“Leaving behind” is like a taboo statement.

dog left alone“Leaving behind” is like a taboo statement. We don’t want to talk about it much or not at all if possible. As a child I often dreamed of being left behind by people or events: my mom, teachers, classmates, going somewhere by bus or train and being left behind after I went down at one of the momentary stops, sitting for an exam and finding I had gone to a wrong exam hall which was empty, arriving too late for the school bus and everyone had left for a picnic, participating a school concert and found that there was no participants and no audience…Later as a young adult I had recurring dream of being left alone and stranded in a formal wedding hall without the other party turning up for the formal ceremony. I also dreamed of traveling on a train and having to keep walking from coach to coach to find the one who had promised to meet with me and traveled together for life! It was a forlorn feeling.

I recall reading a book by D.H.Lawrence, Sons and Lovers, Chapter 15 which is titled “Derelict”. It gives the feeling of being left behind. The mother died. The son decided not to marry a girl who loved him. She went to college. There are two portions to the “left behind”. A portion that goes away. And a portion that stays. Here are definitions that describe the two portions. The two portions are inseparable. One cannot exist without the other. When we talk about being left behind, there must be something or someone who has left. The two parts are actually together. What irony!

Anther ironical puzzle for those interested in mental health and psychology is that I actually grew up well balanced and heathy. I excelled in academic studies and profession. So the dreams were not really premonitions. Did they reflect my deepest fear? Looking back I see that they did in some cases. I did not fear exams or interviews. While I enjoy being alone most times, once in a while I like to have company too. Knowing I am loved despite being alone is essential for my well being. The physical solitude does not reflect the state to the soul and the spirit.

Derelict: Abandoned, forsake; given up or forsaken by the natural owner or guardian; (of a ship) abandoned at sea, dilapidated, neglected; (of a spacecraft) abandoned in outer space.
Relic: That which remains; that which is left after loss or decay; a remaining portion. Something old kept for sentimental reasons.

Here is a passage quoted from SparkNotes on the “Derelict” chapter in Sons and Lovers:
Paul is lost without his mother. He can no longer paint, and he puts all of his energy into his work at the factory. He has debates within himself, telling himself that he must stay alive for his mother’s sake. However, he wants to give up.
One Sunday evening, however, he sees Miriam at the Unitarian Church. He asks her to have supper with him quickly and she agrees. She tells him that she has been going to a farming college and will probably be kept on as a teacher there. She says that she thinks they should be married, and he says he’s not sure that would be much good. He says he does not want it very much, and so she gives up. That is the end between them. She leaves him, realizing that “his soul could not leave her, wherever she was.”
Paul, alone, yearns for his mother and considers following her into death. However, he decides to leave off thinking about suicide, and instead walks toward the town.

The Things We Leave Behind

we cannot wait for the rain to stop

morning in rainThe morning started with last night’s rain but we could not wait till the rain stopped. We were told it could go on raining and we might not have time to see all those places if we skipped even one day. We decided to go anyway, despite the rain and gloomy sky. There was nothing much to capture as pictures. But I clicked anyway at random. When I look at the photo stock now I find that many are really quite nice. I like all the rain scenes after all! I am keeping the better ones for my book illustrations. So the rainy morning was not wasted. What happened that day? We had sunshine in the afternoon. It turned out to be a glorious day and we all enjoyed ourselves visiting all the places we would have missed if we had decided to wait till the rain stopped. Travelers are resilient people.

Morning

one day I met this side lane

Narrow
narrow cafeThis side lane is narrow and does not seem to bring out the actual attraction of the place. The frontage is nice. But if you merely look at this lane you would not know whether you should walk in or not. (I have covered the name in the picture.) The restaurant offers savory Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean Fusion Cuisine*. Actually it is worth trying out. Sometimes it takes a bit more effort to walk round to actually see the whole picture. When digging deeper, I discover that the buildings and narrow side lanes are special. Because of the preservation of the town’s historic downtown area, many examples of architectural styles dating back to the mid-19th century exist. Buildings in Gothic Revival, Pioneer, Italianate, Commercial Italianate, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne styles can be found within walking distance of each other. I have learned the lesson not to be presumptious  when taking a photo of a place. The history of buildings and lanes is often rich and tells a thousand stories. My superficial photo may not do the place justice. The narrowness is often my own casual handling of a subject and not the subject content itself.

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*Note:Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.

Writing with a passion

Matthew 9 copyWriting is like being in love. There must be an unquenchable passion. My experience is that great writings come with passion. They are no longer mere words being grouped together to form something. They are lives. The lives of real people. The lives that matter to real people.

Writing is passion for life.

When I feel a coldness I cannot write. I just look at the screen and sigh. Then I shut it down.

Where does passion come from? Passion can only come from life. Only by living we can acquire passion. It does not come automatically. It has to be hunted down, discovered or uncovered. It hides in life itself. It comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and sounds. It can be seen or heard or sensed or touched or just perceived in the heart or soul…

A reader can differentiate between whether the writing is alive or dead. The writer can try to fake it. But if he does not have life he cannot give it. His coldness will show. How do I select something to read? I look for the life in it. When there is none, I put it back to its display shelf in the bookstore or on the web page of Amazon or whatever bookstore online. I would leave it alone.

I do the same for blogs too or pictures in the blogs. Leave it alone. Go for the ones with real lives.

Life and goodness require courage and strength to grow and hold fast. Be strong. Be courageous. Hold fast to the Source of goodness. Passion for life is contagious. Be contagious with a life of good words.

Quoted from a dictionary:
The joy of giving life to a child: existence, being, living, animation; sentience, creation, viability.
He is full of life: vivacity, animation, liveliness, vitality, verve, high spirits, exuberance, zest, buoyancy, enthusiasm, energy, vigor, dynamism, elan, gusto, brio, bounce, spirit, fire; movement;