Waiting Out The Storm

Boats waiting out a sandstorm at Karoun River Harbor, Ahvaz, Iran, February 2008.
I am preparing for the second anniversary of an important event in my life. It has to do with new beginnings. Two years ago around these same days and weeks, I was so sad. I was facing all kinds of adversities, pains, and losses. I was so lost in sorrow and disappointment, I had stopped looking at myself in the mirror, combing my hair, and smiling. It was as though I was walking a minefield, and wherever I stepped, an explosion was waiting to blow up in my face, and many of them did! I don't know how I walked that minefield in one piece, but I did. I arrived San Francisco all broken up, sad, and feeling low, but determined to start a new life. My family embraced me here, my kids slept in the same house with me again after a long time, and my friends tended to my many wounds, fixing me, and pulling me up on my feet again.
I live a chaotic and at the same time organized life now. I work in a decent institution, where I am close to the best cultural happenings in the Bay Area. I have started writing again, which enables me to express myself and to interact with a group of very interesing people. I have wonderful young friends who keep me energized and engaged. I have a chance again to be close to my children who keep me on my toes and give me a sense of purpose and focus, all the time giving me immeasurable joy. I have a small house which is modest and non-pretentious, but filled in every corner with what my children and I need to feel peaceful and happy. I have a little car, Shabdiz, which gets me from A to B (and on many days to X, Y, and Z!). I have a life which is somewhat complicated to maintain if it weren't for the energy that keeps bubbling inside me, but at the same time easy to enjoy, for the peace of mind it continues to offer me.
Though I am reminded again of the pains I had to endure on the second anniversary of my new beginning, I can't help but feel really happy about how that new beginning has turned out. Those boats in the picture have to come to harbor and wait unattended during a sandstorm in Ahvaz. They may have to sit there for a while for the storm to pass, but soon they will be occupied by their sailors, heading down the gorgeous Karoun River, seeing better days. Sometimes our lives are like that, too. We have to wait out the storm, not just hoping, but knowing and waiting for those better days to come. These days I am waiting out another (very small!) sandstorm, but I feel if I weathered the biggest sandstorms of my life before, I can do it again. And, if necessary, again. And again. I can.


Leila said...

Maybe like the boats of my city, Ahvaz, I am the person who waits for storms to come and pass. But, sometimes I am really tired of facing the storms. I really love to be in a peaceful harbor,even without rain.

jeerjeerak said...

Storms shall pass, and open the way for beautiful sunny days. Be strong my friend:)

Mohammad said...

Dear Nazy,
Thanks billions for offering to share with us this wonderful piece.You are full of wonderful inspirations for us. Do you think in absence of such storms we could ever appreciate the peace of life? Storms are there to let us know how precious these peaceful moments are.I don't know if you have heard in Iran since a while ago ( following of the release of the movie )in the pedestrian market of CDs and DVDs, there is a documentary(?) movie called "The Secret". I wish I could give you and your dear friends and readers of this blog, this insightful and inspiring movie ( www.thesecret.tv) as a gift on Sepandaargaan festival ( the Iranian version of the Valentine's day ). It really helps us enrich our understanding of all that life is about... I'm positive, dear Nazy, that you will come over these storms and like the boats in the picture will sail back on shining sunny days!
This very moment ( 5:20 A.M. Monday, Tehran ) I'm at my computer desk to kind of "overcome" some stressing and distressing thoughts that had occurred to my mind while awaking only moments earlier in my bed. However, your writing and this very post specially gave me heart and courage to wait out such stormy thoughts! These shall pass too!
By the way, you are by definition a wonderful writer! ( If only I could learn to write like you ) I have always failed to spot even one typographical mistake in your posts!
I wish you a wonderful Sepandaarmazy week rich with great surprises. At Sepandaargaan, we Persians believe that the real love comes from the "mother earth" that embraces and loves so immensely and generously both the good and the bad both with equal love and affection without an iota of expectation or pretension!

Nazy said...

Salam Leila Jan:

You are an Ahvazi?! How fabulous! My other reader, Masoud, who has been unable to leave comments for a while also lives in Ahvaz. He wrote to tell me how much this picture touched him.

Leila Jan, what would a safe harbor be if not for the storm? What would a peaceful day be if not for conflict-ridden days? What would finding true love be if not for lonely days? We have to have them all in order to appreciate and enjoy life to its fullest, feeling every second of joy when we relax and feel content.

I don't fight my storms. I endure them, I wait them out. For when they are passed, I have stories to tell!

Have a brilliant day my friend.

Nazy said...

Thank you sweet and wise Jeerjeerak.

Thank you. Yes, the good thing about storms is that they are not forever! They do pass.

Happy Presidents' Day Jeer Jan. Start planning your trip to these parts, please!

Nazy said...

Salam Mohammad Jan:

What a wonderful comment and how lucky I am to have had a post to be there when you woke up, looking for peace!

Happy Sepandaargaan to you, too! My friend Fariba brought this up, too, and if I find the time to research it, I will blog about it. Almost all Christian and some Moslem special days have roots in pagan ceremonies of Persia, among them Halloween, Christmas, Easter, and now understand Valentine's Day. Many people believe what Shia'a moslems adopted as mourning ceremonies for Imam Hossein, Tassoa and Ashoora, have roots in the ancient Iranian "Siavashoon."

I have seen The Secret. My sister gave its DVD to me a year ago. It is inspiring in that it encourages positive thinking and focusing on our wishes. I believe that "visualization" of our goals is a good emotional technique, if nothing else.

Thank you so much for coming to visit, for your kind words, and for your positive energy. I'm so glad I found you (or you found me!). Have a wonderful Sepandaargaan.

Mitra said...

Very nice post, so lovely and peaceful. Indeed, we have to wait out the storm .

Aida said...

May your new live fill with loads of happiness,health and success for you,strong Nazy and your great sons.
Take good care of yourself,Dooste man

Nazy said...

Salam Mitra Jan:

Welcome and thank you for leaving a comment. I came to visit your blog briefly. How exciting that you planted your bulbs! I have had some narcissus bulbs, the package for which promises them to be "Narges-e-Shiraz," since Christmas! Every week I tell myself I will plant them next weekend! Reading your post made me go bring them upstairs to plant them today!

Come back and visit again soon Mitra Jan.

Nazy said...

Aida-ye Azizam:

Salam and welcome back! Thank you for your kind wishes.

Say, did you read the dancer story? Did you see his videoclip? I am really curious to see what you think, as you like dance so much.

Have a fabulous day my friend.

Anonymous said...

Salam Nazy jon,

Such a coincidence! Last night I was not doing very well unfortunately. As I was ready this post I felt you wrote it for me. I couldn't stop crying but I felt better.
Today is another day. Thank God, it is a better day and I can leave a message for you now. I'm going to wait for the better days to come.

bijan said...

My hats off to you.

Anonymous said...

Nazy khanum, I wrote some time back after reading some of your blog, having linked to your site from iranian.com. I stop in from time to time, but have not posted in reply to your exceptionally compassionate and welcoming post (to me). I have felt battered about by winds that have come out of nowhere, lately, and have despaired of ever living in any climate except that of storms and rain of the soul. Today, as I was reading Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyer (The Power of Myth), I was thinking of how "this" is my destiny, this suffering, this feeling so deeply, and how difficult it is to embrace the not-knowing and to embrace the pain. Resisting it in my life doesn't make it go away; it just makes it hurt all the more. So, one day I will be saying, oh, for example, in early July, "Here is the one year anniversary of me being tossed onto a violent ocean and given the opportunity to swim to some unknown shore." Most days I feel that there is no shore in sight and am afraid; other days I realize maybe there is no shore meant for me and this--whatever this mystery is--is my destiny. I am learning, and I am glad for the learning, but I miss what I had hoped for, too. Love is like that. It takes part of you forever. Thank you for your lovely writing. I will post again when I have more time to reply to your iranian.com stuff and others. You are a blessing online. Sayatetoon kam nasheh!
--Zan Amrikai

Nazy said...

Dear Sweet Daisy:

Please forgive my tardiness in replying to my comments. I have been so busy with deadlines and commitments.

I'm sure glad you felt moved by this post. It did come from my heart, and I hope that your beautiful heart is happy and content again, too. You rock Miss Daisy!

Nazy said...

Thank you Mr. Bijan, and my hat's off to you! Come back soon!

Nazy said...


I am delighted to see you back. I am happy you read that reply I had left to your original comment.

Azizam, I would be a fool to tell you today to "look on the bright side," or to "try and look at good things in life." Not because those statements aren't true or that they aren't helpful in a hundred other circumstances, but because they are not very helpful in your current state of mind.

I have been there several times, well, to be exact, 2 times. My latest "sandstorm" is NOTHING as compared to the other two I had to endure! I remember sitting in an empty house in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I was going through a divorce, my children had been taken away from me, and my mother had passed away. I know the feeling of complete and utter bereavement of a life gone completely awry, and an ending which I had not even imagined in my nightmares.

Time went by and life changed and got better and more meaningful and happy, as life does. The second time, I remember being betrayed by my partner and my friends, sitting in an empty house on the other side of the planet, missing my children and my life as I remembered it.

Those were awful times, full of tears, disappointment, and sadness. But they did pass. They will pass, one way or another. Life will find a new shape, a new purposes, and a new direction after these sandstorms, never remaining exactly the way it was before.

We must salvage the most important part of our lives when we go through these storms. You already know what it is. It is US! We must salvage ourselves and keep ourselves good and healthy, because husbands and wives and houses and money and jobs and even some ex-friends may take their leave one day, but what remains and has to deal with life is US. We have to stay strong and healthy and hopeful, because we can't disappear, and why should we? Who will dance those dances if I'm not around Amraikaii Jan? Who's going to laugh those laughters? Who will love my children and kiss them and send them off with an ironed shirt or a lunch bag, or a prayer when they start driving in the pouring rain? I will. I have to stick around to do all of that.

The only thing I can say to you which did help me was to find a new hobby. Find a way to express yourself, something new which you never did before, something that you never shared with anyone before (and thus won't have any memories which might bother you), and which you will share with new people now, building good memories.

For me it was writing. You write well. Would you like to give it a shot? This blog was unknown to everyone for several months when I firs created it, and it was a space where I wrote only for myself and about my feelings. When I felt stronger I started sharing my writings with others, publishing them in magazines.

Please go and do something fabulous for yourself, do something gorgeous to your hair and your wardrobe, if you can. Start feeling beautiful and attractive, because when we are sad and feel rejected, the first thing we do is to think that maybe we weren't beautiful or young or toned enough! Do look at your face in the mirror and make sure you like what you see.

I am not a vengeful type, so what I am about to say as my last piece of practical advice, in a a way, is strangely different from how I lead most of the rest of my life. But when it comes to situations like this, I do believe that "The best revenge is living well." Just imagine, A Zan-e-Amrikai who is vibrant and happy and gorgeous and mentally and emotionally engaged in her interests and life, will be a sore reminder to the loser who lost her.

Yes, you will come out of this storm, and you will sing and dance and "beshkan" again. Here, take this comment and use it as my guarantee that you will! Give yourself time and in the meantime, please love, love, love, yourself my friend. You won't be the only one loving you. Right here and right now, there are many who do, and that is always a very very good start.

Please come back again soon my wonderful friend. Be my friend Amrikai Jan; I will be honored.