Friday, October 1, 2010

The Many Faces that I See

A man's age is something impressive, it sums up his life:  maturity reached slowly and against many obstacles, illnesses cured, griefs and despairs overcome, and unconscious risks taken; maturity formed through so many desires, hopes, regrets, forgotten things, loves.  A man's age represents a fine cargo of experiences and memories.  ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wartime Writings 1939-1944, translated from French by Norah Purcell

Nothing could best describe old age than this quote from Wartime Writings. Since childhood days I'm known to be an observant person. I love studying the faces that I meet. These could be people that I know or those that I have never met before or will ever be introduced to. Random people that pass me by. Old aged drivers, watchmen, cooks, beggars, or anyone. Regardless of their background, they always catch my attention. At times, I find myself spellbound. I want to go sit with them and talk. I want to learn their stories. No, I don't want to peep into their personal lives, but I firmly believe every person carries a story. That story is what shapes them. While some learn to conquer the many challenges that life throws at them, there are some who quietly surrender. We can never judge them, but there is a lot to be learnt from their experiences. Makes me wonder, how many times have they witnessed their hopes and dreams being shattered? Loved ones who chose to leave them alone? Failures that hit them to test how strong they were? Illnesses that came to break them, but they fought and survived? How many times were they challenged? Just how many times? The wrinkles that we see on their faces are not something that should repel us away. They depict the experiences and memories created by those people on their life's journey. 

For some reason, I have always been fascinated by the grown ups. As a child, I used to enjoy the company of my father and the other elders in our family. Perhaps, it is the wisdom that I want to learn from. The stories are so compelling that they just keep you glued. This is what taught me to appreciate things I am blessed with. I know my parents didn't have what I have and they did their best to provide us the best. (Incomplete!.....)

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