Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ode to

The space we inhabited when our precious loved ones, Josh, Shane, and Sarah, were held hostage by the Iranian regime, was a space of immense pain, loss, fear. A dark, oppressive cloud hovered in the air between us and their cells in Evin prison, hovered around us every second of every day, making it difficult to breathe, threatening to stifle the flames within us. 

Our website,, taken down on Jan 4, 2013, embodied everything within us that we couldn’t express for fear of the cracks and fissures in our hearts spreading through our bodies and shattering us into pieces. It was the shared landscape of our journey to FREEDOM; the place where we could meet Josh, Shane, and Sarah across the abyss between us, and hold them close. When we couldn’t speak to or write to them, we posted our love online for the world to see, and hoped it would travel to their hearts in their prison cells in Iran. We hoped it would tell them that we were fighting for them with every cell in our hearts, minds, and bodies; that it would hold them and ourselves together; that it would bring them home. 

It was our “hope in the darkness”. I dedicate this song, "Ghosts That We Knew" by Mumford & Sons, to and every beautiful soul who created it and made it the beautiful, powerful place it was in the darkest of times. 

"These words will be windows"

Trying to express the unimaginable feeling of a loved one held hostage in words. For the 2 years and 2 months Josh was held captive by the Iranian regime, words were woefully inadequate to describe my feelings. Though I was his voice and I called out for his FREEDOM every moment of every day, when it came to expressing my feelings, I embodied the silence imposed on him. I was full of words I could not say, feelings beyond words.

Words still elude me when I try to capture my journey since he was released. I am full of unfinished thoughts, incomplete sentences…words I cannot say, words that don’t exist.

A beautiful friend encouraged me to find words and to share them at a gathering of friends at his home. These are the words I spoke. As Josh said when he started writing a book to tell his story, “These words will be windows, not walls.”

Ocean of emotion

We were two rivers of life
with intertwined tributaries
flowing in parallel
unable  to meet

When you were FREED
our rivers converged
into the crashing waves
of an ocean
of collective emotion

We crash against each other
and pull apart
with the waves

We swim to the surface
fight to stay afloat

We reach for each other
then try to let go

We forge
our journeys forward
our own rivers
from our ocean
the source of
our strength
Our collective heart