Where to Go?

I lamented not a long time ago that the majority of what I wrote here was of something else, of qualities and ideas, and of thoughts. What I have avoided writing about for a long time is this world, and I am now here to rectify this.

Today, I will just post a short list of places I would like to go to, but since I like these places so very much I think it makes sense to mention them.

As a list, here are the six locations:

  • The Cape
  • Australia: New South Wales/Victoria
  • Japan: Chūbu/Kansai
  • Canada: Alberta/BC
  • Sri Lanka
  • Kenya/Tanzania

Now, to figure out the why (insofar as I ‘want’ to figure that out), I can say the following about the places above:

  • Scenery which should be amazing along with two oceans to explore. I love the seas, and I think the seas there will be different to the ones I am familiar with. And there is also a sense of history different to Europe’s: different to what I am used to.
  • I have always had a difficult explaining this particular one. The best I’ve usually done is said: “I really like the idea of it!” I think I might enjoy it because of what it looks like in my mind — which indeed is the worst way to visit any place at all (I mean, expecting something definite), but in a sense I do not have any expectations. What I do have is a thought that I’ll have a brilliant time there. Also, there is the Lord Howe Island which sounds like an amazing place simply for being named after the Lord Howe.
  • I would like to visit the majority of Japan, including Hokkaidō (though that I would like to see in the winter). These central regions though were the source of a lot of the historic events that Japan has seen in earlier history, and I would like to see what remains of those times. And I would like to see some of the natural monuments in the area (Fuji-san!), but that is maybe more for the sake of saying I’ve done that than for the actual wish to do so.
  • I know people there. I have an idea of what the nature is like. I know I could ski. What else would I need? I don’t think that the question of “Do I want to return?” would ever be a problem in a wintery BC… =)
  • With this wonderful island, my thoughts say: “You have to come here. There is no other way.” My mind responds with an agreement: “On a beach there, you can relax in the evening wind and solve whatever problems you want to solve. You can rest as you haven’t in a long time, and you can read under the setting sun.”
  • I think that what makes me want to see these lands is the same instinct that would take me to Western Russia and the steppes. But there are no steppes any more — we have a large farmland and that is all. Where is the hope to wander the lands and see no one but the birds on the rivers? The savannas are still there though. For now.

I do not know if this is very explanatory, but even in the best of cases I like to explain by way of riddles. At the very least, these places feel right to me. So I can continue thinking of the question: what comes first? Even the first is a good year-and-a-half away in the best of circumstances, but that just makes me want to think of those times even more. This in itself is probably a fault of being human — I cannot just concentrate on the day at hand.

It will remain to be seen if this problem makes for a loss… So, my mind will continue to smile at images from thousands of kilometers away until that time.

A Use of Facebook — What is in Your Mind?

While Facebook certainly has its advantages, consuming time for no real gain is one of the general disadvantages. However, it does work to keep one posted with news (assuming people other than me are as foolish to add ten-twenty newspapers to their news feed so that anything is broadcast at least twice) and with interesting things friends do. Friends, as in FB friends, which does not necessarily need to equal that on any other level. But that is irrelevant here and now.

What I actually wanted to display was an interesting thought I saw. Namely, the following status a friend of mine posted:

“You really love him/her, don’t you?”
A psychological question, no name was mentioned but still, someone came into your mind.

What did your mind do?

Moons and Ships

Of all that there is out there, I guess that the sea brings to my mind the most trivial (and yet the most important) questions.

I managed to spend a good few hours on the bridge today, and most of it was spent looking out at the sea while it was getting darker. It is certainly a most impressive sight, and it was made better today by the relatively cloudless sky.

The sight itself? The moon’s rising light reflecting on the clouds above nightfall.

It was quite amazing indeed.

And the interesting thoughts? How many ships have passed by any of these places we are at in the entire history of the world? And how many places here have never been sailed upon? [Would the water feel any different…]

Concepts of Beauty and Elegance

I also thought it might be worth to introduce a few concepts of beauty and elegance, just so it would be possible to spend a fraction of that time (that time that we spend doing nothing, or maybe… maybe, not doing nothing, but say, looking out of the window at the clouds passing by) understanding what makes that cloud, passing by, worth looking at.

  • miyabi: aspects of beauty that only a highly refined taste could appreciate (the pale shades of dye in a garment, the fragile geometry of a dew-laden spider web, the delicate petal of a purple lotus, the texture of the paper of a lover’s letter, paly yellow clouds trailing over a crimson sunset)
  • en: beauty that was more obvious and sprightly
  • aware: a pleasant emotion evoked unexpectedly (what one feels when one sees a cherry blossom or an autumn maple)
  • yugen: the foreboding of aware (at a brilliant sunset one’s mind feels aware, but as the shadows deepen and night birds cry, one’s soul feels yugen)
  • shibui: the studied restraint that might be described as knowing when to stop (in a sense, the absence of all that is not essential; a sense of disciplined strength deliberately held in check to make what is done seem effortless; the absence of the ornate and the explicit in favor of the sober and the suggestive)

These were the main concepts that I have managed to identify thus far; I am sure that there are many many more, but I felt like they would deserve their place over here, so they are here.

 Full disclosure: Explanations of the terms from Thomas Hoover’s ‘Zen Culture’


Why on Earth would anyone make things oscillate as they do (aside from the purely mechanical hideous formulae they follow, it is simply awful to try to see what happens next) …


Oh well. Listening to a book again now, and have to say  — a far better way of walking than listening to music. Wish I could just remember everything worth saying.  But, think of this:

“What is the good, if not the teacher of the bad? What is the bad, if not the task of the good?”

Might it just be the way of life ?

A Display of Thoughts and an Anglian Sunset…

I had the most wonderful experience today realizing the lyrics of a song were pretty much the farthest thing from what I thought they were… Nevertheless, the idea which I originally had seemed to fit so very well, to this sad tone “if for every day since war began…”

Not to wander though, I read another magnificent newsletter entry (he calls them newsletters, I’d rather say blog posts) by John Howe. I do sometimes wonder where an artist takes the thoughts he has and how he builds the worlds he sees — especially true in this case for the posts that I have read have begun in one end and gone through such a wide range of ideas (feelings) that it seems nigh impossible. A thought from the most recent one (quoting a quote, that is): “…Give me the ships, with sails adapted to the heavenly wind; there will be fearless people, even if they face the immensity.”

My thoughts ranged with Mr Howe’s, nearly on as wide a trail, and I found myself heading to the Sportspark today. They call it modern for some reason but it seemed anything after a closer look. Nevertheless, I was amazed — overcast skies when I entered, and a beautiful Anglian sunset when I left the place. Made me go down to the Yare and think that the moment might be even a bit better if I could just listen to that one tune by J. Strauss, ‘Es war so wunderschön’ (Op. 467).. or a second, not-as-good but still intriguing one named ”S gibt nur a Kaiserstadt, ‘s gibt nur a Wien’ (Op. 291) of which I have yet to find a good quality version so the pleasure of listening to a “true” version of it will remain in the future (hopefully, near future).

Of course, another pleasurable conversation with anti-monarchists (can’t really call them anything else for they don’t know themselves what would be better except something vague called a “democracy”; I am sure /read: I hope/ that “people’s democracy” is however quite far from their thoughts…) on whether dying for a country is acceptable et al.; and before that on the pros and cons of their system itself. To be fair, it might be said that I am getting more lenient in my beliefs given that I’m almost accepting that an “Imperial Republic”-system might serve instead of a monarchic/autocratic one, but not too confident yet.

Not to forget the most important: “The night is dark and full of turnips.”

The Celts

EDIT: Oh horrors, seems that the embedding of the first video has been prohibited. I will leave it here for a direct link to the video though. 

EDIT 2: I decided to add a video of less quality for the first video so there’s no going to other sites needed except as an option. 

[youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGwUpsyDJTk]

[youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyR1c7CWCQw]

This song has seemed to make itself a companion of good thoughts for me. The rhythm and the touch of the music, all of it put together, it fits well. I had not seen the video before I thought to search for it on YouTube for this post, but having looked at it I can see that it adds to the pictures created in my mind. Not perhaps as it could, but still well enough. Some of the scenes reminded (or rather, made me think) of ‘Storms in Africa’. I wonder if that has a video (an easy search, to be true, reveals that it… does indeed. Namely just down below:)

[youtube =http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Faryu2hVBrQ]

The ‘Storms in Africa’ was one of the first songs/thoughts that I saw actually conveyed the  feeling of the possibility of a storm (natural, that is) in Africa. Few other things have done it as well, I would say. These two Enya songs have to be my favourites from the last period of listening to her music (along with other calmer artists).

Otherwise, did I want to say anything? Might be I’ve done it already… two songs after all say much and more, especially when such thoughtful ones as the two here are posted.

‘The Celts’ makes for better thoughts though; I will listen to it again.

The Delta of Okavango

A reminder that interesting things do happen occurred a few days ago — namely, while listening to a radio show about different places in the world and what’s there (“Kuula rändajat”, Vikerraadiost) I came across the notion of an inland delta of the River Okavango . Naturally, it sounded interesting and I thought to take a closer look, which led me to a picture in Wikipedia: 

This picture made me think about the region even more, and check the other things on Wikipedia, which while not being the best source of information at least gives you something.

Midway through, I realized with not absolute but still good enough certainty: this had been a place I had dreamed of, not necessarily as it was in these pictures but close enough. I could somehow sense it and I believe that people who have had similar experiences know what I am speaking of here. The location on the map even almost matched what I saw in my dream (yes, somehow, either fortunately or unfortunately, some of my dreams do begin from a Google Earth view 😛 ) though there it was more personal.

And, I think that just as in my dreams, turtles live in the delta. At least that’s what another Wikipedia map says though it also places them into Sahara and Oregon so I’m a bit uncertain as to the accuracy of it. Nevertheless, it has made me think that I’ll take the time to read through the NG articles on the area (there were plenty by what I saw from Google Earth).

After all, aside from being the very likely scene of one of my dreams, it also is an inland delta. Hydrology demands further knowledge (!) (and likely has it as well, but this partial/future hydrologist does not yet).