I lived in Isfahan, Iran, for nearly four years back in the heady days of the revolution, from early 1977 until the middle of 1980. One of my writing projects is to edit all the notes and short stories I have written about that time into a memoir. I am getting on quite well with it now that I am able to dedicate much more time to my writing. I hope to finish this one before the summer, however, I am also writing a novel which has now been edited into over 60,000 words and which I also want to publish this year. Plenty of writing to do!
Isfahan, Chahar Baqh, 1978.
Of course, lots of my notes and are about the revolution, what happened to us there on the campus of the university in Isfahan, how I experienced the ups and downs and how I eventually left the country with a couple of suitcases and a child. To get to know the full story you will have to wait until my book is ready, one of my 51 stories!
I have just completed a section on the Iranian Nou Ruz: the spring festival when a new beginning is celebrated at the time of the equinox on 21st March or thereabouts. One of the most important rituals is the preparation of the Haft-e-Sin table, the table laden with items that include the seven items starting with an s: sib (apples – representing beauty and health ), sabzi (greens, usually green sprouts, the symbol for rebirth), sir (garlic, a symbol for medicine) etc. as well as such things as a goldfish in a bowl, painted eggs, a mirror, gold coins and other items all being symbolic.
Already people in Iran are again preparing for their Nou Ruz celebrations, and they will be visiting friends and relatives and receive visitors in turn to celebrate this new beginning and hoping that the next year will be better than the last one.
I quite enjoy my own celebration of spring nowadays and during these last few days the warm weather has brought out all kinds of colourful surprises in our garden.