Adonis Diaries

Archive for February 25th, 2009

Something on my life since I returned to Lebanon in 2000

 

The “suicidal” decision

 

            My diary covers the period since 2004 but it includes basically many events in most of my life and my impressions and should be used to fill the gaps in my shortened autobiography. 

At Re/Max I was doing fine with my associate Marlon, from the Philippine, and then I sold a property and the owners of Re/Max wanted the percentage on the bonus that the seller offered me and I got pissed off and asked a Real Estate lawyer I deal with to negotiate that bonus problem but I got no responses.  I decided to pay Re/Max $7,000 for past dues instead of settling for the 30/70 cut on a commission; that was a huge mistake on my part and I paid dearly for it.  I joined another Realtor in Gaithersburg as independent with a modicum monthly due but I had to change all my signs and posters and my business went downhill for the same hours of work and toil and misery.

And then surprise; finally after 7 years, the immigration got on my file as a political refuge applicant. My former lawyer had told me that if my file is not opened in that a six years lapse of time then I could apply for residency status; her information was not correct, I think. I had to visit the immigration office in Virginia for an interview; the case officer told me that I was entitled for residency after 20 years in the USA but as a political refuge case he has obliged to defer me to a judge and would not give me residency.

I was tired of fighting my case as a political refugee and I had not the financial means or the necessary support to linger any longer in the USA; I was practically sick and tired of my lonely life; I had lost or lacked any purpose there since my work in Real Estates was not saving me any money after the frequent expenses for promoting my line of business.

            On a whim, I ordered my lawyer to ask for voluntary deportation.  Consciously, I knew that this is the moment in my live that I decided “suicide” in the long term.  There were no major opportunities in Lebanon and I was never fit to live and transact in the social fabric of Lebanon.  I have always been introverted and could not be voluble as society would expect from me.  I had no friends and I didn’t expect to have learned much on how to make friendship.

I sold my car for cheap $1,000 to my landlord and left him everything that I could not carry in two traveling suitcases, including the Japanese “futon” that I cherished, my expensive hair cutter and my cellular phone and everything in my lousy room.  I made the mistake of leaving over $1,500 in the bank, an amount that the bank would not return to me on the tacit understanding that the government has taken the money to cover taxes due.

Summer Night of the Iguana (February 25, 2009)

 

            “You need to believe in at least a single idea or in a person; at any price.  You have to keep the search for some kind of certitude” This is the gist of what Tennessee Williams was trying to convey in his play “The night of the Iguana” Fred keeps fishing and returning the fishes back to the river. Hanna keeps painting portraits and her grandfather keeps reciting poems for subsistence. Pedro and Poncho catch an iguana; they tie it for the night to have it for breakfast; the iguana keeps screaming all night long. The problem with all these characters is that their search horizon for certainty is pretty limited. A few of us take the easy way out in our restricted environment and substitute individual certitude with social paradigms. We want to find our particular meaning in this life but we lack enough temerity to widen our compass and dare to try anything different of what we learned or practiced.

 

            The same situations and conditions are experienced with the characters of Anton Chekhov in the play “The Seagull”.  Despair, comfort in a condition, and narrow mindedness are fair signs that we are implicitly searching for certitude but are doing nothing or acting explicitly toward what might give a meaning to our lives.  It seems that the ending of summer brings the worst in us; we longed for a change during a season of potentials but failed to work out a small resolution, the first step in the thousand step journey.

 

            Many modern professionals are zip jet setters, they zip through life as if they are zipping cable channels; they attend quick conferences and return as quickly to nurse jet lags.  Some of the smarter professionals love their jobs, wake up early and sleep soundly.  A few discover the joy of gardening a plot or even read books out of their discipline.  Most of them refuse to return email messages from the non professionals: they might slip a word that is not up to standard BEHAVIOR.

 

            I have been in the morass of finding any kinds of certainty all my life and I am still searching.  Heck, I don’t care for this stupid certainty; nothing is certain and that is the rollercoaster fun of life.  All I want is doing something that interests me within my financial difficulty. I enlarged my compass far and in many directions; I studied various disciplines, I worked in almost all jobs, I fought alone and in a group, and I even tried artistic and musical skills that I knew I could not have.  I am in dire financial condition but it does not phase me. I keep at reading, reflecting, writing, and publishing.  I barely miss a free opportunity to discover, learn, analyze, synthesize, and comprehend the mysteries of life. 

 

The only certitude I could arrive at is that the meaning of life is a personal hard work reflection on your own reality, your potentials, and how to develop your capabilities.  It seems that philosophies and religions are too abstract, too limiting, or too biased.  Those who are paid to interpret all these abstract notions are bad liars; their hypocrisy shines like the sun at noon.

Persia/Iran civilizations: Achemenide Dynasty (Part 2, February 26, 2009)

            There are no Persian historical accounts of antiquity Achemenide Persia Empire.  Most of the stories are excerpts of biased Greek accounts, mainly of the Greek historian Herodotus, and some chapters in the Old Testament.  Archeology would like to say that tribes in Afghanistan and Central Asia moved to south east Iran around 1000 BC of what is called Fars. The Babylon and Assyrian Empires mentioned the Kingdom of Elam with Capital Suse (Khuzestan by Iraq) that bordered Fars.  Cyrus established his Kingdom “Anshan” in 557 BC that spoke the Elam language and in cuneiform writing.

            Cyrus conquers the Kingdom of Medes (North of the Zagros mountain chains) in 550 and the Kingdom of Croesus in Turkey in 546.  Babylon and the Near East Kingdoms are vanquished in 539 and pursue his military advances toward Bactrian (current Afghanistan and part of Central Asia).  Cyrus allowed the Jews in “captivity” in Babylon to return to Judea; the poorer Jews returned and Cyrus funded the reconstruction of their temple. It was during that period that the Jewish Old Testament was initiated in writing and then completed many centuries later after Christ. Cyrus’ son Cambyse conquers Egypt and Darius I expands toward the Indus River regions.  The north of Greece in Thrace and beyond the Danube River is part of the Achemenide Empire.

            The administration of this huge Empire was very structured and divided into Satraps (about 20 of them) of local elites and Kings.  The governor of Satrap (protector of the power) was administered by the central powers in Suse, Ctesiphone, Ecbatane, and later Persepolis in matter of Imperial Army, finance and taxes. The Imperial decrees were translated into the Aramaic language, the most widely local language outside Persia.  The Persian Emperor moved from one capital to another to satisfy the yearly calendar of rituals of the Ahura Mazda religion.  The Satraps were to meet the Emperor visiting their lands and the population offered what they produced such as milk, cheese, dates, and fruits of the season for sumptuous banquets that lasted 7 days and nights; about 15,000 were invited to share in the banquets.  Every year, during the anniversary of the coronation of the monarch a special banquet is thrown and the monarch offered gifts and perfumed his head.  The custom would not permit any demand or request to be denied.  This custom was adopted by the Satraps and it became a tradition in all courts; Herode could not deny Salome her request for the head of Jean the Baptist.

            When Alexander occupied Damascus after the battle of Issos they inventoried the residence of the Imperial Persian Artaxerxes III; there were 46 braiders of crowns, 14 manufacturers of perfumes, 329 female musicians or royal concubines (pallakai).  The monarchs were to create, design, and plant royal gardens called “paradeis” 

The route of the Imperial caravan was well defined from start to finish and horses were ready at every station.  The Imperial army needed 30 days to cross from Suse to Persepolis and it was a true migration of thousands of people.  When the monarch dies all the fires in Ahura Mazda temples were put out.  The new monarch was enthroned in the town of Pasargades and in the shrine of Goddess Anahista, 60 kilometers off Persepolis.  Meticulous and detailed ceremonials of all sorts are obligated on the monarch.

Alexander of Macedonia subjugated Persia in 331 but he did not change anything in the political structure of this well organized and administrated Empire; he even adopted the luxury and ceremonials of the Persian monarchs which angered the Macedonians soldiers greatly.  Seleucus, one of Alexander officers, finally inherited the Persian Kingdom after many decades of infightings but short of Greece and Egypt.  Pretty soon, the Satraps recovered their autonomies.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

February 2009
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