15 May

We arrived late at night before our friends. Do we go in? Do we wait till our friends arrive? We go in as strangers. We were welcome. Food was offered and good conversation started. Despite the continuous rain at the beach, I knew we would enjoy ourselves.

When we first arrived to visit our friends, the Khans, in New Orleans they invited us to stay the week and come to Grand Isle to spend the weekend with their friends at a rented beach house. I went to high school with Zia and Traci. Traci was a year ahead of me and Zia was the other ethnic kid in my class. My friendship with Zia helped contextualize my solicitation. I didn’t feel isolated anymore. No one wants to be alone. Our friendship arose out of a complete understanding of one another. That and I had a car before Zia so he used me for rides. Zia’s friendship means a great deal to me. He is the only person from high school who I still keep up with. He and Traci now have two beautiful daughters. I hope they are walking at Audubon Park now enjoying nature and their girls. They are fortunate to be moving to Hawaii. While I believe this will be an excellent step for them, part me knows that this distance may weaken our bond.

Zia had said the beach was not as nice as a Florida panhandle beach. You can also see oilrigs from the shore. Our trip isn’t to only see beauty but rather to be open to the possibilities that present themselves to us. Once something has closed, it no longer seeks to add. There is no room for growth. In Key West, there was a radio host who would always say, “your mind is like a parachute, it only works when it is open.” The energy you arrive with determines your destination.

We moved from one conversation to the other. Quickly felt comfortable. Snacked throughout the day. I kept telling Sarah we couldn’t leave Louisiana without going to a crawfish boil. Saturday it happened. Two rounds of boil eating on a long bench facing one another. It wasn’t food, beach, or drinking, but rather a gathering of people for the sole purpose of sharing our selves and what we had. Work was hardly discussed. It’s how people were meant to exist. Thank you all for being open to us and to each other. It was an experience that renewed my belief in being open and more importantly in humanity.

12 Responses to “Open”

  1. Lisa May 15, 2013 at 10:05 pm #

    Well stated Hani – what a beautiful gift this year will be for your mind to play! I like that quote you referenced. It’s a perfect analogy to incorporate while I am in different environment/culture and trying to keep the creative space open for looking at problems and coming up with solutions while engaging people in the best way possible.

    • Sarah May 16, 2013 at 1:16 am #

      Thanks Lisa, have a blast in New Zealand.

  2. Kristy May 16, 2013 at 12:40 am #

    Hani and Sarah,
    Alex, Cole and I loved meeting you both and are so glad you joined us! We wish you well and safe travels! Next time y’all are in New Orleans, please let us know.

    • Sarah May 16, 2013 at 4:13 am #

      thanks and we will definitely take you up on that offer since the khans are leaving. we can stay up late and watch the ipad with cole.

      • Kristy May 17, 2013 at 2:26 am #

        Or better yet, get a sitter! Honestly, y’all are always welcome in our home.

  3. Traci May 16, 2013 at 3:32 am #

    I’ve always loved your friendship with Zia. I’m glad he has you and vice versa. I don’t think Hawaii will put any kind of dent in it. It was wonderful seeing you both. I’m enjoying your writing. This was beautifully written…except you forgot that paragraph about how awesome I am. 😀

    • Sarah May 16, 2013 at 4:07 am #

      you dont need the affirmation like zia does. you know you are awesome!

  4. Zia May 16, 2013 at 4:12 am #

    That was really sweet Hani. I’m very thankful that I know you and I’m very sorry that I was working so much while you were here. Hopefully, Hawaii Zia will have more perspective.

    • May 16, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

      Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.” Carl Jung. Sounds like the Handsome one is aweking. I am happy for you both for being on this journey.

  5. Edrik López May 16, 2013 at 11:51 am #

    I’m ethnic, too! lol Great post and cool adventure!

    • Sarah Maya May 20, 2013 at 12:24 am #

      You were too Rosetta Stone famous to relate to me. “It really is a good program.”

  6. gatorgirlart May 16, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

    With your attitudes and intentions, I think you will have an amazing trip followed by an amazing life.

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