Monthly Archives: September 2012

Laws for Living

“I don’t know. I don’t see how a law for turtles and butterflies could be of much relevance to us. I assume that turtles and butterflies follow the law you’re talking about.”

“That’s right, they do. As to relevance, the laws of aerodynamics weren’t always relevant to you, were they?”


“When did they become relevant?”

“Well…when we wanted to fly.”

“When you want to fly, the laws governing flight become relevant.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“And when you’re on the brink of extinction and want to live for a while longer, the laws governing life might conceivably become relevant.”

“Yes, I suppose they might.”


-Daniel Quinn, Ishmael


“You inhale the experience. So start breathing.”

Listening: Mountains, my body when it says “run!” or “sleep!” or “drink water!,” JSW’s trntbl masterpiece, a “mix tape” from a funny friend, to every kind bone in my body

Reading: the final 5 pages of Reading Lolita in Tehran and then moving onto Persepolis, to-do lists for many aspects of my life, a la card suggestions & CTA directions to those new places, email & article catch-up

Watching: Old friends’ faces flood with laughter on Google Hangouts, more movies than I ever thought I would, weekends fill up & fly by, how I choose to bide my time, my recently-acquired bad habit of complaining

Wearing: buns– lots of ’em, wigs for fun around my apartment, sweaters in 70-degree weather, outfits that make me feel more athletic than I am

Wanting: a volleyball team, this., and then this too., an unlimited travel budget to get where I should be going, more forgiveness in the world, things to come together like I know they will (but don’t know when)

‘Tis a Gift

Simplicity is…

  • Waking up at 7:15am without an alarm and feeling rested.
  • Homemade chai with added cinnamon.
  • A morning stroll around the farmer’s market across the street with no real need for anything aside from the smells of fresh produce and the smiles of friendly local farmers.
  • Sitting on the porch in a sweater all day with your roomie until it actually warms up enough to be in not a sweater.
  • Email catch-ups to old mentors and returning friends.
  • Pulling out new stationery to (slowly) chip away at the long list of friends to whom letters are long overdue.
  • Phone calls with friends not-saying-but-saying, “I need someone right now; can you be that someone right now?”
  • Casual compliments from strangers on public transportation masking absolutely no hidden agenda.
  • Seeing a former student out on a bike ride with his father in a neighborhood neither of you belong to, and seeing his face light up with recognition as he shyly waves hello.
  • Cheerfully yelling, “HELLO!” and giggling across a busy intersection filled with strangers in response to seeing your former student out on that bike ride with his father in the neighborhood neither of you belong to after his face lights up with recognition and he shyly waves hello.
  • A walk in the park (lit’rally!) with a former camarade de chambre, followed by a glass of heavy Lebanese wine and an infamous 24-hour diner’s flavorless omelets, both served with sides of nostalgia and undergraduate remembrances.
  • Quiet streets and a potent dose of reflection to serve as my prayer of gratitude for a day of exquisitely unadorned beauty.

“Are you listening?” he said, bringing his quizzical eyes closer to my face. “Where have you wandered off to?”

“Oh, I’m here all right,” I said. “I was just thinking.”

“Right,” he said, remembering his British training.

“Really, I was listening,” I said. “You’ve just clarified something for me, something I’d been thinking of a lot lately.” He waited for me to continue. “I was thinking about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, about the fact that my girls are not happy. What I mean is that they feel doomed to be unhappy.”

“And how do you propose to go about making them understand that it is their right?” he asked. “Surely not by encouraging them to act like victims. They have to learn to fight for their happiness.”

Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi

Inalienable Fights