Sunday, May 3, 2015

In flight entertainment

Love, Rosie
Kingsmen
Samba 
Force majeure 

Managed to catch 3.5 movies on the flight back to Singapore. 

Loved Love, Rosie and Kingsmen the best. Kingsmen was uber cool with the whole spy thing and insane gadgets. "Manners maketh men" scene was impressive. 

Love, Rosie although technically a chick flick was bittersweet and charming. Talks about missed opportunities and misunderstandings hence taking the childhood sweethearts a decade to finally get together. I guess the fears of rejection often push people apart. 

Samba is a French movie which talks about illegal immigrants from Africa trying to make a living and gaining residence in France. Samba the male lead met a burnt out executive Alice who was volunteering as a social worker and it sparked an interesting relationship. Pretty interesting movie. 

Force majeure is a God knows what language movie that talks about how a small avalanche which hurt no one physically but ended up hurting a family emotionally. It's a pretty slow paced one but I think it might be worth a watch if one has the patience. Unfortunately i did not and gave it up halfway.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A long dream

It was a long dream,
And I was finally roused awake.
Dreams, they end
Till we lie in our eternal sleep.

The clarity, when dreams die,
Is like the morning sun
That hurts one's eyes. 
One sees things for what they are. 
The fog lifts
And all are laid bare.
Truths, lies, vileness, kindness
Love and hate,
The polarities of life
I see them all
And the heart,
It fills with a sweet bitterness.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

橡皮擦

握着手中的橡皮擦
轻轻的
渐渐的
把你抹去。
你的影子
你的踪迹
最终,
只剩下一张白纸。



Monday, April 13, 2015

Man's Search for Meaning- Viktor Frankl

Learnt of Viktor Frankl from brainpickings and after reading an excerpt there, I decided that I have to read this book. I quite like reading war survival stories like these such as the diary of Anne frank (although that did not have a happy ending), the pianist, etc. there's something beautiful about the unbreakable spirit of men in times of severe hardship. But Frankl transcended to another level by turning what he went through in the concentration camps into something meaningful and "useful"- the founding of logotherapy. 

I particularly like this passage:
"Occasionally I looked at the sky, where the stars were fading and the pink light of the morning was beginning to spread behind a dark bank of clouds. But my mind clung to my wife's image, imagining it with an uncanny acuteness.... For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers....... The salvation of man is through love and in love."

Again the same sentiments that were echoed by Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, Einstein, and the wisest of all, God! 

From this passage we also see that In times of despair, having hope and something beautiful to cling on to, makes all the difference to one's psyche. 

In Frankl's case, it was hard not to see God's hand at work (how he had managed to escape death several times I felt was not only based on his own wit but part of God's plan and mercy). All that he went through was for the ultimate goal of helping others find meaning in their lives.
Most religious men would have thrust God's word/teaching into one's face and said that our meaning is found there. But sometimes this is something very difficult to grasp. How do we actualise theory and break it down into actionable items? What I've heard over and over again is that our purpose in life is to do God's work, whether through evangelism or by serving others/ church. But how about the daily things we do in life? What are their meanings? Are they just the collaterals of God's work or are there meaning in Them too? 
Sometimes I know the politically correct answer to the "meaning" of my work but am I convinced/ convicted of this meaning? I do not know yet. I think I have mentioned this before, I keep having this nagging feeling that I am missing something, something that will make everything make sense.

Anyhow, I wished he had written more on the story of his life in concentration camp. It would have been nice to hear about the aftermath of his release from the camps. The "ending" came from a William Winslade, who is a philosopher,lawyer, and psychoanalyst ( seriously who is this man!) which although wrapped the story up nicely, would have fared better if we had heard it straight from the horse's mouth. It was saddening to learn at the end that Frankl's wife and family died in the camps, leaving him the lone survivor.

Perelandra- CS Lewis

Finished the second book of the space trilogy couple of weeks ago. I didn't like it as much as the first book probably because some of the novelty has already worn off. 

This time Ransom landed himself on Venus, where he met the first man and woman and the vile serpent (in the form of Weston). Yes, he was transported back to the time of Genesis. 

What remained most salient from the book was the phrase : Felix peccatum Adae- the happy sin of Adam.

The quote came from a Roman Catholic liturgy: 
certe necessarium Adae peccatum, quod Christi morte deletum est!
felix culpa, quae talem ac tantum meruit habere Redemptorem!

The sin of Adam was meant to be celebratory because it led to the coming of Christ to cleanse men's sins. What I found interesting about this was the question of what if Adam had resisted the temptation and not sinned? Would Christ still come to earth as the Son of Man? If he had not come to earth, what would become of us and Christianity? 

Some argued that Adam's sin was part of God's plan, that it would have been impossible for him to resist the temptation of the serpent. I find it hard to believe this. I still believe that men can exercise free will, make his own decisions, etc but the daily things in life, are however, perhaps, planted by God. I don't deny that perhaps the temptation was part of God's plan but what Adam did was entirely of his own free will. 

Speaking of free will reminds me of Viktor Frankl's Men's search for meaning, which I had finished reading a couple of minutes ago. Will be next in my book log. 


Geeses

The winter brings its frost
And its bitterness.
And the geeses,
They make their plans,
To fly south. 

But the one with the broken wings,
Was left behind.
Broken wings, a broken heart,
Goodbye, it bids,
To the ones it once loved.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

I have already forgotten
What I needed to remember.
The winter has hidden the vines
And the sun no longer shines.

The words spoken yesterday
Tomorrow the rain will wash away.
Time, it has no mercy for those who wait.
The evening falls, another day is over.