I chanced upon these dragonflies mating amongst the water lilies.
From all indications, dragonflies are not monogamous. Such an acrobatic effort for a transient relationship.
Reminds me of the song “Sleeps with Butterflies” by Tori Amos. Here’s a stanza.
I don’t hold on
To the tail of your kite
I’m not like the girls that you’ve known
But I believe I’m worth coming home to
Kiss away night
This girl only sleeps with butterflies
So go on and fly then boy
I guess it also applies to dragonflies.
In a previous post I described the Future World exhibit at the Art and Science Museum.
Its centerpiece is the “Universe of Water Particles” – a seven-meter virtual waterfall. It is serenely beautiful, hundreds of thousands of water particles cascading gracefully down a virtual rock, following the laws of physics. And with a backpacker’s silhouette, it’s picture-perfect.
But I miss the mist, the unpredictable gust of wetness on my face as the wind blows the water away from its normal free fall. I miss the rustling of the leaves and the way my feet slide on the slippery banks. I miss the smell of decaying trees along the river, and the greenness of young shoots rushing to rise above the rocks and catch the sun.
I like my waterfall to be raw, with the water falling down in complete abandon, daring to defy the laws of physics.
I want nature’s embrace to be sensual. I want to feel its wetness.
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
(Mask carved from a vegetable gourd, Manila)
Black Waves is part of the Future World exhibition at the Art and Science Museum in Singapore. It is a collaborative work with teamLab, an interdisciplinary creative group.
Black Waves is “an expression of nature, rendered entirely in digital technology.”
The effect is created by “calculating the interaction of hundreds of thousands of individual water particles, and then representing the movement of waves in a crescendo of white foam.”
Computer animation is not new, but what is intriguing about this work is that it depicts the seascape in the style of traditional Japanese painting.
There is some kind of formality, a sense of order in what appears to be random, and yet it seems so realistic. Science capturing art capturing reality.
The artwork invites the viewers to immerse themselves in it. One can literally “step into the waves” or simply watch them from a bean bag on the floor while listening to the soothing background music.
By blurring the separation between viewer and artwork, it expresses the idea that we ourselves need not be separated from nature.
This vision of the future world is intriguing indeed.
Why was Stonehenge built?
This monument dates back 5,000 (!) years, though it is now established that it was built in phases over several thousand years up until 1600 BC.
Scientists have also determined that the stones were quarried as far away as 225 kilometers in present day Wales. This has led to a recent theory that it was built in Wales and transported to the present site.
There are varying versions of how it was built, some involving aliens. Even more theories abound on why it was built, the most common it being a burial ground. And yet new theories come up, such as it being a two-story concert hall. New discoveries reveal more information yet raises more questions.
It seems like the more we know about it, the more its mystery deepens.
Perhaps we will never know. What is clear is that people 5,000 years ago started putting order into a bunch of large stones lying around. Perhaps it is a primeval desire of man to seek order in his world and Stonehenge is a symbol of that.
In an imaginary life, everyday is like this.
Escapism? One can hardly fault anyone for indulging in some escapism. Check out the recent popularity of superheroes in movies where they somehow save the day, or fantasies such as Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter where the good eventually triumphs over evil, or science fiction where the future gets secured in galaxies far away.
Maybe there’s a lot of reasons for wanting to escape reality in today’s world, but I won’t get into that All I know is that some dose of “mindful escapism” — including hobbies, sports, photography and (cough, for some) blogging — is good for our mental health.
And when we “escape” with friends and create happy memories with them then it’s one way to bring the good from the imaginary into reality. And maybe that can make this world a little better and there would be fewer reasons to escape from it.
(Photo taken at the foot of Mt. Makiling, an extinct volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.)
Loyalty is the foundation that makes friendships endure. It’s the difference between ordinary friends and true friends.
Dogs are called “man’s best friend” because they can show unparalleled loyalty.
One of the most famous stories of loyalty is that of Hachiko, an Akita dog whose owner was a professor at the University of Tokyo. Each morning they would walk together to Shibuya train station for the professor’s commute, and at the end of the day Hachiko would wait at the station for his return. Until one day the owner did not show up for he had a stroke while giving a lecture. For ten years — rain, shine, or snow — Hachiko would wait at the station every afternoon until his own death in 1935. This happened long ago and still the story is being told, including a movie with Richard Gere in 2009.
Hachiko became famous as a symbol of loyalty in Japan that a bronze statue was erected at Shibuya station in 1934, unveiled with Hachiko present!
Hachiko is still waiting after all these years.
His statue is now a popular landmark in Tokyo and a favorite meeting place among young Japanese friends.
“If you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything.”
– Muhammad Ali
Let me hasten to add, if you haven’t learned the meaning of loyalty, you really haven’t learned the meaning of friendship.
“A good friend is like a four-leaf clover; hard to find and lucky to have.”
– Irish proverb
True friends are rare because loyalty is rare. Treasure them, and be one.