Heaven in a Wild Flower

I can’t remember when was the last time I wrote any poems or things in poetic form in English.  It was one of my hobbies back in college days.  I even published a little book ten years ago that has included some of my works.  I only printed 30 copies and almost all of them were given to my friends, teachers, acquaintances with interest in literature.  In the end there remained 2 copies but last year I decided to let them go and so they were probably ended up going to some anonymous dump site to spend the last part of their life.

It may sound cruel to do that to one’s own work. But after I gave them away, I realized they had already been something dead for me, some part of my life that has been closed already.  It can be said that those words mean nothing for me now.

However, a question remained: what really means to me now?  I have spent lot of time filling my time up with translation, taking time studying it and feeling frustrated along the way, struggling with the illusion of being needed in terms of what I am doing now, and all in all, I am still not answering this question: what really means to me now?

I have no idea, really.

Leaving the question aside, I can still feel the small pleasures in life: sharing a bag of instant black coffee with my mom; eating breakfast buffet with friends early in the morning; having hotpot in chilly days with friends; watching a tear-jerking movie; spending 4 minutes listening to a lovely song;  somewhere, sometime, recalling my vague impression about certain classic poetry quotes.

P1030737I recalled some famous lines from William Blake when I watched this photo that I took years ago.  Maybe lots of you still remember it: “To see a world in a grain of sand/ And a heaven in a wild flower/Hold infinity in the palm of your hand/And eternity in an hour." After more than a decade since I first read it, the meaning is still vague, but it’s still beautiful, just like this lotus flower here.  In a world that encourages us to pursue or catch something, and to earn a place in it, sometimes I just want to stand back and say,  “I just want to feel the moment I am living now."

But still there is a struggle: an implicit urge to do something, giving yourself an identity and labeling yourself with a function to the society, an urge to being thoughtful and considerate rather than thinking about one’s own need first and being thought as selfish and not likable.  It’s all these things that have become the last straw breaking the camel’s back.

I read those lines from Blake again and I realize a certain kind of peace is always there, resting within the arrangement of words. I don’t know when I can truly feel I see heaven in a wild flower, but all flowers, just like this one here, have their own wholeness, if you take time to look at them for a while.  They don’t need to pursue or catch anything outside of them; they don’t need to earn attentions and affections. They are just there, with themselves only.  Maybe heaven is a state of mind in which you don’t need to satisfy yourself with things outside of you.

And I hope such heaven is within reach for me, for you, and for everyone that is looking for inner peace.

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