Saturday, November 18, 2006

Rosewater Wash

Watch the video

Here is an edit of the first poem, from my father's grave:
I said "Father, this is not the way for such greatness to end."
He replied, "How should it be? This is destined."
I said, "Yet, it is much too soon for your departure."
He said, "No, Truth's wisdom declares when is best."

**In the last line, the first translation uses the word “God” rather than “Truth”—The word that is actually used is “Hagh”, which means “Truth” or “God,” as the multiple meanings may be used interchangeably.

The second poem (where you see the bird picking up the poetry), which is also being read from the wake (in the beginning of the video) is from the first eighteen lines of the Masnavi of Jalâl al-Din Rumi. The video is only showing what is from the first line of Rumi's Masnavi. There are many translations, though I particularly like this translation of the Reed Flute's Song, from Essential Rumi by Coleman Barks:

The Reed Flute's Song
by Jalalu'ddin Rumi, excerpted from Coleman Barks' translation in The Essential Rumi

Listen to the story told by the reed,
of being separated.

"Since I was cut from the reedbed,
I have made this crying sound.

Anyone apart from someone he loves
understands what I say.

Anyone pulled from a source
longs to go back.

At any gathering I am there,
mingling in the laughing and grieving,

a friend to each, but few
will hear the secrets hidden

within the notes. No ears for that.
Body flowing out of spirit,

spirit up from body: no concealing
that mixing. But it's not given us

to see the soul. The reed flute
is fire, not wind. Be that empty."

Hear the love fire tangled
in the reed notes, as bewilderment

melts into wine. The reed is a friend
to all who want the fabric torn

and drawn away. The reed is hurt
and salve combining. Intimacy

and longing for intimacy, one
song. A disastrous surrender

and a fine love, together. The one
who secretly hears this is senseless.

A tongue has one customer, the ear.
A sugarcane flute has such effect

because it was able to make sugar
in the reedbed. The sound it makes

is for everyone. Days full of wanting,
let them go by without worrying

that they do. Stay where you are
inside such a pure, hollow note.

Every thirst gets satisfied except
that of these fish, the mystics,

who swim a vast ocean of grace
still somehow longing for it!

No one lives in that without
being nourished every day.

But if someone doesn't want to hear
the song of the reed flute,

it's best to cut conversation
short, say good-bye, and leave.


At 11/18/2006 11:37 AM, Anonymous Trevor said...

What a beautiful, personal account you've presented here.

It reminded me of Thanksgiving day each year, when my mother and I visit my grandfather's grave in California. I never knew him, but he left behind quite a few stories to tell.

Thank you for sharing.

At 11/19/2006 6:15 PM, Anonymous Amir said...

Well done Paris,
This was a jump, lots of good points about your last vlog.
I'm sorry I didn't know you had lost your father.
May he rest in peace.


At 11/20/2006 9:27 AM, Blogger Bicyclemark said...

I feel honored that to have shared in this vlog as a viewer... I think it is an excellent tribute to someone so important and so loved.

At 11/21/2006 10:04 PM, Blogger ChrisP said...

Paris, Thank you for such a touching, moving and inspiring account. You are a beautiful person with heart. I enjoyed and was inspired being with you in Advanced and LMFIA. Hope to see you in SELP. -Chris

At 11/27/2006 7:04 PM, Blogger Parsa said...

Nice work Paris,

I found your blog just by searching and will look it up every now and then. Keep up the good work.


At 12/02/2006 7:57 PM, Blogger Levois said...

Very touching video.

At 1/10/2007 11:37 PM, Blogger Violeta del mar said...

As an American girl who is in love with Iranian culture and actively learning Farsi, I wanted to say I really enjoyed all your entries and videos!! Great job! I think videoblogging is a fascinating concept and hope to see it used more and more.

At 4/20/2007 1:14 AM, Blogger saggezard said...

Captivating video, keep posting.

At 9/20/2007 1:42 PM, Anonymous Persis said...

Parastoo: I loved your tribute to your dad. I lost my father two years ago and never got to go to Iran with him. Thank you for your moving, personal and intimate portrait of your time in Iran. Where are you now? Persis Karim (


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