Memories of a life live in the gardens of my heart. Like the gardener who lovingly tends his garden for the pleasures of bloom, I nourish these memories because they comfort my soul and give meaning to my life. As we feed our gardens, the gardener and I anticipate the flourish of the coming spring that will surely bring joy to our lives. In the cold desolation of approaching winter we prune these delicate children of our past with sadness, tempered only by the eternal hope that the turning of the seasons will renew life and bring more bounties to our gardens. More flowers for the gardener, more memories for me to clutter every corner of my heart brimming with old memories that stay forever young. When I close my mind to the din and clamor of the world, they all vie for my attention, repeating the symphony of my life with violent crescendos yielding to placid vistas of my lake where they fly like graceful swans in the mist of approaching forgetfulness. Tiring insomnia is the reward for nourishing these memories, which I often refuse to trade for the bliss of sleep.
Most of my memories are mundane that I share aplenty with my contemporaries. Like the green shrubbery abundant in every garden, these ordinary memories compose the background of my paintings. Other memories are uniquely mine for their pleasure and pain entwined, inseparable. They stand high above the rest as orchids in my verdant gardens, seeking the sun, striking in their vivid colors, and hoping to catch the eye bedazzled by the kaleidoscope of random events that is my life. These orchids are scattered in my gardens, exploding with life, but ever ready for lifelessness as soon as the gardener misses a heartbeat.
In these pages I preserve these orchids before memory fails. Here many readers may only find the monotonous ramblings of a Pakistani American who came alone to this country from far away as a young man with boundless dreams, and who still does not know if he is a would-be entrepreneur or a romantic writer, and who is not particularly good at either. But perhaps hidden in these ramblings some may find the simple beauty of a life, and a gem of wisdom here and there crystallized by the weight of my life experiences.