Today we had a lot of snow in the Midlands. I woke up to a beautiful winter landscape, the world covered with a blanket of a fresh, white snow. There is something special and magical about the first snow - it makes everything more beautiful, calmer and more peaceful.
"The first fall of snow is not only an event, it is a magical event. You go to bed in one kind of a world and wake up in another quite different, and if this is not enchantment then where is it to be found?" J. B. Priestley
I went outside to enjoy the snow, and as you can see, I geared up for winter well - you probably are not able to recognise me with my hat and hood on. I had a nice, peaceful walk admiring the scenery.
Do you like snow Atria?
The words below are not mine, but I want to share them with you as they convey simple, yet difficult to comprehend and implement in life, true. I do hope you will give them some consideration and thought.
We convince ourselves that life will be better after we get married, have a baby, then another. Then we are frustrated that the kids aren't old enough, and we'll be more content when they are.
“This life will go by fast.
Don't fight with people, don't criticize your body so much, don't complain so much.
Don't lose sleep over your bills. Look for the person that makes you happy. If you make a mistake, let it go and keep seeking your happiness.
Never stop being a good parent. Don't worry so much about buying luxuries and comforts for your home, and don't kill yourself trying to leave an inheritance for your family. Those benefits should be earned by each person, so don't dedicate yourself to accumulating money.
Enjoy, travel, enjoy your journeys, see new places, give yourself the pleasures you deserve. Allow dogs to get closer. Don't put away the fine glassware. Utilize the new dinnerware; don't save your favorite perfume, use it to go out with yourself; wear out your favorite sport shoes; repeat your favorite clothes.
So what? That's not bad. Why not now? Why not pray now instead of waiting until before you sleep? Why not call now? Why not forgive now? We wait so long for Christmas; for Friday; for Reunions; for another year; for when I have money; for love to come; when everything is perfect...look...
Everything perfect doesn't exist. Human beings can't accomplish this because it simply was not intended to be completed here. Here is an opportunity to learn.
So take this challenge that is life and do it now...love more, forgive more, embrace more, love more intensely and leave the rest in God's hands. Amen.”
Happy Halloween Atria! I am not sure if the girls of your age still go trick-or-treating, but you certainly may be going to a Halloween party. I would be interested to know what is your costume? I can't remember attending any of Halloween parties myself, but I suppose you owe to chose something scary, so I would probably chose to be a Dracula or a Wizzard.
Traditionally, like almost every year I carved a pumpkin which you can see in the photograph above. Can you guess what it is? Well... it's a Were-rabbit ;-)
Happy Halloween again, enjoy, whatever you're doing today.
Do you do any sports Atria? I hope you do as it not only helps you to keep fit and healthy but also increases your self-worth, builds up confidence, provides a sense of achievement and aids mental well-being. You don't need to be a professional football player or run a marathon, but a bit of exercise in every day life can give you all the benefits without feeling pressured. No matter what's your ability, you can do it.
I recently came across a brilliant This Girl Can campaign. It celebrates the girls/women who are doing their thing no matter how they do it, how they look or even how sweaty they get. They’re there to inspire other girls to wiggle, jiggle, move and prove that judgement is a barrier that can be overcome.
Below is an advert from This Girl Can campaign. Maybe it will inspire you to get active?
Do you remember Leo's Rabbit that I described before? He now has his own travel blog. As you surely know rabbits don't read and write (even the most clever ones), so Anna writes on Rabbit's behalf, but he himself visits all the places described. If you want to find out more about Rabbits destinations click here.
Yet again I sent you a Birthday gift, this time to a new address provided on one of the letters your mother sent to me. I checked its status and it says that the addressee refused to accept this item.
I don't know if you refused to accept my gift or more likely it was your mother or someone else in your household (just guessing as you probably will be at school this time of the day).
Below there are tracking details of the package I sent you, just in case if it wasn't you who refused to accept it and you will not be told that it arrived.
If it was you, well... it saddens me, but it's your choice, you are a grown up and I respect your decision. You are always my daughter and I love you, no matter how many times your reject me. I am still here hoping that one day you may wish me to become part of your life again.
Hope you had a lovely Birthday Atria.
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
I wish you a very happy Birthday.
Today is Father's Day and I received a card from, or rather on behalf, of my son. It made me sad, but also made me proud. I want to share it with you.
Dear PapaMus, Dear Dad...
On this Father's Day I want to thank you for being such a wonderful Dad to me. I was with you only a short time, but I got to know you and I know that if we were given an opportunity to spend some more time together I would have been the happiest little boy in the world and you would have done anything for me. You did everything what was possible, and sometimes what was impossible, to give me the best chance for life. During the pregnancy you were there for me in every emergency situation, not only attending to the medical side of things and chasing, questioning and prompting the doctors, but also keeping my mum calm, comforting her and giving her hope.
You prayed for me every day at the church. You keep asking God just to make me healthy. You started to bargain with Him and you ask Him to take your sight and your legs and make me healthy in exchange.
You knew that the possibility of me bot being affected by Trisomy 18 was only 0.1%, but still... you never lost hope and to the last moment of my life you believed that I can get better. You were proud of me, you were so happy when I was born alive and that we were able to meet and spend the very precious two days together.
You told me stories, you sung for me during the pregnancy and after I was born, you touched me gently, you held my hand, you looked at me with so much love that only a parent can understand, you held me in your arms like the most precious and wonderful being that ever existed.
You would never let me go, you would have not been able to withdraw my life support even if all the doctors were pushing you to do so. You loved me so much, that you could not possibly make any decision that could result in any harm coming to me. I know you love me deeply and unconditionally.
I am sorry that we were not given more time together, but I also know that I will live forever in your memories and you will create more memories celebrating my short, but filled with love life. Thank you for planting a tree in my memory, for walking a 5K race in LA in my memory, for naming a star after me and most importantly for being the best Dad I could have had.
On behalf of Leo MamaMus
Wishing you a joyful Children's Day Atria. I suppose you may be not considering yourself being a child anymore; well... you are certainly a teenager, a young lady, but to me you will be always a child, my child, my daughter. I guess you have to accept the way parents think and that for them you will be always their little girl, no matter how old you will be.
A visit to yet another museum of contemporary art in LA confirmed that I definitely don't understand and probably will never understand contemporary art. Look at the picture above for example - it's an artwork by Franz Kline entitled 'Black Iris' (By the way, I would have never guessed if it wasn't for the description). Apparently Kline is recognised as one of the most important yet problematic artists of the Abstract Expressionist movement in New York. I don't know what is the value of this painting, but another of his paintings (well, looking pretty much the same as the 'Black Iris') was sold for $40.4 million! Can you believe that? Do you think that the person who bought it understands this 'so called' art? I am not sure. I think sometimes that all this contemporary art is about coming up with a very clever interpretation of not so pretty artwork (well, artwork that doesn't actually require any skills! I think 5 years old child could have done better - sorry Mr Kline) and making a viewer believe that there is a deeper meaning to it. And then there is a bunch of snobs who don't really see a deeper meaning, but because they want to be cool, contemporary, arty and all of that, they pretend that they see a deeper meaning. I am not trying to insult art lovers, but that's how a well grounded person like me sees contemporary art.
Baba is an active member at the California Zoroastrian Center and he often participates in various events organised by the Center. He enjoys the atmosphere and lovely friends he made there, he takes part in many backgammon competitions, prayers, religious ceremonies and parties. At his age Baba has a wonderful social life and thanks to his good and kind nature he is very much liked and respected among his fellow Zoroastrians.
Do you like Michael Jackson Atria? I am not particularly interested in music, especially pop music, but I thought you may be and apparently Michael Jackson is a classic. This picture was taken also at the Broad, contemporary art museum in LA I wrote to you about few days ago. It's a very shiny, bright looking artwork/statue.
Jeff Koons created this sculpture of Michael Jackson and his pet chimpanzee Bubbles in 1988. Bubbles was Jackson's domestic animal and it has been claimed by the media that he was Jackson's best and faithful friend who even joined the singer on his world tours and helped in the household (well... I am not sure about that, but it would be nice to have a little guy to help with my household chores) :-)
The sculpture is made from porcelain. The dead white of Jackson’s skin and his glamorous pose with Bubbles in matching clothing invite a chilling range of questions about celebrity and image making. I read in the Wikipedia that this sculpture has been also interpreted as a symbol of the human desire for self-discovery. Jackson demonstrated publicly his childlike personality and tried to reinvent himself by means of plastic surgery. Koons was fascinated by the self transformations of Jackson and the way he played with images such as himself against Bubbles. The assimilated chimp on his lap underlines this aspect of self-exploration. He is a traditional symbol in fine arts which serves to mirror human nature. But meanwhile the plastic demonstrates the tragic impossibility of this attempt. The material's aesthetic and Jackson's aura of transcendence show how unnatural the results of this self-exploration must be. Well.... I would have never figured out his interpretation myself :-) What do you think? Do you like it?
Today in Iran we held a memorial ceremony on the second anniversary of Maman's death. As you well know Maman was a very kind, loving, generous person, who touched many peoples' lives. Friends and family members keep many wonderful memories of her deep in their hearts and today we gathered to share these memories and pray for Maman's soul. Maman is no longer with us, but her gentle, kind soul will be always remembered for as long we live.
Below there are some pictures for you from the ceremony.
Here are some pictures from various places Leo's Rabbit visited this Spring. I guess they can be perceived as funny and joyful or as very sad. I wish my son was there traveling with us. It's heartbreaking thinking of the loss and what might have been. In the same time, as parents, we are trying to shout to the whole world that we had a son, he was beautiful, he was perfect, he was important, he changed our lives and us forever and we will never forget him, even if it means Anna becoming 'a crazy rabbit lady'...
Dear Atria, for years I didn't have any pictures of you and didn't know how you look like. Then after the court ordered your mum to send me some photos I started receiving all these unclear, blurred, pixelated or in any way distorted pictures that didn't really show you and I even wasn't sure if it's you in these pictures. There were also some better photos, but with your face covered by hair or with your face down. You mother said in the court that you've been choosing which photographs you want to be sent to me, so I can only say that it makes me sad, but of course I respect your decision. If you don't want me to know how you really look like, it's your prerogative.
But I am your dad and I really wanted to know how you look like. Some time ago I received few proper photographs of you taken with other people at some gathering you attended and I just wanted to tell you that you grew up to be a beautiful young lady. You have lovely hair, nice smiley face and a slender figure. I hope you know that you are very beautiful.
Many girls at your age often have some body image issues. They are young and beautiful, but they complain about something that they don't necessary like about themselves eg. too tall, too short, straight hair, curly hair, too slim, too fat, big nose, small nose... well you can carry on like that forever. I think it's in a human nature to complain about what we have and want something that we don't have. And the girls are 'masters' in that! If they have straight hair they go to hairdresser and make them curly. If the hair is curly they use hair straightener or pay for an expensive treatment to make them straight. Isn't that just crazy? :-) There is a proverb saying that 'The grass is always greener on the other side'. It refers to the way we tend to look at other people’s lives and other things that we don't have in general through rose colored glasses. It comes from the idea of looking at a neighbours lawn and seeing it as better looking, healthier and overall greener then your own when in reality you’re just ignoring anything negative about it and downplaying everything positive about your own.
Don't look at what you think may be imperfect in you or what you would like to change, you are perfect and beautiful just the way you are. What you look like is just one aspect, and not an overwhelmingly important one. At the end of the day it's not that important what colour is your hair or what size you are, but who you are and what you have to offer as a person. I would like to imagine and hope that you are smart, kind, loving, giving, caring, friendly, open-minded, persistent, imaginative, intelligent and clever; that you love life, make friends and make people around you happy. That's what really matters. It's a cliche, but the inner beauty is so much more valuable than a pretty face. When you come across a beautiful looking person, who is just not nice and doesn't treat you right, no matter how pretty they are, you just don't want to be around them.
You have a pretty face and you are beautiful and I can only hope you have the inner beauty too and that you are beautiful inside out.
In my view this was the best installation/artwork at the Broad - a mirror-lined chamber housing a dazzling and seemingly endless LED light display. The artist is called Yahoo Kusama and the artwork is Infinity Mirrored Room - The Souls of Millions of Light Years. I thought it was amazing, different from anything I’ve ever seen before, impressive, almost breathtaking. You stood on the little island on the water and wherever you looked you could see yourself from different angles in various mirrors. The room was dark with multiple tiny lights and only one person was allowed in the room at one time what even more intensified the experience.
Yayoi Kusama is a very versatile artist. Her multidisciplinary art includes painting, performance, installation, writing, film, fashion, design, and architectural interventions. Moving between modes of working, Kusama has escaped associations to specific art movements, and instead she has developed her own unique path.
Since the 1960s, Kusama has been creating Infinity Mirrored Rooms that provoke a sense of boundlessness and transcendence through extreme repetition. Kusama’s work is an expression of her life, providing insight into the many social and political contexts of her long career. Through her artwork, Kusama, a self-proclaimed ‘obsessional artist’, offers an unusual glimpse into the workings of a mind that is seldom quiet. The strength and appeal of her work goes beyond stylistic design; Kusama confronts the immensity of reality by searching at once for infinitude and oblivion.
In the Broad contemporary art museum in LA there is a massive eighty-foot-long painting by Takashi Murakami from Japan titled ‘In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow'. You can see it in my picture. It looked very impressive to me, probably mainly because of its size and very busy, colourful theme. I read the description and that’s what it says (I don’t fully understand it, but maybe you will):
The painting is informed by 18th century painters Soga Shohaku and Ito Jakuchu. Shohaku believed in reaching for new and alternative truths in picture making by imitating existing forms or styles and imbuing them with new essence. Murakami follows this belief, here using figures and motifs directly taken from Shohaku’s painting ‘Gunsenzu’, or ‘Immortals’ (1764), itself an imitation of an older version, which depicts Taoist hermits with magical powers. On the far left (my photo on the left), a hermit in blue riding a dragon; the hermit on the far right who holds a baby (middle picture); and the potbellied hermit leaning on a frog are but a few motifs Murakami appropriates from ‘Immortals’. However, the painting is unmistakably Murakami’s, reminiscent of contemporary Japanese cartooning and culture though rooted century’s old traditions.
Every ten years, the monks in the monastery are allowed to break their vow of silence to speak two worlds. Ten years go by, and it's one monk's first chance. He thinks long and hard before telling the head monk, 'Food bad'. Ten years later, it's his turn to speak again. This time he says, 'Bed hard'. A decade later, it's the big day again. The man gives the head monk a long stare and says, 'I quit'.
'Well, I am not surprised', the head monk says. 'You've been complaining ever since you got here.'
I am your dad Atria.