Weekly Photo Challenge: Life Imitates Art ( Hokkaido )

LIFE >> ART >> LIFE >> ART >> LIFE >> ART …………….

I suppose Art and Life are interlinked and continuously influencing each other.

To me, LIFE = ART.012

Here is a picture taken in Hokkaido, Japan.

It is also a painting.


I have been reading this poem over and over . . . . . .CIMG4009

Footprints Also Known As “I Had a Dream”

One night I dreamed a dream. I was walking along the beach with my Lord. Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life. For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand, one belonging to me and one to my Lord.

When the last scene of my life shot before me I looked back at the footprints in the sand. There was only one set of footprints. I realized that this was at the lowest and saddest times of my life. This always bothered me and I questioned the Lord about my dilemma.

“Lord, You told me when I decided to follow You, You would walk and talk with me all the way. But I’m aware that during the most troublesome times of my life there is only one set of footprints. I just don’t understand why, when I need You most, You leave me.”

He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you, never, ever, during your trials and testings. When you saw only one set of footprints, It was then that I carried you.”

Margaret Fishback Powers, 1964

The picture was taken by my wife while travelling in a desert in Utah, maybe, it would be more appropriate if the picture was taken on a beach.

Purple Saturday (1)

Thai Saturday is Purple!

In our sub conscience, Purple is usually linked to royalty and spirituality. In Thailand, it is also a color worn by widows in memory of their husbands.

I like purple flowers but I also like sceneries which has a purple tint.

While cruising the Bosporus in Istanbul,  the setting sun created a purple hue in the sky and also in the water.  The hue together with the reflection in the water  was just breath-taking. The cruise was an odyssey of colors. When the cruise started up the Bosporus, there was sunshine. Then followed by heavy rain. When the rain cleared up, there was an incomplete rainbow, followed by an unforgettable pink sunset.  CIMG0580

In a way, the cruise was somewhat liked our journey through life; we have been through good times, seen bad times, encountered many interesting things,  even rainbows and when you have travelled far and long, you are almost near to the shore but the magnificent sun was setting!

Chasing the Sunset at Langkawi

For several days, we enjoyed the sun, sand and sea at Langkawi, the island of beautiful sunsets in Malaysia.

On our last day in Langkawi, we were wondering whether we should be having an early dinner; but the sun was setting and it was so lovely. We quickly changed our plan and took a stroll on the board walk fronting the shore, not knowing where this was leading to.

We walked up and down the rocky shores. Amazed at the beauty and serenity of the place, we couldn’t help walking further and further along the shore; in search of even better views.

What a joy it was if we could just take a pause in our life, doing nothing. . . . . .  not thinking of anything ( different from thinking of nothing), meditating like the man in the picture.

All our lives, we have been chasing; chasing buses, chasing jobs, chasing clients; sometimes we were just chasing our own tails;  many times not knowing why we chase for  those things at all.

Are we destined only to chase in this rat race? There must be much better things to do; liking chasing sunset or chasing rainbows.

Some feel sad about sunset as if it were the end of a day, an end of a life journey. But sunset only signifies the beginning of yet another day, perhaps another phase of life.

The sun finally sank below the horizon.

We knew that this was the best part of our trip and this moment was one of the best and memorable parts of our lives.

The Joy (and Jokes) of Retirement

The only reason for my retirement was because of health reasons – I was sick of my company and my company was sick of me. I knew if I was the last one to laugh at my boss’s joke, then I would not be too far from retirement. The best time to start thinking my retirement was before the boss does.

Working people have a lot of bad habits, but the worst of these is work. I told myself there’s one thing I always wanted to do before I quit – retire!

So one day, I returned  from work day and said to my wife, “Hi, Honey, I”m home – forever.”  From that moment on, I knew I switched bosses – from the one who hired me to the one who married me.  It turned out that my wife was happy because she knew that when a man retires, his wife gets twice the husband although receiving only half the income; knowing that if you have the time, you won’t have the money. If you have the money, you won’t have the time. The question isn’t at what age I wanted to retire, it’s at what income.

Then there was the memorable farewell party hosted by the company. My colleagues generously presented me with a watch at a time when time is no longer of essence. It is time I stepped aside for  less experienced persons. I knew that I have made a graceful exit at the most appropriate time

As I have retired from work, but not from life, I need something to retire to, so one of these things I set out to do was writing a blog. Retirement without the love of letters is a living burial.

I knew that I was taking my days off from my days off. Retirement is a time to enjoy life!  A time to do what you want to do, when you want to do it, how you want to do it. Retirement is wonderful. . . . . .  it’s doing nothing without worrying about getting caught at it.

Life begins at retirement. The concept of freedom is never truly realized untl one settles into retirement mode. Although, I have been taking many laps in my retirement, retirement is not a time to sleep, but a time to awaken to the beauty of the world around you and the joy that comes when you cast out all the negative elements that cause confusion and turmoil in your mind and allows serenity to prevail. Retirement has been a discovery of beauty for me. I never had the time before to notice the beauty of the lilies I love, the landscape and the tree outisde my own very window. . . . . . and the beauty of time itself.

A man cannot retire his experience, he must use it. So, I have been teaching, writing and using my previous experience as far as circumstances allow. I promise to keep on living as though I expected to live forever. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years. People grow old only by deserting their ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up interest wrinkles the soul!

PS  The above is just a compilation of many Retirement quotes by this Retiree; the use of the originators’ ( dead or alive) quotable quotes is deeply acknowledged. They include George Foreeman, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Mason Cooley, Catherine Pulsifer, M K Soni, Clarence Darrow, R C Sheriff, Hartman Jule, Henry Emerson Fosdick, Gene Perret, Douglas McArthur and Seneca.

Tin Tin and Star Ferry

DSCF2014I enjoyed watching The Adventures of Tin Tin (3D) ( and other movies for children, including the recent 3D Arthur saves Christmas; think I am starting to revert to childhood!), but two things I have always enjoyed are the tram (Tin Tin) ride on Hong Kong Island and the ferry ride on the Star Ferry.

I enjoyed the “Tin- Tin” sound and watching the busy world just passed me by while taking the tram. The tram allows me to be in close touch with the busy street outside while I can just sit back and watch, continuing to be a rock or an island.

The Star Ferry rides are equally enjoyable, although the subjects of enjoyment may be different from those of a tram ride. The summer breeze, the ever changing HK skyline, the neon signs, giggly tourists on board who seemed to be awed by this wonderful sight. . . . .  I am sorry to say that I may have been a culprit ( or at least an accomplice) for reducing the width of the harbour near Central through leading the design of the”new” ferry piers at Central.

The ferry rides from Central to Tsim Sha Tsui is now shortened so much that by the time you start getting nostalgic the trip is almost over. You have already reached the other side; good times always seem too short.

Yes, we must move on and cross the harbour of life. But for those who want to travel back to the sixties in Hong Kong, you are invited to do the tram and ferry rides of the 60s by clicking the following video link:

Kaze 風 1967 HK tram ride / 1962 city hall