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Birthday

Magic
The last time I felt it was a couple of weeks ago

September 16, 2004
iranian.com

There are some moments in our lives that are pieces of shear magic. We live every single day in the hope of that encounter. It doesn’t happen often, but when it does it leaves a long lasting mark. Some of this magic we create ourselves. Some we witness others create. It is always the same though. It is always magic.

These moments are rare for humans that have schedules, responsibilities and established patterns of living. We have become very robotic in many ways. However, every so often, even in the midst of monotony, a little piece of magic falls in your lap.

At times like this, you feel that given emotion, whatever it may be, with an amplified force. At times like this you want to record it. You want to take that feeling and bottle it up, capture it and somehow save it forever. Much like a photograph, but one that is taken with the heart, we want to record it and make it last a lifetime.

These pieces of magic, the real ones, do become eternal. They become engraved in our memories like pictures or video clips in a slide show. They come before our conscience when we close our eyes and think of the last 10 years of our lives or 20 or more. Some of them are happy, some of them are sad, but each experience has one common theme, they are face to face encounters with our souls.

Sometimes, you find it in a song. The lyrics seem so perfect. The story is so right it feels like it was written by your own heart. The melody steals you away, and you find yourself in another place and time. At times it breaks us down in tears because that song in its perfection has managed to reveal and make sense out of our emotions better than we could have done ourselves. It can bring back a taste, a feeling, a smell or a moment with a surreal intensity.

One example that many can relate to is going to a concert, for many a Googoosh concert. That experience is not simply related to a good voice or enjoying some catchy tunes. People feel their souls elevated and feel a spiritual high because those few hours are filled with these pieces of magic. You can witness the emotion in every eye, on every face. The connection that is felt between the lyrics, the melody, the artist, the crowd and the thousands of memories is incredibly emotional and moving. When you leave to go home, you feel like you have woken from a dream and everything seems surreal, shaky and more intense and it remains that way for at least the following few hours before we crawl back into our norms.

When these moments happen to me, I always feel how special they are. Many times it has nothing to do with myself or anything that has resulted from my own actions. Often times I am just a lucky witness to something spectacular. For example, the Mehregan seminar in San Diego at the beginning of this month was full of magic for me. Listening to some of these scholars at the podium was like watching an artist paint his masterpiece. Every word spoken was carefully chosen, eloquently delivered and rich in its content.

The professors and scholars who took that stage were human masterpieces. Listening to them, everyone could see the hours and years of research and study that had given fruit to so much knowledge and grace. As an Iranian, to sit back and listen to them speak was literally like having window after window opening up inside my mind, each leading to more questions and more understanding and more interest. It was the very essence of education and it was an incredibly proud experience to witness such splendid minds that I can claim as my own country’s. That was a moment of magic for me.

These emotions belong to every human being, however, they are expressed and recorded in various ways. A painter will pick up his brush and pour his experience out on his canvas. A poet will use words to recreate the feeling. Artists have the ability to capture these feelings in a way that can be conveyed to and relived by others. That is their art, to transmit emotion through images, words, or music.

The rest of us have our own ways. I, for example, never officially considered myself a “writer”. I am not very fond of labels. My mom was reminding me this week in a conversation that we had of something that made me realize that writing has been my release during all of my life, whether I have chosen to recognize that officially or not. She, very amused, told me that when I was little, whenever we would have a disagreement or fight and we would not be talking to each other, she would always eventually find a letter from me. It made her smile as she remembered how I would pour my heart out and explain my feelings on paper, saying things I could not say in a conversation and at the end there was always a big red heart, signed Mersedeh.

The funny thing was also that since I grew up all over the place, these letters would often be in languages that my mom couldn’t really understand, but she understood my intention which is what really mattered. Since then, I have written pieces of recognized quality and I have written lots of senseless ramble, but on every occasion, the underlying motivation was much like the untying of a knot inside my head. It helped to clear my thoughts and organize my feelings and it made me free myself of my mental burdens. It also helped me capture and record some of those pieces of magic.

The last time I felt this magic was a couple of weeks ago when I went to the beach. I remember dipping my toe in the water and thinking “HOW COOOOOOOOLD” and immediately wanting to back away. Sometimes, however, you are with someone you love, who knows you better than you know yourself and forces you to do something no matter how much you fight.

This was the case with me. I was dragged (literally), pulled and pushed further and further in until the insane waves were slapping hard against my face and body. They pushed me under the water, made me fall 10 feet back, only to get hit and go under again. Water went up my nose and in my eyes and my mouth. At times I felt like I was drowning and I couldn’t feel anything but seaweed wrapped around my ankles. The nervousness I felt came out in the form of hysterical giggles (common reaction of mine when I’m nervous) and lots of complaining and screaming.

When we finally got out of that ocean, we both realized how amazing that was since neither one of us had done that in years. It was also amazing because neither one of us would have done it had it not been for the other and the end result was simply delightful. That was a little piece of magic. It’s magic when someone knows you so well that they know how you will react and feel before you realize it yourself and force you towards that experience despite the fact that you vehemently disagree with them. That person is turning 29 today. Happy Birthday Hootan. Thanks for all the pieces of Magic!

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