|April, 2010 @ Saturday..........
It was a beautiful Saturday morning. The beautiful morning sun burning yet windy as I walked along the path. "Its very far...right at the very corner" remarked the caretaker as he look at my palm written the block and log number where dad should be. "you might try to get somebody to send you there" he said again.
"its okay.. I can walk" as I turn to the direction he pointed short while ago and walk. This is one walk I would gladly take.
If only I have my camera with me, I might decide to take pictures of the each and every tombstone. Why on earth
would I want to take pictures of tombstones? I don't know. I have not the answer right now. Each tombstone is like a
person and each person is different from another. They tell a story. I like stories. They are the many web of things
that connect each and every one of us. I take pictures to capture the moment I might cherish later on. Its to remind me
of a moment in time, I am at that particular place, experiencing something I will never experience it again.
A walk in the cemetery is a walk among the dead. Even at death, Art presented its uniqueness. The Cemetery can be a unique art galleries of architecture and also a history lesson. There lies within are wealth of information about the people who are buried within. "Theres' nothing within there" hubby told me once, but only bones. "Yes.. only bones left. Bones of people who were once alive and living amongst us". There's many other bones all gathered here. IS there any different between the bones of a Malay, a Chinese and an Indian? If we're to mix them all together, will we be able to differentiate the bones of the Muslim, the Christian or a Hindu? But I'm not here today because of dad's bones. There's much more than just the bones but memories that lies buried within. I need to unearth them again so that I can move on.
We're born, we grown, we become old and we die.. That is the normal cycle of life, as I'm taught. As part of my early growing up, how often this head being reminded about death. Indeed how obvious it is. We're always bombarded with fears. We live with this constant fear that our heart too become so numb with fear. We do everything out of fear. Fears of hell. Fear of Death. Is death the end of everything?
Sammy ask me few days ago "What do you want for your birthday?" It took me a while to respond, and the first thing
that comes to me is "I want to go back to Singapore. I want to be alone... by myself"
"why" he asked again.
"Nothing... I want to visit Dad" He look at me strangely.
"The way you talk about your dad as if he is still alive. We all know he's dead. You must put him to rest. Let him go", remarked sue, my close associate several days later. I think they are right. Every time I tried to remember dad, this image of me sitting by his side holding on to his hand keep on coming back again and again. I am that daughter still by his bedside, holding on to him. Its time for me to let go of that hand, and let him to rest finally. Perhaps this is what I want to do..
"What you're clinging on are precious moment" said elder sister "Its hard to talk about him and not to cry".
But I'm not crying. I've stop crying for him the day he died. I have many memories of him and the image of me sitting
beside him, hanging on to his hand, watching him as he wasted away, is not the memories i want of dad. There must
be more, and they are buried somewhere there. I must find it.
"Do you want to know how I want my death to be?" I told one of my many online chat friends. "If only I know I'm going, I
want to be carried deep into the jungle, where there are wild animals. i want to be left there to die and my body eaten by the wild animals. Isn't that awesome. My body become the food for others. My death is another's living"
"So you don't want to be buried?"
"Why buried? Will it make any different if I'm burnt or buried. I'm dead. What is left is my physical being. What
happens is none of my concern. If they want to bury me, then bury any place. If there is no more place to bury, then burnt, this shell that is my body become ashes, and let it be blown away with the wind"
Why am i talking about death? Why people sometimes dosen't want to talk about death? Yes why.. talk. Death is such morbid and serious topic. People want to talk about living, not about death.
But does death only mean physical death? When our body stop to function. When our heart beat and our breath cease. That is DEATH? Death is when there is no fear? When we stop feeling the pain?
We create our own Pain.... This Self says : I am special You see. I have this profound knowledge and I am ready to
share with the whole world. This Self says : I have just wrote something fantastic and have posted in this forum.
This Self says : I just bought this beautiful, sexy looking dress, and I am going to wear it tonight for the party.
Everybody will go wow! What happen when the Self didn't get acknowledge as it expects, when the world don't give a damn to your knowledge. When people in the forum didn't bother to respond or praise your message, or when nobody pays attention to you as you walked into the party room? Or even worst they treat as if this Self didn't exist altogether? Its like being DEAD.
Then I like to be dead. Death bring forth a certain comfort that I will be left alone. Would I care if nobody remembers
me? Would I care if nobody take any interest in me? Would I care if they condemn me? Would I care?
"Look out for the light green tiles. We did the ceramic tiles sometime back" suddenly sis voice resurface penetrating through the flow of thoughts. And the sound.....the eyes began to look around. A man in red t-shirt on a motorbike passes by. He look at me and smile. I didn't respond. Look blankly at him. He look familiar, but I can't remember where. The face is the many faces I've seen before. Take note of the number plate and mentally register it. Will deal with this later on. Right now, its time with dad. That is why I'm here.
Drops of sweat flow profusely from my forehead and neck making me realise that I've been sitting here some time now. How long have it been? Does it matter? Looking up, the sun almost on top of my head, The heat building up. Looking around, the Cemetary looking deserted now. The family I saw earlier has gone.
The voices still lingers on at the back of my mind as I make my way out. The journey out is shorter it seems. Another man this time in light blue TShirt seen riding slowing on the same bike. The crowd at the nearby Chinese cemetery growing as its the last day of the Ching Ming Festival.
"you've been coming home late these few days" asked dad as I sat beside him at the living room. He was watching the wrestling on TV. One of his favourite programme. I love to watch him watching wrestling. Its very entertaining. His
hands and his legs moved as the wrestler tried to overpower each other. "you're up to something.?" his eyes not move from the TV as he spoke.
I smile... Excited as usual. "yes.. I am up to something. I have something to show you"
"wait.. until this program finish. Go and take your shower. Had your dinner? Then we talk okay"
:"so whats' is it that you wanted to show me?"
"look here dad." I took out my books and my file containing all the graphs.
"Commodity trading? You're doing commodity trading?"
"I'm learning how to do commodity trading. Its free . Isn't this great?" I remarked excitedly as dad flip through the pages of the book : Essentials of Commodity trading, then the graphs. "you wanna to tell me how you read the graph? And what type of commodity?" and so it goes. The conversation... The sharing and The enthusiasm on our new found knowledge .
"We must not stop learning...." his soft voice resurface , flowing through and the image of him sitting on the chair, by the coffee table in the living room, with his little note book and his dictionary, as he diligently write down the new words he just learn from the book he bought from the second hand book shop. That is dad.. his little note book and the dictionary. He has many dictionaries...The English-Japanese dictionary, The English-Spanish, The English- Italian,
The English-Mandarin and so the list goes on.
Now look at this word.. you've heard it before?"
"Look at the dictionary... what it says?" and I read it for him "lets create a sentence from the word. How many sentence can we create?.. with only one word, but have different application right. Each sentence gives you different meaning"
"yes dad you're right"