My life's joy
I have stopped dreaming about my childhood
By Babak Mohammadi
October 7, 1999
Occasionally, I like to pause and contemplate the meaning of life and
essence of human existence. For some inexplicable reason it becomes meditation
for my soul to think about events in the past. At times, I trace my life
chronologically to moments that signify a break or rupture from regularities
of human emotional and intellectual development. I have convinced myself
that these moments do not occur in vacuum.
You may be asking what is all this mumbo-jumbo Babak is giving us. To
answer this question I have to go back 48 hours to Friday, November 27,
1998. As I just finished my first pint of lager, it occurred to me that
it had been almost a year since I had dreamt of my childhood.
I remember vividly what I dreamed last time. I was playing outside of
our house in Torbat-Heidarieh. I was full of childhood joy. My joy was
immediately shattered as I heard my mother's voice crying my name: "Babak...
Babak... biyaa tu khuneh... biyaa tu khuneh." (Babak, come inside
Every physiological and emotional instinct told me to expect a tragedy.
In anticipation of something terrible to occur, I ran toward the house.
As I entered the house, I saw my mother crying, saying "deegeh raft...
deegeh raft" (He's gone...).
"chi raft maman? chi raft maman?" (Who/what has gone?) I asked.
"deegeh raft... deegeh raft" she kept saying. Knowing how close
my parents are to one another, my attention quickly turned to my father.
As I was bombarded with unorganized and vague images that one can only
expect in a dream, picture of my father found its way into the puzzle of
At once chaos and confusion turned into harmony and order, and the picture
became clear. The unthinkable but inevitable thought of losing one's parent
shattered my fragile soul. I began to cry endlessly. When I woke up, it
felt like my spirit had been conquered by sadness. It took several days
for me to rid my soul of the heavy weight of depression.
For a long time, after I was separated from my parents and came to America,
I had many dreams about my childhood. I always looked at my childhood as
the most wonderful period of my life. Perhaps, because of some of the difficulties
that I experienced as a teenager in America, I took refuge in my childhood
memories in Iran. Those years presented security and comfort to a young
adolescent devoid of parental care and guidance.
As I pondered the reason why I have not had any childhood dreams for
a year, it dawned on me that it has been almost a year since my son was
born. What a coincidence! Perhaps he has brought the joy of childhood back
to my life.
The "break" or "rupture" that he has caused in the
continuum timeline of my life has enabled me to rediscover myself. I no
longer look to the past to soothe my injured soul. My son has healed my
wounds. He has given me a reason to cherish life and to look forward toward
a brighter tomorrow.
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