Monday, December 11, 2006

Disgning My Way Forward

by Shaun Michael Samaroo
After reading Edward de Bono's book 'New Thinking For The New Millennium' today and Paul Zane Pilzer's essays on the new economic climate available to people today, I have learned so much.
I have learned that I can design my future. And I am trained as a Journalist, which means that I can use my media talents and skills and experience to teach people about how they can improve the quality of their lives.
Pilzer stressed that the world today demands 'wellness' - or quality of life. And he said that this new century would see people want understanding. So a whole industry has opened up for people who can teach others about ways to improve their quality of life.
As a Christian, de Bono's concept of designing the future resonates with my presuppositions. I believe that I am created in the image and likeness of God. And God according to the Bible is the Designer, the creator, the Constructor of the "heavens and the earth".
So therefore I am a designer, an engineer, a constructor, a creator. As a human being, I have the astonishing potential to design my future, to engineer the way forward for my life. I do not have to subject myself to circumstances and situations and peer pressure and conventional thinking. I have to learn to think creatively, constructively and to employ what de Bono calls "design thinking" in my life.
My life is in my hands, and I can choose what my future is going to be if I engineer the way forward. This engineering process calls for solid choices, for sound decisions. This is why I must continue to study and learn about the world and about myself and about God, so that in my choices I can make the most informed decision.
Like an engineer constructing a hydropower project, I have to plan the architecture of my life, dig out the river bed so that the water that is my contribution to society can flow more powerfully and freely forward, and have enough boundaries to channel the water - my life - in a forward, progressing and advancing direction.
Reading the ideas of these two guys has added a lot to what has already been going on in my mind. I have realized that I have to work to maintain good physical health, to continue to develop a sound mind by reading good books and talking to sound minded people, to pray and study the Bible everyday, and to develop and execute a financial plan.
I have developed a passion for what some people call a "presupposition theory" of life. This is to say that I believe that if people can change their presuppositions - the basic assumptions in their sub-conscious mind that dictates how they react to life - then they can live more empowered, fulfilling and rewarding lives. Quality of life, therefore, depends on one's presuppositions.
But presuppositions interact with context - the social, emotional, intellectual and spiritual atmosphere that constitutes one's space, or environment.
So people must develop ways and means of engineering, of designing their context: their social, psychological and emotional space. And people must develop daily habits that develop their presuppositions along what I believe is the best way to live - the Judeo-Christian way.It is not that I have the answer to life's issues, but I have discovered, I believe, a way for people to live better, for them to enjoy a better quality of life.
These ideas of mine I have to teach in a motivating yet entertaining way, and have people adopt them.One technique I am starting to grasp is the role-playing method. This is where learning becomes a fun activity for those involved.
I want to develop role playing games for families and groups to daily carry out the following four activities: 1. Reading good literature such as poetry and the classics2. Studying the Bible and praying3. Exercising and developing a preventative health lifestyle4. Entrepreneurial activity to improve financial well being.
I really believe that I have a responsibility as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ to teach as many people as possible how to improve their quality of life. I want to teach people to engineer their future, to design their lifestyle in such a way that they know peace and joy and kindness and love.
I want to teach people through my books (fiction and non-fiction), my video documentaries, my websites, my newspaper and my seminars.
The world today is crying out for one thing - understanding. If I can open the eyes of people, using just words as my tool, just as God uses His Word to direct us into eternal life, then I can really enjoy my life here on earth.This lifestyle would be living out the commandment of in the Bible to teach His righteousness to people. Righteousness means the right way, as detailed in the laws, commandments and statutes of the Word of God according to the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can be like a tree planted by a river, where people can come and pick good fruits and eat and have their well-being.I have a healthy dissatisfaction with the mundane life of work and pay bills. I suffer a lot financially for this. But I am holding on, in determination, that I can design my future forward.
I have started with this wonderful and motivating advice from Pilzer and de Bono.
Life is all about what we leave as our legacy. And we do not leave material gain, or the education we put in our heads, or the good times we have had. What we leave behind, what lasts for eternity, is our sharing, our contribution to people around us.
How do we affect the lives of others, allowing them to live better, helping them to achieve quality of life - well-being?
This is my goal. And I pray that God would grant me the grace to improve as many people's lives as I can.I will start by visiting shelters and senior citizens homes in the Toronto area and giving motivational talks. This way, I want to help the least among us to rise up and shine. If I can succeed at this, then I am unto something good. My life would be fruitful and fulfilling.
HOME Copyright @2005 Shaun Michael Samaroo
Designing my way forward

My Life As A Metaphor

by Shaun Michael Samaroo
My life is a metaphor. Since I was born in the late '60's to now, ever the past 30-odd years, I have lived as an enigma to myself, and to the world. But my life is a metaphor of what? This is the question that dogs me into a state of near futility.
I hope that by writing this I can move closer to decipher what this metaphor is about.
For example, let's take today. Here I sit in front of this too-bright computer screen in a cold, dark but very nice and clean basement apartment in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Everything around me is comfortable except the semi-darkness, the chilly air, and a slight gnawing hunger in my stomach.
Though I am at peace with myself and the world, I have this huge crisis hanging over my head. Immigration Canada has forced me into a kind of underground living for the past week, as I decide where in the world to settle and build my future as a global citizen. To continue living in Canada, I have to battle with Immigration Canada to become a permanent resident here. I have neither the money nor the will for such a fight.
I am not at all motivated to spend my days pursuing the economic dream of the Canadian life. I would much rather live in the Caribbean and write books. But then how do I make my living there? How do I feed and house and entertain myself? How do I live at peace while I research and study the human condition so I can write with depth and innovative originality?This is the dilemma that I face today.
And today is a microcosm of my life as a human being living here and now in this year 2006.
Facing this momentous decision that will shape my destiny and destination from tomorrow onwards, I can only turn to what my heart truly desires - to write.
The Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in Toronto has failed me, miserably. I have a great big grouse against the leadership of the Church, because for the past ten years I have tentatively reached out to pastors and people who pronounce to the world that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Saviour, but my grasping hands have found nothing.
I grasp at straws. These people give me straws to cling to, and desperate as a drowning man, I cling to whatever they offer me, but find that I still sink. They let me go, some even crying, but none jumping into the raging stormy waters of life to risk all for my rescue.
The kindness and love that the Bible promised me that the Church leaders would give me never became the truth. Yet I feel no bitterness - to them or to Christ. I feel only a profound sadness.
For if this is the best that humanity has to offer each other, if this is the promised warmth and comfort of the loving hands of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ, if this is the material comfort and blessings of a country like Canada, then the global population is in a terrible state.
The human condition in this the Knowledge Age of technological wonder is desperately doomed. I stand here in shocked sadness.
I stand at the junction of highest peak to which the human being can aspire. And what I see, what I have found, makes me weep in frustrated disappointment.
My life is a metaphor of the failings of human civilization. I feel this deep in my bones - this great big disappointment. When I was a child I dreamed. As an adult in the prime of my life I face the dread of a world order that reaches not into the glories of wondrous achievement, but towards dark clouds of despair.
What do I do? I have decided to write about it, to document my life as a metaphor and a warning and a prophetic cry to my fellow human beings. We can do better. This should not be not the life of a person living in one of the best societies ever to exist in human history..
A person, my Bible tells me, is created in the image of God. Created to create, to "take dominion of the earth, to subdue" and cultivate and tame nature for my benefit, for my joy and peace and the flourishing of my creative potential. I am a spiritual being trapped in the material world. I am being limited to live as an economic slave. And this my writing is a protest, my beating against the cage walls that trap me into the world of the economic imperative.
I am a metaphor of this raging perpetual warfare between my innate creative potential, and the masters who trap me in this little space, demanding that I be their economic slave and move only under their terms and conditions.
My foreparents faced this terrible weight a couple hundred years ago, and boarded a British ship in colonial India to seek answers in a far-away place called Guiana where promises of El Dorado lured Sir Walter Raleigh. My foreparents moved and battled their way through the harshness of British imperialism. They procreated, as they were born to do. My grandparents still live on land those foreparents bent their backs in hard labour to own.
But my parents got fed-up of that life, and moved on, looking to the promises of a new civilization under an independent nation.My generation saw the dream of my parents dissolve into a grave nightmare, and we ran.
We migrated to the American Dream. Only, Gatsby was a myth.

Copyright @2006 Shaun Michael Samaroo

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Ashtray

The Ashtray

A Literary Fictional Short Story by Shaun Michael Samaroo
written at Georgetown, Guyana in 1995

STUPID woman. All she keeps doing is smoking and smoking that stuff! Why doesn’t she just drop dead. You’d think she would kind of close her lips and stop dragging thick white smoke into her mouth. All she does is pour thick white smoke out of her nostrils. And every now and again her finger would oh! sooo delicately dispatch gray flakes of ashes in a wood astray. It’s sick! Her next of kin, a little boy, stared at her in wonder.
What I find even more disgusting is the manner she employs in smoking her lungs to death. Without a stick you’d probably think she’s on a jet set for heaven or something. She looks so alluring, so charming, so pretty and sophisticated!
And she’s white. I mean everything about her is white. Pure lily white. Jezebel purity pours from her pores. Her hands are smooth and white, clean and spotless. Those hands must have soaked up literally a hundred bottles of white skin cream. Her fingers are crowned with artistic-painted white nails spotted with corpuscles of red dots. She sits majestically, a proud peacock inhaling her pleasure with great pomp and ceremony. Her hand sways and moves gently, imitating maybe a ballet dancer in the full flight of her trained body. Her amazing fingers seem hardly to touch the delicate two-inch pure white god of her life. She very consciously pukes her blood-red lips into a surprised O. The lips then very sensuously embrace the pure white god and she sucks in, ever so gently. Then she sways her hand back to rest again on her white silk dress as it rides her leg. Slowly, with great delight, she pours the whiteclean smoke from her nose into the air, perfuming any audience who chooses to grace her presence. It’s astonishing that the interior blackness of her smokestink lungs translates into such external whiteness. From her shoes to her hair the woman is a picture of respectability. Her perfection is absolutely complete. To the tip of her nails she literally exudes confidence and poise and sophisticated training. To what end?
I suppose sitting here criticizing that woman is a sick thing to do, too. But we all waste time anyway. Whoever invented time, and why ever? She’s passing time turning herself into a pile of useless gray ash, and I pass time criticizing her. What else is there to do?
We are on this long journey, each alone and occupied with our self. The plane softly traverses the clouds of the heavens, and we sit like little dummies, occupied with our self. Makes me remember the robotics industry, you know this high-tech industry where the Japanese and Americans and Europeans are racing each other inventing robots to be our servants? I hope those do not become infected with smoking! Cars have.
My woman friend there pushes shut (with no noise at all) the automatic astray on the plane-seat and opened her handbag with two fingers, deftly.
She takes out a polished gleaming jewel case. The next second her head is bent secretively forward. Her neck is long and slender and soft…oh, must she! She has another pure white god in her sensuous red mouth. The gall of the woman!
The end of the stuff obligingly glows red and relaxes in triumph. Then a quarter inch of soft gray ash miraculously appears at its end. She blinks at it cutely and deposits it in the ashtray. I watch her. She takes another delightful pull, not a sweat breaking from her sky smooth white face. Her teeth are privileged, given her smoking habit, as white and gleaming as her manicured nails. Out of those gleaming white teeth, the ashtray becomes a volume of newly created gray ash. She keeps forcing the light ash into a powdery compact, the ashtray pathetic in its lack of protest, like the dead piled rotting into the fertile earth.
When will this stupid journey end? We’ve been flying high nearly 2000 minutes now (according to the planes clock counter on the monitor keeping track of the journey over the world, by the minute). Nobody is really interested where they are this minute in the world, or where they may be the next minute. Everybody wants the journey to give pleasure. That’s the idea. Few want it to end.
Maybe that’s because nobody really knew where the journey was gonna know, that woman fascinates me: I can’t help myself staring at her, despising her and admiring her. She looks like she can give a guy the world of pleasure…but, really, her end is nothing but a pile of gray ash melting into white vapor pouring from her puked red lips and smooth white nose.
She coughs. The plane suddenly bucks forward. The pilot’s voice caresses the ear with its dignified oratorical flourish, to remind passenger that we are traveling through rough, cold weather and there would be some “turbulence”-a lurch forward and the pilot’s female voice, with such an amazing, arresting accent, warns everyone to keep on the seat-belt, like she was preaching a sermon on Sunday morning at a church service: No problem, you won’t die, you’re in heaven. You know, that kind of nonsense.
I seem to be on the wrong side of the world. This morning at our airport back in Guyana I had to endure the stinkness of the stupid place. Sheets of white rain were pelting down on Guyana, and the parking space at the airport was a quarter inch under water. Some mad man had this brilliant idea to empty all the garbage bins on the tarmac, and his cohort the stray dog gleefully spread the filth all over the tarmac. No one bothered to clean the mess up and the stench was awful. I felt sick just looking at the place. Worse than that, the instant the pure white raindrops hit the ground, the water became contaminated with this filth. So that when you put your neatly polished shoes in the water, they become instantly loathsome.
And the road back in Guyana is so terrible - it drives you to hell and back. The car bounced into one of these craters (I think only Haitians or Somalians or Rwandans will know what I am talking about).
There was this shattering of the exhaust pipe against what I guess may be the edge of the hole, and I had to endure a terrifying backfiring noise in my drive to the airport. White smoke poured out the back of the car, and several other drivers cursed my old wreck when they sped past my machine.
Why in hell do people curse? I mean it’s worse than being that mangy stray dog pulling a rotten dead rat across the airport tarmac. That dog won’t curse you. He may bite, but filth won’t come out of his mouth. The problem with us people, I suppose is that we have descended below the stray dog. There you go. The mad man, skin drenched, yet dirty and filthy as the garbage can he is cleaning, curses the poor dog. (The dog’s skin is far cleaner too). It looks dolefully at the man, wags its tail and wimps at him. But the man grabs stale bread, stuffs it in his mouth and kicks at the dog, yelling unrepeatable curses at it.
You know, that’s what we have descended to in life. Look at this woman now. There she goes! The plane jumps forward and she grabs with her free hand unto the front seat, softly whispering a four-letter f-word. Curse all the while, woman, it will stop, you stupid bit! Chump away at your white god and spew filth from your lovely lips.
What can come out of her bowels but corrupt words, smoke and flesh and blood?
But why do I find life such a depressing spectacle? Like that plane wing that balances the machine in perfect union with the forces that cause it to transport us through time and space, humans are on a balancing act. Only, the machine is superior to us: we are outweighed, lopsided; the plane is not.
The two wings of our existence are: doing good on one side and doing evil on the other: being godly on one and ungodly on the other: being divine, like God who made us in His image on the one hand, or animalistic, you know, doglike, like the devil who corrupts us, on the other hand. We’re a people worse than animals, worse than that stray dog. Our mouth produces filth; our insides are rotten, black and sagging sickeningly. We cover this dirty graying, black stinkness with aesthetics, morality, concern for the environment and population explosion and abortion and religion and worthy causes and poverty and world hunger and war and peace and…
We wear ostentatious clothes and make up our faces and smooth our skins and eat tasty foods and have endless pleasure mixed with sorrow, and we call this life. We are simply lower in stature than animals; filth issues out of our mouth, and we communicate corruption. Why not shut your filthy mouth woman? It’s better not to communicate at all. Who would have thought being dumb is a blessing?
The plane made a sudden smooth dive and beeline and I stare out gloomily at the graying clouds floating outside around us. The woman slams her ashtray shut and grips her seatbelt, all the time whispering curses. The child next to her is calmer, staring at the frightened woman with innocent eyes, screwing his face down at her incomprehensible curses.
Thick white smoke bellows from the back of the plane and draws a neat white line across the graying clouds. Far, far below a city in Canada bustles. You can see the long neat colorful lines of vehicles crawl snaking their way to the commercial centre of some city where money grips people with morale-boosting immediacy, importance and impatience. Money - the great motivator of contemporary man. Freud said sex is the ultimate driving force behind man’s every action. I wonder what he would say inspires that woman? The sex urge? No. Women have a more subtle driving force, like the serpent; sly as a fox. Women want to be god. That’s their ultimate inspiration. Everyone must bow to them. Serve them. Lust for them. Give them.
The woman who is absorbing my flight time quickly, silently and with relief lit another of her stuff. She opens the ashtray and pokes more ash, gently, down its throat. She pulls furiously at the white stick with her lovely red mouth and taps ash into the ashtray with her white nails. It is her preoccupation.
I lean over to her. “Can’t you stop smoking?” The plane belches forward and the woman jerks towards me, her head coming within inches of my smiling face. She grimaces and looks at me blankly.
“What the hell are you talking about?” she manages through clasped teeth, while soft wisps of white smoke float like the harsh clouds outside towards my eyes and mouth and nostrils. I breathe in deeply; unable to hold my breath. The woman’s incredibly lovely. I stare at her and lapse into silence, jolting back into my seat.
There is just no communication between what the soul demands of us and the desires of the body we live in. The astray is spilling gray ash on the floor and all the woman can say is; “what!?” Understanding: that’s our great failing.
Even at this point of the plane’s erratic behavior, no one really thinks we are heading for doom, for certain death. Every second on that clock counter ticking loudly over the pilot’s cabin door is a step closer to that final drift off into nothing. Death will claim us one day. People fear the turbulence, but no one expects the worst. We all expect the best. Should we be fatalists, or is it okay to be optimistic, even when the rational evidence points the other way?
“Passengers are reminded to keep their seat-belts tightly buckled,” the smooth, calm voice of the pilot warns. Her voice, like that of the fabulous TV news anchor who made the fact that 1200 people had died on a tragic flooding in China sound like a bad picnic day, soothes one into comfort. The woman relaxes in her seat. She smiles at the boy and pats his head gently, then opens her gleaming jewel case and extracts another white stick. ‘Thank God for the relief!’ her fabulous face says.
But the reality soon has her in spasms of nervous fidgeting as the plane rises and falls, tilts and sways. The pilot’s voice calmly soothes the nerves of the passengers, their facial expressions reflecting now the one persuasion of reality – fear – then the other given to them by the trained voice of the pilot –don’t worry folks. The emotional switching must cause a severe strain on their nervous systems, as they keep emotionally in tune with the uneasy plane.
Suddenly, the ashtray empties its gray contents on the woman’s feet. She curses and starts to wriggle her shoes. Obviously, the ashes are filling up the tiny spaces in her shoes, and soiling her stockings. She picks up the wooden ashtray from the floor and dusted it out, gently placing it back into the plane seat handle. Then she calls the airhostess for a drink of alcohol. Inside the ashtray is a thin film gray coat of tiny ash particles. Is the ash a created product or a symbol of destruction at it worst?
I dare not ask the woman. She’d think I am not, well, mad, but completely insane. So here I am … with a big grouse against the world and wondering where we are heading. Actually, I’m on my way to the developed world of North America. I guess everyone is a bit excited at the prospect of setting foot on the Holy Land, symbolized for us by the materialism of America. But we are preoccupied with the plane’s alarming erratic course, comforted only by the trained voice of the female pilot who is absolutely convinced everything will be okay.
My woman friend there seems more agitated than the other passengers, yet she’s the most glamorous.
Success as a human being in her contemporary world simply oozes out of her pores. She looks at me and smiles, a warm beautiful smile which leaves a guy wondering if he can have a chat with her later on…the plane suddenly dips and the ashtray slams shut, just as the woman deposits her burnt out white god into it.
We all become absorbed by the act of balancing our emotions between the pilot’s voice and the bouncing plane, gripping our seat handles, then relaxing in ecstatic relief, some even pleasure. No one notices that a small wisp of smoke has begun to escape form the closed ashtray. I grip my seat, staring at the woman being comforted by her little boy.
Then, suddenly, her sparkling glass of alcohol slipped from her hand and drenched her clothes and feet.
The smoke from the ashtray suddenly becomes noticeable as it obscures the woman’s lovely lips in a kind of mysterious mist. Even now we are not aware what is happening. Then a small flame leaps out of the seat handle and the woman screams, a tight sound of agony. She covers her mouth with her hands, quickly taking them away and staring at the red splotch of lipstick that had transferred from her lips to the hand. An airhostess skids down the aisle and lashes furiously at the ashtray with clean white apron. But the flame suddenly engulfs the wooden ashtray in a ball of fire. By now passengers are speechless with shock and the woman has become a whimpering animal. The fire starts to die down and people begin to breathe easier. The ashtray is burnt black and begins to crumble. Ash has begun to fly into the hair of the woman and unto her clothes, but she no longer cares to brush it away. Her eyes are fixed unseeing as the destruction of her pleasure-giving ashtray continues unmercifully. In an instant, in one quick flash of a flame, the ashtray becomes a pile of ash on the floor, mixing and disintegrating among the ash of the woman’s slick white sticks she has only moments ago reduced to…ashes.
The pilot’s voice, unaware of the small commotion at the back, continues to soothe her passengers, as the plane’s bucking becomes more intense. Passengers soon forget the pile of gray ash scattering into oblivion on the clean floor of the plane, as they once more concentrate on the journey. The woman begins to fidget nervously, not daring to continue her trail of ashes. But the plane suddenly nose-dives and she screams. The pilot again soothes her passengers, informing us this time that she would have to make an emergency landing because of bad weather. But be calm, there would be no trouble. But it was too much for the woman. She held up a book and looking at me suspiciously, lit one of those stupid white stuff. Can’t she learn? Not wanting the other passengers to see her, she drags in smoke deeply and gradually exhales. She completes her intake in less than 30 seconds. Then she drops the cylindrical, crumbling ashes and the butt on the floor, covering it with her soft suede shoe.
The plane begins its descent. The woman relaxes and we all wait for this irritating interruption to our journey to a place we do not know to end.
As the plane rushes towards the ground, the woman screams: the carpet under the seat below her is on fire. No one can get up to aid her and she cannot move because the plane is in vertical decline. Everyone watches helplessly, in horror at the heavy turbulence outside, and as the fire leaps and catches the woman’s silk dress. Fuelled by the spilled alcohol, the flames sear across her screaming body and someone throws a towel at her. Her flailing hands knock it aside and the flame takes a couple of minutes to devour her dress. Her hands grab the nearly burnt ashtray and she pelts it down the aisle. As the plane levels off on the ground and people swarm at her side, dousing the flame, ash from her burnt belongings spew all over the place.
Her unconscious body fall out of the seat when an old man releases the seat-belt and she slides to the floor, as the plane comes to a smooth rest on the widest airstrip, the most beautifully decorated place, I’ve ever seen. Mixing with the gray ashes, rescuers soon clean up the place and the woman is ferried to a hospital with severe first-degree burns. I would never hear of her again.
The gray ashes – a mixture of black and white, which blends into nothing – left their mark on my consciousness long after that journey. I am, I discover, powerless against its assault. That’s the power of the ashtray. In a matter of minutes, a woman I had admired and criticized, and who had preoccupied my time, was no more – a pile of gray ash swept out to the wind to be remembered no more. Our life is a black and white journey into grayash nothing.

Copyright Shaun Michael Samaroo 1995

The Caring Flower Prince

A Fictional Short Story
December 9, 2006

The Caring Flower Prince

by Shaun Michael Samaroo
Every morning the soft dawn sunlight spreads its magic: it lights up that part of the garden that is most dark at nights. And from that dark wicked corner of that jungle world I see the bright sparkly yellow sunflower beaming across the tall, green, rowdy weeds, beckoning me! Yes, beckoning me - to that danger zone.

Sunflower there waves at me with great provocation from outside the hedges that guard us precious creatures. We live inside the hedges of the beloved, well-kept garden. Miss Sunflower belongs to a different world. All bright and beautiful and gaily skipping her radiance under the sun’s attractive light, she stands tall and majestic in her unruly, corrupted world of weeds and un-pruned trees and bush – the jungle world. Yet, daily, I stand awestruck, spellbound, hypnotized in her mystical trance.

The Gardener comes in softly as the sun dawns, walking gingerly among us delicate flowers as he tends to us. He keeps the garden looking beautiful, a place of aesthetic music and wonder. We are his shining jewels, groomed and gently nurtured till we become the envy of all the world’s flowers and plants and trees. We are the elites of the earth’s flora. Oh yeah, he spends an enormous amount of time and thought to keep us beautiful and delicate and well kept.
And right next to me are others of such fabulous flawlessness that I feel like a prince in this my flowery kingdom. This garden oozes beauty, from its very pores, and brilliant, colourful flowers keep me company. Oh I have a good life. Everything is so pure and clean and cool. Right next to me is my beloved Poinsettia. Poinset and I have formed a bond. I know Poinset. Poinset knows me. Poinset and I connect. Poinset and I know each other well. Poinset and I belong to this world. Poinset and I own our piece of this eternal bliss. Oh, Poinset loves me. Poinset lives for me. I am Poinset’s adorable darling. And the Gardener has his eyes on Poinset and me: he wants to graft her pretty perfect floweriness with my seeds to form a new class of flowers. Oh, we would make an addition to the world’s botany treasures that would give birth to whole new pleasures for those garden lovers. They would plant us and grow us and nurture us and celebrate us and show us off and sell our unique seed so that we would populate new ground all over the earth. Oh, the possibilities!

But every morning instead of glorying in my good fortune, I stare in deep wonder at Sunflower. I want to crawl out of my perfectness, go over to the creeping hedges and sneak through to embrace her magic, to taste the burning passion of her bright yellow loveliness. Something stirs in my deep inner self every time I see her dark world come into my view. I know the wicked weeds would suffocate me. I know if I dare tread there I would lose the nurturing care of the Gardener. I would not survive the torture of living in that wild jungle – a place of sudden wildfires, crashing trees in those storms of thunder and lightning, wild grass and harsh flies and bugs. Sunflower strives in this atmosphere. She glows as she towers above the wild, being canny enough to grow and dwell far enough away from the trees and wild weeds that she could fully absorb the sunlight.

Why do I find her so attractive, so alluring? She is absolutely forbidden fruit for a flower like me. What can we do together? She wants to bask in the sunlight but be rooted in the hard ground of the jungle life. I cannot find root there. I bask in the sunlight too, but can we only stare at each other across the space, with no possibility of embracing? Can our seed never form a new flower family for botanists and flower lovers in gardens the world over to appreciate and enjoy? She is forbidden because she is rooted in soil that is deadly. I fear that one day I may wake up and find Sunflower gone, withered away and dried and lost, cold to the heat of her sun. That scares me. I want to save her, to bring her into my space, into my safe world where nothing can hurt. In my world she can know the bliss of really basking in the sun. From my position, the sun cannot dry me out, cannot harm me. My Gardener takes care of me. He brings the shade to me when the harsh world threatens my well-being. When the sun rises to that burning midday heat, no one gives my Sunflower shade.

And so I spend my days longing in my heart for this up-start, lost Sunflower. I long not for Poinsettia. She’s okay. She has the Gardener at her side every minute, tending her, caring for her, loving her. And she celebrates her own perfectness. She loves it, shunning any other flower that is not as satisfied as her. Poinsettia scorns Sunflower, because Sunflower “is of the jungle”.

Poor Sunflower. Beckoning to me: alluring and mystical in her distant perfectness. But forbidden.

I live with this longing. I grasp at that beckoning mystique. I build in my imagination the myth of Sunflower’s being: that there is a reachable allure. And this illusive magic leaves me sad and alone. In my perfect world I stand in my longing with drooping head and a weighty stem. I desire that which is forbidden, that I am not supposed to grasp and taste. And everything else becomes meaningless.

Yet any day that I choose to cross over the threshold of that forbidden hedge, I would sacrifice my own nurturing and tender caring from the Gardener. Is the moment of blissful embrace with Sunflower worth my self-destructive pain in losing my Gardener and my Poinsettia and my blissful eternal garden?

In the dancing heat of the sun, Sunflower sways like a slow ballet dancer on a stage screen, flowing in white silkiness, elusive to the touch from her audience held in hypnotic trance. I watch fascinated, every day, as her mystical magic weaves its way into the core of my being, leaving me powerless to find my perfect life inspiring and pleasurable.

The longing. The desire. The imagination. The mystic magic of her myth. I am captivated in her lostness.
That lostness is a forbidden experience to us in the garden. In the wild world of that jungle life the lostness of inevitable self-destruction floats far above us in thin unreachable air, out of the environment of us garden flowers. And I stare at the passing grey cloud and stretch my innocent hand grasping for its touch, longing to capture for it the gift of eternal presence – in my space. I want that beauty not to be elusive. I want to hold it dear and guard it and take care of it: to bring it to the Gardener’s attention. But Sunflower is too far from me for me to know that her beauty is transient. Fading with every sunrise into withering nothingness. I want to capture it before that moment arrives.
Why do I have to sacrifice my space and my flower friendly environment to embrace Sunflower? Why? What’s wrong with this experience that we are created apart like this, separated by that forbidden hedge? Who takes care of Sunflower? Who tends to her in the harsh heat of her world, and nurtures her and comforts her? Who understands her deeper being? In my own caring, why do I sacrifice my own self in saving Sunflower?

Sunflower did not choose that environment of harsh self-destruction. It just happened. Born into a world of jungle destructiveness. But I care. I care for Sunflower. And in that caring, I self-destruct. But then maybe my Gardener will see worth in nurturing Sunflower’s environment and bring it into our garden if he sees my seed suddenly growing there. Maybe I would be destroyed if I go embrace Sunflower, but she would be saved! The Gardener could extend the hedges to include her section of the world.

So risking my own bond with Poinsettia; risking my eternal blissful perfectness, which in fact has eluded my awareness after Sunflower caught my attention; risking my Gardener’s tender care and nurture; risking my own self; knowing I am risking it all in that moment of caring, I decide to spread myself across the hedges. I want to embrace this lost flower that beckons me into dangerous ground. The jungle may claim my innocence, but Sunflower will have a chance. I give myself. I sacrifice. I bring into the garden of life the beauty that stands outside not knowing the essence of this eternal bliss. I exist for this task of extending the garden atmosphere into the jungle world out there. In that I lose myself – a flower that withers and dies, but gives its life to a jungle weed created like me to glow and bask in eternal bliss.

Copyright Shaun Michael Samaroo 2006