simply six minutes—the magic briefcase adventure: colors, details, irony

When he first arrives on this magic mountain he doesn’t think about love. His goal is to guard the four winds at this height of 8000 ft. He is one of the four guardians assigned to earth from another realm, which earthlings call planet. How little do the earthlings know the difference between a physical planet and a spiritual realm. He comes from a realm and not a planet. But it’s ok if they insist of describing a zone where they cannot figure out in their physical mind and have to use what they can explain away another existence with their limited language.

Today is another snow day on this mountain which he calls Snowland. It has become so common yet unpredictable that he is contented with the snow coming and going outside his abode which he now shares with an earth woman of indeterminable chronological age. Earthlings are particular about their ages, not that it matters to him. He always knows their true age when he meets them. True age means a spiritual age originally programmed in each seed that is planted the moment a baby is conceived. There is a clock that ticks silently inside the formation, a beginning and an end. it is designed to last much longer than an average earthling thinks they have. It is recorded in an old book, at least 120 years an average man can live. The earth is designed that way to be loved and cared for and in turned nurtures and sustains each man for that length of time.

Yes, the man from another realm knows this because he has been through a course on the affection, attention, interest and compassion he must have on the earthlings before he is finally considered ready to be assigned here. He knows and sees and appreciates the beauty and yet mystery of this land, including the snow and all, even the earthling woman who happens to be here in the same mountain house on a totally unrelated assignment. They never talk about their assignments or whether they are in the same camp, or not.

After an initial struggle with sharing all the common amenities except each separate room cum workplace, he has settled to getting used to this kind of life. Why this arrangement on earth? He cannot see any relevance at all. Nor will his superior back in his own realm give him any clue. So he just has to adapt and adjust with the existence of another living being.

He agrees with his favorite earth writer, Orhan Pamuk that he just has to open his eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony. The two strangers appear to share common interests in a number of things, such as, hot coffee, reading, genre of music, one painting in the common dinning place, and creatures that come out in the snow. The irony is that they do not talk to each other about such personal stuff.

There seems a commonly self-imposed code: do not get personal because that will be too close.

2021-03-20

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~a quote

“The beauty and mystery of this world only emerges through affection, attention, interest and compassion . . . open your eyes wide and actually see this world by attending to its colors, details and irony.”― Orhan Pamuk (from his book “My Name Is Red”).

simply six minutes —the magic briefcase adventure: silent painting

“Painting is the silence of thought and the music of sight.”― Orhan Pamuk, My name is Red. To the man from a distant planet, a higher realm than earth, snow falling is like painting. A gigantic hand is brushing over the land and everything else in the Snowland with white paint. Not surprising. Because the invisible hand is so huge, earthlings think that the snow just comes by itself without any deliberate action of anyone. But he knows it differently.

Where he lives they are more advanced and know a lot more stuff compared to the earthlings. For example, the thing called love. He is looking at the snow falling and the building up of the thick white blanket out there below his window sill. Why does he think of love suddenly?

Because he suddenly thinks of the music of sight. They both like music. She and he. Jazz and classical. She does not talk about her likes and dislikes at all. They are mere acquaintances stuck up there on this snowy mountain of 8000 ft. above sea level. Talking about music or painting means getting close. And they want to avoid it.

One day she listens to him singing in the bathroom at random. When he emerges she says, “you seem in a good mood, singing.”

Another day she reminds him of manner. He has taken a painting from the common dinning place and hang it in his room. He has put back another picture on the empty space. But it happens that she only likes the one he has taken.

So he apologizes and puts the original picture back to its original place behind where she sits when she does her zoom meetings. She wants that picture to be in her background. So does he. He moves it to his room for the same purpose!

Amazing how much common interests they do share without talking about them. In a way it is like watching the snow being painted outside accompanied by inaudible yet beautiful music performed up there in the great beyond. The silence of thought and the music of sight beautifully being presented to the two of them, alone in a big house.

The sharing of the color of the snowland, the serene silence in the house except for the occasional jazz played softly in separate rooms, and the unspoken understanding that each has his or her own space, and a common picture in a common room, and many other small things, all create a feeling of calm affiliation. He somehow thinks it is related to an unselfish thing called love.

2021-03-19

alas the waiting is too long for all that jazz…

Alas, the waiting is too long…for all that jazz.

https://freemindconfession.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/alas-the-waiting-was-too-long-for-all-that-jazz/

whose heritage?

heirloom
Heritage
means something that is handed down from the past: as a tradition, a national heritage of honor, pride, and courage; something that comes or belongs to one by reason of birth; ; something reserved for one: the heritage of the righteous; something that has been or may be inherited by legal descent or succession. any property, especially land, that devolves by right of inheritance.

It is no coincidence that I recently came across a small heritage through a relative. The items are not exactly that old. The original owners lived around the time when the formation of the Republic of China as a constitutional republic put an end to 4,000 years of Imperial rule. The Qing dynasty, (also known as the Manchu dynasty), ruled from 1644–1912. I brought some of them back to the heirs who have confirmed that they are not selling. The above photo shows two Chinese Swatow (Shantou) Pewter Tea Caddy Containers (possibly a hundred or less years old), a Vintage Chinese Hand-carved Cork Art and a collection of modern poetry published in 1987 included because they were found together.

According to China Daily, Shantou people “drink more tea than anyone else in China. Shantou became a city significant in 19th-century Chinese history as one of the treaty trading ports established for Western trade and contact, sited both American and British Consulates. Today the historic quarter of Shantou features both Western and Chinese architecture. Online source states that about 2% of the population belongs to an ‘organized’ religion, with 40,000 Protestants, 20,000 Catholics and 500 Muslims.

What are the real values of heirlooms? No one can place any intrinsic value on any item except the heir herself/himself. In this case, I have checked the websites of some auction houses and found varying values have been cited on similar items. But the final word is from the heirs and they say, “No, we intend to just keep them.”

I try reading up the history of those who fled the strategic trading and battle port occupied by the Japanese army during 1939-1945 and moved to the rest of the world. I cannot imagine how they could have carried and preserved heavy tea canisters and other intricate sets of silver and beautiful fragile bone China tea sets which I have also found in that house.

There are many things we do not understand about the generations before us. I cannot understand their values and priorities. Perhaps I am too engrossed in the modern technology-savvy world in which we give high value to anything close to ‘weightlessness’. We grumble about a laptop weighing 3lbs and above. On the other hand, we do not mind going to the gym to lift heavy metal to get our muscles in tune.

Well, here are some realistic observations from a book I am reading, by a futurist.
“…For example, today’s high school students have a hard time understanding why Columbus risked life and limb to find a shorter trade route to the spices of the East. Why couldn’t he simply go to the supermarket, they ask, and get some oregano? But in the days of Columbus, spices and herbs were extremely expensive. They were prized because they could mask the taste of rotting food, since there were no refrigerators in those days. At times, even kings and emperors had to eat rotten food at dinner. There were no refrigerated cars, containers, or ships to carry spices across the oceans.) That is why these commodities were so valuable that Columbus gambled his life to get them, although today they are sold for pennies…”

Yet, on the other hand, the futurist admitted this, “…The point is: whenever there is a conflict between modern technology and the desires of our primitive ancestors, these primitive desires win each time. That’s the Cave Man Principle.” ”
― Michio Kaku, Physics Of The Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny And Our Daily Lives By The Year 2100

Agree. I would rather take a cup of hot tea with a spot of fresh milk than staring at the cold laptop in the cold, unheated cave. You know, the value of a laptop easily depreciates to zero within a couple of years. But a tea canister appreciates its value with decades/centuries and is still going strong.

Don’t wait for winter: a haiku

beautiful sea n sky

Nature cries out loud

Sea sky land and rock paint now

Don’t wait for winter

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~This November’s sea and sky stay clear and seemingly calm. But he knows they will not be able to hold longer for the bleak changes that shall come perhaps even overnight when he turns away to another shore. Being a traveler-writer he can only take a momentary capture of an impression either through a camera or usually a convenient smart phone which doubles up as a camera. He often wanders what an artist does. How many visits will an artist make and how long will he stay at the same spot?  Personally he carries a simple smart phone which is not the latest model. Some pictures will turn out well, he knows in his heart, the moment he imprints them in his own human memory. They turn out well because he has reinforced the pictures through the words of a story of love in his heart.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Excerpts from a prayer of love from Daniel, the wise prophet who lived 2600 years ago. (Daniel 9:4)

“Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandments,”

 

color of my heart: a haiku story

autumn color

This artist won’t stop

to lavish color splashes

brilliant flaming top

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The true work of art is but a shadow of the divine perfection. Michelangelo

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. Henry David Thoreau

Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment.  Claude Monet

Dearest love, he began: a haiku (and a prose)

a letter from up

Dearest love, he began,

seeing her at other land,

write to me, she said. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When he travels he likes to write down what he sees, hears and thinks. A picture in his selective perceptive mind often helps him to recall the moment of encounter with colors, sounds, and lives that co-exist: a pleasant surprise, a happy feeling, a tinge of sadness, a glimpse of greatness beyond his comprehension, an act of courage, a light that stands out on the face of someone, eyes that speak kindness, a smile that spells hope, a bowl of hot soup that warms his soul, a word of friendliness like “Good morning” from another jogger, a mother pushing a pram, an old man walking his dog, yes, the general non-hostility of the expressions from nature, creatures, and even human. So he writes.

“A letter makes ordinary things seem important.”
― Marilynne Robinson, Lila

“More than kisses, letters mingle souls.”
― John Donne

“You deserve a longer letter than this; but it is my unhappy fate seldom to treat people so well as they deserve.”
― Jane Austen

“Only write to me, write to me, I love to see the hop and skip and sudden starts of your ink.”
― A.S. Byatt, Possession

Memory can make a thing seem: a haiku

(traveler’s view through a car window)

a rabbit in skymissing a rabbit

he saw this one following

she said it’s a pig

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“There is so little to remember of anyone – an anecdote, a conversation at a table. But every memory is turned over and over again, every word, however chance, written in the heart in the hope that memory will fulfill itself, and become flesh, and that the wanderers will find a way home, and the perished, whose lack we always feel, will step through the door finally and stroke our hair with dreaming habitual fondness not having meant to keep us waiting long.”― Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping

“Memory can make a thing seem to have been much more than it was.” ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

“I wish I could leave you certain of the images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. Well, but again, this life has its own mortal loveliness. And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing. I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.” ― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

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