Restlessness pulses through my veins like an unwelcome narcotic, and I’ve been on this drug for so long that I’m not sure if I could live without it. In fact, it was passed to me through fetal capillaries, connected to a placental artery, which branched into a tree with a trunk extending deep into Persian soil.
Then a taproot that splits into two: One in Fars the other in Semnan. My ancestors were indigenous to those lands, but in three generations they were uprooted, torn from native soil, and forcefully flung far from the familiar, forever fated to be foreigners.
Is my restlessness the expression of my struggle against this violent dislocation?
I wonder, if I returned to those lands would I meet people who’d say, “That ground was farmed by your…” or “That stone was laid by your …”? And the locals would have my features on their faces. The food would agree perfectly with my bowels. Perhaps, even, my allergies would perish and I would feel a strange sort of ease, as if I’d been re-planted into a native habitat.
There are many who leave home, reaching into unknown horizons. Seeking the promise of opportunity, ensured by “God, King, and Country.” Roots intact, carefully encased, balled and burlapped with home-earth. Transplanted into newly conquered territories, where land is (re)assigned.
But as it is, my roots dangle from my feet. Clumps of soil try to hang on, but the foreign rains have mostly washed them clean. My leaves are wilting in unfamiliar frosts, my flower is slow to bloom. I realize, I wasn’t prepared for this, but I’m resilient and able to carry on.
My restlessness doesn’t paralyze me, it’s the source of my empowerment. Through it, I’ve learned to obliterate petty narratives about supremacy, sovereignty, patriotism, or permanence.
The drug of restlessness and the impermanence of my life has accustomed me to embrace the unfamiliar, to cast my sails on the open seas, and to carry my anchor in the holding ground of my heart.