J A M E S D . H O U S T O N I have been trying to remember the name of this fellow I knew in college. I think it was Ferad. I have looked through the yearbook. His picture isn't there. He didn't belong to any clubs. He was an exchange student, a few years older than me. I will call him Ferad. He came from Iran but preferred his country's older name. If you asked him where he lived he'd say, with pride, "I am a Jew from Persia." I once came upon him sitting alone in the sunlight, reading, on the steps outside our dormitory. In the moment before he noticed me behind him, I stood gazing at his cap, a small bowl of cloth held in place by coils of thick black hair that reached up around its edges. From above, you could see the pattern of intricate circles, some made of tiny squares, some made of triangles, rings of interwoven reds and blues and golds, all layered around a central wheel with eight spokes. Nowadays I would recognize its mandala pattern. Back then it held me for reasons I couldn't fathom.
Manoa – University of Hawai'I Press
Published: Mar 16, 2011