Flying Home

Home

Is a concept I struggle with

 

Where is home?

Sometimes I ask

Flying around the world

 

Is home

Lisbon?

An estuary city where the adventurous Tagus River

Meets the mysterious Atlantic Ocean

History recalls that seabound ships left

This city’s shore towards the four corners of the world

Some call it discovering new worlds

Others call it conquering,

Pillaging,

Raping,

Murdering and enslaving.

Whatever terms people decide to give

By the other side of the river

Lord Jesus Christ stands with arms wide open

Watching over

Who am I to judge?

I am just a little wave among all the waves

Hitting the shores of this coastal city

Where fishermen sail deep into the ocean

Praying to hopefully return to their families

With cartloads fresh fish

Oh that lightly charred sardine!

Oh the smell of roasted chestnuts

Tap-dancing in the hot oven

To the humble seller’s melodic chants

Nearby pigeons

Dance in circles their stylish pigeon-dance

Around the old smiling lady

Feeding corn and stale bread

Calmly

Each movement gently flowing

No rush to do anything

People sitting and chatting

In sunny esplanades

Drinking “cafés”

Laughing

And reminiscing the good old times…

I remember

From when I was still in elementary school

That unexplainable smell of warm spring rain

Gently touching the mud

Pregnant with the seeds of spring flowers

Waiting to blossom into the world

When rain fell

All the children would stop playing their usual games

Some seek cover, some not at all

And everyone would simply contemplate little raindrops

Falling from the sky

Into the open school ground

And when these short rain showers stopped

I would run with my best friends

Dig holes in the mud

And continue our glass bead game

Our circular beads

Clashing and departing

Only memories remain

 

Is home

Gantou?

A small village in south-east China

By the margins of Ou River

Where my kinship line is traced to

The ancestral tombs resting on bayberry covered hills

Calmly watching over the village and its descendants

Sometimes I wonder

If my ancestors are happy with all these changes happening:

From a small village to an industrial town

From small huts to tall buildings

From farms to factories

From cattle to cars

From streams to stench

Oh my childhood stream

Where I used to swim

It no longer flows

Standing still like a puddle of stenchy urine

Discharged by uncaring residents and factories

I remember I almost drowned playing in that stream

Fortunately I was saved from death

But how about the people slowly drowning in the polluted industrialized air?

How about the old people silently drowning in sorrow

For their past village memories no longer correspond to their present reality

Oh lonely elderly parents

Most of their children have migrated abroad

Filled up their pockets with foreign money

Some send back remittances

Some return to build big tall houses for their parents

Or for themselves to display and compete for social status

Their pockets might be full

Yet their roots are rotten

But who am I to judge?

I am just a little stream among many streams

Flowing trying to connect to the river of Life

Instead of judging others

I strive to clean up my own mind

And deeply dive into myself

Therefore I continue my search for home…

 

Is home

New York City?

Where I was born

Under the shadow of temple like skyscrapers

Spreading ideas and ideologies

Coded in images, sounds, products and services

Casting a web like illusive world

Where people flock like sheep

To this land of struggle and opportunity

Searching for the American dream

And once the ‘chosen’ ones finally reach this place

They are given a take it or leave it offer

Either take a bite of the American dream like everyone else does

Or go back to where you came from, loser

I wish I knew where I came from

So I’ll continue searching…

 

Is home

Ithaca?

A land of waterfalls and peaks

Rising and falling

Into its vineyard surrounded lakes

A hilly place this is

Where learning and un-learning occurs

Where conditioning and un-conditioning occurs

Depending on the seeker

A place where the bonds of friendship are tied and untied

Where the cold heart is tickled by the warmth of its downtown festivals

Where all kinds and types of people somehow gather together

To celebrate, dance, sing and eat

Crunchy apples, savory chilis, pad-thais, momos

And whatever dishes you can think of

Ithaca can be place of inspiration

Contemplation

And meditation

On its South hill

A Buddhist monastery

Stands majestic

Spreading dharma into the ten directions.

Hm I am still not settled yet so I’ll continue searching…

 

Is home

Kolkata?

A city in the land of Bengal, India

Where the Ganga flows though

To surrender herself to the divine Sea

Where the East meets West

Not so peacefully

Where everyday is a battleground

Of class, caste, race and ethnicity

Yet from chaos

Sometimes order ensues

After the traffic fog clears

The divine nature of things

Can be experienced by the river

Impermanence

When people bid farewell to their beloved ones

For no(body) lives on forever

Interdependence

When upper and lower castes all depend on the same river for survival

The Void

When the river fully absorbs and becomes the force acted upon it

 

It might be

That the concept of home is

Self-constructed by the Ego

 

It might be

That the concept of home is

Beyond the concept of space

Beyond the concept of time

And it is necessary to transcend these

 

It might be

That in order to transcend these

I need to clean up my sense of “I”

Wash off the mind’s dirt

Sweep the dust of cyclic existence

Clean up past karma

And purify all impurities

 

It might be

That home is a state of mind

Beyond consciousness

Or consciousness meeting consciousness

And exclaiming

Long time no see

It was about time my old friend

Welcome Home

Search no more

For you have finally arrived at your Destination.

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