Ledge, Wings, and Memories

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These poems these memories
They boil up with me
Sending me nostalgically
Into what I want to be
Blending words like chemistry
Expressing my life into an expository
Talking about things
Talking about flying with my pair of wings
Talking about new beginnings
Old endings
The reals and the pretend endings
Talking about acting like yourself
Not like anyone else
I dive off the edge
I smash into the ledge
I brush off the pain
I look for whom to blame
And someone who can tame
The wild within me
Before I turn this into the never-ending story
I’ll sign off, still seeking eternal glory!

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Drought

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Sucked all the life from me
As I die of thirst, quietly
There’s no water to be found
The ground I pound
I let you in
And then the games begin
The mind games
The trickery
Making a mockery of me
I take your wand
I cast my spell
I fiercely rebel and I win against
The Drought

Hiding in the body of a young, vibrant woman…

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Only a Few good days pass

Before I relapse into my other self

Before my body and mind collapse into rage and fear

Before I cannot feel anything

Before my anxiety and paranoia take over

Before I shatter as I hit the abyss

All I can do once I’m at the frigid depth

Is not plunge all the way to the end

Before everything is lost

Before everyone I know leaves me

Because I know I’m a monster

Hiding in the body of a young, vibrant woman

Who loves books, burgers, football, and poetry

Who loves her friends and family with her entire heart

But all my joy was spilled out and ripped apart

Before I become the nothing I feel

I have to swim out of the abyss

And until I’m out of this cycle of pain

All I can do

Is tread water

So I don’t drown

And get swallowed up by the illness that threatens to take everything from me

I have to fight to stay above water

I have to battle

But more importantly

I must not give in

I must destroy what harms me

Only then can I truly defeat the abyss and win back my life

“Who cares if one more light goes out? I do.” – A call to help with unimaginable pain

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I have personally dealt the with the desperate feeling of facing
the edge of disaster… for help call, Please call 1-800-273-8255
It’s the suicide hotline. Please if you are struggling know that
I love you. That I care if you live.

Because I personally was on the cliff
I felt horribly, and helplessly alone
Not listened to by anyone
I curled up into a ball
Too numb to even omit a sob
Not wanted by a single soul
Crashing into hatred of myself, of everything I have become
Like a complete, utter failure
Like a total loser, no job, no boyfriend, no car, worthless
Pain, horrible devastating pain
That no man wants to kiss and love because of my illness
I felt worthless, cold despair
I wanted my pain to end
I wanted to go away and escape the pain

Somehow I told someone about it
I reached out but it was the hardest thing I ever had to do
The hardest to expose my vulnerability
Tell someone my darkness thoughts
They were pitch black dark thoughts
And worry what they would think of me
I had to tell, I had to realize I was worth something

If you are struggling please know there is help.
People love you.
You are worth loving and living.
You are precious.
You have so much to offer.
You feel helpless and alone.
But Hold on.

Talk to someone you trust.
They won’t judge you because they care.
They love you and want to help
If you feel you have no one like that
Please call 1-800-273-8255

We have lost millions of beautiful souls
No longer glowing
Who cares if one more light goes out?
I do.

Please, I know when life feels like it’s not worth living.
Feel your feelings, cry your tears, hell smash a vase if you have to.
Please, hold on. Break the silence. You can do it. I believe in you.

Please listen to Hold on by Derek Hough

Day by day
Everyday
Is a battle
Is a battle
Loosing faith
A fight each day
For survival
For survival
She said
Will anybody even know
If I’m gone
I can’t take another night alone

And I said
Hold on
Hold on to me
Yeah
Hold on
Hold on to me
Yeah

Looking back
With every breath
Feeling shattered
Shattered
You did your best
Got nothing left
Doesn’t matter
It matters
She said
Will anybody even know
If I’m gone
Cause I can’t take another night like this alone

And I said
Hold on
Hold on to me
Yeah
Hold on
Hold on to me
When you’re falling down
Hold on
Hold on to me
Yeah
Hold on
Hold on to me
Oooh yeah

When everything comes crashing down
You know
You know
It’s harder when your lies come out
You know
You know that
You can
Hold on
Hold on to me
Yeah
Hold on
Hold on to me

When you’re falling down
Hold on
Hold on
Hold on to me
Yeah
Hold on
Hold on to me
Oooh
Hold on
Hold on to me

Madness. Then Calm.

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I understand the writers madness
It spirals within my very bones
A tall towering tumbling
My mental state is troubling
I’m only human
I push against The force that wants to destroy me
I use the power of pen
Mightier than the sword
I know it is.
Writer’s madness
It is a part of my heart
It can be joyous
I have experienced the flutter of ecstasy
Right now though, it is most unpleasant
Torture chambers bind my mind
I hack away at the ropes, they regrow
I will continue to battle,
no matter how dark the sky
How deep the water
How cold the room
I will be victorious in finding peace
Even if hell precedes it
I will find my beautiful piece of Heaven
Right here on Earth
And I will tie myself
With a magical ribbon
I will be bound to a better life
Lavender ribbon of calm

Turning Pages

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Stacks and stacks of fantastic books

Are laying everywhere you look

I simply cannot get enough

Choosing which one to read is tough

Books take me by the hand

Transport me to a magical land

It’s all in the book in joy and in rage

I cannot stop reading

I must turn the page

All types of books pour out of my room

They spill all over the house and they make my mind bloom

Bloom with thoughts and ideas

With emotion and feeling

Sometimes the books send me reeling

But no matter what

No ands, ifs, or buts,

As soon as I have time and I’m prepared

I cannot wait to touch the pages

To be taken to a place

Where there’s a look of awe upon my face

The “Jewels” of Judgment: Reading Lolita in Tehran

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In the midst of daily talks about terror threats in our everyday lives, comes a story about an Iranian woman, Dr. Azar Nafisi, who is the heart of the story Reading Lolita in Tehran. Through an informal, sarcastic tone maintained throughout this book, a series of accounts from her troubled life in the Islamic republic frequently boil to the surface. Although politics is something that Dr. Azar Nafisi herself acknowledged as corrupt, she never seemed prepared for the utter and immediate toll it took upon her friends and people she knew such as her father, who was persecuted under the vindictive regime. Despite refusing to wear the veil that caused her to lose her job, she came in greater contact with her emotions. Using these new unexpected passions Dr. Azar Nafisi formed a secret group of students who were bound together through their vigorous studies of fiction.
In the exuberance of the novel, two types of characters emerge. The characters are those within the book and those fictional characters within the novels. The personalities are as diverse as the four seasons. Nima, Nassrin, Manna, Mahsid, Yassi, Azin, Mitra, and Sanaz are to me like the members of a secret “breakfast club”. They do not meet for breakfast per say but their explosive personalities and comments and well as their beliefs about the regime forever change their teacher (Dr. Azar Nafisi) and themselves. Sanaz has a need for approval. Nima, the sole male, wanting very much to get into the club displays a new way of male behavior. Yassi confesses that an uncle molested her, however Nima seems to be of a different generation; one which respects women. Mahsid does not make it to the end. Each girl had something to bring to their meetings. An experience, a comment, a vision that the others used to get through these hard times.
However it is not their individual personalities but common struggles that unite them as one. Some were jailed for bogus charges like make-up on, running, and some talked of being reprimanded for “eating their apples too seductively”. This novel is another demonstration of the way in which women are oppressed through out history even in the 1980’s and 90’s. Using Lolita, The Great Gatsby, and Jane Austen novels Nafisi teaches the students of Western heroines and how their oppression relates to that of Islamic women. For example the antagonist Humbert brainwashes, kidnaps, and manipulates Lolita to satiate his sick fantasies. This is something that makes the book particularly amazing; that she makes these meetings with her students and the degree that she can relate literature of the Western world to her own world. Gatsby is someone in love with a girl he will always love, but one he can never have. Myrtle the adulterous one is a character questioned in the book. In Pride and Prejudice discussions, it would seem some girls dream to fall in love. For exposing these truths Nafisi should be praised. She is an amazing, eclectic individual who should be celebrated for her stubborn resolve to not allow the government who she is.
Nafisi also has the awful facts that surround her daily life. Daily reminders like bombs in the night. She recalls things, like her mother always being disappointed with her behavior, for Azin recognizes that she never lived up to her mother’s plans. Also, her father was the mayor and he was assassinated. Through her frightening experiences relating to the law (the bombings and constant raids in her daily life), she shares not only a knowledge of facts from being an honored professor, but a solid character of what fiction can be identified with. Her strong beliefs she instilled within her and her comrades evoked this idea of neglecting the grave side of society and focusing on the magnificent parts of life: “… life could be transformed into a jewel through the magic eye of fiction” (Nafisi 3). People in Iran were taught to resent Western culture yet she did not. Nafisi is actually like many of her heroines, courageous beyond belief. Gatsby and Lolita are two quite different perspectives which Nafisi presents in a light of hope. Although in fiction both Gatsby and Lolita suffer unimaginable sorrow, in reality Azar evolves a candle of hope that does not vanish because of obstacles; in fact she becomes more resolute.
If not hope, then an understanding of suffering and unspoken empathy is what Nafisi attempts to project out into the world. Although her “magician” hid in the world, she did not. Sure, she hid in her apartment flat with her students but they were open with one another and shared deep reflections about the troubles they, as women felt and addressed to the professor which bound them closer. By having this almost secret society she grasps the true meanings of fiction. Occasionally, Nafisi diverts many of the problems surrounding the regime into a question of identity; she preached at first unintentionally the more profound ideas that would not soon be forgotten by any of her fellow students. Soon, they all found that they shared the same thoughts about woman’s declining role in society and it sickened them. Setting the stage for many of them would be an event much later in the memoir that left a lasting impression – the author’s moving to America.
Nafisi talks of the enormous changes, of all the things she left in Iran: the danger, the men pursuing her and mostly importantly the veil, which once represented devotion, but now a represented entrapment. She was like the Rosa Lee Parks of Iran saying, No I will not wear the veil. It is what got her fired, but also into that secret class and discovering a life that she had to smuggle. She had to smuggle happiness and her move to the states was a decision that made it seem as though she were abandoning her students.
Betrayal and dismay are two key feelings that many of her students voiced, but mentally Nafisi could not force herself to stay in this unstable lifestyle. Her thorough studies of fiction have led her to discover how beautiful life can be if you only give it a chance. This “chance” simply could not be accomplished if she stayed in a place that did not free her spiritually. As someone who cherished and loved fiction as much as she does, the coming to America was a closure that she recognized would not erase the painful memories she had to bear. The fact that she would no longer allow herself to become immersed in them was something incredible to undertake, something many people today can take with them. Learning of her story can inspire a hope in even the most desperate situations to climb out of your hole of apprehension into exuberance!
This book is truly a gem that sparkles in the night. The brilliant combination of fiction overlapping reality and the compelling stories of the oppression of women really make one think. Our author, a brilliant wonderful teacher annexed from the University of Tehran for not agreeing to wear the veil was a landmark event. It withstands the sands of time and is truly a testimonial to someone who looks fear in the eyes and said, no I am not allowing myself to be the government’s puppet. So to sum it all up, Nafisi never quite lived up to her mother’s expectations; she towered over them. It is fantastic to say that she was brilliant. However it is the girls she taught in secret whose resilience left the reader in shock. For the Middle East and Iran are worlds foreign to us. We, the spoiled, they the suffering, something this book outlines quite well. This book encompasses detail and memories and draws them into a one of a kind story.