Friday, August 26, 2011

A sad sad day

I did it again.
I was thinking about him, a sick coworker who was always very kind to me; who was on sick leave and still called me a couple months ago saying how he had missed me and how miserable he felt with all the surgeries he had to go though.  I remember how he talked for more than 30 minutes when he called, I remember how lonely and bored and disappointed he sounded.  And how he mentioned that he hoped to see me again but didn't want me to visit him in that condition.
I was thinking just a couple days ago that I had not heard from him for a while, that I needed to find a way to contact him.
And now today I heard that he is passed away!
How stupid to take people's presence as granted and delaying the calls and visits to another day thinking they will wait and the whole universe will wait and all will be always available!  I had done this before too.  I wanted to talk to a colleague one day and I thought I'd do it tomorrow and he died that night. 
Another colleague has sent an email about his wife who needs to go through heart and double lung implant.
A friend's mom is terminally ill.
I suddenly feel so ungrateful for all I have.
He was a great man.  My God bless his soul!

Friday, August 19, 2011


All the great names...
All the explanations to try to define only aspects of the unexplainable...
Suddenly it is obvious how tiny I am; suddenly I feel the wholeness; suddenly it is doable to let go; suddenly there is nothing, absolutely nothing, but one thing...
It is suddenly so liberating, even if only for a moment!

"Sobhaanaka yaa laa elaaha ellaa ant"
Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! There is no god but You!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Wawona A18

We arrived at the site just past 9PM. If it was not because of a couple minor accidents we might have gotten here right before dusk. Luckily we found the site easily and set up the tent under the moon light in no time. People around were still up so we were not too noisy for the crowd. We could hear the sound of a running water close by but couldn't see anything except for shadows of the trees behind the site.
A was asleep when we arrived at night so in the morning it was a surprise to find himself in the tent with mommy and daddy. He was bright and early and very hungry.
He ate two boiled eggs, one cup of fruit loop cereal, one box of milk, one bagel with cheese and cucumber, and half of his lunch sandwich!  Just very much like "the very hungry caterpillar". But thankfully with no stomach ache;)
We started the exploration by joining the Junior Ranger program. A did good actually and in the end said a pledge to take care of the wild and then got a neat badge.
We rode our car to the valley,  entered through the tunnel. The view right as the tunnel ends and the valley begins is just magnificent. There was the valley, the half dome, and a couple falls right in front of us.
We had our home-made sandwiches in the valley and took a slow hike towards the Yosemite Fall.
After an hour of doodling and bribing for treats, we finally finished walking the half twenty-minute walk and got to the base of the fall. It was funny how to the same number of rocks at the base you could count the number of people climbing and jumping and sitting on the rocks inside the water. And there goes my sunny water-loving son. Took out his hiking boots and socks, rolled up his pants, and in the water he went. He went back and forth climbing all the reachable rocks however many different ways possible.
The walk back was faster. And the ice creams in the Deli, hmm, not recommended.
We made hot dog on fire for dinner and then sat by the creek and watched A throw more rocks in the water. Finally, at dusk we joined another ranger talking about mountain lions. She claimed that they are the mamal with most names spreading from north to south. She was for sure fascinated by them.
The second night seemed short as I woke up only a couple times and could go right back to sleep.
We spent the day hiking in Mariposa Grove. There were times that it was the three of us walking. So we would start singing the songs the three of us could sing to keep the formidable mountain lion and rare black bear informed about our presence.
A was a good sport. He was truly tired after a couple hours though. As soon as we got in the car post a quick picnic lunch he fell asleep, a very deep kind I don't remember him in since his toddlerhood.
Now back to the city and all the hustle and bustle.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Nine-day Summer

It was the last day of summer camp for A. His first day of school is on Aug 22nd. We decided to make it a short "summer" for him. So, for starters, we are heading to Yosemite for two nights of camping.
I wonder how he is going to feel staying home for the whole week.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

So Long U.K.

Finally I am at Heathrow to leave.  Ah I don't want to even think about my 11 hour flight I am just happy right now to be at the Star Alliance lounge, sitting actually in the same spot I did last November when I was hear.  It is a blessing to be able to relax a bit; although I slept well last night I am very tired.

One observation to share: Britons are not as much of a consumers as Americans are.  Over and over I saw very old appliances and stationery's and equipments and furniture in hospitals and hotels.  It seems that it is common practice to consider that as long as something is functional there is no need to renovate it.  Which is indeed "green".

A couple of the hospitals were really really old, I could imagine WWII victims laying down in the corridors.  door after door and underground pass ways although equipments were fairly modern  but the facility itself was indeed old... but they said they were building new facilities for both of them.

So long United Kingdom!  It was a pleasure like always!

From Thursday: Cheers Dublin

It has been a surprise that I got to go to Dublin in this trip.  An in-and-out journey.  Arrived at the passport check gate around 10AM and the lady asked about the duration of my stay.  “Six hours” I responded.  She was surprised and then invited me to go back for a longer stay.  Nice of her.

It has been a very busy journey indeed.   I got to go to Croydon from Oxford, then from London took a train to Hull, then rode back to Heathrow, then flew to Dublin, and tonight shall ride to Cardiff.  Staying in different hotels in different towns and cities every night.  I must say I think it has been a tiring but very fruitful visit.

I really like the British people.  They are so proper, and they can be very nice.  They seem actually pretty direct to me, albeit polite.

People in North are particularly well-know for being nice.  I was "love" and "my love" and "sweetheart" to whomever I asked a question of, like where I could grab some napkins at the hospital cafeteria.

I cannot wait to go back home and hug my A.  I got to talk to M before boarding the plane and his sleepy voice sounded so sweet to me.  But I doubt I can talk to A today, he was still asleep when M called, I am in a plane now with no reception, and by the time we land I suppose he will be at school.

At the same time I so wish I could go to Iran.  I am only 6 hours away.  It is Ramadan and I have not been with my family for this month for more than a decade now.  Also other reasons really entice me to go pay them all a visit.  Even for two days.  But I doubt possible.  The ticket price as I checked last night is horrendous.

Monday, August 1, 2011

"May Ramazan Be Generous"

I am grateful for this month. Please remember me in your prayers. I am going to quote from one of the most generous people I have ever been honored to meet; this one resonated well with me: "Ramadan is less something that we do - instead, it is a force field we enter and are transformed by".
And as he would pray "May Ramadan be Generous"!