Monday, February 15, 2010

The Valentine's Day Hype

Retailers pounce on our frailties and bombard us with merchandise to cure the ills in our lives. Medicines you can request to self medicate. Chocolates, cards, balloons, jewelry, and even kitchen cabinets to grab the attention of a loved one. We are such puppets to these wallet robbers, eager to snatch our hard earned cash.

Valentine's Day was no exception. By buying the rich, dark, two-pound box of chocolates, you will surely get the affection of someone.

But it's not about buying but rather the considerations of love. Doing something without being prompted. Doing something sweet and unexpected. A kind word. A gentle gesture. A memory shared and replayed in quiet conversation.

These are the gifts worth a million dollars but can be given freely.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Price of Stupidity

'Refusing to admit defeat, I shouted loudly to them again, "Where is Sunamei? Sunamei?"

They responded with the silence of a ten-thousand-year-old, snow-covered mountain. I wished they would curse me, see me, or hear me. Standing in the yard, I howled desperately,"Sunamei! Sunamei!"

No one heard my howling but a flock of scared chickens that fled noisily. Their flight proved that my vocal cords still worked.' p 367-368

from The Remote Country of Women by Bai Hua.

The character Liang did a foolish, foolish thing. He insulted the cultural practices of his wife's people, the Mosue, a matrilineal society in which the women are their own masters on earth.

The punishment for his misbehavior was unspoken among the villagers. He became an Invisible...not worthy of being seen, being heard, being considered a living entity. What a torturous existence...Indeed!

A very lyrical book worthy of reading several times. The book sways from one point of view to another with constrasting timbre of each speaker, views from different worlds. The surprising ending is not surprising upon reflection however, one is left with the proverbial, "Hey, wait a minute...What happened here?"