White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Movie: Away From Her

The Canadian movie Away from her is a strong, passionate poetry about life, love and destiny. It's the story of a loving old couple who face the Alzheimer problem of the woman. After the initial discovery of the problem they mutually agree to send her to a nursing home where the policy dictates the man to be away from her for the initial 30 days. Upon his return after the 30 days, he realizes that the woman has almost forgotten their relationship and has fallen in love with another old guy in the nursing home. His efforts to remind her the old condition bitterly fails. When the new lover leaves the nursing home, the woman is paralyzed, but still does not remember her past life. While facing the dramatic situation, the guy gives up his feelings and sacrifices for the sake of her health: He returns the new lover to the nursing home. At parts the story takes a new layer which is about old emotional affairs that existed in the couple's life which has eventually helped the couple to make their passion mature.

The direction of the movie is very smooth with a smooth temp. There is a strong usage of close up shots that I found it at parts too much. The actings were extremely beautiful in this movie. While watching Julie Christie's extraordinary performance in this movie, I kept thinking about Lara in Doctor Zhivago and some how I was thinking that this is the continuation of that love story.

For people of my generation, long and mature love has become more of a Hollywood picture that is almost impossible to achieve. Talking to many people recently, I feel that our generation is much doomed in the definition of a healthy emotional life. There is a constant thirst and greed towards finding attention, popularity and emotional support. Many people jump on whatever easy solution that make them heard, loved, respected. I have a tough time to analyze the root causes of this moral confusion? How far are we going to sacrifice for the sake our individualism? Is this something unique for my generation? Or maybe it has been there forever?

Saturday, June 23, 2007

From Dublin to Boston

From Dublin to Boston is about 5 hours flight. For me it was a long way. Exactly a year after our reunion in Dublin, we met up in Boston. A very different life, expectations and understanding. Probably one of the best quality times that we spent with each other. Once all bets are off the table, then you go for quality and hapiness. We walked for 12 hours without really feeling it. We dined, drank quality wines, capucinio, ate chocolate and fruites. In all corners of Boston! Never like husbands and wives, but like close friends. And how beautiful was this one.

It is now decided that each one of us is going for his/her own emotional adventure. It's our restless nature which rejects monotonous stability and seeks new challenges in all aspects of life. The fears have been and will continue to be there. But the sweetness of new discoveries and learned lessons is also going to be there.

I have been slow and in many month totally still. Many moments have been wasited, but many lessons are also learned. But it's time to stand up once again.
I live only once, and I have been lucky enough to get the prosperity and facilities of the top 10% of my world. I want to live it, feel it, enjoy it and hopefully let others do the same.
Already I have learned and got quite a bit from my new life in Berkeley. The magnificant environment that I live in, is motivating me for all sorts of changes. I try to escapte the fears by different means. Facing them directly or filling myself with all sorts of new things.
Here is an excerpt from a dear friend of mine who helped me to cope with the situation:

"We live in a fear shell structure. We have created this structure. We have created a structure that needs respect, clear thoughts, but above all being loved!
But is this really life or is this our creation? What a stupid quesiton since life is our creation. But I mean, does this what we create have anything to do with Life? Life is the way it is. A continuum of changing experiences day and night, summer and winter, hurricanes and calm, activity and rest, this is the very nature of Life.
Life is inviting you to come out of this stagnant swamp in which you have been stuck. But you are resisting because you prefer even this stagnant swamp to the unknown. The unknown is the very mystery of life. Don't avoid it. Trust the hurricane. Trust that it is here knocking on your door to destory the old and bring to you something new."

I value all these experiences, even the most bitter ones, and I look forward to all the changes that I will create!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bay Area Report (2)

Sitting in Strada, listening to the endless beauty of Mozart's piano concerto 23 and trying to work. It has been up and down in Berkeley and my confusions about the future of our relation continues to hold.

I'm working much better with higher self esteem. Big part of my selfesteem comes from the people that I work and live with it. Now I am totally convinced that the work environment can affect the work quality tremendously.

I try various things, meet interesting people and talk to many of them. Certainly a lot females, mainly successful and smart. I try to understand myself and what I really miss in that relationship. What expectations are really possible?
It's tough, quite tough to analyze that past life. In the macro level, it's filled with a lot of beauty, but as I dig in, there are a lot of dark dots that are lost in the big picture
Among the new things that I have tried here was the Improvised acting. A concept that I didn't know much about. I did some acting when I was 11-12 and I always loved to touch it again. And one sign of a cheap class in the YMCA club was enough to take me to this beautiful world. The whole thing is improvised. You're expected to get out of your shell, free yourself and start an act different from what you're doing in your daily life. The scenarios are made instantly and you're supposed to catch up right away.
One good movie that I watched here was: "Once". It's independent cinema at its best. It's the story of a string singer who is mouring a lost love. While playing on street of Dublin, he meets an Czech immigrant girl who is also dealing with a lost love story. The guy plays guitar and the girl knows piano. They tune together both their instruments and their hearts and the harmony flows. Oh that harmony and the resulting music is both intense and beautiful. The movie is more realistic than its similar predecessor like Before Sunset. It touches the realities and complexities of their lives and distances from deep romance. Ironically (for me) the movie is filmed on streets of Dublin: Grafton, St. Stephen Green, Temple Bar, etc. And it's filled with the Irish warm culture. I was tearful about half of this movie. Looking back at what happened from then to now and the question of tomorrow?

Life continues and I'm learning to look at life as it is and not in my fantasies. To look at problems and beauties both integrated with the daily life and to look at life as a trend of up and down together. I just hope that one way or the other I settle down with one vision towards the ....

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Random Thoughts of Saturday noon

1. Back into reading philosophy. There is so much beauty in reading every line of a philosophy text. Since I haven't been reading things continuously, I forget what's has been in the earlier parts. But who cares, I try to enjoy the moment that I'm learning the concept without caring about ...

2. How much we fear from loneliness, and then when we're at it, it's not really too bad. Some time even quite rewarding and nice.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Bay Area Report (1)

Something nice about Bay area is that you end up seeing very passionate people here. I guess even the Nihilists of the area are quite enthusiastic about their life and believes. Homeless people are certainly like that here. I met this person from the La Rouche youth movement tonight who was extremely passionate about the whole movement that you'd think tomorrow there is going to be a revolution in this country.

Living in the International House of Berkeley is quite an experience. You end up socializing at least three times a day over the meals with random people with random nationality backgrounds. The fact that many people are new to the country or the area makes them more talkative and approachable. For someone like me who is quite self critical and socially phobic, this is quite a nice environment that the price of trial and error is not very high.
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