Friday, 25 December 2009

YIRUMA: "Kiss The Rain"

A slice of fresh life, with every bite I take. It’s all in the eyes; like the sun, the day makes. A drop of black ink on a virgin-white page. A song, some steps. And ever more, inseparable.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

COLDPLAY: "The Hardest Part"

The quest for the right track is pointless. It’s an invention of mankind to structure what can not be structured. Roads have no meaning in the desert. A person will never walk the same path twice, for sand and wind will have mastered any illusion of directions. And you never find a stick to lean upon when you need one.

Certain events eventually turn out to have been the “last time” they occurred, but you don't always realize that when they happen. You shake a person’s hand and never see him again. You go to your favorite restaurant and it closes down weeks thereafter. You run a marathon. A mother has her first baby. These farewells are easiest to deal with, for they revel in ignorance and lack expectations about what’s coming up.
Sometimes, however, we are very well aware that it’s the “last time” we do something. The last day of secondary school, for instance. Driving home the day before you move out to another place. This awareness makes us live these moments more intensely, as wanting to savour an expensive delicacy on our plate. They are not too hard to handle either though’ Sure, it's hard to be neutral or indifferent towards them, since they bring a certain period in your life to a close, and this may fill you with either joy or sadness. But there’s time in advance to anticipate that things will be different afterwards, and this enables you to be prepared.
The hardest part, no doubt, are those occasions where you intuitively sense that it could very well be the "last time" they ever take place, without totally being sure. There’s no way to possibly deal with these thoughts in a serene manner. Some smile, some stay silent, some pray if they believe in a God, some fill their glass of wine once more if they don’t. There’s no single answer for questions that have yet to be raised.

How dare you miss the past if you haven’t seen the future? Why are we afraid of change, if it has been our most loyal companion ever since we were born? It follows us like a shadow, it fits us like a skin fits a body, firm and tight. By holding on, we hold back.


不鸣则已,一鸣惊人 (bù míng zé yǐ, yī míng jīng rén)

It literally means to amaze the world with a single, brilliant feat; to set the world on fire.

The Story:
Duke Wei of Qi, during the Warring States Period, neglected state affairs for the first three years of his reign, giving over to dissipation. One of his ministers who had a good sense of humor, said, "There is a big bird which has neither taken wing nor sung for three years." Upon hearing this, the duke answered, "Once that bird starts to fly and sing, it will astonish the world." After saying this, the duke devoted himself to his duties and built his state up into a powerful one.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009


Can you hold me, for a while
Until I’m swallowed by the earth
a long-awaited rebirth
All will be fine

MIDNIGHT OIL: "Beds Are Burning"

Western Australia

Monday, 14 December 2009


It's a hot day in Perth and I don't need the radio voice to tell me that it’s 39 degrees outside of the taxi. We learn from travelling. A local story about bullying at school, for instance. A piece of news that could easily be picked up by international agencies to fill the columns of newspapers worldwide. If it ain’t news, then they make it news. And when you follow a handful of online newspapers of different countries, then you soon find out that they all copy from each other, especially for this kind of little bizarre stories.

In an effort to curb the growing problem of school kids bullying each other during recess time, an Australian principal appears to have had a luminous idea: just shorten the time of the break with 10 minutes. Problem solved. No need to teach children how to respect each other; forget about the hassle of punishing them and having to defend that approach to the nosey parents. No. Just lock them up, back into the classroom, as quickly as possible, like a herd of sheep driven into the stable. When asked about his motivation for the measure during the radio interview, he responds: “We have observed that children get bored after a while during recess, and we believe that then the bullying starts”. So the pupils never get bored in the classroom? When I think back of my own school time, they had better shortened each class with ten minutes as well…

Sunday, 13 December 2009


“A healthy person has many wishes; a sick person has only one.” It’s a sentence like no other, and it blows over like a passing cloud on cloudless day. I am a sponge soaked with water; there’s no sound for the eyes to hear on a day like this. There are no other thoughts to think of except for one. My voice trembles without even opening my mouth. A restless beating, an ominous rumbling of tribal drums in the savannah. The long grass hides many dangers and we are our own worst predator. There’s a thrill in every hunt, but there’s an even bigger one in the catch. I am unarmed, as I have always been. Vultures circle above my head and draw their shadows in front of me. A smell of fire; an animal howls in the distance. Some mysterious spices on a tongue: a medicine man carries souls to long-forgotten lands behind the mountains. Reality is the most dreadful fiction; it’s an ironic grim on a warrior’s face, with some painted stripes to deter what we’re afraid of. The truth is in our dreams and nightmares; like a loose page of a dusty book that falls on the library floor, an incident in coincidence.

A feeling you believed was long buried. A cold you thought you were immune for. With the wind comes rain, with rain comes lightning, with lightning comes thunder. How long do you need to know someone before you know them? The time it takes for them to know you.
From each punch we recover faster; with each practice we go deeper into the pose. This one came hard though. And yet there’s no time to bleed in the ring.

A theory holds as long as it applies to others. You can think of a thousand reasons why, and as many reasons why not. But in the end it doesn’t matter. Be careful, I am fragile.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

ABBA: "Angel Eyes"

A slice of fresh life, with every bite I take. An unheard song; the waves that you make. It’s all in the eyes. With the sun, the day breaks.

Saturday, 5 December 2009

AEROSMITH: "Taste Of India"

Ladakh (India)


千金买笑 (qiān jīn mǎi xiào)

"A smile purchased for a thousand ounces of gold". "A smile worth a thousand ounces of gold". A smile that is hard to come by.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

AEROSMITH: "The Other Side"

It can hardly be a coincidence that one and the same opinion is disclosed to you on one and the same day, via unrelated sources. As if some bored deity wants to transmit his must-know piece of information at all cost to a randomly picked human. Just like there’s a meaning behind each dream, there must be a meaning behind coincidence; an answer that reveals a question you were unaware of even. A mirror that helps you to look at yourself clearly.

I always believed that empathy was an admirable trait. It’s generally appreciated if you are able to put yourself into somebody else’s shoes, and anticipate or imagine how he or she would feel if you do or say something. It shows that you are understanding, and not selfish, since you take the effect of your own actions onto others into account.
But it’s a fine rope to balance on.

Firstly, you may give up so much on your own needs and desires that it makes you invisibly unhappy. You may want to please others at your own expense. You may betray your own personality in order not hurt the other.
Secondly, and here’s the revelation, to a certain degree it contains a mis-judgement of the other person as well, since you implicitly assume that the other person feels exactly like yourself, and will experience things in the same manner. That’s an underestimation of your mate. Which brings us to trust, and belief. For if you truly believe that the other person loves you for who you are, then he or she deserves that same belief too. And the right to be different than yourself, and to look at things differently than yourself.
Perhaps feelings of jealousy are of the same nature. You may envy someone for what he or she has, or what he or she has achieved. However, not necessarily does that make the other person contented. So when being envious, you actually assume that the person is just like you, whereas actually he or she may be just different.

Saturday, 28 November 2009

THE BEATLES: "Drive My Car"

There’s always something to look forward to, there’s always something to look back upon. And just like when you drive a car, the front window is much bigger and more important than the rear mirror.

Friday, 27 November 2009

CHRIS DE BURGH: "Where Peaceful Waters Flow"

Call it friendship, love between two people, whatever…When one is down, the other one has the power to cheer him up. When one is happy, the other one has the chance to share the joy. It’s like water flowing from a higher point to a lower point. The water level is lowered at one side, while being raised at the other side, until eventually there is one harmonious, flat water surface.

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

LEONARD COHEN: "True Love Leaves No Traces"

As the mist leaves no scar
On the dark green hill
So my body leaves no scar
On you and never will
Through windows in the dark
The children come, the children go
Like arrows with no targets
Like shackles made of snow

True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun

As a falling leaf may rest
A moment on the air
So your head upon my breast
So my hand upon your hair

And many nights endure
Without a moon or star
So we will endure
When one is gone and far

True love leaves no traces
If you and I are one
It's lost in our embraces
Like stars against the sun

(lyrics of "True Love Leaves No Traces", by Leonard Cohen)

MADONNA: "Don't Cry For Me Argentina"

Buenos Aires (Argentina)

Monday, 23 November 2009

GREEN DAY: "Basket Case"

… a basket ball hitting the ring, balancing on the rim for a while: some days it just goes in like nothing, some days it goes out eventually.

Friday, 20 November 2009

SUGABABES: "Open The Door"

师傅领进门,修行在自身 (shīfu lǐng jìn mén, xiūxíng zài zìshēn)

"Teachers open the door, but you must enter by yourself."

Thursday, 19 November 2009

QUEEN: "Bicycle Race"

Every day Song Gang would bring Lin Hong to the factory, on his shiny new bicycle. She would sit behind him, holding him tight, and even if she closed her eyes, she knew that the whole village was looking at them as they passed by. Song Gang would ring the bell to greet each and every single person on their way. Lin Hong’s hairs danced in the wind and her heart was filled with freedom and pride, sitting in the shadow of Song Gang’s strong back.

Without missing a single day, Song Gang would faithfully wait for Lin Hong to come out the factory gate after work too. She was by far the prettiest girl of the whole village, and Song Gang felt proud knowing she was his. He was totally devoted to her and she loved him for that. While she waved goodbye at her twittering colleagues, he rang his bell enthusiastically and started pedaling. Lin Hong would then hug his back even closer, and every person in the village who ever saw them riding that shiny bicycle in the late afternoon sun, would smile at them and say that what Song Gang and Lin Hong had, was true love.

…recollection from the book “Brothers” (兄弟) by Yu Hua (余华) …

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

TRACY CHAPMAN: "The Promise"

Some downy white clouds on a blue canvas. Each and every little thing going haywire; it's just one of those days. The humour of it binds the untouchables in their acquiescence. A sense of belonging; a feeling of longing.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

ENYA: "Watermark"

Manila Bay (Philippines)

PINK FLOYD: "The Wall"

Manila Intramuros (Philippines)


Just like pictures are much nicer when they are taken in the sun, life is more beautiful when you escape from the shadow and seek the heat. Sure, you may get burnt sometimes, but you can catch a cold in the shadow too. And it’s so much more rewarding.

INXS: "Never Tear Us Apart"

Rome was not built in one day; neither will it be destroyed in one day.

Friday, 13 November 2009


Manila Bay (Philippines)

HOWARD JONES: "No One Is To Blame"

Don't blame a person for who he is, but for what he does.


You get a better grip on life when you organize it around a few personal projects. A course, a hobby, a club membership, a holiday you plan, a personal goal you try to achieve. Don’t bother if they seem meaningless to others, as long as they are meaning-more to you. No need to bite more than you can chew; just pick a few. Don’t bury your treasures to hide them for others. Dig them up, and show them to the world. Don’t sit down, but walk. Don’t wave at the moving train, but hop on it. Don’t stay on shore, but sail.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

NENA: “99 Lüftballons”

…as if a balloon carries you to unknown horizons…
Drift away, surrender, and let the winds steer you
There’s no roadmap in the skies
No arrows or clear marks at any junction
No choices to be made
Close your eyes
Be free

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

THE POLICE: “Message In A Bottle”

My head is a glass bottle in a chemistry lab; something’s brewing but its formula has yet to be deciphered. Ideas pinch me with sticky fingers in a mass of rising dough; something's being baked in the pastry shop but I can't see what it is. I smell the tempting air from a distance, as it escapes from the bakery door, not coincidentally left open. It takes an open door too, for the condensation to disappear from the mirror after taking a shower; but the image will become clear eventually.

NATASHA BEDINGFIELD: "Pocket Full Of Sunshine"

“Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows.” (Helen Keller)

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

ENYA: "May It Be"


BELINDA CARLISLE: "Circle In The Sand"

The paradox of perfection is that it's lost while striving for it.

Monday, 9 November 2009

DIANA ROSS: "If We Hold On Together"

There are moments when total happiness comes so close that it’s almost touchable, even nearer than the comfort zone in which speaking becomes impossible, yet unnecessary as well. It blows like a breeze around the top of a hill; it whistles carelessly like the invisible bird somewhere at its foot. It’s the same sun that sets as it did every earlier day of your life; but it’s not the same you watching it.
There’s as much care in a simple question about the meaning of a word as there is tenderness in a head resting on a shoulder. The days are shorter and longer than ever; the horizon is wider than it used to be, and the skies much higher. You don’t need to seek out a star to make a wish come true. They fall by the dozens and dazzle your head until you can’t sleep no more.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

THE BANGLES: "Eternal Flame"

Close your eyes, give me your hand...