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

Magic briefcase adventure: Does he celebrate birthday? Does it matter to her? Or anyone?

Does he celebrate earth birthday? The question suddenly appeared as he glanced at his social network message board. He has never really thought of such matter about himself. In fact he hardly think of himself. In a day’s time it will be another chronological birthday for him on earth. After seven decades, he can hardly recall how he first remembered a special day called birthday that his earth parents celebrated for him, just like any other kids. On that day they normally made him eat one whole boiled egg by himself. In those post-war years it was considered a luxury when the kid was only one out of a brood of seven. The question is from her, the earth acquaintance for a year in Snowland.

It is a surprise to him to read her sudden message, after nearly a year of silence. Does birthday really matter? Of course most parents like to recall that day when their kid came to earth, mostly crash landing with a loud cry of disappointment at the harshness of the external zone (tearing away from their hitherto comfort zone). That is the way he observes things, somewhat different from the earthlings.

She uses a strange new name. But he knows it is her. His social network message board is restricted to a few friends only and they normally do not message or comment anything. It is a silent and dusty board. It is kept there for a purpose which the outsiders do not know. He decides not to reply her strange question. What is the point in the question? They have not established any relation, not even an acquaintance contact. His mission in Snowland has failed.

He remembers last year. She made something for him and ate her portion separately in the living room. He ate his alone at the dining table. He cannot remember what it is now. What a strange birthday party of two eating something in silence in two separate rooms. It reminds him of war.

His earth parents went through a big war. They got married because of the war. The war destroyed his mom’s love, hope, and dream, that is, enrolling into the medical school like her fiancé did, but he was killed by a bomb while traveling north to the university. She had to flee the invaded country instead and ended up in a foreign land marrying another man, and had seven kids during and after the big war.

Why is he thinking of big war now? He is a guardian of the four wind on earth —an invisible shield against invasion by warlords from other planets and zones from other universes. He has failed to finish his report on earthling’s emotion, and is now serving his extended term in a different site (away from Snowland).

Perhaps he will eat a boiled egg tomorrow, to remember his own earth parents who have really shown him the essence of sacrificial love, by rationing their own food and making sure the children were fed well, particularly making each individual kid feel special on his birthday.

Ka, 2021-04-12

simply six minutes—magic briefcase adventure: first day in Snowland

Looking back he can still see her face. It is not a face that can conceal or even bother to conceal the heart. She is of indeterminable chronological age. She is not young. No, there is no wrinkle and she has done a lot on up-keeping her looks and her fitness too, tall, slim, and a strict keto disciple in terms of diet.

But it is the facial expression that reveals her heart. She tried to be civil. So she started with small talk like the weather, the flight, the lodging house sharing and so on. They were in the kitchen and had to decide who used which side. Seeing she was standing near to the dining and living area, he chose the far side which was near to the garage and tool house.

She suddenly said something about her (chronological age related condition) being a dry prune and it no longer mattered how she looked. It was a shocking statement to him. They were merely fellow lodgers. They were each assigned there on Snowland for separate missions which they did not disclose to each other. They merely shared the facilities of the accommodation.

When she blurted out that statement he watched her face. It was a mirror of her heart. A once beautiful face, now twisted into a shape which only revealed a deep, heavy, and even hostile, disguised sadness that was heart wrenching. It was far more than reading any sad mysteries of earthlings. How was he going to learn about the love and hate emotion of earthlings for his report? He dreaded from the first day of their encounter.

But this is his last work station and last chance to complete the remaining half of his century long assignment on earth so that he will receive his due award, a retirement back to his home planet/realm. While spending long hours in pondering on her expression, he wondered what has made a beautiful woman grow into such sadness. He has researched this subject in many fields of study. There are many possible factors and variables. Earth has acquired the technology that prevents a person growing old physically, through constant practices of up-keeping their body and mind. But there is something that they cannot up-keep, that is, their deteriorating emotion. And it shows on their faces, and affects their behavior. Often it can cause harm to themselves and others.

That is why he has been assigned this task of studying their emotion, particularly the kind of emotion called love that can drive all other aspects in life.

The first day of encounter signified that his challenge would be tough. He tried to stay neutral and adopt the stance of a researcher. He posited that with time he would adapt to her pattern and be able to complete his report. He neglected one pertinent aspect, how did she see him that first encounter? What was her perspective and impression of him? What does he mirror?

Much later, towards the end of their separate assignments, she suddenly blurted out, “I have never liked you, even from the first day.” He did not know then whether she was telling the truth or she was just trying to convince herself that she has never invested her feeling for him. But he knows now. (to continue)

Ka, 2021-04-03

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

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

a haiku and a prose for 2021-02-14

A Haiku

Because love hangs on

patiently adorns each hope

undaunted beyond

A Prose

He has no idea how she has felt after all these decades, 29 years in all. He once thought they would have a long long time together and be happy ever after. In real life their time does not work that way. Time is not exactly a master but it influences. Like the fashion influencer today in the digital virtual realm. It would take herculean efforts to conquer the insurmountable hurdles set in the race of time across oceans and mountains.

Unlike today’s generation, communication was costly then. They could hardly meet or even talk on the phone. He wrote a letter daily after a long day’s work and posted it the following morning through his office boy. She later told him that her postman only delivered a stack of outdated mail once in a while. He spent his daily travel allowance calling her long distance and burnt away cold cash just for a few minutes of hearing her voice. He can still recall the time after each call. He would walk to the bay beach outside his hotel, sat on a rock and watched the sunset. He would hope, as he scanned the distant horizon, to sight a seabird or two, often in vain. The city was one of the most developed in the world, and there was hardly any space or free sky left. The bay was beautiful but it was not a home for any wild creatures.

What was on his mind? He cannot remember now. Perhaps he was imagining that somehow a strong courageous sea bird had flown to her window, perched there in the warm sunshine, at the other end of the ocean, and now came to him with a touch of her fresh air, carrying a slice of her vibrant life for him in that cold, misty, gloomy city of the lonely. Yet, today he suddenly remembers a quote about a higher kind of love. “There is no justice in love, no proportion in it, and there need not be, because in any specific instance it is only a glimpse or parable of an embracing, incomprehensible reality. It makes no sense at all because it is the eternal breaking in on the temporal. So how could it subordinate itself to cause or consequence?”― Marilynne Robinson, Gilead.

All in all, he has no regret. Whatever they have spent together and held on in time for each other. Today is an ordinary Sunday. He stands in his garden and thinks of the time that he still has. The garden is fresh and sparkling in life after a Spring rain. Yes, Spring is here. And the day is February 14. So he decided to write this missive and like old time, post it by snail mail. She likes to hear the ring of the postman. He remembers.

Kainotes, 2021-02-14

Simply Six Minutes: Magic Briefcase Adventure six (about silent love and pain)

20191024 Blessed

“How much can we ever know about the love and pain in another heart?” (Orhan Pamuk) He gave her a poem on her birthday, Rudyard Kipling’s “the power of a dog”. And she burst into tears while reading it and seeing a portrait of her dog that passed on prior to their strange meeting, the first time, on the snow mountain. He merely sat quietly and waited for her to compose herself. She never asks him why he decided to give her such a gift. After all they hardly know each other.

After that she drinks up her coffee and returns to her room. They never talk about that fateful morning when they sat down across the coffee table and she read the poem in tears.

The snow does not give notice. It just comes and goes on that mountain. The sound of the wind and the arrival of the lone young buck one day breaks the monotony of the lodge. The buck is limping. He is very young and has one single tiny budding antler. Has he encountered an accident? Why is he limping? She asks, not expecting any answer and he remains silent.

The wind sometimes howls at night, when he stays up all night to complete his earth assignment. He hears how they wind talk to the trees and the trees answer back through their branches and their leaves. They only talk after midnight when the wind visits his window trees. Sometimes they talk all night as he operates the four wind shield to protect earth.

One day she decides to name the buck Blessed. And they never saw him again after that.

She remains silent when they note that Blessed doesn’t turn up anymore. He sees sadness in her eyes. He knows she must have loved and felt pain in her heart. But they do not talk about heart issues. After all, they hardly know each other. He is merely writing a six minutes story about a strange kind of love.

another letter I shall not mail: a picture and a poem

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.

20151129-17mile
2015 October

knowing
time
doesn’t ever glance backward
yet i stand here gazing forward
as if she may chime
a bell

no matter the distance
i shall keep my stance
in position
in case this station
will be called to mail

her call
i shall not refuse
or bid adieus

favorites: Don’t look back, she says, I am not there (love story)

The goodbye is too harsh and I can’t resist another post of more of my All-Time Favorites of some of the pictures I am sentimental about (which original stories/poems you may find in this blog by clicking on the caption below each picture).

a snowy slope 3
only way is up

2007 Fuji Mt n tree
this is a letter I will not send

this morning I fly alone
this morning I fly alone: a haiku

new-horizon
another shore beyond 1

another-shore-beyond
another shore beyond 2

nostalgia-family-car-1953
Don’t look back, she says, I am not there

a way ahead
how fleeting is evanescence?

waiting classic jazz
alas, the waiting was too long: for all that jazz

An interesting list of the above original captions (from my earlier weekly-photo-challenge posts):
the only way is up
this is a letter I will not send
this morning I fly alone: a haiku
another shore beyond
Don’t look back, she says, I am not there
how fleeting is evanescence?
alas, the waiting was too long: for all that jazz

beloved, this day you shall not fly alone (updated)

new life2018-02-17

this day I shall not fly alone
with new hope and not forlorn

living
dreaming
planning
parting

leaving behind
my depressed mind

stepping ahead
as my spirit heard you said

do not fear
for I have wiped away your every tear
go forth
as I have come forth

behold
here is My heart
as always of old
ever
never
leave

beloved
you are loved
so deep

so Sweet
this day you will not fly alone

Note added: a famous Christian man who lived for 99 years and is known to perhaps millions in this world died on 21st February 2018 . This poem was written and posted on the 16th five days before that day while fasting for Lent.

sometimes we just have to go

Sometimes we just not go the Serene way. a way ahead
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
a watershed
not a tear is heard
nor a sound is smeared
because we wear mascara
to celebrate the last gala
dancing to end our tango
no pretense
not perchance
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

Love textures: O my Luve’s like a red, red rose

Textures of red. texture of red
This picture was taken this morning when I saw a glimpse of red in a little park. Whilst this is not a red rose, I would share a touching sentimental poem about red love.

O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in luve am I:
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry:

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun:
I will luve thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee well, my only Luve
And fare thee well, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho’ it were ten thousand mile.
A Red, Red Rose

Poet: Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)
Biography Summary (Quoted from Scottish Poetry Library online)
If ever a poet understood the character of his nation, he was Robert Burns. The language he was most fluent in wasn’t so much Scots or English – it was the language of the heart. All too human in his personal life, he carried that humanity over onto the page. Nothing was too small or too large to escape his notice, from a mouse in the mud to God in his heavens. A poet for all seasons, Burns speaks to all, soul to soul.

Bible verse on the color red and the love of God:

Colossians 1:13-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

sometimes we cross a bridge and do not look back

crossing an old wooden bridgeSF Bay bridge2I always find Bridges fascinating. Each one encompasses three main phases of life: beginning, ending and in-between. Some bridges we cross for a temporary purpose and we cross back after we have fulfilled that purpose. Some bridges we cross but never intend to return. Some we cross at predictable regular intervals like the crossing is an extended part of one’s being. Some we just never cross. Perhaps we do not have the opportunity to do so in this life. Is there a bridge I must cross but with great reluctance and a sense of immense loss? Yes. I believe the bridge is called “Goodbye, my love.” (Somehow I suspect everyone who loves has a bridge by this name)

A love called graceful and not let go (two poems)

star1jpg-6311515c13a99e7c(I translated, re-written and re-named this love song. I call it Gracefully love)

Even if I should come once to
this planet
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
humbly down
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

假如我來世上一遭,只為與你相聚一次;
只為了億萬年的那一剎那,一剎那裡所有的甜蜜與悲淒。

那麼就讓一切該發生的,都在瞬間出現;
讓我俯首感謝所有星球的相助,讓我與你相遇,與你別離。

完成了上帝所作的一首詩,然後再緩緩地老去;讓我與你相遇,與你別離。

(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!
Parted
now
I
then
know

别後——之二 ◎‪‎席慕蓉 (MuRong Xi wrote this poem during her grief for the demise of her husband)
原來
用整整的一生來慢慢錯過的
竟是我們這唯一僅有的
整整的一生啊!

別後

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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!

If I forget your name? Never

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
one thing.

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
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
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,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
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.
Pablo Neruda

Listen to a reading of the beautiful poem at the following link:
https://youtu.be/hWI9J5HFRfI

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)

a resilient love letter after 8000 days and nights and is still counting

8000-daysMy 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.

8000-nights

Don’t look back, she says, I am not there

a Nostalgia look.
nostalgia-family-car-1953He 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.

a beautiful wordless reflection of a long gone memory

Mirror a wordless reflection one morning in winter. Wordless beauty.
wordless-reflectionLooking 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.

It takes a very long time to become young.

young“It takes a very long time to become young.” I agree with this wise statement from Pablo Picasso. It sometimes takes a whole life time to become young. As I searched the internet for the word, “YOUTH”, I came across this movie called, Youth (Italian: La giovinezza), a 2015 Italian comedy-drama film written and directed by Paolo Sorrentino. The song called, Simple Song #3, really touched me. I did not cry buckets of tears which perhaps the director did when he finally chose this song among the many the composer David Lang sent him. According to a story he wanted David Lang to send him a song that could make him cry more than just a bit. But I have tears in my heart when I listened to the song.
It is a simple contemporary classic song sung in simple lyrics but beautiful when sung with passion. The song plays an important role as it is both the hero, a retired composer, Fred’s most beloved work and one that transmits a hidden emotional message to his wife. His wife is senile, and living at a care home in Venice. He wrote the song in younger days for her to perform.

It stars Michael Caine (83) and Harvey Keitel(77) as best friends who reflect on their lives while holidaying in the Swiss Alps. “It is a story of the eternal struggle between age and youth, the past and the future, life and death, commitment and betrayal.” The cast also includes Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano, and Jane Fonda.

Fred turns down an invitation by an emissary for Queen Elizabeth II to perform his popular piece “Simple Songs” at her husband Prince Philip’s birthday concert, claiming he is not interested in performing any more – although he still composes pieces in his head when alone. Later when approached again by the emissary, he explains (and heard by his daughter) that he won’t perform “Simple Songs” because the soprano part belongs only to his wife and she can no longer sing.

When I ponder on the subject of “Youth”, I have no words but words already well expressed by others, such as the song and the bit of the story concerning a man and his wife who is no longer singing. I also quote below words expressed by a writer and a poet who mean what youth really means to me in this season of pondering over life and the inevitable aging of youth.

Time in dreams is frozen. You can never get away from where you’ve been.”
― Margaret Atwood, The Blind Assassin

“may my heart always be open to little
birds who are the secrets of living
whatever they sing is better than to know
and if men should not hear them men are old

may my mind stroll about hungry
and fearless and thirsty and supple
and even if it’s sunday may i be wrong
for whenever men are right they are not young

and may myself do nothing usefully
and love yourself so more than truly
there’s never been quite such a fool who could fail
pulling all the sky over him with one smile”
― E.E. Cummings, Complete Poems, 1904-1962

Youth

youth music

Perhaps this is the most beautiful car I ever photographed

Luxury

luxuaryPerhaps this is the most beautiful car I photographed when visiting the car museum, a 1936 Mercedes-Benz 500K Special Roadster. Price when new: $10,780. Price today? Your guess.

Luxury can refer to possession of things like this fabulous car. I quote a passage written about the status marker of Gatsby (in the book The Great Gatsby, a 1925 novel written by American author F. Scott Fitzgerald.)

*”He numbers among his possessions a hydroplane, two cars, two motorboats, a mansion with a pool and its own beach and his ‘toilet set’ made of gold. His clothes are similarly opulent and he has an excessive number of shirts. Furthermore, Gatsby has servants (a chauffeur, a butler, a gardener) and hires people to work for him at his parties.” Even his shirts are luxurious symbols of wealth: Gatsby’s flamboyant attire, perhaps like his mansion, is an advertisement of wealth as part of his claim to be worthy of Daisy. She is very impressed, and cries ‘stormily’ when she is presented with this evidence:‘They’re such beautiful shirts,’ she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. ‘It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such – such beautiful shirts before.’ But Daisy chose to remain with Tom (her husband).*

The wealth of Gatsby could not get him what he had craved for many years, Daisy, his dream love. Gatsby achieved his dream of wealth. But he never achieved his dream of love. He died a very disillusioned, sad and lonely man.

Dictionary Definition of ‘luxury’: 1 we’ll live in luxury: opulence, luxuriousness, sumptuousness, grandeur, magnificence, splendor, lavishness, the lap of luxury, a bed of roses, (the land of) milk and honey; informal the life of Riley. 2 indulgence, extravagance, self-indulgence, nonessential, treat, extra, frill.

(*The passage commenting on the book is quoted/excerpted from http://crossref-it.info/textguide/the-great-gatsby/34/2444)

bedazzled by love: a haiku (and a prose)

a snowy lane
a snowy lane up the mountain

dazzling ascend
esoteric love transcends
snow melded with sand ~~~~~~~~She gave him three years to complete a plan. “You need a plan.” The plan demanded him to pay a price. The price of time and efforts. He enrolled in a post-graduate study to learn how to make living shelter that can shield human (and other living creatures) from the fiercest winds, rain and flood. “Where we are going there will be wind and rain storms which you have never seen in your life.” She told him. Whilst she learned how to uncover water underground he learned how to build cover above ground. It was costly. He worked in the day and studied at night. Why did he agree to such a proposal? “Princess Turandot has charmed you!” The boss exclaimed. Because of the study, AJ no longer attended any night functions. He handled the day conference and convention and trained someone to do the night duty. Time was running out. He was 28 and she was 18. His mother was surprised and delighted. “At last you are doing something about your life.” She remarked with a smile. Interestingly the boss and AJ’s mother held two opposite perspectives. The boss looked at the power and glory that the world craved. AJ’s mother looked at the inner man her son was going to become. She had seen the hidden darkness that robbed the luster of his eyes despite the glitter of success in the material and fast tracked corporate business scenario. She had observed a change ever since the day he started a course on a new direction. He put on a new sail. His eyes positively gleamed with hope. He was in love. (to be continued)

he will not stop here: a haiku (and a prose)

yellow cloudsI have come this way

resting feet and tired heart

spirit does not sway

~~~~~~~~~~He cannot stop now. The last time he has been here to rest awhile. The clouds have turned their color. A sudden change to a yellow-orange hue which looks rather strange and he does not know why. He can feel the hurried urge inside and the train has paused only for minutes to allow travelers to join or for others to alight from it. But his upper level car remains empty except him. One couple comes up to the upper deck and decides to go down to another car on the lower level. Ride in the upper level gives a panoramic view of the passing scenery. The lower level has better convenience like the diner car and well-appointed restrooms. But he seems to hear the mountain whispering from the distance it will be a spectacular view for the two-and-half-day train journey. So he remains where he is. He is crossing from the west coast to the east coast. Why does he choose to use a train and not fly? He cannot answer. It’s costly and time-consuming to travel by train. Someone says. When he looks around indeed he can only see calmer and less hurried travelers like him. He can hear the wind blowing in his heart even now, the gentle calling in his spirit. She sent him a picture yesterday. Her coal-black eyes looked deep into the window of his soul. He has hidden it in his breast pocket close to his heart with care. How can he not? No, he will not stop.

forgetting is so long: a haiku (and a prose)

never let me gomillions memories

locked in time and space stories

this shore and that shore

~~~~(Concerning your recent thoughts of our past.) I HAVE BEEN THINKING LATELY TOO. Our past. Because there are too many memories. After all we have accumulated 23 years (8395 days, 201480 hours, 12,088,800 minutes, 725,328,000,000 seconds) of being together. I think of the time that had passed. I think of our marriage life together. I would consider our life a good life. We were very close, like the best of friends and much much closer. When I think of the sands running out in the hour-glass of time, I wonder why I never managed to grab them and refuse to let go. I admit I am a mortal. There are things I cannot change. When I was very young, in school, I read a novel titled, “The Foolish Immortals”.  I was drawn to the title. Only fools try to become immortal. I know there are impossibilities in human lives. We cannot change certain natural pre-arrangements. We trust science but we know whatever changes we perform down here are not changed in the spiritual realm. There is a fixed registry there for each mortal. Even marriage. Even love between two individuals. The span, the length, the breadth, the depth, the height. 725.3million seconds is not a short time. But it is too short for me. Far too short. I cannot retract each second much as I want to. Instead of going back to the future I would want to have a vehicle that will bring me back to the past, yes, way past, to before I was even born. I want to ask the Creator to give me a different registry. I would beg for a change in my life history. I would not let go until He says yes. If only I have that miraculous vehicle to go back. I would live differently, still with you, my love, but much much differently. I would not need to let go. Never. Like Pablo Neruda’s poem, “Love is so short, forgetting is so long.”

Excerpts from a poem by Pablo Neruda: Tonight I can write the saddest lines. 

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
…She loved me sometimes, and I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes

…Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her….
My sight searches for her as though to go to her.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
…Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

the last thing on my mind: a haiku and an old song

last thing on my mind

Dawn travel alone

speeding without aim forlorn

Song full of thorns

~~~~~~~~~~a song sung softly and innocently sometimes brings back wistful thoughts of old dreams and what might have been. Here is one which belongs to our parents or older siblings’ yesteryears.

“The Last Thing On My Mind”

It’s a lesson too late for the learning,
Made of sand, made of sand.
In the wink of an eye my soul is turning
In your hand, in your hand.

Are you going away with no word of farewell,
Will there be not a trace left behind?
I could have loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind.
You know that was the last thing on my mind.

You’ve got reasons a-plenty for going—
This I know, this I know—
For the weeds have been steadily growing.
Please don’t go, please don’t go.

Are you going away with no word of farewell,
Will there be not a trace left behind?
I could have loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind.
You know that was the last thing on my mind.

As I lie in my bed in the morning
Without you, without you,
Each song in my breast dies a-borning
Without you, without you.

Are you going away with no word of farewell,
Will there be not a trace left behind?
I could have loved you better, didn’t mean to be unkind.
You know that was the last thing on my mind.the last thing

“The Last Thing on My Mind” is a song written by American musician and singer-songwriter Tom Paxton in the early 1960s and recorded first by Paxton in 1964. To many of us this is really a very very old song. But it sounds good even today. I have found a version by the Australian group, The Seekers (“https://youtu.be/DtyHvjTJK1E”) who sing simple songs like this and sounds good. The Seekers are an Australian folk-influenced pop quartet, originally formed in Melbourne in 1962. They were the first Australian pop music group to achieve major chart and sales success in the United Kingdom and the United States. I found this other song they are famous for, “I’ll never find another you“,(“https://youtu.be/4Ga9Bs4fzSY”) charting 15,512,491 YouTube viewers just now. Good old wholesome country songs, like the soothing morning breeze that gently visits my garden saying a shy “Hello”.

a birthday greeting: Love Definition

20151004 白玫瑰
1 Corinthians 13 Indispensable Love 

Indispensable Love

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

cross another ocean of loss: a haiku (and prose)

 

Pacific ocean sunset
an ocean of loss

one day he arrives

another ocean’s sunset

might as well cross it

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~today he knows the extent of his grief. He now knows the length and width and depth of his sense of loss. The ocean of loss.
He is just testing a new mop to see if it functions as claimed like a prized possession. After cleaning a corner of the tiled floor he thinks he might as well clean the whole kitchen. After cleaning the kitchen he thinks he might as well clean the whole sitting room. After that he thinks he might as well clean the guest room and the store at the back. After that he looks at the staircase and thinks he might as well clean it too. when he reaches the top of the stairs he cleans the first floor hall, the master room, another guest room and so on. He ends up cleaning the whole house except one guest room because it is locked. He has spent about eleven hours mopping, breaking all time record. What is a writer doing wielding a mop (brand new it may be)? Nothing can be more incongruous. He should have been wielding a pen. Then he remembers a scene of Forrest Gump running from ocean to ocean for no particular reason. But unlike Forrest, in his case, he cannot turn back. Since he has run this far, at this land end, he might as well cross it.

Here is the quote from the movie: The context is when Forrest Gump found out that Jenny (his lifelong love) did not want to marry him and had chosen to leave him. He woke up one morning and found that she had left him.

Forrest Gump:
That day, for no particular reason, I decided to go for a little run. So I ran to the end of the road. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d run to the end of town. And when I got there, I thought maybe I’d just run across Greenbow County. And I figured, since I run this far, maybe I’d just run across the great state of Alabama. And that’s what I did. I ran clear across Alabama. For no particular reason I just kept on going. I ran clear to the ocean. And when I got there, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well turn around, just keep on going. When I got to another ocean, I figured, since I’d gone this far, I might as well just turn back, keep right on going.

how to write love haiku: two haiku (and a prose)

how to write haikuFirst haiku ~~~~~~how i write you love

many nights and countless tears

thousands sleepless dreams

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Writing about love is tough because love is tough. Writing a haiku as a love letter is tougher. How to speak love in three lines, each in a limited number of sound syllabus, totaling seventeen syllabus in all? If you can, please tell me. Sometimes he feels like trying to describe this marshland. Not far from the ocean and yet it is not a seashore. It does not have the clean and pure snow white sands that tumble all the way down the emerald green water and thence hidden under the jeweled green moist and soft carpet, joyously twirling, reaching for the end of the horizon to touch the dreamy purple mountain on another shore, or perhaps further rising, stretching and touching the blue painted sky, becoming part of the great picture in the celestial realm deckled and crested with the most precious translucent stars at night. No. This marshland is brownish and does not sparkle even when under the sun. That is how a love haiku appears at times when sad water churns within a man’s heart bringing up muddy sands while struggling to decide to love or not to love. Yes, the sadness is due to him being far and yet far enough from the one he loves. Like the brown sands away from the ocean. He can hear the ocean tenderly singing its songs at night but he cannot reach it.

Second haiku ~~~~~~~~~so true is my love

it can only be whisper

for your ears betrothed 

love letter not sent: a haiku (and a prose)

Spareabout love

Writing sad missive

While my guitar gently weeps*

because I write love

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~After watching the torrential downpour of a tropical rain, he decides to write this sad love letter. But he knows he cannot show her. Because it’s still about his love for her. He has promised her not to love her. It has to be a secret sealed in his heart. He can feel the daily weight as he breathes with it day and night. With each chord as he strums he feels the increasing heaviness. He asks the Lord what to do. Must he give up one impossible love so he can love the many lost souls out there? Can he love many the selfless love of God instead? Can he love again without pain? Can he ever relinquish one true love of twenty years and transform into a saint who loves many who have nothing to do with him? Here is the conversation:

“Can I love many the self-less love You gave me to love?”

“Yes. You can.”

“Will I then have no more pain in love, unlike this one that I am giving up?”

“No. You will have pain still. More so.”

“How can that be? I thought I am having pain in love because my love is for just one person and is so self-focused for so long?”

“Love is painful. When you truly love the love I love, you will find that many will not love you back. Some will reject you. Some will hate you.”

“Will I still love if the pain is so great?”

“You will. If you love, you will not count the cost of pain. Are you counting it right now? Would you rather that you had not loved her?”

“No.”(He hesitated a bit before giving this answer.)

“With My love you would not even notice the cost. You would not consider it a factor. You just love. because I first love you. Are you willing to bear the pain?”

“I am. But how shall I be able to bear the pain if it is going to be many times greater than this?”

“I will bear it with you.”

`~~~~~~~~~~~

*taken from a song sung by the late George Harrison. Eric Clapton’s guitar accompaniment.

Forbidden

on a hill faraway: a haiku (and a prose)

on a hill

Across thousand hills

they cannot see each other

love beyond their heels

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~When he watches these mountains, he knows only the birds can fly there. He does not have wings. Yet he knows on a hill faraway his love waits. So one day he packs his humble belonging and starts the first step of his journey by faith, walking across the thousand hills. Many years later, they say they see him still walking relentlessly. His hair has turned snowy white. His face and shirt shine in the sun. But his back remains straight. His feet remain strong. He shoes have not worn out.

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

And I have led you forty years in the wilderness. Your clothes have not worn out on you, and your sandals have not worn out on your feet. (Deuteronomy 29:5)

through glass I view love: a haiku and a prose

view from train windowher heart laced a glimpse

of mirror both sides reflect

vaguely I detect

~~~~~~~~~~~~I take this from a window on a fast train preparing to climb a mountain in winter. It is not clear. Perhaps my hand shakes a bit as I try to avoid knocking down the coffee and cake of another traveler over whom I lean to capture this view which to me is beauty in contrast in her own way: bare brown earth pebbled with stones like abandoned flock asleep (forgotten to wake for home) or are they real sheep? long lost friends close enough to knock on my window -a bleakness of trees without leaves- and all these graced with a backdrop of gold and my favorite water-colored washed light blue sky. In someway this picture reminds me of the love that I haven’t forgotten in a momentary snap-shot of my heart.

If I sell you love: a haiku (and a prose)

If I sell you my love
on a fast car looking at the side mirror

Will you buy from me

if I sell you my heart ache

bleeding all in blue

~~~~~~~~~~~~~He tries the last resort. He decides to start a healing school -treating cases of heart aches. There is no lack of supplies and demands. He has a theatre full. But he specializes on only one kind of heart ache, a rare kind, the kind called LOVE. Last night he heard love sing this song: “If I sell you love, will you buy from me?” He heard himself crying out loud, “I will. I will.” He is willing to pay any price. Even the full worth of his life. She just has to say, “Sold.” To him. But no, love cannot be sold. Unless love is this little poem.

Song of Solomon 8:6-7 New Living Translation (NLT)

Place me like a seal over your heart,
    like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
    its jealousy[a] as enduring as the grave.[b]
Love flashes like fire,
    the brightest kind of flame.
Many waters cannot quench love,
    nor can rivers drown it.
If a man tried to buy love
    with all his wealth,
    his offer would be utterly scorned.

a shore beyond love: a haiku (and a prose)

beyond loveDistance stretches love

shore to shore I call your name

my heart filled with pain

~~~~~~~~~~~~“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.” (F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby) I shall always stand here and gaze across this span of vast distance. The water has receded. Perhaps I shall cross over. By foot or by heart. 

she sings unending love: a haiku (and a prose)

unending love2I cannot tell you

depth of sea and height of sky

my love has no end

~~~~~~~~~~One day he cannot breathe. He lies there on a couch panting for his life. She is there. She looks into his eyes and sings a love song. She is a medical doctor but she is off duty. And she sings to him, holding his hands and telling him not to die. He wants to tell her how much he still loves her and how much he appreciates her love and care: all the tender moments, days and nights, weeks, months, and years they have had together. He opens his mouth and no sound comes forth because he cannot find his breath. She continues singing the sound of hope. The sound of love. The sound of eternity. His eyes well up in tears. She too. Tears roll down her beautiful pale cheeks and she continues to sing to him. She only sings for him. It is the most beautiful song he has ever heard. Her hands are soft and warm. She has small hands for a doctor. She is not there as a professional. She is there because they love each other. Twenty years have passed and their time is up. He is leaving their home. She too. Separately. It is a song of departure and goodbye. Like the closing of a chapter in their book. The story has been written. The end has ended. Like a movie screen that spells “THE END.” When he falls asleep she is still singing. When he wakes, she is gone. The song lives on between them.

his best not strong enough for love: a haiku (and a prose)

train climbing up

Not strong enough love

he tries his best honestly

giving in dying

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He tries very hard to love her. Like climbing uphill on an old freight train. Sitting in the last coach car he looks out. The front coaches have wheeled ahead and turned to another direction round the bend. He can see the front coaches moving like they are leaving his coach behind. Like they are totally unrelated. Sometimes he feels that way with his love for her. She is so far ahead. Turning to a new direction somewhat beyond his reach. He tries to catch up. He works hard. He misses many turns. He looks backward. He recalls the many nights they watch the stars until morn. He drinks coffee at his pace alone, one sip at a time. He listens to the wind rustling the fallen leaves. He writes short love poems for her. He writes her one letter a day. Sometimes she receives a whole stack of them when the postman rings only once a week. When he goes to work in a distant country he calls daily. He remembers the public phone in the basement of a Japanese departmental store in an Asian city. He goes there for dinner daily and makes long distance phone calls to her. One day he sees a classic movie. About a strong and futile love between two classmates (a young man and a young woman who disguises herself so she can attend college) that had a sad ending. Both become butterflies. The whole movie theatre seems to be filled with audience who sob, young and old, man and woman. Tears roll down his cheeks. He doesn’t bother to wipe them off as he cannot keep fresh tears from flowing down again. Their love is strong but not strong enough to help them to run away from home (and their society) and start a new life together. Strong enough to die together but not strong enough to live together. Sad story. He is not even strong enough to die. He lives on. Like now on this train that goes uphill. She lives on, in another city. He now knows, strong love means living on regardless. Living is stronger than giving up and dying. Because living means hope.

sometimes he doesn’t know love: a haiku (and a prose)

solitary dawn

Now he doesn’t know

Sometimes he thinks he knows love

in moments alone

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He doesn’t know her anymore. They have parted for too long and the distance is too far. He still remembers this often at dawn. How he has driven for hours in the early hours on a treacherous winding  country lane up the foggy hill to visit her, usually arriving at dawn. The look on her face when she opened her door and shook her head. Her large dark eyes said, “No. Don’t come anymore.” But her heart softened when she saw the helplessness of the condition he was in then. They stood at the doorway. Eyes locking. Then she stepped backward a bit and let him into her apartment in that lonely outpost. She took his overnight bag into the sitting room, “You are too tired to drive all the way back. Stay a night and then you are off.” She showed him to the  sitting room and cleared a couch for him to rest. “I’ll make you a hot chicken soup. Look at how skinny and worn you have become!” Then she started cooking. Then they had coffee on the verandah, watching the fading stars. He usually stayed two nights, sleeping on the couch. She might be on duty and had to rush to perform surgery from time to time. She cooked for him and then left in a hurry and returned many hours later. In the evening they sat at the verandah and drank coffee and watched the stars rising. The workmanship of the starry night sky at the outpost was rare and perfect. They both liked Kenny G. He liked the love songs sung by Michael Bolton too, such as, How Am I Supposed To Live Without You. How is he supposed to live without her, having been loving her for so long? How is he supposed to carry on? They both knew his question. They both knew the answer too. He just has to carry on without her. Over the many years they have parted, he has lived on. It’s just that dawn comes every morning. And he always remembers. The way they were. 

 

a wall of love: a haiku (and a prose)

a veil of treesSeeing you from far

glancing through a wall of trees

distance I can’t cross ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Loving someone without the reality of getting close to her anymore is like being left outside an impenetrable wall. He cannot climb up the wall. It is not proper to do so. He cannot pull it down. It is not allowed by law. He can only go there every windy night, whispering her name, softly and tenderly, wishing that the south wind may carry his voice through the wall somehow and brush (like his fingers) across her beautiful long hair, touching her fresh and flushed cheek, gently holding her rather small smooth hands, which memories are so vivid in his mind, no matter the fact that many years have lapsed and he has not heard even one word from her lips. (If you happen to walk past this way you will see his straight back, standing tall in the shadow of the tall forbidding walls. Actually he has become a tree. Tree at her window.)

winter travelers: a haiku (and a love song)

heart of sky
the heart of love

heart’s depth becomes breadth

as I look up and not down

beyond tears and pain ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Looking through my winter pictures stored at random I come across this one. It says, “Cheer up!” Indeed when I look further there are more sunny colorful pictures than the gloomy grey ones. Are there many like me who travel at all seasons? Surely many are still on the road right now, battling wind and rain and snow. Well, this haiku is for you too.

I suddenly remember an old song from Diana Ross:

“Ain’t No Mountain High Enough”

If you need me, call me
No matter where you are
No matter how far
Just call my name
I’ll be there in a hurry
On that you can depend and never worry

No wind, (no wind)
No rain, (no rain)
Nor winter’s cold
Can stop me, babe
(Oh, babe) baby (baby)
If you’re my goal

No wind, (no wind)
No rain, (no rain)
Can stop me, babe
If you wanna go

I know, I know you must follow the sun
Wherever it leads
But remember
If you should fall short of your desires
Remember life holds for you one guarantee
You’ll always have me

And if you should miss my lovin
One of these old days
If you should ever miss the arms
That used to hold you so close, or the lips
That used to touch you so tenderly
Just remember what I told you
The day I set you free

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
Ain’t no river wild enough
To keep me from you

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
(Say it again)
Ain’t no river wild enough
To keep me from you

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Nothing can keep me
Keep me from you

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Ain’t no valley low enough
(Say it again)
Ain’t no river wild enough
To keep me from you

Ain’t no mountain high enough
Nothing can keep me
To keep me from you

a browser of the heart in a chest called “Love”: a haiku (and a prose)

a browser called love
a browser of the heart called “Love”

so deep is the night

these two fingers click a heart

locked in chest named “Love” ~~~~~~~Browsing through this blog, I found that this is the series that bares an aspect of my heart that I hardly talk about except in the deepest moment of a random night when I dare venture into a browser of the heart hidden and locked in the chest called: “Love”.

https://freemindconfession.wordpress.com/category/a-haiku-story-dear-love/

perfect love, he wrote again: a haiku story

the rock.jpg
the rock

He went to the rock

in time to witness the waves

spitting spurting foams

~~~~~~~He thinks he should write this letter to her to report his whereabouts. “My dearest love:

You have heard that I come to the ocean to visit the rock. Yes, I have just returned safely to my well-heated room, warm, filled with festive food and drink, slept for eight quality hours, now feeling rested and contented despite having braved the somewhat physically taxing journey in this cold alone. As you will note in some pictures you will receive, the general look is sunny but the feel of the north wind is freezing and slashing over exposed skin like sharp razor-thin blades of ice. The ocean remains innocently blue like the clear uncluttered sky. But do not be deceived -the waves rage. Being completely trusting you will not ask why I choose to proceed with such a trip in the first place to such a desolate and void wilderness. Like before, you will look at the scars and marks on my limbs and shake your head gently and sigh softly, like a light breeze that brushes my forehead unobtrusively and soothingly. “Just look at you!” You will wash and mend the gaping new wound with clean running water, wipe with a swap, apply olive oil and then pray. “Don’t hurt the same spot again, okay?” You will urge me to be careful. But you will not tell me not to go away again. You will not ask me to retire from travel like others do. You will not put fear in me.

I just want to say how much you have lifted me and built me up by your kind silence. Indeed, the physical world (the sea is the world) is not what it appears to be. Things (living and otherwise) with evil intent may try to intimidate but they will be in vain when we stay fearless. Often they use sounds, movements, volume with speed, suddenness of onslaught, and other means with the purpose to bring fear. Who will fear? A ship without an anchor and a safe unshakable anchoring place will be in fear. A ship without a clear and accurate direction will have fear too. Because it will not reach its safe and sure harbor. Sometimes I lie in bed at night far away in a distant shore from your land and wander why you do not have fear that I will be lost.

Many years ago I read of a family printing thousands of handbills to distribute all over their country because the grand-dad went out to buy a packet of cigarettes and never returned. He had forgotten to come home. They are still looking for him. Year after year on his birthday they publish an open letter signed by all his family members: children, grandchildren and their spouses, appealing for him to return. at the time of this letter he would be close to 90 or more if still alive.

I once met a young ‘derelict’ who said he had traveled from his parents’ home across the sea to become a cook without success for two years until he had lost every cent. “Why do you want to be a cook when you have no qualification or experience?” I asked after hearing his brief account. I was interested to hear perhaps a touching story of a young person who would be cook. He answered plainly, “Because I think cooking is easy.” I tried to advise him, “Return to your parents. Maybe even for a short while.” But he shook his head. He said he could not afford to call them either. I found him a factory job which gave him free board and warm meals. When I next called they said he had left after a few days as he said he still wanted to be a cook. He seemed to have vanished. You know the story ending. I never found him. Perhaps he has returned to his parents’ home. Perhaps they too have been printing handbills and plastered posters all over to find their lost son. He would be in his forties by now.

You will not ask me why I bother to recall others’ stories in my love letter. I ask myself too. I can imagine the disappointment in the readers’ thoughts. There is not even a love phrase. What kind of love letter is this?  I am not the old man who will forget to come home. Neither am I the young man who has lost himself in his unreal dream. I suppose I can relate to the common factor of love and loss in a manner. Each man is given perhaps one or more loved ones. The pain is always in the one who wants to give love. The giver loves more than the receiver. In the case of the old man I like to think that he has truly forgotten his home and those who love him. In the case of the young man too. I like to think that they do not feel the pain of being left behind. Having loved and being made to stop is a sad thing in life.

Sometimes I hear and see fear in a person. He fears because he cannot perform adequately to earn love. Fear cripples. Fear makes one flee. He wants to flee being hurt. Some flee physically. Some mentally and emotionally. What can cast out fear? You know my answer: Perfect love.

I am not saying that you and I have perfect love for each other. I am saying that you and I have one Perfect Love. The Love that will never cause us to flee from each other. Even when I cannot perform to be worthy of your love, it does not matter. The same applies for you. Perfect Love casts out fear. My love for you will not base on your performance. Neither is yours for me. Many years ago I read this verse:

“Love does not demand its own way.”

It hurts. But it gives the material to sustain love. For a long long time to come. I believe. From your beloved. “

1 John 4:18 [Full Chapter]

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

[ Love and Joy Perfected ] “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

[ The Consummation of Love ] Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world.

Dearest son: a love haiku

(I might be gone sometime: a haiku to a son)

wavesHard to end goodbye

no rendezvous on earth yet

left sure not end word

~~~~~How to tell a young sunny cheerful vibrant boy what death is and why must all old people still die? How to make a bud newly sprang from thawing crust of frozen clay on the first day of spring, grow into a mighty tree overnight, with strength of deep roots and resilience that can only come from solid foundation consistently built and persistently held firm over tested time, to instantly withstand the imminent freezing cold and brutal wind and torrential storm flood sweeping down from the north? He starts writing a letter.

Dear beloved son: I might be gone sometime but not in words -only briefly in humanity life-span touching the end of line and migrating into another span in time and space and form and existence called eternity which has no end or beginning and where your mother and you will go too after ending each earth-span in time and space where the real happy and tearless rendezvous will take place and where we shall no longer say goodbye and you will never be alone or lonely as an only child because you will have countless brothers and sisters like stars in the sky.
“You ain’t very old!” You said rightly. True. But by the time you have grown up and read this letter I would have been very old like the patriarchs in the Bible. This letter is not about old age. It is about love in battle. I have read an article about seismology – the branch of science concerned with earthquakes and related phenomena. The Really Big One. I have copied and made some notes. Read and understand why I say I am talking about love in battle.
“4-6 minutes after the dogs start barking, the shaking will subside. For another few minutes, the region, upended, will continue to fall apart on its own. Then the wave will arrive, and the real destruction will begin…depending on location, they will have 10-30 minutes to get out (to higher and safer ground)…when the tsunami is coming, you run. You protect yourself. You don’t turn around, you don’t go back to save anybody. You run for your life…We can’t save them (the elderly, disabled and tourists).”
Preparation requires capacity and capability which must be consistently practiced over time at one specific terrain. The elderly, disabled and the tourists do not have these resources. Indeed even in ordinary everyday allotment of perceived limited resources for example health care the disadvantaged will ultimately lose out in the utilitarian based priority selection process. Like any disaster the time to save people from a tsunami (or any catastrophe) is before it happens. The devastation and the vast losses resulted are often due to inadequate preparation. How often do catastrophes of devastating tsunami or tropical typhoon magnitude occur? Frequency does not matter. Because an individual either encounters it or does not encounter it. Risk is either 0% or 100%. People like to believe that they are less likely to be caught in unfortunate events than others. It is called ‘optimism bias’, crime victims, smokers, gamblers, speculators or traders who think they are less exposed to losses. “What has this got to do with love?” You may ask.

Love does not align with a natural selection of the fittest process. Much as people believe otherwise, the love that overcomes all odds is not based on external physical selection but an internal invisible choice. Do you love or do you not love? Many think that love is fulfilled by not harming or causing harm to others. But even our inaction to save could amount to harm. Your mother would have no hesitation to whom she would even give her life. So I do too. Long ago we have made our vow and eternal covenant. I pray you remember yours on that day.

1 Corinthians 13 [Full Chapter]

[ The Greatest Gift ] Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. …

He heard a sound so familiar: a haiku story

a sound from above

 

he heard his name called

from a distance but not far

warm and tender thought

~~~~~~~~~~Naturally her. Gentle. Firm. Hope overflowing from every pore if sound has pores. He heard a sound so familiar that for a moment he thought he was at home seeping hot coffee reading new poems at his favorite armchair settling down to his much loved routine of living normalcy with familiarity. Looking through the audio files in his external travel backup he has found an unnamed file today. The sound that comes through surprises him pleasantly. She is reading a book, chapter by chapter. Like she is standing at the podium, casually lifting up her head from time to time, her long thick black hair blown and somewhat ruffled under the twirling ceiling fan, occasionally smiling with her large, dark eyes that could speak countless words just by looking so intensely at the awe-struck audience. “The Kingdom of God –Chapter One,” she reads effortlessly with a certainty and assurance that comes only with her cool confidence and belief of the subject. The voice. He remembers the first time they met. Newly returned to his home country after a long and weary corporate posting far faraway he was invited to a fund raising function. Formal and crowded with important guests. Having been cramped in an economy class cabin due to unavailability of business class then, flying and not sleeping for over twenty hours, he arrived late straight from the airport, decided to stand near the door as all seats were taken and he thought perhaps he could slip away without being noticed. An elderly clergy went up the stage and said a prayer. After that she walked to the center of the platform from the backstage. A very young woman with long black hair in her early twenties in a comfortable white cotton dress with blue waves at the fringe. He was too far to see her facial features clearly but he thought he needed to hear her out because he was drawn to the voice as she spoke the first sentence. He stood there for about two hours because of the voice. There was kindness in her voice. When he closed his wearied and heavy eyelids he heard a lifting kindness. Like a gentle hand lightly holding a tired, cold, weathered, scarred with old wounds and bleeding with fresh wounds seagull who had lost its way at the vast ocean, fell and swept ashore, flown inadvertently inland and too far home, and crashed in from the storm, the voice said, “Don’t be afraid. Come to me. I will give you rest.” The deepest part of his wound-up soul which he thought he had secreted into a forgotten treasure chest sealed and hidden so well was suddenly exposed, unlocked, touched, unraveled and the thick opaque veil on his hardened heart lifted. He could not help but walking toward the stage, nearer and nearer, spurred by an anticipation that drew out every effort from a tired body that silently and sensibly advised, “Go home, and go to bed!” He just wanted to say “hello” to her, shake her hands, thank her for her efforts for all those lost people, and perhaps look into her large dark deep pupils that smiled at him so kindly. Perhaps as habitual in his profession condescendingly, “You seem too young to be doing this,” he practiced in his mind. Or should he say affectedly, “Thank you so much for all the little homeless children”? Or simply bluntly and honestly, “I like your voice!” He practiced and revised many times before he had the courage to go and shake her hands and introduced himself. He was being presumptuous he thought. Did he look preposterous and out of place in his rumpled executive suit dragging a suitcase? What did she see? An anonymous stranger of indeterminable age who was obviously out of place in that crowd. What did she hear? Some cliché words or sentences which real meaning she did not have time to digest. What did she expect of him? Really nothing much. Many hands she shook. Many kind and appreciative words she heard. The rain came. Heavy armored thundering battalions of horses and chariots marched down from heaven, drowning out every mortal sound. People were leaving. She was surrounded and protected by her admiring friends and they shielded her to her vehicle and drove off. He did not speak to her after all. But he found out her name and her profession. O yes, even her age. Her friends had hurried her off to celebrate her 29th birthday. Not as young and juvenile as he had first thought but still half a generation away from him. What can he ever say to her? What words did her generation use? What words could a man from the forties speak to a woman of the sixties? What could they have in common? He called a cab and left the hall alone in the silence of his mind. The year was 1992.

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

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

a closer look at the heart in the rock: a haiku

(a closer look at the heart in the rock)

heart in a rockhis heart is too small

she nonchalantly flew pass

becoming a dot

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

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

“Before I had finished praying in my heart, I saw Rebekah coming out with her water jug on her shoulder. She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’

(Matthew 6:21; Genesis 24:45)

a branch at land’s end: a haiku

oceanawed by majestic

vast water and sky beyond

he became a branch

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

[ A Promise of Restoration ] But in that day, the branch of the Lord will be beautiful and glorious; the fruit of the land will be the pride and glory of all who survive in Israel.
(Isaiah 4:2 )

three love haikus

trees and dawn

he has walked so far

unaware of time and space

meeting sudden dawn

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

looking and not see

her lush hair flowing like silk

gently touching his

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

moving with coolness

wordless yet speaking volume

love is in the air

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