Little pieces of paper

Little pieces of paper are sprinkled throughout my days.

I tend to note instructions as I have the hardest time remembering them, let alone understanding them. So I write them down on little pieces of paper: a childlike drawn map of the way to an appointment, the exact address, the items I need to get at the market, the recipe for a dish, the instructions for the rice cooker, and so on…

Mind you, I have been making crêpes for decades and yet, every time I make the dough, I have to check my little recipe notebook and keep it open until I am done.

Maybe it is why I prefer to walk quietly in a forest with no particular purpose, rather than go to an appointment; or cook a dish that relies on an acute sense of smell and a love of colours, rather than measurements.

Everyday I use tricks to pretend I can follow instructions, little pieces of paper tucked inside my pocket.

But life… it comes without instructions and I have no pieces of paper to help me. There is no “mode d’emploi.”

So I also use tricks to pretend I am here, that I understand what others tell me, that I relate to them even if I am often baffled by the hollowness of it all. Accompany me one day to pick-up my son from school, and drop on a parents’ conversation, you may then understand. So I just smile, say a few insipid words and check the door to see if my son is coming out. The same applies to most situations.

Some may think it is sad to be so exiled from the world, to fail to be engaged in social niceties. I admit it has its downside.

And yet most of the time, I find that to be absent from the world is a blessing. Silence and solitude are most comforting when you consider the amount of absurdities that surrounds us on a daily basis. My absence takes away nothing from the world; and it enables me to see the details that often go unoticed and, at times, have some of the most enlightened exchanges with perfect strangers or a dandelion. You know what I mean if you have read my poetry.

So I will remain as I am, taking life one day at a time. I will be the one strolling along museum corridors aware of the discreet light emanating from a painting, or walking down the street aware of the sparrows watching me from a balcony, and also the one standing in line at the supermarket aware that the lady in front of me cried all night.

I will remain quiet and will take in the beautiful and the tragic. Being absent allows it to happen. And then I might write about it on little pieces of paper and come here to share them with you.

Kenza.

Precious moments

 

Often times at the dinner table, my son and I talk about our day and we like to share one thing that happened that marked us because of its beauty, preciousness or simply because it touched us in a nice way.

So here is what my son, nine years old, has been telling me over the past eight days. It is in no order of importance, and none is more precious than another, they were equally precious at the moment in which they happened.

I wanted to share them because they speak of simple beauty, something we often forget about as we move along our days.

The sunset and the gold colors of the clouds.

That I answered my friend’s email.

The hot chocolate with the cappuccino milk you made me.

The music of Chopin I heard. — Chopin’s Piano Concerto No.2, Rubinstein at the piano.

When I saw your face as I came out of school on the first day back at school.

The rainbow.

The scent of Jasmine at night that we placed in a glass in the kitchen.

The rain, especially during the afternoon downpour and the noise it made as it hit the windows’ panes with the wind.

Lotus

In the large temple,
the gilded Buddha and Bodhisattva statues towered over me.
Their bodies stiff,
their eyes sharing nothing.

It is the lotus that spoke to me.
In silence,
it taught me humility
and simple beauty.

Kenza.

Inspired by a visit to the Jade Buddha Temple in Shanghai, China in June 2018. The same thing happened to me when I visited the giant Buddha in Kamakura, Japan, a few years ago. It was in a rose tilting under the weight of rain drops that I found serenity, not the giant metal statue.

I do not

I do not write about lingering sunsets, falling blossom petals, the light in the early morning or even about birds taking flight.

I do not use metaphors either. Using the beauty of the world to describe emotions, renders all things oh … just so so banal.

There is no need to trap beauty into words and fancy imagery, forcing it to jump through loops of twisted grammatical constructs.

As for emotions, if you love, if you feel sad; just say it! No need for the rain to take the place of your tears. Your tears are beautiful just as they are.

In this self-centered world, where poetry is measured in hits and likes, as though it was a piece of furniture, I admit to finding little solace in the words of others.

So I lean back on the old Masters like Verlaine and Kobayashi and Hafez and Pushkin and Wang Wei and Victor Hugo and Rumi and Li Pao and Neruda and Basho, and many others.

When I hold a book of their poetry, the world slows down, everything becomes tenderly subtle and I can then hear the silence of beauty.

Kenza.