Time to cross the square
heeding gentle beckoning
of time calling grace
just timing my time
and yours to savor and chime
preparing our climb
This months photo challenge in square format from Becky is Time
Without the weekly-Photo-challenge some of us are feeling a bit lost regarding where to hang out and what to take a photo of. Admittedly many of us have lots of photos in our stock so we are not exactly all dry up and out of ideas. I have discovered that the world is not all that big and soon one traveler just runs out of a new place to go. Maybe I am just not motivated to move…(LOL) Of course I have the excuse that I have been busy with a practically round the clock project during the interval between the end of the daily/weekly prompt and now when I realize that my project is over and I do have an empty space in time into which I may slot a photo or two. Alas, the photo is just nowhere to be found.
So here I am looking at my old stocks. In my farewell post (weekly photo challenge “all times favorites) I inadvertently titled it “don’t look back, she says, I am not there.” A love story in suspense. Yet, here I am, looking back a bit. Maybe a picture and a poem to continue…a story.
doesn’t ever glance backward
yet i stand here gazing forward
as if she may chime
no matter the distance
i shall keep my stance
in case this station
will be called to mail
i shall not refuse
or bid adieus
this is a song i would not sing
because the song has run away in sync
with other days i shall not bring
this is a song i should not sing
because its lyrics have bloomed into an early spring
here here i call in the midst of freezing
into a laboriously sculptured thing
there there replies the happy song to dare
unyielding crusty earth to break forth today
to quench upon the outpouring heavenly dew
that refuses my lingering sad adieu
much as i want to tell you about a cold alienating bland ordinary winter
my song rebels and sings of a fiery bonding love in many resplendent splendor
instead of decrepitating into ashy ice
my hibernating heart wakes to early rise
by your twin spade of starry eyes
no i will not say goodbye you say
no you will not say goodbye i say
yet this is a song i will not sing to you
the song is rewriting its lyrics anew
as i go
they call to compose an official song
to cherish entrance of wintry solace long
why they never know it’s an impossible task
anyone with brain would always ask
how long is winter to be long
haha you must be joking all along
how wide is winter to be white
is he the old guy with snow whiskers uphill hiding a wife
she’s beautiful so so much
to be goggled at by many eyes
old guy loves wife so so much
he vows she’ll not be seen by any more disrespectful, aye
you want to hide Winter with her light
brilliantly glistening deep at night
or reverse her silky white waterfall
Nay, even Spring won’t do impossible chore
he cannot remember now
how she grows her pure white snow
when his matching whiskers start their show
It seems just yesterday they were both stage-fright-voices
so simple in love in spring in songs in dances
Rumors say of late a celestial laser show persistently brews on them
with dazed drooping eyes he now lisps new sounds
decked in red digital coat and virtual hat and geeky boots and all
i give you the official winter solace rap
nothing more nothing less on
eight foot long
as my elementary AI sleigh tap
with laser beaming Reindeer Day
begin our show show show
starring L E D Pivot Stel and Winter Wanda La La La
Note: Towards the end of 2017 I switch to write funny/dramatic/satirical experimental poems telling a story. Is it a new direction? Or is it just an intermission? I would like to think it’s both.
Sometimes we just not go the Serene way.
sometimes we just have to go
often both of us could know
it’s a season to let go
behold all love must forego
for a way ahead
not a tear is heard
nor a sound is smeared
because we wear mascara
to celebrate the last gala
dancing to end our tango
lest we should cross each other’s way
lo beyond and faraway
still in pain
all in vain
deep in love
that won’t just go
The spirit-mind man realizes he does not know many things about love and God. Love ties with pain. Here is a word that God uses to describe Himself. Love. What is love? Let us read about love again.
This is what he attempted in this blog before: (with 2017 up to date mind man’s deliberations in human terms and thoughts in brackets)
A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters: chapter ten -how to define love? 07/22/2013 (Quoted below in excerpts)
“the most difficult word: love”
Today we read the most difficult word in the whole Bible, ‘Love’. (Most difficult outside the Bible too)
Love: This is not a shallow, superficial common word as the mind man had thought in his reckless days. There is richness, depth, breadth, width, height here. …
If he attempts to define this word with his human mind, emotion and senses, he knows he would be insulting the word.
The only way to give love justice is to define this word in the Spirit (spirit).
The next question is who is qualified (in terms of supreme authority) to define love?
Not this mind man, however spiritual he (thinks he) has turned into. The only thing he can do is to find his definition in the word of God, and let each reader find his own.
__________Here the definition goes:
The plumb-line of love: sacrificial. For example: God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, Jesus, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. God should be receiving man’s sacrifices, but He gave His own Son as a sacrifice! John 3:16 and Romans 5:8. This is how God views love and has demonstrated (unconditional) love to us. God has freely given so we need not try to earn it.
(God’s kind of love warrants one-sided sacrificial giving without the other party favorably responding or wanting to receive your love. A person in love may think he or she can give that kind of love without regret. But believe me, when human love fades, regret becomes a glaring color in your black and white life.)
Here is one verse that has persuaded the mind man (and impacted his personal decision) about love:
“Love does not demand its own way.” This is what the mind man received from the Lord (1 Corinthians 13:5) when he was on the verge of making a real big decision…
What more can he do but to let go? …Indeed, the heart has its reason that reason cannot comprehend. But, God’s way (of love) can convince and convict one’s heart…
Can one become whole again when one chooses to love in God’s way? The answer is definitely ‘yes’! …Abraham…David…Jesus’ giving Himself was the supreme example.
What motivated them? The mind man could not think of better reason than ‘love’. Love of God…O yes, love of your loved ones too!
‘Love’ indeed is the most difficult word in this spiritual dictionary, and it is also the best word anyone can lay hold of.
October 28, 2017 spirit-mind-man’s update: This was written four years and three months ago. The human pain felt then can still be felt though much less in intensity and frequency today. Giving up/letting go is the hardest thing to do for anyone. Yet the supreme power of the supernatural love of God gives all the strength one needs to overcome a feeling called pain which ties closely to love. Does anyone lose out because of the love described in 1 Corinthians 13:5? No. Nobody loses out when God’s love becomes the uttermost plumb line in your life. No loss but gain. I pray all who want to encounter God’s kind of love find the peace and security only His love can give. Love means you do no harm to others or to yourself. Love others in the way God loves you. This is the best ever commandment to keep.
Rummager of times
Memoirs mimics mimes
(A Collage of this blogger)
It was a Transient moment in time in 2007 and we were in a tourist bus. We were on a tour bus. The mountain seemed so near all of a sudden. So were you. I thought for a moment that time had stood still and we would never age, or that we would slowly grow old together taking our own time. We went to the usual tourist attractions. Good food, drinks, hot springs, gardens, night life in the cities etc. Why do I dig out this ten year old picture and try to recall the mountain today? After parting for so long? I have been pondering on a word lately . It is called, “lingering”, and it means “lasting for a long time and slow to end.” But sadly it does end in the end. Time sets a limit for phases of life, no matter our perception and determination to hold fast, and in reality its name is called, “transient”, which means lasting only for a short time, fleeting, passing, impermanent. Someone may say that a mountain is unlike a man. It will remain after the human travelers are gone. Yes, for a time. Yet, if you consider the real age of the creation you will agree that a mountain too has a limit in time. I still keep the pictures of you smiling and posing with the beautiful snowy mountain in the background. It was such a clear day. You looked so young and happy. Ten years. So soon. So transient. Today you told me in tears that you could not bear to have me vanishing from your life, living alone somewhere…Yes, we both need a miracle. We both believe in miracles. Memories are miracles. Like the lilac bedroom paint you liked so much, with the name “Forget-me-not”.
I admit that sometimes I cannot help but recall the lingering lyrics from a song by Garfunkel,
When the singer’s gone
Let the song go on…
But the ending always comes at last
Endings always come too fast
They come too fast, but they pass to slow
I love you, and that’s all I know
(I translated, re-written and re-named this love song. I call it Gracefully love)
Even if I should come once to
in one dash
one kairos moment
in one billion years
joining you so brief
for all its sweet tears
and all its grief
Well, let all that must happen
happen in a flash
let me bow
thanking all the stars
holding you I won’t let go
penning this poem now
with an unseen hand
slowly growing old
holding you I won’t let go
(1983 Taiwan Campus Folk Song) The original love poem was written by the Mongolian painter/poet/writer MuRong Xi , music by Su Lai 作詞：席幕容，作曲：蘇來
(Poem II) “Since we parted –2” (I translated this second poem, rewritten, but tried to follow the original pattern of her thought)
And now I realize
what we have slowly squandered off
is one life we both have loved
our whole life, my beloved!
别後——之二 ◎席慕蓉 (MuRong Xi wrote this poem during her grief for the demise of her husband)
Blogger’s notes: photo credit goes to La Center’s Greg Marshall who photographs a universe most never imagine. By training, Marshall is an electronics engineer and computer-imaging expert, but the stars have led him into art. He catches images many light years away. I got it at random while browsing.
The poems are about love and loss. Instead of choosing sentimental pictures I decided to use the stars of the universe. The first poem took on a new meaning…I then decided to alter the poem to a hopeful end. A happy and prosperous Lunar New Year for my Asian friends!
I too feel fascinated by some names, especially the names of shops or brands. Here are some Names which I found a year ago in my last visit to a shopping mall in CA. Shops are named: Pink in Life, The Picture People, Walking Company. I particularly like the idea of a shop named “Things Remembered”. We all have things we do not forget. There was an old song titled, “Don’t forget to remember”. Love is something hard to forget. Humans are by nature remembering creatures. The older we get the more we have accumulated things we like to remember in our memories, some vivid, some vague. Some real and some imagined. Some with sad endings, some good. I stumbled on a Tv program that helped long separated old friends to find each other after decades. Quite touching stories emerged. When I grow old enough perhaps I too write a letter to the long lost one and ask for an appointment with a poem.
If You Forget Me by Pablo Neruda
If You Forget Me
I want you to know
You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.
If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.
if each day,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.
Listen to a reading of the beautiful poem at the following link:
Notes about the shop: Things Remembered began over 40 years ago as a small engraving and services shop called “Can Do”. And today, Things Remembered has grown into the nation’s leading, and most successful, retailer of personalized gifts. (online information quoted)
My Resilient love for you. I find it hard not to say I love you, and harder not to love you even in silence, with my heart saying I love you over 8000 days and nights. A thousand days seems a long time for some love. But my love for you, not even eight thousands days can be too long.
How did I first start to love you? Can I really remember? A young man asked today. Of course, I answered. I remember very well. I never forget. How can I ever forget that fateful evening when I stepped into a packed hall and saw you standing on stage and speaking, with your velvety black eyes so dark and yet so full of light? How can I ever forget the passionate love you spoke to my heart through your heart? I remember so well the jet black long hair blown under the ceiling fan, the lightly stirred white dress with tiny blue flowers you wore that day. I remember the voice. Your voice. I was a stranger, standing at the back, watching like a bystander. But your words of true passion and love touched my soul. Your words of kindness and compassion reached my core. I fell in love from that moment on and remain in love for eight thousands days.
No, I never forget.
The young man of 22 is facing a crisis. His loved one has gone faraway to study. His frequent short social media chat messages are becoming stale to her eyes. What is he going to do? He asks. He says that it’s futile to ask anyway because I probably have forgotten how to love when young at his age. LOL, how can I ever forget? We don’t forget. Not in a mere eight thousand days. Not even in eight thousand years.
How do I maintain and sustain my love for you? He asks. Well, I do one thing which few did then and even fewer do today. I write a letter a day to my love. Sometimes you received a weeks’ letters at one go when the postman went on leave. I became a resilient love letter writer. In those days we used typewriter and posted our letters through snail mail. Yes we managed, across oceans we wrote to each other. We did not have smart cell phone or email or any of the social media message channels then. We merely wrote in long hand or type with a manual Olivetti typewriter. The simplicity of our tools did not hinder us one bit.
How do I know you read my letters and not ignore them? He asks. Well, I persisted. I wrote by faith and not by sight. I wrote like you enjoyed reading them and indeed looked forward to receiving them. Somehow one day it all came true. What did I write about? I wrote about the you in my heart, the dreams and hopes for a future together, and my thankfulness for your life crossing mine as two stars meeting at the appointed time and space, even if only momentarily painting the dark night sky with brilliance of eight thousand sparks.
I tell him our 8000 days’ love story. He is the first person I tell. After listening he seems subdued and finally breaks his long silence and says he will start writing a letter to his faraway loved one.
That is why I am writing to you now, this letter of resilient love. 8000 days and still counting. Does old love not fade or perhaps die? This last question the young man thinks but does not ask. Well, I might as well answer his unuttered question. No, eight thousand days is but eight days young. Like the stars, our love is a young love.
a Nostalgia look.
He likes to look at some old things, things of another era. Of course neither she nor he belongs to those ages. They are far too young to have any idea of what life was like in those times. But he has heard stories from parents and grandparents of the time they were. It is hard to imagine that these loved ones had been through another time and space of which he has no part. Like this old car, sitting calmly in a museum as an serene early retiree who has maintained herself well. Yes, 1953 is not really a long way away. Nostalgia is a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. Somehow when he walks into this old car museum he seems to have met these cars before. He can feel a sentiment of something, like a long gone association which has come back. He has never owned an old car. Was it in a movie when he imagined him driving one with her beside him? Somewhere in time? No, she always says, don’t look back, I am not there.
Mirror a wordless reflection one morning in winter. Wordless beauty.
Looking at this today brings back long gone memory of a time when he first had a glimpse of her in the mirror. She was getting ready to go to work. He watched her at the door. He could only see her back. But then he saw her smiling in the mirrored reflection. She has her way of smiling which captures heart. Many years ago. Sparkling eyes smiling. He never forgets that smile. Wordless and yet beautiful. He cannot forget.
find the little fox
She is back. He is back. They are not relatives. But the two humans are not together. And yet they love each other.
It is like looking at this photo. You never know whether the photographer is climbing up the mountain or going down the slope. There is no clue. Perhaps you can detect the lonely depression induced by the season from thin trees with bare branches, the snow covered plants shaped like little animals scurrying on the ground, against a grey bland sky and the an overall mood of foreboding of the scene. But you will not know why the photographer went there and took this picture unless you were him. When he took this picture he was actually climbing uphill. It was mid-January.
They did not meet that time. She was too far away and otherwise engaged. He went alone and spent his winter like a lone wolf.
Now they are both back to one place. Same city. Same street. Same house. He is alone. She is alone. He is not married. Neither is she. They love each other. But they are not together. Why are they not together? A complicated riddle.
(I decided to post this blog after leaving the unfinished draft for a month or more. The shape of a lone wolf is too striking to be ignored. Other shapes of animals too. I like seeing living things in shapes formed by nature. I also added a little riddle here to ponder upon on sleepless nights.)
Apology Dearest love, this word is difficult to say, but I must say it, my apology to you after all these years. This morning as I wake and pick up my mobile I realize I have missed a call. Not that I care. It is not from you. When I look at this picture of a dawn I took in a hurry last January I see how much I have missed over all those years with you. The happiness and pain. Being too engrossed with things to do and others to serve I have neglected the one who really cares and gives so much of her life to me. Yes, I was unable to see the other half of my life. Like this picture, the half that is hidden is part of the picture to make it whole. I tend to omit this half when I am in a hurry driven by the grandeur of achievement for the larger audience, the larger demand, the larger issue out there. Yes, I apologize. Late, but not too late. Will you forgive me? Will you come home? Yours ever. AJ.
p/s: remember the avocado plant they cut down because it was growing too tall for the high tension wire? I have put some seeds in water and today I see a sign of life coming forth from a brave one that opens itself to a drastic change and transformation first. There is always hope for new life after all. It’s another narrow way, but together we shall pull through.
Notes: I just found this instruction online.
“Wash it. Use 3 toothpicks to suspend it broad-end down over a water-filled glass to cover about an inch of the seed. Put the glass in a warm place out of direct sunlight and replenish water as needed. You should see the roots and stem start to sprout in about 2-6 weeks.” Growing avocados.
Cherry On Top
You know this is a letter I will not send. It is an ordinary letter about how things are with me. The summer is ending and the last blooms outside my window have just withered. Soon it will be autumn and winter again. Today I looked into a drawer which I have not opened for a long time, perhaps years, and found this photo hidden in a memory card. Remember that morning in December 2007 we traveled? You suddenly wanted me to stop the coach. I asked the driver to stop. We got down and took this photo and others. I never sent this card to the studio for prints. Somehow I put it in the drawer locked together with many other precious and happy memories. Digital camera was popular then and I was using a Nikon Coolpix 7900 with 7.1 megapixels. The photos came out well for that journey. I found many portraits of you too. Long hair blowing in the gentle breeze of winter. Radiant smiles. I can even smell the fresh, cold and crisp mountain air when looking at the photos. Pity we didn’t go to any winter sports destination after all. The best photos are those of mountains like this one. I am not sending this because you have taken your own photos too. Perhaps after all these years you would not want me to send you the photos in this long forgotten memory card. Yesterday someone came back from the faraway land and told me that you have not changed much. But you no longer keep long hair. The mountains, they said, are still beautiful.
alien here I dread
print upon print I now thread
deserted I read
(After I wrote this little poem of a scene I took in US last January, I suddenly realize now of somewhat similar perspective in terms of man and nature left alone, expressed in two previous movie stories, both of which I had not watched. I googled and saw their brief reviews. The Revenant and Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. I would add that the ‘loneliness’ can also be felt in virtual space perspective. The word ‘thread’ is deliberate to bring out another kind of desert effect. Not a misspelt.)
Look Upholding fast his dream
like snow-covered hidden stream
(please complete for him)
Snow refused to melt
like cards unrelenting dealt
queen to king her heart