Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Today is my last day in Paradise; leaving tomorrow for home. It does feel different in this small island. You forget that somewhere out there beyond your vision is an immense body of water, which reduces you to just a small blip on the island.

This is truly a multicultural blend of people; Hawaiians, Filipinos, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tongan, Cambodian, Micronesian, Portuguese, a smattering of Hispanics and about 20% Caucasian. Intermarriages over the years have changed the appearance of pure-bloods, and the result is what I term exotic-looking. The men, handsome with their huge Schwarzenegger builds; the women, with their dark almond eyes, long shiny black hair and itty-bitty bodies: I hate 'em. Not really, but they do make me feel like I'm just one Big-Mac away away a heart attack.

We toured the island, ate in quaint little towns, sat on the beach at Waikiki in close proximity to the overt over-eating tourists, making us appear downright svelte.

I will miss noshing on the pork hash and the Leonard's malasada, (original if you please) hot out of the oven and filled with custard that are part of the native fare. I only consumed these delicacies to show the islanders that I cared!

I sadly say goodbye to my host, Lola, my wonderful friend and school chum (since the sixth grade), her handsome son, Paco, and his gorgeous girlfriend, Huyen.

Tomorrow I leave here, back to the land of the over-eaters and I shall miss this land.


Saturday, September 12, 2009


I’ve been in Hawaii eleven days and I’ve written more in my upcoming Iran memoir than I’ve done in two years.

I don’t understand where the muse goes, why she goes, or why she returns, but return she did and I am so pleased I shant ask any questions.

Every morning my inner clock wakes me at 5 a.m. and I hit the floor ready and excited to get to my computer. A cup of coffee to get the eyes open, place fingers to keyboard and look out at the beautiful Manoa Valley from my view on the fourteenth floor. It’s as though the view is subliminal, causing my fingers to take on a life of their own.

Thoughts of the revolution and the one-and-a-half years I lived in Isfahan, Iran, come flowing forth, sometimes faster than my fingers can keep up with them.

“Whoa!” I say. Wait for me. Then…oh yeah! I remember that, and I’m off, watching my fingers fly over the keyboard while reliving things that happened during the Islamic revolution, thirty-two years ago.

Something bizarre happens when you write a memoir. Your subconscious mind takes you back to the events as if you were living them at the moment. I see myself walking through the Bazaar, haggling with merchants; soaring down a river in a raft while irate men throw stones at me; driving through the beautiful countryside, drinking from an ice-cold stream as it rushes down shimmering rocks from the snow-covered mountains above; watching the mammoth tanks roll into town when martial law was ordered by the Shah.

Well, as you can see, I have much work to do. So, now it’s time to get back to my memoir.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


It’s 9 a.m. Hawaiian time, 6 a.m. Pacific time, and I find myself sitting on the lanai of a friend’s condo in Oahu.

I can’t sleep. My body’s on Pacific time so I must get up. I stagger to the kitchen, make a pot of coffee, then I look up and out. What an incredible view.
Her unit is on the fourteenth floor of a thirty-five story building, and the view is breathtaking.

I grab a cup of coffee, my laptop and head for the lanai. The view is of massive green mountains, partially obscured by dense, bloated clouds, black on the bottom, rising to white cumulus, thinning into oblivion as wisps of filigreed lace, and all ringed in a dazzling gold by the sun’s fierce glow behind them.

Towering high-rises sit plump and regal amidst Banyon, Mangos and Fan Palm trees, while tiny roads thread their way through the city to the suburbs and beyond.

Delicious aromas of plumeria, antherium and gardenia float on the tropical breezes bringing a soothing balm to all.

I close my eyes and visualize what this island looked like before it was covered with concrete, wood, glass and asphalt.

What spark of life led this heretofore lava mountain to come to life. Geologists say that after eons of volcanic eruptions in the seabed, the first and largest volcano reared its head from the ocean and looked about. Novelist James Michener credits a tired sea bird who deposited the beginnings of the flora and fauna of this verdant island. I imagine that after a long flight from some far-off place, the little sea bird came upon a wondrous site; somewhere to perch and gain strength to fly on.

After depositing the remnants of his last meal onto the bare lava, he blithely set out again as his DNA required. And from that one small offering, to what I see before me, I’d like to thank that little sea bird as I sit here and marvel at the wonder of nature and creation.