It might sometimes happen that you stare at incomplete drawings after hours of work, drop the pen on the table to bowl and fall slowly off the table, so you can pause with the sound of its knock on the ground… and then get up and go to a friend or a colleague to chat. Yeah! Sometimes your brain is closed, the work doesn’t come out, and whatever you draw or write is useless, that moment when you need some gap, some distraction, to have your mind work again.
It was one of those days, I left the papers as they were, got ready and went to Darakeh, to Iraj Zand’s studio. How happy he was to see me! He was working hard, sticking same-size fake white pearls on a Polish chair with patience and delicacy. How obsessive he was with this work that never got completed…
- Hope I’m not disturbing you!
- Not at all, my dear Simin.
I was about to say “how thin you have become”, but I chose not to disturb his good mood with such inappropriate word.
- How is your son, Simin?
- He’s good, mischievous!
- What do you do?
- Nothing! It’s been a period that whatever I draw or write and whatever I do, doesn’t come out. It’s as if my brain has gone on vacation and stayed there.
As he was pouring the tea in the mugs, He sometimes grinned at my words, then he took each mug in one hand, gave one to me and held one for himself and then sat at the other side of the table.
- So, you are there in commune! (and his usual giggling again.)
And as he was carefully checking his pearly chair, he continued:
- That’s it! Sometimes your mind works, but your hand doesn’t. Sometimes your hand works, and your mind is off, and sometimes they both fail, but no worries! Your engine will finally start, just be careful to keep your mind and hand in sync.
- Sure! You have reminded it so much at the beginning of each class that it has engraved somewhere in the back of my mind.
- Tell me how you spend your time? At your studio? Do you sit at your work desk? Do you stare these days at papers and canvas and everything you have? Do you flip through books?
My home and studio were at same place those days, I had separated some space for my work.
- Yes, though it’s useless! I spend hours around myself and my works, I flip through the books, but nothing! Since some days ago, I started to categorize my works and books, but no serious work! Actually, I feel confused.
- Well! If you are regularly doing all the things you said, then do not worry, I am not worried about you as well, your mind is working, It is obvious that you’re busy…
Then, he brought me a book (It was Sa’di’s Golestan or Mantigh-ut-Tayr, I don’t remember well) and we started reading one or two stories.
He called me a few days later:
How are you dear Simin?
I’m fine, working.
- It was my last meeting with him in his studio. He died a few months later in December 2006, due to the bowel cancer.