A picture on the wall of a mining museum. A man and his dog. From the background it appears they sat for this portrait in the artist’s studio. How long had they been patiently sitting together in this posture? How many sessions? Perhaps not too long. In real life how long had they been friends? I recall two faithful dogs (our longstanding family friends) we used to have as kids. They were mother and son, the son lived about fifteen years, the mother lived eighteen years. They accompanied us growing up. After they were gone, I do not remember my parents keeping another dog.
Heritage I decide to share a few pictures of silver vessels from the heritage I came across recently. The owners passed on long ago and they left behind items which were kept in boxes for many decades. The items looked used but later possibly with the demise of the original masters (great grand parents) were packed up and stored away. No one seemed to notice their existence until I was led to dig them out of their dusty boxes. I brought them back to the heirs and they are not selling. As I mentioned in my previous post they are of value in terms of sentiments to those who inherit them. Although some individuals do not speak of their feelings, some do take grief seriously and for quite sometime. The man of the house passed away over a year ago and he left behind a very small family.
At first I thought they would rather sell off whatever old stuff they inherited as they had left home long ago and hardly returned. I even offered to get them restored to their original shine and was surprised when the new owners said they wanted to keep all.
I start pondering over the issue of root. We do not come from nowhere. We all have ancestors. Sometimes I wonder what they were like but most time I find it hard to even imagine their lives. Some families keep old photos and some keep old things. The things may or may not be of significant monetary value but they mean something to the descendants. And that meaning is very personal. Because they do not say why they decide to keep, I have not ventured to ask for a reason. No, I am not a nosy parker. I would like to know because I like to put pieces of history together so they form a complete picture like jigsaw puzzles. The whole piece of picture makes sense only when all the missing pieces are found and fit perfectly into the empty spaces which otherwise leave gapping holes. Once I spent half a year in a sibling’s house and witnessed the laborious way in which the whole family pooled their effort to identify the right spaces to fit the pieces which somehow seemed impossible to fit anywhere. Everyone who walked pass the puzzle tried to have a go at it in vain. Some pieces were dismantled and reassembled. Sometimes someone stayed up until the early hours staring at the pieces for inspiration. When the picture was finally completed they framed it up and celebrated the victory!
In a way we rely on disjointed pieces of old things to compile and preserve our own history. The root is never separated from the stems. Time is not really made of unconnected pieces. It’s just we cannot see the whole picture as each of us stands on a single spot at any one time on the time continuum. As we increase in our speed of life travel on this continuum we find it harder and harder to slow down and look back.
I like to think that this is why the millennials decide to keep something like old tea canisters or coffee cups made of comparatively more lasting matters, so that they can take a break at intervals on the very fast track. By the way, in UK I often have tea breaks and in US I have coffee breaks. In China? Both, these days.
Some years ago while jogging along the lakeside, I looked up and suddenly found that the world had lost its colours. Closing my eyes I then reopened them and found that truly the colours had gone. There was no more differentiation of the living things around me by colours. The trees and grass lost their green. The sky lost its blue. The clouds lost their white. The water lost its turquoise. The ground lost its yellow and brown. The flowers lost their pink. It was like a dream painted with shades of grey. I was transported into a monochrome realm. I continued to walk slowly and looked at the changed world around me. There were no people. Even the birds were gone. Did I lose my own perception of colours or did I accidentally enter a portal to another world? I never knew. I sat down under some trees and closed my eyes again and waited. I could sense colours returning with burst of sunlight and sounds of happy children around. When I opened my eyes again my colorful world had returned.
The experience made me really think about life. My life. How I have taken for granted the things around me. The colours. The beauty. The masterpiece of creation. My eyes. My perception. I shall never forget.
(Note: I took those names of some shops at random. Tried out their combination with a fish taken from an aquarium. Edited.)
~~~~~~~~~~~~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.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~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)
6 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. 7 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.
avid overture ~~~~~~~this is a beautiful combination of a number of my favorite things: the sky that looks like it has been painted with water-color, the brilliant reflection of the unseen sun, the velvet-clothed ocean with its still water that reminds me of an oil painting, the dark aged rocks that pepper the golden-brownish shore and the brown grass with speckles of lime green. I am here just before autumn turns to winter. The beauty of fall has lingered awhile and then gives way to the wintry cold. I have enjoyed this journey of spectacular views and perspectives thoroughly. Sometimes I do feel a bit unsettled with the change of seasons. Because before I settle to one, the other appears. Like wavering between two attractive loves.