Monday, December 31, 2007

snippet (3)

(c) Harendra Alwis

... Perhaps if you listen on a silent moonlit night, you may hear it whisper to the ocean the stories it has witnessed of lives that had condensed along the banks of its fertile path, lives it had sustained, nourished and sometimes forcefully taken. Perhaps it boasts of how it flooded low lying plains after heavy rains, or cascaded like a misty veil down the face of an ancient rock on a mountain side. The ocean makes no attempt to hide its amusement as it listens to stories about bridges and dams, about animals that drank cautiously at the river banks and ferries that crossed it many times a day. The ocean consoles the ailing river which proudly deposits the burdensome sediment of its memories on the shore; like offerings of flowers and incense with the prayers and confessions of the faithful at the feet of a motionless statue of a deity. Rich sediment that had been ripped off hills and flooded plains, during times when its waters were young and raging with passion, settle down into fertile islands at the river mouth where it is impossible to know for sure where the river ends and the ocean begins. The calmness of the river now, ridicules any suggestion that it was once a powerful force that violently hurled large rocks in its path and ground them, reducing them with the passage of time to harmless pebbles that little children could play with. Now at the end of a fruitful journey, the river dissolves into the setting sun, with its many arms absorbing the powerful calmness and boundless wisdom of the ocean...