For someone with thousands of followers, the Timekeeper is a very, very quiet community leader.

Sure, he does his share of talking when he teaches and receives guests. When they ask for his advice. When a behavior requires scolding. Or forgiving. He’ll say enough to reinstate equilibrium but nothing more.

And with all that time he spends in public, nobody really knows him. Nobody really knows if he prefers mayonnaise or ketchup, or when his feet hurt, or when his heart breaks, or that being at his age feels like an engine running on secondhand spare parts.

Nobody asks either. Partially because most folks are too engrossed in themselves, and partially because they know that he carries too heavy a burden to bother anyone else with it.

But when it comes to sentiments, sincerity and soundness of mind, nobody doubts the Timekeeper’s silence. Much like when nobody doubted Buddha’s teachings when he reformed meditation. Or Muhammad’s trustworthiness when his tribe called him a delusional liar.

For we all know that words and silences are redundant in proving absolute truths.

Are we not friends anymore?

No, we still are.

Are you going to stop loving me?

No, I still do.

We didn’t have sex when we dated, are we going to start now?

In your dreams, Hon.

So what’s the difference between dating and not? Just the relationship status?

====

Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future. — Lewis B. SmedesThat was pleasant. Maybe some folks are too old and tired for drama. Age does that to people, you know; teach you thing or two about letting go and healing. Older folks are too forgetful to expect permanence and remember too well that all wounds heal. Some folks are just lucky enough to have romance outweighed with age.

A breakup is not the end of future involvements, not the end of respect and kindness for each other. A breakup can be an acknowledgment of unconditional love, whatever is the relationship status.

If I could abstain from posting for this many days without offending you, why can’t I keep it up for a while longer, a while longer than I should?

Renunciation is not getting rid of the things of this world, but accepting that they pass away. ~ Aitken Roshi The most precious belongings are those attached to the straightforward “i”. I have, I want, I am. And conjugated enlargements of that “i”: My head, my hair, my team. My wife, my house, my iPad. Our children, our country, our religion.

How often have we justified hurting others who sleight the “Royally Majestic Highness of Me, Mine, and Ours”. The troubles and conflicts and miseries in the world begin with the false appraisal of that precious “i”: the Why Me Syndrome, the Anything But Our Prophet, the Brothers in Gaza…

(In fact, the prophet didn’t mind people calling him names, and (other than BIG talk) the immediate neighbors of Gaza don’t really care for Gazzawis.)

What if we remind ourselves that the “i” matters, but not THAT much? What if we learned to give up trying to become “i”mmortals? What if we value things and selves and relationships as they are? Not as we want them to be, or as we/they were once been.

It’s just a letter, man…if it’s so important, then it’d be understatedly and decisively working; whether alone or in a sentence or an epic.

Word?

Liberty: One of Imagination's most precious possessions.  ~ Ambrose Bierce I have fallen for you: The fact that you can make me happy, angry or sad with the flip of a hand infuriates me.

People don’t fall for just a bit. People always fall too much, too deeply, too fast. It’s just the thing with passion. I don’t call it love anymore; it’s self-enslavement. And it’s just ain’t right.

Isn’t that why they call it falling? We fall out of balance. We fall out of calm, boring and monotonous heavens to indulge a hormonal imbalance.

And we’ll believe it every time. We believe that every lover is different from the one before.  We keep falling in love with whatever we want to believe. We keep falling for the same reasons, the same set of qualities that we find completing ourselves.

(Don’t you know that you’ve been falling in love with the same person? They may have different names and forms, but basically they’re cheap replicas of the same core: Yourself).

True Love wasn’t supposed to stupefy. People aren’t supposed to love or to hate too deeply; because humans are too fragile to absorb the impact of a force so powerful as falling in love. Something will always break in the process. (What was it the last time: our heart, sweat, or bank account?)

And important things will get lost in return for too little. We lose functionality. We lose composure. We get lost. Instead of living for worship, we worship the living; failing our cause for life. We even justify it. We justify our heartbreaks and sacrifices for mortals by selectively forgetting what is important.

Fuck that. Nobody should have that kind of freedom and power over anyone else.

Fine, call me a coward for running.

But don’t you know that in my exile, I’m light? I am physically apart from the bondages of rapture, from the overdrive to embrace and shower you with passion. For at least in exile, noncommittal cowardice can be reinterpreted into other things. At least in exile, I can think. I can move. I can write. And believe again in an immortal god.

In this dispassionate, detached and dry solitude, I am free.

PS. Have you seen “Up in the Air”?

PPS. Thanks for the approval.

The destiny of the world is determined less by the battles that are lost and won than by the stories it loves and believes in. -Harold Goddard

Hemingway once said that retelling facts do not make a story, it makes a report. A good story is always true, as far as the storyteller’s experience and wisdom can reach. A writer has to make up the stuff that facts fail to tell, in order for the story to become true.

For instance;

Scene 1:

Indonesian, male, Mid-twenties to early thirties, lives in Indonesia, has a French girlfriend, only socializes with other Caucasians, speaks a cocktail of European of languages, has only graduated from elementary school.

What’s his life story? Why does he only hang out with Caucasians? Aren’t his fellow countrymen good enough to entertain him?

Possible explanations: It’s a matter of survival. If he doesn’t network heavily with tourists, and adds reasons for them to trust him by having a French girlfriend, he won’t eat.

Scene 2:

Saudi, male, early-to-mid thirties, married with kids, lives and works in Australia, supports innovative Saudis, writes about Saudi in both Arabic and English, but does not seem to want to live in Saudi in the near future.

What’s his life story? Why is he not living in Saudi if he’s so obsessed about it that he keeps a handful of blogs about Saudi society?

Possible explanations: It’s a matter a survival. He’s a natural artist. In Saudi, he had to choose between a corporate job or live on charity for the sake of his art. He had to choose between money and art. In Australia, he could have both. One for love, the other for sanity.

Scene 3:

Border guard captain, age unknown, spent his life standing up for his adopted home, seen his race molested through the history of man, sees an armada of foreign ships approaching the borders of what he loves and protects. Thinks about the families and homes behind him. Makes a decision. Fires and kills 19 people.

Make up his story. Just remember:

"It's hard to hate anyone whose story you know." ~ Roslyn Bresnick-Perry

 
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