I just want to take this moment to sincerely apologize for my lack of preparation for the first presentation of our AP year. I know some of you don’t know me very well, and I didn’t leave the best first impression (though it wasn’t far from accurate). I hope we can set that aside and move on, as I present to you, the presentation I wish you all saw.
“One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs,
Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.” – A Thousand Splendid Suns (192)
The context in which I used this quote is when Babi is taking his family away from Kabul. He is deciding on which books he should take with him, because he knows he cannot take them all. He remembers a poem from Saib-e-Tabrizi, but only a certain part of it. The quote itself is defining the beauty of Kabul as indefinite, as Babi was cherishing his moments before he had to leave.
It exemplifies Babi’s reluctance in his decision, especially as before he was remembering his entire life in Kabul. In the context of the poem, being the only lines with a lack of certainty in their words. I believe that this shows Babi’s undying love for his home, regardless of the state in which it is currently in. He knows that everything he is in this life is due to his love for his city. Anything which makes him a worthwhile human is due to his growth in Kabul.
All my life I’ve been told of the potential my body holds. That my procrastination-like tendencies have held me back from a greater success. And for so long, I believed that if I looked deep inside myself for long enough, I could find that. But now I’ve realized that it is of much greater ease to be around someone who brings out the best in you. I have been blessed with the presence of great people in my life, many of which have allowed the better parts of me to be revealed, even to myself. These valuable members of my memories are the people who I believe I, for lack of better words, acquire my “beauty” from. And it is these people who cross my mind the most, especially during times of distress, as a reminder that, regardless of what may occur, such a collective beauty will always remain steadfast.
As a member of this AP class, I have to mention how grateful I am for each and every one of you. You all have taught me so much about myself, many things even I could not have known. It takes a special individual to allow one to find the beauty in parts of themselves they did not know they had, and I consider all of you as such individuals – as my family.
They say I am beautiful
And perhaps they are right. Perhaps I do have this undefined beauty about me that I cannot perceive. Perhaps my desire to see wholesome truth, naked and white, has rendered me blind, and hence I am unable to find it in myself. They say I have beauty behind my walls but I cannot see it past the wounds and the scars. And as I scavenge for it through the depths of the dark, I realize I may be lost. Lost and afraid. Not sure of which ways to look before I continue to trudge with glasses too big for my face and one of the lenses missing. Gone. Hindering my already impaired vision. Alone and lost I find myself strangely unable to cry. The tears are prevented from flowing as though they aren’t mine to shed. I stumble across a piece of glass, also broken, and through my defective eyesight, I manage to glimpse at my reflection. Alone. Frightened. Ugly. Discerning only the parts of me which make me so. The scars on my body from falling so much. The bags under my eyes. A gaze of hopelessness. I take another glance into the glass and wonder what part about me they see that deceives them into admiration. I don’t believe them when they tell me I am beautiful. I fear they say it out of pity. Scarred and lost, I fall to my knees. Devoid of hope. Right where you found me. When you admired the resilience in my eyes. The curls in my hair. The shape of my face. The quirks in me, good and bad. When you told me I was beautiful.
And I knew I was beautiful
But I do not feel beautiful. Not yet. Sitting alone at home, effervescently awaiting your arrival as I sulk in my own darkness. I tell myself I don’t need anyone; and yet I cannot help but admit that there is nothing more I crave than the thought of you. The sight of you. My human remains unfulfilled without you. I cannot be satisfied until my very scent is molded by your presence. Until I can be wholly beautiful. I sit back and ponder in complete fascination of the great virtues you exhibit – your sense of care, understanding. How you’d observe my every sentence with great care, as though dealing with an infant. The stature with which you held yourself – you weren’t doing anything specific in particular and yet I could not help but be left in awe as you’d walk away (forced to go), with grace in every step – abandoning me with unoccupied desire. I only feel beautiful with you. Only you can bring out the thousand splendid suns from inside me. Only you can reveal the countless moons that shimmer on my roof. Only you can make me beautiful. From the tips of my toes to the crown of my head, I am engulfed by the desire to become yours. To be sculpted by you as a the sculptor. To display my beauty as a derivative of your own. Our beauty.
Your beauty illuminates mine.
I have found peace and light inside myself while in your presence
Meri Jaan, we are beautiful.