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. 

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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.