Feb 12, 2014

Love found

You see the concept of love was vague those days. Love in my simple mind then was all receiving. What would I get when I found love, was what I cared for.

First I would find love. Sure. Then would follow a huge teddy bear. An enormous card with the biggest paper heart. Dozens and dozens of red roses. Loads and loads of love letters.

Lots and lots of tears. Why? Because I would be dying and he would be crying. I would survive. Later he would be dying and I would be crying. He would survive. (see what effect some movies can have on us?) We would then live happily ever after.

Of course, with more teddy bears, roses and tons of other tokens of love to follow...

Sure found love at last! Then happened life! Child rearing, career building, house keeping and up keeping rolled in one after another and all over again! Love as I had imagined was nowhere to be found.

Teddy bears did come - when I had least expected them, when the children were born. They sat squarely in the middle of the living room for a while, later moved to the bed room, then to the kids rooms, but now lie forever forgotten in some closet corner.

Roses too arrived, but it took many years and some tears. When they came spontaneously though didn't know what to do with them. Just plop them in a vase and go about the days business. No time to ponder over, freeze them or preserve them. At least click a picture? Okay, click! Now move on! After a week or so toss them out and continue to move on... It fails to spark new excitement, you see. It mocks the shed tears and makes the younger me look silly for wanting them in the first place.

Loads and loads of love letters - now that is one thing that did happen and continues to happen (though in miniature post-it notes form), but with a twist - they are mostly from me!

About dying though we had discussed it once; when we were contemplating a Will. I offered my side of the family would care for the children if something ever happened to the both of us. He countered his side of the family would indeed. At that point we decided, we would both live - no matter what! So we live. we love. happily till now. hopefully for years to come.

The concept of love is somewhat clearer these days. Love in my simple mind now is not at all about what I receive; but what I give. Respect, love, forgiveness, a good meal, an encouragement, a good night's kiss, less nagging, more appreciation - simple things of course; but this is it! This is love! All giving! generous. selfless. expecting nothing in return. never. ever.

Love has been found. Not as imagined, better!

I am sure yours too. So why not, happy Valentines Day! Isn't it for everyday?!

Feb 1, 2014

Lost in the Woods

Just got back from the woods at Walden Pond where Thoreau spent nearly two years experimenting life at it's simplest form, in solitude, mostly at leisure, seasonal gardening, some reading and a lot of writing.

The year was 1845. Thoreau sets off to clear some woods around Walden pond, the land that belonged to his mentor Emerson, with a borrowed axe. After a few weeks of cutting and hewing and toiling alone he has made his house in the woods, built by his own hands just like the birds do. On July 4th, the Independence day, he moves into his new boarding, with his nearest neighbor a mile away.

This house at once invites you in. The simple living, the minimal furniture, the songs of birds, the frogs at the pond, his bean field, some reading material, visiting travelers, left behind notes, passing trains, walks to the village, concerned few, suspicious others, keep it lively.

Of all the people he mentions about there are two I wish I had met. They have such a resemblance to people I have met in my own childhood around Karinkal Grandma's neighborhood.

Here's to introduce them to you, in Thoreau's own words:
An elderly dame, too, dwells in my neighborhood, invisible to most persons, in whose odorous herb garden I love to stroll sometimes, gathering simples and listening to her fables; for she has a genius of unequal fertility, and her memory runs back further than mythology, and she can tell me the origin of every fable, and on what fact every one is founded, for the incidents occurred when she was young. A ruddy and lusty old dame, who delights in all weathers and seasons, and is likely to outlive all her children yet...
...To him Homer was a great writer, though what his writing was about he did not know. A more simple and natural man it would be hard to find. Vice and disease, which cast such somber moral hue over the world, seemed to have hardly any existence for him. He was about twenty eight years old, and had left Canada and his father's house a dozen years before to work in the States, and earn money to buy a farm with at last, perhaps in his native country.

He was a skillful chopper, and indulged in some flourishes and ornaments in his art. He cut his trees level and close to the ground, that the sprouts which came up afterward might be more vigorous and a sled might slide over the stumps; and instead of leaving a whole tree to support his corded wood, he would pare it away to a slender stake or splinter which you could break off with your hand at last.

He interested me because he was so quiet and solitary and so happy withal; a well of good humor and contentment which overflowed at his eyes. His mirth was without alloy.

I heard that a distinguished wise man and reformer asked him if he did not want the world to be changed; but he answered with a chuckle of surprise in his Canadian accent, not knowing that the question had ever been entertained before, "No, I like it well enough".

It would have suggested many things to a philosopher to have dealings with him. To a stranger he appeared to know nothing of things in general; yet I sometimes saw in him a man whom I had not seen before, and I did not know whether he was as wise as Shakespeare or as simply ignorant as a child, whether to suspect him of a fine poetic consciousness or of stupidity. A townsman told me that when he met him sauntering through the village in his small close-fitting cap, and whistling to himself, he reminded him of a prince in disguise.
I am sure now you are lost too, in Thoreau's Life in the Woods. It is a great place to be after all, for few minutes at a time, if not for the whole two years as tried by him. The best place to start I believe is right in our backyards.

Enjoy then! Have loads of fun! When you see the dame or the man though, please send in for me; I would love to greet.

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