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.

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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.

Memory can make a thing seem: a haiku

(traveler’s view through a car window)

a rabbit in skymissing a rabbit

he saw this one following

she said it’s a pig

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

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

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

random words, definitions, quotes: LIBERAL

Claude_Monet_023sToday we look at the definition of a popular English word that came from France. LIBERTY/LIBERAL/FREE. French libre ‎(free, having liberty, at liberty)

Origin of LIBERAL comes from:Middle English: via Old French from Latin liberalis, from liber ‘free (man)’. The original sense was ‘suitable for a free man’, hence ‘suitable for a gentleman’ (one not tied to a trade), surviving in liberal arts. Another early sense, ‘generous’, gave rise to an obsolete meaning ‘free from restraint’.

Oxford dictionary Definition of liberal in English: adjective

1Open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values. 1.1Favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms 1.2 (In a political context) favoring maximum individual liberty in political and social reform. 1.5 Theology Regarding many traditional beliefs as dispensable, invalidated by modern thought, or liable to change. 2 [attributive] (Of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person’s general knowledge and experience, rather than with technical or professional training. 3(Especially of an interpretation of a law) broadly construed or understood; not strictly literal or exact: 4Given, used, or occurring in generous amounts: 4.1(Of a person) giving generously: noun 1A person of liberal views.
Synonyms of liberal in English: adjective
1 the values of a liberal society
tolerant, unprejudiced, unbigoted, broad-minded, open-minded, enlightened; permissive, free, free and easy, easygoing, libertarian, indulgent, lenient
2 a liberal social agenda
progressive, advanced, modern, forward-looking, forward-thinking, progressivist, enlightened, reformist, radical
3 a liberal education
wide-ranging, broad-based, general
4 a liberal interpretation of divorce laws
flexible, broad, loose, rough, free, general, nonliteral, nonspecific, imprecise, vague, indefinite
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Oxford dictionary Definition of liberty in English: noun (plural liberties)

1The state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views 2The power or scope to act as one pleases: individuals should enjoy the liberty to pursue their own interests and preferences 2.1 Philosophy A person’s freedom from control by fate or necessity.
Origin Late Middle English: from Old French liberte, from Latin libertas, from liber ‘free’.
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QUOTES ON “LIBERTY”
“If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.”
George Orwell
“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”
Nelson Mandela
“What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy?”
Mahatma Gandhi
“Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.”
George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
“If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.
[Inaugural Address, January 20 1961]
John F. Kennedy
 “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”
John Philpot Curran
“The most fatal thing a man can do is try to stand alone.”
Carson McCullers, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”
John Milton, Areopagitica
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QUOTES FROM THE BIBLE: LIBERTY FROM FEAR
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13
“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36
“Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. They will come and go freely and will find good pastures.” John 10:9
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
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”  1 John 4:18 [Full Chapter]

SHORT STORY (quotes)

short storyThe first sentence(s) and the last sentence(s): 7 SHORT STORIES

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  1. A STORY: A man, once a wealthy banker but now anonymous in rags, retired, richer than ever, wandered the streets of our city. And looks at you, as if for the first time.
  2. THEY LET ME tend to my husband’s burial and settle his affairs. And it’s the only one I get.
  3. WALLACE WENT ALL the way to Florida to fight a Brazilian middleweight he’d never heard of for ten thousand dollars. It was delightful.
  4. AFTER DINNER, NOBODY went home right away. Then sometimes I get up and don my robe and go out into our quiet neighborhood looking for a magic thread, a magic sword, a magic horse.
  5. MANY YEARS AGO, after I retired from the bank, James brought a small terrier to our apartment in Paris. “Please don’t leave,” I say.
  6. THIS HAPPENS A lot-people travel and they find places they like so much, they think they’ve risen to their best selves just by being there. –we were having an unavoidable moment, my aunt and I, of each feeling sorry for the other. In our separate ways. How could we not?
  7. MY FATHER MADE it as far as Little Iceland. That was the name of the iceberg they found his notebook frozen into, interred like a fossil. By which she means she understands that one day I will leave her too. Lift off the ground, think myself beyond gravity. Let go.

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(Excerpts quoted from: Fingerprints, Moving On, You’ll Apologize if You Have To, The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, Madame Lazarus, About My Aunt, North.)

WHEN THE SKY WEEPS

20150520 morning light
Sometimes we take the sky for granted. We do not look up unless it looks like it’s going to rain. When it rains we pay more attention to the wetness of the water-soaked ground or the forgotten laundry in the backyard. We do not look at the sky or the rain. We look at things affected by the wetness. We also think about the inconvenience like the expected traffic jam on our way home after work or after school when all cars slow down due to the slippery roads or due to other more trivial reasons.
We look at our watches. We think about the possible lateness in appointment, the potential missed opportunity of pleasing someone dear or important to us, the probable mishap that might occur due to the delay, pros and cons of profits and losses in terms of resources spent or not-spent due to the delay in the traffic jam etc.
We think of loved ones waiting with disappointments and perhaps anxieties.
We think of the cold dishes we would have to force ourselves to eat when we eventually reach home. We think of the shower we badly need. We think of the bed…
It could be unpleasant to be caught in a traffic jam in heavy rain.
On the other hand there are a few who feel comforted by the rain. They look at the weeping sky. They see things that others do not see. They see an opening of the storehouses of water. Unseen hands unlocking and pouring. Unseen faces smeared with tears. Unseen eyes swollen with crying…with them as they cry in the cars or at the windows somewhere away from home or having none to return to.
There are also a few who like being in the rain. To them, walking in the rain is like taking a nice, cool, long shower. They enjoy the touch of the water droplets on their faces. They love the music of the wind and rain orchestra. They stroll leisurely and unhurriedly. They watch the others stuck in the cars, anxious and bored faces watching them in return. Sometimes they sing and dance along with the raindrops.
The sky is neutral. We put labels on it whenever it suits us. The sky weeps. The sky smiles. The sky is friendly. The sky is hostile. The sky is foreboding. The sky is welcoming…labels.
Today when you happen to be near the sky look up and see what you want to see.

paint’s poetic language: closeness

a snow cherry door

dimension presides

zones realms spaces seem subside

closeness overrides

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Job 10:10-12 New Living Translation (NLT)

10 You guided my conception
    and formed me in the womb.[a]
11 You clothed me with skin and flesh,
    and you knit my bones and sinews together.
12 You gave me life and showed me your unfailing love.
    My life was preserved by your care.

Footnotes:

  1. 10:10 Hebrew You poured me out like milk / and curdled me like cheese.
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