I always knew so well how to hate.
I hated being a child and being ignored. I hated being a teen and waiting, wondering, doubting. I hated Shah, I hated Khomeini, I hated Saddam the way their ideological differences changed all of us for the worse. The way the war locked me in my room, listening to the silence, listening to the noise, missing joy or temerity, missing the light seeping through sheer curtains. I hated missing one small volume of space in time when opening my window or listening to loud music, or painting red on my bloodless lips and nails wouldn’t have been called an act of bravery. I hated the way the women in black chador avoided any contact with me and the way I took them to be nonhumans. I hated the way I became accustomed to bombs. The way I longed to leave my home, my father and my mother, afraid of suffocating in my room, in my closet, slowly, painfully, without a fight, knowing even if I did leave, still nobody could make me whole. I hated most the way my mother waved at me at the airport, the way she didn’t dare cry, afraid to destroy my happiness, to hurt me on the day I was leaving, and the way Father wept, so I would remember him forever. I hated the way I hated myself and my destiny and the world and the way the world hated me back, like a mirror. I hated the way I loved to live and hated to live, at the same time.
Most of all I hated the guy with the beard and the gun who took me away from my father the last day I saw him alive. I hated most the sound of my father’s weeping when the guard dragged me away. I hated most the woman in black chador who pushed me, rushed me away so I didn’t have a chance to hug my father one last time. I hated most an airport, the rain, the cold. I hated most the ring of a phone. I hated most images in my mind of disease, an ambulance, the hospital’s whiteness. I hated most his bed, his needles, his pain. I hated most the indifference. I hated most the monotony of a life ending. I hated most the smell of sweat and urine, the smell of his ache, the smell of his loneliness. I hated most his waiting, his forgetfulness, his boredom. I hated most my absence, knowing that nobody held his hands. I hated most the way he refused to save himself, consumed by life. I hated most the nurse who pulled the sheet over his face, the doctor who had already given up on him. I hated most the Mullah who hurriedly read the last prayers of death for my father--in a rush to go home. I hated most the people who didn’t show up for his funeral. I hated most myself because I didn't show up either, because I came up with an excuse. I hated most my baby who became my excuse, who watched my guilt, who rinsed my sin with his tears of thirst, tears of hunger. I hated most my father who pulled the syringe from his veins, in silence, without memory, without pause. I hated most the life, the war, the death. I hated most this uncertainty, this desire, this absence.
I hated a lot, but hating was just the easy part.
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Where's the darkness?by Nazy Kaviani on Sun Apr 13, 2008 04:00 PM PDT
I may be completely off the mark here, so I tread carefully! I didn't read anything dark or hateful in your piece. What you described so bravely and honestly is what provokes feelings of pain and desperation in most people. Who can say that they have enjoyed the fear and suspense of imminently falling bombs or the unknowns of an unfolding revolution? Who has ever enjoyed the good-byes we have each had to bid our loved ones when we left Iran? Show me one person who hasn't felt helpless and awful standing witness or aware of a parent's failing health and consequent death. What you described is so normal and elementary to human nature, it cannot possibly be called dark or hateful.
On the other hand, loss and pain are felt deeply and expressed eloquently and honestly only when joys have also been experienced. A death is understood or mourned properly only by people who have experienced and celebrated a new life at some other time. Losses are best defined and accepted by people who have also experienced triumphs.
In your writing I see a woman who has suffered through losses of life with a heart full of equally pleasant and rewarding experiences. Your piece doesn't feel dark to me; rather, it is full of the light of hope and life. As is the case with many writers, your dilemma continues to be feeling a lot! You feel the pains and talk about them, but I have also read your writings where you feel the joys and write about them. There is nothing dark here--if anything, there is a blinding light which shows and tells and reveals.
Thank you for sharing and kudos on your courage.
"Nonviolence means avoidingby Anonymousk (not verified) on Sun Apr 13, 2008 02:58 PM PDT
"Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him."
-Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The Weak can never forgive"--Ghandi
"When you look for revenge, dig two graves"--Chinese proverb
May you live long, learn much, and feel fulfilled . .
Dear Azarinby Azadeh Azad on Sun Apr 13, 2008 02:36 PM PDT
Smooth and dark writing, my friend. And voici Charles Baudelaire’s "Advice to Young writers"(1867) regarding hate:
"En effet, la haine est une liqueur précieuse, un poison plus cher que celui des Borgia, - car il est fait avec notre sang, notre santé, notre sommeil, et les deux tiers de notre amour! Il faut en être avare!" (*)
For Baudelaire, hatred is a gift, a gift as precious as myrrh, incense and gold, because the hater gives herself to the hated. The violence of hate, directed outwards, is mirrored by a violence directed inwards, towards the blood of the hater, the health of the hater, the sleep of the hater, two thirds of the hater's love. Hatred is sacrifice of both other and self. That’s why Baudelaire advises us to be greedy with hatred - out of self-preservation. And considering that you have "forgiveness and redemption" in mind for your project, I'm sure you're somehow aware of that.
(*) For general readership: "A precious liquid, a poison dearer than that of the Borgias - because it is made from our blood, our health, our sleep, and two-thirds of our love - we must be stingy with it."
The Revolution Generation...by Ali P. on Sun Apr 13, 2008 01:26 PM PDT
I was a teenager in 1979. I always wonder if it is a curse, or a blessing, being in Iran and having seen those very dark days of 1979-1981...
They impacted most of us in a very profound way, and shaped us to the person we are today.
Keep writing Azarin, keep writing.
To be continued:by Azarin Sadegh on Sun Apr 13, 2008 01:19 PM PDT
This essay (with some changes) is part of a longer piece of fiction I am working on. Of course I made some changes to remove the sections that referred to my fictional characters and replaced them with my own personal memories.
But the main subject of that other piece is about forgiveness and redemption. And how to let go of the blind hatred that my protagonist felt after the revolution and the experience of the war with Iraq.
Let go of hate..by Anonymous (not verified) on Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:20 PM PDT
Let go of hate – people consumed by it often become exactly what they once hated...
Let go of whatever holds you back...
Try to maintain your composure under any circumstance...
Research on how to LOVE, and spread it around...
Azarinby Healed (not verified) on Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:16 PM PDT
Fiction or Non-fiction, as I have said before, I hope that someday you would manage to come to terms with this 'darkness'.
Again, best of luck to you :)
:-(by IRANdokht on Sun Apr 13, 2008 12:02 PM PDT
Would it ever make it easier if we hear: I feel your pain...
You're right, hating is the easy part. Surviving it all and recovering from the pain takes a lot of effort. I wish you, no I wish all of us serenity and peace.
you're blessed with a talent for self-expression
I liked itby Orang Gholikhani on Sun Apr 13, 2008 11:02 AM PDT
specially the end