My never-never land

Over a decade ago, I made a decision to move to a country that is, as far as many are concerned, a hinterland. It is a small country, but like any small country, it is so full of regional variants that one cannot help but be reminded of how inefficient generalisations can be.
But I maintain that I know the essence of the country: that I saw it then, and that I see it now even though, as I said, there are many variations on the theme in this country. This very evening, I encountered a soul who was indignant that I would dare idealise his country.
Yes, I idealise this country. I see it - as I had when I first visited - partly as a pillaged sacrifice. Where there is the ruckus of repudiation, there is usually a scapegoat.  Whether the goat had a hoof in things or not becomes less relevant when it is asked to pay for the wrongdoing with its life.
I idealise this country insofar as I look, wherever I can, to restore its honour and beauty.
Honour and beauty are considered ideals. Ideals are problematic because it has yet to happen for a societal utopia to be realised on the earth. So, to idealise a country means that one may encounter a contrary reality. Like tonight.
But the funny thing about ideals, like love, is that if one is able - despite all the pettiness that can gather like dust around us every day - to perceive more beautiful, eternal aspects of a subject, we are not put off by the ugly things. It can happen that "Nature, like us, is sometimes caught   /   without her diadem," but what is ugly eventually blows over.
The sky is low, the clouds are mean,   /   A travelling flake of snow   /   Across a barn or through a rut   /   Debates if it will go.      /      A narrow wind complains all day   /   How some one treated him;   /   Nature, like us, is sometimes caught   /   Without her diadem.
The ultimate point is, there is a diadem for us to wear! The diadem is our ideals, it is an eternal category. While we may not necessarily reach them, we have something to work towards. Why bother? Well, if the ideals are beautiful, one's movement toward them is also beautiful.
We dust our houses, we clean our clothes, but we do not necessarily brush our souls off; we do not brush off the pettiness of the circumstantial. There is much in history that is circumstantial that "complains all day," but it passes, the picture shifts.
Are we really so naive to think that there are "bad" countries out there? Isn't that a little like a children's tale? Oh, that bad land with the wicked people. Every nation can be praised for something.
To look for ideals is to be taught by perfection, as opposed to playing the chameleon, whose fruits will be taken by the one looking for perfection, for they will perfect it. To have ideals is also to know when to not insist on them. Perfection teaches imperfection, which leads to perfection.
I idealise the country I live in. One day, I will tell the story of this country.

Elements: Eames bird: curbly; graph paper and bunting: pugly pixel.


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