Sunday, 28 December 2008

ALPHAVILLE: "Big In Japan"

Tokyo - Kyoto - Himeiji - Hiroshima (Japan)

GUNS N' ROSES: "Sweet Child O'Mine"

Dear Thoth:

My son is addicted to heroin. I really don’t know how long he has been taking it, but the last few years have been a hell for me. And even more for him, of course. He used to be a very enthusiastic kid when he was young. He was always laughing and he had plenty of friends. When he was still very young, I used to read stories in his bed at night, and after a while he knew the precise words that would follow, even before I read them. He was just a very clever kid. And even when he grew up as a teenager, he and I always kept that very special bond. He used to tell me a lot, even about things that boys normally don't easily talk about.

Now all that seems so far away, so long ago. I don’t know when exactly, but gradually things started to change. He became silent, moody. I felt he was slipping away from me. He got angry with me without reason, at times. He gave up his study, moved out of the house. And things went from bad to worse.

If only I knew what is wrong, if only I knew what made him change. I am just so worried about him, I fear that day when someone will ring my bell and bring me bad news about him. Can you please write him a letter for me? The last time I saw him was about a year ago. I am desperate. I miss him so much. He is 21 years old. His name is C.




Dear C.,

I still remember very clearly the moment I held you in my arms for the very first time. You were exactly how I had imagined you while I had been impatiently waiting for you to come into my life. Your rosy soft-toned skin, your cheeky little black eyes. I pressed your tiny chubby hand and knew this was not a dream. You were real, a little human being, giving me the biggest responsibility of being human. No bond is stronger than the one between a mum and her children. For never will love be more beautiful and pure than when you give unselfishly, without expecting to receive anything in return.

The house where people grew up is a library of memories, forgotten stories and emotions. I am writing this letter while seated at the living room table. I don’t even need to close my eyes to see you sitting here too. You bite your lip and totally forget about your surroundings while drawing a master piece in your colouring book. You are angry when I peek over your shoulder and you only allow me to see the result when you finish completely. I hear the agitated voices of you and your friends playing hide-and-seek upstairs. I remember you sobbing unconsolably, when you come and tell me about the one-eyed snowman in the garden who lost his remaining eye. This house keeps stories about you and me in all of its cabinet drawers, memorable memories are framed in its windows; this house breathes both history and future from basement to attic.

I am sure you remember that every night, I used to read you a bedtime story in your room, tucked away together under the warm bed cover. The colourful cars on the wall cover were kicked away by soccer players first; then later, they in turn had to flee for the noisy rock stars that came to replace them. Without noticing, you silently turned from toddler into child into teenager. No matter how much you hurried to act big, in the evening you treasured those five minutes when you could just be small. You knew the stories from end to beginning. When I missed out on one or two words, you corrected me immediately and laughed at me when you made me start reading the sentence all over again. You knew how the story would end before I had even pronounced the first word, but that didn't’ seem to matter. We found peace in each other’s presence and tapped courage from this daily evening ritual.

All of that seems so far away, yet it’s not even nearly as far as the distance which prevented me from seeing you in the past year. Being your mother, it tears me apart that I don't even know where you are now. I can flee from the past, but I can not flee from reality. I have imagined the worst, but forced myself to believe only the best. I can think of hundreds of questions that have haunted me and keep haunting me every single time of the day, until this very moment. Yet when I would see you again, I would ask you only one of them: “How are you, C.?”

From your mum


Saturday, 27 December 2008

METALLICA: "Nothing Else Matters"

Nothing really matters, as long as it still matters.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

STEVIE WONDER: "I Just Called To Say I Love You"

I read an article in a magazine one day about people who don't have a phone at home. A simple, classical phone. An ordinary fixed line. A phone that rings, firm and determined, in stead of broadcasting one of the latest pop hits like the fancy mobile phones do nowadays. A phone that waits for you, steadily, but without compassion if you are too late to pick it up when you are not near to it. A phone that will still produce sound, even if you are not at home. A phone that witnesses all conversations you have, that hears everything, but keeps all your secrets.

Seated in the cosy comfort of a civilised, first-class city-state, one finds it hard to imagine that people can still do without a phone in these modern times. But imagine for a while...Go back into time, not all too far, and wipe out just only our cell phones, not even the fixed line phones. Cell phones seem to give us that false security that we are not alone, that we are important for others, that we do matter for those who call us or sms us. Just forget about it for a while. Forget about those tiny, wireless bundles of plastic and electronics that we carry along from dusk till dawn. Forget about those superficial messages, which devalue holy words spoken between loved ones, which tear down emotions like statues from their pedestal, which are mere anonymous, desperate cries for water of attention in the vast desert.

When people want to thank somebody, they should tell it in their own blunt words, from person to person. Words will then be more than some cold, square and rapid ticks on a keypad " thx"... Words will be spoken gently, warm and round "I really thank you for what you did". Eyes should tell a similar story as can be read from lips. One should feel the strength of embracing arms, much tighter than a hand can ever hold a phone. The memory of 1 free moment of happiness will last a lifetime, much longer than 1,000 free sms's ever will.

Monday, 22 December 2008

BLISS: "Breathe"

"Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers" (Voltaire)

Saturday, 20 December 2008

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

MICHAEL JACKSON: "Man In The Mirror"

If mysteries were solved, they would no longer be mysteries. There must be unknowns in the equation. There must be false ceilings, unspoken words between the lines. There must be hesitation, unfulfilled expectation, thrills and sensation.

Sometimes joy is as easy as sharing a favorite song with a loved one, helping to phrase a few sentences, asking how the day is so far. For when the day is over, when you look into the mirror, all smiles you have made throughout the day, all melt into one...your own.

Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Sunday, 14 December 2008

50 CENT: "Many Men"

The one in the middle is for the short guys, or it for the long ones, rather?

Saturday, 13 December 2008

LEONA LEWIS: "Better In Time"

揠苗助长 (Yà miáo zhù zhǎng)

You won't help the new plants grow by pulling them up higher.

ENYA: "Angels"

Manila (Philippines)

Thursday, 11 December 2008


- “Can I have a coffee with milk, please?”
- “You mean a flat white?”
- “A what? A flat white? I just want a coffee with milk.”
- “Yaya..that’s a flat white.”
- “Oh. So that’s what you call it around here. I thought you were referring to me. Good to know. I learn something new today. Then how do you call a black coffee, without milk or sugar or anything?”
- “That’s a long black.”

I just assume there’s no racist theory behind these names.

- “So you want a cup or a mug?”
- “Euh…what do you mean?”
- “A big coffee or a small coffee?”
- “Oh. A big one please. I’m sorry, I don't come here very often.”
- “No worries, mate.”

One hour later I’m hanging in the air, flying over the outback in a plane filled with Australians. Fat whites, I guess. Many of them drink two or three mini bottles of whiskey. It’s 10 AM in the morning, for god’s sake. The cabin crew asks me what I want to drink. As if I have never known any other word for it, I order…a flat white.

Monday, 1 December 2008

MC HAMMER: "U Can't Touch This"

The past can be seen, but it can't be touched.