Life is Fragile
31.07.2014 § Leave a comment
There was a typhoon going on during my flight to Tokyo. My brother was very nervous about me going and called to ask me to reconsider. I came anyway.
During the class orientation in Tokyo, we were advised to check the school’s homepage for class cancellation information. They held class on Friday, but I experienced very strong winds commuting between school and home.
This morning I was awakened by a small alarm sound. I did not know where it came from, but there was a voice announcing, “You’re experiencing an earthquake.” I looked at the time; it was around four something. The floor was moving back and forth; it felt a little bit like a massage, only it was not for comfort or for fun. A scary thought came into my mind for a split second, and then quickly it went away. The shaking went on for, I’d say at least three to five minutes while I contemplated how fragile a life can be.
I think it is a healthy thing to be reminded once in a while of this very fact. A person can take this either way, positively making life more meaningful or nihilistically stop trying.
Contemplation on Compassion
11.01.2013 § Leave a comment
I drove by an animal lying in the middle of the road yesterday morning. By the time I had passed by I recognized it as a cat instead of a raccoon or a skunk. The worst part was that it was still struggling, not dead. My mind hurt to see her body twisting over and over again and all the cars just speeding by, mine included. The scene remained in my mind for a long time, still visible today when reminded.
I was wondering why I felt sadder after I discovered it was a cat. Is it normal that we respond more to beings that are closer to humans? Or how our minds think of a raccoon or a skunk differently than a cat? « Read the rest of this entry »
27.12.2012 § 1 Comment
I joined a community choir near work. I will see if I can insist on finishing this term despite my busy schedule. I believe that singing can be a stress release and, with all that breathing practice, is good for my health.
They tested my range and put me in with the sopranos. I should really be a mezzo-soprano, but we do not have enough sopranos, so I am one now. By the time I have to reach high G, I am literally screaming. The conductor, who is an Emory Music School graduate, has such a beautiful voice. She demonstrates a lot, and I feel like I am getting a free recital every Monday evening. She gave us “Nella Fantasia” to learn; what beautiful melody and lyrics! I had heard this song before but did not know the meaning until now. I had goose bumps when I read the lyrics in translation while she was demonstrating the high notes. Here is the song and a touching Cinderella story about a singer from Korea.
22.12.2011 § 1 Comment
I have not paid any attention in English literature, but I surely know a few Chinese novelists who described colors with inspiring insight. The words and objects they use to describe (and mentally simulate) colors create aesthetic tension. For instance, Eileen Chang, one of the greatest modern short novelists in Chinese literature, depicted a metal window frame color in an old Hong Kong mansion as “chicken fat yellow.” I assume it is a rich cream color. The fact that she used an unorthodox way to describe a color left a deep impression on me. « Read the rest of this entry »
Genius and Mediocrity
21.10.2011 § 1 Comment
Merriam Webster listed a new trend word after Oct 6, 2011: “Mercurial” it says:
Many reports on the death of Steve Jobs – a man known for exceptionally high standards and an unconventional approach to business – described him as mercurial.
Mercurial means “characterized by rapid and unpredictable changes of mood.” It can be used to mean “temperamental” or “volatile,” but also suggests versatility.
It must not have been easy to keep up with Steve Jobs. He was a genius. « Read the rest of this entry »
Contemplation on a California Worm
20.12.2010 § Leave a comment
the fate of a worm
I attended my husband’s nephew’s wedding over the weekend in California. It was a great weekend vacation not only because the wedding was beautiful, but also because the wedding was in warm San Francisco weather where many of our relatives live. We usually visit the Chinese grocery stores when we are there and bring back things we can not get in Chicago. We get as greedy as packing fresh vegetables in our suitcase. So, I brought back “tung hau” (茼蒿) this time. A type of herbal green that is very good in soups. « Read the rest of this entry »