Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Beauty

Some people think if something is beautiful it has to become known by all, but is that really necessary?

Some beauty has been ruined precisely because it became known by many.

Sunday, 17 August 2014

To Err is...

La boule de feu by Bernard Faucon


To err is the privilege of youth.
So why does Icarus have to die?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Before and After

Before it seemed I always wanted to be someone else. I've given that all up. Now I'm being myself 24/7. I still suffer, but it's a more pleasant kind of suffering. XD

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Trickery

There's no use pretending because people are endowed with such an amazing innate intelligence that they'll always see through you. However, it is those same people who are willing to be deceived and reinforce their warped perceptions.  You can never be tricked by others. You always trick yourself.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Moon Desert

A short, melancholic piece of music that I composed sometime ago.
It's meant to be played on loop so has no clear ending.


Friday, 4 July 2014

So unfortunate

The other day I came across a website run by a British person teaching English in Japan.

On one article I spotted a comment left by a Japanese woman which I found was rather funny, although it was very unfortunate for the woman.

She was asking about the meaning and correct usage of the phrase "How's it going?"
It appears that she actually does understand its meaning, but didn't know how to respond to it when the question was posed to her during a chit-chat with a Canadian man.

The conversation (as it appears in her comment) was as follows:

The Canadian Man "Hows it going?"
The Japanese Woman "I'm coming."
The Canadian Man "Take your time. I'm busy. I just asked how's it going."

After this she writes, "What did he mean by it? I thought he was asking me about my current situation, but was I wrong? Please enlighten me."

When I read that, I was like "OH. MY. GOD."

Poor woman. I felt so embarrassed for her.  

Monday, 30 June 2014

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Sanskrit Salutation To The Dawn

Listen to the salutation to the dawn,

Look to this day for it is life, the very life of life,
In its brief course lie all the verities and realities of our existence.
The bliss of growth, the splendor of beauty,
For yesterday is but a dream and tomorrow is only a vision,
But today well spent makes every yesterday a dream of happiness and every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore to this day.

Such is the salutation to the dawn.


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I love this one! 

Monday, 9 June 2014

Now

I will not be a slave to the Past or the Future, but I want to be the Master of the Present.

The only thing we have is NOW. I will not sacrifice the present moment for the past or the future.

Mindfulness is the key.
Am I living fully in the present moment?
Do I taste the sweetness of the fruit in my mouth?
Or have I forgotten the fruit was there at all, because I am thinking about how I am going to survive tomorrow? Or because I am thinking how badly my parents damaged me as a child? (Typical. lol)

The present slips away like quick silver, because you never noticed you were holding it in the first place.


Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Silences in Books

When you perceive a break in a book, that's the time to stop reading, take a deep breath, and reflect on what you have just read.

My piano teacher used to say that silence in music is more important than the parts that have sound.
Silences in books are meant to be there too, just like silences in music.

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

Your Soul Leads Your Way

"When you dance, your soul leads your way. Do you think about your feet when you walk? No one thinks about them. When a child is told 'come here,' the child goes, 'yes, mother,' does it not? Life is just like that. It never stays still."

- a saying by Kazuo Ohno, a dancer. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kazuo_Ohno (translated by me!)

I want to visit his son's dance studio when I go back to Japan.

Friday, 2 May 2014

Ruins

I added Beksinski's paintings to my own music.

Here's what my friend said about this music:
"I'm always reminded of Miyazaki's movies whenever I hear your music :) Surreal yet always a bit melancholy."

I was very flattered by this feedback!


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Fairy's World


Alpacas are visiting their friend in the fairy's world.
Fairies live inside fruits.

Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Drawing of a Bathroom



This is an another drawing I did while on holiday.

The painting on the wall with black frame is a Cassigneul.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

How Love Blossoms

Love is indeed like a flower. It will blossom only under right conditions and you can never force it to blossom. We can only guess at what those right conditions are. But we know that the right conditions are generated by another love. Love is born out of Love.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Let it Snow

I heard that it's definitely going to start snowing tonight!

I drew this picture to express my excitement LOL


Monday, 3 February 2014

"Envy" by Bertrand Russell

A summary of the essay "Envy," from the book The Conquest of Happiness by Betrand Russell.
Most words have been taken directly from the essay.
 
If you have never come across the essay, you should read it yourself.
It's very entertaining, especially the part about peacocks!


Introduction
...one of the most potent causes of unhappiness is envy.
Envy...is one of the most universal and deep-seated of human passions.
The emotion is just as prevalent among adults as among children.  

Envy is the basis of democracy.


Envy and the Society
Envy is...closely connected with competition. We do not envy a good fortune which we conceive as quite hopelessly out of our reach.
In an age when the social hierarchy is fixed, the lowest classes do not envy the upper classes so long as the division between rich and poor is thought to be ordained by God.

The instability of social status in the modern world, and the equalitarian doctrine of democracy and socialism, have greatly extended the range of envy.

The harmful effects of Envy
Of all the characteristics of ordinary human nature envy is the most unfortunate; not only does the envious person wish to inflict misfortune and do so whenever he can with impunity, but he is also himself rendered unhappy by envy.
Instead of deriving pleasure from what he has, he derives pain from what others have.


The Cure for Envy
  • Don't compare yourself with others
The habit of thinking in terms of comparisons is a fatal one. When anything pleasant occurs it should be enjoyed to the full, without stopping to think that it is not so pleasant as something else that may possibly be happening to someone else.

With the wise man, what he has does not case to be enjoyable because someone else has something else.
Envy, in fact, is one form of vice, partly moral, partly intellectual, which consists in seeing things never in themselves, but only in their relations.

You cannot...get away from envy by means of success alone, for there will always be in history or legend some person even more successful than you are.
You can get away from envy by enjoying the work that you have to do, and by avoiding comparisons with those whom you imagine, perhaps quite falsely, to be more fortunate than yourself.

  • Don't be too modest
Modest people believe themselves to be outshone by those with whom they habitually associate.
They are therefore particularly prone to envy, and, through envy, to unhappiness and ill will.
For my part, I think there is much to be said for bringing up a boy to think himself a fine fellow.

  • Reduce Fatigue
  • Secure a life which is satisfying to instinct
Much envy that seems purely professional really has a sexual source. A man who is happy in his marriage and his children is not likely to feel much envy of other men because of their greater wealth or success...

The essentials of human happiness are simple, so simple that sophisticated people cannot abring themselves to admit what it is they really lack.


Conclusion
If there is to be less envy, means must be found for remedying this state of affiars, and if no such means are found our civilisation is in danger of going down to destruction in an orgy of hatred.

 ...the human heart as modern civilisation has made it is prone to hatred than to friendship. And it is prone to hatred because it is dissatisfied, because it feels deeply, perhaps even unconsciously, that it has somehow missed the meaning of life, that perhaps others, but not we ourselves, have secured the good things which nature offers man's enjoyment.
The positive sum of pleasures in a modern man's life is undoubtedly greater than was to be found in more primitive communities, but the consciousness of what might be has increased even more.

 〔Civilised man〕 knows there is something better than himself almost within his grasp, yet he does not know where to seek it or how to find it.
In despair he rages against his fellow man, who is equally lost and equally unhappy.

Envy...evil as it is, and terrible as are its effects, is not wholly of the devil. It is in part the expression of an heroic pain, the pain of those who walk through the night blindly, perhaps to a better resting-place, perhaps only to death and destruction.

To find the right road out of this despair civilised man must enlarge his heart as he has enlarged his mind. He must learn to transcend self, and in so doing to acquire the freedom of the Universe.


Saturday, 1 February 2014

What I drew today

I've just finished drawing this picture this morning using pastel pencils.



Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Apples are red?

It is rather sad that I always have to borrow things in order to express myself.

I didn't invent words in the first place.
I say, "apples are red." But was I the first person to call the sweet, rounded fruit "an apple"? Was I the first person to name the colour of the apple's skin "red"?  No. I'm only following in someone's footsteps in saying "apples are red." I can only experience the "apple" and the "redness" in an indirect manner. Because how else can I express "the apple" or "red"?
With the apple, I can say, like I did just now, it's a "sweet, rounded fruit," but none of these words - "sweet," "rounded" or "fruit" - belong to me.

Do words only serve to create an alienation between the real world and me?

Certainly, I feel different when I'm using English from when I'm using Japanese or Chinese. 
Of course that's because each of these languages requires me to operate in a unique, distinctive cultural context. Even when I met a Japanese person in England, I wished to communicate in English with him/her, because I was loath to switch from my English persona to my Japanese persona. 

-----------------------------

I wear clothes that someone else created, I eat cuisines that someone else invented, and someone else teaches that to be a proper woman/adult I have to conform to certain social/cultural codes.
Sometimes I'm lost in a sea of signs, symbols and images, and my whole life seems like a borrowed life, and nothing in it is ever genuine or can be called "mine."

But I cannot denounce the whole world and go into the mountains to lead a life of a hermit.
If I wish to continue living among people and continue relating to the world, must I lead a life of collage? Must I keep using borrowed words, wear borrowed clothes, imitate the burrowed images of a proper adult?  If I go into the desert and spend 40 days there, will I be able to get back my genuine self? I don't think so. When the 40 days are over, I will have to go back to the world, and it will be the same all over again.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Nostalgia

This is a piece of music I recently composed.

I started composing music only a few months ago so I still have a lot to learn.




All the pictures are taken from Andrei Tarkovsky's films.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Living Truthfully

What will a man gain by winning the whole world, at the cost of his true self?
Or what can he give that will buy that self back?
(Matthew 16:26)

The answer is NOTHING for both questions.

I am not a Christian, so how I see Jesus is that he was simply a man who tried to live as himself, in accordance with his own values.

He suffered greatly for it, and he continued to doubt his course of action right up till the end.
Perhaps it was not a happy life, but there are things in life more important than seeking to build a life that is commonly judged as "happy" by others.


You can choose to live like a "saint" or become a martyr of the truth you believe in.    

Basil explains why it's better to be plain Jane or average Joe than be a nail that sticks out

The general consensus among the people of Japan is that "it is better to be plain Jane or average Joe than be a sticking-out nail that gets hammered down."

Basil in The Picture of Dorian Gray explains why:



(Lord Henry, talking to Basil about Dorian Gray) "...Don't flatter yourself, Basil: you are not in the least like him."

   "You don't understand me, Harry," answered the artist. "Of course I am not like him. I know that perfectly well. Indeed, I should be sorry to look like him. You shrug your shoulders? I am telling you the truth. There is a fatality about all physical and intellectual distinction, the sort of fatality that seems to dog through history the faltering steps of kings. It is better not to be different from one's fellows. The ugly and the stupid have the best of it in this world. They can sit at their ease and gape at the play. If they know nothing of victory, they are at least spared the knowledge of defeat. They live as we all should live -- undisturbed, indifferent, and without disquiet. They neither bring ruin upon others, nor ever receive it from alien hands. Your rank and wealth, Harry; my brains, such as they are -- my art, whatever it may be worth; Dorian Gray's good looks -- we shall all suffer for what the gods have given us, suffer terribly."

My New Year Resolutions (Unfinished, will write more later)

My friend asked me via FB what my New Year resolutions are.

Well, if it were a few years ago, I would have replied, "WHAT DO WOMEN WANT EXCEPT GETTING INTO BIKINI SHAPE!?"

But I've grown up and am past that age now.
I mean it's still important to look attractive and make sure your body is more or less in shape, but that's not THE most important thing in my life.

SO, I'm gonna list up my new New Year resolutions here, for all the world to see. (I used "new" twice here on purpose, meaning "as opposed to my old NY resolutions":D)

Establish good habits - that includes:
getting up and going to be around the same time each day
doing the same kind of things after getting up and before going to bed
(eg. Recently after getting up I drink a cup of lukewarm water for detox, and then do some exercise. I do a few exercise before going to bed too)
Go for a walk everyday
Learn a new Chinese word everyday.
etc. (I'm gonna stop it now otherwise I would end up spending the whole day on making the list)

Cultivate love in myself 
Love is an art and it needs cultivation, said the good old Erich Fromm. 

Read books unrelated to my study everyday, even if it were just a few pages
I don't want to make any more excuses like "I simply have no time to read books!"
What is life without books?

Keep it simple
Don't spend time being fake on Fakebook. Or taking endless numbers of selfies. Not that I ever do any of them.

Be Myself
Jesus said, "What will a man gain by winning the whole world, at the cost of his true self?
Or what can he give that will buy that self back?"(Matthew 16:26) The answer is NOTHING for both questions.

Identify my values and stick to them
And remember that how I think about myself is more important than how others think about me. 

Live with passion!
Do what I love most.



Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Goodbye 2013, Hello 2014

Well, it's already 2014 in Taiwan!
(It's weird to think that some countries are still stuck in 2013.)

I can hear fireworks outside :D

And here I am, spending the last minutes of 2013 WASHING DISHES and CLEANING UP THE KITCHEN.

What a life.