MAy the Love guide you and all of us to Itself..
A Tribute to My Spiritual Warrior
As I contemplated the writing of this book, I realized I was going through a time of great creativity, longing and yearning to express, to communicate, for I had grown beyond the suffering, pain and anguish of alienation. I was searching for my self through the lives of my ancestors. And through this quest, I came to know not only myself but also the commonality that runs through all traditions – American and Iranian - the concept of fairness and justice.
Having found the courage to tell my story, I discovered a treasure trove of a thousand letters, articles and newspaper clippings my mother, Mary Laleh Bakhtiar, had saved through the years. The letters had helped her write two books on her mother and father: Helen of Tus: Her Odyssey from Idaho to Iran and Abol-Ghassem of Tus: The Epic Journey of Abol Ghassem Bakhtiar, M.D. (go to http://www.bakhtiar.org to learn more)
My book would not have been possible in this form without my mother’s extraordinary dedication and work in every stage of the manuscript. A noted Islamic scholar and author of numerous books on Sufism and Islam, on my journey of self-discovery, we went from letter to letter and story to story to decipher the past. The letters were written by my great grandparents, my grandparents, mother and father. Every letter served as a window into the narrative our family’s history in Iran and America.
Armed with the heritage of unceasing love for knowledge, aspiring to become a fair and just person and infused with creative energy, my mother prepared me to ride on my own mythical steed much as the great hero of the Shahnameh, Iran’s national epic, and to journey to my past. Like the hero, Rostam, who mounted his horse Rakhsh, I would go in peace, stage by stage, until I reached the realms of selfhood.
It was as if I had become a woman warrior ready to do battle with my inner self. I was reminded of the great female Persian warrior of the Shahnameh, Gordafarid. She was able to move out of the role culture had cast for her, take the divine mandate (farr) – right to rule over herself – and rise to a level equal to men, on their own turf and in their own terms. I knew, based on my life experiences, that I had to rise above cultural norms in order to find myself. For the gift of self-awarness and for her temperance and patience I will forever be indebted to my mother. I love you Mom.
(4) Comments •
Thank you sweetheart for your journal entry. It was such a blessing that we were able to undertake that spiritual journey together. May God bless your efforts.
Posted by Laleh Bakhtiar on 01/08 at 04:54 PM
You are a very lucky woman. I have a dear friend who lives in Arak, Iran and has the same dream as yours. She would like to come to the USA and hopeful be able to write such fine writing in English. I to hope she will someday be able to come here and enjoy some of the many freedom we all take for granted.
Posted by Dana Windward on 01/20 at 07:53 AM
I totally agree with you sis about how grateful we are to Mom for the passion, dedication and perseverence she has shown. Without her lighting the path for us, we would all have been lost. She centers us, guides us and loves us, in a bond so strong that miles away we are connected.
With gratitude, Mani
Posted by Mani Farhadi on 04/09 at 02:37 AM
Page 1 of 1 pages