Nowruz

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Nowruz when Spring gently knocks at the door baring the gift of light, illuminating the house and encouraging me to clean it meticulously.

I listen to the swallows’ early morning songs and the quiet opening of the hyacinth.

I set up the haft seen, the seven items of the altar. This year it is lavender, eggs, garlic, an apple, a silver plate, a candle and the poetry of Omar Khayyam and Hafez, showering us with their blessings.

You are cordially invited to our house to sit under the blooming jacaranda and listen to the gentle conversation of the violet, the pansy and the tulip. Believe me, they always have a lot of interesting things to say if you listen carefully.

Please come and come early, so that together we may dance amidst particles of light and smile at Khayyam and Hafez’s witty and eternal poetry.

Spring morning

Several flocks of ducks flew over the house this morning, going north to their summer dwellings.

I thought of counting them. There must have been more than 200 birds in each flock.

And then I came to my senses.

Why this need to count? To appropriate something by putting it into a category or a number? Why compare or count?

Let the birds fly north! Enjoy them as they are!

And most importantly, take in the beauty of their ways in silence just as they leave no traces in the sky.

Kenza.

Inspirations: Spring, morning sky and birds. 

We are free

We are free.

We are free to do harm or not.
We are free to lie or tell the truth, to say hurtful words or remain silent.
We are free to steal or not, to kill or not, to respect or not.

This freedom has nothing to do with books or constitutions or laws, nor with place or culture or religion. It has nothing to do with individual rights either, nor anything established.

We were born free to chose our behavior.
Every day, every time we make a decision on what to do or say, we are free to chose harm or love.

We are free.
It is an immense privilege.

Kenza.

God

“Mama, what is God?

– Put your hand here. Do you feel your heart beating?

– Yes, I do.

– Are you plugged into something?

– No.

– Well, God is what makes your heart beat.”

Inspiration: a conversation with my ten year old son. 

Mid morning

Mid morning —
The bird wobbles across the garden.
He picks a twig, lets it go.
He goes towards a fallen bougainvillea flower, turns away.
He flies onto a branch, sings a few notes.

Mankind —
We seem to always have a place to go,
a goal to reach,
a purpose to fulfill.
Couldn’t we just be aimless?

There may be some wisdom in this somewhere.

Kenza.

—-

Inspiration: reading Chuang Tzu on a Spring morning in a garden.

I seldom discuss

I seldom discuss. I used to with almost everyone, now it is very rare.

To discuss a topic means that one is open; that there is harmony between the ones holding a discussion, a harmony based on respect. Every discussion no matter how banal a subject may appear, engages the mind and hence must be honest. By exchanging ideas, one enters into confidence and reveals himself. And I repeat, no matter the subject matter.

To discuss, one should thus be present, fully present, aware of the other, his gestures and eyes and voice, his degree of attention and his thoughts. But it has to be both ways, otherwise the limits that so often isolate a person from another strengthen rather than wither.

Without candidness on all parts, our words run into mud, stall and little of their meaning gets through. If the heart is not open, there will be no current and there will be no light. Each will remain alone with his ideas and opinions, and little would have actually been achieved on the path of knowledge or wisdom.

As I said, the subject that is being discussed has no impact on the process because honesty and openness should always prevail. If you are exchanging ideas on how to make the best omelet, do so. Listen to the other, learn, explain. If you are discussing a political or a social issue, do so as well. We are in control of our words and we must make the effort to listen, to establish a real exchange. Convincing the other is never the aim of a discussion. Rather a discussion is an exchange. If one changes his mind, fine; if not, fine as well; at least both communicated and there was real human contact.

I have so often felt alone during a discussion, and I do not enjoy the sound of my own voice echoing in the void. So now, I do not discuss anymore and retreat in silence. It takes a most special person to get me to actually discuss a subject, and I am grateful to have a few of those in my life.

Kenza.