Jahan A. Stanizai
November 15, 1952 - August 20, 2013
wife and life and mother
the voice of bold reasoning and daring conviction
the defender of blunt honesty and in-your-face and no-nonsense truth telling
the epitome of charm and elegance and the paragon of perfection
in the continuum of every throbbing moment you are i
Happy Birthday For Ever
I Didn’t Have the Heart to Give the Soul
Would that I’ve wished my soul
to rise with hers?
I was walking with the thought in the garden.
Synchronicity was floating
on the wings of the morning breeze
and dropped this leaf before me—
A butterfly’s last dive
into the heart of a crimson sun parasol,
reciprocated by a petaliferous final embrace.
How did this happen?
چی جانان مری ما یی کفن کړی
چی په یوه لحد کی دواړه خاوری شونه
The Seven Hundred and Thirtieth Night
The cup of my being
contains Jahan’s flowing liquid memories
in which my soul bathes.
Time pierces the veil of illusion.
Her voice dialogues in the distance,
her whisper invites intimacy,
its echo fills my loneliness.
A contemplative moment by her gravesite
sighed her loss.
I chocked on air,
on my breath, my life…
Ah! the breath that re-lived
in the anguished perpetuity of every moment
in the last sixmonths of her life—
when survival became a struggle,
and living an option.
Vulnerable, vincible, yet not vanquished,
she cherished life,
knowing that each breath she exhaled
may not come back.
The warmth of her hand
turned cold in my grasp.
We became I.
O this beautiful loneliness of yours,... that is mine.
February 14, 2015
Please turn up the volume
Her echoing memories in these Pashto lyrics persistently ask:
Are we still there?
These came on the anniversary of the day she left home for the hospital - June 17, 2014
ته یی په جیب کی ګرځوی که غورځولی د دئ
زما تصویر در سره شته که سوځولی د دئ
که په سینه کی زړه لری نو ورته ډېر وژاړه
ما بیا به نه وینی د حده ورته تېر وژاړه
هیر درنه دی او که سینی پوری نیولی د دئ
که چیری وخت در سره وی تازه کوه یادونه
کله نا کله به خپل زړه کوروه یادونه
وایه چی ما در یادوی او که نیشت کړی د دئ
په سپینه خوله ډېری ګیلی درته کومه که نه
د خپل ساحل خټک تصویر د ژړوی او که نه
زړه ته سکون څه ورکوی که صبرکړی د دئ
Thoughts lingered and brought you to the now.
Then they stretched back to the moments
that punctuated our togetherness.
Then the sun rose to mark your birthday.
November 15, 2014
New Year Message
The year draws to a close and as Chapter 2013 embosses its vignette, it draws a blank in the uncertainty of the pages that are turned by the gentle breeze of time. There, we trace our destiny in the shading of the black ink that kisses the white papyrus. Absorbed in the contrast of colors left behind in the footprint of the inkblot, we lose sight of how we are written in them.
As we say farewell to the ‘dreaded thirteen’ with a heavy heart, we would like to express our appreciation and gratitude, one more time, to family, friends, and foreigners who out of the goodness of their hearts embraced us in our sorrow and stood by us to lighten the weight of the emotional burden that had befallen our family. Through it we felt the strength of your friendship, we sensed the soothing of your sympathy, and we were deeply touched by your unfading compassion. More importantly, I personally gained an insight that Jahan who is my world has somehow become our world. Leading us to a wisdom that our being is not confined to the boundary of our skin, but lives beyond the limitations of our perception if we only set free the Divine potential within to realize how alien ‘otherness’ is to our human nature.
Let’s hope that in the year and years to come, our humanity soars to a higher plane of reality tapping into the spiritual potential to reach beyond the stars.
May your star shine brightly on the un-trodden paths of many tomorrows,
Zaman Stanizai and family
For literary dedications and responses to this message click here.
د لنډۍ خیالونه ترجمه
گل چهره گان همی ز خاک می رویند
زیبا ز گل ام بین چو به خاک می خسبد
گه سنگینئ غمت بمن افزاید
گه وزن کنم عشق تو با سقلت سنگ
ګلان له خاورو پیدا کېږی
زما جانان تر ګل ښایسته خاورو ته ځینه
کله د غم را باندی زور شی
کله د مینه په درنو کاڼو تلمه
برای مشاهدهٔ ویدیوی «راوئ رویا» و مطالعهٔ نثرو نظم آن
چی له حضوره شوی غایبه ما په غم وژړل
ما د فراق په هر پړاو کی په ماتم وژړل
شینکی آسمان می لټاوه ستا در رویت په تمه
د سترګو توری می شول سپین خو لا می کم وژړل
Happy Birthday - on the other side of reality
(Read Mid-November Morning in Cherished Moments)
Your absence distanced by six moons. Your presence colors my Valentine
The Pink Magnolia
your beautiful hands
graced pruning last year
is in the full bloom of its glory
unfurling its gorgeous petals
in your favorite hot pink.
They reach skyward
to show off to you:
Mommy, Mommy! Look,
pink petals, no hands!
Its branches frame the window
of your favorite room,
my new temple,
trying to steal a peek through
as the warm solstice rays
dance, deflect, and reflect off
the light-green olive-hued walls
looking for your countenance
to glow in smiling pink response.
the petal cups gaze into the blue
‘Do they have trees up there?’
Jahantab Alam Stanizai
Jahan was born November 15, 1952 in Kabul, Afghanistan. A loving mother, an intellectual father and a house full of brothers and sisters gave her a nurturing, challenging place to begin her journey. She began her education at Rabia Balkhi Lycee, one of the finest girls schools in Kabul.
Jahan met Zaman Stanizai at Kabul University, and within months of their marriage they came to the Untied States, where she earned her B.A. in English Literature from the University of Washington in Seattle. Though Jahan returned home after college to help her war-torn country, political turmoil and crisis forced them to seek asylum back in the U.S.
On behalf of my beautiful children and myself I thank you all from the core of my being for your deeply-felt expressions of friendship and support during these trying times as our family adjusts to a new reality in which Jahan’s spiritual presence refuses any recognition of her physical absence. The past is just a ‘tense,’ while the present is a reality of her undeniable presence as her soul fills every measure of the transient temporality of our lives. She is and always will be in our hearts. She is.
So many of you extended your hands we pressed in friendship, you lent your shoulders we leaned on for emotional support, and you opened your hearts that turned our otherwise deserted world bloom in efflorescence. We are grateful for your letters of support, for your poems of inspiration, for your e-mails of sympathy, for your phone calls of offering help, for extending a helping hand in the hospital and at home, for bringing food and gifts to Jahan, and for showing your love with beautiful bouquets of flowers that withered to seed lasting friendships that Jahan's family will always remember.
The Stanizai Family
Lasting Last Letters to Jahan
There are no words to thank you all sufficiently for the many beautiful cards and letters you sent to Jahan expressing your love for her in her final days and to her family for support and in sympathy. We acknowledge your feelings wholeheartedly. Considering the wonderings of yours thoughts expressed so beautifully, it behooves us not to share them in excerpts with those who unveil Jahan's website for the first time.
In the expression of beautiful thoughts some good friends have really gone the extra mile and have paid their tribute to Jahan's spirit through artistic and animated notecards.
To see these notecards please
E u l o g i e s
On Sunday, August 25th Jahan Stanizai was eulogized by family and friends in a gathering of the celebration of her life. The events was hosted by the Islamic Center of Southern California and attended by many friends of Jahan from all faith communities adhering to the one common denominator—humanity.
For the text of the eulogies click here
The Email Log
We have been inundated by the hundreds of beautiful letters, cards, phone calls, and emails. Your words assiduously attended to our emotional comfort and deserve an equally heartfelt response. This is our response, appreciation, and gratitude to each and every one of you. As a tribute to Jahan’s free and freed spirit, the messages of condolences are posted in this E-mail Log as an indication that she was admired much by many.To read the Email Log click here
Happy in her earthly garden - May she be merrier in her heavenly garden of bliss.