Friday, November 19, 2004

How about if god was all of us?

There innumerous religions and believes, innumerous images and concepts of what god is.
Some adore it, some fear it, some kill for it and some couldn’t give a damn for it.
How about if god was one of us? Some kind of energy distributed evenly among each human being. That could well explain why often we hear that god is everywhere, that he created everything, he can hear and see everthing, that nothing in nature is created but everything is transformed.
This energy became matter and the matter evolved into what we are today and its evolution path is infinite. If we get out of our silly selfish boxes and realize this, we might have a great furure, if not, we might tear apart this great energy that we all form.
Looking back on how man kind has been dealing with the concept of god for the past 5 millenniums, I find it quite silly to follow blindly a man’s point of view, knowing that no one man is perfect and that his visions and interpretations of reality are 3 or 4 thousands years old.
By being blind and not questioning ourselves, humanity removed from itself some freedom for evolution. Humanity framed itself in paradigms with little space for a healthy evolution of the interpretation of reason of its existence.
We wasted millenniums in fighting and killing in the name of a man’s view of what god was for him. If this man said that god was all of us and only if we all contribute to the well being of those surrounding us, then god will be happy and we will be at peace today – the energy will be greatly positive. But instead this man said that only some are the chosen ones and he said that we have to fight the enemy and that it is why we are not at peace today – the energy is greatly negative.
Let us just suppose for a moment that this concept is a fact, then it is obvious that when we bring negative inputs to humanity, god (all of us) is not happy and when we bring positive inputs, god (all of us) is obviously happy.
The day that humanity will be able to live in peace, acceptance and respect, god (all of us) will be happy.
In the name of god (all of us), if you are fighting in the name of god, just remember that god might be all of us, including those you fight and if you do so you are killing part of your god.

Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrive hier soir!
I have to admit that I do not have this kind of reflections very often, but last night after a few glasses of Beaujolais Nouveau, my mind was illuminated by these thoughts! Was it the wine? If yes, my dear friends, this year the Beaujolais Nouveau is a special one!
‘A votre sante’!
Have a great weekend and be good to god, i mean to all of us!

illustrations adapted from here.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

My Life's journey

It’s time to make a little balance of what this busy life journey has been to me:

Precisely two years ago I was landing in Taipei, about to start a new chapter of my life.
Professional circumstances brought me to Formosa Island, the same island that as a child, I would freeze amazed listening to my grandfather’s stories about the great Portuguese navigators. Maybe it was the way he describe it, maybe it was the name itself, Formosa remained in my mind as a fantastic island from a wonder world.
Back to 18 November 2002, although I always feel excited when visiting a country for the first time, I was feeling unhappy because I was leaving back the place that I considered home for the past eight years.
Leaving a place and moving to a new one is always very emotionally demanding, no matter how many times we repeat it in our life.
Since I was a child, I’ve been exposed to this:
First you have a regular life in a place, you discover your own comfortable zones and you enjoy it. One day, for some reason you have to leave and then you realize how much that place and people meant to you. You leave and when you arrive to the new place you hate it because you cannot find what and whom you just left behind. Then with time you start getting into your new routine, you start discovering your new comfortable zone and you enjoy it until one day, for some reason you have to leave and the process will restart all over again.
The more you do it the less traumatizing it is, and eventually, Planet Earth will be what you consider “home sweet home”.
People often ask me, with all this moving around, what do I consider myself to be?
If we were machines and if we could quantify the percentage of us in terms of influences of the places where we lived and allowed ourselves to be acultured by, then I would answer roughly that I was something like this:

But because, its not only the country where you live that makes you what you are, it is also who do you meet and deal with, the countries that you visit and all the other billions of factors that make you what you are: a unique human being.
So if I had to represent what I am, I could not think of a unique nationality that could represent me, perhaps this will be more representative: a blend of those billion factors that some how made me what I am:

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Fleeing by Night - The Movie * * * * * *

It’s the 30's in Nanjing - China, the golden years for the wealthy Chinese bourgeois class.
Wei Ing Er, the daughter of a rich family exchanges correspondence with Shao Dung, the son of banker who is overseas studying in America.
She had a passion for Chinese Opera, he had a passion for music.
With time, this exchange of letters narrowed the distance between them and they become closely bonded.
When a Chinese Opera group arrived in town, Wei Ing Er’s father invites them to stay over in his immense house.
Wei Ing Er admires and follows closely the rehearsals and notices the amazing powerful performance and voice of the main actor - Lin Chung - an orphan raised by the opera company’s director.
Eventually Shao Dung returns to China with the intention to marry Wei Ing Er.
One night Wei Ing Er invites Shao Dung to the Opera, the night that marked their lives forever.

I just leave with you a glance of some moments of beauty and magic:
The voice of an opera singer freezes the body of a spectator, their love emerges with music and the power of the singer’s voice. The spectator in a fraction of seconds is aware of what’s happening and it can be seen in his glowing eyes.

A match lights two cigarettes and ignites a voice on a stage composed by the ruins of China’s Great Wall.

A loves B and B loves C.
A loves C and C loves B
A respects and accepts the fact that B loves C.
C tries to love B but B is afraid and runs away.
B tries to love A but A says its not possible to pretend to love.
B tries to go after C but its too late.
At the end….

I won’t tell you more, this movie is worth it to be seen, and there are no words to transmit the intensity of drama and beauty, of love and sorrow.

Review by David Ehrenstein, New Times:
"In the heart breaking tradition of Farewell to My Concubine, Fleeing By Night is a lush period piece that follows the love triangle of three men against the backdrop of the Chinese opera and wonderfully conveys a universal tale of unrequited love. Written and directed by a producer of both The Wedding Banquet and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, this film was an official selection of the San Francisco Lesbian and Gay Film Festival and the Los Angeles Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.
One of the most striking films to come out of Asia in recent years, this Chinese epic has everything: romance, history, spectacle and sheer go-for-broke melodrama. Yet, as directed by LI- Kong Hsu and Chi Yin from a screenplay by Hui-Ling Wang and Ming-Xia Wang, Fleeing By Night makes its greatest impression though subtlety. Set primarily in the 1930's, it tells of the unrequited passion of a theater owner's daughter and the cellist who would have been her fiancé for a mesmerizing Chinese opera star who is kept by a wealthy, controlling, yet oddly sympathetic lover."

Movie Type: Drama, Romance,
Director: Li-Kong Hsu and Chi Yin
Cast: Rene Liu as Wei Ying Er
Lei Huang as Hsu Shaodong
Chao-te Yin as Lin Chung
Country: China
Release Date: 2000

The Doors of Tainan

I noticed that the old doors of Tainan are often decorated with red bands containing Chinese characters. These are usually welcome messages for the good and at the same time they keep the bad away!
Red is the lucky color for the Chinese but not lucky enough to survive time.
Gradually red vanishes into pink and pink dissolves into white, but the message and the believes remain intact.
Alive cultural believes that still give a distinct look to the town!

The Doors of Tainan - 2004

True Colors

Following Drocas's suggestion posted at renas e veados, I checked my color and alike Drocas, I also liked the sound of it:

Check you birthday color here and see if you agree with its description!

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Chinese Serenity II

Remember the picture I posted the other day showing a mother and daughter looking at something with very a serene expression?
This is what they were looking at:

A park surrounding one of Tainan’s temple - 2004

A walk in the new neighborhood

I am enjoying living and tripping in a part of this ancient city where many generations have passed by and left their marks.
My neighborhood is composed of small labyrinth alleys that remind me of Algiers old kasbah, except here the mosques are replaced with temples. Temples of all sizes and shapes but with a common feature: the burning essence that brings to the scenario a true mystic feeling.
The old structures remained perhaps just to tell us that the past existed.

This little old house remains still in a corner of an alley, it seems abandoned and unnoticeable to the busy passbyers who rush to grab their lost time.
This little house probably has witnessed so many stories, now lost in that lost time.
But if you stop, stay still, listen and look carefully, this little house is able to tell you those stories and bring back some of that lost time!

Monday, November 15, 2004

A room with a view

Finally installed in the new home and very pleased to have a balcony in my room with a great view. From this balcony, you can see many temples from all ages, shapes and believes. It’s quite a spiritual landscape!

I was enjoing the view when I caught sight of an icon that always makes me wonder why on hell a fanatic fascist choose logo so similar to the one of the Buddhist, to symbolize so different his cause!
At a first glance one might think that there is a revival of such a hate doctrine, when in fact it is in fact the symbol of a peaceful philosophy of life - Buddhism.
I try hard to shift my mind away from what might look and focus on what it really is.
After all I should be happy to have such friendly and spiritual neighborhood!

The view from my room – Tainan – Nov.2004

Welcome to my new home!

The planned move
Besides the accidental blog move to this new look, I also moved to new apartment (not so accidentally) right in the heart of the old city of Tainan.
Last Saturday night was party time at the new place. It was my friend Zeak’s birthday and the house warming party was transformed in a birthday party.

Happy Birthday Zeak!