‘Simple In Virtue, Steadfast In Duty’
All Shots Fired
‘All Shots Fired’
…an old cannon is merely a decorative piece – job done…
The Blue Mansion
‘The Blue Mansion’
Possibly the most gorgeous house I have set foot in.Having a blue sort of day today, so this is to remind of the beauty in that hue.
Putting Up The Shutters
‘Putting Up The Shutters’
Lighthouse In The East
‘Lighthouse In The East’
I shot this lighthouse in Langkawi in Malaysia in 2010 and gave it a vintage-look makeover just for a bit of fun today.
I, like many others, find lighthouses fascinating – solitary, stubborn sentinels -and photogenic to boot!
Twin Vaulting Ambition
‘Twin Vaulting Ambition’
If one massive skyscraper is not enough, have another…Kuala Lampur’s Petronas Towers, shot a few years ago.
Locked In Love
From the things I just don’t get department, I present this pic of padlocks, many pink and heart shaped, affixed to a fence atop Penang Hill in Malaysia.
Apparently, there is a bridge across the Seine River in Paris, where so many other star-crossed lovers have done the same thing that the bridge itself is sagging under the weight of thousands of padlocks.
If a lock is not a metaphor for entrapment and being hemmed in, I don’t what is.
Sinking bridges speak for themselves!
Call me a curmudgeon, but I don’t understand it…. and, on a purely aesthetic and functional front, pink padlocks are just plain f**king weird…
Magical Water Circles
Water lilies, a flora favourite of mine – this from the amazing Spice Gardens in Penang, Malaysia on a trip up there in 2016.
Not too many flowers on offer, so the focus is on the lily pads.
Great view of the structural mechanics of the plants,with the stems connecting the circular pads clearly visible though the water.
Even though you can see how the floating trick is performed, the sight is no less magical!
For more transcendental aqua flotation miracles see: Water Lilies I, Water Lilies II , Water Lilies III .
For The Want Of A Nail
“Everything seems to fail
And it was all for the want of a nail”
– Todd Rundgren, “For The Want Of A Nail” (1989)
Genius musician is proved slightly wrong in the form of this stunning traditional wooden Malay house on stilts . Okay, that is a massive lyric/subject non- sequitur,but I just love both the song and the house, and there really aren’t that many songs about nails…
Or houses without nails – not a single one was used in its construction, according to the owners. Mainly interlocked timbers, like a gigantic wood jigsaw puzzle. Amazing.
Right near top of the list of coolest houses I have ever visited.
Hasn’t failed or fallen down yet apparently…
The Monkey Mind
I only became aware this week of the Buddhist concept of the “monkey mind” when I was reading a story online about a depressed US army veteran who had been taught tai chi in order to quiet the negative voices in his head.
Another magazine article at home awhile back described an acquaintance of mine as having a “manic, fizzing mind.” The description was bang on.
I can relate …in fact this blog reflects a lot of things that just bounce around inside my head …I have to get rid of some of them in cyberspace…sorry!
But seriously ,apparently the average person has about 50,000 separate thoughts a day(many about the same thing) and a lot of those are not relaxing or mindful thoughts.They are of the “need to do this..now” and “next, that”, or just general worry bead handling.
Some of this is necessary for personal organisation and survival; too much of it causes mental and physical fatigue.We simply can’t unwind and become restless and unsettled.
Buddha wrote: “Just as a monkey swinging through the trees grabs one branch and lets it go only to seize another, so too, that which is called thought,mind or consciousness arises and disappears continually both day and night.”
The trick,supposedly, is to understand that aspect of ourselves and then tame the monkey, not fight it.
I won’t get into the mindfulness techniques to do that because I am no expert,but it is good start just to realise that maybe we can hold a thought,if a beneficial one, before launching for the next “branch” .
Lastly,the monkey picture was taken at a popular tourist island in Langkawi, Malaysia. There are constant warnings to the boatloads of visitors:”Do not feed the monkeys”,as they can be quite excitable and aggressive.
Good advice for those with “monkey minds” too!
Zen Gate At The Snake Temple
“In Zen they say: “Don’t seek the truth. Just cease to cherish opinions”. What does that mean? Let go of identifications with your mind. Who you are beyond the mind then emerges by itself “.
– Eckhart Tolle, from ‘A New Earth’.
We love our opinions and our right to have them .
To hang on to them, defend them, fight others over theirs.
We sometimes identify with our opinions, forgetting that they are not actually us.
I think of opinions I have held strongly, then later discarded.Who I am didn’t actually change.`
Some thoughts and opinions I have are kind and beautiful; others, like the snakes who inhabit the Buddhist temple where I took this photo, are just a bit twisted and scary!
Minarets, Domes and Crescent
…#6 in the ongoing series…
Factoid: Visited the Jamek Mosque in Central Kuala Lumpur in 2010. A privilege to don a robe as per custom and have a look inside (barring the inner courtyard and place of prayer, non-believers being excluded from those parts of the complex). I think of the warm welcome we received there ,when reflecting on the atrocities inflicted on Muslims at their place of worship in Christchurch last month.
This exterior view shows off the exotic(to me anyway)Indian Moghul -style architecture against blue skies. A stunning place situated at the confluence of the two main rivers running through KL. It may seem a bit weird now but the architect was a British non-Muslim; that’s how colonialism rolls…
The fifth post in a series of religious and spiritual places…
Factoid:This picture was taken in Penang on a 2012 trip to Malaysia.Stumbled upon it,not that you could have missed it.
Unbelievably ornate architecture, spectacular colours and figurines of deities and animals, in stark contrast to some of the previously posted more simple examples. Combined with the aroma of joss sticks ,this is a sensory explosion! The hands down winner in this lineup for employment of symbols…