Sunday, January 30, 2011

God is Beautiful

"It is not only prayer that gives God glory but work. Smiting on an anvil, sawing a beam, whitewashing a wall, driving horses, sweeping, scouring . . . To go to communion worthily gives God great glory, but to take food in thankfulness and temperance gives Him glory too. To lift up the hands in prayer gives God glory, but a man with a dungfork in his hand, a woman with a sloppail, give Him glory, too. He is so great that all things give Him glory if you mean they should." - Gerard Manley Hopkins

It leaves me feeling hopeless
that there is absolutely no way
that I can ever give You your full right
that I will never understand Perfection
and the brain stuck in my created body
can never go beyond the limitations You set for it

And it leaves me feeling satisfied
that maybe it is best for You to remain a mystery
because my polluted self is undeserving of fully grasping Truth
and because my fragile reason and emotion
will collapse
break down
and malfunction
on encountering Your immensity

And it leaves me feeling hopeful
that the world is in the hands of Perfection and Beauty
that one word from You can set all things right
that the one who has all this power loves me
Why would I want anyone else's love or protection?
When I've got Yours?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Roald Dahl

I should have written a long time ago, but the delay can't be all too bad because I am more likely to give him justice given my current maturity level and vocabulary compared to ten years ago, although this comes at the expense of a more sincere gratitiude which can only be expressed best when fresh and closest in time to the favour rendered to me!

For every piece of writing I read today, I owe him great thanks for paving my endless passage in reading, and I say endless because I can never be able to catch up with all the written material available around the world. I don't think anyone can, not even if you're going at the pace of reading every single hour that you're awake, the more you read, the more you discover there is left to read :(

Anyway, I think Roald Dahl is a rarity in his skill of being able to relate ridiculously well to children. There are very few writers who still remember how childrens' minds work. I can never reminisce about my childhood without mentioning the countless hours I spent sitting on my bed, hour after hour, turning page after page of Roald Dahl's fabulous work: his stories were profound- they took me to another world, they taught me lessons, they built the foundations of my imagination and they were the building blocks of my English vocabulary.

Children who aren't taught to read from a young age don't know what they're missing out on. There is something so serene in a children's story that is so essential to a person's development. I can't put my finger on it, I can't list the exact characteristics they produce in a person, but I do know that nothing- nothing at all- can replace reading from words on paper: no cartoon or website or teacher or sibling or friend. It's individuals who grew up as readers who have the most courage to pursue their dreams. Because they were not given limits to their thoughts as children- they were trained to extend their thinking beyond reality, beyond what is thought to be possible and feasible, and it is precisely this lack of definite separation between fiction and non-fiction that will stay on throughout our age-line, and help us stay sane in the insane world we are in today.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Mighty Noon Khaameh

You are tired. You are hungry. Your body pleads your legs to stop dragging you through. Your brain warns you it's programmed to shut down any time now. Your eyes water with fatigue, and as you tug yourself along, you pant in starvation and exhaustion. Your weariness has reached its peak. You are on the verge of collapse.

But suddenly, like a minute light at the end of a pitch dark tunnel, you spot something. A tray of sweets. No, my friend. Do. not. under. estimate. the power of the noon khameh. They are not your ordinary Iranian sweets. Those humble-looking cream-filled buns are not so humble when you face them. They stare at your face with a look of superiority, and you cannot help but succumb to their glory. Use us, but only after acknowledging our station, they tell you. Yes, you gasp in hurry.

As you bite into the crispiness, and as the cream floods over your tongue, you know now that they were not all talk. With them, all craving and fatigue and worry disappear. They are the solution to all your problems.

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