a personal quest for the elusive rose garden
|To my Psyche,
You believed you could find it. The proverbial rose garden in human society. It felt so good to be there among people, everyone of whom you could trust without an iota of doubt. It warmed your heart to picture yourself there, with everyone so good to you, talking with you in all honesty, no lies, no malicious thoughts, no unfounded suspicions, no grudges. In short, you were among people who were simple yet noble-minded, clinging to a high standard of speech and mentality, never tending to sink to the morass of crookedness.
But this is too good to be true. You know this is an imperfect world, and to ask for a supremely ideal society, or a rose garden, is irrational. Yet you persisted, sincerely believing that you’d have it someday. You did all you could to bring it about, and what have you got? A grim reality. You always spoke the truth to your associates and to everyone, showing them, even telling them squarely, that it was harder for you to lie, that it was safer to tell the truth, yet they’d lie back to you, as stubborn as you never thought them to be. Naturally you were upset. You wanted to change them, to make them tell the simple truth, to snatch them from the evil clutch of the “father of the lie” so that they would simply live in truth. Yet you couldn’t.
You were so good to everyone, joking and laughing with them, working with them, going with their sail, but without thinking or speaking ill of them. Your conversations with them were either humorous, upbuilding, dramatic or informative. You abhorred telling lies, gossips, slanders and such sort of things. You wanted to be innocent, not to know things that were not worth-knowing, since you didn’t care anyway, yet you couldn’t avoid knowing them. But then, you were silent on such matters. You were simply happy, yet not blind to reality.
You were so optimistic in finding that rose garden, until unexpectedly, your associates dropped you. They began to bar you from their activities, and you felt like a pariah. What’s gone wrong? You hadn’t the least idea. Certainly you hadn’t changed a bit. You continued to be you. Soon you received bad reports involving you. You knew by then that you were a hapless victim of slander. How unfair! Your associates did not even bother to check out whether the reports were true or just a sinister fabrication to put you down, but believed at once as a gullible person would. You should have fixed things up, but you didn’t know how, seeing how tightly they had been held by such wicked belief. More than once you were tempted to just hate them in return, which would be easier, yet even that would be deviating from your rose garden, and you couldn’t afford it. Go on loving them? Of course, there would be a tinge of hypocrisy in that, for who on earth could love his betrayer? You stuck to the cliché, “Time heals all wounds.” Not that what happened wounded you. You were stumbled, alright, but unhurt. When you finally got up, you turned those stumbling blocks into stepping stones. Now, wasn’t that cold-bloodedness, stepping on them? That’s what you’ve become- - cold as ice, not minding them, not bothered by what they did and said afterward, always reminding yourself who those people were to let them take the joy out of you and to hinder you from reaching your goals. You turned to new associates you met in books. You were with them, and confined yourself to that wonderful world in your mind. You’ve never been so happy and contented. Everything else outside your imaginary world was easy to bear as long as you kept in touch with your own world. Schizo? Not in the least! You were sane and knew what you were doing. Escapism? Maybe. But not flight from reality. You were merely trying to evade things that ought not befall you, situations that others tried to put you in, so as to keep your head screwed on and be able to reach your goals.
That’s how time made you. And within that fleeting time, your dream of a rose garden came crashing down. Or did it? At least the roots were still there, untouched; and someday, the roses would grow.
And so everyday, you tended the roots and the sprouts while weeding out the thistles until, finally, the roses started to bloom. By then you knew you found what you’ve been craving for - a rose garden. Not in society anymore, but within yourself. And someday, that rose garden will flourish. You believe it will.