Soul in Sangak
The lady would
not leave until we took one of her two pieces of bread
August 4, 2005
Have you ever wondered why it feels so amazing to
listen to soulful music like Faramarz Aslani’s “Castle
of Loneliness” or
Farhad’s many songs which make you want to cry and scream
at the same time?
I have always wondered what it means for something to be “soulful.”
I heard soulfulness in an opera song in my car after years of
watching it performed in opera houses. When I was younger and living
in New York, I met a friend who felt opera so intensely in his
made him cry. Going to the opera, I always tried to feel what he
felt but never could quite get it. But one day, I was driving home
when I listened to an opera song and there it was, that inner feeling,
the sense of awe, the tears slowly forming in my eyes.
I found soulfulness in Iran when I went back after 13 years of
being on my own. I remember one day, my mom and I were desperately
looking for a bread bakery that sold Noon Sangak, my favorite bread.
As we were walking up and down the street, my mom asked a strange
woman who had two Sangaks in her hands where the bakery was. My
mom told her that I was leaving Iran that night and really wanted
to eat some. The lady told us where the bakery was but would
not leave until we took one of her two pieces of bread. She said
that she would not feel good eating the bread unless I had tasted
it before I left.
I saw soulfulness in a bazaar in Isfahan, watching an old man
working with his hands trying to make an art piece. It wasn’t
the art piece that got to me. It was the look in his eyes, the
sense of serenity harmonized with his hands patiently working in
the shade of a quiet summer day. It was that aura that I found
Perhaps, you find soulfulness in your loved ones’ eyes
when they look at you, or in the laughter of your baby, or maybe,
even maybe in the quiet solitude of your home.
Wherever you find it, in my opinion, feeling the soul of something
within your soul is what makes life so beautiful.