Good As New
Mandala painting by Soghra Jazih, a student in Gisella Varga Sinai's workshop in Omid-e-Mehr Foundation in Tehran. Photo from Iranian.com.
After a very long time, I went to see my family tonight. My sister just returned from Iran and my nephew arrived today from Europe. We are going to Southern California to attend a family reunion around a wedding this weekend. Others will join us there. Andak andak jam-e mastan miresand... Each time I have been away too long, when I get to family I sit quietly in a corner and let their presence and their love sweep my stress and my anxieties away from me. I sit and watch the chatting women move around with plates of food and the laughing men clearing up the empty plates as the distribution of work goes in my family. I catch glimpses of adolescent nieces and nephews talking and joking around with each other. Then I walk up like a ghost from behind each and every one of them hugging them from behind and planting kisses on the sides of their faces, on their heads. Then I hold someone's hand without a word and just stand there for a while, and no one thinks I'm crazy. Then I go sit entirely too closely to someone who is sitting at the table, checking his email, and I just sit there and let our shoulders and hips and elbows touch. Without a word. My wrought nerves start to uncoil and relax. My worries start rolling off my shoulders. Sometimes, like tonight, my tears which have built up for weeks and weeks, start rolling off my heart and my eyes, falling where I won't see them again for a while. Again, no one seems to mind. Then I begin to whisper something to someone, telling another something else, and sharing a laughter with yet another. Then I eat. Then I drink tea with Iranian goodies just arrived from Tehran. Then I smoke a cigarette with my sister on the balcony. Then I kiss everyone again, only this time with words. Then I say goodnight. This was such a night. I'm good as new.