New Day (Now Rouz), New Waves

19 Mar

Happy Spring! — Nowrouz Mubarak!

For those of you who have been thrashed around by the waves of winter, do not despair! The shore is near.

Spring Shoots

This winter, my experience of being in the world has felt like one of a sea lamprey attached to the fin of some great whale.  Yes, I get food, great soul-enriching sustenance from doing what I was born to do, but the ride is not an easy one.

I have been dragged down to the unmoving depths of the ocean where the pressure felt like my skull would cave in.  From this a single seed emerged! I completely rewrote my latest play, Tree of Seeds.

The reading in London, this past December, brought with it the opportunity connect with theater community outside of NYC, and to hear the words come alive.  It also submerged me into the world of this story and forced me to rework it furiously.

The postcard for my play

The postcard for Tree of Seeds

Small bubbles of air are rising up from that place and the latest version will have a staged reading at Queens College on May 15th.  Rewrites are still coming but the form will be brand new!

Come see it. (Literary agents and producing theaters wanted!)
Alternatively, I was being slapped and flapped about on the surface of the sea.

Just when the Afghan radio drama (One Village, A Thousand Voices)  I helped create for the U.S. Institute for Peace was getting a little international notice, it was also scrambling for funding and put on hold. We’re back now, temporarily.  OVATV HeaderChallenges appeared and plans evaporated.

The one thing I could figure out to do in this time was to be around other writers, artists, and social change-makers. In fact, it was a great contradiction to the chaos around me to have a few places to safely land and be myself. I joined a wonderful memoir and autobiographical fiction writing workshop at the Asian American Writer’s Workshop which has inspired me to write some short stories, which might end up as a novel!

I’ve found that writers and artists need to create spaces for themselves (duh!). For me, it isn’t about networking or getting in the right circles but about having a place for my work to grow within a thoughtful and creative community.

Day 1-3 (29a)

C’mon guys, let’s get together.

Moving away from a competition-based paradigm, working for financial confirmation of my work’s value, to one of camaraderie and closeness confirms the old adage, “another world is possible”.

In fact, the ladder climbing aspect of the work doesn’t even feel as important because my vision isn’t focused on riding a wave of popularity but on the expansive possibilities in building relationships and dreaming with other human beings.

It is not the rumbling ocean but the shore ahead.

This spring, may the waves of chaos bring you in sight of your own safe place, whose fertile terrain you already have the map for.

Kayhandokht (My full given name. It means daughter of the universe.)


3 Responses to “New Day (Now Rouz), New Waves”

  1. Peter Lownds March 20, 2014 at 8:40 am #

    Precious Kayhandokht: Sitting on the Western shore of America, having recently returned from my first trip to Cuba, I read your words before morning light, the underground and a class full of young artists who will present their work in my far from magisterial presence. They are as balm to me: clear, vulnerable and scintillating. My wife and I have been “building relationships and dreaming with other human beings” for the past sixteen years in a wonderful 1923 boarding house in Koreatown, Los Angeles that we found and bought and refurbished in the midst of a “lamprey” period when the Northridge earthquake of 1994 washed us fifteen miles inland from Venice Beach. Since then, hundreds of young people from all over the planet have arrived to live with us, eat with us and laugh with us through countless suppers, revealing their souls, their goals and dreams. For me, soon to be seventy, this has been a great enrichment as well as a constant challenge–the spiritual path is one of service; cooking, washing the dishes, shopping for healthy food and cooking again. Wound around and through these quotidian tasks is dialogue, illumination, the touching and combining of dreams. Nowrouz mubarak! Bless you, sister, for what you bring and share.

    • Lawrence Smit March 20, 2014 at 11:27 am #

      your work is truly amazing. I am glad to have you in my life. You are my tree.

  2. Ricardo March 20, 2014 at 5:23 pm #

    Okay, so the first part of my response is for your mother who seems to enjoy my writing. I totally see why she named you Kayhannukah Houshmanazedah Clukclukdukhdokhtgoose. 1. Yes, you are one in a million. 2. Yes, you probably had endless responses and retorts innumerable like the stars when she told you to “Stop that and go clean your room!” 3. And, you probably proved the adage true that it does take a village…a village made up of a lot of people with a lot of patience, cono. Now, stop that and go clean your room.

    This part is for you, Kayhanakan (Kayhan Icon or Kayhana-Con like Comic-Con).

    You are a child of the universe because your voice represents those who are afraid to whisper and your voice motivates those who have been waiting and waiting to shout. Even in the darkest, dustiest and coldest corner, a single seed can roll and wait in hopes that its life will sprout. Continue to find your voice. No matter how meek it may seem at times, all it takes is one word to open someone’s eyes and let flow the tears so that little itty bitty seed can drink so thirstily and bathe in the warmth of that light.

    The trees are waiting, girl. Spread the word.

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