Archive for December, 2016

Two quotes

December.30. 2016

I just came across this quote from the great American watercolorist, Philip Jamison:

“A painting without spirit is like flat beer!”

Almost as insightful as that other quote from that great American literary giant, Anthony Bourdain, which went something like this.

“The food was good but it seemed to lack something and we couldn’t figure out what it was until my friend said, ‘The chef cooks like he’s never been properly fked in his life.'”

Something to ponder upon on cold winter nights.

A philosophical discourse

December.26. 2016

I had a discussion with someone a while back about reality.

The person said, “Reality doesn’t exist. It’s different for everyone. How do you know what my reality is?”

He’s got a point.

Everyone’s reality is different.

But at the end of the day, if you go into a bank and hand the teller a $10 note and tell the teller that it’s a $100 note because that’s your reality, he might have a hard time believing you.

The simple truth is, reality does exist.

There is an absolute reality out there.

It’s just that we interpret it differently, according to our personal experiences and biases. But just because we have different takes on it doesn’t make it less real.

A $10 note is a $10 note is a $10 note.

Nothing anyone can say will ever change that fact.

Short story

December.18. 2016

The house was a simple house with wooden sidings and a carport in front.

He waited outside on the road for some time, for someone—it’s not clear for whom.

He thought he heard people in the house so he started his motorbike and went into the driveway towards the carport.

At first, he parked the bike facing in, but he realized he might have to leave in a hurry in which case he would not have time to back out, so he reversed the bike and parked it facing out into the driveway.

Looking into the yard, he saw his old neighbor, Mrs. Trevino. She was on her knees digging something in the ground.

He called out to her, “Mrs. Trevino, how are you?”

He could hear people talking in the house. On listening closer, it was his mother and sister. So they are already here, he thought.

It was at that time that he woke up.

Just a dream, although he could still hear his mother’s voice coming from the house, full of life and sounding so happy.

She had passed on two months before.

He wondered what house that was. And what was it about the cement at 3 dollars? The last time he bought them at the store in Rejang Park, they had cost only 1 ringgit a bag.

And what were they for? Could it be for some installation of some heater unit?

It wasn’t his old home on Herndon, but it looked so familiar.

A deeper root

December.12. 2016

It’s hard to see the human tragedy unfolding in that ancient city, and the nightly scenes of carnage (that keep newspeople gainfully employed).

You can say the conflict is geopolitical or sectarian in nature.

But I see a deeper root.

It comes down to hate (and the one religion that preaches hate rather than love. Why else do you think were they dancing in the streets when the towers fell?)

Hate is an insidious thing.

It grows on you quietly, fed by the people who would use it to control you.

And once it gains a hold on you, you have to keep on feeding it.

And if you run out of food for it to feed on, it turns inwards and starts feeding on you.

That’s the story behind the story of all those ruined buildings and shattered and lost lives.

The hate that was created and directed at the rest of the world, has turned inwards and started feeding on its hosts.

The ultimate irony.

The hapless people caught in the crossfire trying to find refuge in the lands of the very people they’ve been taught to hate.

Of course, they bring with them the legacy of hate and blame and violence that their religion has taught them and which is largely responsible for their present predicament.

As they say, human nature is perverse–people tend to bite the hands that feed them.

But they also say love conquers all.

We’ll see which one rings more true here.