A Time to Heal, A Time to Kill; A Self-Image by Golnaz Jamsheed (2015). All Rights Reserved.
A nostalgic glimpse at my childhood at my grandmother's home in Neishabour, spending most summers and Nowruz holidays, filled with life and joy.
On a deep pink colored wall in the parlor of her home, it still hangs a large-scale painting with a bulky wooden frame. The painting was commissioned by my eldest uncle to Mohammad Mehdi Akhbari, a local painter, before I set foot on mother earth. It depicts a famous European war scene with a young woman standing over a wounded soldier, attempting to cut her hair with a dagger. Another soldier is kneeling by his side. Two horses are standing nearby, one white and one brown.
At almost eight years old I was told that the heroine is cutting her hair to place it on his wound in order to save his life; as if a magic healing potion. Nevertheless, if she lost a single hair, she would die. A true act of sacrifice. Resting my childish head on my knees, to me she was life, she was humanity, showing me the art of living.
Akhbari had painted for us the very fact and law of sacrifice, which still hangs at my grandmother's home, even after the earthquake left a big crack on the wall a few years back. I have looked at this painting a great deal over the years as I transitioned into my adulthood wondering when these trapped souls will come to life. Or perhaps it's my own childhood fantasies and dreams that are trapped within that frame.
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