Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Scheherezade


Do you remember the Arabian Nights? A king who was disappointed in his wife’s infidelity married a new virgin each night and executed her the next morning for vengeance. After 1,000 such women came Scheherezade and she had a plan. She told the king a story and stopped in the middle. Eager to hear the end, he postponed the morning execution. The next night, she finished the story and then began another, leaving off again before it was finished. Another stay of execution. And so it continued for 1001 nights, 1000 stories, before she confessed that she had no more. By then, his heart had softened and they lived…happily ever after?

I never read the whole collection, but was familiar with the well-known ones like “Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves” and “Sinbad the Sailor.” Rimsky-Korsakoff’s piece (Scheherezade) was one of my all-time favorites as a kid, the soundtrack to that exotic locale and very different world.

Why am I talking about this? Because this is my 1,000th Blog. One thousand stories about my day that have helped shape further and clearer my sense of what each had to offer. With the added pleasure that someone out there is reading them. But I wonder if I might entice readers to come back again and again if I stopped each story in the middle.

Because just last night, I received an e-mail from a beautiful Iranian woman I met in Europe many years back. Her name was Sharzhad and her voice when she sang was like pearls glistening in moonlight. One night, we were at a café sipping gluhwein and she turned to me and said, “You know, I wouldn’t tell anyone this ordinarily, and least of all you, but this wine is working some mischievous magic on me and the distant mountains in the moonlight are so lovely in this evening air." She touched my arm and looked me in the eye and spoke in a soft whisper, "So I think it’s time to confess to you that…”

To be continued.

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