The First Emil Goh Omnibus

A Man for 4 Seasons

On the Last Night of 2009,
Waiting for the Sun of 2010

Presented by Moominn S.P. Park


Introduction

Emil Goh's sudden journey to the Galaxy presented me with a breakthrough to write poems remembering him. Up to now, I have written 4 poems, and have intention to write more to the memory of Emil. Eventually, all of these poems will be included in a book of poetry.

As an interim documentation, I have bundled the 4 poems into a portfolio. The attached portfolio is the first of 'Emil Goh Omnibus' series. The term 'Emil Goh Omnibus' was coined to give a hint to readers that it may be possible for me to create a kind of sequel.

The title 'A Man for 4 Seasons' came from Thomas More's nickname, 'A Man for All Seasons.' With regard to the source of the nickname, the reference in Wikipedia is as follows:

"... The 20th-century agnostic playwright Robert Bolt portrayed More as the ultimate man of conscience in his play A Man for All Seasons, the title drawn from what Robert Whittington in 1520 wrote of him:

"More is a man of an angel's wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons."

In 1966, the play was made into the successful film A Man for All Seasons directed by Fred Zinnemann, adapted-for the screen by the playwright himself, and starring Paul Scofield in an Oscar-winning performance. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture for that year. In 1988, Charlton Heston starred and directed in a made-for-television remake of the film..."

As a matter of fact, when I thought of writing the first poem, 'The Song for Emil Goh,' I looked into the materials dealing with the life of Thomas More. It's because I hit upon an inspiration that his nickname, 'A Man for All Seasons,' could be a term representing Emil's life. But, as I gave attention to More's 'sad gravity' – 'extreme seriousness' – I concluded that it might not match the life of Emil quite that well. So, I abandoned the idea of taking advantage of the term's symbolic implication well known to the world.

But, strangely enough, I returned to the idea, at the moment to think of a title for the first 'Emil Goh Omnibus.' Two factors persuaded me to consider the idea once again:

First, Emil's sudden journey introduced a kind of 'sad gravity' – 'extreme seriousness' – to all of the humans in memory of him. As a consequence, the memory of him has been changed into a picture which has gotten additional touches of dark colours on the whole gay and bright colours - already existing and coming into full bloom – thereby creating a balance between light and darkness little by little.

Second, as I was looking into many materials and information related to Emil (including so many tributes dedicated to him by his friends), I realised that he had already established high standards of discipline and maintained permanent consistency in every domain of his activities characterized by boundless curiosity: relentless adventures to comb the cities looking for jams and creams of everyday life as a 'metropolitan explorer' (a term coined by Marco Bruno) or an 'urban animal' (another by Wendy Gan); continuing art and design activities; ever-lasting habit of making friends with a million people; tireless passion for teaching his students; and his mentality eager to share everything of his own with everyone else, anytime, anywhere.

Quite frankly speaking, thanks to this new personal discovery, I became attracted to his discipline and consistency, and the discovery made me attracted to him more strongly than ever. His 'seriousness' can not compare with the 'extreme seriousness' of Thomas More, but, is 'serious' enough for me to contemplate on as a unique quality in an age of 'serious' insincerity and extreme light-mindedness.

As such, Emil becomes a creature ever-changing and ever-evolving in my mind, as my understanding of his life and world goes further and deeper. In my mind, he became a very attractive figure whose personality encompasses so wide a range of characteristics (including 'unique seriousness') as to be entitled to the title, 'A Man for 4 Seasons.'

The title gave me an idea to match 4 seasons to each poem as follows:

  • Autumn: A Song for Emil Goh – The Man Who Was Everyday
  • Winter: A 'Couple-Look' Poem for A Couple: Forbidding Mourning
  • Spring: Welcome to My World, My Labyrinth
  • Summer: A Million Ways to Share A Chocolate Cake

Autumn is a season for harvest, when we indulge in the memory of times we enjoyed with Emil. We will continue to contemplate on the meaning of the link which an encounter with Emil and subsequent encounters with so many humans linked to him have presented to us.

Winter visited hearts of Emil's parents. Nevertheless, they, together with all of his friends, explore every link possible between Emil in the Galaxy and us on Earth, as everything in winter searches desperately for a way to survive the season and welcome spring. 'If winter comes, can spring be far behind?' (Percy Bysshe Shelley, 'Ode to the west wind')

Spring sees buds bursting out of the Earth from winters sleep. The humans Emil met on Earth see the hope to raise him from the forgotten.
Summer is a season for party. All of the humans linked to Emil get together so as to eat, drink, talk, dance, and enjoy themselves. And, ...to share everything of their own with everyone else as Emil has done....

The idea to set up and disclose this Omnibus came from a tribute dedicated to Emil by Douglas Elton Wills:

"... I have been remiss in sharing my experiences for the last week. Mainly, because I have been missing my loved ones and mourning the departure of my children. However, I must apologize. I have learned so much about sharing, recently, that I should know better. I have learned about it in an unexpected way from a very unique and talented person. Emil Goh, I have been privileged to know, is one of those people who had an unlimited supply of himself. Always, he enthusiastically shared of himself, his photography, his design projects, his artwork, his opinions and above all his friendship. His energy and good nature was both charming and intoxicating to those graced with his presence.

This morning I got a dreadful call...that my good friend Emil Goh had passed away... I can not express the sense of loss I now feel, but I will never again let my self pity keep me from sharing my experiences, thoughts and ideas... Thank you for showing up in my life, Emil, it has been a season of a lifetime. You have helped me on my quest to find who I am and taught me the importance of sharing one's self I will never forget your lesson...."

Douglas' words awakened me to think of 'sharing one's self' – an invaluable lesson which we have learned from Emil, but, couldn't be clearly conscious of during his stay on Earth. The awakening, in turn, made me more proactive in sharing my thoughts and ideas with everyone else, even though the progress of a remedial session to alter my hermitical behaviour has been painfully slow. Anyway, I have succeeded in reaching here to present you with this Omnibus on the last day of 2009. Thank you, Emil and Douglas, for the lesson. Love to all, wishing a New Year of 'sharing one's self!

On the last night of 2009,
Waiting for the sun of 2010,

Autumn

Autumn is a season for harvest, when we indulge in the memory of times we enjoyed with Emil. We will continue to contemplate on the meaning of the link which an encounter with Emil and subsequent encounters with so many humans linked to him have presented to us.

Tribute to Emil Goh:

Thank you for the lesson – 'sharing one's self'

Here is my song for you.
I have found your lesson at last;
I may write the song with joy,
And, you may read with joy.

A Song for Emil Goh

The Man Who Was Everyday 


Evil smog occupied the sky of the Metropolis;
Gold fingers established a brave new Utopia.
Art admired digital decay;
Design became a slave to Utopian order.

Then, from the Galaxy, you came to the Earth
With the mission impossible
To save everything humble and every event miscellaneous
From the destiny to be perished on Earth.

Your secret code name was ‘Everyday.’
Everyday, you rushed toward a million streets under the sky
And toward endless arcades underground,
As the Man of La Mancha dashed toward invisible challenges.

‘Video camera’ was your gun;
‘Notebook’ was your armor.
You detected and measured: love and joy; blood, sweat and tears,
Hidden in those poor creatures.

When I was told you fell into a big sleep,
My heart trembled excited, even though lamenting a separation,
Because I knew you’ve finished your mission on Earth at last!
And, returned to the Galaxy to save another star!

Now, you will continue to care for every culture humble and unprivileged
Existing on any star in the Galaxy,
Listening to the dialogues between everything visible or invisible;
Documenting ignoble birth and death, marriage and divorce, among those things.]

When meeting with you some day in the Galaxy – our ultimate destination,
I will confess I envied you and your mission for a long time.
Then, accepting my apology I couldn’t have much time to talk with you,
You will invite me to an endless discussion regarding ‘the beautiful ado about nothing’.

10 September 2009

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Expecting the time we will meet with Emil Goh in the Galaxy,

Winter

Winter visited hearts of Emil's parents. Nevertheless, they, together with all of his friends, explore every link possible between Emil in the Galaxy and us on Earth, as everything in winter searches desperately for a way to survive the season and welcome spring. 'If winter comes, can spring be far behind?'

Tribute to Emil Goh, Mr. Xavier Goh Khen Wah and Mrs. Sylvia Lee Goh:

Dedicated to Emil Goh's Mother and Father, this poem looks back on the links between Emil and all of the humans he had met on Earth, and explores every link possible between the humans on Earth and Emil in the Galaxy.

`Couple-Look' is a fashion culture in Korea which fascinated Emil. Korean couples in favor of the 'couple-look' wear exactly the same or similar clothes in terms of colour, style or trend. Emil made a comment on this contemporary urban culture in the interview with `CINE 21', a Korean publisher affiliated with `Hangyure', one of the leading newspapers in Korea, as follows: "It would be regarded as a crazy idea in the viewpoint of western countries. It could be understood as abandoning each person's identity and personality, and regarded as a bizarre fashion. But, I think it's a sweet symbol of Koreans. It represents 'our' style, not 'my' style. It demonstrates 'our love'. It's no problem in the viewpoint of Korean sentiment. I have taken many photographs of diverse kinds of 'couple-look': 'perfect couple' who wear exactly the same clothes; 'semi-look couple' who wear the same colour clothes; 'antique-style couple' who wear the same traditional style clothes. ..."

To stress the importance of the poem's theme –`Forbidding Mourning' – which I wish both Mr. and Mrs. Goh will agree to, I took advantage of the 'couple-look' motif in creating this poem. I thought Emil must have loved my idea. Then, which kind of 'couple-look' would Mr. and Mrs. Goh like to wear in this poem? I do not know. But, I would like to recommend 'semi-look couple' clothes (the colour could be combination of 'deep magenta' and 'deep turkey blue') with the catch phrase 'Link to Emil Goh' on it.

The idea as a whole seems a little bit bizarre, doesn't it? Anyway, this is a poem written in consideration of Emil's preference. So, forgive me. Love to Mr. and Mrs. Goh! Love to all!

30 September 2009

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A 'Couple-Look' Poem for A Couple: Forbidding Mourning

Part I. The Right 'Couple-Look': To Mrs. Sylvia Lee Goh

If you had enough world and time,
The boundless curiosity would be no crime.
Your green hands should have encouraged your garden to grow and grow,
And, at the last moment, you could have seen a jungle devouring the whole city.

You were so fortunate as to share your curiosity with your son,
And, as to control your curiosity with the discipline of your spouse.
Your disciplined curiosity and passion for the colors created masterpieces
Of perfect balance between light and darkness.

Your son, enclosed with urban-wanderer friends all over the world,
Was losing his grip on the boundless curiosity.
At last, the glorious principle of the universe urged Emil to finish his mission On Earth, accomplishing the efficient distribution of his talent among the stars.

Without his return to the Galaxy,
Your son's archive must have been growing and growing minute by minute,
And, after a while, exploding like a supernova –
The huge star burning bright at the closing hour of its life.

Without his return to the Galaxy,
He would have continued capturing history of the city culture,
Up to the time the cities become the last Ark for human beings,
And, start their voyages in space searching for new shelters.

His archive has gathered only the cream of everyday life in the city,
And, becomes the crown jewel of the contemporary urban culture.
Now is a good time for closing his project on Earth,
Before his jams made with fruit juice become diluted with water.

By the way, where is his archive?
It exists in real and cyber space as well.
And, it exists in the hearts of his friends and students.
It's like a huge jigsaw puzzle on an infinite canvas presented by cyberspace.

So, what do we have to do, now?
My answer is 'Link'.
Together with you, I dream of a never-ending party – real and virtual –
Where there is no last guest.

Every guest will present us each piece of the jigsaw puzzle Emil has created.
Fitting together the pieces again on the infinite canvas,
You may catch a rare glimpse of Emil at work,
And, eventually, you can see the outline of his masterpiece.

But, you will never see his finished masterpiece.
Jigsaw puzzle pieces are ever growing and growing,
In the hearts of your endless guests,
And, at last, the infinite canvas will reach hands of Emil in the Galaxy.

Part II. The Left 'Couple-Look': To Mr. Xavier Goh Khen Wah

A woman asked a great monk, "What is love?"
Without answer, the monk asked the woman, "What is love?"
The woman fell silent, puzzled.
Then, the monk said, "You ask me; I ask you – this is love."

Love is communication!
Truth is simple; reality is complex.
Everything is linked to everything else;
Humans are enclosed with glass walls and ceilings.

When the world and you were much younger than now,
You used to take a walk with your child along a road.
Each time you and your child encountered a crossroads,
You took one road having perhaps the best claim.

As such, your boy and you were walking together along the roads in the world.
Then, at one point, you and your son walked together no more.
He chose his own road having perhaps not the best claim,
Sometimes taking the long and winding roads.

You saw him walk into a complexity.
Worrying about every kind of risk he would encounter,
Not abandoning the hopeless dream,
To travel every road of the world together with him.

Now, you understand, even though his roads were dotted with the cities,
They were spanning the globe like yours;
Even though his roads have never met with yours,
All of the roads he was walking along were destined for you.

As your understanding goes deeper and further,
You find out he has maintained the same discipline and consistency as yours.
As you have done on the course of looking for the way you were,
He has taken only the roads he had liking for, as always.

Sometime, you will be at a place in the city,
Where old and new cultures collide with each other,
Breeding a mutation, as a battle between cold and warm currents,
Gives birth to a fishing ground in the ocean.

There, you will meet with a link to your son –
Someone like him, armoured with 'mobile, camera, notebook and boundless curiosity.
She or he will guide you through the busy streets to Emil's favourite restaurant,
Where you will fall into an endless discussion on 'Beautiful ado about nothing.'

When you are walking alone on the road in the night,
You will address your son - in whisper or with a good long cry.
Your voice carries your regards to him through the stairway to heaven,
As high winds deliver the news of the universe by recording it on the flowing river.

At the moment, a star; twinkling all of a sudden, is watching you,
And you are watching the star; smiling with idle tears rising in your heart.
At last, without any regret, you will understand the meaning of the old saying –
All of the roads you take be destined for the one dearer than yourself.

- To be continued -

30 September 2009

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Spring

Spring sees buds bursting out of the Earth from winter's sleep. The humans Emil met on Earth see the hope to raise him from the forgotten monologue, 'You' – Emil's companion and audience – represent 'the humans' (whom Emil met on Earth and) who want to do something special to the memory of Emit. The humans' might include (but, not limited to) his friends, family and even myself.

Quite frankly speaking, I was hesitant to disclose this poem to anyone else in that this poem could give readers a skewed impression of him. First of all, among many troubles I have faced with in writing this poem, I had to depend upon limited information on his life and activities, even though I did my best to make a faithful summing-up of the materials and knowledge I have collected on the course of communicating with his friends and family as well as Emil himself during his stay on Earth. This limitation led to my recognition that I might not be the right person to write this poem.

Nevertheless, the reason I decided to disclose this poem was that I thought it could be a starting point for me to look into his life more thoroughly. After Emil's return to the Galaxy, I discovered that Emil had made friends with excellent people whom I enjoyed talking with regarding their friendship with Emil and many events and episodes they have produced together with him. My acquaintance with his parents let me know where Emil's talent and discipline came from, and presented me with unexpected delight such as anyone would feel in the encounter with the most distinguished.

As such, Emil was and 'is' helping me to taste a new kind of joy of life (which, I found, is addictive), and to broaden the horizon of my world. On the course of writing this poem, I realized, 'What a pleasure it is to have the deepest thoughts about a human, even though he was not one of my family or old playmates!' Thinking of Emil very deeply introduced me to a new dimension of 'Link' to the universe including the world of human beings. It was not a liability, but a privilege Emil presented to me.

In the Joseon Dynasty (Korea's dynasty in the Middle Ages), Junghee Kim, the master calligrapher, poet, artist and politician, was exiled to an isolated island and stayed there for a long time. One of the master's disciples, Sangjeok Lee, at the risk of his life, brought to Junghee Kim, a couple of times, many precious books he had bought in Beijing, the capital of the Ching Dynasty. To thank Sangjeok Lee for his risky journey to the island, the master created the famous picture `Sehando' ('A landscape in the cold winter') and gave it to the disciple. On the picture, the master wrote a sentence quoted from the Analects of Confucius, 'No one can appreciate 'evergreen' of pine trees till winter comes.' `Sehando' is about 10 meters long, because many scholars of Joseon and Ching Danasties, moved by the episode, had written their own poems on the papers attached to the picture. Posterity has produced plenty of literature with regard to the picture. (My partner, Sunghee Ahn, also wrote a biography of Junghee Kim for children, which allocated a section to the episode.)

As such, `Sehando' is a never-ending art work. Writing this poem, I dreamed of creating a never-ending poem together with the humans Emil met on Earth. Despite my poor language, this poem could be a starting point. To the humans who will write a never-ending poem with me, I would like to recommend the following: To taste a new kind of joy of life as I have done and to enjoy the privilege Emil presented to them.

17 December 2009

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Welcome to My World, My Labyrinth

PART 1

Welcome,
Welcome to my world

Welcome to my City
Welcome to my room
Welcome to my space
Welcome to my dream
Welcome to my everyday life
Welcome to my food
Welcome to my coffee
Welcome to my party
Welcome to my idea
Welcome to my philosophy
Welcome to my lesson
Welcome to my design
Welcome to my art
Welcome to my archive
Welcome to my age
Welcome to my memory
Welcome to my colors
Welcome to my light and darkness
Welcome to my brain
Welcome to my story
Welcome to my communication
Welcome to my love
Welcome to my urban myth
Welcome to my link
Welcome to my Planet
Welcome to my Galaxy
Welcome to my world to come
Welcome to my legend

PART 2

Welcome,
Welcome to my labyrinth

My labyrinth has only one path –
A single route to the centre,
Never designed to be complex to navigate.
As long as you keep going all the way,
The path will lead you to the centre.
You can walk out along the path whenever you want.

Once upon a time, in a mythic island,
A foreigner with exploding muscles made an adventure into a labyrinth;
His local lover gave him a skein of thread – a clue to find his way out.
But, was the clue necessary in a single-route labyrinth?
What was the true meaning of the clue?
What was the true intention of the lover?

Do 1 need to give a clue to you –
The human who knows my labyrinth best?
Maybe – To keep exploding muscles of your spirit
From taking my labyrinth to pieces.
O.K.! Here is my clue –
`Beautiful ado about nothing'.

Then, into my labyrinth, won't you make an adventure –
Never-fail, never-get-lost?
Follow me through one path, but many turns.
Each turn, let me tell you a story,
Whispering the magic words –
`Beautiful ado about nothing',

PART 3

Each human in the City created a room in cyberspace – a new residency.
In there, the human's alter ego was presented to everyone else everyday,
Giving rise to my first obsession with the City.
With one foot on 'rear and one in cyber,'
My dream crossed over between the two spaces,
Which formed my everyday life friendly together.
I have combed the City looking for killer foods,
Eventually discovering a treasure island in the old market.
Won't you visit my favourite coffee house?
The generous lady of the house will present you with a coffee seed.
I enjoyed having a party with my friends and strangers all together.
In there, I cooked my idea together with theirs in a melting pot.
Even though myself was a humble creature, sometimes,
I stressed my philosophy in favour of everything humble.
The students in my lesson were my younger sisters and brothers.
Upon my honour, I did my best to transfer the essence of my knowledge to them –
Which I claim one of my credits to be an honorary citizen of the City.
I take great pride in my design of 'Yellow Trolley Taxi'–
A hand-carrier for the old and the weak
Who bought a bunch of goods in the old market with narrow passages,
And carried the goods by themselves
Climbing steep hills all along up to their homes on top of mountains.
As major activities of art, I took so many pictures of the City,
With a hopeless hope some would capture the quintessence of 'subtle balance'
Between the old things and the new ones,
And with a deep sorrow to see –
The old things were being gone so easily;
The 'subtle balance' was so short-lived,
In the midst of the City's so dynamic changes.
Nevertheless, I believe my archive collected cream of everyday life in the City,
Presenting endless insights and inspirations to posterity,
Who will look into my archive only to be drowned in the culture of my age.
A journey across my archive may give them a blueprint of my memory,
Where the City is presented as well-knit images of 'colors' + 'light and darkness.'
(Actually, my last exhibition on Earth covered 'light and darkness'!)
But, I desire earnestly to show them my naked brain,
Where, underneath well-knit images, exist my stories –
Mostly communication – in other words, love – with the humans I met on Earth.
I claim, heart and soul, jam of my story is exchange of 'Jung' between humans.
After my return to the Galaxy, by my friends,
Some of my stories became Twice-told tales,' growing like a tree to be urban myths.
A long-cherished dream of mine is to see the humans build a vital link,
And share my philosophy of 'subtle balance' –
Between the old and the new;
Between light and darkness;
Between the humans 'in' and 'out of the old 'Jung Exchange'.
Pursuit of 'subtle balance' might be only one of 'Beautiful ado about nothing.'
But, it could be a 'sacred link' between the Planet still in its childhood
And the Galaxy – my original and permanent home town.
True 'subtle balance' can be achieved only by the glorious principle of the universe.
Someday, riding on the wings of a 'sacred link,
Someone will spread my philosophy over the universe,
And raise me from the forgotten,
Thereby driving me to storm and awaken the world to come as a legend.

12 November 2009

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Summer

Summer is a season for party. All of the humans linked to Emil get together so as to eat, drink, talk, dance, and enjoy themselves. And, ...to share everything of their own with everyone else as Emil has done...

Tribute to Emil Goh, Marco Bruno and Mr. Matt Ridley:

Dedicated to Emil Goh and one of his friends, Marco Bruno, this poem meditates on 'the origins of virtue,' which is actually the title of a best-seller written by Mr. Matt Ridley, one of the finest of contemporary science writers. The book presented me with so wonderful insights and inspirations to be a catalyst for writing this poem that t dedicate this poem to Mr. Ridley as well.

On September 21, 2009, in Seoul, there was a dinner meeting in memory of Emil Goh who made a sudden journey to the Galaxy on September 7, 2009. The humans having dinner together were 17: Emil's parents, Mr. Xavier Goh Khen Wah and Mrs. Sylvia Lee Goh; his girl friend Megan Parnell and her father; his friends - Fritz Park and his wife Niki, Yunhee Suh, Hyeyim, Marco Bruno, Simone Carena accompanied by his wife and baby, Douglas Elton Wills, Hanghoo Cho, Jowan, Hyejo Yum, and myself.

After dinner, Marco presented all of the diners with a chocolate cake prepared by himself, which was a natural behaviour of Marco Bruno, a man of virtue. He moved the chocolate cake from the bowl containing it to a big dish through a marvellous motion of overturning the bowl upside down at a lightning speed, thereby helping the cake to safely land on the dish. Watching him divide the cake with amazing accuracy into exactly same-sized, slim-hexahedron-shaped pieces, I hit upon a motif for this poem that sharing food has been a universal behaviour of the human race, and the behaviour was the very element enabling humans to develop the instinct of virtue.

This idea was not mine – not an idea to have been developed of my own accord. I began to trace the source of the idea in my mind, and could bring back my memory - the idea came from the book 'Origins of virtue' At home, I started reading the book attentively once again and encountered a magical (at least for me) sentence: 'Is virtue a shared box of chocolates?' The paragraph from which I highlighted the sentence is as follows:

"...people do not share food with just their spouses and children. They invite unrelated friends to dinner. They lunch with business partners or even rivals. They share food, if not universally, then certainly with much more largesse than they share sexual favours. If food sharing was crucial to the development of the close pair bond between husband and wife, might it also have played a role in the development of human society generally? Is virtue a shared box of chocolates?..." (Matt Ridley. 1996. The Origins of Virtue. Penguin Books, London. p96.)

After reading the book, I looked into Protagoras, one of Plato's dialogues once again from a quite different angle which I could obtain thanks to Mr. Ridley's book. The main themes of Protagoras are: 'What is virtue?' and 'Is it possible to teach virtue?' Reading the book, I could make much clearer my understanding of many debates related to virtue.

My research stopped there, because the knowledge I have gotten was enough for writing this poem. Mr. Ridley's argument mainly based on game theory taught me that human beings are keen to cooperate, and there used to be cooperators like Emil and Marco in any society which survived natural selection. (So, you might take it for granted to make friends with cooperators and to benefit from the friendship with those people.) Nevertheless, this knowledge does not lessen my feeling of delight coming from the friendship with Emil and Marco, and the feeling of being grateful and wanting to express my thanks to those two humans of virtue.

23 December 2009

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A Million Ways to Share A Chocolate Cake

Millions of years ago, the world was lazy.
Time crawled by like a snail crossing mountains on the course of its world tour
The branch of humans has not yet emerged
From 'co-ancestor' tree of humans and chimpanzees.

In this lazy age, everything was all the same unchanged.
In a tribe of 'co-ancestors, a baby was born one day,
While an old creature returned to the Galaxy the same day.
So, the number of heads was all the same.

In a neighbouring tribe, a child got a new tooth,
While an old lost a ruined one.
So the number of teeth was all the same.
As such, the world was all the same unchanged.

Towards sunset of this lazy age,
The head of the neighbouring tribe made a long overdue journey to the Galaxy,
Handing over his power to a new leader
Named (Let's say) 'Marco.'

On his first day as the leader,
`Marco' called a meeting with all of the tribe - 16 creatures including a baby.
He began to divide a prey he had just captured into 17 pieces – exactly same-sized.
And, asked them to choose before him each piece at random.
All of them watched him in shocked silence,
Never knowing what to do.
He completely ignored the pecking order! –
A natural privilege of the strong among mammals flocking together.

In the midst of the shock,
Born was the most glorious gene, named 'origin of virtue.'
The birth of the gene was the very 'missing link'
Where the branch of humans emerged.

Now, millions of years after,
'Marco' of the mobile phone age is dividing
A chocolate cake he prepared by himself
For another tribe of 16 'mammals' including a baby.

Look! His marvellous division of the cake!
He, a born designer, takes utmost care to divide the cake
Into 17 hexahedron-shaped pieces - exactly same-sized,
As his spiritual double and ancestor did when the world was lazy.

Watching him in silence, and trembling with excitement,
We celebrate the birth of the gene – 'origin of virtue' – millions of years ago.
Our souls are stirred in awe,
With tears of joy in our eyes.

By way of sharing a chocolate cake,
Awaken is the instinct of virtue hidden in our heart.
Until now, we were wandering like cows grazing in the field of a shrine,
In a sort of hope for our eyes to light upon virtue, of our own accord.

We are sharing not merely chocolate cake but his spirit of virtue,
Which can be expanded like gold beaten to airy thinness.'
A piece of cake is an infinite set of virtue;
Even the smallest crumbs can make our souls rich.

Have you ever heard of the story of 'smart girl and boy'
Who fed endless people only with a bowl of bread?
They were fed on imagination in the shape of 'bread,'
As we are having his virtue in the shape of 'chocolate cake.'

Next time you present another chocolate cake to us,
Please allow each of us to divide the cake – maybe unevenly – in turn.
Let me divide it into many pieces – star-shaped and not same-sized,
In a fashion as flexible as an artist wields a chisel to create a sculpture.

To share a chocolate cake,
Winner-take-all society has only one way.
But, we have a million ways –
As we please.

December 7, 2009

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