Sunday, January 21, 2007


When I was very small, up to the age of three or four, I was very fond of the color red. I would ask my parents to buy red things for me. I would insist that everything I wear, carry, be red. I wore a red hat, carried a red basket, etc.

Then, at a certain time, I realized with a cognitive shock that red was meant to be the color for girls in the cultural context. I was very ashamed and abandoned my color preference.

When I went to the kindergarden, at the age of 5, there was a choice between normal milk and coffee flavored milk at lunch time. Parents would make the kids bring either a white bag or a red bag, with some small coins in it, to indicate the choice. I very much liked the coffee flavored milk. However, my mother, probably caring for my health, did not allow it. I would always bring the white bag, and have normal milk. I envied my friends who brought the red bags and enjoyed the coffee flavored variety.

As I remember these things in the past, the significance changes like a living and trembling water. The past is not fixed. It transfigures in its significance as one looks back, constantly rewritten and relived, metamorphoses leading to fresh insights and reincarnations. One can experience life many times over, discovering meanings and joys, by reflecting on one's own past, smiling and crying.

Through self-referential ponderings, red has entered into the sacred shrine of my soul. When I see a rose, an apple, the setting sun, reverberations enrich and shake the tiny remembrance stone in my core.

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