a quiet place where our minds meet -a poem

daily I wait

for your rustling footsteps climbing up the winding path of fallen leaves

by now you must have greeted all wayside gleefully waving daffodils

in size, by name, and of every distinct shade of gold

finding the ever changing doorway to reach our secret garden where our minds meet

for warm cups of freshly brew tea and genuine English muffins

in the tender coolness of many breezy afternoons

we whisper and converse and discourse words and sentences and pages and volumes

at times clashing tiny silver spoons and forks and minds

with frown brows, yet hearts at ease and all in good humour

knowing that this ad hoc assembly of words will be of transient consequence

as full stop daily we halt at the umpteenth semicolon (after we lose count) bidding goodbye and see you

(and remember tomorrow repeating rendezvous)

to this quiet place where our minds perchance meet.

kai 2022-06-24

simply six minutes—the magic briefcase adventure: Does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?

Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. How little does he know this will be the lesson he has to learn on his last mission. Guarding of the Four Wind on earth is only 50% of his mission. The other 50% is to study the most influential power source on earth and submit a full investigation report on completion of his four wind assignment. Because he is beyond earth time he is not subject to the chronological aging process on earth. His term on earth is a century and he has already served 70 earth years. He has been assigned to the other stations of the four wind. This snowland station is his last assignment. He is an elite “engineer” in earth term and the hardware (technical) part of his assignment is no issue to him. On the other hand, the “software” part is a real puzzle which he has little remaining time to crack.

What is exactly the most powerful power source on earth? Based on his last seven decades of interactions with earthlings, he knows, and has completed the bulk of the report, mostly in theory and concept. But now he is stuck. He has to do the practical empirical evidential based part of the report, and he has to find a live object to study and actually interact with first hand.

When he was transferred to this Snowland station he knew this would be his last chance. He has failed three times previously. This time he cannot afford to fail. Failure is just too costly to bear. Briefly, he will be compelled to extend his assignment contract for another century in another planet or realm. And he is looking for a retirement back to his home planet/realm.

Outwardly there is everything good about him for the last assignment: tall, slim, fit, smart, a chiseled facial look, deep-set eyes of a color that is most pleasant and acceptable to most earthlings, a default expression of a highly intelligent and elegant being. He has been trained to know many languages and cultures. People are naturally drawn to him because he is genuinely kind and selfless with the backdrop of the apparent show of good tase and a cut above others. He has been programmed to look thirties. No, he is not an AI robot or a clone. He was born to a normal earthling couple and had a normal childhood. His only difference from earthling is that his entire nurturing, education, and training were all done by a more advanced source beyond earth from his original realm. And he is in constant communication with them.

His remaining task is to find an earth woman and study what love is. Yes, ironically, love and hate are the most powerful influence on earth. This is the main obstacle for completing his report. He is not required to fall in love but he must find out what true love means and why it turns to hate with unimaginable destructive power. His report is aptly named: “The essence of love”. Why focus on love and not hate? Because, alas, the two words are interchangeable on earth.

This is what he finds out on the Snowland, his final station. (to continue)

Ka, 2021-03-31

#Simply6Minutes: poolside drama

poolside drama

she: can you see the pool?

he: pool?

she: yes can you see it?

he: ya

she: you need to do something

he: thing?

she: ya, thing, like cleaning

he: cleaning? why?

she: what can you see?

he: ya, I see water

she: the dirt! the leaves!

he: ya, so?

she: so!!! do something!!!

he: ok, wait till i finish this (busily watching the screen of his mobile)

she: (silent. leaves.)

she: (returns. Hand full of stuff. Throws at him.)

he: (loudly yep) what…is this for?

she: (more loudly) do something or i’ll do something to you!!!

nothing happens after a long pause, followed by a loud splash. Someone falls into the pool.

(end)

his web blog frozen in a time and space

Cherry On Top2007 Fuji Mt n structureThe day was like any ordinary day. We were all set to go to a hot spring and this picture was taken from a coach. The guide said we would go near the mountain but not too near. At that time they were speculating that it might have some volcanic activities unsuitable for travelers. It had not erupted since the 18th century. But we were told to be cautious. Anyway we had a good ride to the place famous for its hot spring. The idea of a sleepy mountain suddenly woke up and erupting into an inferno was a bit unsettling for the travelers.

But the company was good and some sang songs to cheer up the rest.

We started early in the morning but arrived in the evening due to slow traffic and closure of certain stretches of the highway. There was no road rage even though traffic was crawling and we moved practically in terms of inches. I looked out of the window and saw other drivers and passengers unperturbed and calm sitting in their cars and waited to inch forward. As a mere traveler I could only look at the people superficially. The mountains looked beautiful from afar. And we were told not to go near. I did not visit the country again after December 2007. In 2011 it was struck with the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan, and the fourth most powerful earthquake in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900.

I quote below passages from the wikipedia: “Japan has also been the site of some of the 10 worst natural disasters of the 21st century. The types of natural disasters in Japan include tsunamis, floods, typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions. The country has gone through many years of natural disasters, affecting its economy, development, and social life. The 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami were devastating.On 10 March 2015, a Japanese National Police Agency report confirmed 15,894 deaths,6,152 injured, and 2,562 people missing across twenty prefectures, as well as 228,863 people living away from their home in either temporary housing or due to permanent relocation. The tsunami caused nuclear accidents, primarily the level 7 meltdowns at three reactors in the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant complex, and the associated evacuation zones affecting hundreds of thousands of residents.”

An internet blogging Japanese friend who used to work and stay in Tokyo lost contact after the disaster. We used to share one common interest: We were both avid fans of Kazuo Ishiguro (who created remarkable stories of love, loss and hidden truths in The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go.) and we both liked the movie  Australia. His  website remained the same as many years ago and froze in a space and time. I gave up visiting his web blog eventually.

coming home to the rain and typing

Since returning to my more stable and familiar station, I have encountered two major issues: the weather and the internet.

I welcome the tropical weather. No more heavy clothing and encumbrances in terms of what to wear for jogging and walking in winter. Of course the rain is bothersome at times. This station has rain that does not stop except for brief intervals. It goes on for days and nights and weeks. It does not flood the land as I am on high ground with good drainage and least over-development. But it does mean that I don’t go out walking and neither can I walk or bath the dog. Another inconvenience is I don’t like driving in the rain too. So I am sort of grounded with the dog, watching the rain day in day out at the window.  The dog is fine as I have enough food and snacks readily stocked for her to last until the rain finally stops. As for me, I can hardly say that I am sensibly stocked enough for a month or so. All that I have done so far since returning was to visit the computer programmer and worked through an internet issue that stopped me from using my new MacBook Pro to access the internet using a local internet mobile USB broadband.

I have inadvertently left behind my other laptop charger in the foreign country across the pacific ocean. So I have no option but to keep working at solving the MacBook issue. I cannot get a replacement locally. None of the other charger fits. There is no stock in the market. Amazing. Even a charger can ground me.

Under such circumstances what does a traveler writer do? I started spring cleaning so that I perchance might locate a long forgotten laptop in good condition and is internet friendly. At first I thought I could perhaps borrow from someone who has similarly gone on her own long journey. I looked through the common cabinets and drawers and came upon a tiny laptop in a pretty wrapping. I thought it was one of her old discarded one. Behold, when I pulled it out I was in for a pleasant surprise -it is my own back up notebook from another foreign land, a third world poor country where I purchased it for a mere $100 in the second hand market. It is in perfect condition and immediately goes online without any trouble.

Well I have finally solved the internet and MacBook issues. Now I am back to my large print screen and beautiful pictures display. I suppose it is a matter of habits. During the days when I had to use the tiny laptop I actually became accustomed to its size and fonts. I once thought it was never meant to be of any serious typing. I thought I could not even look at its fonts. But when I started using it I hardly noticed any such weaknesses. I was giving thanks daily this last resort backup typing machine was hardy, reliable and faithful.

So in a way I learn a writer’s lesson. A writer uses a typewriter or something we call a notebook to write. The internet does not really matter. I was so obsessed with the lack of internet ease of accessing relevant information and good visibly large prints of what I type and display of the beautiful photographs I have taken that I have forgotten that it is the writing in texts and the originality of my contents that really matter. The rests are frills.

a haiku on haiku

20160118_133154 copy.jpg

Winter is best time

suspends in space and in me

warm and cold in rhyme

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

Why does this traveler write Haiku? I started writing Haiku in my teen days. I happened to read a book on Japanese Haiku (translated to English) in the library and tried writing some myself. It is simple and short and precise. It is not ambitious. It describes a moment like clicking a snapshot of something in a specific time and space. The result is a picture that tells a story.

Dearest love, he penned: a haiku (and a prose) for someone who has turned his world around

gull family

Solo or in pair

klee-ew huoh-houh-huoh long mew

transmissions received ~~~~~~~~~~~~While onshore before he set sail he heard a phone ringing,  but when he picked it up he could hear people talking not particularly to him. Then the call was terminated. He wrote this letter and set sail alone. “Dearest love: You sent a WhatsApp text to say that you will go away to another continent for sometime. I replied,”Okay.” I added, “Please let me know you have arrived safely.” You replied, “Noted.” I also wrote, “I will pray for your safety.” You replied, “Thank you.” You said you will leave at 3am this morning so I set the alarm to wake me at 2:30am. I woke before that and WhatsApp called and messaged you. But there was no answer. I noted that the last time you read my text was 1:58am. Why did you not reply my internet call or text? After trying several times I realized that I did not take into account our different time zones! I also did not realize the difficulty of not having internet access while traveling across continents. Eight hours later you managed to text me in the airport just before you departed on a connecting flight. “Arrived safely at _____,” followed by the time of the flight and estimated arrival at the destination. Based on the scanty information of departure time and the two airports, I managed to track your flight so I knew you have finally landed safely.

While waiting for your next call or WhatsApp text I decided to write a very short email. “Dearest: One of the three phones rang but i heard noisy talking. Anyway i believe you are safe and well. Love, ______.” In case you happen to have access to email somehow. I exercised and showered with the phones but they remained silent. Strange that when you are easily accessible by internet call or WhatsApp or gmail I sometimes spend a whole day without  contacting you. I do not count the time until I realize that I may not be able to connect to you. Then I sort of worry. For hours I do nothing but trying to guess where you are.

I recall the time before internet when we wrote long letters because telephone calls were too expensive across ocean and continents. I wrote a letter a day and you said you often received a bundle as the postman did not call daily. Later I was posted to a distant city and saved my lunch allowance for our daily evening long distance call. When I returned you were posted to a rural place separated from the city by long and winding treacherous hilly country roads and I woke at four every Saturday morning and drove slowly at snail-speed for hours in pitch dark often braving the heavy monsoon rain which reduced visibility to zero. I did the same on every Monday morning on the return journey. Finally you succeeded getting a posting near your hometown in another city across the sea. I too got a posting across but in another city. In those days driving between the two cities took about ten hours return. So I wrote letters everyday. I spent a fortune on phone calls too. I flew sometimes. One New Year Day I received your call. You said, “Listen, you need to make a decision. Either we break up or we marry.” I replied, “Are you proposing to me?” You said, “Yes. Give me your answer and a confirmed wedding date within two days.”

Looking back I can see that the main reason why we decided to get together for good was so that we could communicate without having to battle mountains of hindrances to our highly compatible transmission and receiving frequencies and wave-lengths. The difficulty to connect our thoughts hastened the decision process. Human being must connect. In those days there was no social media like Facebook or Twitter. Not even smart phone. Mobile analogue phones were expensive, yet large, heavy and clumsy, newly introduced in the market, more for sales persons than anyone else. No smart phone. We really needed to communicate so badly. But not with just anyone. Many years have passed since then and we now rely on short utterances called chat typed and received on a tiny screen of a phone named smart. I cannot write letters anymore. Not the ones I used to take heart to write. Having said all that I want to say in short forms daily several times on screen, I seem to have run out of energy and imagination. Browsing through the internet I found this following passage which aptly describes what you are and will always be to me. The writer has said it so well that any addition on my part will be superfluous.

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”  (quoted from Bob Marley)

I am still waiting for your call. You are the someone who has completely turned my world around. I am sailing solo here, in search of perhaps a beautiful picture for you. Love, yours always.

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