I have heard from my friend J. She is in Tehran, happy and safe and having an exciting time. She says the energy in Iran is palpable; that it is "bursting at the seams."
Too bad the seams are held together by religious oppression and a maniacal leader who seems hell-bent on provoking conflict.
At any rate, J.'s impressions of Iran as vibrant, alive, and energetic are consistent with what I read in Time Magazine a couple of days ago.
Anyhow, J. tells me that while hiking in the mountains near Tehran, she and her mother came upon a tiny, hungry abandoned puppy. She took it back to her father's house and has been caring for it. She named him Candide - evidently J. was reading Voltaire that day.
J.'s delight at the warmth and happiness she feels from the unequivocal friendship of this tiny creature reminded me of a time when I had the company of a small animal in a foreign land. When I was in France with my family after I took the bar exam, we were adopted by a tiny orange kitten. He followed us around wherever we wandered on the property; kept us company by the pool; curled up in an empty chair as we enjoyed the Mistral breeze in the evenings; snuggled in my arms as I watched the Leonid meteors late at night. He may have said "miaou" instead of "meow," but the kitten and I communicated in a universal language that required no translator; he was soft and sweet-smelling and purred contentedly; I was gentle and warm and knew how to scratch between his ears just so.
J. in her travels to exotic corners of the world has found a new friend whose love transcends national borders and is indifferent to global conflict. I know that this Persian puppy is well cared-for, and I'm content that J. is too.