Sunday, March 18, 2007

NoRooz reflections

I haven't been a good Persian this year.

I didn't spring-clean. I didn't buy new clothes. I didn't make new year cookies. I didn't write new-year cards. I didn't finish translating the spring poem I was going to post. I didn't, because it would have ended like this:

Spring, your color's bloodied
Where's happiness, you're full of madness
because I don't see less death
than the leaves on your branches

I find it hard to be festive this year. But I also find it disrespectful to Spring, to nature and to my millennia-old traditions to not celebrate Norooz. For as Nietzsche says, devil rests in the spirit of gravity: serious, thorough, profound solemn ... through him all things fall! "What have we in common with the rose-bud, which trembleth because a drop of dew hath formed upon it?"

Thus, in remembrance of every innocent life lost last year in Iraq, I will defy the spirit of gravity and will celebrate the Persian New year. Norouz symbolizes the rebirth of nature, and the inevitable end of darkness and cold.


QUASAR9 said...

Wow Naj,
started with such anger such rage
not wanting to give into 'gravity'

and then the image of petals, buds and melting snow - rebirth Nature.

QUASAR9 said...

Nature is cruel has often been said
The fish in the sea been eaten by the bigger fish. The gazelle or zebra, not fast enough caught 'live' in the lions jaws

Those animals we sacrifice to put food on the table - and even more on special or festive ocassions.

Life is stranger, death stranger still. What difference whether violent death, death from cancer and disease or death in peaceful sleep - are they not 'loss' all the same.

And why saddened by death & loss. I used to live in the far East in my childhood - and ocassionally trucks and buses and cars would go past with much noise, tamborines and drums beating.

I asked my father whether it was a wedding celebrabration or someone's birthday ...
he replied: "Son, that is a funeral, the Chinese believe their deceased go to join their ancestors in a better place"
A place with no suffering, no pain, no decay & no more death.

Alas some traditions and some links with the past (ancestors) we forsake to our own impoverishment of spirit, and more sadness which fills our days!

So a thought for all those who have passed - let us hope they may indeed have gone to a better place

And let us share the joy of new birth, new lifem Spring & NoRooz
Here's a thousand best wishes to you!

Fleming said...

Naj, this is a touching and beautiful essay. As an American (I apologize!) I had never heard of Norooz until I learned about in Neo-Resistance. It is a beautiful celebration of my favorite season of the year.

I wish you an inspiring festival. May you be strengthened for the coming year!

Loopy said...

come on!
Iran has lasted through far worse than this. iran has survived greeks, arabs, mongols, turks, and norouz and iranian shave survived. why? because in the face of those we always kept the spirit of norouz...the day we lose that spirit becuse of these reasons, is the day we truly lose. i remember in iran, during the bombings during the war, for sizdehbedar we used to go to darakeh and be there with four or five families and play music and dance, and not give a though to the bombs....
never lose that spirit...

Anna said...

Dear, dear Naj ...
az del arezuye khubio khoshbakhti, aramesh wa salamati barayat daram ...wa hamchenin baraye tamame iranian!

And on this just one more day we have to look back in sadness with millions of others but as well look forward with with millions of others and with hope and lasting believe in all your endavourings, we deeply feel that fortunately we are not alone and never will be!

Thanks a lot for all you are doing, Naj!

Id it is said...

Norooz mubaruk!
"If winter (came) can spring be far behind?" Nature is unstoppable and does not bide by the will of mortals so why then should the doings of mortals stop the celebration of spring, the harbinger of life, of change, and of hope.

FurGaia said...

Very poignant post, Naj!

My very best wishes to you and your family!

Like Fleming, I had not heard of Norooz until I read about it from your post. Wanting to know a bit more, I came upon this link. Perhaps Fleming might find it interesting. I know I did.

fma7 said...

What a beautiful photo, spring wishes to you Naj

bijan said...

I love the picture too. Eidet Mobarak :)

Brother Tim said...

"......and the inevitable end of darkness and cold."

I like that thought! Good will trump evil in the end, I firmly believe that.

Your posts are enlightening. I too, had never heard of NoRooz, till I read about it in your post. Dissemination of knowledge is what moves mankind forward. I know, from experience, the sacrifices one makes in terms of time and trouble, to accomplish that. All of your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Someday, when peace finally comes, we will look back in astonishment, at why we ever allowed turmoil to exist.

Peace and Grace to you, Naj, keep up the good work!

pissed off patricia said...

Since this war began I have had trouble celebrating all holidays and seasons. I feel guilty about it. I'll watch Mother Nature do what's right and good while being ashamed and resenting the harm that humans do to themselves and one another.

Amre El-Abyad said...

Happy Norooz Naj! you know I'm really curious to know how you define an innocent life in Iraq?

Naj said...

Hi all

Quasar, thank you for your words of wisdom.

Nikita , I love you too and will think of you.

Fleming, I am happy to have introduced Norooz to you. I think the failure is that of the Iranian Americans, who in spite of their wealth and influence (at least as far as the Academic and the Medicine spheres are concerned) have not been effective cultural embassadors.

Loopy I am preparing my 7-seen frantically :)

Anna Thank you, and many happy returns to you too.

Id You are right, nature has its rules. thank you for your wishes.

Furgaia thank you for the link and for your kind wishes.

fma7 Thank you. I wish the photo was mine. Click on it for the source. but I thought it described my sentiments best.

Bijan Eyd-e to ham mobarak.

Brother Tim yes we are the zoroasterian children, and we know that Ahriman doesn't last for ever. Peace to you to.

Patricia When I get too down with what's wrong in the world I tell myself "I find my devil in the spirit of gravity", I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!

Amre thank you for your wishes. an innocent life in Iraq, like an innocent life in Afghanistan, like an innocent life in Sudan, like an innocent life in Palestine, like an innocent life in Sri Lanka, like an innocent life in Kashmir, is a life lost in the cross-fire of a fight that is neither picked by the victims, nor foght by the victims. My thoughts gravitate to Iraq, because they raptured in Iran in Spring, and ever since, I remember that violece of shock and awe, every norooz.

That said, I should run to make aash, sabzi polo and maahi, make 7-sin, and then get myself ready and pretty for the Equinox! :)) ( will take pictures fr next post)

Cheers to you all.

DivaJood said...

Naj, thank you for visiting my blog - your own is very interesting. We are not so far apart, you and I - other than the truth that I love country music.

As we walk steadfastly toward peace, let us hold the image of spring in our hearts. Out of this darkness will come peace.

Amre El-Abyad said...

I see your point Naj! you know, i really want to sympathise with Iran.Because i do understand that what is dragging you behind is doing the same to us as well!

One thing is holding me back, however. Which is the fact that most Iranians i have met have an instinctive hate for Arab nationalism!

I cant understand why!? well, i can understand iranian bitter feelings for Sadam. The long devastating useless 8 years war wouldnt exactly make iraqis and iranis at good terms with eachother.

But that is past tense. Both parties have learned that messing with each other is a big mistake.

The only expalaination for the Irani detest for Arab nationalism would be hegemonial ambitions in the south of Iraq. Where the Khominism and islamic revoultion slogans could be used as tools for extending persian influence.

Arab nationalism is not really centered around...fighting persians.on the contrary, what brings Arabs and Pesians together is by far more than what drives them apart. The Arabs have no interests whatsoever in Iranian territories or affairs. However, the converse is not true.

one vivid example of the possibilty of peaceful coexistance of different nationalisms in the middle east, is the relation between the Turks and the Arabs; good fence good neighbour.

Anyway, what is 7seen?.......the Norooz sounds like a very special know a Familly friend of mine in Egypt happens to be of Iranian origin......she is the second generation of iranian immigrants....she doesnt speak persian but her mother does. she has a very big picture of Ali hung up on the time i see her i shall fight with her for not celebrating the norooz and inviting me

Faramin said...

Happy New Year to you and to your readers naj!


goatman said...

I side with your pain, but I am only one voice.
I am ashamed to be from America!

But spring will occur now and forever, beyond our power to change truth.

little indian said...

my very best wishes
for your New Year,
for you and your near ones
and everyone else in Iran
who will be hoping for a peaceful year.

Thank you
for including my little page in your blogroll.
I am new to this blogging world.
I mostly read to learn
about other people, and to learn
about humanity.

I do not write much,
writing always lands me
into trouble.

So I will be coming by
from time to time
to read, and
to try and understand
and to learn.

Of all things precious
for this coming year,
that I wish for you
is peace.

MarcLord said...

Happy Norouz, Naj.

We must continue to celebrate and enjoy the blessings God has given us. Easy for me to say: today, at 2:58 PM Eastern Time, my son turned 3 years old. =)

Sophia said...


This is the first year I hear of such a celebration. Happy Norooz !

Naj said...

DivaJood Thank youfor dropping by. Yes I prayed for peace at the Equinox.

Amre huh?? I haven't any clue what you are talking about, "instinctive hatred"??????? If you find anything that is relevant to what you are suggesting in my blog, post your question there and I will be happy to answer. This post is about a happy new year event. :) (but, if you were right about Iranians wanting to hegemonize, then perhaps you had heard of Norooz before ;) )

Faramin Happy new year to you too.

Goatman Thank you for your visit and for your sympathy. Please don't be ashamed to be from America. Let's take a realistic grip on America and detatch it from these madmen who are ruining it; because the world still needs America :)

Little Indian Glad you dropped by. Yes I will be a frequent visitor of yoru site now.

MarcRold HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your little son! :) all the best.

Sophia You hadn't? :) Well, me culpa.

fma7 said...

I was commenting on a post 'a million deaths in Iraq' that I had linked to my site. I was overwhelmed by the photo leading the article and what the image brought up for me. I later thought of this post "NOROOZ reflections" where you hinted at your difficulty to be festive while surrounded by death and suffering.I was struck by the photo you had chosen.