Day 122: Quit Playing, It’s Tea Time

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of toast and tea.
— T.S. Eliot

Nha Trang, Vietnam.


Day 121: Only God Forgives

It is interesting to see the different manifestations of divine powers that humans have come up with.

A week ago while in Vietnam, I visited the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. The Cao Dai religion is a culmination of a few religions, including Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. In their prayers, the worshipers faces the Divine Eye, which represents God.

I believe that most, if not all, religions lead towards the same path. The question of religion should then become whether one believes in the existence of God.

Happy Easter!

Photography by Olivia Griselda. Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam.
Photography by Olivia Griselda. Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam.

Day 120: All At Sea

A few years ago, I came across a Japanese saying about water. It commented on how water could represent both life and death. One could not live without water. Yet, one could also easily lose his life to water. Such is a paradox of life.

RIP Prof Winston Koh 1963-2013

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Day 117: Read Between the Lines

Two years ago, a palm reader said to me that my 2013 is going to be a boom or a bust. He was literally reading between the lines of my palms.

To be honest, I don’t completely believe in his predictions of me. Not that I am denying those bad predictions (haha!). It’s just that there are only so many things that those palm lines could reveal. If humans can indeed predict the future so well, then everybody would have lived happily (ever after). Unfortunately, that is far from the truth.

Sometimes, the present moment leaves clues about the future. At other times, it doesn’t. All we could do is to embrace the present moment and go wherever it takes us. 2013 is just two weeks away, and I am excited to see how it will unfold.

Lavender, Singapore.

Day 115: Beaming Bangkok

“Colors are the deeds and suffering of light” goes a quote by the German artist Johan Wolfgan von Goethe.

I first stumbled upon this quote while reading the photography book of Alex Webb titled “Suffering of Light’. The Magnum photographer commented of how he was mesmerized by the radiance of color photography, especially of photos taken in the tropical region.

While the streaking sun had bothered me much while I was in Bangkok, I am relieved of the slight tinge of vibrancy in my photos.

Day 114: Taming Death

There is something called the Terror Management Theory. No, this theory has nothing to do with horror movies! Rather, it proposes that human behavior is always motivated by their sub-conscious fear towards death. So, religions supposedly came about to help us mere mortals make sense of the world (and make peace with death).

This brings me to a point raised by a Thai friend of mine. She mentioned how, in a Buddhist perspective, an early, natural death may not necessarily be a negative thing. A person who dies young may have a pure soul and have completed what he or she is meant to do on Earth.

I may not be a Buddhist, but what she said resounded in my heart. At 23, I’m still making sense of the world, let alone death. Ironically, I’ve come to realize that the fear of death has somewhat made my life worth living.

Bangkok, Thailand

Day 109: Rain as Expected

When the rain fell today, I immediately thought of the film “Magnolia” and its bizarre rain sequence. No spoilers here, I promise. What I can tell you, though, is that the film deals heavily with the topic of coincidences.

I like coincidences because they make our lives more entertaining. Life always has its own funny way of creating adventures. Whatever form it has, a coincidence usually serves as a test of one’s personality, for the better or worse.

Do you believe in coincidences?

Chinatown, Singapore