Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Simple Scattered Truth

I met with friends in Toronto, and I learned, again, that how much I miss their presence in my life.  I love them how they are, no matter how they feel, no matter what changes they are going through, I trust them with their choices in their lives and don’t have any judgment reserved for them, I adore them.  And I feel I receive the same from them.  They love me how I am.  Period.  We can pick up conversations from where we left a year ago within a moment.  We can crack a joke so easily and yet shed a tear with each other remembering the remorse in our lives.  We can just have a cup of tea with each other and be.
I like the Dove chocolates very much, the creamy dark kind particularly, which is wrapped in red foils.  The foils have a saying inside which is fun to read; they can be as lame as “Calories only exist if you count them” to as philosophical as “It’s OK to be fabulous AND flawed!” which is written inside the one I just opened, while flying back to California.  I like the truth in the inevitable philosophy it carries.  Ironically it rhymes with the thoughts I shared in the previous post.  My embodied self is flawed but of course I don't feel proud of it.  Yet may be, may be, somehow, sometimes, it is OK.  After all, perfection is sought after but seemingly unattainable in this life.  May be it helps to focus on fabulous once in a while, for a change.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

But, Being A Mom

I am reading “Raising An Emotionally Intelligent Child”, by John Gottman.  Reading it slowly but surely.  And this slowness is not only because of my very limited time to read but also because of the time required to digest the material within me.

Last night, when packing for my two-day business trip to Toronto, I packed the booked at the last minute, hesitating, did I want to be criticized and scored and monitored?  Because this was the feeling the first few chapters of the book imposed on me.  I am not perfect.  I make mistakes as a human, and I make mistakes as a mom.  The latter is so very painful to reflect on when I know the harm extends to the loveliest dearest most powerful drive in my being, my own son.  Will I ever be perfect?  For sure not.  It was nice to remember our discussion within my spiritual circle last week, that as long as we are embodied in this life, we are not free of guilt and mistake.  That we take refuge in the love of our Sustainer and ask for forgiveness.  And forgive others as we want to be able to love them the way we want God to love us.  That was a relief!

I read half a chapter at the beginning of this flight, I had to score my awareness of two emotions in me and in others, anger and sadness.  The scores, analyzed by my very limited knowledge of psychology, show that I am fairly aware of “sadness” in me and in others.  However, I am unaware of “anger”.  And I know I do feel angry sometimes particularly with my A.  How ironic!

The author emphasized that kids older than 4 appreciate the meaning of “I am sorry”.  Such a relief!

The other take away from this chapter was how we, as parents, needed to take breathers, to contemplate on our emotional awareness.  And recommends taking share with our spouse to make time for it.  It dawned at me how every lone trip I made during the past few years has been heavily focused on revisiting my acts as a mom while I was left to be all by myself for a few hours for example in a plane ride, and this came to me completely naturally.  I am grateful for such a valuable bi-product in my business trips!

Now back to my book after spending several hours on work emails in between chapters.  Knowing that the book will reveal more weaknesses in me and I want to be brave and face them rather than remain in denial.  Granted, in both cases I will remain the imperfect mom I am.

PS: In the section I started reading, the author make a passage of his experience with his then four-year-old daughter, that he took a play opportunity “… to talk it over, I assured Barbie (and my daughter) that I didn’t mean to scare her and that just because I get angry sometimes doesn’t mean that I don’t love her.”  I thought about this a lot.  I realized that the other night, while my M was away working hard and long, I had to raise my voice after several repeatation to convey a message over to A (no excuse, but I did that).  And within a matter of minute I was back to being calm.  A asked “mom why are you mad?” and I responded calmy “I am not.  I was.  And I love you! J”.  I could see the shock in his eyes.  So someone can raise her voice and then be calm right after?  I guess they can.  Bottom line, it is just human to be a mom J

Friday, January 20, 2012

Looking Back

Standing by the window she was looking outside through the rain.  It was just dawning outside.  She pulled her blanket closer around her bent shoulders.  It ached in her fingers.
She saw her reflection in the window glass.  A few strands of white and grey hair.  Wrinkled eyes.  Pursed lips.  Drooping neck.  She smiled, a bitter smile, and didn't see any sparkle in the reflection of her eyes.
She looked at the clock, 6:58AM, Friday.  Her son may come tomorrow to visit them, or may not.
She poured a cup of French Press coffee with soaked Spanish beans and sat down at the table.  She knew he wouldn't enjoy coffee in the morning, he never did.
The book she was reading last night was still laying there.  She thought to make a trip to the library.  Opened the book and started reading.
The left over coffee went cold.  The fire in the fireplace was too far away to warm her up.  The blanket had slipped off again and she felt her shoulders were freezing.  She reached back and touched one shoulder, bony and wrinkly.  She smiled.  Her shoulders were not touched for ages it felt.  She smiled, a bitter smile.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sick Day with Movies

Certified Copy (2010)

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami
Starring Jouliette Binoche and William Shimell

A good portion of the movie is showing scenery from a village in Tuscany.  The point of view we observe is sometime thought proviking.  It reminded me of the High School day  when we left the Literature class and watched Under the Olive Trees at Isfahan University with the teacher. We did pay attention to the camera and the scenery and the dialogues.
This movie has amazing dialogues, great plays, and fantastic scenery.
It was a riddle in the end.  The couple seemed to be strangers, the only acquaintance seemed to be the authors book and the lady the fan.  They seem to start getting to know each other, although they seemed comfortable and carefree for a first outing.  The idea behind the book was to praise a copy of an art when the original was praiseworthy.  Then at the middle, the dialogues shifted to a married couples' argues after fifteen years of marriage.  The man feeling exhausted with work and feeling frustrated as his unspoken love was not realized, the woman feeling ignored, unseen, left alone in a married relationship.  One would start to wonder, were they a married couple pretending to get to know each other anew after fifteen years, or they were two strangers pretending being a fifteen-year-old married couple.
I could relate to many of the dialogues.  After all, I am not too far away from being married for fifteen years myself, although I might find myself more suitable for max two years into a relationship.  The scenery was amazing!  And two people, driving and walking and talking reminded me of my favorite of all time, so far, Before Sunset.
I like to watch this movie again.

2 Days in Paris (2007)

Directed by Julie Delpy
Starring Julie Delpy and Adam Goldberg

It was too Julie Delpy may be.  Too similar to her role in Before Sunset.  It was again her with her French intellects, and an American boy friend oblivious to many things around him while concerned with his privacy and ownership.  Sometimes the movie got too far off with discussing liberation I thought.  It was a good movie for a sick day for sure, to pass the time and ease the pain.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Unique Golden Globes

I had the time blocked on my calendar.  I was excited that after the afternoon birthday party we were invited to there was another nice event to look forward to in this Sunday afternoon.  This was the first time in my movie loving life that there was an Iranian movie nominated for the Golden Globes.
From the fifth minute I felt this excitement inside, would A Separation win the Foreign Language Film I wondered.  More than an hour passed when Madonna introduced the nominees and M was certain they wont won I was certain ... They did win!  I shouted yay!  We were wondering who would have come to collect the Globe and thankfully the writer/director Asghar Farhadi was present.  Also the leading actor Peyman Moadi.  I obviously had nothing to do with the movie, I had just watched it and praised it.  But it was a prideful moment.

We had watched the winning motion picture just this past Friday, The Adventured of Tintin, and all three of us had for the first time enjoyed watching a movie.  Totally fun and exciting enough to keep you along with a five and a half year old happy in the theater room.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Corner of Life

A corner chair at a Starbucks. This is the closest Starbucks to home, may be 15 minutes walk away. Yet she drove here because she had to take care of other chores before and after. The window by the chair looks at the direction of her house but her eyes are on the alluring hills further away. "I need to buy a swimming cap" she thinks. She takes a mental look at her list: A crockpot cooking book, an all terrains SUV, a cocktail dress, email the first playdate for kinder working moms, visiting a friend in a hospital, finding a new primary care doc, register for a line dancing class, follow up with friends for Friday night dinner, call younger bro. She thinks about the broken faucet & the needed curtain rods. She thinks about the promises of support. She thinks how he wanted to take care of her. How proud he was to introduce her to his new colleagues. She thinks about the last sketch of a man and a woman and two cats and two boys. She thinks she is alone.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Morning

Feeling good song for Sunday morning.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

What I Didn't/Did Miss About Living in America


Boring Night Life:
Unless for the period we were living in downtown Toronto, the night life has been very boring and uniform for me. After getting home after 5PM, and especially now in the dark, it feels like a huge drag to think about leaving the house for a chore at 6PM, or to go to Library, forget about even thinking about going for shopping unless you really really have to!! The town streets are quiet, everybody is at their homes, and all the TVs are on. On the contrary, while back home, I really enjoyed the night life. My mom would leave for her dental office at 6PM to begin with!! Then she would pick me up at 9PM to go have Pizza somewhere with family!! Imagine a kid in a pizzeria after 9PM in U.S.!! Tsk tsk! Then, after all that, she would suggest going to market. Oh I loved it!
Very Sweet Sweets:
I had forgotten how sweet the sweet stuff are in US until yesterday when I took a yummy bite from a chocolate tart. The sugar overpowers the tastes really, even in mocha, unless it is made with care and love of coffee and chocolate.
Even gaz doesn't taste TOO sweet among Iranian sweets after that.
Meal Portions:
Gosh I still feel full from the Fetta Omelet I had this morning. First meal portion I had out of the house since our return on Monday.
Meal portions were not small back home, but they were not this big either.
Cold Houses:
It is cold inside. The house is open from five directions and it is old. Even the office is cold sometime, unless the heater is broken in which case it is HOT.
In Iran houses and apartments can be rather warm actually, sometime too warm.  But usually comfortable.
Indifferent People:
Well, I am not sure if I can make a strong claim here, but many times, in many places, people are indifferent about each other. People just drive or just walk by you or just sit and mind their own business. Even colleagues sometimes, even after coming back from the holidays. Seems like they do not care about you.  They don't even look at you unless they are judging you when your son is whining while walking behind you.
Over there, people are not indifferent.  Sometime they may seem nosy or rude even.  From pedestrians who may throw a comment at your beauty, to the shopkeeper who wants to know why you didn't choose to buy something you decided not to buy, to the family members who ask you if A was going to have another sibling anytime soon, to the driver who chooses to guide the other driver with how to park... People look at each other, they look to find a familiar face, and if they do they pause and say salaam and ask about whomever they know in your family and ask you to say salaam to them too.  If they find you look lost in the market they ask what you needed.  You can ask a total stranger about their experience about the product offerings of a particular shop, and they don't get scared that a stranger is talking to them!  They pause and talk to you in fact, not dismissing you.
Being the Alien:
Needless to say, I feel like the visual and auditory minority almost everywhere.
Needless to say, I do not feel like a minority over there.  As a matter of fact I feel like being from an elite family and living a nice and relatively convenient life.
I drive to work, everyday, and drive back home.  I drive to buy milk, I drive to buy a cup of coffee, I drive to take A to his swimming class.  I drive everywhere.  Granted, when the whether is warm and it is only me going to grab a cup of coffee or shop for pizza ingredients from Trade Joe's I sometimes bike.  Otherwise I am usually driving.
Over there people usually drive too, I think they have gotten used to it.  But I walked, a lot.  To go to my sister's place from my dad's, to go shopping for spices, to have a chat with my brother.
Family and Friends:
Needless to say, we are too lonely here sometimes.  I do miss having a bowl of aash at a friends place, or having my afternoon portion of fruit with my mom.  One really feels the love there; many are there who really really love you and miss you and appreciate who you are.


Ironically, I missed driving itself.  I cannot drive over there anymore.  It is too crowded and too chaotic.
My Work:
Needless to say, I really enjoy my work.  I didn't really miss it miss it, but I did look forward to a new year with it.
Disciplining A:
Your child is under too many influences, so is your mind, over there.  It was OK for kids to watch many movies we wouldn't otherwise let A watch.  It was hard to let him realize everything was not always possible as some loved one would make it possible.  It was hard to show him many goods and many bads as they were negated shortly after.
Paying for Goods:
Price of the $ fluctuates and it affects every thing.  Then there is no guarantee about the justness of the price you pay to get something.  You had to bargain on every thing and it is a skill one can forget after a while.
My Friends:
I missed my friends in US, and the circle of my Sufi friends.
My Style:
I can carry my own style in clothing easier here and there.
Clean Air:
You can feel the Oxygen in the air here, it was tough to find over there.
It is way more convenient to exercise here or go for a run.
My Life:
My life is here. I like my life here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

First Watched in 2012

Happy New Year!!!  Now this 2012 is here. Let's pray for the best!!

Finally on board to SFO.  It was a nice trip being away and within.  Only a few minutes of shut eyes.  Time to watch a couple movies and pass the time.  This Footloose was a fun-filled, music-filled, dance-filled movie; now I like to see myself dance a country line dance ha ha ... But seriously, I am a grown up now, for God's sake I am married with a job and I am a mother. What is with these teenage dreams?  May be they are not dreams anymore as much as they are my youth lost in the cave of the passing time. While watching my movie with interruptions, I pause and just watch A, crooked seemingly comfortably in his seat, watching his movies.  I watch his eyes, his nose, his unrolling hair, his now toothless mouth and my heart wells with joy and grace and gratefulness.  I think he is the best thing on this earth, God bless and protect him!