It turns out I have more to say about Mazi. I thought I had done my bit with my first blog post trying to capture the experience of painting ‘Mazi’ on the town rock and then going on about the business of private grieving, but it isn’t over. I can’t stop thinking about him and the fact that he is gone from this form of interaction (I suspect there are other forms, beyond this earthly existence, but not knowing for sure I feel sad right now).
I don’t what the exact definition of something online going ‘viral’ is, but I know that my blog post about Mazi has gotten way more traffic than I usually get.
It has been read over 1600 times.
It has been read in 32 countries.
I know this is not due to my writing skill because up until the Mazi post my readers were in the high single digits at most (I was so under the radar my own mother didn’t know I had a blog).
Mazi knew a lot of people.
The 14th Dalai Lama said, “One family can influence another, then another, then ten, one hundred, one thousand more, and the whole of society will benefit.” It is as if he was talking about Mazi Maghsoodnia. The family he and Lida created is the best way to understand what a great man he was. They are his legacy, are loving and generous and full of life and fun and dancing, just like their dad. Mazi greeted everyone with a hug and a smile that made you know the world was going to be okay and his family is doing the same thing.
In the midst of the most painful experience of their lives they are doing this.
This family influence, this love, is literally spread throughout the world – I know this when I look at the map of where the blog piece was read. Everywhere from Iceland to Kenya to the Phillipines there are people who shine brighter from knowing Mazi.
I have had people contact me to ask where the rock is so they can go see it. I got a message from one person who reported her family ate dinner at one of the restaurants below the hill so that they could look up at Mazi on the rock while they ate.
It is as if we all want to be close to him again and are using the rock as a proxy.
Eventually someone will paint their own message on that rock and I’m already angry at them. Angry at those self-centered insensitive teenagers (see that? They don’t even know who they are yet and I have already made them villains. Excuse my reaction to teenagers. I have one. A new one. And maybe like baby rattlesnakes the new ones have the most venom?).
I started planning another bit of midnight mischief to take up a little sign to post by the rock. Something explaining who Mazi is and asking these future delinquents to paint the smaller rock to the left, the one we left alone (you can only carry so much paint up those hills). I keep driving past the rock to make sure the bright white ‘Mazi’ on its red background is still there.
And then it hit me, even once it is painted over Mazi will still be there.
No one strips the paint off the rock before painting it, they just paint over it. So he will be there, forever one of the layers of the history of this town. Just like he will be for the rest of our lives, there, inside us when we do something kind, feel God’s love shine through. As Antoine Saint-Exupéry said in The Little Prince ‘what is essential is invisible to the eye.’ And the essential Mazi will never go away.
When I look at the map of people reading about and remembering him I know that just like his name is forever preserved on the rock, the name Mazi Maghsoodnia is forever written on the world.