Thursday, March 21, 2013

Justice Delivered

And so the open roads call to me… The ever changing horizons, and the boundless sky which loses itself in the abundance of the green lush pastures in front of my wheels beckon to me…

It never fails!….the sheer vastness of the land washes over me like baptismal water.   And once again, I find myself welling up to tears at the immensity of the universe, and my singular existence within my own skin,

in this moment,
in this lifetime,
on this particular spot,

billions of years behind me, 
billions of years ahead of me, 
billions of planets and people and possibilities… 

And once again, I am alone, with me, in the lone solitude of the open road driving to some courthouse, to some detention facility, but really, trying to make sense of my own existence within the greater world at large.

The words of my Zen master prophetically dance in my ears as they have on previous occasions, as if divinely ordained to hallow my existence which is about to undergo yet another epiphany… “the lesson will reveal itself when the student is ready”….

I am ready!… although I don’t know for what.  Yet,  I know that I am here, thousands of miles away from home, in a part of the country that is so foreign and unfamiliar to me. I can feel the earth breathe rhythmically. I can feel the sky quivering with the same sheer excitement of a young girl about to experience her first passion...

I can sense the trees. The lush of the pastures extend their arms to me… There is a warm sense of welcome in these foreign lands.

I am watched over, I know it...
I can feel it.
I am connected to the earth, … and yet I am lost.

My phone is not picking up any signals…
I do not have a map.

And my secretary’s text messages deciphering the serpentine back roads of these god forsaken rural areas of Texas are innocuous at best. I am lost,  literally and figuratively. Lost in the world of my thoughts, and lost on the roads.

He had been a decorated Sergeant in the Shah’s Imperial guard. A man of valor, a man of integrity… a blue blood.  He never said so,.. but his stoic demeanor told me that his upbringing was one which had known the rigors of a disciplined life. A comfortable educated upper class demeanor gently and quietly revealed itself from behind the glass pane that separated me, the criminal defense attorney and him the criminal defendant held in the detention facility.

Opium: the religion of the masses, the quiet pain killer and the silent companion became his lover to soothe the pain of the Islamic Revolution, loss of position, loss of country, inability to cope with the new country, and his failure in not being accepted into the US Air Force. Fast forward 30 years, he was now sitting in custody on charges of transporting 20 kg of opium for distribution and facing potentially 96 months of incarceration….

I remember the first and only time his elderly mother came to see me in my office… She was a small, frail woman with the bone structure of a sparrow but the presence and sheer strength of character of a Lioness. She had come to bless me and surrender her son’s future in my hands. She, the lioness, had single handedly raised 7 kids by herself, … she was the matriarch of a family and was standing in my office, in front of me, to tender her son’s destiny to my hands. Her head was covered in a simple yet elegant gray and black scarf which covered the thin silver braid of hair that came down to the middle of her back. Hair that must have been thick and lush in her younger years streamed down a spine which undoubtedly stood proud and strong, despite her advanced years.

The innate knowledge that she might never see her son as a free man hung like an invisible somber cloud in my office. Her bony fingers trembled as she raised her hand to my head… she softly laid her hand on my head and closed her eyes. Tears, gently at first, and then with the ferocity of a spring shower, rolled down the lines on her face, which by now had turned into  rivers…. She blessed me with a prayer, a murmur under her breath. She asked her God to protect me, so that I could protect her son. I bent over to kiss her, and in the traditions of our forefathers, in an act reserved for feudal serfs to their masters, she kissed my shoulder.

"Riders on the Storm,  in this town were born". I am brought back to the road. The Doors as if by magic read my solemn mood. The guitar solo is wailing. Who are we? What are we? Why are we where we are? Why me? Why this lifetime? Why here? What is my purpose in life?  Why did my soul choose this body, this vessel, this juncture in time and space to experience this lifetime?

What is this deep profound yearning within me that is like a bottomless cavernous abyss dragging me to the deepest recesses of my existence only to heave me in the context of an epiphany to the boundless and infinite sphere of the universe?

Am I not the master of my choices? Do I not create my own reality? I have willed this, … I know this much. I am here by my own design, this much I know as well. I am the master of my own destiny…this fact, is an absolute certainty in my mind. Yet, what is the destiny? The purpose? The reason?

I am being. I know that.

I am experiencing the Journey of my soul… I know that as well… but where am I going??? And why? The teachings of Carlos Castaneda resonate in my mind:  death is the ultimate step in knowledge.  And perhaps not until I pass thru the gates of death will I know.   I pass thru the metal gates…Barbed wires protect the property.   Funny! I think…. Where would they go if they were to run away. The nearest civilization is billions of miles away. They’d die of  starvation! ….

I pass thru 5 set of locked doors in a federal facility that smells more like a meat shop. “Plump Rosy” greets me behind a glass partition and checks my credentials.  “California”, she exclaims, with the sophistication of a potato in a farmer’s market!  “Yes”, I said. “I am a long way from home”.

And within me, Rumi chants to me: "The Universe is your home… take wings my child, fly…"

Clank… clank... clank…..The doors open and shut one after the other….. The sound of his hands and feet in chains drag along the corridor…..He looks good. Cheeks are rosy. He has gained weight. He looks healthy. He shares the poems that his daughter has written for him. He shares his own writings with me. He shares his poetry. We talk about Rumi. He says: “what will become of me”?

“This”, I said…” was the easy part. Tomorrow is your sentencing…. The Judge can deviate from the agreement and sentence you above guideline range, and give you up to ten years… However, if he follows the agreement… you will only have another twelve to sixteen months to do… The real question, is what will you do once you go home? The hard work starts when you try to reintegrate within your own. How will you make amends to your wife? To your kids?  To your family? Your mother is dead… how will you explain this to her? How will you forgive yourself? How will you absolve yourself before your own conscience?”

How will anyone of us make amends to  ourselves for all that we have done or not done to our self? In the context of the greater Universe, is breaking the law the true crime? Isn’t the real crime not being true to our real self? Isn’t the ultimate transgression that which is done against our own existence, our own path? Our own Journey? Who answers for that? who punishes us for that? What is the real punishment for not having taken the right road, or having taken that one wrong left turn? What are these societal rules? What happens to personal ethics when they collide with the mores of the society?

I write out his colloquy to the Judge.  This is his one opportunity to address the Court and tell the Judge about his remorse. I have tried to keep it simple.. I used the words that I thought he might use.. not mine. With any luck, tomorrow, the hands of the Universe will be with me…

My legal arguments are ready…. My passion for my work is flowing like the Ganges ….  My need to find absolution and harmony in a world that is sadly lacking in such empowers me more than my legal arguments.  With any luck, I will find strength  from within…with any luck, once again my desire to perfection, for lust of words, and most importantly, my yearning for yet another epiphany will endow me with the power of speech to deliver justice.

I am for now, a criminal defense attorney, a constitutional defender… that is until such time as I find my true identity.

Alaleh Kamran
March 23, 2011 Dallas/Texas

Law Offices of Alaleh Kamran
 15760 Ventura Blvd, Suite 1010
 Encino, Ca 91436

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trial readiness

I don't know what justice is anymore... i don't know where the lines between right and wrong, black and white, just and unjust blur... i sit and wait in court, ... i have asked for certain documents for umpteenth million times, ... still not here. i have filed my motions, 4 months later, the opposition is filed last minute, ... no one has time, no one cares. Everybody is over worked, under paid. System is drained. The man without money is fucked, the one with money can buy justice. The lines are long, the clerks fed up, the judges tired. The building festers... it reeks. This cannot be maintained. The masses are being literally screwed on a daily basis... and no system where the masses are screwed can stand the test of longevity.

yes, your honor! Ready for trial.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I am Tahmineh!!- In Celebration of International Women's Day.

She confuses me…

Here I am mother, wife, woman.
She fascinates me…

Here I am activist, feminist, independent, lawyer.
She beguiles me…

Here i am free spirited, liberated, unchained.
​​She intimidates me….

There she is …
The daughter of the King of Samangan, beautiful, wise, young, passionate ambitious…
She claws her way through the pages of mythology, …
into my reality,
into my life,
into my head.

 She is powerful!  She is formidable!!   She is commanding!!

She roars like the Lions...
         She thunders like the ferocious skies ...
and then, she cries, and she whimpers. She sobs and she falls apart like chalk…

She grabs me by shoulders, she shakes me to my core, she questions my foundations, my beliefs, my reality.

Tahmineh has crossed the incredibly vast repository of Ferdowsi’s mind into the timeless pages of mythology, AND unto history…

only to penetrate my soul,

to infiltrate my being and
to stand by my road,
by my path,
on this part of my JOURNEY.

Tahmineh has name, she has fame. She has fortune.
She is the daughter of the king.
She needs nothing.

She is all want… all desire… and all passion.

She is brave and courageous.

She professes her love to Rostam. She tells him she has loved him from far away, through the legends that have made Rostam the Pahlavan that he is…

But is that LOVE? How can you love a man you’ve never seen?

Or is that lust?

Or is it desire?

Does our soul recognize our soul mate before we are aware of his presence? Or did she lust him for the warrior and incredible specimen of DNA that he was?

Or was it desire? The desire to conquer the infallible warrior on territory where only a woman can win?

Why does Rostam show up in Samangan in the first place and manage to lose his horse? Did Rostam call unto Tahmineh? Did Tahmineh call unto ROstam?
Is it fate?
Is it destiny?
Is it free will?

Did she create her own reality by choosing to act on her desires? Or were Rostam and Tahmineh pawns in a chess game divined by fate?     Tahmineh plunges me deep in the embrace of Molana…..

Tahmineh walk into his chambers… She makes it clear that she understands that the union, even though sanctified, is a short lived one. She wants the union to produce a Child.

and I ask my self… would I not do the same were I not placed in her position, in her shoes, face to face with one of the most formidable and desired men of my time? Would I not make the same choices, having had all that I’d need: Name, fame and fortune?

Would I not have laid besides the strongest, bravest and most courageous of warriors, knowing that the union may produce the perfect child?

I admit: I love the fact that she chooses to walk into HIS chambers, smelling of musk and much like the Lion in search of Prey, She walks in, intent on the hunt… filled with desire, fueled by passion, driven by the knowledge that Rostam, the undefeatable, will not be able to resist her beauty & intelligence, she hones in on the KILL.

Who amongst us, would not have done the same?

Tahmineh’s choice plunges me inside Plato’s discourse on Theories of Desire…

Does all my education, knowledge, wisdom, life experience, cries of liberation, feminism and independence suddenly give way to my need to become a mother, a creator, a goddess? Am I striving for immortality by wanting a child or am I being benevolent GOD by bringing a life into this world??

Tahmineh makes me question the fundamental issue of what it is to be a creator. She makes me question God and religion.

Why does she not tell Rostam that the child was a boy? Did she withhold the truth and thus betray Rostam? Does Rostam have any legitimate standing to inquire and demand the truth? Did he not forfeit his right to know when he chose to leave? What is Free Will? If she chose to lay by his side, and beget his child, did he not make the same choice? Did he not chose as well to lay with her, and give her that which she wanted the most? Was he not thus, responsible to inquire, to raise and to parent the child?

Tahmineh makes me question what it means to be a parent.

Why did it matter the child was a boy and not a girl… Why do we accept it as betrayal to not advise the father he’s had a son… But it’s not treason for the father to be absent from the child’s life, if she happens to be a girl??

Tahmineh raises issues of gender discrimination and misogyny.

Who does the child belong to? Whose reality is dominant? What is the truth? Tahmineh’s reality of wanting a child to make her the Queen is not the truth of Sohrab’s existence as Rostam’s child.
Sohrab’s truth has no meaning within the context of her intentions. Does she free Sohrab like the arrow from the Bow to live out his life … or was it Sohrab’s right to own his own reality by gaining knowledge of his lineage. Does she taint his truth in her ambition to become Queen?

Tahmineh channels Machiavelli’s notions that the ends justify the means.

Does it matter what our intentions are regardless of the end results?
Are we culpable for that which we set in motion but we do not will? ?
Is there a greater responsibility for intending things that are beyond our control?
What is the difference between intent, deliberation and rationalization..

Tahmineh slams me against the walls of legal jurisprudence.

How sweet it is to be free! … How thrilling it is to have free will… How refreshing it is to own oneself, one’s womanhood… How so very empowering to have the will, the knowledge, the desire and the power to want something, strive for it, obtain it and achieve it and savor the spoils of war…

But was she? Was she really free? Did she really own herself? Was she really empowered? Or was Tahmineh in need of child to become Queen, in need of man, to become a mother, in need of her father the King, to have the luxury of comfort in life and thus the ability to chose her prey?

When she is told of Sohrab, her son’s death, at the hands of Rostam, her lover… Tahmineh laments:

To whom shall I clasp upon my bosom now?
Who is there that will rid me of my grief?
Whom shall I call upon to take thy place?
To whom impart my pain and misery?

Tahmineh’s response… in looking outside of her self, looking for someone to “rid her of her grief” … or someone to whom to impart her pain and misery to… or someone to clasp upon her bosom… destroys me…

Is Tahmineh really a woman of free will, or is she, the quintessential victim of sexism who has to use manipulation to gain station in life?

I have to admit... it is quite an honor, perhaps one of the pinnacles of my life, to stand in front of hundreds, at the Palace of Fine Arts, on the International Celebration of Women's Day and speak among artists...And i am but a speck of dust in the Universe...But the whole of Universe reverberates tonight, within my existence... And surely, i know, the Universe, as i know it, would not be the same without me.

I want to say that i am humbled! i am not. i am not that important to be humbled. BUT I am proud... i am giddy... i am ecstatic, i am filled with joy to be a woman, an independent thinker, a rebel rouser, a revolutionary, and a skeptic.

I am thankful to all the Women who came before me... who suffered and triumphed ahead of me... who forged the way, who paved the road and who illuminated the road, so that i could become who i have.

None of us is alone… none of us wins alone, none of us suffers alone, none of us laughs alone.

We are sisters thru and true. We are mothers, we are lovers, we are wives, we are daughters, we are thinkers, believers, movers, shakers, creators….

We are god’s finest work, most precious work and most complex creation.

We have thousands of layers, hundred of moods, and dozens of facets

We are evanescent, and yet eternal
We are mercurial and yet consistent
We are passionate and yet logical
We are infallible yet fragile…

We are


Alaleh Kamran
March 8, 2013
San Francisco
Copyright 2013
in Celebration of the International Women's Day
in collaboration with

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