A Prayer with a Twist

See if you can catch my brand of humour:

Let me die early,
Let me die young,
Let me take leave,
And not be taken leave.

Let me see not,
The fall after the peak,
The dissolution after the resolution,
The separation after the reunion.

Let me not taste if taste be the last,
Let me not pursue if pursuit be lost,
Let me not feel if feeling fade,
And not gain if gain turn to loss.

Let me keep.

Keep my head,
Keep my tongue,
Keep my keep,
But never, ever, let me...

Keep fit.

Jekyll & Hyde

Just last night, I watched the most amazing musical at Edinburgh's Playhouse Theatre, which I hadn't been able to get out of my mind ever since. It was so good, I just had to blog about it. As it was a Thursday night, a number of seats weren't filled, so my seat was reissued and upgraded to a more expensive one with a better view of the stage- lucky me.

I hadn't had high expectations of this play. I half expected a plot similar to the abridged version of Jekyll & Hyde, in which I had studied as part of the school syllabus many years ago. But when the curtains unfold, the wonderful songs, beautiful voices, great acting, excellent stage and visual effects flood my senses, I was swept and taken into the storyline, absorbed into the drama of every scene. It was my most immersive and amazing theatre experience ever. 

The vocalists had great voices. Marti Pellow- who played Jekyll & Hyde was at his tip performance, but one singer- the one playing Lucy (Sabrina Carter) stole the show. Amazing voice, amazing acting. The agony and pain she portrayed were so real, I caught sight of a number of audiences sniffing. I could never forget the sadistic scene of her death when she had been so sweetly, savagely and erotically murdered by Hyde.

The entire play had been intense, dramatic, with the interplay between good and evil strikingly portrayed, perfected with a tinge of eroticism. There was Jekyll's idealism, Hyde's sadism and zest for life, Emma's love and concern, and tortured Lucy with her unreciprocrated love. I almost wanted to purchase a ticket to watch it a second time. Absolutely amazing. If you're in the UK, this musical is not to be missed. 

1997 production of Jekyll & Hyde: This is the Moment 

Being completely and utterly defeated

 It's a blessing, to lose everything. For a person who has nothing has everything to gain. The more we possess, the more we stand to lose. Which is why the ones who own nothing fear nothing and the ones who possess fear losing that which they possess.

There are two types of beggars: Unhappy ones who curse and want more, and happy ones who are happy to have nothing other than their daily bread. How carefree the latter- where their only concern is how to use their daily earnings to fill their stomachs. Whereas the former scrimp and live in fear and suspicion of losing the little that they keep.

Fear. Isn't it an illusion to imagine that we can possess in the first place? Is it the object that we seek to possess, or the possession of the experience associated with the object that we seek?

You think you own whatever land you land on
The earth is just a dead thing you can claim

Possessions are just that: dead things. Lands we possess but are not able to enjoy. People we strive to "own", yet... There is joy in spontaneity that can never be captured, or rather, should not be captured. There is beauty in the flow, for just as breath captured becomes foul; and captured animals lose their vitality, doesn't captured love soon loses its meaning? Perhaps.

Does a captured heart stay with us forever? Or must we capture it over and over again? Or can the most we capture only a fraction of a heart, for a fraction is the maximum allotted to us?

If only I can be as a beggar. A contented beggar.
Wanting nothing, enjoying everything, fearing nothing.

Depressing Thoughts

When we are young, we dream great dreams. Filled we hope, we think of wonderful days ahead; life filled with youth, happiness, romance, perhaps riches and fame. 

But as months turn into years, and years into decades, we take stock of our achievements… Only to find that our lives had been but ordinary, that we are not much different from most of our peers. We look upon those whom we considered having made it with a slight envy, and sooth ourselves that we have not fallen into worse predicament to that of others. We ponder upon the choices we have made along the way. If only we had chosen that career, made that move, chose a different partner, how would life be like now? Would we have been happier?

We then ponder on life. If our path in life is as fated as they say it is. Still, we go through life with hope of a better tomorrow, and the sense that we would eventually find meaning in our lives. That our struggles would be worth it; our investments bear fruit. Slowly and gradually, silently without a sound, father time turns the clock. Wrinkles appear, our health ails.

We stare at our possessions, our partners, our children and grandchildren. It dawns on us that this is the result of the life we once had such huge hopes for. This is life. The achievements we strove so hard for, are but a trickle in the sand now. What impact we think we have made upon the world, and had once been proud of had been replaced by others. Trophies and prizes were all a thing of the past. Forgotten by everyone save ourselves.

We ask ourselves once more, what is the point of all this? Is this what I want? Have I gotten what I wanted out of life? Some despair and turn from these uncomfortable thoughts. Others convince (delude?) themselves that yes, these choices were ones they had made, and they accepted the consequences.

Are our lives truly our own? For most of us it had been a life bogged by responsibilities. From parents to children to society. How many of us have expected our lives to have ended up where it is today. The magic fairy tale in movies and dramas are just that- fairy tales. In the end, it is but an ordinary life in fulfillment of our respective obligations.

We resign to fate. The older we get, the stronger is the sense of the power of God’s all-consuming will. What then? Is this what I want to think about when I am 60? Going through life striving for things, which in the end comes to nothing. Pleasures die off, advantages cease, youth disappears, satisfaction from wealth saturates. What is worth it?