March 1, 2016

Chopsticks

A public service ad from McCann which ran during 2014's CCTV lunar new year gala. A promotional piece which depicts traditional Chinese family values. A job well done.

Currently listening:
佛光山佛教梵唄 - 準提咒

December 14, 2015

Paradise of Song

Have we met?

Ahangar was a mighty swordsmith who lived in one of Afghanistan's remote eastern valleys. In time of peace he made steel ploughs, shoed horses and, above all, he sang.

The songs of Ahangar, who is known by different names in various parts of Central Asia, were eagerly listened to by the people of the valleys. They came from the forests of giant walnuts trees, from the snowcapped Hindu-Kush, from Qataghan and Badakhshan, from Khanabad and Kunar, from Herat and Paghman, to hear his songs.

Above all, the people came to hear the song of all songs, which was Ahangar's Song of the Valley of Paradise.

This song had a haunting quality, and a strange lilt, and most of all it had a story which was so strange that people felt they knew the remote Valley of Paradise of which the smith sang. Often they asked him to sing it when he was not in the mood to do so, and he would refuse. Sometimes people asked him whether the Valley was truly real, and Ahangar could only say:

"The Valley of the Song is as real as real can be."

"But how do you know?" the people would ask, "Have you ever been there?"

To Ahangar, and to nearly all the people who heard him, the Valley of the Song was, however real, real as real can be.

Aisha, a local maiden whom he loved, doubted whether there was such a place. So, too, did Hasan, a braggart and fearsome swordsman who swore to marry Aisha, and who lost no opportunity of laughing at the smith.

One day, when the villagers were sitting around silently after Ahangar had been telling his tale to them, Hasan spoke:

"If you believe that this valley is so real, and that it is, as you say, in those mountains of Sangan yonder, where the blue haze rises, why do you not try to find it?".

"It would not be right, I know that," said Ahangar.

"You know what it is convenient to know, and do not know what you do not want to know!" shouted Hasan. "Now, my friend, I propose a test. You love Aisha, but she does not trust you. She has no faith in this absurd Valley of yours. You could never marry her, because when there is no confidence between man and wife, they are not happy and all manner of evils result."

"Do you expect me to go to the valley then?" asked Ahangar.

"Yes," said Hasan and all the audience together.

"If I go and return safely, will Aisha consent to marry me?" asked Ahangar.

"Yes," murmured Aisha.

So Ahangar, collecting some dried mulberries and a scrap of bread, set off for the distant mountains.

He climbed and climbed, until he came to a wall which encircled the entire range. When he had ascended its sheer sides, there was another wall, even more precipitous then the first. After that there was a third, then a fourth, and finally a fifth wall.

Descending on the other side, Ahangar found that he was in a valley, strikingly similar to his own.

People came out to welcome him, and as he saw them, Ahangar realized that something very strange was happening.

Months later, Ahangar the Smith, walking like an old man, limped into his native village, and made for his humble hut.

As word of his return spread throughout the countryside, people gathered in front of his home to hear what his adventures had been.

Hasan the swordsman spoke for them all, and called Ahangar to his window.

There was a gasp as everyone saw how old he had become.

"Well, Master Ahangar, and did you reach the Valley of Paradise?"

"I did."

"And what was it like?"

Ahangar, fumbling for his words, looked at the assembled people with a weariness and hopelessness that he had never felt before. He said:

"I climbed and I climbed, and I climbed. When it seemed as though there could be no human habitation in such a desolate place, and after many trials and disappointments, I came upon a valley. This valley was exactly like the one in which we live. And then I saw the people. Those people are not only like us people: they are the same people. For every Hasan, every Aisha, every Ahangar, every anybody whom we have here, there is another one, exactly the same in that valley."

"These are likenesses and reflections to us, when we see such things. But it is we who are the likeness and reflection of them -- we who are here, we are their twins..."

Everyone thought that Ahangar had gone mad through his privations, and Aisha married Hasan the swordsman. Ahangar rapidly grew old and died. And all the people, every one who had heard this story from the lips of Ahangar, first lost heart in their lives, then grew old and died, for they felt that something was going to happen over which they had no control and from which they had no hope, and so they lost interest in life itself.

It is only once in a thousand years that this secret is seen by man. When he sees it, he is changed. When he tells its bare facts to others, they wither and die out.

People think that such an event is a catastrophe, and so they must not know about it, for they cannot understand [such is the nature of their ordinary life] that they have more selves than one, more hopes than one, more chances than one -- up there, in the Paradise of the Song of Ahangar, the mighty smith.

Text: Idries Shah

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Currently listening:
Arturo Stalteri - Another Green World

September 11, 2015

An Old Tale

I had many books when I was in my early twenties and I remember this particular story, one of which I treasured the most. How it brings me joy to read it again...

A powerful king, ruler of many domains, was in a position of such magnificence that wise men were his mere employees. And yet one day he felt himself confused and called the sages to him.

He said: 'I do not know the cause, but something impels me to seek a certain ring, one that will enable me to stabilize my state. 'I must have such a ring. And this ring must be one which, when I am unhappy, will make me joyful. At the same time, if I am happy and look upon it, I must be made sad.' The wise men consulted one another, and threw themselves into deep contemplation, and finally they came to a decision as to the character of this ring which would suit their king. The ring which they devised was one upon which was inscribed the legend:

This, too, shall pass.

Text: Idries Shah

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Currently listening:
Max Richter - Dream 19 (pulse)

August 18, 2015

Untitled 0191

Dreamify.

Hello again.

Currently listening:
Stars of The Lid - Mullohand

December 2, 2013

Remembrance

Death Is Nothing At All
Death is nothing at all--I have only slipped away into the next room. I am I, and you are you. Whatever we were to each other, that we still are. Call me by my old familiar name, speak to me in the easy way you always used. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.

Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant... There is absolute unbroken continuity.

What is death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?

I am waiting for you--for an interval--somewhere near just around the corner.

All is well.

Nothing is past; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Text: Henry Scott Holland

--

Currently listening:
佛光山佛教梵唄 - 彌陀聖號 (千華調)

December 14, 2012

For Those Who Have Lost

For all who need comfort, for all those who mourn
All those whom we cherished will be reborn
All those whom we love but see no more
They are not perished, but gone before
And lie in the tender arms of He
Who died for us all to set us free
From hatred and anger and cruel tyranny
May they rest in peace, and rise in glory

All suffering and sorrow will be no more
They'll vanish like shadows at heaven's door
All anguish and grieving will one day be healed
When all of God's purpose will be revealed
Though now for a season lost from sight
The innocent slain in the blindness of right
Are now in the warmth of God's glorious light
Where they rest in peace, and rise in glory

Lord give me wisdom to comprehend
Why I survive and not my friend
And teach me compassion so I may live
All my enemies to forgive

For all who need comfort, for all those who mourn
All those whom we cherished will be reborn
All those whom we love but see no more
They are not perished, but gone before
And Lord keep them safe in your embrace
And fill their souls with your good grace
For now they see your face to face
Where they rest in peace, and rise in glory

Currently listening:
Libera - Rest In Peace

October 30, 2012

Monument Valley

Monument Valley.

You should go.

Currently listening:
R. Carlos Nakai - Song For The Morning Star

October 16, 2012

花樣的年華

The Enchanting Years.

Currently listening:
周璇 - 花樣的年華 (The Enchanting Years)

October 15, 2012

a Due Colori

Alberto Seveso.

Alberto Seveso.

October 11, 2012

No Words

If it is possible, live an experience and don't fix it with any words, because that will make it narrow.

You are sitting... it is a silent evening. The sun has gone, and the stars have started appearing. Just be. Don't even say, "This is beautiful," because the moment you say that it is beautiful, it is no longer the same. By saying beautiful, you are brining in the past, and all the experiences that you said were beautiful have colored the word.

Why bring in the past? The present is so vast, and the past is so narrow. Why look from a hole in the wall when you can come out and look at the whole sky?

So try not to use words, but if you have to, then be very choosy about them, because each word has a nuance of its own. Be very poetic about it.

Text: Osho

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Currently listening:
Depeche Mode - Never Let Me Down Again (Split Mix)