Comradeship of paradoxes

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Jan 2018 11:12:49






One flower

on the cliffside
nodding at the canyon.

- A haiku by
Jack Kerouac.

CANYON! Time’s signature - indelible,
impossibly etched!
There, high on the cliffside, a lone flower dances in the wind, looks at the far-reaching canyon -- and nods, and smiles, and winks, and nods ....!
This goes on all the time.
The canyon has by now got used to the flower’s nodding, its smiling, its winking, its dancing in the wind. A strange yet familiar comradeship, a continuum of sorts, may I say!
Both the ends are symbols of a wonderful togetherness, though blessed -- and cursed at the same time -- by a paradox only Nature understands.
Down there, in the netherland of the bottom of the great gorge, the canyon flows. Mostly, as Nature’s arrangement, there also is a river flowing since eternity to eternity -- a flow of Time -- immemorial, immortal!

Up there, on the cliffside, separated by several hundred meters, the lone plant holds the lone flower, supported by the rock’s faultlines, watered by Nature’s kiss of occasional rain, dried and refreshed by the wind’s caress. That little flower -- whatever may be its colour and odour -- has a friend down there. The canyon and the river that flows along.

Both have a story to tell. Both have a history that they wish to narrate. And the flower is looking at them, listening to their at-times-silent-at-times-violent words. It nods every time the story takes turn, history takes twist. It understands everything.

And down there, the canyon, too, understands that the flower understands.
Real comradeship!
And both -- the canyon and flower -- know that the flower is a friend in passing. For, before anybody realises, it is going to wilt and wither away. Still, it is a vigorous friend of the canyon’s. From that awesome height, from that difficult perch, the flower is a happy entity, dancing, prancing, smiling, winking -- and nodding to the story being told from hell’s bottom. Very soon, the flower would wilt and jettison itself from the plant’s embrace. Perhaps, it may whittle down straight to the river and flow with Time’s tide for a while and then settle at the bottom, on the riverbed, in the canyon’s lap. Oh!
But both, the canyon and flower do not mind.
For, Time has told them, as the canyon will act as its signature and the river its flow, and the flower will be born again -- to hear the story once again and nod once again and again and again until its wilts again.

Is this also not the story of Man! Every man -- or woman -- is born and is dead again and again. Time’s story continues. Each person born hears the story until he lives. Then his own story ends and he joins history (His Story). But never mind that lapse into Time’s labyrinth. For, the man is to be born again -- to hear Time’s story told anew.
The flower on the cliffside and the canyon!
The individual man in life and Time’s river flowing on!