Relationship =instant pot, both impossible to operate without a good manual. For example, it took me the best hours of a whole afternoon to figure out how to put the lid on the pot so that I can close it tightly. The manual omitted that first step! In relationship too. How does an INTJ effectively operate with an INFJ? (Note the words I use: effectively, operate…LOL) it’s like one thinking alien trying to function effectively and yet harmoniously in syn with a feeling earthling. The good news is: we do have some reasonably effective and harmonious operating manuals to fall back to when stuck. When all fail we still have one big fail-proof Manual called the Bible and the limitless fuel called praying in tongue.
He is not programed to love the way human love. That is why he has chosen to be a writer in his earthly pass-time. He lives in a small sparsely furnished back room. An occupies the beautiful master bedroom suite which she decorated tastefully for herself. The middle room is now empty. Ka doesn’t sleep the way others sleep. He goes to bed early and gets up at midnight and writes his book or works on his true assignment on the four wind. He doesn’t know what others do during the evening and he is not interested. He was trained in the etiquette of earth people before he got born into this world. He knows people eat dinner, drink, converse on unimportant matters or watch TV and then go to bed around midnight. He can do them when needed but they are of no relevance to him. He takes an afternoon meal and goes for long walk during which he talks in his own language which is instantly transmitted to the source-receiver in his own realm. He receives messages downloaded the same way from the outer-source-transmitter directly into his heart. When he returns to the house he has a shower and goes to bed in the early evening.
Ka is writing a book for earth people. It is about “Essence and Matter”. It is a good book because it is problematic. There are words that he has in his language that earth people do not have. For example, he is writing this story between An and him now as a book inside his book to illustrate the vast difference in definition between the love he believes in and the love An attempts to profess. What he used to think as straightforward has become very complicated now. How can he reconcile the two extremes? How can he avoid getting hurt or hurting her?
One significant word keeps coming up and demands to be defined and resolved. The word is “Possessed”. An defines love as possessing and being possessed in body and in soul. He defines love as not having to possess or be possessed. To him, love should be left free and pure of motive and agenda. He doesn’t look for reciprocation for love. In his language Love is giving. Love is not exchanging. For example, he gives her his love without the intention for an exchange with her or to get something in return for his benefits. In his realm, no one possesses anything. There is a solemn covenant made when two persons decide to love each other and be life partners. They may live together and share things and lives together. They may not. And they remain faithful in love for each other in essence regardless of the space and even time that may separate them. There is no divorce. There is no adultery. There is no affair outside a marriage covenant. There is no consummation in the physical realm.
In the earth realm, marriage without physical consummation can be annulled in court, even though physical consummation does not mean you have a particular love relationship between two persons secured for life in today’s promiscuity. In Ka’s world the covenant made in spoken words is the consummation. For example, if he says in audible sound to An, “I love you” and she accepts his vow of love, it is sealed and engraved into his and her heart and it is irreversible until the death of one party. The wise and more responsible thing to do is not to say anything unless you really mean what you say and is committed to keep it “forever” (until death do part).
Ka knows his book is boring and even borders on absurdity to a normal earth man or woman. “What kind of love is that? Weird!” They will exclaim in disbelief and laugh it off as a means to gain cheap publicity. Of course, he doesn’t intend it to be read by the mass audience. He only wants An to read it and keep it. Perhaps one day when she is very old she will think back and remember one snowy season what happened between she and a man from another realm and he is real and his love is pure and real even though he cannot say to her he loves her. And he cannot even touch her hand (with love in his heart) for a second without getting his heart seared. Maybe she will remember how her whole life was changed because she read this book one day out of pure love for him.
“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.”― Orhan Pamuk, The New Life
One day she tells him she is working on the various topics that successful role models in the society can teach the young people about. She lists some possible professions and lifestyle practices. Then he adds, “What about how should a man treat a woman?” And her countenance lights up, “Why didn’t I think of that, yes, that is definitely the most important subject to teach!”
Perhaps that will be his next book. Looking through the blind, he notes that the snow has stopped and left an entirely different world outside. Colorless. Haunting. Like the seared love patches in his heart. (To be continued)
Found this in a back lane as I travelled in Borneo.
Linked to: Beck’s Blue and square challenge
She never knew his actual age in an enigmatic bygone life
A somewhat suave soft-spoken man with poetry deep set in his eyes
Are you the poet? She asked when their eyes first locked
Seeing him standing out from the mundane lot
Why, his pupils like deep water reflecting hers
Why are you selfieing my eyes?
And what is that shinning in your palm?
Beg your pardon, lass, raising his right arm
Nothing in his open palm indeed
A magician that’s who you are, she exclaims
No, lass, you do not know who I am
Then tell me who you really are sir, she insists
No need, lass, you will know as you persist
Why, sir, why? She sees the gleaming hand again
I am looking for the poet they say who paints
His smiling eyes saddens shaking his head in pain
No, poets don’t paint, they dance
I am no poet but I too dance, she laughs
Show me your dance steps then and I’ll show you mine
Thus starts the story of two strangers, a poet and a lass who both love poetry and dance
O how they could dance
And soon both have palms that gleam and glow in the night sky
As beautiful words make their light formation on high
Wednesday, February 13, 2019
The Mosquito Coast – random thoughts
I have been thinking about the prevailing issue of self-contradiction and confusion of many individuals who are supposed to be thinkers and visionaries. I decided to post this random online data on a book (which was made into a movie) by Paul Theroux. I was very young when I first read the book and I was increasingly disillusioned as I stepped into the hero’s son’s shoes. What is one man’s utopia is another man’s hell. Today I find the same issue of utopia emerges and is making such loud and discorded noises in the Western world. Ironically it is the reversed that is being clambered now as masses from the third world are straining to gate crash into the Western world, which to them means paradise.
Allie Fox is a genius, a fool, a loving father, a madman, a dreamer, and a selfish… (by a reviewer)
In a breathtaking adventure story, the paranoid and brilliant inventor Allie Fox takes his family to live in the Honduran jungle, determined to build a civilization better than the one they’ve left. Fleeing from an America he sees as mired in materialism and conformity, he hopes to rediscover a purer life. But his utopian experiment takes a dark turn when his obsessions lead the family toward unimaginable danger. (Goodreads)
Once he has arrived in the jungle, Fox, a Harvard dropout, father of four, and an amateur inventor with an intense disgust for the state of his original nation, his vision are slowly corrupted and he becomes a cult leader, like the preacher he despises. The black migrant workers who follow him to Mosquitia even address Fox as “father.”
Spellbinding adventure story of a family that rejects its homeland and tries to find a happier and simpler life in the jungles of Central America. The motivation comes from the father, Allie Fox, who is a character in the classic American mold. A cantankerous inventor, he is articulate, shrewd, scornful, funny, very angry, and slightly cracked. An individualist, Fox sees modern American culture as a despicable combination of the wasteful, the immoral, and the messy. Uprooting his family from their Massachusetts farm home, he takes them off to a primitive world in order to escape what he considers the imminent breakdown of civilization.
The Mosquito Coast has the fascination of an ironic version of Robinson Crusoe or a sardonic Swiss Family Robinson, along with the deeper levels akin to those of The Lord of the Flies. As a sheer teller of tales Theroux is at the top of his form, but he also succeeds as a moralist with a subtle fable in mind.
The story is told with fresh innocence by the fourteen year old Charlie, who observes his father with a mixture of love, horror, and astonishment. He describes the voyage, the trip into the interior, his father’s invention of a giant ice-making machine (which is supposed to bring a new era to the jungle), and all of the adventures that ensue. Charlie watches as his father becomes ever more obsessive, evermore lost to reality.
The Mosquito Coast Quotes
Fox says to his son: “Look around you, Charlie. This place is a toilet.”
“I’m the last man,” Fox tells Charlie.
“One of the sicknesses of the twentieth century? I’ll tell you the worst one. People can’t stand to be alone. Can’t tolerate it! So they go to the movies, get drive-in hamburgers, put their home telephone numbers in the crapsheets and say ‘Please call me up!’ It’s sick. People hate their own company — they cry when they see themselves in mirrors. It scares them, the way their faces look. Maybe that’s a clue to the whole thing…”
“I guessed it was a migratory bird, too innocent to be wary of the spiders in the jungle grass. It worried be to think that we were a little like that bird”
“Why do things get weaker and worse? Why don’t they get better? Because we accept that they fall apart! But they don’t have to — they could last forever. Why do things get more expensive? Any fool can see that they should get cheaper as technology gets more efficient. It’s despair to accept the senility of obsolescence…”
“And father said “I never wanted this. I’m sick of everyone pretending to be old Dan Beavers in his L. L. Bean moccasins, and his Dubbelwares, and his Japanese bucksaw — all these fake frontiersmen with their chuck wagons full of Twinkies and Wonderbread and aerosol cheese spread. Get out the Duraflame log and the plastic cracker barrel, Dan, and let’s talk self-sufficiency!”
“Nature is crooked. I wanted right angles and straight lines. Ice! Oh, why do they all drip? You cut yourself opening a can of tuna fish and you die. One puncture in your foot and your life leaks out through your toe. What are they for, moose antlers? Get down on all fours and live. You’re protected on your hands and knees. It’s either that or wings.”
“The world is plain rotten. People are mean, they’re cruel, they’re fake, they always pretend to be something their not. They’re weak. They take advantage. A cruddy little man who sees God in a snake, or the devil in thunder, will take you prisoner if he gets the drop on you. Give anyone half a chance and he’ll make you a slave; he’ll tell you the most awful lies. I’ve seen them, running around bollocky, playing God. And our friends… they’ll be lonely out there. They’ll be scared. Because the world stinks.”
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
“He used the word savages with affection, as if he liked them a little for it. In his nature was a respect for wildness. He saw it as a personal challenge, something that could be put right with an idea or a machine. He felt he had the answer to most problems, if anyone cared to listen.”
The Mosquito Coast begins in contemporary suburban
America. Allie Fox is brilliantly clever with his hands and
his head is full of ideas. But he hates the modern world.
His children have no television or toys, they wear old
clothes and they don’t go to school. He hates his boss,
Mr Polski, who, Allie thinks, is only interested in making
money and doesn’t care about the future.
One day Allie decides to get out. He puts his wife and
children in his van and drives them away from their old
life. They travel by ship to Honduras. At La Ceiba, on the
Honduran coast, his bewildered family watches as he buys
a place called Jeronimo, a small town on a river in the
Background and themes
Travelling: Paul Theroux is a traveller. The nature of
travelling means that you move on. Moving on, leaving
things behind and looking for new experiences, is an
important theme in The Mosquito Coast. Allie Fox doesn’t
like what he sees in America. His solution is not to stay
and try to change it, but to walk away. When things don’t
work out at various places in Honduras, he makes his
family move on and start again.
Obsession: The Mosquito Coast is a character study of a
man who develops a paranoid obsession – of a man who
thinks the whole world is against him and only he can save
the world. He lives in a state of high tension, never resting
in his attacks on America and western civilization. He
fights against the current of modern life. He thinks he is
the last real man in the world.
Control: In Allie’s attempts to create a new world in the
jungle, he tries to control everyone and everything around
him. He makes everyone see things his way. When he
feels threatened, he reacts aggressively and violently.
Father/son relationship: The novel also examines the
relationship between father and son. Theroux elicits
warm feeling towards Allie by telling the story through
the eyes of his loyal son, Charlie Fox. We feel sorry for
Charlie as he comes to understand his father’s failings and
to lose his belief in him.
The natural world versus the modern world: Theroux
sets up an interesting paradox as the basis of the novel.
All the time that Allie is searching for a simple paradise,
he is planning how to change it and tame it. In fact it is
the children who learn better to live with nature – eating
wild plants, protecting themselves against insects with
leaf juices, building a simple shelter from materials in the
jungle. Allie, meanwhile, plants western crops in neat
rows, puts up elaborate mosquito nets and builds an
Paul Edward Theroux is an American travel writer and novelist, whose best known work is The Great Railway Bazaar (1975), a travelogue about a trip he made by train from Great Britain through Western and Eastern Europe, the Middle East, through South Asia, then South-East Asia, up through East Asia, as far east as Japan, and then back across Russia to his point of origin. Although perhaps best known as a travelogue writer, Theroux has also published numerous works of fiction, some of which were made into feature films. He was awarded the 1981 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for his novel The Mosquito Coast.
If I sit by this river of waiting
and you won’t come
while this whirlpool keeps churning
my heart turning buttery white
a catbird would whine
like last summer’s sigh
on a lonesome winsome night
“The shape of your heart” you murmured
one day looking at our sky
“fluffy white with tender blue stripes”
seeping your compliment I smiled
It is your poem I miss
and words won’t come
three moons adrift
with no mail in sight
So my sorrow would pine
for our lost midsummer’s ride
“Because I only write”*
* this last line is quoted from Anne Lee Tzu Pheng’s ‘Because I only write’)
Securing a second page to restart
running this cold steel ruler to mark
a boundary, a demarcation so hard yet tender
in souls that had been torn asunder
cutting heart to heart
If you gaze enough
upward and beyond this gentle
starry night, you will see this river by which every poem must part
glistening as ever
blue as steel