A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 4: the ingredients for books

“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.”― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia. Racing against time is the crux of my Christian life. Writing several subjects at the same time, I find myself like drawing a brand new map and adding new discoveries of the locations of cities, boundaries, roads, mountains, rivers, and coastlines and many other things we deem interesting and important and relevant as we walk the terrain in the mind and the spirit.

One of my current assignments is to read the Chronicles of Narnia again. In an ironical way I am pleased that I am old enough now to read fairy tales again. I listen to the audio book and read the printed text at the same time so I would not miss anything. I have finished four out of seven books in the series.

Reading Narnia, in all its brilliant splendor with magnificent richness in depth, breadth, width and height, of both contents and language, I felt like giving up my intention to re-write my five children’s books. It was quite hopeless to carry on with mine in the language (the main ingredients) that I find lacking. How to compare with the world class Chef de Cuisine in my humid backwater damp wood burning kitchen shed with a chipped earthen pot and smoke in the eyes? Yes, you are right, a man’s faculty to dream is subject to the constrains/availabilities of the supplies of words in the formation of his thoughts. And thoughts are the ingredients for books. Language feeds the thoughts. Thoughts feed the writing.

Well, just plod on. My spirit says. So I decide to plod on. Here is a conversation from the Dawn Treader encountering pitch darkness spoken by the Lord Reepicheep in reply to Captain Drinian,

“But what manner of use would it be ploughing through that darkness?’ asked Drinian.

Use?’ replied Reepicheep. ‘Use, Captain?’ If you mean by filling our bellies or our purses, I confess it will be no use at all. So far as I know we did not set sail to look for things useful but to seek honour and adventures. And here is as great an adventure as I have ever heard of, and here, if we turn back, no little impeachment of all our honours.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the “Dawn Treader”

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 4: D for day

Day: A specific time or period. This is the word for today. The word is neutral. But in most cases it comes with other words which bring a sense of foreboding, for example, the terrible day of His, your day of reckoning, in the last day, they will, how terrible that day will be, the great and terrible day of the Lord, watch for the day of the Lord, great and dreadful day of the Lord, that great judgment day of the Lord. However, there are happy and positive ones too:

2 Corinthians 4:16b Our spirits are being renewed everyday.

1 Thessalonians 5:4 My brothers and sisters, it will be different for you. You do not dwell in the darkness, so that day will not surprise you like a thief

Acts 2:16-21

16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

17 ‘In the last days,’ God says,
    ‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
    Your young men will see visions,
    and your old men will dream dreams.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
    even on my servants—men and women alike—
    and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
    and signs on the earth below—
    blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
    and the moon will turn blood red
    before that great and glorious day of the Lord arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord
    will be saved.’[c]

One thing about being a human is that we all have the faculty to choose. making choices in life is an inalienable inborn nature and right, starting from the first man and woman on earth. A man’s choice will impact his life, or a process in space and time of life. Similarly, the choice he makes will determine whether the phrase “the Lords’ day” will mean good or bad when that day finally comes to him. Every one has a day of the Lord. Moses said this in his final speech,

Deuteronomy 30:19
Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!

kainotes, 2021-12-18

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 2 : three Bs

Revision

God loves all and has made provision for all to be saved. Today’s words: Believe, birth, blood. Serious interrelated key words from the Bible. At the end of this post I will post two haiku written on the words received yesterday and today.

Believe. This is the first word for today. It is an entry word for a Christian. It is possible to join something without believing in it in the physical realm, but not so in the spiritual realm. Christianity is a spiritual realm.

Believing in Jesus is the entrance ticket or a switch to God’s realm. It leads you to the next automatic step, which is the word “birth”, being “born again” by the Spirit of God. Only by being born of the Holy Spirit, we can see and enter the realm of God (John 3:3, 5). New birth is the result of believing in what God says about Jesus through the Bible. Believing in Who Jesus is and what He has done for you on the cross, gives you a supernatural ability to see and enter the Kingdom of God.

The two most quoted Bible verses that lay out this condition are John 3:16, 18. Everyone who believes will not perish but have eternal life. The one who does not believe has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son, Jesus whom God has given the world.

The third word is “blood”. Here is a summary of what the blood of Jesus as done for us.

Romans 5:8-10 New King James Version But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.

God has paid a priceless price to show us His love, and the priceless value He considers each of us.

1 John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

1 John 4:10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

As promised, the two haiku from God’s heart.

A. “God’s love for all”

I have loved you all

Created in My image

For eternity.

B. “Believe, new birth, of His blood”

Believe in My love

Prepaid all with My Son’s blood

Saved by grace, rebirth!

Ephesians 1:7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.

kainotes, 2021-12-13

postscript: Why a year of ridicule? In pondering over a name to sum up this year, the phrase “a year of ridicule” came into immediate vision. Has anyone seen anyone they have become before this year? No. Looking at any photos of human person/group taken this year, you will acknowledge the appropriateness of the term. All men have been ridiculed. No exception.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS chapter 1 : effective for ALL

All have been through together, the year of ridicule. What are the words for the remains of the days in 2021? For those who have sailed above the uncharted water, or are still sailing through it, let us plunge into the Bible treasure chest and pick up some word gems to shape and guide as our spiritual compass, and continue to brave the journey ahead. Let us be led by the Holy Spirit, in identifying His words in alphabetical order, during the last 20 days of this year 2021. (This is an entirely new series continuing what I left off in September 2017)

The A word is ALL. When pondering on how to start with the alphabet A, I realize we do have a lot of words to choose from. But when I started typing this journal note, the phrase “the word is ALL” comes into my mind without hesitation. How appropriate! All have been through together the year of ridicule. No exception.

Admittedly this is a crucial word today for possibly the last generation (encompassing ALL existing living generations) will witness together the return of the Lord we are all hoping for.

The word ALL appears 4716 times in the whole 66 books of the Bible according to NLT search (OT 3737 times. NT979 times). First mention is in Genesis 1:12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good. (God began this world with creating something that will generate and multiply faithfully to provide ample and rich sustenance for the living world He created.)

Last mention is in Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon, bringing my reward with me to repay all people according to their deeds.! (Last reminder: without exception, the deeds of all men are being recorded in the spiritual realm and will require account. Good news: there will be reward.)

First mention of the word ALL in the last book of the Bible gives a specific blessing with a condition: Revelation 1:3 God blesses the one who reads the words of this prophecy to the church, and He blesses all who listen to its message and obey what it says, for the time is near.

Last mention in the first book of the Bible also speaks of God’s good intention for His people. Genesis 50:20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.

A random verse from the last book of the OT: Malachi 1:11 But my name is honored by people of other nations from morning till night. All around the world they offer sweet incense and pure offerings in honor of my name. For my name is great among the nations,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

Another random verse and again it tells of God’s blessing and a condition: Psalm 1:3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. (Who is this blessed man? Read 1-2 for the context.)

A random set of verses declaring where the true security rests: Psalm 146:3-5 3 Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there; 4 When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. 5 But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God.

Random verses from a major prophet: Daniel 12:7 The man dressed in linen, who was standing above the river, raised both his hands toward heaven and took a solemn oath by the One who lives forever, saying, “It will go on for a time, times, and half a time. When the shattering of the holy people has finally come to an end, all these things will have happened.” (Note: to know what “all these things” are, please read chapter 11 as well as 12)

A verse from a minor prophet: Zephaniah 3:9 “Then I will purify the speech of all people, so that everyone can worship the Lord together. (Note: this speaks of our communication, our media of communication, the contents and the intention, the oath we make, the true as against the false, the genuine versus the counterfeit.)

A verse from the first book of the NT: Matthew 1:22 All of this occurred to fulfill the Lord’s message through his prophet:

The perfect witness, John speaks this in the last verse of his Gospel John 21:25: Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written.

How the first church began, as initiated and recorded by the Holy Spirit: Acts 2:1-3 On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. 2 Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. 3 Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. (Note: meeting together in persons!)

Romans 1:18 God’s Anger at Sin But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness. (No exception. That is why Jesus had to come and die for ALL).

This is the God provided way out of God’s anger: 1 John 1:9 But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

God provided His Son as the once for all sacrifice for us in order to save us: 1 John 2:2 He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins—and not only our sins but the sins of all the world.

Some warning verses about spiritual war/persecution: Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.

The weapon used by the adversary: 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

The apostle’s charge to all believers: 1 Timothy 6:11 Paul’s Final Instructions: But you, Timothy, are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

Here is the assurance that we will not lose out by resisting the devil and submitting to God: Philemon 1:6 6 (KJV) That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every (all) good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus. (Acknowledging all good things are already in us because we are in Christ and receive by faith by pronouncing this!)

Kainotes, 2021-12-12

Weekend Sky #14: city above the clouds (a haiku)

weekend sky #14 January 9th

his daily routine

walking up this mountain clean

scanning sky beyond

Kainotes, 2020-01-09

https://hammadrais.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/weekend-sky-14-jan-9th/

“sometimes we just have to dig deeper” (a treasure hunter)

Digging into my treasure chest I found this today. Alas, my perspective remains unchanged though somewhat challenged. The following is an unabridged version. My task at hand is how may I write a sequel? No, I don’t mean a sequel in mere words which is easy and may be churned out like a budget standard B&B. I mean how can the lives of real people be put into a sequel complete with their realities?

Narrow? What narrow?

Crosslife Spaces, business as missionendtimes solutionInnovative Management Strategyman of faith and intellectperspectivephotographypoliticsthoughtstransformed mindtravel  08/03/2016 2 Minutes

Narrow

narrow face
narrow seat
Tuk Tuk
narrow food

“Sometimes all you can do is go on. One foot in front of the other, wherever the narrow path might lead.” I quoted this from somewhere about a spy’s narrow/precarious life. In some parts of the world, the ordinary life is comparatively narrow as a routine: narrow food as depicted by the thin corns (for men and for beasts), narrow transport (coach driven by a motor bike!), narrow space (with driver seat shared with a passenger with driver maneuvering the steering wheel with one hand!))and, sadly, narrow faces of many rural young ones who are generally undernourished and petite in sizes below their age.

Is there a choice? I ask as a mere traveler bystander. Can people choose? What kind of people will be able to breakout from their squalid environment and poverty? I know of many who really believe that education can get them somewhere. The parents sell off all they have and even incur huge debts so that their children can go to private college and university. But employment opportunity in foreign corporations remains limited and often has little choice in terms of salaries and benefits. I know of well-brought up, goal-focused youth who charge ahead bravely, studying two tertiary degrees and doing two jobs at the same time, hoping to get a better future! They are going to be the future for their currently small nations.

Are they narrow? No. They have a hope and a future. they are internally open and broad, even when on an external narrow path.

The food, the means of transport, and the physical stature do not make a man what he is. People read about the possible impact on many aspects of lives on earth due to the geographical polar shift. I personally believe that the internal ideology that shapes and drives a man can do more impact to the world than the external environment. I can see examples of more and more intelligent hard working and positive principled goals driven men who have emerged to shape the future of the globe which has become increasingly border-less. The contrary is also true. Those driven by personal greed and heartlessness do great harm to the world as well. The invisible polar shift.

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters (1): anger, bravery, consider and excellence (Revised August 8, 2020)

I wrote this first of a series based on notes from study of God’s words on 03/16/2013. I took words from the Bible in the sequence of words starting with A, B, C and so on.

“A dictionary for navigators on spiritual rough waters” background explained (3/17/2013): Why does the spiritual mindman start this new journey to read God’s words? Because he has navigated the uncharted waters previously and known how tough it is to sail without a pilot or a navigation guide. So in this dictionary he records everything he perceives in his spirit to share with his spiritual novice friends and brethren. This is not a conventional Bible words dictionary. It is a compilation of his spiritual notes while reading the Bible.

Here are the Bible verses as his solid foundation and plumb line for his notes and for all readers who have purposed in their hearts (spirit) to read the Bible afresh and be led by the Holy Spirit. (Please read the whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 2).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Original posted on 03/16/2013

There is a new dictionary which is not exactly new. It has been hidden to many who do not venture into the spiritual realm. The mindman has discovered this new way of reading words, really important words, the words of God. So he begins his real journey on the rough uncharted waters.

Here are some of the new meanings of words or phrases he has found on the way. Enjoy your own navigation through the spiritual mind journey!

________________________________

Anger: it means murder when you think anger in your mind concerning your fellow Christians. Matthew 5:21-23 (NKJV) Murder Begins in the Heart 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,

Bravery: If you think of men and fear them and do what they like you to do, you are  a coward. Only when you mind the matters of God and do the will of God regardless what men may say or do to you, you are considered brave, Jesus is the best example of bravery. Peter is a typical example of the opposite.

(Matthew 16:23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.” Matthew 16:22-24 (in Context)  Matthew 16 (Whole Chapter)  Other Translations )

Consider: means accounting action. Many think this is just a matter of thinking in your mind. But in the new dictionary it means real action. For example, it is same as the word count or account. When you consider something in your mind your account in heaven starts updating with debits and credits being input into it!Romans 6:11 (EXB) | In Context | Whole Chapter11 In the same way, you should ·see [count; consider] yourselves as being dead to ·the power of sin [L sin] and alive ·with [to; with reference to] God ·through [or in; in union with] Christ Jesus.

Defile: it means even your thoughts are action words. Mark 7:20-23 (ESV) 20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

Excellence: comes in two forms: 1. the power of God (the Holy Spirit); 2. your spiritual knowledge of God.

  • 2 Corinthians 4:7 Cast Down but Unconquered ]  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
  • Philippians 3:8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ.

another attempt: the windows are open

from where we stand, on this street, the windows are open

windows are open
blue screen: windows open

windows of opportunity
open daily
to hearts that tally
and not give up

patiently
perseveringly
waiting for the break

dawns always break
at the first ray of light

come alive
a call
so still and quiet
yet you hear it
high and wide

many years ago
he heard
and passed it by

now the call
again so faint yet vivid
come alive
at this first ray of light

the windows are open
from where you stand

where our lives meet: a poetic attempt in blue

there is a quiet space where our lives meet

window of quiet space

where we meet though not often
there is always space

where you rest your soul
and I rest mine
behind a pale blue glaze

quiet
does not mean tired
often it’s a triad
you and me and space

why blue?
you ask

a task?
a mask?

neither
hither and thither
though our souls may flutter
as two young turtledoves
prematurely caught
and set
on each side of an ancient blue vase

posing in a quiet space
one looks in while the other looks out

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

a river of parting poems

second page restartSecuring a second page to restart
running this cold steel ruler to mark
a boundary, a demarcation so hard yet tender
in souls that had been torn asunder
cutting heart to heart

If you gaze enough
upward and beyond this gentle
starry night, you will see this river by which every poem must part
glistening as ever
blue as steel

afar and near in perspectives: two pictures

afar lake tahoeafar junction
I chose these two pictures because of the rather interesting perspectives. USA is full of interesting scenes even though I took these pictures at random. The people too. They are apart and dynamic and yet blend into the static presentation as parts of an integral whole. I can imagine individual stories in each small segment and yet I acknowledge that the sum total makes it a unique striking picture! The advantage of bigness of space —— near and afar.

A DICTIONARY FOR NAVIGATORS ON SPIRITUAL ROUGH WATERS 44: the power of Grace

2 Peter 1:2Today we again read the letter G from the Book. GRACE is today’s word. The spirit-mind man used to think of grace as a weak word and avoided it until one day when he was struck (metaphorically) by it and was caught up into a realm he had never encountered before, like being suck up into a whirlwind or like being hit by an invisible lightning rod as he lifted up his hands to worship. It was just an ordinary Sunday morning but his life was never the same after that supernatural invisible encounter in his spirit.

This is what the spirit-mind man discovered about Grace.

A supernatural power that can only come from the Almighty God.
An inexplicable sense of being immensely loved by Him.
An indescribable perception of being in the presence of His absolute goodness, faithfulness, mercy, and loving kindness, resulting in total peace and great joy.
It opens into the spiritual realm (in the Christians’ experience, an intimate relationship with God just as Jesus has taught His believers).
Some of the resultant feelings, perceptions and actual experiences are listed at random below: security, wholeness, acceptance, being valued and esteemed, favored, lifted up, built up, completely broken down and yet being made re-integrated into a whole new being, complete, honestly and transparency, freedom from fear, freedom from condemnation and judgement, clean and pure, released from heavy burden/oppression/obsession, thoughts of hope and optimism, refreshing, energized, renewed, transformed inside out, made over, re-prioritized, re-focused, re-directed, renewed in youth, rest, peace, love, joy, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and many more.
The experience is real. It has lasted decades and is still processing and ongoing.

Grace is a power word. It is authoritative, real and strong. And it transforms an individual human life. Here are some random verses quoted from the Bible to illustrate grace:

John 1:14
[ The Word Becomes Flesh ] And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John 1:16
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.
John 1:17
For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Acts 4:33
And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
Acts 14:3
Therefore they stayed there a long time, speaking boldly in the Lord, who was bearing witness to the word of His grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
Acts 20:32
“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
2 Timothy 1:9
who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began,
Titus 3:7
that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.
Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 13:9
Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines. For it is good that the heart be established by grace, not with foods which have not profited those who have been occupied with them.
James 4:6
But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”
1 Peter 1:10
Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you,
2 Peter 1:2
Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,
2 John 1:3
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with you from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

random thoughts, pictures and colors of friends

Friend is a word we often use to depict any kind of relationship. I decide to use a set of pictures from the coloring book to show what we can make of friendship. We start with plain colorless pages. The relationship adds colors, some messy, some quite beautiful. We can have entirely different tastes like the two houses in a picture or we can have exactly the same appearance and lifestyle like the two adjoining wooden doors. Yet we are still different. You cannot be me and I cannot be you. There is always a boundary between us no matter how buddy we are. We may be close enough to takeover a friend’s role sometimes if needed, like helping one another in crisis. When things resume normal we each return to doing our own stuff, staying at a distance. That is the unspoken realist’s rule of friendship. On the other hand there is a friendship that calls for more, and it borders the common ground of love. That is another story.

his quest for light

Quest for light
quest-for-lightHe is a lover of light and high mountains. He took this photo last winter standing on a mountain. The original scene was breathtaking. It was a sunny day, and the clouds were dispersed. There were distant mountains too. He cannot now remember whether the blue and white patches below the sun were mountains or mere sky. Where he stood and took this picture was the limit of his quest then. Given another chance, perhaps he would go further beyond the blue deep space…

a merry heart’s journey edge

Edge
edge-of-mountain-river2is a comparative advantage. It is also the outside limit of an object, area, or surface; a place or part farthest away from the center of something. I took this photo on a train climbing a mountain. The river looks as if it is at the edge of the track. I probably slanted my mobile phone camera quite steeply or perhaps the climb was rather steep. We went up to 7000 ft and then descended to around 4000 ft to stay in a very scenic town and ski resort. When I first discovered that we were to climb 7000 ft in a train I was a bit concerned. I wondered how it would be like cutting through the mountain with a steep edge on the side of the track. As we settled ourselves in very comfortable coaches and started taking photos we hardly noticed the climb. It was very pleasant and the edge was not noticeable at that time.  Only when I now look at the photos and recall the scenes I marvel at how we can always look at the positive side of things and enjoy lives despite the environment. A merry heart does have its edge over  a miserable heart in challenging circumstances.

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.

a watery mirrored house of haiku (two versions)

Mirror
mirror watery house unedited
mirror water houseswatery evening
my front yard’s sunset floating
daily abiding
I took this photo on 20151229 again in a hurry one evening in California. The place is a must see site because of its famous reflection of beautiful and colorful houses on water. The panoramic view did not turn out well as I was using an older Samsung then. But the static single shots were good. This one is my favorite. Will I want to live in one of these mirrored watery homes? My answer is, “No, thank you.” I still love my own little park with the trees mirroring my life as they stretch upward towards the blue sky where eagles soar.

a restaurant haiku

framed 3family outing
couples in love just dating
frame framed and framing
One day we went to this place for a brief break. It was a normal day with families and couples around taking their normal meals. I found the framed ceiling structure interesting for no particular reason and took some random photos. I remember we went at night but the photos now seem to show otherwise. Puzzling. Like life.
Frame

Love’s riddle: a haiku

a complicated timecomplex paradox
enigma unsolvable
find the little fox
She is back. He is back. They are not relatives. But the two humans are not together. And yet they love each other.
It is like looking at this photo. You never know whether the photographer is climbing up the mountain or going down the slope. There is no clue. Perhaps you can detect the lonely depression induced by the season from thin trees with bare branches, the snow covered plants shaped like little animals scurrying on the ground, against a grey bland sky and the an overall mood of foreboding of the scene. But you will not know why the photographer went there and took this picture unless you were him. When he took this picture he was actually climbing uphill. It was mid-January.
They did not meet that time. She was too far away and otherwise engaged. He went alone and spent his winter like a lone wolf.
Now they are both back to one place. Same city. Same street. Same house. He is alone. She is alone. He is not married. Neither is she. They love each other. But they are not together. Why are they not together? A complicated riddle.
No clue.

(I decided to post this blog after leaving the unfinished draft for a month or more. The shape of a lone wolf is too striking to be ignored. Other shapes of animals too. I like seeing living things in shapes formed by nature. I also added a little riddle here to ponder upon on sleepless nights.)

framing the cameraman: a haiku

framed cameramanminding our business
looping comes from flying tram
motion froze in frame
I took this shot at a train station. The two “photographers” appeared suddenly while we were waiting for the train to continue to the next stop. While they were setting up their gears on ground I took this photo. I never knew what they were preparing to shoot. But it is a reflection of life. Whilst we are busy making art (or substitute any word you want) we become the art (do likewise) itself.
Frame

am i not rare? a sidewalk flower asks

Rare
rare purpleYes, you are rare. In my eyes. Today, I walk pass this way without expecting to see you. I am just walking and not looking. I am busy because I am going somewhere. This pathway and roadside are just things I happen to walk by from one spot to another spot. My destination is somewhere else. My interest is not here. I am just traveling by. But I see you. You look at me and smile. You reach out your invisible hand and offer a friendly greeting. Here, this neighborhood? Yes, you stand out despite the environment. The background. The class in which you find yourself. You display your purple. We exchange greeting for a while and I halt my steps for you for awhile. When I move on I know I have encountered a unique rarity. A simple greeting one morning between a traveler and a sidewalk on which I have imprinted my steps one morning which will not be repeated again. The next time I visit this place again it will be another time. A moment in time is rare and unique with its own existence.

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

a morning’s perspective

morning in FebruaryThis picture was taken two days before I left the country in February this year. It was a cool morning and I walked alone on this familiar road probably one last time for a long time to come. I had stayed for half a year in this neighborhood and it had become my routine to take a morning walk in the cool, fresh air. The photo was taken with a Samsung Galaxy, nothing fancy. Winter was mild and comfortable. I normally do not like heavy clothing unless I travel to the snow countries. I just returned from one before I took this shot. Somehow this ordinary grayish morning with the sun coming out against the silhouette of trees, (as I walked alone on a quiet and still road), gives me a perspective I like best. It is just another easy and breezy morning. People are still sleeping or getting ready to go somewhere. No one seems in a hurry. The noisy and busy world is some distance away. I am traveling home shortly and yet the frantic packing does not deter me from this leisurely unhurried walk. As I meet one or two early birds who are walking solo too, or working in their gardens, we smile briefly and say to each other, “Good morning!” Then each of us carry on walking or doing our morning chores, each to our respective destination. As I write this my heart is filled with thankfulness for another day alive and well in this world.

Good morning to you, my friend, who reads this today! I pray you are well!

Morning

a haiku for your morning

morning in Septembereasy breezy morn’
casual stroll on garden’s lawn
hearing unseen fawn

I took this picture last September in a small scenic town in California. Morning walk was often full of surprises. One of the many pleasant encounters was little animals. Yes, even fawns.

Morning

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)

thankful to be alive and well

Morninganother morning in NovemberThis is a photo taken on one November morning when I decided to go for a walk. I arrived in August in this country at a time when things did not look rosy for one of my close ones. After a brave battle of many months on his part and on the part of his very committed children who took turn to care for him, he recovered miraculously! So this morning I walk with thanksgiving and gratitude for the mercy and grace we have enjoyed as a family. It is such a glorious day to be alive and having our loved ones around, knowing that they are well again! What a beautiful morning it is! 

this morning I fly alone: a haiku

Morning
this morning I fly aloneThis dawning alone
flying solo not forlorn
painting world beyond

This picture is unedited. I used a Samsung Galaxy and set the scene at dawn. It came out like a painted picture. The bird at the right corner is a bonus. We never know what we shall get in life until we receive them. There is a gap between getting and receiving. I receive this picture without much effort. I woke up and thought it would be a good idea to take a picture of the scene outside my hotel and WhatsApp to my friend. And here is the picture. (Reduced from the original) A good start for the day!

Narrow? What narrow?

Narrow


“Sometimes all you can do is go on. One foot in front of the other, wherever the narrow path might lead.” I quoted this from somewhere about a spy’s narrow/precarious life. In some parts of the world, the ordinary life is comparatively narrow as a routine: narrow food as depicted by the thin corns (for men and for beasts), narrow transport (coach driven by a motor bike!), narrow space (with driver seat shared with a passenger with driver maneuvering the steering wheel with one hand!))and, sadly, narrow faces of many rural young ones who are generally undernourished and petite in sizes below their age.

Is there a choice? I ask as a mere traveler bystander. Can people choose? What kind of people will be able to breakout from their squalid environment and poverty? I know of many who really believe that education can get them somewhere. The parents sell off all they have and even incur huge debts so that their children can go to private college and university. But employment opportunity in foreign corporations remains limited and often has little choice in terms of salaries and benefits. I know of well-brought up, goal-focused youth who charge ahead bravely, studying two tertiary degrees and doing two jobs at the same time, hoping to get a better future! They are going to be the future for their currently small nations.

Are they narrow? No. They have a hope and a future. they are internally open and broad, even when on an external narrow path.

The food, the means of transport, and the physical stature do not make a man what he is. People read about the possible impact on many aspects of lives on earth due to the geographical polar shift. I personally believe that the internal ideology that shapes and drives a man can do more impact to the world than the external environment. I can see examples of more and more intelligent hard working and positive principled goals driven men who have emerged to shape the future of the globe which has become increasingly border-less. The contrary is also true. Those driven by personal greed and heartlessness do great harm to the world as well. The invisible polar shift.

Narrow? What narrow?

Profound

Narrow is not an issue here

Narrow

Often we do not see the narrowness in which we confine ourselves. Building design is one example. today I put up two photos of buildings from two parts of the world sharing a similar theme. The architects probably considered the cost of space in the cities. Strange to say they both look quite beautiful despite the “narrowness” to a person who is used to open space. I actually like the style these two presented when taking the pictures. Looking at them now I discover I can accept them from a distance. Of course I run back to my own private open space as soon as I can. When searching through my stock of photographs I discover that I have at least a hundred times more open spaces than buildings! It just shows. Photographs are like portraits of the photographers. We bare our souls when we take a print of others. A rather frightening thought!

the beauty of narrow simplicity

Narrow
narrow chairI decided to select this photo which I took in 2014 to depict another form of narrowness. Sometimes narrowness is not a choice. This chair is an example. It perches on a narrow balcony on a tree house in a tiny village resort in the third world. Narrow but quite beautiful really in its simplicity.

perhaps you like this mountain

Cherry On Top
2007 Fuji Mt n cloudIt was a day before Christmas eve nine years ago. A time to celebrate the peace and goodwill promised to mankind. There were a bus load of us. You were sitting next to me. The ride was comfortable and the weather was fine. Indeed a mild winter. The guide told us to expect a sumptuous dinner of the best sushi ever served. He also took order of those who wanted a taste of the Hokkaido . King crab or Tarabagani, and Kobe veal. Bath in hot spring. Arrayed in the local cultural costumes for dinner. We truly enjoyed the experience in a different culture. I remember we told the host we would visit them again. But we never went back together. I never went back.

I remember you said you liked their mountain.

This is another view of the famous mountain. I hope you like it.

this is a letter I will not send.

Cherry On Top
2007 Fuji Mt n treeYou know this is a letter I will not send. It is an ordinary letter about how things are with me. The summer is ending and the last blooms outside my window have just withered. Soon it will be autumn and winter again. Today I looked into a drawer which I have not opened for a long time, perhaps years, and found this photo hidden in a memory card. Remember that morning in December 2007 we traveled? You suddenly wanted me to stop the coach. I asked the driver to stop. We got down and took this photo and others. I never sent this card to the studio for prints. Somehow I put it in the drawer locked together with many other precious and happy memories. Digital camera was popular then and I was using a Nikon Coolpix 7900 with 7.1 megapixels. The photos came out well for that journey. I found many portraits of you too. Long hair blowing in the gentle breeze of winter. Radiant smiles. I can even smell the fresh, cold and crisp mountain air when looking at the photos. Pity we didn’t go to any winter sports destination after all. The best photos are those of mountains like this one. I am not sending this because you have taken your own photos too. Perhaps after all these years you would not want me to send you the photos in this long forgotten memory card. Yesterday someone came back from the faraway land and told me that you have not changed much. But you no longer keep long hair. The mountains, they said, are still beautiful.

“Long Letter” (keeping a promise)

Cherry On Top
Mount FujiLooking at old photos I found this one by chance stored in a Nikon digital memory card. The photo was taken in 2007 December. As you would have recognized it is Mount Fuji in the morning. It was a clear morning and we had some good pictures on that day together. Traveling with someone who matters to me is always a cherry-on-top kind of experience. I just read a poem titled “Long letter”. It is about two persons corresponding with handwritten letters. It is obvious that the two have known each other for a long time and they show their valuing the friendship by writing regular long letters to each other. Even when the letters are about ordinary small matters they take the bother to write down in careful longhand with ink and share with each other the whole summer. It is like they want the other party to actually see their daily lives: the wooden table for writing, the sunshine crashing into the room, the dazzling summer blooms at the window, mysterious fireflies at otherwise pitch dark night, the faraway stars and milky way… They know the contents even before opening the letters and read. They know all the unspoken words. I remember I too wrote a letter a day one whole summer. The poet likens it to keeping a promise.

Cityexit sighs: a haiku (and a prose)

Look Upa lamp post sign

Sad sky with glum sign
many pauses many sighs
heart forlorn desires
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~”Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show.” He never wants to be a hero even though he recalls this famous first line from a text book of his childhood. This is a duplicate of an English town in the middle of the States. It is strange that a quaint little town brings back such a lot of memories of his very young days in England, or to be precise, London. He has often dreamed of that city after leaving her. He did not have a choice then. There was no provision for him to stay on after he returned from Paris to encounter a brief but very cold winter in London. He always remembers that winter morning. His boss called him in and announced the good news, “Here, have a cup of tea, one sugar? a spot of milk?” The boss was exceptionally civil that fateful morning. He had a spotless glass window room which signified his status. The single tree outside his window was bare and its friendly branches were leaning over and gently tapping the glass pane. “I must say that I am envious of you, going to such exotic and interesting places. But of course I have been to many in my own days…” So he was selected to go to his first posting overseas in a nation beyond many seas and oceans with limitless opportunities for a young executive. What better choice did he have staying in London? None. He stepped into the street as the boss decided to let him off for the rest of the day to sort out his thoughts and perhaps other matters. He was scheduled to travel a week later. He decided to pick just one priority, and took a metro to Charing Cross, the Foyles Bookstore. He collected all the Swallows and Amazons series by Arthur Ransome and Collections of Giles’s cartoons. Then he left and had a cup of coffee next to the bookstore. That was his personal Brexit. Did he ever return? Yes, several times. But London was a foreign country by then. His childhood friend left and chose to live in a tropical city with her husband. They left for health reason. Will he return again? Perhaps, when days are brighter after the real Brexit. Is there any other city he wants to go back to? Yes, perhaps Paris. Not now though. He has just returned from San Francisco. Not going back for a long time. Is there no city he can go? Not Shanghai either.  Not the big ones. Sad, but true. To be accurate, it had been: Lonexit, Paexit, SAexit, Shanexit…and to sum it all, Cityexit. 

word dictionary:
forlorn adjective
1 he sounded forlorn: unhappy, sad, miserable, sorrowful, dejected, despondent, disconsolate, wretched, abject, down, downcast, dispirited, downhearted, crestfallen, depressed, melancholy, gloomy, glum, mournful, despairing, doleful, woebegone; informal blue, down in/at the mouth, down in the dumps; rare lachrymose. ANTONYMS happy.
2 a forlorn garden: desolate, deserted, abandoned, forsaken, forgotten, neglected. ANTONYMS cared for.
3 a forlorn attempt: hopeless, vain, with no chance of success; useless, futile, pointless, purposeless, unavailing, nugatory; archaic bootless. ANTONYMS hopeful, sure-fire.

it has to be love: a Haiku (and a Prose)

has to be lovegood explanation
none better than love-passion
seldom with ration
“It has to be love, doesn’t it? In however many of its infinite permutations?” “What lasts? Is there anything you’ve made in your life that will still be here 150 years from now? What does not last, if they are not retold, are the stories.” How true these words from a recent reading are. He ponders. When he thinks of all the events that happened before in his young life and hers he knows there is no explanation except love. Love binds their two hearts and spurs them to do things beyond their wildest dream. The union of their hearts and minds crystallizes into something dazzling and brilliant. If he is not telling their stories now whatever that they have together accomplished for which they have given so much of their lives would not last after they are gone. He wants to leave a legacy to his loved one. A legacy of their story.

Love and pain: a haiku (with prose)

white snow n black rock
Concealed and revealed
interspersed with love and pain
compelling unveiled
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~He decides to dedicate today to the subject of LOVE. On waking this morning he observes that the snow has melted and revealed dark foreboding jagged black rock, like he is suddenly going through a lesson on the description of rocks, including their color and surface shape, plus characteristics such as size, shape, and arrangement of the grains or crystals in each rock. The partially melted snow has cleansed the rocks. It is as if a giant painter has walked through this patch of the mountain and used his gigantic brush and drawn a pattern for the snow to turn into liquid and flow away so that the rock may appear and assume its place in time. He think of his own life that it too has been drawn and brushed and patterned by an invisible hand from birth to this dawn of the melting snow. He wonders what each rock had been before it becomes a rock. He wonders why he had not found a love patch in his own heart until he was twenty and met her, a young smart mature precocious girl of ten. He thinks of the eight years they have had mostly on an intellectual and spiritual connection and comradeship, relying mostly on technology to link up. She lives with her very exclusive folks and travels extensively for her study of draught and underground water. He lives with the convention, also traveling extensively round the globe to all premium conventions held and hosted by the Midas hotel chain. His friends deride him, “What kind of love is that? Love in the virtual world?” He has taken her advice and started to study building. The two of them are going to take care of two major concerns of the world’s poorest and most disaster-hit people groups: water and shelter. His boss taunts him by singing the Impossible Dream from Man of La Mancha with daily rendition in full*. Is he taunted? No. Remember? He is a star gazer. He sees and focuses on one star and he is going after it, and he knows it is not unreachable. The name is called LOVE.

~~~~~~~~~~
*Lyrics
To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go
To right the unrightable wrong
To love pure and chaste from afar
To try when your arms are too weary
To reach the unreachable star

This is my quest
To follow that star
No matter how hopeless
No matter how far

To fight for the right
Without question or pause
To be willing to march into Hell
For a heavenly cause

And I know if I’ll only be true
To this glorious quest
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm
When I’m laid to my rest

And the world will be better for this
That one man, scorned and covered with scars
Still strove with his last ounce of courage
To reach the unreachable star

Love’s equilibrium: a haiku (and a prose)

Oppositessnow river
Tranquility snow
come rest upon my heart now
gentle tender flow
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Everything is something it isn’t. He read this somewhere. People feared the unknown and worried about uncertainty of changes. A wall might not be a wall. A door might not open at all. Yet he knew in chemistry there is a state in which a process and its reverse are occurring at equal rates so that no overall change is taking place, for example, ice is in equilibrium with water. The boss worried that he had gone over his senses when he decided to quit his successful career and go after an illusive dream. “You only see the tip of the iceberg. You never know what lurks beneath the enchanted emerald ocean. Use your superb grey matter, young master, weigh the pros and cons.” The boss warned (possibly quoting from some oriental movie scripts which became his latest craze). He looked at the snow on this mountain and indeed he could not summarily conclude what really lied underneath the white cloth. Should he step on it? There should be a scientific way to gauge the reality of things hidden or supposedly revealed. On the other hand how can one judge love by scientific way? How would the trees know that the snow was coming and would cover the empty ground? But the trees continued to stand their boundary position when the snow came in the night. When the dawn arrived the mountain was demarcated by two colors: white and black, a beautiful natural equilibrium. No, he would not worry about the unknown. He knew her worth. She knew his too. Their love was in a state in which opposing forces or influences were balanced. (to be continued)

Landmark for love: a haiku (and a prose)

Purea snow landmark
snow clothing with might
authenticity that tied
love so pure in sight
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space.* He suddenly recalled how he used this line and wrote his first prose. He did not have access to this book then and read it as a quote somewhere. It invoked imagination now of what he would do when he re-visited his own life in time in the different dimensions of space like a layered cake through which he sliced, exposing its various perspectives, colors, smells, textures and ingredients: sound, sight, touch, feel, appearance, love, hate, happiness, sadness, success, disappointment, fulfillment, failure, good, bad, loving kindness, mercy, charity, selfishness, delusion, indifference,  warmth, coldness, passion, hopefulness, disillusion, credibility, integrity, wretchedness,  lowliness, lacking luster, mediocrity, grandeur, majesty, magnificence, clarity, excellence, stupidity, brilliance, despondency, desolation, elation, jubilation, celebration, melancholy, exuberance, blissfulness and contentment. At twenty-eight he had gone through far more than many of his peers. He was at least happy. He sometimes wondered what was beneath the thick cloth of snow on the mountain. What the snow tried to shield and protect. His life too had been a shield for many things. The convention service too was a shield for many. The participants came and allowed the artificial environment and near real technological simulation give them a pretense of greatness and well-being. Then they left and went home with a fully charged life battery for another year on their respective fast track. He never looked for reality in the convention hall. His verisimilitude was in her. There was no need for simulation or artificial intelligence. Life was not simulation despite the money bags in that game. Life to him was authenticity. Often he and his love exchanged audio recording of each other. He listened to her laugh. They were fresh and sparkling like the mountain spring that rushed down the steep ravine as he trekked up the mountain. He could hear her smiling as she talked, exulting optimism, expectation, expectancy, confidence, faith, trust, belief, conviction, assurance; promise and possibility. Love was a reality between them. (to be continued)

(*the one line quote is taken from Margaret Atwood, Cat’s Eye).

Eminent love: a haiku (and a prose)

snowy mountain and trees
Celebrated snow
conspicuous sheer renowned
crystal clear for now
~~~~~~~~He did not know whether his story was going to be celebrated or regretted when it happened. it was certainly a love story which had a noble beginning. As a child he had always dreamed of grandeur, the austere grandeur of mountain scenery. That was why he became an amateur mountaineer when he was not conferencing and conventioning (his coined word). He bought his first set of mountaineering equipment at ten even though he was not allowed to use them. He did not get to climb a mountain until he was fifteen. By then it was a bit late as he was already involved in a distant uncle’s booming business of catering for large hotel chains. He graduated with an undergraduate degree in economics and took a second bachelor’s degree in physics. Instead of pursuing a phd in astrophysics he changed course to food science while doing a master degree in business management. That was how he landed himself in the convention profession. What had his first love astrophysics got to do with mountaineering? He was a star gazer. When he first met his love, he had the feeling that he was gazing at the brightest star, ever. Here are the adjectives that filled his mind when he thought of how she imprinted herself on his heart: graphic, evocative, realistic, lifelike, faithful, authentic, clear, detailed, lucid, eloquent, striking, arresting, impressive, colorful, rich, picturesque, dramatic, lively, stimulating, interesting, fascinating, scintillating; memorable, powerful, stirring, moving, telling, haunting. (To be continued)

what loneliness means to him: a haiku (and a prose)

a still snow ride
Hitching a ride up
windy snowy mountain camp
needing fellowship ~~~~~~~He knows he cannot be alone for long. That is why he joins his friends sometimes as they drive up the mountain. They do not really understand what he tries to express in his words, photos, or even the actions of continuing to climb mountains. They retain their own perspective. He his. Does this mean he gets more lonely? He asks himself. The team efforts in camping and the warm fellowship, do they not mean something to his feeling? Yes at night after a hard day’s work he enjoys a beer or two sitting near the camp fire with pals with similar mountaineering interest, all sharing the goal of climbing up to the highest peak and nothing more. But he cannot expect more, like understanding why he is leaving their company soon and launching into the deepest and furthest wilderness alone. They do not mind the goodbye as they too travel often and a lot. But they cannot share his goal of a travel without a firm destination and away from any civilized help. “How can we ever reach you in time to help you?” They query him, and he just shakes his head. He has no answer. In a place with no modern electricity power it is impossible to connect. He will know how to reach his friends when he gets there, perhaps. But he does not want to give them false hope. It is indeed lonely when he ponders this thought of isolation over unknown uncharted waters. Will his love fail him if ever he gets stranded somewhere in the middle of nowhere? He asks in silence. His heart’s reply, “NO.”

Many-Splendored Thing: a haiku (and a prose)

a snowy view on mountain
magnificent grandeur of a mountain covered in snow 

Majestic grandeur
aesthetics for raconteur
lonely connoisseur ~~~~~~~~~~~Many misunderstandings avalanched and snow-balled from all angles. He got tired of repeated explanation which he reserved for the very close ones and there were not few due to the nature of his profession. “Unbelievable.” Many shook their heads. His closest friend warned him, “AJ I wish you success in your new venture whatever it is, but you must remember you are not getting younger.” In his glittering world 29 approaching 30 is considered getting old. No one in his sane mind would start an entirely new field of study unless he was a failure and had no other option. Scientific study was so different from his management background. And he was already rising so fast and running so well. Why bother to change track? Being a mountaineer he knew of a different perspective that could only be viewed standing on the highest peak. Those who stood on the flat land could never see the majestic splendor and awesomeness of the beauty up there. He would not waste his time explaining anymore. He just had to forego even their friendship. He felt lonely at times studying after midnight poring over textbooks on calculus and analytic geometry, building technology, environmental technology etc. But he knew she would be studying too and her subjects were even more difficult and unfathomable to the laymen. The boss summed up nicely, “The things you do for love.”

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)

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