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Cholchis

December 18, 2013

Christmas approaches. It has been an interesting year…one of many changes and revelations. As i look back at the year and what has happened, there is much to say and perhaps not many words are required to say it.

The power of silence.

The wisdom of patience

The simplicity of making decisions.

The strength of conviction

And the emptiness of a smile.

So where do i find myself after one year? Let me see…the story of most people follow the simple course.

Study hard in school –> get to a good class —> do well in high school –> get into a good uni –> get a good job

But for most…that is where the story ends….or the preaching ends (depends on who has pushed and pulled you through all those years) So what happens after that? What is the next step after?

After some pondering…the next step became clear. “work towards freedom”. Perhaps knowing what to do is different from actually KNOWING what to do. And what of the road that i walk? I have tried repeatedly to speak to my family. It is they who are supposed to be your closest support. the people you can supposedly tell about anything.  But more and more of late, i find my self unable to open up. It seems like every time i try…i am met with an invisible wall. Unseen but no less tangible. Once….perhaps a year ago i could have shared…now i am more comfortable to walk alone in this. I deal with my stress myself…and i decide what needs to be done on my own. Advice is well received and asked for…but no longer i am under the impression i will get the support i desire.

No fault of theirs to be sure. Only  i can walk the path. We will always be first time and one time parents. Even my sister, i no longer seek advice nor find the need to seek reassuring words. I live and die under my own will and determination. I remember once i read… ” if you do not listen to the small things, they will not tell you the big things”. How true. I must look elsewhere to find what i need. And what is it I need? Nothing that they can provide. What i need is determination and desire. And no one can grant you that but yourself.

Even my patience is tested to the limit by my parents sometimes. No matter how zen you are…there is a limit….

And so what do i do on this long lonely road? I shall smile and laugh my way through it. I shall find humor in the most grim of situations….and smiles in the dark nights. Let the world look at me and think ” such a cheerful man ”

And i will look from behind the mask and smile 🙂

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Snowflakes frozen in time

October 2, 2013

Like anything in life, time moves ever onwards and eats away the creations of men and nature. As it is said, dust to dust, ashes to ashes. What was once nothing will once again return to nothingness. In the different scales f time, all things fade and end. 

Yet in the world we live in today, we are obsessed about capturing the moment and preserving it in time. I was looking back at some old photos, looking at some old videos. The internet is probably the greatest repository of history and information of all time. It is as if the great library at Alexandra has been moved to the digital realm. But looking back, we can see people we know grow and age. TV stars and music videos capture it so well.

So what is it we see? Some stars we have watched grow up or grown up along side. How their faces and mannerisms change. How our tastes change. Once we would have found some of them attractive but that image which we fell for changes. Granted it is a construction of the industry but it proves the point. I look back at some of the old videos….and realize i like the image back then…and not so much the image now. 

Like Narcissus, who fell in love with his image, i find myself caught in times past. Look at photos…National Geographic…some of the classical shots of the last 10 years. Those moments are lost…yet we cling to them through the images. The famous one is that of a young Afgaan girl, who many years later, the photographer found her again and on her face, plain and simple, we can see the ravages of time.

I guess in the silence of the night, my thoughts go to this point. Precious memories that i have, of times gone by and things that were. These also lead to thoughts of what could have been.  So where do i find myself now? A future i hope to achieve and chase…yet from where i am standing, might as well be the moon…or sweet memories frozen in my mind. As each one is precious and unique, so they are like snowflakes frozen in time.

I think that a part of me IS frozen in time. It’s as if i left a house and no one has been back since…exactly how i left it and gathering dust…I know the rest of me has moved on, but that one part has been locked away. I have not looked into that room inside the house. I left it and locked it 2 years ago and have not been back since. Yet every time i look at that door, i am reminded of what lies inside…and am tempted to throw away the key.

Will i ever open the door? I think i will….someday. Not in the foreseeable future…many years perhaps down the track..i will open and see what has been frozen in time. Maybe it would not pain me as much anymore…maybe it still will. No way of knowing until i step inside once more.  Yet nothing will change the outcome of tomorrow. The world moves ever on wards.

We can be dragged along by time, or we can join it for the ride. The choice, as always is a simple one. Not an easy one…but a simple one.

The long road endless road

September 16, 2013

The days have settled into a somewhat comfortable routine. things have improved ish in some ways and in other ways…things have been unchanged. I find myself at an interesting crossroads.

Its not really a crossroads…more of a time when choices have to be made now which will have impacts many years into the future much like ripples in a pond.

So where is it i find myself?  Let us start with work as that is the shortest and simplest. Work has settled down into the daily grind of familiar routine. In many ways, the hours and days are long but the weeks and months are short. Always not a good sign…its a sign of stagnation and well….fixation. In many ways…work is just work to me. It brings be little joy and satisfaction and it is just a means to pass the days and earn a living ( of which i hardly spend any of it…but more on that later)

What really interest me is my second pseudo official job…forex and share trading! Its a little something which i have been encouraged by my parents to learn and a means to break free of the rat race. Granted it is not an offical job, but i treat it the same and apply myself every night to it.  In some ways i wish i had started earlier, but i know for a fact that even if i did the motivation or the desire to learn would not have been as strong. And that is the main thing…for me to succeed in this venture, hard work and a sincere desire is needed…

The plans is still to retire by the time i am 34. That has not changed…what has changed…is my plans to do this. The idea is to spend the next two years working on this forex/share trading. In two years, i should have perfected the art of forex good enough to be a day trader. It is at that point i plan to leave my job and do this full time. A bold claim to be making so soon after i have started my new job…. but then again…its not like i can say its my new job anymore is it? April i started….now its September…its been 6 months….6 long and yet fast months.

I will never understand what and how some people can stay in a job and task for years and years…do they not feel tired and desire to be free? Perhaps they do…and other concerns are holding them back. Perhaps.

But the real advantage of doing the forex/shares full time is that i am no longer tied to a 9-5 job , a fixed location or a country. In essence, as long as i have an internet connection, i can do what i need to do. And that brings me to what drove me to write tonight.

The goal is to retire in 10 years. That has not changed. What has changed…is where i see my future. Recently, of late, i have begun asking myself this question. Before this, when i was in uni, i always envisioned that my future will be in Australia. That i would marry and raise my kids here. Now? is that desire still the same? no…i find myself swaying day by day and when i walked down the street today, i finally gave voice to that thought.

I can no longer see myself living here. I do not see myself raising children here. I do not see myself retiring here. Not now anyway. I see my future and the wider world in front of me. Perhaps these feelings coincide with me being one of the last few people here. My close friends have all left the country..my other friends have gone to different places. My sisters may leave here at the end of the year. And my heart calls out for the open road…of the sights i have read about and the pictures of places i have seen.

but most of all, it is my solitude…there is not much holding me back in this country any longer. The state of things troubles be greatly. Games do not interest me nor give me much pleasure…cooking… hahaha…it has been many months since i have cooked or felt the motivation to cook a proper meal. Most of the foods these days is just to fill me up, keep me going. I hardly spend money…i do not drink anymore…i even do not read my novels anymore. One has to wonder what i do with my time…

Work…for 8 hours during the day and work for 6 hours during the night. That is all…and nothing more. It is essentially two jobs which i am doing. Willingly i might add. I walk about and i meet not the eyes of the people around me…

I will not deny that i am lonely…that i long for a companion to spend my time with (what ever spare time i may have). But my actions do not match my heart and head. If i really desired to find someone…i would not be spending my nights working and my weekends….working…ahhaha….working. Yes…all i do is work. And no wonder i do not meet more people. Seeing as the nature of my work keeps me stuck to a computer screen for hours at a time at night. Sigh…its actually to the point where i look forward to Mondays so that it give me something to do with my time. I can spend Saturday preparing for Monday and doing some chores, but that still leaves me with a Sunday…and the wish to spend it with another.

Who knows what the future brings…i am no longer certain what attracts me in another person. But i do know a few things…she must share my desire to be free. And must be aware that money is not an end..it is a means to an end. Money can buy you freedom. And that is something i think most people have forgotten.

I think most people think that the freedom money buys is that which allows you to buy and purchase what you want. to own cars…and eat in fancy places and travel to see the world. They are right in a fashion…but the underlying concept is one of freedom. The freedom wake up when you feel like waking up…the freedom to eat where you choose…the freedom to do what you want with your time

Money…and financial independence…buys you freedom of time. That is what i want…that is the end that i seek. Freedom from this wretched existence…freedom to get on a plane with my camera and spend weeks at a time exploring the wonders that this world has to offer. And for that…i will pay any price….and i am already paying it now i think….

i have a chart on my wall…it has 120 boxes on it…one for each month…for each month in the 10 years i have set myself. Every month i cross another box off to show that time has passed and that there is not much time left. But i have taken that a step further… to instill a greater sense of urgency…i cross of each day in the box…much like a man may cross off the days remaining in his cell before he breaks free…hhaha….i think that is the first time i have considered it in such an apt way.

Like a man who has been sentenced…i have 10 years to serve before i can be free…my financial freedom… the sentence and crime? being simply born and human. A crime we are perhaps all guilty off…during my time…i have lost those whom i have left behind on the outside…one who i could have perhaps called my partner..and many others more…my friends have all moved on or are not in the same place. I am in solitary confienment..and doing my labour through the days and nights….everyday, i go to my wall and carve out a notch for another day down…at the end of this…i will have 3650 notches on that wall….all the marks of every day i have stayed and paid the price. But on the bright side…its 10 years with a chance for parole…for “good behaviour” or buying my freedom early…

So that is the state of things…once i have bought my freedom i know not where i want to go. Probably the first thing i will do…i go and sleep one day away….i will sleep at 12 pm the night before…and sleep and sleep and sleep the day away the next day. For i am tired..very tired…

I will now go to mark another day off the wall

Of wishes and paper cranes

August 19, 2013

It is late on Sunday night as begin to pen these thoughts. I had been meaning to write through the day but was simply put off by a book i was reading. Not anything particularly moving or amazing, just one of my sci-fi novella. It was or rather had been many months since I last read a book of this sort. It seems all i have been reading of late is work or investment related things. I really should be sleeping, but since i spent the day reading, i need to get my laundry done. As such…its another half hour till its done.

But that is not why i am writing. I am writing because i once more feel the need to. Where to begin? I suppose i can begin with what happened over the last two weeks.  Work wise…its been tough…very very tough, Weeks of high end stress and worry…have begun to take its toll on me physically and mentally. I suppose one really follows the other. The tough day at work…the inability to destress when i get home…which leads to bad sleeping and more shitty days at work. How quickly my motivations change.

With my parents being here over the last month, i have had much time to talk to them and reflect on what they had to say in light of starting a new job. One f my friends rightly pointed out when he spoke to me today that I am not happy. And i have not been happy in a very long time. The sad thing…is that i could not dispute it. Nothing sprang to mind. Not a dam thing. Sure there have been moments of leviety…a day or two in which morale was good and smiles came easy. But for the most part…can i say that i am happy? No….i somehow doubt that.

It is not a case of self deception…or anything like that..nor self pity…simply my current status in life is not to my liking. Oh i do have alot to be thankful for…as my friends are quick to point out. A job…a roof over my head…and good health. WHich is all true. I am thankful for these things. I suppose most people will be more then happy…ready to live and enjoy life.

I remember when i first started this job…i had a whole list of things i wanted to do…a bucket list of activities i wanted to do and enjoy once i had a bit of cash,,,How much of it i actually did>>> I could count them on one hand…. A new guitar…a few new games…but that is it really. I guess that the last two years have really made an impact on me and how i live my life…i just dont spend..on anything at all. I still shop on a tight budge…eat in much and hardly drink at all. All i think of spending my money on is shares and trading…property and investments…spending money to make money

It is sad indeed…as my friend pointed out…i have not been happy in years….so what is missing in my life? I know not…I suppose it is the realization of that the things i want cannot be bought with money…or not with the amount i am earning now at any rate…and my parents…such a vast gulf in what i can make and they can make..its almost comical…hilarious…

It begs the question…what is the point?

Ok…laundry is done..time to sort it out and get to bed.

But the title? I am making a thousand origami cranes…and when i am done…i will make a wish

A talk by Ayya Kusuma

June 10, 2013

This weekend i attended a talk by Venerable Bhikkuni Kusuma. ( http://www.bhikkhunikusuma.info ). She is from Sri Lanka and is one of the pioneers of the Theravada Female Buddhist order in Sri Lanka. But that is just paper. What i went to hear was her…and hear her give a talk on the Dharma.

The last two weeks for me have been a bit of a mixed bag. Some ups and some downs…wins and losses. But more losses than wins. Going into the talk, I was troubled and puzzled on certain matters. It is…strange how things work out sometimes. On that very day, we began it like any other. With the chanting of the precepts and recollection of the dharma and Buddha led my the resident venerable. Normally, what happens next is we move onto the chanting of the Karaniya Metta Sutta : The Buddha’s teaching on loving kindness, before hearing the dharma talk. Instead, the floor and the mic were handed over to her to lead ( as this is a special event).

In all honesty, I did not know what to make of her initially, she seemed like any old lady at first. However, when she sat down and introductions were being done…i noticed that she had a certain “look” on her face. I have seen that look as well…on the faces of the many great Buddhist spiritual leaders. It is very different to how the regular monks look. It could just be me and my perception…but i really do think there is something there.

So what did she speak about? Well…when the mic was handed over to her, the first thing she did was chant in Nepalese. Now even though i am relatively new to this, because we chant the same thing every week, I would recognize the usual routine when i heard it. But not when she did it. Maybe it was the accent…maybe her age and intonation. I know not. All i do know is…the listening to her chant was magical. It was not the same as the normal weeks. I could hear contentment in her voice. I could hear the peace, serenity and the power behind the words. But she did it all in a melodious and soft voice.

For the first time, I understood what people mean when they say chanting is relaxing. When you closed your eyes, it felt you were in the snowy mountains, in a quiet monastery, enjoying the silence of the world. Somehow magical….to most people, if i said it was the same feeling you get when watching the epic music in lord of the rings, that comes close-ish (but still a horribly bad comparison).

The Dharma talk itself was on the Metta Sutta, but she wanted to clarify and explain some common misconceptions which lay people have when reading it. For the most part, her talk was focused on anger, ill will and how to let go of it.
She spoke of how when we have Metta (love/kindness) in our hearts and minds, we have no room for anger or hatred. And that when we do have these negative emotions, we lose our Metta. She spoke on the importance of letting go of anger and how to deal with it.

The Buddha said that to deal with anger, one must
1) Do not accept it
2) Do not talk about it
3) Do not remember it

When you do not accept, you cannot be hurt or endure suffering by their words. Their actions how no effect on you and you are content

When you do not talk about it, you do not inflict suffering on yourself and others. Imagine a wound which you pick at constantly, it will not heal. It festers and gets worse. So do not talk about it.

When you do not remember, you no longer fight an internal war with your memories. When something bad or hurtful happens, it has been done. The other person has walked away and has probably forgotten about it. All which is left is the memories. And that is what is causing the suffering.Every time you remember and feel suffering, you merely are fighting and being hurt by memories. The other person now no longer has anything to do with it. So why be hurt by memories. We only have so much space for them, so why remember a bad one? Moreover, we tend to forget things. One year from now, we probably would not remember the memory which caused us pain. So why wait for one year? Just save yourself the trouble and forget it then and there.

This can be applied to all other negative and hurtful scenarios/situations.

Just like what Benjamin Disraeli said “Never complain, never explain”

The Buddha said that Metta is like a gem…precious and valuable. When you have Metta, you give freely without thought for reward, for you are always rich. You should treat it like a vehicle to go through life with. For it will take you places, protect you from the elements and harm in the world. You should never leave home without it, never be without it. Practice it through the day. For if you have Metta, but do not use and practice it…what good does it do?

I will try…in the days, weeks, months and years to come, that I can practice this teaching.
But the most interesting thing, and the most important answer for me at the time, was through a question another person asked.

“I love my children, but they make me anxious, upset an worried about them. this leads me to be angry at them…and then angry at myself for being angry at them. Such a vicious cycle.”

The old lady replied ” the root cause of all this is attachment. The root cause of anger and all suffering is attachment”

Ok….i thought…but if you love your children, would you not be attached? What is the difference between love and attachment. Are they not mutually exclusive? I was shown the action of grasping and letting go…I could see how that would work for other things, but a relationship? My desire for a partner and a family…is that not desire and attachment? How can I love without being attached?

Well, she went on to say this (I paraphrase as i cannot remember her exact words) : The difference between love and attachment is expectation. When you give lovingly and have Metta. When you practice the Metta, you do so without thought for reward or return. You do it not expecting to get a return. That is the love the Buddha talks about.

When you are attached, you expect a return. Just like a parent may expect certain treatment from their children. Or a lover may expect something from their partner. For me…that was a very important point. Of late, I have been chasing with the hope of something. Chasing with EXPECTATION. And when i do not get anything? When that hope is dashed? I feel hurt, frustrated..unable to function at 100%. Hope is indeed the first step on the road to disappointment.

That is what I was doing wrong. The day before the talk, I realized that once again….i had a love which was unrequited. Tempting as it was to blame the other party, what i realized and which was subsequently reinforced by the talk the next day, was that there is nothing wrong with it. Nothing wrong at all. I am free to love who i choose. But if I love with the hopes of being loved back…than the above happens. Expectation, fighting with memories…nothing on the fault of the other individual, just me. Me and my memories. Suffering in the silence of one’s own mind is….just that. Suffering in silence. No one know, no one cares, no one can help. And what are you fighting? Memories. Just dreams and memories.

So now i stop blaming myself…and blaming her…for it is no fault nor action but the expectation which i hold…and must now let go.

I have been through the last 6 months with a simple idea that I expected nothing of the world. And i always had that thought with bitterness attached. Either this was because i secretly hoped for a return…or i was resigned. Yet to go through life expecting nothing and doing so with a smile on one’s face? Now THAT takes something.That is true loving kindness.

So where does that leave me? With wanting a partner and all? I guess….that means if i go through life, giving freely, loving freely…eventually…someone will give back. Right now…when i think of that…it seems like a faint hope and desperation. And you know why? because i am still expecting! I guess it is not something easy to do and requires years of practice and cultivation. Am I up for it? I do not know…but what I do know is…that I have to try

In a practical sense, what it means for me is that I should just go out and meet more people, not worry about looking for a partner, give freely, live life…and someone will come along. It’s like taking some time off…till i’m no longer desperate and when it no longer seems urgent, than i am ready.

Mourning glory

May 11, 2013

It is a question and again a problem with no solution. But…at least a start can be made,

Let me list the things I know will not happen

She will never call me first, never be the first to reach out. Never come to me of her own free will. If I do not take a step forward, she will never move first. If I step back, she will not step forward. If I step too quickly, she steps back. If turn and walk away, she will not mourn nor feel loss . No attachment, no giving in return. Never will chased, forever to be chased. I cannot expect to be given anything, always I have to ask and take. Walls which can never be broke, a gate which cannot be open. She will never dance my dance, nor sing my songs, nor read my books nor walk my paths.

So why do I chase? Why do I subject my self to this chase? A hunt, a game I cannot win, and only pick up the scraps? It is those few moment then…the few moments of attention…the hopes I get…the hope that there could be something more…hahah…it is…sad

Sad in so…so many ways. It feels like I am just a puppy…harping on to whatever scraps gets thrown my way…always slaves to the whims of another…I made that choice…didnt I. To give my time and effort…well..not so much hope and dreams…but the idea is the same. 

It is funny…It’s a choice. I made that choice…what happened to me being free? that what makes me happy is internal as opposed to external? It seems to have been lost along the way…So does that mean I should not be with a partner who makes me happy?

I do not think that is the answer…It is the choice I made to ask…to chase. It is also the choice I make…to stop. I WANT to have a partner…I think I deserve one…lol….I want someone…who will do the exact opposite of the above…as well as the other things.

Someone who will step forward then I step forward…who comes after when I step back. Who will miss me when I am gone..who will also take the first step to come to me. To mourn me when I am gone and smile when I am around. To dance with me through life and sing my songs and walk the same paths I do. Who can share my thoughts, share my ideas…be my companion in life. To walk through thick and thin…to smile when I smile…and cry when I cry. 

I think I deserve that. I want that. And I will find that. 

Vae Victus

May 7, 2013

So it has been awhile. Things have happened…people met, stories shared and time passed.

It has been a month since I started work. The stress is…well…through the roof. But this is not supposed to be easy. I guess I hold myself to a high standards and expect myself to perform well…yes i know there is a learning curve but ah well…

That’s not what I want to write about..nothing at all.

I want to write about relationships. Specifically….what I want, where I am and in a broad sense, where that ties in with what I want to do with my life.

What does it all mean? Well…let us first examine how much time I have. Given my weekdays “start” at 6pm, I have 6 hours during the week days, or 30 hours in total. As for the weekends, I have…well, 48 minus…16? including the Friday, so that leaves 32 hours for the weekend. So per week…I have 62 hours to do what ever the hell I want with my life….seems a lot when you spell it out this way.

So… what do I want to do? Well…probably the most important thing is that I de-stress for the week! and exercise….so…give me…2 hours for running with 5 sessions a week..that gives 10 hours….so 52 hours. I need to do house work/chores, so that comes to about 3 hours on weekends? or through the week here and there…leaving me with…49 hours. I need to spend time doing Charity and other things which benefit the world…say I devote 2 hours of my time a week on this…that leaves 48 hours….I want to start my own business…so lets say I give 8 hours a week on this (1 hour during the weekdays, 3 over the weekend) That leaves me 40 hours. I have my meditation, that takes about 3 hours off….37 hours. Give some time for guitar! 1 hour during weekdays, 3 over the weekends, that leaves me…29 hours. (so far during the weekday, i have 2 hours running + 1 guitar + 1 business)…29 hours…to pursue everything else in my life.

Today, I was informed that my parents made….nearly 50k from trading in forex….that is more than what I earn in  a YEAR. The stress…the worry, the hours in the office and hard effort…and they earn more by pushing a few buttons and making a few calls. That…I find….is very…very comical. Almost hilariously so….sigh….So i need to break from this dastardly cycle ( i have budgeted some hours a week) and well….what else do I want to do with my time.

Thinking about it now I have 29 hours…and what am I doing with all of them? That brings me to the question of relationships and…well…my life.What am I doing with it? Where do I want to be?

Looking back…it used to seem so clear to me…My dream, what I wanted where I would be in a few years time. It seems like in the years since, that has been lost…fallen by the wayside…a whole heap of reasons as to why things have changed. I used to just want to get a good job, marry a wonderful wife..have kids and that is it. Now…hahaha…now there is nothing left of that…or so little it matters not.

I still want the wife and kids I guess…but the image I had as a younger me…is gone. I have no idea any more what my future relationship will be like. No idea of how I am going to meet her…what it is going to be like. In someways, I guess I have lost all expection of what a relationship SHOULD be. Which in the long run, may not be such a bad thing, because sometime you cannot plan…and when you start planning, well, things fall apart. But i guess…with no expectation..there is little hope…

That is really what brings me to write..what frustrates me so at this moment. I do not seem to be looking forward to anything. They say that a person should set goals, at each step of the way and I kinda understand why…well…for me anyway. It is not so much of knowing where I am going…but it is of greater use to me when I consider it is something to look forward to. At this stage…well.. I find myself looking forward to very little. I do not see the light at the tunnels end. I see…well…black. I guess it will be up to me to find and create that light for myself…for no one will do it for me.

So….well, 29 hours….3 hours a week reading business/investment books…leaves me with 26 hours. Running man is an hour gone, that leaves 25 hours…10 hours during the week day just resting…that leaves me 15 on the weekends…

-.-lll good god…the time really does fly. doesnt it

Currently, Exercise = 10 hours, Reading = 3 hours , Business research = 8 hours, Chores =  3 hours, Guitar = 8 hours, Meditation =3 hours,

Is there anything else I want to do with my time?I have 15 hours left over…So what do I want to develop as the main focus in my life so that my future wife will be able to be a part of…That really is the question isnt it…I really do not know what to do…

So lets see what I like….Coffee, Games, Korean Stuff…Yogscast stuff… :S not much for attracting others isnt it..what else…what else in my repetoire….oh…I need to eat as well…an hour a day…7 hours….

-.-ll good god…it is grim…I have 7 hours on my weekend, give or take to relax and what what ever I want with my life…I got the “important” stuff out of the way…so I suppose I can use this time for personal enjoyment and other similar as this is time for my “passion”…So…i should avoid the Yogscast stuff as THAT is a time sink…hmmm…but what to do?

At least I have a plan….which I should write out tomorrow and stick to it religiously…I guess I have to think on what I want to do with these seven hours…oh…and 2 hours for Marketing/Safeway….5 hours…yeesh….