Author: Roger Housden
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Excerpt from Chapter One - "Writing Iran":
Whenever I think of the color blue, I think first, not of the sea or the sky, but of a dome. A dome in Isfahan, Iran. It lodged itself in my mind some thirty five years ago, one gray afternoon in the British Library, that beautiful building, itself a dome, which at the time housed a few million books and manuscripts on every subject known to man. Oblivious of the scholars shuffling to and fro around me, I gazed for the longest time at a full color plate of the dome of the Royal Mosque in Isfahan. Its perfection of shape and its blue never left me. It prompted me from that time on to marvel at domes; to appreciate their sensuous precision with a fresh eye; and to love that turquoise blue with a single-mindedness that has dominated my wardrobe and my wall hangings for a lifetime. It was my Iran phase. Around the same time, I discovered Iranian music and poetry. That music, those poems, had a visceral effect on me. They would bring me down into myself, into my body and the rhythms of my blood: another kind of heart murmur, you might say.
|Roger Housden is the author of some twenty books, including the best-selling Ten Poems Series. He also runs periodic classes on Spiritual Memoir in the Bay Area.
photo by Karen Fuchs
"Who sent you here?" Baldy asks his question without seeming concerned for my answer.
I am in an interrogation room at Tehran airport.
"Nobody sent me here. I am in Iran to research a book."
"Do you know your friend in New York is an agent for the CIA? He's using you. Do you work for him or for the State Department?"
They know everything. All my phone calls, all my emails. I have been here for a couple of months. Now it looks as if I may be here a lot longer.
"Please come with us now, Mr. Roger. We will go back to Tehran." They all stand, and with two behind me and one in front, they walk me out of the airport to their car. I am not afraid. I don't know why, but I feel strangely calm. I feel as if this were a play I landed a part in a long time ago, and now the curtain is finally rising. (read more)
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