Shahla Talebi- one of the most incredible women I do not know. Imprisoned under the shah and later under the Islamic Republic, tortured for her beliefs. She survived unspeakable physical, mental and emotional torture, now living with a heart free of hatred. I am shaken to the core, not just by her story, but by who she is. If only we could all share a tiny portion of her perspective.
“The art of living in prison becomes possible through imagining life in the very presence of death and observing death in the very presence of life. It is living life so vitally and so fully that you are willing, if necessary, to let that very life go, as one would shed chains on the legs. It is embracing and flying on the wings of death as though is the bird of freedom…
What is it that keeps us from surrendering? I consider it an act of inner strength, or weakness, a will and a need to protect our souls from banishment, from abandoning the possibility of our humanity, of caring for ourselves and for others, and from giving ourselves away. Through our resistance, we enliven the struggle against the normalization in injustice, humiliation, and the attack on dignity and the enslavement of our minds and bodies…
I told myself that I should always remind myself of this reality, that no matter how isolated, I was never alone in this world. That I should never forget that none of my actions or decisions were only mine or would affect only my life. Having gone through that deathlike trance and returned to life, are you not empowered by supernatural forces? After all, what is supernatural power if not the ability to live and love, surpassing the horror of death, hatred, and despair.”
*(Apparently she is coming to Columbia University to teach a class. YOU KNOW WHO is going to be sitting from row.)
How trusting you are corresponds directly with how forgiving you are. #LessonsLearnedTheHardWay
I was going to complain about how uncomfortable it is reading a firsthand account of Iranian torture executed on Iranian women in Prison camps, under the former Shah and later under the Islamic Republic.
I’m on page 89 and realize I have no right to complain about anything… ever again.
Current Read- Ghosts of Revolution: Rekindled Memories of Imprisonment in Iran
“My silence is my self defense.” -Billy Joel
“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.” Anaïs Nin
My father has always said to me, “Live an extraordinary life. There is no time or reason for ordinary.”
Well, we’re all pincushions, right? Poked and prodded by life’s afflictions. We differ in our pain tolerance… some smile through it, some cry with each prick, and some use that pain as a daily reminder of all the pleasure they are alive to feel.