Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Carpe Diem #380, Chita

 

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

After our little walk to stretch the stiff legs in Ulan-Ude and have found the way to the Buddhist Temple just outside Ulan-Ude we are back on track. And we will travel on with the TSR and reading "Aleph".

It's not clear if Hilal and Paulo and their travel-companions have stepped out in Ulan-Ude or Chita, but I think they did. They have stretched their stiff legs together with us is Ulan Ude, because in "Aleph" we can read that Paulo meets a few of his readers in a not so good restaurant and during their diner they talk about the Russian Maffia. Until 1991 Ulan-Ude wasn't open for foreigners, so I think they stepped out there.
After their diner and a good nights sleep Paulo and Hilal stand together on the shore of Lake Baikal. Hilal asks him a favour. She wants him to say that he loves her. Paulo answers as follows:

He takes her hand and they both gazing at the  water. He puts his arms around her, so she can rest her head on his shoulder. And then he says:

[...] "I love you. I love you because all the loves in the world are like different rivers flowing into the same lake, where they meet and transformed into a single love that becomes rain and blesses the earth. I love you like a river that creates the right conditions for trees and bushes and flowers to flourish along its banks. I love you like a river that gives water to the thirsty and takes people where they want to go. I love you like a river which understands that it must learn to flow differently over waterfalls and to rest in the shallows. I love you because we are all born in the same place, at the same source, which keeps us provided with a constant supply of water. And so, when we feel weak, all we have to do is wait a little. The spring returns, the winter snows melt and fill us with new energy.
I receive your love and I give you mine. Not the love of a man for a woman, not the love of a father  for a child, not the love of God for His creatures, but a love with no name and no explanation, like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply flows onwards. A love that asks for nothing and gives nothing in return, it is simply there. [...] (Source: "Aleph" by Paulo Coelho)

Isn't it a great way to describe love? Paulo speaks here of what I love to call "unconditional love" only he says it much better than I ever could have done. "Aleph" is all and only about that kind of love. Unconditional love knows no boundaries, knows no time ... and that's why Paulo and Hilal still love each other, because they were in love once in another life. That's what it is all about ... love.

Sorry ... I feel like a preacher now, but that wasn't my goal, forgive me. Maybe it is love that bounds us together as a haiku-family ... and I dare to say here "I love you all like a river that cannot explain why it follows a particular course, but simply flows onwards".
Chita, TSR Railroad Station

We have arrived at Chita, once known as the "City of Exiles" it's laid out in a grid pattern, which is very rare in Russia. Chita is a clash of styles, next to wonderful wooden individual homes there are also concrete buildings of five-stories. Chita also has a mosque and so a muslim group of citizens, mostly related to the Tatar.

Chita Mosque

I always thought that the (former) Soviet Union had forbidden all those different churches and that only the Russian Orthodox Church was granted permission to be there, but as we are further on this journey it becomes more clear that the Soviet Union was more open to religion than I ever had thought. I think I have to revise my ideas about the former Soviet Union ... maybe I have done that already by taking you all on this journey straight through the Soviet Union on board of the Trans Siberian Railroad. Maybe ... "Aleph" does that to me ...

lotus flowers
rising from the depths of the pond
everlasting love

everlasting love
like a river flows onwards
uncertain of its goal

uncertain of its goal
rising from the depths of the pond
lotus flowers
Lotus flowers rising from the depths of the pond

This episode will stay on until January 23th 11.59 AM (CET) and I will post our new episode, Birobidzhan, later on. !! This episode is open for your submissions tonight at 7.00 PM (CET)  !!


10 comments:

  1. Kristjaan, I really like your post and haiku today.

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  2. Such beautiful words of love. Glad I was able to join in today.

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  3. Kristjaan, I feel such unconditional love for you and this haiku kai too. Funny that I had the inspiration in this free moment to check and see if there was a post here that I could pick up on after missing so many, this one seems perfect. And what lovely haiku you've written too.

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  4. You are providing such intriquing history here not to mention your wonderful haiku ~ still wondering when you sleep ~ carol, xxx

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  5. I love the lotus flowers, I've never actually seen any! They are exquisite. romantic verse seems hard for me to compose.

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  6. the pond's surface looks like a mirror, exquisitely so!

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  7. What a beautiful post and such fantastic haiku by you Kristjaan:-)Am so overwhelmed that I doubt I will find my voice -nevertheless,I will try:-)

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  8. This seemed so easy to think of something to write on, and then, zippo, nothing. Finally, my post...not exactly what I thought it would be, but what came from my meditating on the words.
    Thanks for the wonderful posts this month. I know you are working hard on them...
    appreciate all the effort you put into these, Kristjaan.
    Peace
    Siggi

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