Escaping to a Summer Day Near an Extinct Volcano

In an imaginary life, everyday is like this.

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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.

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Imaginary
(Photo taken at the foot of Mt. Makiling, an extinct volcano on the island of Luzon in the Philippines.)

Not All Those Who Wander Are Lost

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I saw the sun rising, an orb hovering above the lake, failing to push the mist away from the mountain. I took a detour.

Why do I wander? I sat there, wondering.

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
-JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings

But they were on a quest, mine was a detour.

I pushed my thoughts aside. I just wanted to enjoy my detour.
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Wanderlust
(Sunrise over Laguna Lake near Mt Makiling in Laguna province in the Philippines.)

Like the Sweet Smell of Jasmine in the Night

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Her smile held all the promises of summer.

She was wearing a wide-brimmed straw hat that framed her face against the blue cloudless sky.

She sat on the bench and snuggled up to me, and her smell was like a whiff of sweet jasmine in the night.

Her face was very close, and her breath smelled even sweeter.

Suddenly she stood up and grabbed my hand. “Come,” she laughed.

And with that, she turned and led me into the summer.

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Perfume

One of the Most Beautiful Sights in Kyoto

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.”
– Benjamin Disraeli

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I may not be as great a traveler as Benjamin Disraeli, but I have seen quite a bit and remember quite a few.

Among those things I’ve seen and remember is the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. I do like temples and, though not a Buddhist, I find it soothing to the soul when I’m in a Zen temple or garden. This one in particular captures harmony between heaven and earth, and also shines in its beautiful setting.

The Golden Pavilion is worth visiting for a sight to remember, if not to soothe one’s soul.
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Some facts about the Golden Pavilion
1. It is a World Heritage Site.
2. The top two stories are covered with gold leaf.
3. The gold is to purify any negative thoughts towards death.
3. Its origin dates back to the 1400s.
More info on the Golden Pavilion here.

Wanderlust
Harmony

Does the Earth Belong to Us?

When I watch a sunrise

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Or the occasional moonrise

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I sometimes wonder if the earth is a better place without us.

I’m not trying to be a tree hugger (nothing wrong with being one).

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I am simply trying to ask a bigger question —

Is the earth a planet that belongs to our species, to use and exploit, and, when exhausted, move on and colonize Mars and other planets?

Or are we part of nature, homo sapiens another species on earth, another passenger on this planet?

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“With great power comes great responsibility.”

This has been quoted through the centuries, including the French Revolution, the US Supreme Court, Winston Churchill, the Holy Bible, and yes, Spider Man movies.

That our species is preeminent confers it great opportunity, to shape the earth for its purpose, and enjoy its gifts.

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But also great responsibility.
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Prompts:
Earth
Harmony
and Earth Day 2017

Photos from top: Sunrise at Mt Fuji, Moonrise over Laguna province in the Philippines, Todai-ji at Nara in Japan, Ho Chi Minh International Airport, Sunrise in Laguna province in the Philippines