You remember and dwell on all the things you’ve lost and ignore all the things you haven’t. Because your scars are like stars. Yet the night stays perfectly black. —the perfect apathy (pleasefindthis Friday, August 7, 2009)
pleasefindthis (the pen name of Iain S. Thomas) is best known for the I Wrote This For You project, which he began in 2007 as a blog with photographer, Jon Ellis. The project was published as a book in December of 2011 and appears on bestseller lists weekly. He lives in Cape Town, South Africa and shares his home with his wife, daughter and various animals.
This happens a few years later at an international airport. The story character Ka is on transit on his way flying out to a distant isolated classified land for another long assignment on earth just as he has promised the writer Ka in the last SnowLand story. On the other hand, the character Peace happens to have just flown in to see a new client on her design assignment. Here is the conversation between the two story characters after they greet each other politely like any acquaintances do. They are sitting in Starbucks for a quick drink and a brief update for the limited time at hand.
K: It’s been some time since the SnowLand ending and you don’t seem to have changed.
P: Thank you. Neither have you.
K: How are things with you?
P: I am still in my interior design profession. You? How come you have come back to earth? I thought you couldn’t change back from the light form?
K: I have been promoted. I am now able to transform between the physical and the invisible existence, which seems like light in your perception. I have been assigned a new mission.
P: There is something I want you to answer me honestly. Why didn’t you ever come for me? I thought you have promised!
K: No. I didn’t say that. In our last goodbye I said I would be circling earth and other planets in a light form and yearly if you care to look up on a certain date I can manifest to you and let you know that light form is me regardless where you may be on that date.
P: I thought you would appear to me the way you did at my window at the last farewell in SnowLand. And you never did. Anyway I didn’t carry out the additional year’s design commission. I left SnowLand and returned home as soon as you left.
K: I know. K2 told me.
P: I was disappointed you never came as I thought you would. I am also disappointed now when I see that you can transform into a man again and you never bother to contact me and tell me you have returned to earth!
K: It is a classified secret. I am not even supposed to be talking to you. I know you are safe and well. That is all I need to know. Now that you have seen me and know I am safe and well too, there is really nothing else that matters. Right?
K: You see, I am doing an important job that protects all mankind, including you and your loved ones. Isn’t it better this way?
P: Yes. I will always remember what you have come to earth for and how you are willing to give even your life to defend the earthlings and the one you love. O, how I have missed you, K. (She burst into tears.)
K: (silence until P stops sobbing.)
P: If only we were like normal earth couple, living a normal happy life with each other for a long long time. K2 is not you! I don’t want to grow old with him! That’s why I left immediately.
K: There is no “If only” in earth life. Nothing can repeat or replace itself. Even the water flowing through a river. Not the same water flows through even though they may look alike to our eyes. I know K2 cannot be me.
P: Is it too late to start afresh now? Is it not in your agenda?
K: We have missed the appointment that brief season on earth that time offered. What is written cannot be unwritten. It is over, A. (Her original name) In fact, you are not the same anymore in time. Neither am I. The truth is every moment in time on earth can never be repeated or replaced.
P: Like the water.
K: Yes, like the water. Or a snowflake. Since I am on earth I won’t be encircling the earth for a long long time. I won’t be communicating with you or anyone.
P: How shall I know you are still on earth? I am now an ordinary earth woman living by faith in the light. I have no dark power to link to you or find you anymore.
K: When you look up the sky at night when the sky is clear and full of light, you can find a bright star that seems to be constantly fixed in the North. That star signifies me, still on earth, guarding earth.
P: (Sobbing again. then she composes herself and looks at K.)
K: They have just called for boarding. I have got to leave now. Remember the song by Mark Knopfler “wherever I go”? Nice song to listen to. There’s a place in my heart, may you always know, I’ll keep a flame there for you, Wherever I go. Goodbye.
Mark Knopfler’s “Wherever I Go” (feat. Ruth Moody)
Maybe I’m bound to wander From one place to the next Heaven knows why But in the wild blue yonder Your star is fixed in my sky
Just another bar at a crossroads So far from home But that’s alright Whenever I’m going down a dark road I don’t feel alone in the night
There’s a place in my heart Though we’re far apart May you always know No matter how long since I saw you I’ll keep a flame there for you Wherever I go
They’re looking to close up in here They’re pulling down the blinds But they’ll let you stay awhile They’re not going to mind
Now I’ve got to leave you, brother So this round’s mine Here’s looking at you, anyhow You can go on and have another They won’t call time I’m going to say my goodbyes now
There’s a place in my heart Though we’re far apart May you always know No matter how long since I saw you I’ll keep a flame there for you Wherever I go
“The Winter comes too early to my heart”
Amidst falling leaves the geese fly south
over water chilled by a cold wind north
my distant home is up this river bend
in the Chu mountain’s cloud it hides
as my journey ends some tears are shed
Folks at home are yearning for this lone horizon sail
for I seem to have lost my way, my quest
while the sea remains as calm as the vast night veil
New Horizon Of course this horizon is familiar to many. It is at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I took this picture outside looking at the blue beyond. There were few visitors outside that day at that time. One friendly oriental couple with a young child were around taking photos like me. It was a sunny day. I was alone. The others had gone somewhere else as they had visited this place before. I saw some gulls. A sailing boat at the distant horizon. I decided to present this blue horizon with hope. At the same time I also add a sunset horizon at the coast of San Francisco.
Meng Haoran 孟浩然, a Chinese poet who lived from AD689 or 691 to AD740, wrote a poem about the horizon. I quote below the poem and my attempted translation.
Last Christmas I attempted a new mini-series about a man named Ka from another realm being born into the earth life to complete an assignment on earth. He is assigned to a place called Snowland where he meets a girl named Peace. There are sixteen episodes. In each episode there is a quote from Orhan Pamuk’s books. And I used the quote to work on a theme for that episode. The writer of the series named Ka is a fictitious character. He writes himself into the story and interacts with the hero Ka. The two main characters (Ka and Peace) in the story are based on glimpses of two real persons who reveal themselves in bits and pieces in the experience of Ka the writer.
Looking back, it is quite an experiment to weave a story around two persons in the future. The main goal is to bring out the subject of the essence of future love. I imagine a world interacting with other worlds, human beings interacting with other intelligent beings. In this story the other being is far more intelligent and advanced in terms of existence in his realm. The future character Ka comes for a mission which requires a much higher level of science and technology. At the same time he has a secondary goal, to write a book about the essence of love for the woman character Peace.
What is true love? He describes it and lives it with his earth life. In essence, love means giving without expectation of return. Love means not possessing. Love is not a commodity of exchange, unlike human usage.
The futuristic world of Ka is a world of light. It is formed of the essence of goodness and love, the essence of the Creator, whom he calls, the Source.
Do human have revelation of this reality beyond them and their present world? The answer is yes. There are revelations in the history of mankind. There are humans who have received such enlightenment and tried to write about it. Often we find glimpses of them in various fictions.
We also find it in human heart. There is a tiny hidden spot in each heart where a selfless seed is waiting to be born. A love that goes beyond utility. A love that transcends above everything we have been taught and learned to acquire in earth life.
Does such a love ever manifest in human life? Yes. Sometimes we read about others who give their lives without expecting a return from others. Sometimes we find ourselves giving in such a way that it seems foolish and naive in the eyes of others. Yes, the seed of greatness does manifest itself in our life-time when we allow it to be born.
To such a one, at the moment when the essence of love comes forth in the physical realm, others’ misunderstanding, mistaken views, good or bad, about your perspectives, your actions, and even your motives, no longer matter.
How does Ka the writer work this out? “Good fiction is about asserting the beauties of the world, inventing a new, positive thing. Where am I going to get that? And it should be original; it should not be cliched. So the way I looked at history was not to accuse it of failure.” (Orhan Pamuk)
Our lives are history. After you accumulate lots of years of reading, writing, and practicing living the ideal, you are one step ahead at least in knowing what is good ahead as you write your good future.
Has this blogger, the spiritual mindman, anything to do with the above, creating the writer Ka, and the story character Ka from a future realm? The answer is in the blogs that had started in 2012. Do read some of the earlier blogs and stories.
Meanwhile, is there a sequel for the completed series “For a girl named Peace” which I have already removed from this blog? The sequel is being written, daily by the main characters. In the heart. In decision making. In choices in lives. In lifestyle.
Dear Millennials and others: Because I was once your age I know how you currently struggle with many pertinent issues. Why economics? It is the main issue that divides many in this world of “inequality”. I believe when we go deeper in economics we shall find some solutions together.
Today we touch on the issue of “equal right” in the practice of economics.
Economics is neutral. It is a set of principles and concepts that describe the way human “trade” with one another in order to satisfy needs and wants.
The first thing I learned in my school economics is the law of supply and demand. Supply is based on demand. but every supplier has the right to supply to the target customers who are willing to buy his goods according to the supplier-seller’s condition of sales. Similarly, a customer can choose to buy or not to buy based on the same set of condition of sales.
A civil democratic (majority-rule) society normally has sales and purchase agreements with checks and balances based on recognized and legalized laws and practices by the majority of the legitimate legal citizens/residents who have legitimate voting rights of that society. Ideally such a system will ensure that the majority of needs and wants of the majority in the society will be met according to the original social “contract” of gathering together as a legal entity called nation/state.
The issues you may face today come from one predominant source: some individuals want to claim more right than others by demanding exemptions from the set social contract.
In an economic system without exemption, everyone shall abide with the same terms and conditions of production and sales. You cannot force someone to produce and give/sell their products to you even if you have the required money to buy. The terms of exchange have to be met in full. Your ability to provide the monetary value is only one of the terms of the total sales and purchase agreement.
In a neutral civil economic society, the legitimate owner and seller of the resources, produces, goods and services has a legal upper hand than the person who wants that goods and services. It is therefore a crime to forcibly take what the owner does not want to give or sell to you. You cannot covet another man’s property. For example, I cannot ask you to remove your branded watch or shoes or bag from your possession and hand them to me just because I like to have or need to use them. It will be a robbery subject to punishment.
Similarly, no man can trespass another man’s property. That is what legal boundaries and demarcations are for.
The civil democratic constitution and law of “unadulterated” interpretation and implementation normally protect the right of the majority of the legitimate components of the society. People in a society can create and/or encounter many social issues because they are ignorant or choose to ignore, misrepresent, misinterpret, misjudge, miss-apply and miss-execute the law.
Does a neutral economic system result in inequality? My question is: “inequality” in what? Don’t you honor patent right for the fruit of the inventor? In the same principle, remember and honor the one who produces a good and service. He has the right to decide to sell or not to sell. To give or not to give. A very simple guide is: do not rob or steal from others when you do not want others to do that to you or your loved ones. What honor and esteem you gain by taking what is not yours?
How then shall individuals who deem themselves as “under-privileged” function in a civil economic society? The group of individuals who form the civil society can come together and agree on some rules and regulations governing the common good in any ethical social system.
Who decides what is common good and what are considered ethical? In a democratic system there are established and tested ways to do this effectively. I believe the common moral and ethical values of a society influence that society’s decision making processes and choices. Normally this is influenced by the worldview of individuals, derived from family culture, education and their religious system. Can experiences and knowledge change our worldview? Yes. Definitely. My advice for the younger individuals is to remain open to views and really go in depth and study and understand economics and ethics. For those who are chronologically young, it is wise to know that the older individuals are learning knowledge and developing wisdom too and many are advancing in an accelerated speed and better focus because of the wider and deeper scope they have already gone through in life.
History has shown that taking without paying the due rewards for any goods and services from one man’s possession to another man has resulted in regression instead of progression of mankind. Such a system results in oppression and depression in which mankind do not feel motivated and challenged to do better for himself and/or the community. Social ills such as corruption, poverty and a general economic depression set in together with crime, abuses, violence, destruction, and brokenness in many aspects of the society. When an economy breaks down, the shortage of funds generated from taxation which otherwise would have maintained, up-kept and even improved the common amenities, facilities and security often results in loss of the general wellbeing of individuals and society.
I would therefore urge you to read economic history in the context of the history of mankind. I would define the history of mankind as a history of economics. The depth and breadth of its knowledge, effective application and faithful unbiased implementation is really the key to maintain, sustain and further advance a civil society.
None of us will be around forever on this earth. We need to know and live with each other through genuine knowledge and cooperation with one another. Many great men and great women had lived before us and left behind tested economic principles, ethics and values which have ensured the effective and well functioning of human community. Their positive contributions have laid a foundation for human to work together peaceably and effectively. The evidence is the sustained and improved general human livelihood despite the exponential increase of the population of the world. Food for thought, don’t you think?
I hope this letter will clarify some thoughts and challenge you to widen your thinking scope. During my writing of this, I too have been challenged and decided to know more and think wider on this subject.
From: a sound-mind-economic being.
Postscript: I will attempt the subject of “ownership” of resources, “wealth” and related “equal right” in my next blog.
What is Wealth?
Wealth measures the value of all the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company or country. Wealth is determined by taking the total market value of all physical and intangible assets owned, then subtracting all debts. Essentially, wealth is the accumulation of resources. Specific people, organizations and nations are said to be wealthy when they are able to accumulate many valuable resources or goods. (Investopedia)
Proverbs 13:11Wealth gained by
dishonesty will be diminished, But he who gathers by labor will increase.
“I haven’t written to you for a long time,” he scribbled in long hand, “it is not because I have forgotten our times. ” The letter came to a halt in the next white space, meant for paragraphs to be filled, stained with patches of water (something spilled?) mark. “It is Christmas Day and I think of you, standing under the tree outside my window, long hair blowing in the wind, with the kindest look in your smiling dark eyes, just as we first met.” Again, white empty spaces sprawled out where words could have spawned. “I pray you will soon read this friendly invitation and find time to meet your OLD spouse, waiting for love.”
On December 27 he received this —— She replied with a short poem/note below.
Note: I admit this is a rather primitive and ‘impromptu’ attempt made as I imagine how the poet Robert Frost had contemplated when he decided to leave New Hampshire and sail to England. The decision paid off. His poems were published and given recognition. He left America an unknown writer and returned to be hailed a leader of “the new era in American poetry”. The discerning fans of the poet may note that the above attempt included some titles of the poet’s poems.
This months photo challenge in square format from Becky is #timesquare