Monday, January 24, 2011

Love lives on... 爱未灭。


たとえ身体冷える日も
この想い消えない

乾いてゆく花さえ
永遠の命を継ぐ
——『太王四神記』の主題歌「千年恋歌」の日本語バージョンより


即使到了我的身躯冷却的那一天
我对你的这份情意不会散灭

就如花儿纵使枯萎而去
也依然传载着渊远流长的生命之脉
——《太王四神记》主题曲《千年之恋》日语版

     生离死别本来就是人生必经之路。无论是多么至亲至爱的亲友眷属,总有在生与死之间分道扬辘的一天。我们常安慰自己说对方仍活在我们心里,说生老病死是人之常情;孰不知,我们的至爱未曾死过,因为他们肉身的消失并不抹去他们一生中为我们付出过的爱。当前可以是无奈,未来或许无定,但是历史却是无法改变的。逝者生前的每一道关怀叮咛,每一份柔情蜜意,每一项辛劳付出,每一刻真心思念,都不会因为他们从此的不在而不曾发生过。甚至可说,这些爱意晶化为他们送与我们的每一份挚礼——可以是物质上的,亦可以是精神上的——凝结于在他们的扶持下走过一段人生艰辛之旅的我们身上,并流传在不辜所望迈向未来的我们的血液里。因此,健康积极地活着,并且把他们赐予我们的爱散播在周围人的身上,让这份爱得以蔓延,会是我们对逝者最大的敬礼。


Even on the day my body turns cold
My feelings for you will not perish

For even drying flowers
Pass on the eternal pulse of life
——Opening lines from the Japanese theme song of ‘Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi’, ‘Thousand Years of Love’

Losing a loved one is inevitable in life. Close or deep in the throes of love as two people may be, death ultimately separates them one day. We often console ourselves by saying that the other party lives on in our hearts or that death is a passage of life. What we never realized, however, is that our beloved had never really perished, for the disappearance of their bodies did not undermine the love they had forked out for us in their times. The present may be inescapable, the future fraught with uncertainties, yet the past can never be erased. Their every word of concern, each act of sacrifice and all heartfelt thoughts for us do not fail to have existed just because of their absence from now. Rather, their love for us has crystallized as the gifts, tangible and intangible, they bestowed us; is embodied in ourselves, who have made it thus far in life with their support; and flows on in our blood as we march courageously on like they have hoped. Living on positively and spreading the love they have lavished on us to those around shall thus be the greatest salutation we can give to the departed.
      

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Victims of the Victim Mentality

"How much pain have cost us the evils which have never happened."
                                                -Thomas Jefferson
Sometimes we tend to overstate the severity of our problems, even to the extent of subconsciously or consciously picturing our lives as tragedies. When I was 12, I had a friend of the same age who would exclaim,"I'm done for!" at the slightest blunder or inconvenient turn of events. Now, it would indeed be a sad thing to conclude your life as over at but the tender age of 12. But was it really over?


From time to time, we could benefit from a little perspective. Each individual on this planet is but a small entity of existence among the vast humanity, stricken as it is with hunger, nuclear threats, disasters—natural and man-made, among other crises. In face of these numerous calamities endured by Mankind as a whole, of what worth are our individual setbacks?


Even when judged on their own merits, some of the so-called crises we claim to experience do not qualify as crises at all. Just the other day, someone I knew got into a fluster over a tiny task she was supposed to complete by that day, but had not been done as she had confused the day after with that day.

"Oh, this is devastating!" she moaned.
 
"No, it's not. There are still four more hours to the end of the day, more than enough for your speed," I stated. "Don't brandish the word 'devastating' around so freely."

Sure enough, she went on to finish off everything within 30 minutes, just one-eighth of the time available. Where was the "devastating" part to be found?


Let us also revisit my 12-year-old friend mentioned earlier. How could one be "done for" when she had just stepped into her adolescence, with a whole stretch of opportunities and possibilities lying ahead in the long road of an adventure called Life? Let alone merely due to a late appointment or a minor misunderstanding with a friend?


At times, our tragedies, crises and sufferings are not so much tragedies, crises and sufferings in themselves, than tragedies, crises and sufferings in that we choose to perceive them as so. To quote the words of author and national speaker Donald Asher, "Strife is when your mom dies in your arms from a horrific and excruciatingly painful disease (...) Strife is when you are so poor that you can't afford to buy postage stamps, much less something so expensive as food. Strife is when you grow up in an active war zone where attending school is an act of insane bravery. That's strife."


This is not to say that all our personal problems are mundane and not of any importance. Many of them may actually be legitimate concerns indeed. The point though, is not to wave them off or put them to neglect, but to solve them with an upbeat attitude—treating them as simply questions to resolve or better still, challenges to relish and triumph over, rather than miseries that life inundates you with, which brings us to yet another quotation:


"Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here we should dance."
                                                   -Anonymous

Thursday, January 13, 2011

3..2..1..and off to a Good Night of Snooze!

 Falling asleep sounds increasingly like a complex science nowadays. Fear not though, there are three baby steps you can take to make the mission to slumberland easier:
  • Take meals Three hours before sleep

  • Exercise Two hours before sleep

  • Bath One hour before sleep
Unbelievably simple, isn't it?

The ultimate aim of this formula is to produce a relaxation effect in the body, easing the transition to sleep mode. Let's examine the steps in detail:
Three hours before sleep: Take in warm or spicy food to raise the body temperature. However, try not to consume food later than that as an active digestive system during bedtime keeps you awake instead. Some literature recommends that heavy meals should not be taken in the four hours leading to bedtime.
Two hours before sleep: Do light exercises such as gentle stretching or yoga that makes you sweat a little. This also relieves tension, helping you to relax. The key here is "light" as strenuous exercise creates a stimulating effect that deters sleep.












One hour before sleep: Take a warm bath or shower to raise the body temperature for a while. Now, this step seems to be counter-intuitive ("shouldn't it be a cold bath?" I hear you ask), but is actually not. The rise in temperature is only momental as at the end of the bath, the body will work to transmit the heat away from the heart and dissipate it away through our extremities. This rapid drop in body temperature signals to the body that it is time to go to sleep, cuing the onset of the much awaited sleepiness.

That's all for today!

Good night & Sleep tight!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Yoritsuki

Source: iTunes

Gorgeous scenery, soothing music, sound of a bubbling stream - all in the setting of a beautiful classic Japanese guest room. Featuring vivid graphics, cool animation and calming background sounds that all change with the seasons and from day to night, this iTunes application takes your mind off from the mundane daily life and transports you to faraway Japan for a brief relaxing moment. The details of the room setting, ranging from the common ones such as the tables and floors to the exquisite items like wind chimes, lampshades and hanging lanterns, can be customized by the user. The shoji (sliding doors and windows) alone has 15 designs available for selection.

Yearning for a vacation? Tired of the perennial sultry summer all year round in the tropics? Embark on a virtual journey to Japan right away!

Read more about the technical features here.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Hello 2011

Lavender Country hereby wishes its readers and their loved ones a warm and happy 2011 ahead.
May all your sweetest dreams come true!
Stay safe and healthy~!