Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, writing

There is a mysterious cycle in human events

tree-eveningvia Daily Prompt: Realize I now realize that this is a mysterious shot taken at Sep 12, 2015, 11:35 PM according to the description. But I cannot remember how I could have gone outside to take this photo at such a late hour! When I check other photos taken on the same day I find that they depict daytime and not night. How could I have taken some photos in the morning, paused for a whole day, and went out again just to take this one picture? It does not make sense. Anyway I give up guessing. It does not matter. The story in the picture is nice to ponder: it seems to tell of a mysterious setting for a rendezvous for at least two. The dark trees, the traffic junction, the lamp post, the distant low mounds, and the sun captured in its yellow water-color painted sky backdrop. The setting stirs up a writer’s imagination without boundary.
By the way, because the lamps seem not lit I conclude that this picture was taken in the day and not at night. It did not really matter whether it was day or night. I was alone that day and not meeting anyone.
“There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.” (Franklin D. Roosevelt)

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Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

her framed life

Frame
frame 1“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ”(Michael Crichton) I agree when I now look at this picture taken at a museum. The painting depicts a vintage car with possibly a miner’s family. I was attracted by the splashes of blue color which permeates the whole scene. Somehow the blue blends well with the yellow and brown. I collected a few pictures within pictures by using a simple Samsung Galaxy. The museum is about mining. And an artist has displayed a series of painting of individuals (possibly based on related period records) on the wall. The individuals are framed in time. Each must represent an episode in life in which he or she has existed. Each carries a portion of history within the tiny frame of his or her life. We were mere travelers when we visited this museum. We were there to look at other things. But the paintings become a focus today. Paintings are framed lives. The artist looks at a life or a part thereof and tries to put it into an expression. But it can only remain a mere capture of a moment in life as observed and interpreted by the artist. Did the individual thus captured move on from that position and pose? Or was he or she frozen in that frame? No matter how well an artist tries to portray the reality, it is not reality. It is an image formed in time. Thinking deeper aloud, I suddenly realize I too am living from frame to frame. Don’t we all? Sad, but true.

Posted in photography, thoughts, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

Life’s miniatures in time frame

Frameminiatures in time frameLife is a mixture of miniatures. True. If we can dissect life like a layered cake we shall see layers made of a spectrum of lights, different shades, shapes, depths, measurements, ingredients, colors, textures and flavors. Different in uniqueness yet they bond well into one cohesive and coherent wholeness. The much weathered old paint piece continues to stand well as an existence of its own in a corner now with the sun light on its face. It is an irony that the original flowers have faded and only their images are now embedded in a frame in paints in time. Yet they continue in another form as long as the oil painting lasts.

Daily prompt: Miniature

Weekly photos challenge: Rare

In my previous blog, I posted one tiny flower on the left hand corner and learned from it.
https://pwahpraise.wordpress.com/2016/08/24/learning-to-yield/

Posted in literary magazines and publishing, photography, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

the narrow street in sentences breaking out

Narrow

“So I find words I never thought to speak
In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore.”
― T.S. Eliot
“There’s something about arriving in new cities, wandering empty streets with no destination. I will never lose the love for the arriving, but I’m born to leave.”
― Charlotte Eriksson, Empty Roads & Broken Bottles; in search for The Great Perhaps
~~~~~~~~~~
a poem ‘Homage’ by Rachael Boast
On each visit the waves would follow me down
the narrow street in sentences breaking out
of language to tell me homage means going
back to the same place until it knows you –
and I’d hesitate, listening for the way we came
out of the sea with our hands in a vow of give
and take to its turning page which reads
the narrow street leads to a double key.
(- See more at: http://www.picador.com/blog/july-2014/friday-poem-homage-by-rachael-boast#sthash.Xddyy3OO.dpuf)

I decided to post these quotes together with the two pictures on “narrow”streets I took today at random as the words aptly tell a side of the stories of the streets and their supposed narrowness. As traveler in life we often walk on streets that do not mean a thing to us because the time is short and we have too much to see and experience. The streets themselves become mere tools and conveyors for us to get from one point to another. And yet they become parts of our invisible lives.

I read a book by Orhan Pamuk recently, A Strangeness in my Mind, about a street-food vendor, Mevlut Karatas, who walks Istanbul’s neighborhoods at night calling out: “Booo-zaaaaa. Goooood boozaaaaa.” Boza is an ancient fermented beverage, made in Turkey from wheat. It’s yellowish and thick and often topped with cinnamon and roasted chickpeas.
Here are some quotes from the book:
“In a city, you can be alone in a crowd, and in fact what makes the city a city is that it lets you hide the strangeness in your mind inside its teeming multitudes.”
“You’ll learn it all soon enough . . . You will see everything without being seen. You will hear everything but pretend that you haven’t . . . You will walk for ten hours a day but feel like you haven’t walked at all.”
“The only antidote to the loneliness of the streets was the streets themselves.”
“Mevlut sensed that the light and darkness inside his mind looked like the nighttime landscape of the city. . . . Walking around the city at night made him feel as if he were wandering around inside his own head.”

Does the strangeness in his mind cause the wandering at night in the streets? Or does the wandering in the streets cause the strangeness in this poor man’s mind? Like many findings in medical study, often there are no definitive cause and effect variables. The variables can be a cause and an effect at the same time. Isn’t life this way?

Just my random musing today.
Muse

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

one day I met this side lane

Narrow
narrow cafeThis side lane is narrow and does not seem to bring out the actual attraction of the place. The frontage is nice. But if you merely look at this lane you would not know whether you should walk in or not. (I have covered the name in the picture.) The restaurant offers savory Turkish, Greek and Mediterranean Fusion Cuisine*. Actually it is worth trying out. Sometimes it takes a bit more effort to walk round to actually see the whole picture. When digging deeper, I discover that the buildings and narrow side lanes are special. Because of the preservation of the town’s historic downtown area, many examples of architectural styles dating back to the mid-19th century exist. Buildings in Gothic Revival, Pioneer, Italianate, Commercial Italianate, Colonial Revival, and Queen Anne styles can be found within walking distance of each other. I have learned the lesson not to be presumptious  when taking a photo of a place. The history of buildings and lanes is often rich and tells a thousand stories. My superficial photo may not do the place justice. The narrowness is often my own casual handling of a subject and not the subject content itself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
*Note:Fusion cuisine is cuisine that combines elements of different culinary traditions. Cuisines of this type are not categorized according to any one particular cuisine style and have played a part in innovations of many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s.

Posted in blogging, celestial journal, photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

traveler’s time and perspective

Narrow
narrow stairsI was taken to this tiny museum in a little town a few days before I left. Two old ladies took care of the place. Old memories like family photos, wedding and children’s clothes, a master bedroom, dolls, cooking utensils, a music room and other person stuff were well preserved among other more important historical records about the founder of the town. This photograph was a bit blurred as I was in a hurry to leave. When I look at it now I realize a museum like this preserves more than just the memories of a man and his lives and perhaps his official impact on others during his time. It is more than just a book of memoir or biography pieced together by others (including perhaps his loved ones) on a man. It is a place where strangers like me from another continent  may stumble in once in a blue moon like entering a time portal to another world. The periodic presentation of a time in history is valuable as it makes a statement with things rather than with words. The things may not look pretty or impressive in our modern world but the communication of a statement is timeless, like an ever speaking witness of a time which existed on earth in a little town, a tiny narrow space. I perceive the familiarity of the space. I have been here before, with the same message communicated to me through the many tiny narrow spaces I have stepped on during my travel round the world. The contents of the message are often unchanged. The variation of things and names do not make any difference. The message is a message of time itself. Time speaks, regardless of spaces. Yes, narrowness is a matter of perspective.

Posted in books, photography, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

writing about life in crisis

Crisislife in crisis
Lately I realize the more I look at life being lived by others the more I value my own. Writing about others’ lives is not a pleasant task. Often we see the imperfections and the should-have-been scenarios. Before the explosive and swift takeover of the world by digital technology which broke through all geographical barriers and rendered all physical boundaries useless in terms of sharing of instant visual and audio thoughts and perceptions, we read news which were not news. But today we read news as they come into being somewhere faraway and yet real, real suffering, discriminations, and hate crime being perpetrated by evil right in front of our eyes manifesting digitally.

I may ask, who are these people? Why do they hate so much? We read of who they are superficially in the news. What are the factors that drive them to killing out of hatred? We read of the usual socio-economic-racial-religious-class-color-power distribution factors. All these factors cannot answer the question why others under the same categories do not hate or kill others, and why the particular person or group of persons hate and kill innocent people.

The rules of war have been altered as each national boundary has been invaded through borderless ideologies and beliefs. When we read further and ponder the issue deeper we realize that it is the borderless infiltration of the mind that is the culprit. How do we close our mind border? This is the real question today.

This picture was taken in a winter in a foreign land. The bush/grass had lost their life giving green color. The birds continued fishing in the shallow brook. They co-existed. The bush/grass continued to shelter the birds. I just read that a young person stabbed to death 19 people and injured 26 in a stabbing spree at a facility for disabled people. It was reported that the young man who was a former staff considered them unfit to live. They were deemed disqualified to live because they were not as perfect as he wanted them to be. Where did he get the idea who are perfect to live? Where did he see pictures of physically perfect people whom he worshipped as idols/icons?

I remember the book Lord of the Flies, a 1954 novel by Nobel Prize-winning English author William Golding about a group of British boys stuck on an uninhabited island who try to govern themselves with disastrous results.In the midst of a wartime evacuation, a British plane crashes on or near an isolated island in a remote region of the Pacific Ocean. The only survivors are boys in their middle childhood or preadolescence. The book portrays their descent into savagery; left to themselves in a paradisiacal country, far from modern civilization, the well-educated children regress to a primitive state.

This is a prophetic book that tells of a future-today’s world in crisis.

Posted in literary magazines and publishing, photography, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

“All you have to do is write one true sentence”

earnest hemingway“Writing, at its best, is a lonely life. Organizations for writers palliate the writer’s loneliness but I doubt if they improve his writing. He grows in public stature as he sheds his loneliness and often his work deteriorates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eternity, or the lack of it, each day. ( acceptance speech at Nobel Prize in Literature 1954)

“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.”

“My aim is to put down on paper what I see and what I feel in the best and simplest way.”

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

“In order to write about life first you must live it.”

“The hard part about writing a novel is finishing it.”

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer.”

“As a writer, you should not judge, you should understand.”

“If a writer stops observing he is finished. Experience is communicated by small details intimately observed.”

“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

I decided to share some quotes from Earnest Hemingway at random on writing. Simple yet relevant observations for would-be-writers to ponder and emulate.

Posted in photography, thoughts, travel, words of thoughts and spirit, writing

Writing with a passion

Matthew 9 copyWriting is like being in love. There must be an unquenchable passion. My experience is that great writings come with passion. They are no longer mere words being grouped together to form something. They are lives. The lives of real people. The lives that matter to real people.

Writing is passion for life.

When I feel a coldness I cannot write. I just look at the screen and sigh. Then I shut it down.

Where does passion come from? Passion can only come from life. Only by living we can acquire passion. It does not come automatically. It has to be hunted down, discovered or uncovered. It hides in life itself. It comes in many shapes and sizes, colors and sounds. It can be seen or heard or sensed or touched or just perceived in the heart or soul…

A reader can differentiate between whether the writing is alive or dead. The writer can try to fake it. But if he does not have life he cannot give it. His coldness will show. How do I select something to read? I look for the life in it. When there is none, I put it back to its display shelf in the bookstore or on the web page of Amazon or whatever bookstore online. I would leave it alone.

I do the same for blogs too or pictures in the blogs. Leave it alone. Go for the ones with real lives.

Life and goodness require courage and strength to grow and hold fast. Be strong. Be courageous. Hold fast to the Source of goodness. Passion for life is contagious. Be contagious with a life of good words.

Quoted from a dictionary:
The joy of giving life to a child: existence, being, living, animation; sentience, creation, viability.
He is full of life: vivacity, animation, liveliness, vitality, verve, high spirits, exuberance, zest, buoyancy, enthusiasm, energy, vigor, dynamism, elan, gusto, brio, bounce, spirit, fire; movement;