Thursday, July 31, 2008

Memories...


With pieces of memories, one can write history, but one certainly cannot live.
(Maral Aghoilar)
...

The quilt was made of hundreds of pieces of memories, in different colors, different shapes.. It was her comfort, her warmth, her whole life. She would hug it, put it on herself when she was cold, fold it to lean on and go through all different pieces. She could tell by heart which one was sewn there when. She had started sewing pieces since she was very young, almost a kid, although those pieces were very small. Then there were more colorful ones, in all vibrant lively colors. Those were from her younger years, when she was young and dynamic and full of energy. Then there were the more shaped ones, nicely shaped and clean, souvenirs from her middle aged years. But then recently, she had less and less pieces sewed to her quilt. Well simply not much was happening in her life. Except for that time when her favorite grandkid was getting married, or when her favorite nephew visited her after so many years with his wife and kid…and god knows how that little kid reminded her of her own belated brother…
Otherwise, not much had been added to the quilt.

But she was still happy. Going through the old pieces of quilt, made her busy for hours in the day and could protect her from this uneasy, boring life. Although there seem to be a problem recently, some of the pieces were not as colorful as before. Some she couldn’t even see clearly, some had become plain white.

"Her brain is shrinking. She has already lost her short term memory, and before you know, it will expand to her long term memory too." She could hear the doctor explaining to her kids about some ridiculously silly stuff. Why were they so stupid? There was nothing wrong with her, or her quilt. She just wanted to be left alone with her quilt to go through older pieces over and over and over again. And she was sure, the day that they all became white, she would lie underneath her quilt and would go to her most comfortable sleep of her life…

...

The man went to fill up his watering can from the bathroom. He felt tired, very tired. In fact, he was exhausted. As he was filling up his can, he could overhear somebody talking in the stair case. It was the lady who would go to his apartment once a week to clean and cook for him, talking to one of the neighbors, "…you know, he is a gentleman, one of the expired generation of the true gentlemen. But he is kind of strange", she lowered her voice, "and creepy sometimes. All day, he slowly walks in the apartment. You know it’s difficult for him to walk, with that cane and after his stroke, and you know how he is always fully dressed in a formal suit. And then he stops, bends over a little, does something which looks like he is, I don’t know, maybe pouring something on the floor from a pitcher or something, and he talks in a low voice, and he keeps doing this forever."

"You should have seen him when he used to throw the best parties in the neighborhood, and invited everyone, so that no one would complain from all that noise, and he danced and danced and danced, with everyone, young or old, girl or boy. He always had three different shirts for each party, because he had to change them as they became soaked in sweat after each round of dance."
"Really?..."
The voices were farther and farther, maybe they were going down the stairs.
He smiled, "Creepy…an exhausted ex-dancer creepy gentleman, hmm!" and looked at himself in the mirror. His purple tie had loosened a bit. He fixed it, although it was a bit difficult with the watering can and the cane and everything, and then he went to the living room, and started watering his plants, in his garden of memories.

There were so many of them. He had collected them for as long as he could remember. Recently he didn’t like to do anything except for watering them, treating them, looking at them and talking to them. They each reminded him of a different stage of his life. Some of them were so big with long green leaves and thick brown stems, some smaller but filled with flowers. There were even some cacti, with sharp thorns. But he liked them as well. It was a long time that even the sharpest thorns couldn’t make any harm to his old hands. They were all representing parts of his life. There were times when he wanted to share them with others, but soon he found out that they were not as interesting for others as they were for him, it was as if only he could see them. and then he stopped talking about them. Now it was just him, and them. And they were so many, that he had difficulty finding a spot for himself to walk through them. He knew that no matter if anyone else can see them or not, when he gets very tired, as tired as he cannot even take another step, they will make a bed for him with their leaves, so that he can rest…and who knows, maybe then he can rest forever…
...

PS: Didicated to the memory of a beloved grandmother and a beloved granduncle, who recently passed away...

12 comments:

Mommy Homeopath: said...

My dear Nava,
Truly a powerful story!
Thank you so much for putting on hold your "daily duties in life" and posting this on your blog :):):)

Apart from the obvious sadness, the story brought up some frustration in me. I mean so many people walk around with a meaningless life, no attachment to what they do and on the contrary dreading every second of their “important” activities. Even when they're busy doing things they think are important, they seem they are half asleep, clueless and all...

And yet, we never question them for being "creepy" or "their brain is shrinking"....

I think it was Einstein that said: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

May they all rest in peace: The beloved grandmother, the beloved granduncle and the talented creator of such a mesmerizing "character" with those wise words about memories…

Anonymous said...

So touching!
I've already seen such angels around; but the way you relate the story is truly moving.
Your words have a special place somewhere deep in my mind.
Thank you for putting them over there...

Be good Nava jan.

Daisy said...

Hello Nava,

God knows that sometimes we take the elderlies for granted. This post was two beautiful stories about two beautiful souls; May they rest in peace.

Nava said...

Dear MH!
Thanks for your kind words.
I'm still trying to organize my thoughts about human relations and all this illusion we have about life, and "the way it's right" and all. I have a very deep sympathy for the elderly, which I don't exactly know where it comes from, but I see them differently. For me, they are a big unknown misunderstood underestimated (with all these sicknesses and doctor appointments and medicine) world. Not as cliche as some commercial movies and programs would say that they are a world of wisdom and knowledge, well cause they are not necessarily, but they have an unknown side to their lives, which often gets pale underneath what "we" like to observe in them, you know what I mean?
...and really, I had to put aside all those things for meeting my deadline etc, cause the stories where there, and I needed to deliver them down, maybe as my special way of mourning for their loss.
I will miss all three of them, although I will always have Maral alive...


Dear Parinaz,
Thanks for your compliment. Maybe it's because they didn't come from my brain, they originated from somewhere half way between my brain, my heart and my soul. I had pain in my heart thinking about their loss, and now the pain seems much lighter...


Dear Daisy,
I'm glad we are in the same boat. We do take them for granted, and they are often the closest source you can find for unconditional love. Thanks for your beautiful words...

Behi said...

I'm so sorry for your loss...This post makes me sad and reminds me of loneliness of the beloved ones whom I care a lot but I can do actually not much :(.

Be good dear Nava

Nava said...

Dear Behi,
What you said, is one of the things that kill me inside about the price that I should pay for the path I have chosen.
My being alone does not bother me as much as their lonliness does. And I care about many of my relatives, specially the elder ones, and I'm far, and they are vanishing, physically, mentally, gradually, one by one, and I cannot do anything. It's much too heavy for my soul, and yet, I have to carry it...
Thanks for your sympathy.

Tameshk said...

Nava Joonam
Please send me an email so I can add/invite you to Tameshk Film Club on Facebook. My email is: roja_film@yahoo.com

Esfand` said...

:( such sweet stories!
Such intense writing!
I love to read your stories.

Thanks for making me see things around me, and value them.

Nava said...

Thanks Esfand for your kind words...

Anonymous said...

Dear Nava,

Beautiful stories. May these two of your loved ones rest in peace.
Thanks a lot for your comments and sorry I was unable to read them sooner. Yes, your guess was right. His name is Demian.

Nava said...

Dear Enchantina,
Thanks for visiting, I know how busy you are these days. That's a fantastic name. I hope you and your new family are healthy and happy.

Hiva said...

Nava,

Keep writing,... It's so inspiring..God bless their soul