Sunday, June 26, 2011

Gurindam , the Weed, the Rice and the Lemongrass - The Nature of Love and Her Sweet Responsibilities

Love's Gentle Feint
It was overcast I said in the morning. And it was.
Later the wind blew the clouds away, and I thought… oh no, a sunny (hot) day!
But in the afternoon the rain came, with lightning and thunder.
So I bared my shoulder
As the Prophet once did,
And I danced in the rain,
The dervish in rapture
To Love’s intimacy
And gentle feint.

GURINDAM, THE WEED, THE RICE AND THE LEMONGRASS. My last story (which I can recall) of Gurindam and his traditional Malay lore concerns the weed, the rice and the lemongrass.

“When these three plants are just a few days old, it is hard to distinguish them apart. They look exactly alike!” said Gurindam. "So you need to get close to the ground and feel them. The leaf of the weed is coarse to the touch, so you can rule the weed out. But then you find that both the rice and lemongrass is soft. Now you need to get even closer and smell them. You will find that the rice sapling has no scent, but the lemongrass has that familiar tangy lemongrass aroma.” Then he smiled at me. “So you see, when you are in a position of responsibility (he was an ancient Planter, the boss of bosses of the palm oil estates, bearing the title of Chief Operating Officer), you cannot rely on hearsay and judge from a distant. You must go to the ground, examine the matter firsthand. If need be, you need to get on your hands and knees and taste the salinity of the trench canals which cuts across the estate like a city block grid.”

DUE DILIGENCE. He is right of course. In everything which we do, whether it is to bestow privilege or largesse or to withdraw entitlements, we need to get dirty on our hands and knees, and to run our hands through the soil of the human soul. We cannot know for certain of course, but we need to apply some basic diligence because let’s be frank here - People are often reticent and shy even if they are not overtly deceptive. They are just reluctant about revealing the relevant truths, and will hide the real source of their problem(s).

IT IS ALL ABOUT LOVE. Hehehe. It cuts against the grain does it not? Talking about management in this little almanac. After all, talking about responsibilities, rights and obligations appear to be anathema to our mystical credentials of ‘just letting go’ and ‘going with God’s flow’. But it isn’t really, in fact sometimes it is the essence of Love. After all… as the sinner once ruefully noted…

Jika (If)
Jika kamu tidak ingin
Berjabat tangan
Dengan kesabaran,
Usahlah kamu katakan
Yang kamu mencintaiku,

Jika kamu tidak ingin
Berkenalan dengan
Kamu katakan,
Yang diri ini,
Kamu kasihi?

If you do not desire
To befriend patience,
Do not say unto me
That you love me.

If you do not wish
To make acquaintance
With responsibilities,
Then why, pray tell,
Do you say that,
It is I,
Whom you truly love?

So you see? It is all about love after all. Just like a good Sufi would say. If you find one tell me. After all, sinners are what Sufis are made for.

Have a nice Sunday, pet.

Pax Taufiqa.

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