How the Body Expresses Time Has Always Been a Ritual

How the Body Expresses Time Has Always Been a Ritual, by Zoya Sardashti, is an extension of autoethnographic research practice. The focus is on a particular part of the transitive: the interrelations of cultural affiliations related to mourning rituals and psychodynamics of living and dying as movements that can be rendered visible, audible, grieved and celebrated. Through performative writing and photography, it attempts to unify the dynamics (alterations and changes) inherent in all mourning rituals to undermine definite ‘border’ markings.

December Twenty-Seventh Two Thousand and Eighteen 

A Song to Sophia

Around this time last year
sitting at the kitchen table in Tehran.


sitting in one of your son’s living room in the County of Oranges.

Until then I did not know you sang so sweetly.

The last time we were face-to-face one of your sons, my father, held a phone to connect us.

Years and kilometers collapsed.
I did not know at the time next year I would sing back to you.

Your pitch was high. My pitch was low.

One of your daughters, my aunt, delivered an audio message that traveled faster than the time it would take to reach a hospital.

Me lying in bed. You lying in bed.

Two minutes, a record of my heart reaching for yours.

Around this time next year, what will I do?

Sing this song sweetly under the table on the rug you wove and be with you.

March Eighth Two Thousand and Eighteen,  Thirteen Minutes after the Thirteenth Hour  

The House is Shaking

Today he stamped his fingerprints.  I suggested black ink (not red). After all it doesn’t matter when you finish; it’s how.

You move.

Imagining I’d be there to smell each room. I wanted to inspect the things you owned to confirm we shared something similar aside from genetic history.

My first memory of you:

“What did you say to me on the boat during the summer of 1988?”

A steady, soft, but stern gaze deserves attention. So does the timber of a voice I heard in a song early one  morning. Now I know this language is by my side in case I should ever need it.

“If you have something to say, say it in a way that arrests the audience.”

No matter how long it takes someday, someone will reply even if I am no longer here, remembering you writing.

December Eighth Two-Thousand and Eighteen

For Writing Sensations in the Body. Against Sensational Writing.

In the morning I decide not to frame time by participating in the following rituals:

thinking about performing actions that make money, thinking of time starting after the birth of Christ, thinking of power as vertical, and writing the date numerically

Our roots are behind us.

Past. Presence

What is the word, in your language, to describe the moment a raindrop merges with a larger body of water?