Wednesday, 3 January 2007

All Seasons’ Greetings

by Remigius de Souza

‘Make a cell of good living in the chaos of our world”, said Eric Gill, as I remember it. I read it in my early twenties. I then had just finished a course in architecture at a college. The aphorism remained inscribed in the memory like an affirmation. Enthusiastically I started to look for an ideal, model cell in places, books and journals, and with the masters of architecture. But soon I realised this cell is beyond floor-wall-roof. Inevitably I turned inside. Consciously I started peeling off a layer after layer. Alas, there was no cell there except my gaseous ego. It brought me to tears like a peeled onion.

Lo! And here too, within me, I found chaos. My body and mind riddled by some or other ailments and maladies: ignorance, taboos, models or dogmas; indigestion or malnutrition, maladies of teeth or skin or eyes or nose or stomach or some other limbs, and a victim of epidemics such as war frenzy or cricket frenzy or flu, and so on, spread by a city–market–media–mod–culture. And above them all there presides my omnipresent ego, whatever, wherever I am.

I have been moving, almost all my life, to places: cities, villages, forests, coasts, monuments and ruins. I have been moving in the First World, the Third World and the Fourth World and for a brief period the (virtual) Second World. I have been fortunate to share warm hospitality of numerous anonymous people. The aphorism never left me. It would appear any time any place like the pop ups on the Internet. I realise now and then while moving in the real world and virtual world, the aphorism is as valid today, even more than ever before, as may be it was hundred years ago. On the way slowly emerged a resolve:

‘From Here Now on
Live every Moment
Add every Moment
To the Time Eternal’.
* * *

“All Seasons’ Greetings”, is unconventional without any visual graphics and stereotypical messages, which typically come on the occasions of festivals coming and going. ‘All seasons’ simply meant to be day – night, dawn – dusk, morning-noon-evening, six seasons, flowering – fruition – harvesting – leaf shedding of plants; so also, childhood, youth, adulthood, old age, and anniversaries; and one can and may add many more. Oh, there are so many seasons that are intimately connected to Life and living to cherish and rejoice. In the “To make a cell…” I laugh at myself, if you see the irony. It has been a celebration for many years not marked by a calendar day / page, or a time clock.

The industrial society is too arrogant, which continues to believe that man is the centre of the universe and the master of the Nature, not going beyond a lip service to the gods or godheads of its members. It 'compresses' or 'minimizes' joy and celebration to a few hours or days that amounts to ‘man must toil and be miserable’ to curse Life for the rest of the days of living. Ironically it replaces joy and celebration by marketing conveniences and entertainment packages that includes ‘greeting cards’ or 'e-Greetings', in five hundred varieties for five billion people for their salvation. Is there a way for liberation? It is possible for an individual – surely there are many – and if one were to see this irony; and like the hundredth monkey that may work in the mass society on the collective consciousness.

Remigius de Souza
69-243 S B Marg Mumbai 40028 India

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