Thursday, 7 January 2010

Beach: Bagan Nakhoda Omar

I made this trip way back in late September, on the same day I visited the paddy fields of Sekinchan and saw the funky monkeys. The beach of Bagan Nakhoda Omar wasn't too busy compared, in part due to it being the fasting month for Muslim. The cerulean sky was clear and perfect. There were storm clouds in the distance, but it would be hours before they arrive - if they arrive at all.

The tide was way out and many locals and tourists were busy excavating delicacies in the sand.

In the shallow water, I picked up a hermit crab. The shy decapod crustacean only deign to extrude from its fortress after being left suspending motionless in mid-air for a fair while. A slight jerk of my hand would send it bolting back into its stronghold.

More crustaceans littered the sand. Another hermit crept gently though a saline stream.

Where there are living things, there will be dead ones.

The tide crafted different designs in the sand, some were fine parallel lines, others were more blotchy.

The tidal plane was mostly flat, except for the occasional rocks where barnacles and shells proliferate. If you look closely enough, the stripped legs of some hermits can be seen, jutting out of their current accommodation.

It was close to noon. The tropical sun was at its peak. The beach was baked with water and sand running warm beneath your feet. Yet none of the sweat-drenched beach combers were deterred by the heat. Parasols were opened as they press on.

I had been in temperate climate for close to 2 years. The Equatorial sun in its full glory was something I had not experience for a while. Crossing a stream, rising as the distant tide lulls in, I sought respite in a nearby mangrove forest.

These were black mangroves (or Avicennia germinans) with their pneumatophores. (Biologist/botanists out there, correct me if I'm wrong)

I lingered in their shelter until the stream I crossed from the beach ran higher and higher. By now, anyone foolish enough to venture under the sun unprotected was starting to turn red. Heading to the car, I pocketed 2 more hermit real-estates.

When we drove away, all the 2 legged mammals has left the beach. Some have moved under the shelter of man-made structures for picnics. Others were hauling the bounty of their morning's diligent digging back home for a feast. In a few hours time, the tide would come in, swallowing the beach almost completely.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Quotes on Art and Life

A punctuation of texts for the influx of pictures recently in this blog.

From John Ruskin's On Art and Life by Peguin Books, Great Ideas (I love these pocket sized travel friendly series.)

Do what you can, and confess frankly what you are unable to do,
neither let your effort be shortened for fear of failure,
nor your confession silenced for fear of shame.

Now it is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity. (page 24)

All art worthy the name is the energy - neither of the human body alone, not of the human soul alone, but of both united, one guiding the other: good craftsmanship and work of the fingers joined with good emotion and work of the heart. (page 69)


Some I manage to plug from online. Especially from the podcast of Sidebar.

Make sure wherever you go after school, you are not the best guy there.
~ David Groove

Draw now, think about it later.
~ Greg Munchess

But mostly I feel happy to be part of something far bigger than myself. I like being part of a team, it's why I write scripts rather than novels.
~ Jack Thorne, writer of The Scouting Book For Boys, shares his diary

Nothing should be prized more highly than the value of each day.
~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The true secret of happiness lies in taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life and elevating them to an art.
~ William Morris

Creative ideas reside in people’s minds but are trapped by fear or rejection. Create a judgment-free environment and you’ll unleash a torrent of creativity.
~ Alex Osborne

Change does not change tradition. It strengthens it. Change is a challenge and an opportunity; not a threat.
~ Prince Phillip of England


From Unlimited Power by Antony Robbins.

Success: to laugh often and much, to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.

Success is the ongoing process of striving to become more.

The opportunity to continually grow emotionally, socially, spiritually, physiologically, intellectually and financially while contributing in some positive way to others. The road to success is always under construction.


From the armory in Kevingroove Museum.

When you cross sword with an enemy you must not think of cutting him either strongly or weakly; just think of cutting and killing him.
~ Miyamoto Musashi, A Book of Five Rings, 1645

It has to be lamented, that man, ever in a progressive state of civilization, differs little from the savage in his thirst for gratifying the degrading indulgence of revenge.
~ JG Millingen, the History of Dueling, 1942


And those I pillaged from the walls in the same art gallery,

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
~ Camille Pissarro is the human aspect of things, that which is plainly human, that touches me most in art.
~ Jean-François Millet

In a word, what I wanted to do was create a style for our age.
~ Emile Bernard

Monet is one of the few painters who know how to paint water... With him, water is alive and deep. It is true water.
~ Emile Zola

I do not literally paint that table, but the emotion it produces upon me.
~ Henri Matisse

I want to conquer Paris with an apple.
~ Paul Cezanne

I don't paint portraits, I paint people in their homes.
~ Édouard Vuillard

The portrait is one of the most curious art forms. It demands special qualities in the artist and an almost total kinship with the model.
~ Henri Matisse

I want to make portraits that will be revelations... in a century's time... I am not trying to paint using a photographic likeness...
~ Vincent van Gogh.


And a last one from me. On the week before our degree show exhibition was due, a friend of our classmate jumped from the Suspension Bridge. If only he can see how much his friends huddled and cried and was miserable after that. I will say in this day and age, even boredom can literally kills, but hey,

A successful suicide can only be committed once - don't squander it!
Therefore, live.

At least live till a day when there is a good enough reason to commit it. And chances are, by then you would realize the precious gift that is being Alive.

Crossing "the Tens"

Some snippets of crossing into "the Tens". Among the final days of the 1st decade of the 3rd millennium, the sky was burning.

There will always be thorny things in life.

And sometimes you may find "jelly fishes" on the ground.

You picked one up, but it didn't tickle at all, unlike these brushy things.

Flower, fungus, fruits - facts of life, a cycle of renewal and decay.

This was the last picture I took in 2009, a slow but determined snail.

This was the first picture I took in 2010, a blue moon an hour after midnight.

On the first day of "the Tens" ducks bathed in the shower and sang in the rain.

The floodgates of heaven opened.

A frog peered out from the safety of its churning drain.

And raindrops, trickling down a leafless branch, crystallizing the moment of a new decade.

Soon the rain departs. I didn't go hunting for rainbows.