She sat next to me in the airport in Washington. Our conversation went something like this:
Her: So going to New York?
Me: Yes, in transit. I'm actually going to Marrakech. You know, in Morocco.
Her: Morocco? Marrakech? Wow! That's amazing. I mean, I think it's amazing. I mean, I don't know for sure. I've never been or anything. What's it like?
And I tried to tell her then. I tried to tell her about the people. About the way that they looked and dressed and spoke, and the way they patted their heart when they said hello. I tried to tell her about the medina and the souks, and the shops filled to overflowing. I tried to tell her about the architecture and the fortresses and the tiles that went on forever. And I tried to tell her about the grittiness and the craziness and the sometimes sadness.
But you know....I am not sure that I could really tell her. Because the words ...they're not enough. They could never be enough. Because you have to see it. You have to experience it. You have to feel it. And only then -- yes, only then....
can you know.
But I will get closer to explaining it to you, if you watch this.
I was thinking what it would be like to have someone -- a stranger -- walk into your pottery studio in Afghanistan, when you were just about to leave.
And to have this person, a woman, a foreigner, admire your work. The lines, the forms, the grace.
And to then -- even though you are late -- decide to reach for your clay.
And change it.
And at your potter's wheel...
quickly, so quickly....
have the clay grow
until it is something else.
under your fingertips.
I wonder if you knew your power. Your gift.
Because despite the chaos outside. Outside those doors. Outside in those Kabul streets. Outside in those big buildings where people made decisions, or tried to, or pretended to, that affected other people. Hundreds of people, thousands of people, millions of people.
Despite all that, I wonder if you knew that your clean slice....
would be remembered.
Beauty and kindness and generousity have always been -- and will always be -- a form of salvation.
She sat next to me in the audience of the Caftan 2013. Impossibly slim. Diamonds on her fingers and wrist. Her Gucci coat folded neatly in her lap. Her hair falling like a river to her waist. She leaned towards me and said, That used to be me on that stage for the Caftan fashion shows.