X for Xanadu
“An idealized place of great or idyllic magnificence and beauty or paradise.” That’s what Xanadu means although it traces its origin to Xanadu or Shang-tu which was an ancient city, now in China and also portrayed in Coleridge’s poem Kubla Khan.
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round;
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery………”
So, am I living in my Xanadu? Am I happy there? I know not whether materially, I am living in my paradise for the meaning of paradise differs from person to person. What may be my Xanadu may not be so for somebody else.
But, this much I know that my sense of paradise lives in my mind. I wish it and it is there. Somewhat like a magic wand – I can wish it to be there and I can also wish it away.
With the growing years I do have come to understand that a thought can change everything – one’s desires, one’s hope, one’s perspective. So, even if the circumstances may be bad, if I feel that I am living in my Xanadu, I AM. And, even if I have the world’s greatest riches, but within myself I feel lost, forlorn and depressed, then I do not live in my paradise.
My paradise is now in my present. How about you? Where is your Xanadu? How do you visualize it to be?