Shams Ensemble performance celebrating the Year of Rumi in Saadabad, Autumn 2007.
It's Friday. We had a major rainstorm in our area today. It was really interesting driving to work with almost zero visibility in rain and fog and awful winds. The storm is passed now and we are left with intermittent rain. No storm ever lasts. It comes and if you are strong enough to stay grounded and not get blown away, it leaves and hopefully you have learned a few things in the process. It feels silly now to remember how nervous I was this morning in my little car, seeing very little and feeling that strong wind working hard to lift me and my car away!I leave you with a short video clip of one of my favorite music groups, the Shams Ensemble, directed by Kaykhosrow Pourazeri. You can also see an interesting multimedia presentation about them and this concert here. I wish you all a very happy weekend, full of rest and relaxation near those who matter the most to you. I hope people in Northern Iran receive warmth and relief, too. I saw a picture of a family under a korsi* in Sari (Mazandran Province), which was really sweet. I have vague memories of korsi when I was a young child. It isn't so much what functional purpose a korsi serves, but the fact that in order to use it, a whole family sits in the same room and in close vicinity to each other, feet under the korsi, covered in a huge blanket, therefore talking and eating together. That is the image I carry of a korsi and the warmth I feel when remembering it from my childhood. A family can still come together, sit together for several hours, eat together, and chat (asemoon-o-rismoon). That's what I hope for all of you on this weekend. If you don't have your family around you, get you friends together in an impromptu gathering. Celebrate the warmth of loving hearts next to one another. Celebrate the calm after the storm. Celebrate life. Share a blanket with your kids. Don't forget to smile a lot and exercise those facial muscles. Don't forget that you matter a lot to many. Be good y'all. *Before heaters and central heating became prevalent in Iran, people used to use a korsi as the main heating device in Iranian homes. It is a low square wooden table with short legs, under which a pit of embers or an electric heater is placed, and over which a large hand-made blanket is spread, around which members of a family sit to keep warm in cold winter nights.