Thursday, July 31, 2008


With pieces of memories, one can write history, but one certainly cannot live.
(Maral Aghoilar)

The quilt was made of hundreds of pieces of memories, in different colors, different shapes.. It was her comfort, her warmth, her whole life. She would hug it, put it on herself when she was cold, fold it to lean on and go through all different pieces. She could tell by heart which one was sewn there when. She had started sewing pieces since she was very young, almost a kid, although those pieces were very small. Then there were more colorful ones, in all vibrant lively colors. Those were from her younger years, when she was young and dynamic and full of energy. Then there were the more shaped ones, nicely shaped and clean, souvenirs from her middle aged years. But then recently, she had less and less pieces sewed to her quilt. Well simply not much was happening in her life. Except for that time when her favorite grandkid was getting married, or when her favorite nephew visited her after so many years with his wife and kid…and god knows how that little kid reminded her of her own belated brother…
Otherwise, not much had been added to the quilt.

But she was still happy. Going through the old pieces of quilt, made her busy for hours in the day and could protect her from this uneasy, boring life. Although there seem to be a problem recently, some of the pieces were not as colorful as before. Some she couldn’t even see clearly, some had become plain white.

"Her brain is shrinking. She has already lost her short term memory, and before you know, it will expand to her long term memory too." She could hear the doctor explaining to her kids about some ridiculously silly stuff. Why were they so stupid? There was nothing wrong with her, or her quilt. She just wanted to be left alone with her quilt to go through older pieces over and over and over again. And she was sure, the day that they all became white, she would lie underneath her quilt and would go to her most comfortable sleep of her life…


The man went to fill up his watering can from the bathroom. He felt tired, very tired. In fact, he was exhausted. As he was filling up his can, he could overhear somebody talking in the stair case. It was the lady who would go to his apartment once a week to clean and cook for him, talking to one of the neighbors, "…you know, he is a gentleman, one of the expired generation of the true gentlemen. But he is kind of strange", she lowered her voice, "and creepy sometimes. All day, he slowly walks in the apartment. You know it’s difficult for him to walk, with that cane and after his stroke, and you know how he is always fully dressed in a formal suit. And then he stops, bends over a little, does something which looks like he is, I don’t know, maybe pouring something on the floor from a pitcher or something, and he talks in a low voice, and he keeps doing this forever."

"You should have seen him when he used to throw the best parties in the neighborhood, and invited everyone, so that no one would complain from all that noise, and he danced and danced and danced, with everyone, young or old, girl or boy. He always had three different shirts for each party, because he had to change them as they became soaked in sweat after each round of dance."
The voices were farther and farther, maybe they were going down the stairs.
He smiled, "Creepy…an exhausted ex-dancer creepy gentleman, hmm!" and looked at himself in the mirror. His purple tie had loosened a bit. He fixed it, although it was a bit difficult with the watering can and the cane and everything, and then he went to the living room, and started watering his plants, in his garden of memories.

There were so many of them. He had collected them for as long as he could remember. Recently he didn’t like to do anything except for watering them, treating them, looking at them and talking to them. They each reminded him of a different stage of his life. Some of them were so big with long green leaves and thick brown stems, some smaller but filled with flowers. There were even some cacti, with sharp thorns. But he liked them as well. It was a long time that even the sharpest thorns couldn’t make any harm to his old hands. They were all representing parts of his life. There were times when he wanted to share them with others, but soon he found out that they were not as interesting for others as they were for him, it was as if only he could see them. and then he stopped talking about them. Now it was just him, and them. And they were so many, that he had difficulty finding a spot for himself to walk through them. He knew that no matter if anyone else can see them or not, when he gets very tired, as tired as he cannot even take another step, they will make a bed for him with their leaves, so that he can rest…and who knows, maybe then he can rest forever…

PS: Didicated to the memory of a beloved grandmother and a beloved granduncle, who recently passed away...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I, and my four caring friends!

My hands and my legs are my old close friends!

Sometimes I just sit there inside my head, behind my eyes and watch them. I watch them constantly in moving, working, doing something.

They are in a good harmony with each other, to do my orders. Amazingly, sometimes I don’t even need to give them orders. I get up in the mornings, yawning and half asleep, leaning on my legs which start carrying me here and there, while my hands wash my face, make the tea and set the breakfast.

I’m still day dreaming and planning up there in my brain while my legs carry me to work, my hands taking care of the tickets and my bags. My legs still carry me patiently everywhere and bear with me when I need to run like crazy. At work usually is where I intentionally give my hands orders, to do the experiments that I want. But still, they can do things without me being involved, like tapping on my bench and making some kind of rhythm while I’m still thinking, or rubbing each other when they get tired or bored. Then I go back home, no sign of disobedience! They still cook for me, wash the dishes, change the channels on the remote control, turn the pages on my book, give me my tea, clean, wash, dry, fold, iron, sort, while my legs keep carrying me, either walking, or sitting down (well I very much tend to sit in lotus even on the sofa!!).

I guess my legs are the worker type, they just do the same thing over and over and over again, trying not to complain. My hands are smarter. They know me better and have developed some sort of brain (a muscle brain?!!) for their own. They do things smartly enough for me to look at them and be constantly amazed. They take good care of me, I try to do the same, but then it’s again them I have to set to work, to wash each other, to apply creams, to put on gloves. They, themselves, don’t want me to sit and do nothing, nor do my legs. All four of them need to be constantly in work, until they pass out, and I turn off the engine and go to sleep…

They make me feel comfortable sitting in my brain, behind my eyes, and while quality controlling their jobs, think about other things. Things like life, death, and people. And how every person is like a book, which starts somewhere, gets read, and stops somewhere, and when their books are closed, what remains for us is the feeling of missing them, and watching their empty space among us. My dear hands let me think about all these and even mourn a bit; when I’ve heard three pieces of bad news in a week from back home about our beloved ones who passed away, while they continue doing all daily routine activities of my life, leaning on my patient legs…

Human is an amazing creature…

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The story of a girl who was looking for her dreams...

There it was, the big fork in the road.

She was standing there, looking, and thinking deeply, where should she go?

One side seemed somehow familiar. Besides, there were a bunch of family and friends standing there, encouraging her to choose and turn that way. That would make them happy, all together.
The other side, was covered mostly in a fog, she couldn’t see very far, but it seemed interesting and adventurous. It sure was different.

She thought to herself, "I already know that I have lost my dreams. They are long gone, and I have looked for them everywhere, and haven’t found them. Should I still continue on the way that I already know won’t have my dreams?" She looked at the familiar crowd on that side of the road.

"What are you hesitating for?" somebody asked, she couldn’t recognize who.

"I’ve lost my dreams. Are you sure you haven’t seen them anywhere?"
Her father answered "Your dreams? No. Did you have any in the first place?"
"Well I’m sure I had some, I just can’t find them anymore."
"What’s the use of them anyways? You have to study well, find a good job, marry a nice man, have some kids, and serve your family when they get old, hoping that you get served by your kids when you get old. There’s no such thing as "dream"."
"I can’t believe it, you never had any even when you were younger?"
He seemed to be thoughtful for a moment, "I guess I had, but just having a good wife and good kids and a nice life, which I have, this was my dream."

Her mother interfered, "What are you discussing about? Dreams? Haven’t I already described you what your dreams should be and will be?"
"Errr…I suppose they were more your dreams than mine."
"What’s the difference, I know you better then you know yourself. I know what dreams are better for you. Now come here and continue. It’s getting late!"
"Oh boy! Not again, getting late for what? I need to find my dreams, my personal legends, something for me, for my soul, for my life. I have looked across that road and know they are not there."
"You are selfish, how do you dare to talk only about yourself? How about your family?" Somebody else said, not very clear who.
"I guess if you all had thought about your own dreams before, you wouldn’t have to be hanging on to mine."
There were shouting, begging, cursing and opposing voices, all mixed with each other. Somebody shouted, "Don’t forget you won’t be alone here, on this road, we will all be together and this is all that matters. Isn’t this important for you?"

She sighed, "I wish somebody would be here to tell me what to do. I am so confused."
Looking around, there wasn’t anyone there, no Alchemist, no Jonathan, no Little prince, no big-wise-person to tell her what to do. It was getting more and more difficult. She looked at her grandma, who was standing between those people, looking at her, not saying anything. "You help me, what should I do grandma?"
"Look into your heart honey, into your heart…"

She looked around more desperate, but suddenly she was not all alone. There was a familiar face standing there, apparently in a similar situation. They knew each other, very well.
"Thinking about where to go as well?" He asked, with a smile.
"I’m glad I see my best friend here too," she said, "You know, deep into my heart, I am so tempted to go the other way, the adventurous one. I’m also somehow anxious and scared, cause I don't know where would it lead. But then maybe I can find my dreams alongside that way."

"Then let’s go together. We won’t be alone, we’ll work, sing, dance, live. We’ll walk together. More than anything, we’ll talk. It makes the road easier."
"And more pleasant." She smiled. Now she seemed more confident, "So are you ready?"
He tightened his shoelaces, "I am. Are you?"
She took a deep breath, "I guess I am."
They held hands, and started walking, into the unknown foggy road, smiling…

It was 5 years ago, today…

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Living in a multiverse

"What if you could find a way into those parallel worlds?", it whispered. "What if you could meet the Richard and Leslie you were before you made your worst mistakes and smartest moves? What if you could warn them, thank them, ask them any question you dared? What might they know about living, about youth and age and dying, about peace and war, responsibility, choices and consequences, about the world you think is real?"
Richard David Bach, One (1989)

…and it shook my world.

I had thought about it since I was a teenager; "what would have happened if I had turned left, not right at that turning point?” Then I grew older, I read more, thought more, learned more; and at some point, I guess in my early 20s, I read One by Richard Bach.

I had read Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Illusions from him before, and I had liked them. I had read The Bridge Across Forever, and had fallen in love with this couple. And then I read One. All of a sudden, somebody else had thought about the same thing, and not only “what would have happened if…”, but also “what happened to the person who took the other direction on that turning point?”

Definitely if I had chosen the other path in any of my turning points, there would have been other consequences. Would I be the same person as I am now? Now, I could define when I said "I was happy by the choice I made on that turning point" it meant I am happy with the consequences and how they changed me. Not all of them I really like, there are a couple of them which I always wish I had turned the other way, but would it make me, me? And another question, more challenging and more fascinating, what happened to the other Nava?

There are theories which say there is a "split" in time, and the world or the existence splits in two whenever you make a choice, as there is the same possibility that you could have made the other choice. So, you are you, and then other versions of you have slipped in other worlds, as multiple parallel universes can exist at the same time. (I’m still trying to find the recent reference which I read on this about 6 months ago.) Multiverses or the multiple universes have been hypothesized in different fields, cosmology, physics, astronomy, philosophy, theology, and fiction. There are even forums out there that people guess what they’d be doing in the parallel universes.

This concept had also another result for me, which is helping me in getting closer to finding some sort of explanation – even if not an answer – for one of my forever questions: is it constrain or choice? (Please let me know if you know the exact philosophical phrase.)
Now, a whole explanation can gradually take shape. Maybe (and I emphasize on this again, MAYBE) there are in fact parallel universes. In each universe, the whole paths are planned, and by choosing any direction on any given turning point, you "slip" in one of them, and continue that particular pathway of life…a combination of both.

Do I wish to meet the other "Nava"s? Maybe a couple of them. I am so curious to know what happened to them, and I so wish for all of them to be happy, wherever they are…