...continues... in these handicrafts skilfully created by artisans/simple village folks, in obscure hamlets, beyond the blue hills, across the vast green plains of my fertile land--beside gurgling streams and seemingly placid rivers. Sold for a song to middlemen in the nearest town, and later sold in ritzy emporiums and wayside stalls, next to fabled silk and expensive figurines. Or maybe with trinkets and gaudy statuettes adjacent to a tea-stall with a blackened, dented kettle on a smouldering fire and stale buns on sale. In a land of contrasts, anything is plausible. And as I write this, a craftsman could be working outside his house, under the mango tree, cutting bamboo thin and fine after a back-breaking day in the paddy-fields---- battling the mosquitoes that breed in our malarial rainforests. But we have bamboo in our souls. I look at a basket and see beyond that! I hear the distinct sound of a sharp knife slicing through a fresh green stem, the raw smell evocative of an unending green of a tropical jungle...the aroma of the dish made of bamboo shoot garnished with herbs freshly picked from a garden as fertile as a forest. Bamboo-- so many images come; green, yellow, shoots, dense groves, bees, birds,snakes, stakes, huts, fences, benches, archways, bridges... it's a melange of images turning into a slide-show in the recesses of my mind!
Glory be to God for dappled things- For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow; For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim; Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches' wings; Landscape plotted and pieced--fold, fallow, and plough; And all trades, their gear and tackle and trim. All things counter, original, spare, strange; Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?) With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim; He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change: Praise him. Gerard Manley Hopkins
The first flowering shrub I planted on our land
Every flower is a soul blooming in Nature.-Gerard De Nerval
Shall I not have intelligence with the earth? Am I not partly leaves and vegetable mould myself? -Henry David Thoreau