Sunday, May 29, 2011

№ 13. Cycling in my mind

Green Bicycle from mrfears on Vimeo.

You know how one is supposed to count heads of sheep, things and just about anything to sleep. They say it helps the mind sleep by focusing it on something other than sleep. Something that requires monotonous occupation or lulling repetition.

Daydream or imagination of things push me to the edge of sleep. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But it saves me the stress of turning and tossing. TV does not work.

The video may be fodder for future forays (F, that’s the letter today folks!) into the science of sleep. It’s interesting enough to require attention. But it does not require as much brain wattage like quadratic functions.

Six hours till the alarm.

Hello Monday!

Friday, May 27, 2011

№ 11. Rilke at the Delta Quadrant

I stumbled upon this poem while, again, conducting a space exploration deep in the Delta Quadrant.

Thankfully, I skipped the Borg corridor. I didn’t want to be assimilated and forced another round of Talaxian beer and who knows what other nano ales.

Rainer Maria Rilke translated by Annemarie S. Kidder
I am so afraid of people's words.
They describe so distinctly everything:
And this they call dog and that they call house,
here the start and there the end.

I worry about their mockery with words,
they know everything, what will be, what was;
no mountain is still miraculous;
and their house and yard lead right up to God.

I want to warn and object: Let the things be!
I enjoy listening to the sound they are making.
But you always touch: and they hush and stand still.
That's how you kill.

Bento Box:

"René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke (4 December 1875 – 29 December 1926), better known as Rainer Maria Rilke, was a BohemianAustrian poet. He is considered one of the most significant poets in the German language. His haunting images focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety: themes that tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist poets.

He wrote in both verse and a highly lyrical prose. Among English-language readers, his best-known work is the Duino Elegies; his two most famous prose works are the Letters to a Young Poet and the semi-autobiographicalThe Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge. He also wrote more than 400 poems in French, dedicated to his homeland of choice, the canton of Valais in Switzerland."

Thursday, May 26, 2011

№ 10. Calaguas & Bagasbas

The sea looked glassy and calm in the dusk that Saturday. It certainly belied the journey to Calaguas Islands and Bagasbas Beach, Camarines Norte.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

№ 9. At the Post Office

On the last day of our trip last year, I bought these postcards from the stamps museum in Singapore. They arrived quite late---3 weeks after I mailed them in the museum. Airmail, although considered snail-paced now, still works! Real postcards look and feel better, too.

Maybe the post office is still relevant in the age of gmail.

Monday, May 23, 2011

№ 8. Workaday Ephemera

The fundamental blocks of life can be found in the small things we accumulate.

These are things I have accumulated over many years. Now they are coupled with my history.

№ 7. Happy? Got Perma?

Happiness. Beauty. Soon these, too, shall pass.
As in all things mortal, they come and go.

A New Gauge to See What’s Beyond Happiness
By John Tierney, May 16, 2011

“This feeling of accomplishment contributes to what the ancient Greeks called eudaimonia, which roughly translates to “well-being” or “flourishing,” a concept that Dr. Seligman has borrowed for the title of his new book, “Flourish.” He has also created his own acronym, Perma, for what he defines as the five crucial elements of well-being, each pursued for its own sake: positive emotion, engagement (the feeling of being lost in a task), relationships, meaning and accomplishment.”

Thursday, May 19, 2011

№ 6. All Soul’s Day at S.21 (II)

Better that one heart be broken a thousand times in the retelling… if it means that a thousand other hearts need not be broken at all.”

--- Robert McAfee Brown, Preface for the 25th Anniversary Edition of Elie Wiesel’s NIGHT

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

№ 5. Cine Siesta: Paradise Road

From the treadmill archives, here’s a trailer for a moving story about women, World War II and the humanizing power of music.

a. Paradise Road 

Monday, May 16, 2011

№ 4. Why Travel?

“W. Somerset Maugham called books ‘a refuge from almost all the miseries of life’ -- and as fun as travel can be, being far from home can also be exhausting, hectic and fraught with flashes of sweet misery. For literate travelers, a good bookstore is a sanctuary.” (Trazzler)

№ 3. Backpacking in IndoChina: All Soul’s Day at S.21

A room on the third floor
The sign at the entry mandated propriety: no laughter. But noises no longer have to be contained. Or drowned with music. Only the enlarged pictures in each quarter have remained stoic sentinels of the violence inside.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

№ 2. Palaui: Sunny & Quiet

Manila at 36˚C is a fusion chamber inside an angry sun. Everything concrete, it seemed, was glowing white. The rest was melting away.

After two hours of greasy and sticky wait at the bus station, the airconditioned bus was a pool of winter. We didn't wait to be called when the blue bus arrived.

The driver read our collective wish: an escape velocity away from the incinerator. And by 2 PM, we finally escaped Manila and headed fast for the highway---light years from the urban heat sink.

Quiet and uncrowded. Not like Boracay's sand and fury.

When we made a turn for the North road, the on board entertainment also began, auspiciously enough, with Ian Veneracion v. Raymart Santiago DVD marathon. Four hours.

№ 1. Commitment to be Waylaid

William H. Murray said it well: “The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would come his way.”

Chapter 1: In the Beginning….

The email thread below began the big bang (or perhaps, more accurately, the small blip). The idea of a blog had been with me for years now. I just wasn’t prepared with the contents, visuals and the commitment.

As some force would will it, the edited conversation pushed this idea into the blogosphere. I stirred the primordial soup, ignited the burner and…