Qui tangit frangatur.

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

What's the price of a dream?

I have been deep in thought the last few days. At this point, it is premature to share all of them, but I must say this exercise has been in part triggered by QQ's post, "A Story about Life" (Thanks, QQ), a conversation with an acquaintance, and observations of people around me. All too often, I see people trading the priceless for baubles. Baubles that can be bought. Trading time for money; trading youth, health for money; trading dreams for social acceptance, status — respectability.

Have you ever seen the sadness in an old man's eyes when he looks upon a mountain peak, the boundless ocean, the endless road — spent and tired before even contemplating?

Roots. Some say roots anchor. I say they imprison. Sure, a rooted tree flourishes, reproduces, but it remains in one place. I rather be driftwood. It sees more places than entire forests of its rooted kin. Sometimes, I feel, the journey itself is the destination.

A lifetime adrift in a boat, or in old age leading a tired horse into the years, every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
         (Matsuo Bashō)

This belief may not be as mad or ludicrous as it seems. In the Belgium film directed by Bart Van den Bempt, To see Mardin, Herman and Marie, a couple in their fifties, land in Istanbul to retrieve the recovered backpack of their deceased son. In it, they discover the logbook of his last expedition. Herman decides to reconstruct his only child's last journey by experiencing it himself. He convinces the reluctant Marie to join him in what he believes is a cathartic venture.

         Director's statement

A story about two people who both try to deal and live with the finitude of life, each in his or his own way. We are soaked by mortality, though we consider ourselves immortal. Remarkably, surrounded by death, we manage to forget we will die one day that all things are finite, and we enjoy our vulnerable existence with passion. [ . . . H]ow do 2 people with a different worldview cope with their loss and with each other’s grief. How does a journey courses if the journey itself is the destination? What happens if you love somebody who is not there and will never be there again?

Trying Struggling to answer the director's last question, I would say I see people taking on — and carrying on — the journey of their loved ones. Why, I have no idea, because they would never see their loved ones again, and continuing the journey of the deceased does nothing to change that. But they still do...

Its been a long night, enjoy my favorite song:

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side?
Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
And rainbows have nothing to hide.
So we've been told and some choose to believe it
I know they're wrong, wait and see.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Who said that every wish would be heard and answered
when wished on the morning star?
Somebody thought of that
and someone believed it,
and look what it's done so far.
What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?
And what do we think we might see?
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.

All of us under its spell,
we know that it's probably magic....

Have you been half asleep
and have you heard voices?
I've heard them calling my name.
Is this the sweet sound that calls the young sailors?
The voice might be one and the same.
I've heard it too many times to ignore it.
It's something that I'm supposed to be.
Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
the lovers, the dreamers and me.
La, la la, La, la la la, La Laa, la la, La, La la laaaaaaa


Anonymous Meishan said...

Thanks for sharing this song, it was once my favourite childhood song...hehehe :)

December 28, 2007 9:49 PM  
Blogger -ben said...

Oh hi, Meishan!

Well, I haven't grown out of childhood yet :-P

Thanks for dropping by & have a happy new year!


December 29, 2007 12:07 AM  

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