the sun is very red today. i woke up at 7:55am. the bathroom is flooded with warm light. i think of an eclipse or martian invasion of the sun. i think about my dream, how i didn’t want it to end…
the sun is too bright today, but it most definitely is not an eclipse. it is a tuesday, almost two weeks ago. i am walking down clark street and thinking how much my eyes hurt outside. the sun is brighter than i remember. i am told to hold onto the feeling of newness. my muscles are clenched as i continue to walk in the blinding sun. my insides are so tight that i feel the ground slip out from under me.
the night before, i find myself amongst friends asking me “how was it?” that is always the question, “how was it?” i feel both speechless and full of speech. i think to myself, i have forgotten how to talk.
it is a thursday, around three weeks ago. my father was crying and now we are happily eating fresh figs from the tree.
the sun is very red today. as is the sand and my face. my skin is dry, the air is dry. it is a monday, four weeks ago. i feel comforted by iran’s open desert landscapes. standing there is the most present i have felt in a while. but it is hot and we need to keep driving.
it is a wednesday, five weeks ago. we are in the car again. everything is a beautiful golden brown. i decide, i should write a novel.
the day before i find myself feeling afraid of the eyes of others. i find myself feeling afraid that i do not belong. and it hurts to admit because i’ve known the feeling for so long. i remember how when i was a child in a catholic school i used to tell my white classmates that i was muslim. it was never true, but at the time i knew no other way to explain what exact kind of ‘other’ i was. i didn’t accept being a person of color until maybe 5 or 6 years ago. i am saddened by that.
it is a saturday, six weeks ago. the men at international customs are checking our passports upon entering iran. we are creating a line, the people behind us are getting frustrated. it had been so long, my parents weren’t even in the system. for the first time i was slightly worried something bad could happen. the security men were kind and patient with us. law enforcement in iran is so much kinder than here in the u.s.
it is another saturday, in june. the sun is setting. i notice how genuinely worried some of our friends are for us to go on our trip to iran. i am infuriated. i casually say, “your worrying isn’t really going to do anything for us.” i add a slight chuckle so they think its a friendly jab. i find myself being frustrated with their inability to be excited for us. i feel alienated and alone. i think about how they could never truly know how long i’ve wanted this, how much it means to me. i remember, they have often treated us like we are white, like them.
i remember a friend telling me that sometimes to speak too much of something, or to share too much of it, it loses it’s power. i want to hold onto everything that is precious to me. i want to hold onto everything i have learned and keep it as my own private wisdom. then i realize, perhaps this is why i have been in such a rut. in my fervor to withhold, with the hopes of maintaining some feeling of newness, i can no longer create.
in this gentle forward, my mind moves simultaneously gently backwards. my body and mind in separate directions, i am still and stagnant.
every few weeks i get this jolt in my gut which is the realization that i truly know nothing - that i learn, unlearn, and relearn. and perhaps towards the end of my life i will realize i have moved backwards and forwards, left and right, so many times that i’m simply standing in the same place. and then i begin to blame the moon.