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Archive for February, 2006

Emotional Cycle

I just been through another emotional cycles. It’s the usual ups and downs people experience from time to time. At peak, the smallest things in life can be fascinating and wonderful. But near the bottom, everything in life appears to be optional and nothing seems right. I was usually the kind of person who’s pretty immune to this kind of emotional swing. When I feel down, in a bad mood, or can’t concentrate my mind, a nap will usually suffice to get me back to normal to face whatever that’s bothering me. But lately as I try to follow my heart more, it’s much harder to keep my life in balance between doing productive work and indulging in sensory experience. And I often found myself unable to concentrate during work. Perhaps listening to my feeling give me an excuse to avoid hard work or get me to think about all sorts of big life issues that can distract me from work. I’ll have to train and discipline myself more to stay productive and achieve my goals. But living a life too rigid may make me lose out on the artistic and intellectual enrichment in life, experience I definitely wouldn’t want to miss. Since I’m more or less recover from the trough, I’m planning my way forward to a more stable and satisfying period and finding ways to make my feeling and thinking selves compatible without being carried to either extreme. I may not be able to avoid the emotional cycle completely (and probably wouldn’t want to), but would want too make sure the swings wouldn’t affect other important areas in life too much.

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Some people may consider it traditional, but I do hold a view (just for myself) that man should take up certain responsibilities such as taking care of love ones and being a dependable friend. I don’t think of these responsibilities as duties as long as they arise from within myself and not because they’re required or expected from others. It’s not as difficult to show genuine concern for a few close friends and wanting to do things or becoming better for them, but it gets harder when it comes to dealing with people outside this small circle. Ultimately, to be truly strong at heart and genuinely care about others without complain or regret, the motivation has to arise from my self and thus has to be consistent with my personal philosophy and self-interest. I think the best way to achieve this is to start small, and as I learn more about myself and the world around me, I would be able to gradually expand my concern and interests beyond myself and immediate circle and be able to live independently and provide positive energy to all those around me who need it.

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The Sound of Silence

The standard greetings

The usual prattles

Act nice, look cheerful, and you’re friendly

Remain silent, nonchalant, and you’re aloof

 

How many selves do we have?

How many personas do we need?

 

Where do expectations come from?

Why should we be consistent?

 

Why can’t we leave others alone?

Or do we really want to be left alone?

 

What’s the point of social gathering?

What’s the point of dressing up?

What’s the point of following implicit social norms?

 

Why do I care at all?

 

 

 

The Sound of Silence

by  Paul Simon

 

Hello darkness, my old friend,
I’ve come to talk with you again,
Because a vision softly creeping,
Left its seeds while I was sleeping,
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence.
In restless dreams I walked alone
Narrow streets of cobblestone,
‘Neath the halo of a street lamp,
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light
That split the night
And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw
Ten thousand people, maybe more.
People talking without speaking,
People hearing without listening,
People writing songs that voices never share
And no one dare
Disturb the sound of silence.

“Fools” said I, “You do not know
Silence like a cancer grows.
Hear my words that I might teach you,
Take my arms that I might reach to you.”
But my words like silent raindrops fell,
And echoed
In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made.
And the sign flashed out its warning,
in the words that it was forming.
And the sign said, “The words of the prophets

are written on the subway walls
And tenement halls.”
And whisper’d in the sounds of silence.

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Resolution

Everyone’s so different and yet so similar

What do I have?

 

Confidence is what I lack

It’s the reason why I’m here

 

It’s scary but I will face it squarely

Let’s find out what’s in me

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Give me eyes so I can see

Give me a voice so I can speak

Give me wings so I can fly

Give me a purpose so I can live

 

Am I asking too much?

 

Give me awareness to my feeling

Give me courage to learn from trials and errors

Give me strength to stand up from failures

Give me understanding to live with the world

 

Am I asking too much?

 

Ludwig Wittgenstein–Philosophy leaves the world as it is.

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Two World

Will I sink into my persona With my self buried And live like a stranger in a strange land   Or will I experience the world Come to terms with it And embrace it with a peace of mind       The World is Too Much with Us   by William Wordsworth   The world is too much with us; late and soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; Little we see in Nature that is ours; We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon! This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon, The winds that will be howling at all hours, And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers, For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.–Great God! I’d rather be A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn; (1) So might I, standing on this pleasant lea, (2) Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn; Have sight of Proteus (3) rising from the sea; Or hear old Triton (4) blow his wreathed horn.

(1) Brought up in an outdated religion.

(2) Meadow.

(3) Greek sea god capable of taking many shapes.

(4) Another sea god, often depicted as trumpeting on a shell.

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The Seed and the World

I’ve been feeling dissatisfied with myself and my surrounding lately and thinking about reverting to an old self—someone who remains detaches to people and things and focus mainly on achieving goals. Just when I’m deciding to take this easy way out, a movie (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0332639/), a mail, and a painting session hit me like a wave and remind me of my ideal kind of life. I guess I’m still an idealist at heart (not the philosophical meaning of idealist, but just someone who believes in certain kind of ideal life being possible). I believe in certain kind of beauty in life–a beauty that is natural yet perfect. I’m searching for an understanding and comfort with the world, a passion and dreams that align me with the world, and some preciousness in life that are simple and free of all artificiality.

 

What can I do if I’m unsatisfied with life? Should I try to change myself or my view of the world? Or should I try to change the world or my surrounding instead? Or should I just compromise or find ways to adapt?

 

Even though I’ll continue trying to better myself, I think there’re parts in me that are hard to change either because I don’t have enough will or because deep down inside I don’t find it worthwhile to change. And I don’t have the high aspiration to change the world or the surrounding either. I also think the problem lies less with the world or other people than with me. But I guess the worst thing is to live a compromised life that’s either full of dissatisfaction or pretension to be happy.

 

At this moment, I think of myself as a seed. Although I can’t control how it’ll turn out to be, I can try to take care of it conscientiously to maximize its chance of growing. I can also try to find a ground, a soil, a surrounding that this seed can flourish. This place may not exists, but being an idealist, I’d want to believe there’s such a place where with constant care and effort, this little seed can survive and grow to be a magnificent tree that live harmoniously with the world and its surrounding.

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