art ~ spirit ~ transformation
e*lix*ir comes into being to showcase the work of artists who find inspiration in the Baháí revelation and to foster an aesthetic whose key ingredient is the conviction that the mission of art is to inspire, transform, and uplift individuals and communities.

Commemorative Issue

O Pen!
Reflections on Surih al-Qalam (Surih of the Pen)

Photo Credit: © Bahá’í International Community
Bahá’u’lláh’s pen — perhaps among the most enigmatic and mysterious of objects in the world of creation. A simple reed pen — qalam, in Arabic — held between the fingers of the Manifestation of God or by His amanuensis, served as the instrument through which a new revelation of the divine Word flowed and was delivered to the world. A pen that bears witness, calls out, weeps, and groans. A pen that raises its voice between earth and heaven. A pen that swoons away at the power of the words it renders. A pen so closely identified with the process of revelation, the creative function of the Manifestation of God, that it comes to symbolize the Manifestation Himself: the Manifestation becomes His Pen and the pen becomes that marvellously gifted instrument through which He reveals the Word of God to humanity.

... (continued)

The Art of Translation

by Brian Miller

The translation of texts from one language to another presents many challenges for both the translator and the reader. For the translator, these challenges include the need for accuracy, the linguistic difficulties of the source language, the cultural context, as well as questions of style and reception.

For the reader, these challenges include the need to acquire some knowledge of the source, such as the original author, the historical context of the work; and the key features of the culture of the author and translator in question. The reader should not expect the translator to inform him adequately in all these areas. Neither should the author attempt to control the reception of the text in question. In all of this, the translator is well advised to consider the artistic dimensions of the task at hand.

... (continued)

A Glimpse of the
Glorious Landscape of Freedom

by Rojin Ghavami

The first time I had the chance to enter a Bahá’í holy place was when I visited Bahá’u’lláh’s house in Edirne. Never before had I been able to visit one of our holy places without fear. The experience was one I will always remember.

We journeyed by rental van from our hotel in Istanbul to Edirne. The trip took about one hour. The landscape along the way was lush and green, and, as we traveled, we prayed and sang Bahá’í songs. The whole way, our hearts brimmed with a unique kind of happiness—spiritual joy.

Edirne is a small city with majestic mosques and beautiful municipal buildings, but the beauty and majesty of its buildings is nothing when . . . .

... (continued)


Praise for e*lix*ir

Congratulations and thank you for this garden. This oasis. This temple. It has lifted my spirit.
Patricia Ranzoni, Maine poet and Bucksport Poet Laureate

In her essay, Sahba captures the spirit and voice of one more soul whose potential has been muted (hopefully just for a time) by the profound forces of time, place and humanity’s baser nature. Thank you for helping the Sahbas of the Bahá’í Institute for Higher Education in Iran develop and share their voices beyond the confines of their current circumstances.
Stephen Karnik, Chief Administrative Officer Bahá’í International Community, New York

A copy of e*lix*ir just came up on my computer screen.... A sense of the future arts came into my heart, and I am silenced. Oh my stars, we have begun!
Esther Bradley-DeTally, Author of Without a Net: A Sojourn in Russia

I am writing to say that Issue #3 of e*lix*ir has moved me deeply. I felt transported ... by a wide range of emotions, from gratitude to humility.
Allison Grover Khoury, Children's and YA Editor and Blogger