Thursday, May 5, 2011

Contemplation in the Garden of Stones & Silence

11. Garden of Stone, Peringgit
I struck out from my party
And headed to the Garden of Stones,
There I sang, knowing the inhabitants were listening.
Upon returning, my brother asked,
“You went to the cemetery just now,
What did you bring back?”
I smiled, not knowing what to say,

A little later do I realise;
That for the price of a poorly rendered song,
I returned with greetings of peace
From the people of the Garden, all kind and wise.

I am fond of cemeteries. Many years ago, I was working downtown, and behind the tall office block and hotel was an old cemetery. During lunch time, I would sometimes wander around the graves of the common and prominent. The poem above doesn't recall such event, but rather a specific cemetery in the state of Melaka, adjacent to the Peringgit Mosque, reputed to be one of the oldest mosque in the locality. The cemetery certainly looks old with some of the gravestones not actually made of stone or marble but from some hardy type of wood. They look more than 100 years old, and may have been there since the 19th century.

I find cemeteries peaceful. More peaceful even than mosques and churches that normally sit adjacent to them. I have no fear of ghosts or ghouls, considering them distractions. I am more fearful for the living and breathing humans who are still capable of doing hurt onto themselves and others. In the garden of stones (and wood), the dead are resting, and listening.

Our humble prayers to those departed souls - that they may find the peace, love and grace of the Divine Presence that they yearned for while alive. And that we may one day be united with the people of our past and trade love stories concerning God, the Prophets, the Saints and Angels.

Have a perfect day, sunshine!

Pax Taufiqa.

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