Happy Birthday

Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

– Alfred Tennyson (1809 –1892)


I Could Take

I could take
two leaves
         and give you one.
Would that not be
a kind of perfection?

But I prefer
one leaf
         torn to give you half

(after these years, simply)
love's complexity in an act,
         the tearing and
              the unique edges —
one leaf (one word) from the two
imperfections that match.

- Hayden Carruth (1921 – 2008)

めがね by Naoko Ogigami

Mir ist bewusst was Freiheit bedeutet
Folge dem Wege geradeaus,
meide die Tiefen des Meeres,
doch hab ich solch Wort hinter mir gelassen.
Der Mond scheinet auf jedem Wege,
wie die in der Dunkelheit wie Diamanten schwimmenden Fische;
heiß wie durch Zufall Mensch - und hier bin ich.
Was hatte ich zu befürchten,
mit was zu kämpfen,
bald ist es Zeit die Lasten zu legen.
Erteile mir noch mehr Kraft,
Kraft zur Liebe.
Mir ist bewusst was Freiheit bedeutet,
mir ist bewusst was Freiheit bedeutet.

I know what Freedom is.
Follow the path straight ahead.
Keep out of the ocean deeps
I have left such words behind me
The Moon shines upon all paths
like Fish who swim like Diamonds in the Dark
Called a human being by chance – so here I am
What did I have to fear?
Against what was I struggling?
It’s time for me to lay down my heavy load.
Give me even more strength,
Strength to love.
I know what Freedom is.
I know what Freedom is.

Poem and its transcription found via here.


Deep words

Stumbled upon these from other bloggers' sites and thought it too lovely to not immortalize on my site as well, especially since I do not typically pick up poetry books and will definitely not come across them on my own. I find most poetry perplexing –– I think I'm too impatient to mull over the words. So I get very excited when poetry readers share gems like these that I can easily decipher :-)

I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.

I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down

into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,

how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,

which is what I have been doing all day.

Tell me, what else should I have done?

Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?

Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?”

– "The Summer Day" by Mary Oliver
(found via Maps & Fragments)

All I have is a voice
To undo the folded lie,
The romantic lie in the brain
Of the sensual man-in-the-street
And the lie of Authority
Whose buildings grope the sky:
There is no such thing as the State
And no one exists alone;
Hunger allows no choice
To the citizen or the police;
We must love one another or die.

– W.H. Auden
(Can't remember where I saw this, but it definitely spoke to the quixotic part of me)



Symmetry from Everynone on Vimeo.

I don't find myself having favorites of any one thing but if I did, I believe July could end up as my favorite month out of the year, for reasons too abstract to get into right now. July of 2011, though, is proving quite melancholic. Two great artists whose work I find immeasurably great, Cy Twombly and Lucian Freud, passed on. More importantly, one of the handful of relatives I could conceivably describe as close passed on as well. The news came sudden, as these things are wont to be, and made more poignant for the fact that his death did not afford his loved ones the luxury of time for a proper farewell. Farewells are sad, and farewells without utterances of goodbyes all the more heartbreaking.

I often wonder at our amazing ability to recover from grief. In my darker hours, it seemed to me that life will never quite be the same but once emerged, life somehow always is. I suppose that's the thing about life, isn't it? That it goes on? And if we are to take the smallest token of consolation from that tenet, perhaps it is this –– that for every goodbye, there is a hello, and from death, there is life?

Dear A and family, 節哀順變.


It's probably best not to bitch and moan about the weather (yet again), but seriously, the heat is murdering me! I have bookmarked a few things to blog about, but as I'm someone who's very sensitive to heat (and who tries to refrain from AC usage), they'll have to wait till the weather turns cooler (or at least less brutal).

For the sake of some levity in our drama-filled worlds though, here's a quick post on something I think is 可愛い.


What, the picture not doing anything for you?
Teehee. That's cause you have to visit here to see why it's so special.

I imagine only a handful of those individuals who stop to smell the proverbial roses would be able to spot them. Harried folks hurrying by would surely (albeit unknowingly) give it a flying kick :-)



Tsai & Yoshikawa


Please forgive the deluge of imagery but I just got too click-happy. The images above are works by Hsiao-Chi Tsai, a native of Taiwan but now based in London. They are, would you believe, textiles! Gorgeous colors and patterns, no? I saw the patterns and went "wow!" but when I realized that they were actually textiles and she fashioned garments out of them, I was pretty blown away.

Her work is multi-dimensional too. Below is a maquette for a proposed project, I hope it gets realized, it looks like so much fun!


Anyway, I explored the site a bit more, and realized that two artists share the space. According to the site, Kimiya Yoshikawa is a long-time collaborator of hers -- his work looks equally amazing!


The first and bottom images are site-specific installation projects that immediately caught my eye. How fun (and perhaps a wee bit intimidating for me) to walk into an art piece with only your heads peeping out, and that then becomes part of the visuals?

The images in the middle are from his "Balloon Series". Maybe I'm just a sucker for balloons, but they are my favorite. I'm especially digging the one to the left -- the textural contrast between the architecture and the balloon piece is stunning, visible even in that teeny picture.

Happy exploring! I've got to rest my eyeballs now.


Art Therapy

I don't know about you folks, but it's bleak times around here. The only consolation is that it's been raining somewhat daily, I can't begin to describe to you how much the rain means to me. Looking at beautiful images helps as well -- I suppose that explains the ever-so-slightly increase in postings on here. I've been very lucky with coming across things that are both a sight for sore eyes and the bruised mind.

These three images brought instant smiles.

Kaleidoscope-inspired collage by Rachel Lois Caunt.

"The Times They Are A-Changin" by Liat Yaniv.

"Floral Ocean" by Betsy Walton.

// This peek into an Art-Deco apartment in Shanghai is satisfying my voyeuristic thirst. It is so charmingly decorated, plus I'm a big sucker for those steel-and-glass french doors.

// Also, even though I've never been a fan of the kitschy decor (feels a little claustrophobic for me), I am totes amoureux with the home of Albert and Gillian Maysles (shot here by Todd Selby). Doesn't it shout "life well lived"?

// Lastly, has anyone out there tried Bookmooch? Just wondering if it works.


Diem Chau


Head over heels with these works by Diem Chau, beautifully intricate with a slight nod towards whimsicality. There are plenty more to gawk at in her gallery, where I've been blissfully spending time. Also, be sure to check out her crayon sculptures!


// A fun link for you, it's a little silly, but hilarious nonetheless. Or maybe I'm just easily amused :-) Besides, haven't everyone sort of thought about it? -- A photography project entitled "What if You Lived at Ikea".


I swear I'm not a shopaholic


If your first thoughts were along the lines of "Nature photography?", you would be mistaken. These are actually office products, produced by Appree of South Korea. Yup, I thought they were pretty cool, I would certainly love to have the gingko notepads around.


Also loving the tissue box with the tissue in flower-like folds. No seriously, as utilitarian as the regular ol' rectangular-shaped ones are, you gotta admit they are ugly mofos that add nothing to a room's decor, am I right? I'm just being persnickety, you say? Hmph, fine, I still say these are prettier to look at.


(via babyramen)

Another cool thing for you to check out (although I trust you'll have come across it since it's making the blog rounds -- it's that cool!) is Kelli Anderson's Paper Record Player. Essentially a wedding invite, she's designed it to showcase a song the bride and her groom wrote and sung together, basically by turning the paper invite into a playable record all on its own! Definitely one for the keeps huh? This isn't the first time her work has made the blog rounds either, I first came across her name when she produced wedding hankermaps (maps printed onto handkerchiefs) for another couple. An undeniably talented lady, that one is.




I love rings. They are the one type of accessories I consistently love. I remember one of the first ones that I had bought when I was a teen. It was a chunky rose carved out of silver and soldered onto a half-round silver band. It looked huge on my then-scrawny fingers, and in fact, my cousin made fun of it :-) She wondered out loud if I wore it for self-defence purposes, hah! But no matter, I loved it and wore it every chance I got (which wasn't very many since national schools forbade ornamental adornment of any kind. And yes, even barrettes count as ornamental, can you imagine?)

All these reminiscing just to show you what caught my eye, Mirta's rings. For some inexplicable reason, I've always had an easier time finding chunkier-sized rings that look good on my fingers rather than the thin, wispy ones, which is what I love about the rings above. They look like they can be worn in polite society and yet have just enough idiosyncrasy to make them charming.

I also ❤ ❤ ❤ these pieces below, especially the necklace. She's got a lot of other lovelies at her etsy store.




I'm not one to accessorize much, which I sometimes feel is a shame because there are so many little pieces that I see and admire and would indeed love, scratch that, yearn to have. Shingo Matsushita's pieces are an example of that. I love the fact that he uses crochet as a design element but instead of the result looking dowdy, the combination of materials (threads, pearl, leather) and color choices makes his pieces infinitely edgier (oh how I hate that word but you get the drift ;-p)

Two links I've been meaning to share: The Makers -- a photography project by Jennifer Causey that's glued me to the computer screen for the past couple of hours. I love sneak peeks into artiste's work places!

This next link has been on my to-share list for a while, but because I've remained conflicted about it, I never got around to it. Anyway, I've decided it's definitely worth posting about because, for what it's worth, I think it's thought-provoking :-) So here it is: New York City Garbage, its Flickr collection is worth a look at too.


Just cause

Performing my daily (joke!) good Samaritan act by informing you that New York residents are eligible to win a lovely floral arrangement by le fleuriste extraordinaire Saipua every Friday. Actually, it's just an excuse so I get to post images of her gorgeous bouquets. :-) But seriously, all you have to do is leave a comment here, can you believe the crazy??? Makes me wish I was in NY for sure. I mean, look at them!

Also, if you are anything like me in the kitchen (read: hopeless) and have to map out ingredients and instructions (down to the tiniest detail like which spoon and bowl to use) into illustrations way before the day of the deed, you'll appreciate this site -- They Draw & Cook.


Anastassia Elias

Cute little vignettes in a toilet roll, who woulda thought? I love these paper cuts by Anastassia Elias, each one a tiny glimpse into a mini world, perfect size for a little day-dreaming :-)


Paul Barbera

Click on any link within Paul Barbera's site and chances are good that you'll be riveted by one image after another, his photographs are so mind-numbingly gorgeous. The ones that capture my attention the most are his personal photography projects, my fave so far is his "The Girl From Ipanema" series (above).

blog disclaimer:

Please be advised that a couple of archived posts could be considered adult in the sense that it shows nudity, albeit minimally and in an artistic sense.