years ago in the deserts of turkistan
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“But by far the most lovely thing I saw in Isfahan, one of those things where loveliness endures as a melody in the mind, was the Madrasseh…a school for pensieveness, for contemplation, for spiritual withdrawal; a school in which to learn to be alone. A cloister, not in the architectural sense of the word, but in the psychological: a place of retreat and harmony, open to all, but where one might go in a privilege of privacy, to sit or to pace, or to gaze into the water, to arrive or to depart, unnoticed, unquestioned, in that independence which few communities understand or are willing to accord. One is allowed to be lonely there…Was it the mere visual beauty of the place? or the atmosphere, the very air, soaked in spiritual experience, that produced this profound impression?” —Vita Sackville-West, on the madrasseh of the Imam Mosque (formerly the Shah Mosque) in Isfahan, Iran, fromĀ Passenger to Teheran
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