Monday, September 26, 2005

tom's midnight garden

In one of her entries (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=jinganlin) Katie Beth talked about re-reading "Pride and Prejudice". That got me inspired to re- read "Tom's Midnight Garden", one of my favorites as a kid. Katie wrote that "as you get older, the way you understand a book changes as you use new eyes to read it." That is true. i remembered crying when i was nearing the end of the story at the age of 10. Last night, i did not cry. However, i was still able to connect with the magic i felt as a 10 year old child. it's about a boy who was sent to his uncle's place to avoid the measles that his brother was having at home. That was when he discovered the midnight garden, a place that only existed in his reality and in the characters he encountered in the garden. Our conventional sense of time and space is challenged as we enter the place with Tom, only if you allow it. It's in there that he found his playmates, especially the girl, Hattie, whom he was terribly fond of. Therefore, during this stay at his uncle's home, which was otherwise boring and mundane with no friends to play and connect with, he found his adventures all at night, when everyone was fast asleep.

Up till now, i remain in love with the imagined reality of the midnight garden. The story also strikes a chord with me given that i have such die- hard nocturnal habits. Tom's garden was not perceived by his family, but only by the people he played with and those who chose to see it. In that place, time becomes a non-entity, and reality comes alive! Love, connection, work and play become one.

At first, Tom was hesitant to enter that place when the clock struck "thirteen". At last he gave in to his instincts.
The door " was not locked, he found; only bolted. He drew the bolt, and, very slowly, to make no sound, turned the door knob.That's when Tom found the moonlight, and "it flooded in, as bright as daylight."
It's nice to read the story. It gives me the courage to listen to my instincts. Quite often, i see this bolted door in my life, and a gleam of light coming through. i never quite do much about it. The next time i see it, i hope to push it wide open and go for the bright moonlight.

Maybe one day, the imagined will become real.

PICT0095


( image from an exhibition by brian gothong tan)

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