Browsing Category: happy

An old friend found again



Today, after a long hiatus from my favorite poets, I visited Pabula Neruda. And in the middle of the day, I felt like I had gone away on a vacation, or walked on a lonely road at the edge of the world. I felt very far from where I was and I was reminded of how powerful good writing is. For the last six months, most everything I have been reading has been very technical. Even in my free time I find myself gravitating towards readings that are work related. But yesterday Feraz surprised me by having signed me up for a writer’s conference that is happening this weekend at Johns Hopkins. Writing will never be my career, I will most likely never see my words in typeset at a bookstore and perhaps I will never write another ‘novel’ but writing has been my faithful companion from the time I learned to hold a pencil and today the echos of a great poet and the gentle caring of a husband have brought that old friend back into my life. As I reopen the sole lonely folder on my desktop called “stories,” I leave you with one of my favorite Neruda poems. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example,’The night is shattered
and the blue stars shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is shattered and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. Like my kisses before.
Her voide. Her bright body. Her inifinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my sould is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.

The Happiest Day of My Life


My mom always tells a story that both makes us laugh and horrifies us. It is about the happiest day of her life. She always starts off my making sure we know that she is not qualifying the story. She says, ‘That happiest day of my life wasn’t when I got married, or when I had my kids or when I came to America. Nope. It wasn’t any of those days. The best day of my life was the day that I got my driver’s license.” She might clap her hands or be laughing when she recounts this story because that is how happy it makes her to think about it. She talks about the sense of freedom she had that day. Her whole life changed in a magical, beautiful way.

I never thought I would be able to look at my life and say there was one happiest day. How would I recognize it? What would it look like? Would it smell different? Would it have a special taste? I assumed the day would be full of signs, of laughter, of lots of big, crazy things, like that one scene in that terrible movie 500 Days of Summer when Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character is walking down the street with everyone singing and dancing and there is a blue cartoon bird over his shoulder.

My perfect day was nothing like that. It started at seven in the morning when I woke up after four hours of sleep in the horrible Crowne Plaza (Never stay at the Crowne Plaza in Albany! It was awful!). I went outside and the first drops of rain began to fall on a bitterly cold morning. I pulled my suit jacket close around me and did not get any warmer.

I walked as fast as I could to get to the meeting room where I would wait for almost three hours until they reached the Ys and I could give my interview. A few minutes later a piece of paper was signed declaring me to be of good moral character and qualifying me to take my oath of admission. And in those moments before I took my oath, I began to think of all the things I can never forget.

I will never forget that little village I came from. I will never forget all my family there and especially my parents who brought us to America so we could have a chance to be something. And not just something, they always supported me to be what it was that I wanted. And before my parent’s boast that I am a lawyer, they say that I care about women’s issues and one day I will help women all over the world.

I will never forget all the places I have traveled and all the faces I have seen. I will never forget all the little children and all those little eyes that hold dreams and potential and power, that if unleashed could change the world. If someone would just give them a chance. I will never forget that it is a simple twist of fate that separates them from me.

I will never forget that day in the fall of 2005 when a big envelope came from the University of Michigan and I knew that my life would change forever and I thanked God for this chance and I begged Him to never let me forget the feeling of gratitude I felt in that moment and to make me worthy of this blessing.

I asked the same of Him on Friday. As I took the oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States and as I joined a profession I have dreamed of joining since I was a young child, as most people in the room looked bored or annoyed to have to take part in this arcane seeming ritual, I tried not to cry and I asked that I may be worthy of the blessing I am receiving and when I am working late nights and weekends I remember that this is not a burden but the fulfillment of a dream I have long wished to realize.

It is not the happiest day of my life only because of what happened in it, but because of what it represents about the roads that I have walked on and the hope it can bring for the roads I still have to travel. It is a day that helps me understand my mother’s own happiest day. One that wasn’t tied to marriage or family or expectations. It was a day that was her own and signified something about the roads on which she had traveled and still had yet to see. After all these years, I can finally understand that look on her face and the excitement with which she tells her story.

Don’t Believe the Cynics

Today, I showed up to my hair appointment at Aveda in Ann Arbor and was soon told that there had been a scheduling mistake and they wouldn’t be able to see me. I thought, oh bummer but didn’t worry about it too much. The lady asked if I wanted to reschedule and I said I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to fit it in but I’d let her know. She said, well whenever you come back we’ll do your full service free of charge. Wow! Talk about customer service. I’ll be back there tomorrow!
After the salon, Feraz and I headed over to an antique shop to browse around. I found the cutest sugar and creamer set. I quickly picked it up to go show Feraz and just as I was showing him how cool it was, the sugar holder fell from my hands and broke into many irreparable pieces. I panicked and looked up at the lady working at the store and said “I’ll buy it!” She just laughed and insisted that we didn’t need to buy it quickly whisking the damaged goods away so I wouldn’t have to be reminded of my mistake. Every time I tried to apologize, she just laughed it off. 

I am constantly amazed by how beautiful life is. 

27!


I can’t believe it has been one year since this picture was taken!!It has been an amazing birthday already and probably the best birthday week in history. I will update on that later this week but for now here are pictures from Kenya and Scotland.

But before today was gone I wanted to thank you friends for making life so beautiful and entertaining and thank you God for letting me see another year.

Kenya Pictures

Scotland Pictures