This past week and more, I have been very reluctant to open my working email box, doing it every 3rd day or so just to delete rather than read. Since 2 Fridays ago, I have been feeling very much unsettled; my mind constantly preoccupied by matters, personal at that, but which are out of my control. And in doing that, the things which are within, are left much unattended. Quite like living sitting in a canoe that's moving down a rapid, but not wanting to do anything about it. Or caring.
Then I came across this chapter of a book I am reading. Nothing much, just some thoughts and reflections of a Brazilian writer by the name of Paulo Coelho, an author of some 12 books including 'The Alchemist" which I had just finished reading. The "Alchemist" by the way, I find it to be a very enjoyable tale of a boy searching for a treasure across the Sahara Desert, with a touch of mysticism that would enchant many a reader. It, is has a different writing flair than this book I'm reading. Off course, one is a tale of wander, while the other is not. Still, several chapters of this "Like the Flowing River" is quite a gem by itself. Like this particular chapter where I will reproduce 3 paragraphs which sort of woke me up from my stupor:
"People do not think very much about death. Thy spend their lives worrying about absurdities; they put things off, and fail to notice important moments. They don't take risks, because they think it's dangerous. They complain a lot, but are afraid to take action. They want everything to change, but they themselves refuse to change". - Quite true when you look at the results of the PRU12 where not enough Malays voted for the Pakatan Rakyat. Yet, they are the ones who are making most noise. Hmm...quite like what RPK wrote a few months back too.
"The Indians say: 'Today is as good a day as any to leave this world.' And a wise man once said:'Death is always sitting by your side so that, when you need to do something important, it will give you the strength and the courage that you need'. - When I reflect this back to a hadith, this is quite true; "Perform the solat as if you will die tomorrow. But work (hard and honest) as though you will live for a thousand years".
"I hope that you, dear reader, have got this far. It would be foolish to be frightened by death, because all of us, sooner or later, are going to die. And only those who accept this fact are prepared for life". - Somehow this para reminds me a drive along Karak Highway. I find the twisting mountain highway fascinating and rather romantic, perhaps because of the surrounding greenery and the cooling atmosphere. Upon negotiating a bend, my eyes caught a rather contrasting sight though. High on top of a ridge, stood a tall tree. Though its very sight cannot be said to be majestic, it stood tall distinguishing itself in a very prominent manner from all the other tress and plants around it. While it is very difficult to tell the difference between one tree and another, especially when one is driving, this tree seem to 'scream' of its presence, simply because it is dead. In a sea of green, the deathly brownish-dark colour of a tree which is more of a rotten wood, the tree stood tall - it, is more alive than the surrounding living trees.
When the morning sun comes around tomorrow, I don't know whether I will be dead or alive...none of us do. But I do know it will not make any difference; if I die, insyAllah, I will be buried as a Muslim and there's nothing more I can do. If however I do survive the night, then I have to continue fighting the deathly emotional transition of life I am going through, for there's an awful load of work to do. And its called living.