About Time

Countdown to 2021 has begun in some parts of the world. Usually at this time of the year, I will be travelling somewhere with my family. This year, since we are not going anywhere but here, I have not taken time off work. If I do not think much about it, daily routine does give me a sense of comfort.

If I keep my mind open, life is full of surprises and some experiences  can be magical. I believe in serendipity and randomness and not entirely into all that  mysticism  as I feel that science must have some explanation for all that happens in the universe. I also like to believe that certain encounters can be so surreal that it has to be part of our growing consciousness. Perhaps they are sheer coincidences, these instances may be inconsequential nor mean anything at all but it is somehow the working of the unconsciousness. Our intent must matter, thus it is important that we be mindful of our emotions and what goes through our head when we act, speak or not say nor act. If we could free ourselves from the matrix in our mind, we would be able to gain some perspectives and better self-knowledge about ourselves.

In Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry, the fox told the little prince that ‘you can only see things clearly with your heart.What is essential is invisible to the eye.’ So true.

I am a glutton when comes to books as I feel that it is through learning about  art, philosophy  and  science that creativity and analytical thinking may meet, engage and interact. Mind is always restless , it is certainly not boredom, it is what it is. More importantly the feeling of content and the lightness of being will be my objective.

I read multiple books at any given time, and as I was talking to an ex-colleague, we were both feeling the urgency of wanting to read more books aside from intending to plan more travelling. It has something to do with growing old. A month ago, I watched the movie About Time again, how I wish I could have the hidden talent of the male members of the family as they could travel back in time to right a wrong. For me it is not so much to right a wrong, regrets I have a few but somehow I know that I will probably end up where I am as I was such a distracted and disorganised individual ( still is, hopefully to a lesser extent) . I would love to have that talent to go back in time so that like Tim Lake’s father, Jim, I could always go back in time to re-read certain books. As years go by, my reading list is extending and it appears to be an endless one.

In this technology driven world designed to overload us with all kinds of information and possibly confabulations, you certainly need to check the sources and weigh what to believe and what is probably not true or half true or immaterial and focus on what you really want to do and experience with your time.

Maybe as cliché as it may sound, knowing what I know now or rather not knowing what I do not know, I probably should have had more courage in doing whatever I would have liked to pursue. We tend to justify and give reasons for what we have done or not done, that is just how things are. I should be grateful for where I am. Glad to be able to write and muse about nothing and everything that comes to mind and read the books I want to read, drink coffee, enjoy a nice glass of wine and fabulous food in the company of good conversations with friends and acquaintances in life.

It is through reading and conversations that I know that we are all connected bearing in mind that we all have our conflicts and contradictions and it is OK. But then if I can identify a feeling or an emotion and label it, I know that is not being present.

Just to wrap up my reading for year 2020.  I finally read The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng . It has taken me several months to read it primarily because I am not particularly fond of the era where the story is set in although the writing is elegant.

Here is an excerpt :

Every child longs for a larger-than-life uncle and because I had none, Magnus Pretorius became a figure of fascination to me, although he was hardly anything more than a vague presence in my life when I was growing up. What I knew of him I heard from my parents and from the things they left unsaid, the broken-off twigs of conversations I picked up whenever I walked in on them and from what Magnus told me after I got to know him better.’

The story is about a lady judge who sets out to build a memorial for her sister who was killed in the hands of the Japanese during WWII. Her quest leads her to the Garden of Evening Mists in the lush highlands of Malaya and there, she meets Aritomo, once the gardener of the Emperor of Japan and becomes an apprentice to him.

Beautiful prose, prolific writing demonstrating an abundance of creativity. I do read historical and period fictions but I do not enjoy stories set during and after the Japanese occupation. Nonetheless, the novel is an imaginative piece of writing.

The Stepford Wives is a science fiction that I had wanted to read. It is a novella that you would prefer to read in one sitting. Ira Levin is a masterful storyteller and he has craftily painted an ominous feel throughout the cautionary tale.It reads very much like a suspense thriller where you badly want Joanna Eberhart, the heroine to make it out of the idyllic town called Stepford.

The Stepford Wives is a satire and it is dark. Definitely, thought-provoking and you wonder if these beautiful, immaculate looking and dutiful wives are every man’s dream.

Happy New Year !!!!

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