I was trying to continue a piece of writing that I had left 6 months ago. It was supposed to be sent in by February but I have been postponing it til now. I am, guilty as charged. Now, I have a problem. Whenever I write, it seems that I need a period of warming up and I work in a connected chain of thoughts. If it stopped midway, I faced difficulty going back to that 'moment' of writing. Shakespeare once said " Words, words, words. Once I had a gift. I've lost my gift. As if the organ of my imagination has dried up, as if the proud towers of my ginuses collapse". In the midst of agony, I suddenly remembered my writer friend Mac who came down all the way from Kuching, Sarawak last month. Mac has written two novels with Alaf 21. He stayed in Kuantan for a couple of days and we had the opportunity to give a talk at Sek Men Agama Al-Ehsan, Kuantan. His session was on creative writing while mine was on extensive reading. It was great. We talked to about 100 students. Mac's subject was on how to start writing and mine was on how to start selecting reading materials. Before he left Kuantan, he scribbled an anecdote of what love is while waiting for me to send him to the bus station. It was beautiful and I thought I should share it with you:
What is TRUE LOVE?
"TRUE LOVE is when you can still love someone at their most horrible self, at their dumbnest moment, weakest point"
What is INTIMACY then?
"The art of effortless communication"
Here is the story:
There is a tree in a valley, where the lily grows and a gushing brook babbles. A place where butterflies meet every April and swallows return every October. And on most summer nights, the fire-flies would dance among it's branches.
And underneath this tree there is a small hut, with roofs made of straw and windows of round barrels. A simple dwelling for a complicated man. The man called The Wise.
A man of many tongues, a man who measured the moon's walk as it travelled form east to west; and who captured the morning rays in a stunted glass jar.A sage. A philosopher. A man with a visitor. She came the day after. He was clearing his library of ancient books and as he marvelled at the empty shelves, he heard a knock and a rat-tat-tat.
"Come in," he bellowed. The door slightly opened. "Well, open it wider or else just keep the door close," he raised his voice, annoyed at his visitor. She stepped into the hut and politely stood before him.
"What do you want to ask me?" He asked as he turned his back to her. "How do you know, I wanted to ask a question?" she quipped. "The reason most people seek me out. And you may ask more than just one question. You do have a few questions right?" She could not hide her surprise. "Why? I was meaning to ask you a few questions. How did you know?"
"Just ask me your questions." He commanded.
She drew her breath and while tucking a stray hair behind her ear she began to speak.
"What is TRUE LOVE?" The man turned and in a swift glance, took note of her feet, arms and face. Then, he slowly walked around her, sniffing her clothes as he walked. "TRUE LOVE is when you can be a devil and someone would still love you and offer you the grace and mercy of an angel". The old man paused, waiting for the next question.
"Why do people search for true love?"
Suddenly the old man became quite angry.
"It is not LOVE that they seek. It is INTIMACY with the person they love. It is not the LOST of love that they fear but the lost of INTIMACY." The young woman held her breath. She wanted to know more.
"What then is the meaning of life?"
"To find one's self in the bigger scheme of things. All the religions in the world teach us this."
"Is it that hard to attain?" She rushed to the next question.
"No. But we are too busy defining life to really live life. We define and rationalize and seek to explain. When all that is needed is to live it. We look at the sea and describe it's waters, the hue of colours, the varst stretch of sand and matter of it's beauty yet we stop ourselves from swimming in it. Because true joy is in the swimming. In allowing the sea to envelope us and make us one with it." Her eyes swelled with tears. She was trying to hold herself back.
"Is this the same with love?"
"Yes. We explain it and rationalize it; but fail to be involved with it."
- The End-