Monday, 22 February 2010

ENYA: "The River Sings"

Cataratas del Iguazu (Argentina)

LIL'KIM: "No Matter What They Say"

三人成虎 (sān rén chéng hǔ)

“Three people create a tiger.”
This expression is said to express doubt about a widely-held idea. The more people talk about something, even if it is not true, the more likely we are to believe it.

The Story:
During the Warring States Period (戰國時代 / 战国时代 - Zhàn Guó Shídài) (475 BC - 221 BC), a prince of the country of Wèi (魏國 / 魏国) was required to go to the country of Zhào (趙國 / 赵国) as a peace hostage. King Wèi ordered his councilor Páng Cōng (龐蔥 / 庞葱) to accompany the Prince.

Páng Cōng knew he would be away for a long time, and he was afraid that his enemies would spread rumors about him. So Páng Cōng went to the king and asked him, "If someone came to you and said that there was a tiger in the street, would you believe him?"
The king replied, "I would find that very hard to believe."
Páng Cōng continued, "What if two men told you the same thing?"
The king said that he would still find it hard to believe.
"What about three men?" Páng Cōng asked.
"With three men," said the king, "I would have to believe it."
Then Páng Cōng said these words: "It is impossible for a tiger to be in a busy street, this fact is obvious. Yet when three men say it is so, we become convinced of the impossible. This is how terrible rumors are spread. I am about to go to the country of Zhào, much further than the street. While I am away, if you hear bad things about me, remember that I am your faithful servant to you. Do not believe rumors."

The king assured Páng Cōng that he had nothing to fear, but sure enough, as soon as he was gone, the rumors began to spread. At first, the king paid them no attention, but as he kept on hearing bad things about Páng Cōng, his opinion was gradually swayed.
After the hostage period was over, Páng Cōng and the prince returned to the country of Wèi. But by then, the king did not trust Páng Cōng, and would not see him.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

BETTY WRIGHT: "Clean Up Woman"

I step into the gents of one the shopping malls along Orchard road. I watch the wall in front of me, carelessly, while I surrender to the solution that Mother Nature invented for a man to get rid of his excess liquid intake. Only then I notice the cleaning lady who’s brushing the floor a few metres away from me. For a second, I am confused, as I fear that I may have taken the wrong door and ended up in the ladies in stead of the gents. In Singapore, cleaning teams will generally be split-up by gender. So a male cleaner will clean the male toilets only, while female toilets will be taken care of by a female cleaner. I start to laugh, almost loudly, when I dismiss my silly thought almost immediately: I’ve never seen any woman in the same standing up position like me now, at least not doing what I am doing at this very moment. So the urinals mounted on the wall are no construction error. The lady shambles out of the door.

I conclude my ritual washing my hands and see her standing near the door as I step out. “You should have gone inside into one of the seating toilets”, she says with a smile. “I am a lady, you know”. As if hadn’t noticed that part… But it made me understand what she was hinting at. “Oh, I am not shy, don’t worry”, I smile wittily. “And you could have put a signboard outside, so that nobody would enter while you do your cleaning.” I turned my head a bit and nodded at the typical yellow signboard, jobless and unfolded a bit further on the floor. “Hmm…OK, maybe you are right”, she said. “But it’s very quiet here at this time of the day, so I didn’t expect anyone to enter.” “Oh, but this was really a case of emergency”. I try to look like an innocent toddler, who just peed in his pants and believes that he can get forgiveness from his angry parents by looking as much guilty as he possible can (How ever to outperform Puss in Boots in the Shrek movies?). “Yes, yes, it always is…”, she sighs from under her headscarf.
“Anyway, it’s OK, I go now. Have a nice day!”, I exclaimed cheerfully, as I headed back to the mall. Until now, I am still not sure if effectively I committed a sin against general etiquette, or if another cleaner would not have bothered at all.

Friday, 19 February 2010

LIVIU HODOR Feat. TARA: "Happy For You"

To be truly happy for someone else. To feel proud, Ride the waves of their joy , mirror their smile, share the excitement, the release after doubts, the impact of good news. To share happiness, is to find it.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

CHER: "Believe"

Are you a believer? Do you press hard to know it’s real, or do you walk in blindly through open doors? Are you the slave of a mischievous master, who humiliates you and fills you with mistrust with every lash of the cane? Are you caged in discomfort, handcuffed, blindfolded and surrendered to the whims of random anger? Is there any word you wish you could speak but keep inside? Hold your breath and think of something else. Dream yourself another place, another time. Absorb.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

DAN HILL: "Sometimes When We Touch"

Sabrás que no te amo y que te amo
puesto que de dos modos es la vida,
la palabra es un ala del silencio,
el fuego tiene una mitad de frío.

Yo te amo para comenzar a amarte,
para recomenzar el infinito
y para no dejar de amarte nunca:
por eso no te amo todavía.

Te amo y no te amo como si tuviera
en mis manos las llaves de la dicha
y un incierto destino desdichado.

Mi amor tiene dos vidas para armarte.
Por eso te amo cuando no te amo
y por eso te amo cuando te amo.

(Soneto XLIV by Pablo Neruda)

PINK: "Dear Diary"

Love is a country with its own laws. It’s a messenger without a message. It always finds a reason and yet it is unreasonable. There’s no end to any beginning and the song of a morning bird will never survive the day, increasingly filled with bustling city sounds. It’s hard to hold on, and even harder to hold on longer still. You can toss and turn, throw again and again, but there are only six sides on the dice and a limited number of possible outcomes. In a forest of temptations, one tree stands out. I’ve grown entangled in its roots, became one, as I kept hugging my arms around its trunk.

The haze lingers, graciously like piano fingers on shiny keys. A window view, some lost moments on a forgotten day. A mind’s journey to a faraway place, a familiar face. Only when you have the time, you miss it. Nothing seems to last forever and yet there is an endless cloud of dandelion flakes we’re reaching for, as if we’re aiming for eternal youth. I always liked the cherry blossom tree in our garden; its short-lived splendour made up for its dull existence throughout the rest of the year. In a royal rain of pink leaves, it’s easier to see life through rose-coloured glasses.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

SURVIVOR: "Eye Of The Tiger"

Happy Chinese New Year!

恭喜发财 (gōng xĭ fă cái)

Friday, 12 February 2010

CHUBBY CHECKER: "Let's Twist Again"

“Are you a dancer?”, she asked. I must have looked puzzled, but responded with a wit: “Sure, I like to dance…occasionally on Saturdays, in a club or at a party”. “Oh”, she smiled. “I see. It’s just that you look like a professional dancer. You seem to be so flexible.” Now that can count as a compliment. I am warming-up on a yoga mat waiting for the class to start, and the middle-aged lady confides that it’s only her third practice. She sounds apologetic, almost ashamed, as she lowers her voice to share that secret with me. I never look at it that way. When I see an overweight person suffering when jog-walking in the evening dark, for instance, I feel happy and proud for them. Sure, they may not beat any world record, but at least they are out there, beating themselves, and all those who have long surrendered to the gravity of the TV couch. Likewise I look at yoga. It doesn’t matter which level you are at, it doesn’t matter which level of class you attend. There is always a possibility for improvement, there is always a gap to bridge towards perfection. What matters above all, is just to be there, just to do it.

LINKIN PARK: "Somewhere I Belong"

As gentle as a fresh bed sheet falling on a shoulder, a new day breaks. A whispering heart, a new start. Old patterns disappear invisibly, like drops of water in the sink. In you, I trust. A willow on a rainy day guards a long forgotten chapel of another age. We all belong somewhere, some day.

Monday, 8 February 2010

CÉLINE DION: "My Heart Will Go On"

近悦远来 (jìn yuè yuǎn lái)

“Make those who are near happy, and those who are far will come”.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

QUYNH ANH: "Bonjour Vietnam"


QUEEN: "We Will Rock You"

A bullet-proof mind, a head held high, a rock unmovable. Seasoned, weathered, firm. But weak in the knees.