Protected: Research Notes #1: Icarus

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Evanescence

Somewhere

In the threads of time,

Between sunlight and rainfall,

Between the dance of the clouds

And the song of the hills,

The silence of the wind

And the hum of guitar strings,

A moment lived, frozen still.

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Aire

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image from http://www.joie.com/?crlt.pid=camp.vUpENA7nC2u1

Did the ashes of burnt memories float into that universe

Where a little boy and girl sit together on the pavement,

Sharing the most interesting stories in the world?

Did he hear the wind sing of her dreams—

To choose him, keep him, and be free and boundless together?

Because I thought I heard the universe answer back, saying—

Air is always there, filling their lives, stringing their skies,

Never done, never gone, although unseen.

The sands of time have built a castle, majestic and grand

Washed by tides and claimed by the seas

They rose to the skies and rained on down

To my face, my heart, and that pavement from yesterday

The sound of heaven pouring on earth

Fills the void and drowns out your voice

And all I find on these merging roads—

From tomorrow, today, and yesterday—

Is the air I never lost.

Dreaming Fairies

It’s scary how the world can be so unfair.

I’ve had my fair share of injustice, and I resent the memories of each one to this day. But for the most part, I blamed myself for it, thinking that I’d been too soft and careless and trusting. What do you get from being kind anyway? Sure, people could like you. But what do you do with a thousand people who like you, when at the end of the day you’re all alone? And worse, your kindness may backfire on you in the worst possible way. I say kindness is a kind of power, and as the popular line goes, with great power comes great responsibility.

But still, I’ve accepted those moments when my good will and own efforts ended up crushing me unfairly, but witnessing it happen to someone else — someone genuinely good and bright and hardworking–is totally devastating for me. I’m in no place to judge, but seriously? If there’s one job in this world that saves people from that kind of injustice, I’m very much willing to take it.

Oh shit. I sound like someone on the way to law school.

But seriously, screw it all, I don’t even trust laws of men anyway. I just want the law of inherent goodness, of nature, of getting what you deserve. I want to be a fairy granting people wishes, making their dreams come true as long as they deserve it. I want to see hardworking people succeed greatly. I want dancers to perfectly perform what they’ve practiced. I want students to ace the exams they’ve studied all night for. I want every dog to have a loving family. I want every criminal behind bars, and I mean EVERY SINGLE ONE.

Injustice is a fate worse than death, as I have come to conclude a couple of years ago. And sometimes, with all that’s happening, I want to give up my status as a human being and ask God to just, just make me a fairy. I want to live in some spring wood and give out glass slippers or something. Seriously. I don’t actually have the right to say I’m tired, because I’ve never actually done anything worthwhile, not even household chores (ugh the laundry basket is overflowing again), but I don’t know, I really don’t know… I feel so tired. Physically, mentally. Some people might say, hey maybe you just need Christ in your life, and maybe they’re right. I’m a Christian, alright, and I can say He’s touched my life in ways more than I deserve and I believe in Him, but I don’t know what to do to enact on my faith. Maybe Christianity is indeed about community, togetherness, that being a Christian on your own will make you feel empty and hollow inside.

I don’t know where this is going. First I was raving about injustice then kindness and then Christianity.  Maybe these are signs of what they call ‘adulting’. When the solitude that you loved starts to be suffocating. When you start wishing to be somewhere else. When you finally see the world as a big, scary place. When you begin to lose your dreams. When you see everyone else going this way and that, and you’re standing right where you are, not knowing which way to go. When every failure is no longer funny, but has grown fangs and bitten into you deep enough to leave you limping. When you realize that there’s actually no one you can listen to — not your favorite author, musicians, doctors, politicians, and sometimes even those people closest to you — for in the end, all you have is yourself, and the only one you can trust to make a choice for you is you. Because it’s your life, and everything else is fleeting.

You can be kind if you are strong enough, because the world needs such a beautiful thing. But to others like me, who are rather weak, fickle, and easily lost, be a realist. Don’t be mean, but try putting yourself over others. Don’t aim for acceptance, but rather, survival. The former is a luxury we can’t afford to invest in. Keep Christ close to you, or whoever your God is, because He will keep you going. Be wary of the dangers of this world, of the things that may crush you in the end, but find something that tethers you to the beauty and joy of being alive — a person, a thing, a hobby, anything that reminds you that there is goodness, there is God. You can be good without people knowing. After all, what is a thousand likes when you are all alone in the end?

And when you are strong enough to be kind, be a fairy. Help people get what they deserve. Make them happy. Be a fairy in any way you can — promote your hardworking employee, applaud the dancer who missed a step, teach your students well (and make sure you actually taught them what you put in the exams), or adopt that homeless dog across the street. Or be a lawyer, and try to put things in order.

I don’t know who I’m going to be just yet. All I know, right now, is that I want to be a fairy.

The Psychological Probability of Love at First Sight

Psychology class says it takes straight 4 minutes of eye contact for two people to fall in love.

Sounds like fiction.  But when I think of it, it actually makes sense. I mean, nobody would just stare at each other that long, right? Especially when it comes to strangers (who were by the way the subject of such experiment conducted by the hopeless romantic Arthur Aron. But somehow I understand how it works. Those strangers were clueless of one another;no background knowledge to build prejudice on, no selfish desires, nothing — just their eyes and the silence of their entire being. It’s impossible to look into someone’s eyes for that long and not feel and see the depths of the soul and pull the strings inside. The gaze is sacred. It establishes the strongest connection, one that goes beyond the trappings of beauty and judgment.

It’s funny how we search for the right words yet still misunderstand and get misunderstood, when all that power of communicating and understanding is silently held by the eyes — eyes that look but seldom see, as taken for granted in world where vision is handicapped by the noise and impositions of a judgmental society. Maybe it’s because we think too much that we miss out on the things that our basic human senses should have mastered.  We build too many roads that we eventually lose our way, and then we dig for gold so that we can build ships to sail the world and make its perfect map, only to get trapped in imaginary borders, latitudes, and timezones, while up above, dead stars from centuries ago continue to shine — admired yet overlooked as they endlessly tell time and project the perfect map that only the birds and beasts seem to take notice and understand.

24 February 2015

Excerpts-from-my-diary

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

WITH SPOILERS: It will kill the magic if you haven’t read the books, so back off.

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Just this summer I’ve indulged myself with books and finally decided to give popular series a try. I’ve always been a big reader, but honestly, The Hunger Games was the only series I’ve ever read. So here I am, basking in the newfound exhilaration in series, mostly fantasy. And I found this one gem that I know would never let me sleep in peace unless I give it a review.

Sarah Maas’ A Court of Mist and Fury is the second installment to A Court of Thorns and Roses, and ACOMAF was just so good that it made the first book seem like a prologue. And I think that’s how a book series should be; the first one can stand alone just fine, and instead of a mere continuation, the second will come out as if the real story is just beginning.

Rating: 5/5 stars freshly picked from Velaris at Starfall night

Maybe I’m biased because I’ve been Team Rhysand all the way and I just feel so vindicated but I certainly found nothing to complain about this book, well, except maybe the fact that it actually ended and I’ll have to wait a full freakin’ year. It’s perfect, seriously — the characters were round and well-developed, the world was beautifully crafted (You know you’ve encountered a damn good writer when the setting efortlessly comes to life in your head without having to read a line twice, and come on, the Night Court was a total paradise, and Starfall was just so jaw-dropping spectacular!), it’s filled with so much action and of course, powerful themes like self-respect, friendship, a love that never confines, a future worth fighting for, and my favorite: the beauty beneath a beast.

I read ACOTAR with the knowledge that it would be a Beauty and the Beast retelling. Feyre, of course, was the beauty. And it was when ACOMAF came that I realized Tamlin wasn’t the beast, but Rhysand. Okay, maybe Maas actually intended Tam to be the beast, but I see it this way. Yes, structurally, Tamlin seemed to be the beast with the mask and the spell and all. However, note that Amarantha’s spell was not just the one on Spring Court, but her reign on Prythian. And Rhysand, though ‘the most beautiful male’ and apparently favored, was obliged to ‘serve’ Amarantha, and her presence caused him to act so beastly towards Feyre; he was presented as a villain when in truth he was a victim, which is the dilemma of the classic Beast. But regardless, I still loved Rhys because he was so cool and hot and painfully intriguing. Oh and I always sensed he had not-so-villain-like motives. And he was so hot. To think all he showed in ACOTAR was just the High Lord mask of arrogance and power. It’s no wonder I totally fell in love with him when he was fully revealed as himself. (And he just got waaay hotter.) And also, what’s definitely jawdropping was his motivation for his every action back in book one. Everything he did was apparently calculated. After discovering his motivations in ACOMAF, I immediately flipped through ACOTAR to see him in a completely different light.

What I loved most about ACOMAF was that it it’s much of a reality check for me — which is ironic because it’s all basically rooted in the very mythical fae culture, making it every inch a fairytale. It basically changed my attitude towards the art of fiction. The first book developed Feyre and Tamlin’s love story, and though I loved Rhys I wanted FeyLin together. They were in love and have been through so much and Feyre practically marched to hell and back because of her love for Tamlin. I mean, they were presented as the main characters, and fairytales dictate they live happily ever after once the spell is broken. In other words, ACOTAR was their story, so I was rather apprehensive of the idea that Maas might ‘deconstruct’ what she had strongly started. But then again this is the 21st century, and maybe it’s about time fairytales get a bit realistic. Love isn’t necessarily a one-shot experience. Feyre fell in love with the first person who showed her kindness and protection. Then life changed her, until it wasn’t kindness and protection she needed anymore. Yes Amarantha, humans are fickle beings. But life (or shit) happens and people grow. We get hurt. We heal. We need water when the sun beats down, and we need fire when it’s bitter cold. Tamlin was the one who filled her when she was empty, but couldn’t fix her when she was broken. That’s where Rhysand comes in.

The best thing about Rhysand was that he treated Feyre as a partner, as an equal. Hell, High Lady of the Night Court! He helped her see her worth and become a better person (or fae) altogether. He fixed her, and she healed him. And they were just themselves around each other. Ugh, their conversations are totally everything! Witty, flirty, funny, then deep and motivating. They’re just…meant to be. And speaking of meant to be, being mates and all, they were practically destined from the start. I’m a sucker for destiny, alright. The thing about destiny is that it appears to be a foretelling, a path set for us by the universe (or the Cauldron) that almost sounds like a confinement, but funny that it’s always our choices that lead us there. See, life is a series of choices. Decisions. And then if we plot out the points in a map, we find ourselves with a blueprint, as if things were planned by some omnipotent force. And that’s destiny–it’s all the universe. And it’s just us.  It begins with dreaming, wanting. And it’s good when we want something, like a life with someone, because then we’d find something to fight for — something worth breaking and dying and rising for. The moment Feyre realized she dreamed of a future with Rhys, and Cass, Mor, Az and Amren, and the eternal beauty of a star-kissed city, I was just so happy for her. She found a place for her; she found her battle.

A battle that had just begun. Book three is going to be an all-out war, and I couldn’t be more excited! The whole thing just gets bigger with the king of Hybern advancing, the mortal world at the brink of attacks, Tamlin, the other courts, Azriel and Mor’s secret affection, Nesta and Elain and Lucien, and come on, the High Lady of the Night Court! It’s going to be a brick-thick book.

I was apprehensive of writing a review because I knew for sure I would miss some important points. But anyway, ACOMAF was such a good book. Excellent writing, perfect pacing, effective world-building. And most importantly, sooo much Rhysand. I deliberately put it down often just so it wouldn’t end. Thank the Cauldron for powerful books like this.

So if ACOTAR was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and ACOMAF was Hades and Persephone, what could the next book be?

To the stars that listen–and the dreams that are answered.

Grow, Little G

I can’t recall, not even once

Sparing you a favored glance

Like a lily embraced by the sun

You seemed to wither when it’s gone

 

But time stood still at least for you

Lost in years I never knew

Scarred, ill, you took life’s test

Surviving all, outlived the rest

 

Less affection warmed your days

Silent struggles you had to face

Yet a smile would shine in your eyes

A color kept by heaven’s skies

 

I’m sorry I wasn’t there to see

How  silent dawn had set you free

Now a lily grows where love never dies

In a color kept by heaven’s skies.