You are all familiar with my flying carpet. I wonder how you imagine it? Of course I cannot take a photo lest it loses its magical powers. I may need it more often as flying by plane to different countries becomes more restricted by unknown Omicron. It is Persian and made of silk.
I have chosen a matching scarf today with a similar Middle Eastern pattern, again made of silk in muted grey, brown, cream and black. It is long, finest filmy chiffon and no, it is not from Persia, but the USA by the designer Ann Taylor. I will wrap it twice around my neck and tie it tightly as Storm Barra hits our shores this week. What memories will this scarf evoke? When I lived in California I saw many American women dressed in sharp business suits by this designer and indeed in the Bay Area there were lots of exiled wealthy Persian ladies who might have worn this particular design of scarf. My own experience of crossing of cultures was a visit to the hairdresser. I had long dark blonde tresses with a hint of auburn aided by Clairol, and I felt it was time for the scissors and a dramatic change. I went to a new salon in Sausalito run by two Iranian sisters. My treasured golden locks lay on the floor, I was instructed to hang my head down and the remaining hair was dried so it stood up from my scalp. I was then told to shake my head. A quick spray of lacquer and out I went with a very new hairstyle looking like one of the Pyramids. I immediately resolved to start growing it again! I looked at my beautiful Isfahan engraved silver boxes which my husband had brought back from a business trip to Iran many years before and thought they were a better reminder of Persian craftsmanship than my experience with scissors and blade.
Thinking of my carpet, the Middle East and things exotic brings my mind to food. One of my best friends whilst I lived in Sausalito was born in Beirut and lived in Egypt. She was a great cook and introduced us to Middle Eastern and North African cuisine, tabouleh, beggars chicken, falafel, a selection of pulses, grains and herbs and spices. After dinner she treated us to a fortune reading of the dregs in our coffee cups. Had she read my fortune when I was nineteen and my boyfriend of three weeks casually proposed marriage with the sentence….I’ve been offered a job in Beirut and it is only for a married man….what about it? ……would I have said ‘Yes’ knowing my life ahead with its many adventures? Of course I would. He didn’t accept the job, but we did marry.
I never visited Beirut, Isfahan or Tehran but my carpet can now take me anywhere. I didn’t need it this week but I ate a wonderful slow cooked lamb and okra bamiye. The thin crispy naan was hot from the traditional oven. It was only a ten minute walk from my Richmond home to a local Persian restaurant. Dinner was celebrating my Irish son in law’s birthday. I am glad I said Yes all these years ago. I wouldn’t have these two wonderful daughters, grandchildren, great-grandkids and a supportive extended family.
Next week I must fly with the carpet. Where will I go? My scarf will decide.
Busy Bee, Scarf Face!
Series 2, Blog 76.