We Get Used to Things

This is the title of one of my most favorite books, written by the magical Zoya Pirzad. I borrow it for my page today, because, I too, am learning new things as I get used to my new life. It was a hectic weekend, with no rest, spent running errands, doing chores, and visiting with new and old friends. Sitting by the window at a restaurant on Berkeley Marina, watching the sun break out after a rainy morning, and the pristine blue waters of the Bay, we talked about life and philosophies thereof with my friends Ahmad, who just moved here from Seattle, and Parvin, who is visiting Berkeley to work on some technologically-advanced software (the truth be told, the whole thing is a little over my head!). Ahmad seems to have a real obsession with the Farsi words “delkhoshi,” (loosely translated as “happiness of the heart” ) and “khoshbakhti,” (loosely translated as “a deep satisfaction with life," or “feeling lucky” in life) words for which there seem to be no exact English words, which he holds is because the English speaking world does not know those qualities as well as Iranians do! We went to a wonderful American family’s home for dinner (friends of Parvin’s), and had the most interesting discussions around the dinner table. It was the home of a Christian and a Jewish couple, who were celebrating their daughter’s bat mitzvah, and many of their relatives (mostly on the Jewish side) had flown in for the event, so that around the table were folks visiting from North Carolina, Boston, New York, and all kinds of other places. A very stimulating discussion about politics and beliefs and ways of life for people of different countries ensued. The family was so warm and wonderful and well-informed. The conversation was refreshing and the platter upon platter of marvelous food was out of this world! I talked too much, as usual, propelled by too much wine and good, intelligent company! However, the most poignant and important thing I said all night was to quote my wonderful son, Kavian, in an idea he presented to me not too long ago, which has been an awakening. Kavie holds that the source of all prejudice and bigotry has been the size of the earth. Long ago, when the world was a huge, wide expanse of land, un-traveled and unvisited by many, where tribes and nations could keep to themselves and inter-breed, people had acceptance of themselves only and everyone else was a foreigner, a stranger, or an intruder. With the world shrinking and becoming smaller, where more and more people travel, and with the propagation of internet, helping people to have access about the news and happenings of every part of the world, it seems a very natural thing for an African to find himself in America, or for an Asian to travel to Europe, or for an European to be living in the Middle East. My son holds that if this trend of mobility continues, pretty soon (well, soon in a demographic sense, about 100 years) inter-marriages and inter-breeding will be so prevalent that everyone will have some of every conceivable type of blood in them, rendering everyone related to Africans, Asians, Europeans, Australians, and Americans, and there will be no grounds nor need for bigotry! That’s really loving and smart the way I see it, and I am grateful for the chance to learn something, yet again, from my children, who are constant sources of new lessons to me! Well, life does go on, and we do get used to things as Zoya Pirzad says. How fast and how well is another thing. I will tell you more about this later. For now I must sign off.