Posts from the “Prose” Category

who am I?

Posted on June 17, 2019

Who am I? Three simple words. One weighty answer. The response to this question which rises, deep, visceral, immediate from our bones, reveals more about ourselves than anything else we could voluntarily disclose. The labels with which we choose to identify, and consequently to accept as being accurate descriptors for the beings that we are, tell us how we see this world. And the strength with which we cling to them, tells us how we see the next. How do I answer? Am I my profession or education? The degree hanging on my wall or the job I perform — do I carry it with me everywhere? There is a big difference between working as a teacher, lawyer, businessman, or mechanic… and being those things. There…

80th and 1st

Posted on January 4, 2019

John Steinbeck said, “Once you have lived in New York and it has become your home, no place else is good enough.” Oh, how right he was. I was lucky enough to call New York City home for the past few years, yet it feels as if those years lasted a lifetime. I truly believe there are certain spans we cross during our lives which, through experience, if not through time, cause us to age more than others. For me, this was one of those times. When I first came into the city, it was with the fresh, bright-eyed, shy wonder of one’s early twenties. When I left, it was with a steadier gaze and firmer feet, the weight of understanding that sombers the…

this is not about you

Posted on October 26, 2018

When I think of the great artists of old, I lower my hat to them in respect. In their musings, sculptures, paintings, and art — there was a craft. What made the Greats great was their desire to create at the upper threshold of their ability, despite knowing that such an endeavor would require time, perseverance, discipline, and accuracy. Create exquisitely, or do not create at all, was the mantra. This art is not about you – it is about something bigger. These days, however, the desire to dedicate oneself to a single skill, to work on it in seclusion, day by day, slowly, precisely, carving, cutting – hammering away at marble from twilight to dusk until a visible form begins to emerge –…

what matters most

Posted on April 22, 2018

There is a surrender that happens at the peak of life, and another at the edge of death, and the two do not weigh the same. There is an abdication when the first glimmer of light is seen on the horizon, and another when the last glimmer is about to fade, and the day between them is not the same. And how you spend the day matters. It is said, “To be pious in one’s youth is the style of prophets; in old age even the cruel wolf gives up his cruelty.” What matters most is what you choose to do when you have everything to lose. What you choose to give up when it means the most to do so. When you decide,…

everyone except us

Posted on March 12, 2018

Hugo writes, “Curiosity is a form of gluttony. To see is to devour.” Few exist the cannibals of the flesh, but many the cannibals of the soul. Many, who spend their evenings by the fireside, slavering over the slabs of a fellow man’s spirit, the blood of a fellow man’s struggle dripping from their lips. Many, for whom the call – “Will any of you love to eat the flesh of his dead brother?” (49:12) is drowned out by the gnawing of their teeth – persistent, searching ever more and more, consuming with frenzy the appetite of who dids and what dids; eyes wild, mouth gaping, ingesting, feasting, destroying. What is it in us that is so drawn to the destruction of another human being?…

burn the dead wood

Posted on March 8, 2018

One of the most important lessons I have learned in the past few years is this: do not make yourself small for anyone else. Whether it is with friends, family, or in a romantic relationship – anyone who asks you to fold yourself into a smaller version of you so that they feel more comfortable, is not someone who has your best interests in mind. Anyone who asks you to sacrifice pieces of yourself, your principles, or your values, is not someone who hopes for your success. Do not minimize your desire for growth to keep someone who feels threatened by that growth a part of your life. Each soul is made for greatness. Each human is linked at his or her core to…

kindred spirits

Posted on December 20, 2016

It is a warm summer’s night in qom. I sit on the floor in Masjid-e-Jamkaran and look up at the ceiling, admiring the beauty of the architecture, the interlacing weaving of the arabic calligraphy – composed with such precision, but in its composition, somehow still as wild and free-flowing as foam rising on waves of eastern seas. I follow the meditated pattern of their sweeping lines, marveling at their intricacy – musing on the intricacy of the path of my life that has been unfolding: a thousand hidden alleys, a thousand secret moments, a thousand twists of twine, a maze interwoven with the stars – all, to bring me… here. I think about how, in the span of a few weeks, the course of…