the raised bumps on her skin. She looks outside. The sun seems weakened, given power to gray clouds, feeling old and cold. The green leaves resist the loss, persist in imposing the power of life over the coldness of the Earth. She can hardly hear any chirping coming from the bushes. She feels an urge for the warmth of a fire.
There is no steam raising from the still cup of tea.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

"The Painted Veil"

It was a long time I had not watched a movie. Months may be.
I got home late one night and there was no body there. Too late to do any thing, too silent to bear the loneliness. No cable or satellite TV but some recorded movies. I chose a 2006 movie happening in 1925 China. The title sounded appealing with added bonus of staring Naomi Watts. It turned out really exciting and interesting.
I enjoyed the illustration of ups and downs of emotions and reactions to the emotions through out the movie. I enjoyed the scenery and the costume. And most of all I enjoyed the liberating sensation of watching a movie to the end.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Week Two

Today is the last day of the second week since we moved into our house. Literally, our house. It is a unique feeling how I relate to this house. It is tiny and dusty and unset. There are still workers in the house in continuation of our renovation project. We tore down three small walls and raised the ceiling, completely remodelled the kitchen, converted the garage to an entertainment room, changed the windows and doors and fireplace, resurfaced the hard floors and repainted all walls.

We finally moved in two weeks ago despite as the contractor was already delayed by three weeks back then. I cherish this relocation at the first few days of Ramazan.

I sit in the middle of the empty dusty living room and look around. Hmm, my house!

Driving home the other night, looking at the far green Santa Cruz hills, I found myself smiling with the thought of "going home". I like this house!

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Lunch Bag

We bought A a lunch bag, his very first lunch bag as he just started in a new Pre Kindergarten which is closer to the new house and where there is no lunch provided to the kids. So we went shopping for a lunch bag yesterday; not a difficult hunt at all, the one with images of Woody and Buzz Lightyear got selected at the first sight. Later, at home, M made him tortellini with chicken following my directions inspired by S's descriptions of her new tortellini dishes, and I started putting the small dishes and containers side by side in the lunch bag making a complete lunch for my A. It was so much fun doing that all, I was excited but could not stop worrying in my heart. How was he going to receive the new place? Was he going to be able to make new friends on the first day? Was he going to like his new teacher?
I hesitated as much as I could in the morning but he didn't wake up before I left. I just kissed him in his sleep and wished him a nice day. Later, talking with M, I found out that when he had left him, A had cried a little which broke my heart. I called the new school at lunch time and the director assured me that he was doing fine resting with the rest of the kids after lunch and he was even talking with the rest of the kids.
After much contemplation I decided to not to go to my Economics class in the city after work and come home instead to make him Ghorme Sabzi as M suggested, his favorite Persian dish, and to go having ice cream to celebrate his new PreK after dinner, as Mr E suggested. I was home before it was even 5PM; had been a while I had not been home that early. And by the time I had every thing in the pots it was just 5:10 PM. Eventually at 5:20PM the door sprung open and my little dinosaur rushed inside. When he calmed down he himself told me that he had cried when daddy had left; I asked if he felt lonely but he said he had missed us! And he completed that soon after he did not miss us any more: "And I am happy now". He was excited that the new PreK has a two-seated bike and he was holding to the handles to stir while riding it. I concluded he had made at least one friend to ride the two-seated bike with so asked whom he had shared the bike with to which he responded "my new friend" proudly! Oh was I proud! He didn't tell me the new friend's name which was fine, but he explained how his new teacher, Ms Jennifer, had drawn a dolphin on his hand as the circle time was about sea animals.
I feel like a proud, worried, happy, accomplished, heart broken, excited mommy... My A is growing up.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


I have been walking on the big earth of God observing life and having faith, or rather repeating to myself to have faith!

It has been proven to me, several times already, that the universe is really in harmony with your desires or may be vice versa. Whichever it is, it feels calming to think it is guided and meant to be. Feeling in harmony may actually be having faith.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Back to California

We got back home Monday evening after 11 days of vacation.

I loved Barcelona. I can walk in the narrow allies for days and days and I bet I will find something new. People had this positive vibe that was very nice to delve into. The weather was warm and nice, the sun was friendly, and the water was so welcoming.

London was fine. Honestly not my kind of city, I found people being there just to be there, not so much excitement about London Bridge or Buckingham Palace I felt. I hardly could tolerate the London Tube as it was deeply under the ground and hot, I could suffocate in there just by thinking about it so I had to deviate my mind from it all purposefully.

But I LOVED reuniting with friends. It was so nice, so comforting, so pure as it was back in high school. Gosh I love my friends and I miss them dearly.

A was a great traveller. The highlight of his trip in Barcelona was the Metro ride. He got to visit the pilot on the place ride back from Barcelona to London and was very excited about it. He also loved the conductors in the train rides in London area.

I found 160 unread emails in my mailbox. I have an Economics assignments due on Sat I have not typed a word for. We are moving in the end of July. I need to visit A's new preschools and schedule his annual check up. Forget about the need to visit my hairdresser and checking my personal emails (apologies to my reader friends who have emailed me in the past couple weeks and gotten no response yet). Add the jet lag to it all. So I am pretty swamped but hey, I wont sweat it ;)

I have been sitting in the Starbucks since 6 AM checking my emails. I am done with reviewing the emails up till yesterday, flagged a bunch to act upon them when I get to the office.

I have started reading this book "Blink", by Malcolm Gladwell. Very exciting read.

And life goes on :)

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


It is the toughest task I have ever been tasked with. Why you may ask. Because I have no clue! :) I am aiming at a target that I cannot see. It is fun actually, adventurous.

I am reading this book: Raising resilient children and I love the book. It is not only about kids, it is indeed about relationships.

A does not sleep in his room through the night any more. Last night he woke me up again around 3 AM. Asked for water; his usual clue that ends with his request for me to sleep in his room. I said I would stay with him briefly and then I suggested him to take baby Alex, his small stuffed lion animal, to his bed and try to tuck him to sleep. He accepted, took the stuffed animal with him to his bed and hugged him under his blanket. He slept the rest of the night. And in the morning he ran to our bedroom with baby Alex. I consider that a success.

Later in the day my dad called and I told him the story. He said "good for you" with an encouraging voice and analyzed, as he does always, how this action was positive from different angles. What was interesting was the sense of self satisfaction his encouragement provided me! A mother, who apparently is still seeking her parents' approval, even in her parenting role!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


During the past four weeks I have not been going to the gym like I used to. At nights, when it was my gym time, I was too drained to drag myself to exercise in the cardio mode. In the same duration I got sick twice. So I was tired, and weak. Something was seriously wrong. I needed to change some thing. I just had to figure out what it was.
Last week, after four years, I resumed yoga. I was awefully sick but I needed some activity, as if to prove to myself that I still could. So I found the Power Yoga program on TV and followed the command. How I had forgotten the heat in my body along side the relaxing sensation of yoga!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

One Month Anniversary in Marketing

Yesterday afternoon, leaving work, I turned back, looked at my desk, and smiled with relief, a sense of accomplishment. I survived a month!
It was a very exciting month. I had to delve in to the depth of a problem from day one. I also had training and other deliverable demanded by other departments with strict due dates to meet. I dropped the ball a couple times which is so unlike me and made me criticize myself more than I should. Yet I did it all. So I am so hopeful for the second month to come. I think I have better hold of this all. My manager, although absent half of this past month for different reasons, has been really supportive and really encouraging.
I am now juggling this new role with my family and a new masters and a new home. We bought a tiny little house in a cole de sac one block away from a well ranked elementary school at the southern western point of San Jose. What I love about the house is that it has a third bedroom I call "the guest room". I am so excited to have stay over guests from now on who can enjoy the comfort at Chez Midnight! That does not apply to this trip of my dear S this time, they need to share the room with A again as we wont move until another month or so.
I have missed watching a nice movie. A very very very nice movie, the kind that engages your mind for some time.
I told A I liked it when it got dark. He said he liked it when it got light and we turned the lights off. I liked that he had such a defined opinion about his liking.
And the second month in marketing begins...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The sweetest thing ever

A said tonight that he was glad I was his mom!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

To all the brave women in my life

It was mother's/women's day in Iran today.
It is hard to believe that the girls of yesterday, that I was one, are the women of today. There is something truly magical though about shedding the girlish shell and growing to glow as a woman.
In my life, there has been, and are, several brave women who are very well aware of who they are; those who are not afraid to change their mind, who are not afraid of being ahead of their time, who can smile at any hardship in life and keep cool but can get totally animated too; changing the course of hardship. Those women who have been for me no matter what. I am proud of you all! Best on your day, and every day!

Monday, May 31, 2010

A perfect family

I wonder, what makes a perfect family? Pick your choices:

A couple
A man and a woman
A son
A daughter
A son and a daughter
Two sons
Two daughters
Three or more kids (any combination of sons and daughters)
An apartment
A house
A wealthy father
A working mother
A non-working mother
Home made dinner every night
Family dinners
Smiling members
"Thanks you" and "Please" keywords
A couple family members fluent with musical instrument
A family spiritual ritual
Guests over every weekend
Outings every weekend
Active family with lots of planned outdoors and regular sporting activities
All homework done in the first hour after school
Family vacations twice a year
Friends and family reunion every other year

May be add a few other lines, pick other choices. Done?

Now, I think, socially speaking, most combination of the above choices make a perfect family. Parents, kids, shelter, sport, music, spirituality. Any body cares about love?

Socially speaking, I don't think so. I find that the society is a very narrow minded and cruel judge when looking at itself. To the society there are only two categories and it judges every thing in either of the two: good or bad. A good society is consisted of good families in which there are kids who are educated and who are attended to by participating in different activities and socially grown by visiting families and friends. At this point the society closes its eyes, doesn't want to know any more. Good is good. Any thing that is not good is bad. There are no shades of good or shades of bad.

Now, what is love really?

To me, it is all about look, how you look at each other and what you see when you look.

Society doesn't like to look at its eyes. Society just likes to feel complete and for its completeness there are no eyes required, just smiles.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Songs Yesterday

I was listening to radio, then change the channel, then switched to CD, then changed the CD. Finally gave in; let is sing, let it sing to me.
It was getting dark, the navy blue sky, the lights, the occasional cars driving by, the chill of the dark.
I was driving at the dark of the night in my car listening to music. Such a simple statement seemed very remote 13 years ago. On those days I used to fantasize driving my car in the dark of the night listening to music; such a scene seems like a routine reality of these days. But then there is a reality in fantasy, a fantasy that by definition can never be real: hope!

Those days, the song itself was a fantasy.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For AZ

I recommended the movie to her; she ordered it and got it and watched it and liked it and thought about it. I look forward to sit down with her and discuss the movie over another cup of coffee in another local cafe somewhere. So like to read her recommended book: "Eat Play Love". SF knew us both very well to try to put us in touch. I owe her a true thank you.

I found this interview on the YouTube which is absolutely not recommended to those who have not watched the movie: "Revolutionary Road". I love these two acter and actress; not only because they are truly handsome and beautiful but because they seem like truly beautiful individuals to me. They are both in the same age range as I am and I see them growing old with me and my generation. I found them really growing to be more mature despite the deceitful fame. Kate Winslet especially catches my attention, how she was this bold girl who has grown to be this confident woman, comfortable with her body and look. Here is the interview:

Four Years

Four years ago at such a night we were all still in the post labor ward. Arman was not even one day old yet. I was drained but happy. M was drained and drained. A was... hungry?

Well, today that tiny baby who didn't know how to feed himself to survive demanded for a dinosaur cake, cut his cake himself, and shared the goody bags among his classmates at preschool. Gosh was I happy!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Last Dinner at Boston

  • Despite all the self criticisms I threw at myself my boss had a great feedback for me today! Made me happy and felt accomplished.
  • We had a less stressful dinner tonight with no customer to entertain and then ice cream in a local place with very interesting flavors.
  • The Charles River was very beautiful at night when we got there. An image imprinted on my mind forever.
  • Heading home tomorrow enshala.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Seasonal Crème brûlée

Disclaimer: this is the logging of a midnight after a long day/night of working like a dog; if you expect reading any thing meaningful and deep please skip this post - only logging

Hot Boston! I anticipated it to be humid too, but it was not.
I have got to start watching football (you know, the American version of it I mean!) and follow NBA and learn a few thing about the sport figures and the rumors in that area!!
It was the longest day of my 4-day career in this new role with a 7:30am meeting with my boss and my boss's boss and customers and conference sessions and competitors' trials and more customer meeting and conference calls and responding to e-mails and work and meeting a bunch of new people and thinking about an important conversation with a dear friend the night before and responding to texts and meeting with more customers and calling home and taking notes and thinking about what to get A to get to know where Boston is and fighting the residuals of a cold and after all this a dinner meeting with more customers and I feel I really blew it out not knowing any thing about any of the subjects the whole table was talking about! (except may be some of the talks about our products)
But Boston, people are definitely more trendy here, I like it actually and prefer it to the T-Shirt and jeans fashion in California; reminds me of Toronto actually. People (taxi drivers?) honk here which jumped me out of my skin all the time; There are red break houses around but for such an old city I anticipated more churches; And it took us 15 minutes to hale a taxi around 10:15PM in downtown. Oh I so appreciated the open windows of the taxi riding back to the hotel: the wind and the smell of the night.
It is past midnight here, again, and I seriously need to get some sleep.
By the way, the Seasonal Crème brûlée at Oceanaire Seafood place was great but had nothing to do with the May season as far as I could tell.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Boston Midnite

She pulled the zipper of her jacket all the way up to her neck; it was a chilly night after two full days of gray skies and rains. She could see the stars now, it was clearing up. She inhaled the cold humid midnight air, feeling a delayed but desired rush of blood to her brain. She was thinking about every thing: the dish she had had earlier, the book she had recently read, the movie her friend had just told her she had gotten, the posting she had started to write, the heart she felt racing lately, the prayers she had said earlier, the universe that had arranged this all, ... She was thinking about every thing, but nothing, to escape the one thought: what had she got to do?
She buried her fingers deeper into her jeans, raising her head again to look at the sky, feeling the cold of her tear on her right cheek, one eye shedding, one drop.
What was happening? How were things changing? How things were going to get fixed? Was there any thing to get fixed? What if? What if not?
She found herself at the gate, no one was around. She got herself a locker, changed, and dived into the pool.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Last Week at BSC R&D - For Now

This is the last few days I am spending in the R&D department here. I am an engineer and I am good at what I am doing yet I am trading it with a role I hardly have any experience with and still aim to excel. I have left my comfort zones several times before and I find this another similar experience. It is still a very strange moment in my life; exciting, scary, unknown, aspiring.
The positive point is that I am still going to be in the same division and hence in contact with most of the people that matter to me. I am glad I am leaving my department in good terms and with great relationships with my managers.
And then on the Marketing side I have a unique manager I cannot wait to work for. He struck me the first time I met him in a neurovascular forum as a very confident and marketing savvy person; he was tall and confidently loud and came across as a very knowledgeable and fearless professional. What is amazing about him is that despite his very high rank in his department he is very approachable and despite being such an achieved professional he is really humble. I feel blessed.
For now I have to finish a couple engineering deliverable and then start packing. I think tavakkol be khodaa I am ready to head for the new chapter in my career life.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Rainy Mother's Day

The low clouds of last night have brought us the refreshing gift of morning showers. They say the rain is God's gift to the whole being whether the receiving creature is worthy or not. Therefore, they say, your prayers will come true when it rains.
It is a beautiful Sunday morning with the clouds and the rain and my little A who is growing sweeter and sweeter every day. We danced to the tunes of children music this morning. He dances so clumsily but so amusingly to me, cheerful indeed.
I talked to my mother in law yesterday and my mom today to wish them a happy non-Iranian mother's day. They both laughed to hear the remark like they do every year. Unexpected appreciation I think makes them happy.
Motherhood seems like a unique journey indeed, a journey to unknown. The scenery is constantly changing in this trip, the destination is desired, imagined, fancied, but unknown; unexpected hardships at any corner but unexpected rewards at every turn too.
Happy Mother's Day! To my friends who have become mothers and those who are becoming mothers this year. Enjoy your journey!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Never thought I would surrender to life but I am surrendering!

Never thought I would not like to leave the room as I dreaded the reality of what was awaiting me behind the door.

Never thought a sweet remark could be so heart crushingly sad, a heart crushingly sad word could be so unimportant, an unimportant note could be so heart filling, a heart filling smile could be so ignored, an ignored touch could be so wanted, a wanted praise could be so denied, a denied cry could be so old, an old smell could be so pleasant, a pleasant look could be so hard.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Midnight 10K

1. I have been thinking about AA's mom a lot lately, a grandmother now, a lady who looks very fit and nice for her age, who goes to the gym every other day, whose voice resembles the pretty soft but firm voices of radio talk show hostesses, who stands tall and wears fashionable and pretty cloths. A housewife who is pretty knowledgeable about Iranian and American history, who has read lots and lots of books, who has interesting ideas about politics, and who enjoys her grandson a lot. I loved her the first time I met her. I think what I love about her the most is the fact that she knows who she is and acknowledges that. I hardly heard any wave of hesitation in her voice. She knows what could have gone better in her life but she knows why it didn't. She is an awesome woman in my eyes and I am going to miss her now that she is moving back to Iran.

2. I have decided to run a 10K race. Training for it is more difficult than I initially imagined. I have found a training schedule online and am trying to follow it. I actually modified the schedule with Mr E's input since he has already ran a Marathon and knows the intensity of the program already. Based on the modified schedule I am supposed to run 3 miles this Saturday, my first Saturday into the program. I am excited about this.

3. A goes to the little gym now. He gets offended though it you mentioned he was going to the little gym, he says "it is big!"

4. I decided I wanted to obtain an MBA degree, searched for schools, eliminated options based on different criteria, chose a school, applied, got admitted alhamdolellah, and registered for my first course just yesterday. I have to go to school and get a student card now. This last task item threw me into the reality of this all. I have become a university student, again!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Alley

It was a narrow but long alley separating two winding rows of stables and ranches and estates. Some with tall break walls, some with wooden fences, wall flowers hanging from atop. There was a narrow brook running on one side, shrubs and wildflowers competing for the banks. The morning rain had washed all the shrubs alongside of the alley. The guarding walls were still wet. It was a cloudy afternoon.

It was set from weeks ago that they were going to meet there. He was gone for a month now and just before he left they had made a pledge to meet in that alley, in the afternoon of his return, rain or shine.

She never counted the days all that month, wanted to live each day by itself; it was a month of her life after all. She underwent the first three weeks hiding her heart behind four text books she had to study; Finished three and dragged on with the last one, no desire to finish this last one, no strength to endure the last week without a mind occupying hardship to keep her sanity.

It was the Sunday of his return, finally. She found herself in the alley before time. Puddles of rain water stained the path. She started walking along the flooding brook. She didn't wear her watch, intentionally. It was maddening having a counter beckoning the moments of her life flying away, bringing her closer to the end of her time, and her insane heart wanting that! The struggle between her logic and heart. Maddening. No watch to be worn in the alley on that afternoon.

That last week appeared to be harder than expected. It was the week during which she felt her heart wrenched more frequently, aching so hard she could wish she had no heart not to ache. But she did never wish so. Instead, she calmed her wrenching heart, or at least tried so. She closed her eyes every time inhaling deeply trying to remember the scent of his skin. The memory of that scent was disappearing though.

She inhaled deeply to feel the mixed fragrances of grass and wild flowers and rain drops.

The alley wound a few bends. She preferred that. The bends made the distances shorter; there always was a possibility of his appearance from a road blinded by a bend rather than a straight road stretched to the infinity void from any sign of his.

She had imagined their encounter a million times with a million different scenarios: As she saw him she would run to him, him standing in the distant; he would run to her, her frozen by his sight; she wouldn't see him until they literally bumped into each other... then she would hug him softly; she would jump on his chest grab his neck curl her knees around his back inhale his forgotten scent; she would just shake hand with him; she would shake hand and kiss his cheeks; ... then she would ask how his trip back was; she would say she was miserable without him; she would ask when he would be off on his next flight out; she would tell him how much her heart had missed him; ... then she would tell him she had to go back home soon being there too long; she would tell him she had all the evening to spend together; she would recommend having an ice cream in the newly remodeled parlor in downtown so they were in public;... her mind and heart in a constant battle of propriety and lust... but she knew she particularly wanted to inhale his manly scent again, kiss the side of his forehead to carry some of his scent forever with her.

On a very wide bend she saw him running toward her. She smiled. He started slowing down, panting, walking. She continued walking, said hi casually from distance. They stood a foot away from each other, greeting from afar. She stretched the bar of chocolate she had saved to share with him, he scratched his head forgetting to bring the running wrist watch she had asked him to. They walked back together, reviewing the to do list for the week. She was nodding her head smiling in her heart remembering all the long lost romantic memories of that alley.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nothing is Perfect

Taste the honey and endure the pain of the decaying tooth
Befriend her and watch her turn her back and leave
Make friends and observe your own unbelieving eyes when you are driven away from them
Kiss his lips and bear the pain of bitten tongue
Give birth and hear him not inviting you to his birthday party
Watch her beauty and ache the desire to hold her
Enjoy the night and burn in the heat of the regretful hell
Love him and swallow his devilishly unfair look at you

Nothing is perfect, ever, in this perfect world of the Gods!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Rear View Mirror

It was no particularly significant time of the day; it was not at dawn, nor at dusk, it was not raining and there was no rainbow in the sky to be seen. It was just a late afternoon.

People were rushing, to home or somewhere. People in Bay Area are always rushing, to home or work or somewhere. In the rushing moments there are some who need a rush of caffeine who would stop by a Peet's or go through drive through Starbucks rushing to rush the spike of energy to their brain cells. They hardly even taste their coffee any more. A few though, a very rare few, would park by the coffee shop and literally get out to stay. This coffee shop was no Starbucks or Peet's, it was noticeable: A simple, old, dusty coffee shop with mismatching and raggedy furniture decorated with large canvas bags of coffee beans and local artists artworks.

It was no particularly significant time of the day but a particularly significant spot in the town. They had parked by the coffee shop not noticing the rushing traffic about and turned off the car. There was no desire in either of them to leave the car though in that late afternoon despite the significance of the venue.

He checked his watch one last time, she started the car. He opened the door, stepped out, and shut the door close, she whirled into the rushing traffic of the late afternoon. He walked towards the coffee shop not even once turning back to look, she watched him stepping away in her rear view mirror vanishing like a blue dot into the particularly significant coffee shop, alone.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Until Tomorrow

It was a rainy weeknight. A quite Indian restaurant, not busy at all, her, and a few friends. Indian food, jokes and laughter, music and pictures, good wishes and hugs and tears...

She always liked her job and her company, she was one of the best resources in her department, and one of the best girls to hang out with, and above all, to befriend with. However, lately she was not satisfied with her job any more. She was growing and the work shell she had could not acceptably house her talent any longer. She deserved a better bigger shell. She needed new challenges, new responsibilities, new leadership, newer management. Circumstances just helped push her out of her familiar but uncomfortable shell. And she finally was found by this great opportunity. She was certain the new job was going to provide her with growth, exactly what she deserved. Alas the job was in San Diego. She shipped her stuff down south. Even her car was going to be shipped the next day. And she is flying to San Diego on Friday. A one-way ticket... She said her goodbyes to the company, coworker and colleagues today and her exit interview escorted her towards her new horizon to be discovered.

She will head to explore this new beach city, find herself new friends, and enjoy the strolls in downtown SD. I bet there is a Starbucks there to provide her with Dark Cherry Mocha samples sprinkled with shredded chocolate. From now on she will be my excuse for my short weekend getaways. Considering that all the last thing I wanted to say in this perfect rainy night was to say goodbye. I am going to see her soon.

She and her delightful spirit will be missed here though!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Daddy Long-Legs

"A classic you can read in a day" is the title of a review on Amazon. And so true to my own experience...

It is a Friday in summer of 1993. We are invited to my paternal grandparents'. We arrive around 10 am right after breakfast and are supposed to stay for the whole day, a long day as it usually is at their place. My youngest and fun aunt who still lives at home has just gotten engaged and is all lovey dovey with her fiance all the time, they either vanish outside or in her room not visible most of the day so it is really no more fun to spend a whole day there. But the new uncle-to-be, Mr Mohandes, arrives that day with a book: "Daddy Long-Legs" and is so positively advertising the book. Z, S, and I are fishy (he is always boastful about every thing that gets him engaged) but excited about this book which looks pretty old, from his library for sure. So the three of us sit in the living room by ourselves and start reading.
It is lunch time, as late as 2PM, which is used to be the case in their home. We are still reading. I suppose each is reading a chapter out loud and the other two are bent over the book on either side of the reader. We don't care about the lunch and just continue reading. And for sure we finish it in half a day.

Soon that year they started broadcasting the animation series with the same name and I remember it affected the whole high school girls. I guess everyone wished to have a daddy-long-legs!

Here is a short plot from Wikipedia:
"Jerusha Abbott was brought up at the John Grier Home, an old-fashioned orphanage. The children were wholly dependent on charity and had to wear other people's cast-off clothes. Jerusha's unusual first name was selected by the matron off a grave stone, while her surname was selected out of the phone book. At the age of 18, she has finished her education and is at loose ends, still working in the dormitories at the institution where she was brought up.

One day, after the asylum's trustees have made their monthly visit, Jerusha is informed by the asylum's dour matron that one of the trustees has offered to pay her way through college. He has spoken to her former teachers and thinks she has potential to become an excellent writer. He will pay her tuition and also give her a generous monthly allowance. Jerusha must write him a monthly letter, because he believes that letter-writing is important to the development of a writer. However, she will never know his identity; she must address the letters to Mr. John Smith, and he will never reply.

Jerusha catches a glimpse of the shadow of her benefactor from the back, and knows he is a tall long-legged man. Because of this, she jokingly calls him "Daddy Long-Legs." She attends a women's college, but the name and location are never identified; however, men from Princeton University are frequently mentioned as dates, so it is certainly on the East Coast. The college is almost certainly based on the author's alma mater, Vassar College, judging from college traditions mentioned. She illustrates her letters with childlike line drawings, also created by Jean Webster."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

... And Running Is Resumed

I ran today. What has always been appealing to me about running is its liberating sensation. It feels like an accomplishment to resume it. I chose the late afternoon for my endeavor, it was light enough but the moon was also shining brightly. I was running by a creek, there were other runners on the path. I am sure I will miss this creek if one day I move out of this neighborhood. It was all freshly green, youthful, hopeful. I love this Spring in California. It is much greener than the previous years. The green hills are inviting to a long hike, to conquer them to the top and then just to spread a blanket for yourself and may be your companion to sit on and just be, to be with the green hills and the sky and the chirping birds...
I am not sure how far I ran today, I know it took me about 40 minutes including a short but sweet phone call interruption and a few walking intermissions. It was a fulfilling exercise.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


It was a long and stressful week at work and today was the most stressful day of all with a couple very important meetings I had to prepare for. It was at the end of this very long day that I got a call from M, warning me that A's preschool had contacted him to inform that A had a bruise on his nose due to and earlier accident. I am not sure how I felt about that, I know I was very concerned and worried. Driving the rest of the way there I truly wished there was no speed limit in the highway or any car on the road any more. I flew to preschool I think, ran to his class, and I found A all in smiles and at ease telling me how he fell down in the playground. His nose was bruised but also his left cheek and forehead. My heart ached seeing him like that but it was a relief seeing him so, well, happy! I think he had received lots of hugs and attention after the accident.
I feel drained from it all. But what keeps coming back to my mind is my mother; how many times she got called to school because of me alone, and I was not a busy girl at all! I remember once in high school I had an accident in which my head bumped into a classmates face during an sport activity. I remember how after the impact I was thrown back in a reflective response. I was transported to the principle's office, my friend to a hospital. My mom got called and shortly she was with me in the office. I could tell how traumatized she herself was, although she seemed calm. She later told me when the office had called her, the more they insistent that I was doing fine after the accident the more she felt something was seriously wrong. She wanted all the details I think to feel she was properly and honestly informed... Ah kids, their adventures, and moms and dads!

Saturday, March 20, 2010


A's preschool haft seen show was a success. M and I took A to preschool on Friday and showed off the haft seen we had prepared for him, children were mostly excited about the gold fish and their gifts. A was proud, I could tell. Walking into the building he kept looking back at me, smiling, leading the way. I was so excited for him. I remember the days either of my parents came to school, those were prideful days!
People at work like the haft seen I had spread over there too.
And finally I got lots of nice comments about my haft seen at home. The theme of my haft seen was khatam this year, well fit I think.
Happy Spring, Happy Nowruz, and Happy New Year to all! I wish for peace and love for the world! I am hopeful for a New Beginning!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


There is a lot I want to say but I hardly find the time to write lately. To begin with the announcement of my promotion was posted today and I am getting congratulatory words from colleagues across the company and I am so grateful for the joy of it all!
We had a nice chaarshanbe suri last night! I enjoyed the crowd and the music and the fire.
I have a haft seen at work, and I am taking one to A's preschool on Friday. I have been thinking what to do for the children and have been brainstorming about it. And today got a great idea from my dear EE that I am excited to execute it tonight with A himself. Will let you know about the outcome later.
I have new ideas, daring ideas! So excited about them. Will share them later too, if they manifest, and I hope they do!
I am happy the year is changing again! Happy Spring and Nowruz in advance!
And finally, here is a very beautiful lyrics a especially dear friend shared with me today, made me smile reading it over and over... Enjoy!

You would not believe your eyes
If ten million fireflies
Lit up the world as I fell asleep

'Cause they'd fill the open air
And leave teardrops everywhere
You'd think me rude
But I would just stand and stare

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems

'Cause I'd get a thousand hugs
From ten thousand lightning bugs
As they tried to teach me how to dance

A foxtrot above my head
A sock hop beneath my bed
A disco ball is just hanging by a thread

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

Leave my door open just a crack
(Please take me away from here)
'Cause I feel like such an insomniac
(Please take me away from here)
Why do I tire of counting sheep
(Please take me away from here)
When I'm far too tired to fall asleep

To ten million fireflies
I'm weird 'cause I hate goodbyes
I got misty eyes as they said farewell

But I'll know where several are
If my dreams get real bizarre
'Cause I saved a few and I keep them in a jar

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
Because my dreams are bursting at the seams

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Princess Midnight

Until two nights ago playing "head to toe" with A, when the card instructed to "name a friend" he named Amogh, his classmate who is a boy a few months younger than him. I was not very thrilled about this friendship for a few reasons. But since Friday he names Kayla as his friend. I am impressed for a few reasons and to name only one: it is a more challenging relationship for him with a talkative girl who is a few months older than him.

Today in the mall I was trying a few dresses. I liked one and I tried it again. A was with me in the fitting room attempting to angle the mirrors for me; not very helpful to me I must say as he did that based on his own point of view. Trying the dress I twirled in front of the mirror and my dress just rose a bit in my spin, a childish thrill. A immediately claimed: "Mommy! You are my princess!" Ah! My heart just melted hearing that from him, especially now despite Kayla! Well, joking aside I had read once that a dad is a girl's first hero/love and I agreed with it; I think now it is true about moms and sons as well. Wont last too long I know, but I am enjoying my new title as long as it lasts!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Joueuse (France - 2009)

Yesterday, on my plane ride home, I found this amazing French movie. "Joueuse" which was translated as "Queen to Play". When it was over, I watched it again! But couldn't finish watching it the second round.

Change can happen and will happen, in many different ways. Chess is only one means.

It was about a middle aged lady, Hélène, living a simple and quite routine and boring life in a very beautiful village in France. She works as a maid in a hotel and at Dr Kroger's, has a nice husband it seems, and a teenage daughter. It seems all is calm in her life and in her relationships; every one takes her and her actions as granted: a timely maid, trustworthy with her job, available to her family, attentive to her guests, ... Suddenly she finds a newly discovered passion in herself: to play chess. She decides to not only learn the game but become good at it, and Dr Kroger gets to coach her. I liked him very much, played by Kevin Kline. His wife was passed away as an undiscovered artist, "her doubt was stronger than her painting". Another quote from him that I liked "having a lousy plan is better than having no plan at all".
She discovers herself in a new way and let her family and friends and enemies also find that aspired and free lady in her. All the granted behaviors change after that. Oh and she dances a very authentic dance with her daughter in the middle of the movie, when she encountered her doubts. I loved that!
"La dame est la pièce la plus forte... c'est fou hein?" : "The queen is the strongest piece ... it's crazy, eh?"

Friday, March 5, 2010

Still in Toronto

I received my Iron Ring. Such a nice ceremony I had last night, very well thought and organized. And the fact that DD, my friend from grad school, presented me the ring made it even more special to me.
I had a nice chat with RD in the morning over the breakfast. Later I headed down town to meet with an old high school friend, LSh, and then went to Eaton Center. I was late for my meeting with GT but we had a nice strange lunch together: Grapefruit Juice and Creme Caramel. Finally I headed to campus to meet with SB and AZ and eventually Prof Zu, my master's supervisor. She is the chair of the department now but still had blocked 90 minutes in her busy schedule to just meet with me; it was an honor. I found that she still trusted me deeply. She saw in me what I think many cannot see, I think she is a very kind, wise, and observant lady. She conveyed very impressive remarks about life I cannot stop reviewing them. She said passion was a very strong drive in life that could be directed in so many different ways but if neglected lead to disappointment. She said immigrant ladies had a strong passion in them for a huge change, and those who survived thrived. Also that what was not reachable was the most attractive. And that there were so many times one just could surrender to fate in order to find the right way. I think I knew it all but it was very nice and reassuring to be heard again in such a venue.
I rode the subway to and from down town again, and then walked a lot in the cold but lovely weather here. I found myself enjoying the sunny side of the side walks better and found myself writing in the subway with a great passion.
My dear RD had invited a few other couple friends for dinner so we could all meet up and chat. It was so nice to be with them and so strange not to have M and A with me in such a gathering.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

On UofT Campus

I am in Toronto.
Arrived last night while my dear AF was waiting for me and later her whole family were waiting for me to arrive. It was great spending last night and today with her. It was amazing how the passage of time had not blurred our friendship. We could talk about any thing and laugh about any thing. We called NA to congratulate her with her new born baby boy, Mani. Such a nice name! She was totally surprised, such a fun.
I took the subway to the campus. Did not read or write on my ride, did not listen to music on my IPod, but instead read all the adds and listened to so many languages and dialects flying all around me. How wonderfully welcoming this city is! One never has to make any effort to fit in! I think that is one reason I love this city so much. I love the winter "fashion" here, if you can call it fashion. As colorful as the languages around you.
The subway has gotten older, visibly older, has still the old smell it had. And the fair is now $3 to go any where in the city.
I walked to campus, saying hi to Mount Sinai hospital, A's birthplace, from afar. And then entering the Mech Eng Building. Oh all the same clipboards and classrooms I was taught in and taught at. There was no student walking by that I could recognize. Climbed to the second floor and walked by profs' offices, smiling in my heart, knowing them most except for a few newer ones.
It is cold, not too cold but still piercing through your skin. Then the buildings are warm, way too warm if you ask me.
It was easy to get access to internet as an alumni, felt great to be entitled for that so welcoming and easily.
Tonight is my Iron Ring Ceremony at University College. I am going to meet DH who is now DD in between the East and West wings from where we will find our way to the ceremony. I am excited about it all and grateful to be here one more time. It is a grand city to me.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Going to Toronto

I packed.
I baked A his favorite muffin tonight and M a full dish of brownies to have with his favorite vanilla ice cream every night until I come back. I am going to Toronto. And I am so happy for that. I have missed that city so much. I have missed all my friends there. And I am thrilled to have the chance to meet them all again.
Tomorrow night I will be at AF's. I used to go to her house back in college. She was my only married friend when I was still pursuing my bachelors, she is a few years older than I am but still she married much younger than I did. She had a baby girl then who is thirteen now, officially a teenager, and I am awful in knowing what to buy for a teenager. I am so excited to go to her new place now in Toronto.
I am also going to RD's place for the rest of my stay. I have lots of beautiful memories with her, I have learned a lot from her and still I am grateful for her friendship. Such a pity that A cannot come with me as he could very well enjoy the time with RN's son. But I am still very excited to be with lovely RD and her beautiful family. I know they have renovated their house now and I am excited to see how it looks. I liked their house before and I am sure it is even more likable.
I am going to accept my Iron Ring at the Campus 1 ceremony on Thursday night. Spending the evening with DH, how happy I am to meet her again!
I hope to meet so many other friends. I am also going to stroll around in down town I hope.
I have missed that city and I am glad to go back enshaalaa.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Interspiritual Wisdom Sharing the Mystic Heart

I had been to churches, I had attended a few different Hindu prayers, I had attended mosques with people of so many different nationalities, I had attended ataashkade, but had never been in a place with so many different spiritual backgrounds.
I am going to write my excerpts from the interspiritual meeting I attended yesterday and I am not going to make any cautious decision on what to write and what not to write here today, it may be confusing but it will be respectful. So do your judgment in whether or not you like to read the rest :)
I wanted to be with Kabir and Camille this Saturday, I was not able to go to Santa Cruz for a few weeks; I had missed them and being with them. When I learned that this weekend they would be presenting in an interspiritual conference I ached to go there. I weighed different scenarios and plans but it didn't work out. I could not register on time and the night before it seemed that there was no room left either. But still it seemed that it worked out at the last minute for me to go the city very early in the morning and successfully register at the door. I heard later that there were more people interested to register at the door but they were sent away as there was absolutely no room left. It was a blessing to be there!
The venue was at the First Unite Lutheran Church in San Francisco. The chapel in which the meeting was held had very narrow and tall windows with patterns resembling plants and flowers colored yellow, green, blue, and very few spots of red. In the morning the light was coming through the east windows making a bright yellow shadow a couple feet in front of me. I looked behind me, where the light was coming through; I wanted a blue light on me. The window on the west seemed the only one that could fulfill that but it needed the sun to travel west and go really high for me, seemed not possible actually with my position and the position of the blue on the window. I was hopeful though that something might happen in the afternoon.
There were six presenters with a wealth of experience from within their spiritual path of their choice, each speaking not for the religion, but from within the tradition, the way Ed Bastian put it.
First it was Rabbi Rami Shapiro talking about the mystic heart of Jewish faith. Reading verses from the bible, he explained how the mystic heart of the religion calls you out of the box of forms and your parent’s house and belongings and nationality and political beliefs to the unmapped territory. "God is calling you to just go, to the places you don't have the map to". And it struck me deeply. I was thinking about the security of mapped territories in my life and the insecurity of any thing beyond that, and then the first speaker of the day made me think above and beyond, to come out of the security of my parent’s and my society’s house and beliefs and try to understand “the space between the arcs of the angles”. To go beyond the box. The emptiness without a form. I was then thinking how mysteriously dangerous the mind can be as when you set your mind on a particular thing it seems it is powerful enough to harmonize everything with it. So watch for your thoughts!
I liked it very much when he explained that believe has content, but faith is content less and how he was trying to convey messages from the faith and not belief. And how “I used Judaism to escape from what is jewish”.
He made us chant a very beautiful song with the rhythm of waltz. People stood up and started rocking left and right with the rhythm and soon they all hold hands rocking in a union. I loved this experience. It reminded me of the vahdat prayer I enjoyed as a kid. A true unity in humanity. When the chanting was over an old couple in the row in front of me embraced and the old lady kissed the old man on the cheek; I smiled, wondering if they both wanted to come and she kissed him because they were truly together in the experience or whether he didn't want to come and came just because of her and she kissed him because she was thankful. Whatever it was, it had a huge love element in it.

In between sessions I went to the front of the chapel to convey my greetings and regards to Shaikh Kabir and Camille. It was amazing being embraced with them both and their loves for me.
Then it was Swami Atmarupananda talking from the heart of Hinduism. His talk sounded more philosophical than not to me. He said, and I am not quoting but I like to talk from his perspective, that: I am, it is my existence that I am sure of. Not my senses because they can be faulty, I cannot trust my mind either, because I may be crazy and in my insanity I think I am the only one who is sane. But I don't doubt about my existence. He explained that: how that existence is separate from body and feelings, that I am not sick, but I am aware of the sickness in the body, that I am not sad, because I am the light of presence. He said the good thing about glasses is that at first you see them but soon you don't see the glasses any more but you see the world through the glasses. So every thing can be a window to infinity. In continuation of what Rabbi Rami said he explained that you need to understand the box to be able to understand what is outside the box. About the interspirituality he exampled from the 3D effect in the cinema and how we are looking at the reality the way different eyes look at it from different angles, and to be able to learn the reality it helps to look at it from different angles. And I was thinking how I had heard this before, several times actually, quoted from Imam Ali, that the knowledge is the knowledge of religions, elm aladyaan. I felt so in line with it all. He quoted that it is good to be born in a church (place of worship) but not to die there.
Then it was Mary O'hara Wyman talking from within Christianity. She started telling us about her background upbringing being born to a Catholic farmer family in Missouri belonging to a Catholic farmer church where miles from their church there was a Lutheran German Farmer's church and how the most disgraceful thing a child could possibly do was to attend the other congregation. She explained how they were being empowered to be against each other and how she needed to start interspirituality from interchristianity.
She recalled how they prayed a lot in her family, that her parents blessed all crops and the chickens and their meal and every thing, that at noon when they were busy in the field they would all stop whatever they were doing hearing the sound of the bells inviting to noon prayer and gather together; her parents would pray together. She explained how she was taught to be weary of the ultimate mercy who was watching her and all her actions all the time. She said: "I was here, and the God was there". But she quoted she knew deep down that "we were mysteriously resting in God". That "God was loving within me, adoring me as I adored him. Best of all, he forgave me in love" and I found my eyes all watery in her explanations. She quoted from Father Thomas that "we are all cradled unceasingly by the love of God". She said she understood that Jesus let go of judgment, Jesus forgave simply, and Jesus lived fully. And she said Christians were those who manifested the Christ, which was love. She said "I and my father are one. Jesus is the Christian way to the truth and life. Letting go and doing the will of the father, letting go of own human power and acting through power of Holy Spirit, this is the Trinity".

I needed the intermissions between sessions. I would go outside and walk in the small backyard exploring the structure of the church having a cup of tea. I met Kabir in the break room and in my inquiry to him that I felt so content where I was I didn’t necessarily felt like going to the heart of the city afterwards to meet my family he advised “embrace it all” and to look at each experience as a new “damm”, breath. It went right to my heart.
Then it was my beloved Shaikh Kabir and Camille talking through Islam and Sufism. How love is the essence of existence and what gives meaning to life. That: this is a spiritual universe, meaningful in its structure, and if one really observes sees the mercy that is operating. Like the arrival of messengers through the time who reminded us that this universe is merciful. He wrote Bismilla Arrahman Arrahim on the board and made us all chant it together. It was beautiful and a sense of pride cloaked me for a second finding all around me chanting through my faith, but soon, consciously, I let go of that pride how Rabbi Rami had instructed earlier. It was then just beautiful! Kabir said "in my view you are all Muslims, seeking the divine. If not in a true surrender but the seeker of the surrender through the religion of your choice." He explained how presence and being present at each moment is fundamental and essential. How the five prayers we do are the responses we give to the calling from God, not us initiating the call to God. “Your calling to him is his answer to you” and I cried again. He advised: find tranquility in each praying postures; the whole world is the place of our prostration. He said we are what we put our attention on so the matter of our attention is the master of our spirituality. From Rumi he said "if your thought is a rose you are a rose garden, if your thought is a thorn you are kindling in a fireplace". And finally Camille read the va AlAsr verses from Quran with her heavenly voice. She sang it to testify all people in all faiths were truly on the right path.

It was almost an hour to the end of the conference and there was no blue light on me yet. The sun was still so high and the blue section of the window so low it seemed impossible if a blue ray would come through to where I was sitting.

Just before the last session though we had a breathing experience for which we had to stand up and face west between the isles to have enough room to move. I was in a higher position compare to where I was sitting now. And surely, there was the blue light right on my eyelashes! I was trembling in joy.

Last session was with Ed Bastian talking from the mystic heart of Budism. He was a very nice man. I found my capacity already full though with all the beauty going around me.

It was time to part. I was supposed to meet M and A in downtown. Walking there I was stopped by a lady. She looked young, shorter than I was, with two wide eyes colored with so many different colors. She was looking straight into my eyes in the middle of the ocean of people who had gathered to watch the Chinese New Year Parade. Then she extended a business card to me, “call me, I want to read you”. I couldn’t stop looking into her eyes. She continued “you have a very strong glow around you it is shining in the middle of the people”. I smiled back “well, that may be because I just came back from an interspiritual conference”. “May be” she replied. “But I want to read you. Call me”. I just shook my head smiling and left. But somehow I cannot stop thinking about the sincerity in her eyes, I found myself so tempted to call her.

We met with a couple colleagues and their families for dinner after the parade. It was a very nice evening and I really liked the food in the restaurant our Chinese colleague recommended in China Town. It was so nice to see A so content in presence of a few people most of whom he had not met before. And it was great just to be in the city walking under the full moon late in the evening.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Depth

Sitting by the window she is staring at the raindrops on the pool. Drip Drop. She can imagine the sound of the splash, the clash of raindrop on the water, wondering how it can really sound within the depth of the water.
It is a rather chilly night. She opens the window, the room fills up with the sound of the rain all around.
Pulling up the zipper on her sweatshirt she opens the french door. Inhales all the rainy air into the deepest corner of her lungs. She starts running in the rain. She is smiling, laughing, tasting the rain drops in her mouth, squinching her eyes involuntarily feeling the cold of the rain in her eyes. Panting and giggling like a child, she can just speed up. Her hair and face and body are all wet.
She drops the sweatshirt on the ground, dives into the pool, listening to the raindrops from the depth of the water.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Couple of Quotations

Before leaving home this morning I read for a few minutes from the book pick article in a rather usual magazine I was reading from, the Costco Connection, but read this sentence a few times and could not stop rereading it:

"... that life is short, that you must chase your passions, your dreams."
Abraham Verghese

Then in the office, I was searching for a book by Gibran Khalil Gibran that I stumbled upon this verse yet again; I loved reading it back during my university era, loved it as a child back then, love it as a mom now, and I know I had written this before in my blog, in Farsi, so here is the original quotation:

"Your Children are not Your Children

They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday."

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


A: What is that car doing?
Me: Which car?
A: That car over there, over the ramp, by the window
Me: He is going through drive through pharmacy
A: Why?
Me: Because he needs to buy medicine
A: Why?
Me: Because he or someone he knows is sick
A: Why?
Me: I am not sure, may be because they didn't wash their hands and ate with yucky hands
A: Why?
Me: I don't know baby! May be because they didn't know they should have washed their hands
A: Why?

A: Oh the Sun is going down!
Me: Yes baby! The sun is setting
A: Why?
Me: Because the day is coming to an end
A: Why?
Me: Because the night is starting
A: Why?
Me: Because we need the night to rest
A: Because my pretty moon is coming?
Me: Yes baby! Because your pretty moon is coming :)

Me: A! Please hang your towel on the hanger
A: Why?

A: Mommy what day is today?
Me: Thursday
A: But Why?
Me: ??! :)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My 10th Valetine's

I got home late on Friday to find that M had already packed his and A's stuff and I had to only take care of mine.
Saturday morning M took care of our road snacks neatly. All was ready to hit the road to South Lake Tahoe.
It was a pleasant ride. He had picked us the back roads rather than the highway with an amazing scenery. It was unbelievable how all the spring fresh sprouts would lead to snowy mountains by the lake.
It is beautiful here!
On Sunday I got a very beautiful gift. Later I got to ski all by myself while M was taking care of A. I missed them on the lifts but I kind of cherished the loneliness too. I had not skied for four years but it came back to me easily. I actually felt pity for all the years that I had skied in Toronto. It is a totally different experience to ski at just below freezing rather than -20C!
I enjoyed my time very much! I was actually spoiled!
Chinese new year has began. The year of Tiger. Per CM, my Chinese technician, I am going to have a successful year. It may or may not be. I have experienced it several times: it does not stay the same. There are times of happiness and times of sadness, there are times of success and times of defeat. In the end of the story, they all pass. I am going to cherish all the beauties that come to me and try to stay patient with the inevitable ugliness of life as well. In any case, happy Valentine's and Happy Chinese New Year!

Thursday, February 11, 2010


The California poppies are blooming, the wildest orange flowers I adore. There are also the yellow wildflowers I don't know their name but similar to the ones bloom in spring back where I grew up. They recklessly cover an area of the wild greens yet they are very innocent in their beauty. These wildflowers remind me of my mother. I think she loved these flowers. I have an image of her in the middle of a vast prairie filled with these flowers and a wide smile on her face. I adored her when I was kid. I still do but I think in a different way.

A gave me a purple card in the shape of a heart with pink hearts pasted randomly on it. I loved it!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Castle

The candles were lit all around the hall. It had stopped raining outside, the rain drops still sliding down the tall windows sparkling against the dark garden. There was the sound of live music coming from the music room filling the space softly. They were sitting on the huge and old sits at a rather darker corner of the hall silently sipping steaming drinks. They had just come back from an early dinner following their late afternoon runs. They had just started the running ritual but already felt it was an unbreakable habit. It was hard to convince themselves to part, to go to their rooms to get ready for a whole new day tomorrow. They decided to go for a long walk instead.
There was a path through the garden bending around the castle, all wet and slippery but inviting, mysteriously welcoming. There was a grand and heavy door, the unreachable great door, at the end of the path as if holding the surrounding walls together. Since their arrival she had spotted the door at the end of the path through the window of her room. She had desired to discover the door and what it was hiding behind it but had not found the courage. Tonight though his presence had erased any concern.
The closer they got to the door the taller it appeared.
They had to push the door really hard to make the squeaking hinges budge. They could now hear the sound of the unimaginable waves beyond the walls.
There they were, standing on top of a huge rock looking down the vast sea. The full moon appearing from behind the clouds.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

ELEGY (2008)

Loved the movie!
It has been a long time since I enjoyed a movie so much!
The screenplay was based on a book named "the dying animal" by Philip Roth. I may like to read it one day. Although I am afraid doing so may ruin the image of the relationship the movie was screening. Such a unique relationship starting from a beautiful "shell" and ending with beauty. It was a real "work of art"!

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Mr Elegance is a newly discovered friend. I know him for more than two years now but we never chatted like now. I think it all started with him reviewing my and my friends' posts in facebook and inquiring about the meaning of "joon"; the phrase we add after each others name at the beginning of our conversations to show our respect and friendship to the person, like "darling". He calls me "midnight joon" now and also "my only Iranian friend". Honestly that makes me a bit concerned. I am not sure why but I do not necessarily like to be coming across as all Iranian. I think there are other unique stuff about me that matters. It is charming nonetheless and gladly I do not think that is all he sees in me either. What intrigues me about him is his honest remarks and curiosity about my background. Again, it is hard really to try to convey which part of me is my background culture and which part is really all me: a mixture of persona, different cultures I have lived in, inner self, learning, and original thoughts . True though, ones culture affects her personality a lot.

He knew I was struggling with a subject for a couple of nights last week and when I explained to him what that was after the fact he exclaimed it was a trivial matter in the "grand scheme of life". I contemplated on that and I cannot agree with him more. I felt a new appreciation for the grand scheme of life today.

The fact is that the more I get to talk to him the less I think I know him. He is interestingly capricious. On the other hand I have told him so much about myself, my background, my choices in life, my concerns, my dilemmas, I feel vulnerable to some extent. I feel I have lost the unpredictability of the rabbit; the way don Juan had advised Carlos Castaneda; "it is more exciting not to know which bush the rabbit is hiding behind than to behave as though we know everything". I don't think I need to worry about this with him though.

Last night, interestingly, I even surprised my M and I really enjoyed it. The subject was nothing to brag about but the fact that there are nuances in my reactions that are even unrecognized to my M was refreshing.