Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Presence: Omnipresence?

"...Tell me about about London, about what you feel these days, what you experience. But don't ask me about here. Things are nothing close to what I can put in words these days. I am still thinking about the lingual worlds we live in. Summer is here, and I am wandering about, trying to read and write a bit. I am to figure out a lot about myself, about where I stand, let a lone where I am standing right now. Something is telling me that these are starnge days, do you feel their weirdness too? what chapter of time is this? Or does time have any chapters at all? I so wish you could read my persian blog, I had a piece on how i wish I could have lived at the time of the previous generation. It was a lengthy poetic piece of prose which came out of the most hidden corners of my heart, my mind and my dreams. I figured I am living in many different times, and yet in none of them. What does it take for the virtual to become actual? And when I think about a place to belong to, I realize I cannot spot one. The entire world perhaps, is where I am to reside in. It goes though hand in hand with "time". There was a time when you could have belonged to one particular geography. Now, we are all extended into vast amounts of lands and spaces by wires, waves, and words. Words travel beyond boundries, and worlds are shaped around them. There will be a day in future, when nations will be land-less. However modern and giving it would be, Isn't it sort of scary though? I had also written about the modern man; about how lonely the modern man is. Having taken off, to fly in search of the ultimate dream, s/he feels more and more lost. Not being bound to a ground, and having questioned the forbidden territories of meanings, s/he finds herself in an "in between" mode of experience all the time, feeling the pressure of having to move on, and unable to put even one step backwards. Yeah, this path goes only forward. The more you go ahead, the more you have to go. Free, feeling the clouds beneath her wings, yet she feels alone. Of all prices, that homy sense of security and familiarity is the most expensive one for this flight.

I have lost track of "time" with its meaningless linear presence. These days, time seems just like a circle to me, like a globe, round and revolving. It has layers. From its cortex to its core, there are worlds that I have lived in, there are "me"s, there are moments. I feel them all at the same time. These days, my clock shows "all the times" , i can't tell the date, and these digital numbers make me laugh. I wish I could remain "time"less, so long as I live in this country. Tell me about the city where once upon a time, the thirteen year old "me" was sitting right across the river in Westminster, when an old wanderer -poorly dressed and holding unto a big back pack- sat next to her on the bank of the river, and told her "You deserve a lot, but you will suffer a lot...". The man vanished, and left me for all these years, with a moment that froze forever. I can't describe that moment, unless I manage to capture every detail of that day, the warmth of the sunshine that i felt on my skin, the smell of the cool breeze over the river, the voice of children playing behind me, the smell of summer, grass, ice cream vans, water.... Because that was how that moment was shaped. That moment was one of the very, that got immortalized, like a photograph, like snap shots of just "being". Some moments are so vast, that words can never capture them, particularly when I am humbly trying to borrow words from a language which can never ever be enough to talk for what I feel. But it does not matter. All that matters now, is the presence of all the moments, including that eternal moment, in "now". These days, time is flat, and of an all-the-same nature. What has become of me?
Tell me about a city where I left that thirteen year old in a hot summer. Tell me about places that I later shared my twenties with. I was in Notting Hill last night, sitting right here with closed eyes. I was waiting for the Oxford Tube, to go back to Oxford in a late evening. It was cold, and I had my famous black hat on. It was a summer night here, warm and sticky. But I could feel the cold of a January night, as it was then. All it took me was a blink of an eye, to come back to this other Cambridge, to MIT, to the US of A. Times and places blended in my mind, as I made a pass to our house in Tehran on my way, and I sat at the dinner table with my parents, and felt the warmth of my mother's hands. It is as if you have departed from this body, and have become a wandering soul, infinite and omnipresent.
I am here now, nowhere, somewhere between all the places I have ever been. Some time around all the times, some person like all the persons I have been; and yet, nothing like any of them. Tell me about London, and tell me about yourself. Has "time" become circular at your end too?"

From a letter to a friend in London, July 2006.