Monday, March 30

earth day.

[candle light. ]

sunday contained among its twenty-four divides,
singapore's first earth hour.

given that the very dismal, very practical, (and put together, very singaporean) comments by the 'average person on the street' are not at all warm to "switching off" (for what!?), i wasnt expecting the eternal lights of singapore go half black. but im pleased that my home was among the darkened ones, and the large french restaurant i happened to be dining at also dimmed (well, the cooks needed to cook) its (many) lights. the few tables of us who were sitting in the restaurant at the quieter corner of clarke quay had ourselves draped in a very dreamy, disquieting half-light.

with our little pocket taking earth hour ("i'm sorry ah, but we'll be turning off our lights for earth hour at 830pm soon, i did say that right, right? earth hour." says very casual mina-like waitress) seriously, outside seemed preposterously dazzling.

it is primarily symbolic. like valentines day, a small, sentimental bit that isn't carried on, let alone fully actualised, much of the rest of the year, doesn't matter much, even if the symbolised meaning is potent enough. we live in the physical world, and that is often where wars and loves are played out and judged.

still.. symbolism stands strong because it can make aware, persuade, unite.

and. who can begrudge the small gesture when real changes are out of the question?

Saturday, March 21

grace cathedral hill: are you feeling better now

[grace cathedral. san francisco]

[acrylic on wood by bruce docker. ]

many years ago, at least relatively so in my current lifetime, a kindred spirit in the world of art and music, an at times murky, almost always sidelined world, shared a song by the decemberists.

while explanations made now for then are usually imagined and hardly ever true, i suppose i was then too sprightly and energetic with my tastes in indie. used to quick turns and complex riffs, i couldnt settle down long enough to let the melody seep in, or put word and word together to uncover picturesque dreams and morphous meanings.

in other words, i didnt stand still enough for this song; anything that didnt leap out at me was forgotten, or worse, never seen or heard.

one must love the speedy informational transactions of the internet then. for it was on its radio that i heard it again. this time, a curious thing: the very first strains dug deep. spiritual-physicists would make some comment on resonating frequencies or something.. but yes. the strains seemed the tumult in my sluggish self, and the timbre the low echo my dragging feet made. the quiet observing voice was the corner i wanted to retreat into, and let the world's going ons, made artful through a steadied frame, be my muse and my preacher.

grace cathedral hill,
all wrapped in bones of
setting sun,
all dust and stone and moribund.
i paid twenty five cents
to light a little white candle
for a new year's day

i sat and watched it burn away

then turned and weaveed through slow decay
we were both a little hungry
so we went to get a hotdog

down the hyde st. pier
the light was slight and disappeared
the air, it stunk of fish and beer

we heard a superman trumpet play the
national trumpet
and the world be
long for you
but it'll never belong to you

but on a motorbike,
when all the city lights
blind your eyes tonight
are you feeling better now?
are you feeling better now
are you feeling better now.

someway to greet the year
your eyes all bright and brimmed with tears
the pilgrims, pills and tourists here all sing
fifty three bucks to buy a brand new halo

sweet on a green eyed girl
all fiery irish, clip and curl
all brine and piss and vinegar
i paid a twenty cents to
light a little white candle

and the world may be long for you
but the world


the images were lightly intoxicating.

but. away from internalities, to a place we can walk and feel concrete on foot: what is the place that this song revolves around? what is the space that the song, in its melodies and silences, seem to echo?