Thank you Mehr for inspiring me to share my muse, as it navigated me through passages.. carrying me onward at pivotal points when all I wanted to do was stop and return to the safety of silence, my haven for over 25 years.
Though this concludes “Journey Through Music”, it’s not the end of the “Muse/ic” series–only a prelude to my next: “From Music to Screen”.
I guess I just gave that away. Into the universe it flows..more on that later.
To new beginnings, new inspirations… starting with Zoe Keating’s latest album “Into The Trees”.
Thank you Mehr!
Excerpt from Freedom VI: “Stop!” cries a man from behind.
She turns to the voice and sees him, pale, broad-shouldered, clothed in navy blue colors and wearing a stony face.
“I wish no harm,” she declares. “I only wish to speak to the Hayulah of the Deep.”
The man leads her through a long corridor walled in glass behind which colorful sea creatures are darting amid brightly lit corals. They reach a large door that opens to a vast courtyard filled with fountains of milky water lilies and rows of ivory rose bushes. Beyond a knoll of white tulips, a path bordered in calla lilies lines the approach to the platinum Garden Palace.
And as ‘Exurgency’ pulled me through the first few chapters of the ten year old’s tale, it does so again during my meeting with the Hayulah.
Thank you Zoe!
Excerpt from Chapter VII: “Guten Tag,” he said in an official tone.
“Guten Tag,” my parents said together as the agent looked through our passports. He turned the pages of one booklet, scanning each page carefully, then flipped back to the first page.
“You’re not finding a visa because we don’t have one,” my father said.
What? I wanted to call out. My mind began to race faster than my heart.
“We’re seeking asylum,” my father said calmly.
The young agent continued to stare at my father; it made me feel we were the Von Trapp family, in the middle of a cathedral cemetery, at the mercy of Rolph’s dilemma. Finally, the agent called out to one of his colleagues to take his position and waved for us to follow him. From the second-floor glass window, we could see the reunited families on the other side of Passport Control. A tall man in a navy jacket and chapeau stood below, alone, looking up in our direction. It’s him, I thought, Pari joon’s brother.
And suddenly, she was there too, her voice washing over me like a wave, her chant as loud as the announcements that were flying over the speakers.
I dive into ‘We Insist’ and become one with the cello beats, my heartbeats..the urgency, the moment.. linking us to our fate.
Thank you Zoe!
Excerpt from Chapter I: Now we lay in the back of the truck in the desert – now we were free. Only now, we were on the other side and could no longer know what awaited those we left back home. Now, I was my grandmother praying for those I had left behind.
Keating’s “Legions (Aftermath)” & “Exurgency” accompanied me through much of the desert passages in Iran and Pakistan. Yet it was “Frozen Angels” which brought to life the wait for the border guard’s tea break.. the murmur plans of the men leading up to the moment of escape.. my head spinning with doubts.. the final minutes in Iran.. becoming another shadow of the night.. the border.. entering Pakistan.. ‘freedom’..
Thank you Zoe.
“Legions (Aftermath)” transporting me through the journey towards the desert. Each haunting note, a mirror of memories trickling down on paper or screen..
The pebbles, the hut, the truck, the guard, Zahedan, becoming villagers..
“My new name is Golbakht — ‘Flowered Fortune’. I’m a Baluch girl from Afghanistan.”
Thank you Zoe.
Excerpt from Chapter 1: A glimpse of my mother at dawn… “It’s time,” she had whispered. I had been waiting for this time. Time to be another person, to leave those I love. To leave Iran.
Zoe Keating’s “Exurgency” brings to life the reality of my mother’s whisper to me: “It’s time”.
Now we leave..everyone, everything–the bombs and my grandparents. I became addicted to this track as Chapter 1 was forming, perfectly articulating the various layers at work: the implications, the urgency, the loss, the gain, the betrayal, ..
Thank you Zoe.
Trying to see behind closed lids, smelling NIVEA cream, tasting sand, sitting on the floor until my tailbone screams, … and traveling in time through music to write “The People With No Camel”.
Riding on the haunting music of Zoe Keating through the desert and beyond, navigating through my fears with M.Ward’s “Transfiguration, No. 2”, and stepping into a dream world that is just as real as the one we call ‘real-life’ through Moby’s hypnotic music.. clearly I would not have been able to make this journey without their artistry. Nor without the work of Eva Maria Rauter, TaliaSafa and Luke Slott, which transported me through the drifting days in Islamabad and the long waits at the airports from Amristar to Düsseldorf.
“I need to read this in a blog!” says Mehr to me, after I share a story about the role music played in my writing process. “A little each day, but you really need to share this!” So here I go..
From the unwanted memories to the search for freedom: A journey through music