Friends, Nashville is so nice. Apparently it’s Autumn but it has been (and still is) hotter than a NZ summer! The people are so nice as well. And there’s diversity and of course, music! I am one very lucky girl. Every new day is beautiful and I am constantly showered by much love and affection. Maybe I won’t leave? Though I’m not sure how much luck an Iranian-born has in the whole green card business! Anyways, I love you all so much, and I miss you all so much and I think of you all, all of the time.
When I take my neighbourhood walks, both alone and with Soroosh’s mom, and I see the bright and colourful maple leaves I’m transported back to Japan. Back to my dear friends and to my sweet students. The mornings I have muesli for breakfast, I call to mind Jose, Bea, Hector and Sara, remembering the very sweet yet very frustrating (because Sara so keenly insisted on helping) times I made their family stove-top granola. Also of you Maria! (I wonder if you’re reading.) When I take photographs of nature, I think of Lavanya and I think of Laura and my mother and my auntie Pouneh and my heart expands. Coffee takes me back to sunny Antibes with Patricia (Anita’s mom). Cute babies to “my boyfriend” and his sweet mother in Osaka. And laughter, kindness and compassion to Akiko, Oz and Lifa. Also hummus. Of course hummus reminds me of them. Minako, I think of you as well. Your love for cheese and your dislike of chocolate (which I will never understand). I think of these people and I feel so deeply grateful to them. For it is these very connections that have made me into the woman I am today.
In her incredible book, Perscription For Living (which I totes recommend), Ruhiyyih Rabbani adequately describes this concept. She says:
“We as individuals are not isolated phenomena. All our lives are based on relationships with other individuals; independently perfection cannot be achieved. As we are a gregarious species by nature – like bees and ants and animals that run in herds – it is not possible for each one of us to develop his own character as an isolated unit…
…the progress of the individuals comprised in any gregarious species is derived by interaction, co-operation, competition, stimulation and the benefit of example. Consequently a large part of our road to personal perfection lies through the lives of those with whom we come in contact. The way we treat them, the way we react to them, affects our own character and helps to shape it for better or worse.”