Sunday, March 1, 2015

The Gardener

Rabindranath TagoreEarlier today, I randomly went through my electronic poetry collection, which includes the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Christina Georgina Rossetti and Rabindranath Tagore, among others.

One of the poems that has long since pulled at my heartstrings is The Gardener by Tagore. The entire work is quite lengthy, but it never gets stilted.

I first heard of the author when I was in my first year of high school, at our Values Education class wherein he was quoted in our textbook. I looked him up in the library and eventually came across some of the poetry he had written.

I was proverbially reunited with Tagore when excerpts from The Gardener were quoted in a Rurouni Kenshin fanfiction series, Of Love and Honor. This work, beautifully and lyrically constructed by Tin Mandigma, remains unfinished to date, but is recognized as one of the best fanfic pieces in the RK fandom. The central characters in Of Love and Honor are Aoshi Shinomori and Misao Makimachi - the Oniwabanshuu Okashira and his Itachi Musume.

Excerpts from THE GARDENER
by Rabindranath Tagore

I love you, beloved. Forgive me my love.
Like a bird losing its way I am caught.
When my heart was shaken it lost its veil and was naked.
Cover it with pity, beloved, and forgive me my love.

If you cannot love me, beloved, forgive me my pain.
Do not look askance at me from afar.
I will steal back to my corner and sit in the dark.
With both hands I will cover my naked shame.
Turn your face from me, beloved, and forgive me my pain.

If you love me, beloved, forgive me my joy.
When my heart is borne away by the flood of happiness,
Do not smile at my perilous abandonment.
When I sit on my throne
And rule you with my tyranny of love,
When like a goddess I grant you my favour,
Bear with my pride, beloved, and forgive me my joy.

Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.
I have watched all night,
And now my eyes are heavy with sleep.
I fear lest I lose you when I am sleeping.
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.

I start up and stretch my hands to touch you.
I ask myself, "Is it a dream?"
Could I but entangle your feet with my heart
And hold them fast to my breast!
Do not go, my love, without asking my leave.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Random Angst Times Three

I would like to share three quotes that I pasted onto a single text file named randomangst.txt for quite a while now.

These are all, of course, prose excerpts expressed in the most quaintly angsty terms. Enjoy, in a dark, deep, only-happy-when-it-rains way.

"You said I killed you - haunt me, then! The murdered do haunt their murderers, I believe. I know that ghosts have wandered on earth. Be with me always - take any form - drive me mad! only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you!"
~Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights
From the 1939 Wuthering Heights movie

"How could you believe me - when I can't believe myself? I've become such a liar. I never lied about anything once upon a time. Now I have to lie, especially to myself. But how can you understand, when I don't myself. I've never understood anything about it, except that one day long ago I found I could no longer call my soul my own."
~Eugene O'Neill, Long Day's Journey into Night

"Some wounds never heal. The second time the sword went in, I aimed it at the place of the first. I am weak there - the place where I had been found out before. My weakness was skinned over by your love. I knew when you healed me that the wound would open again, I knew it like destiny, and at the same time, I knew it as choice."
~Jeanette Winterson, Lighthousekeeping

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Half of Ourselves

"He suddenly recalled the famous myth from Plato's Symposium: People were hermaphrodites until God split them in two, and now all the halves wander the world over seeking one another. Love is the longing for the half of ourselves we have lost."
~Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

I have been listening to a little too much Bellefire and Roxette music lately, hence the quote above. Indulge me, please.

Friday, February 20, 2015

After All

I was browsing through various blogs when I came across these simple yet touchingly beautiful lines from the song After All by Dar Williams:

'Cause for every price
And every penance that I could think of
It's better to have fallen in love
Than never to have fallen at all

Amen to that, and everything.

Have a good weekend ahead!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hero

Now that the world isn't ending
It's love that I'm sending to you
But it isn't the love of a hero
That's why I fear it won't do

Monday, February 16, 2015

Words to Live By

I read this quote from someone's e-mail signature in a mailing list which I'm part of. These beautifully-stated words of wisdom are credited to Martin Luther King:

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. So it goes. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Wow. 'Nuff said, indeed.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

To Love Somebody

"I don't believe that emotions should be related to identities. Be it Knight or Pretear, I feel the same. If I'm in love with someone – even if I don’t know how it'll turn out to be – maybe good and evil doesn't matter to me anymore. Maybe it's something that can't be forgiven, but I believe that nobody can say that loving somebody is wrong."
~Himeno, Shin Shirayuki Hime Densetsu Pretear

The above quote was shared some time ago by a fellow anime and manga fan.

Indeed, manga and anime has created possibilities for art, emotion and sensibility to be seamlessly, beautifully melded for the appreciation of young and old alike.

Have a non-angsty and happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Kick in the Teeth

I recently came across the older entries of a very interesting blog, Literary Rejections on Display.

Although the blog's creator has, ironically, moved on to a career as a published writer, the website still has posts wherein aspiring authors anonymously shared the rejection letters or some such they received after querying their written works to various agents.

Below are some quotes on failure and rejection, which may just be the thing to get you back on your feet!

"You may not realize it when it happens, but a kick in the teeth may be the best thing in the world for you."
~Walt Disney

"We pay just as dearly for our triumphs as we do our defeats. Go ahead and fail. But fail with wit, fail with grace, fail with style. A mediocre failure is as insufferable as a mediocre success. Embrace failure! Seek it out. Learn to love it. That may be the only way any of us will ever be free."
~Tom Robbins

Can't believe we are already a week into the second month of 2015!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Drugs, Wizard and Glass

True love, like any other strong and addicting drug, is boring - once the tale of encounter and discovery is told, kisses quickly grow stale and caresses tiresome...except, of course, to those who share the kisses, who give and take the caresses while every sound and color of the world seems to deepen and brighten around them. As with any other strong drug, true first love is really only interesting to those who have become its prisoners.

And, as is true of any other strong and addicting drug, true first love is dangerous.

~Stephen King, Wizard and Glass: The Dark Tower Volume IV

The Dark Tower Book 4: Wizard and GlassThese words were encountered by yours truly while hunting about for art to showcase in a webpage layout. I was rummaging through Dave McKean works and, voila, I found Wizard and Glass, Book Four of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series.

Each installment of the Dark Tower books is illustrated by a different artist, thus rendering to every one a distinct touch and mood.

The Gunslinger (Book One) was illustrated by Michael Whelan, while drawing chores for The Drawing of the Three (Book Two) went to Phil Hale. I also liked the work of Ned Dameron in The Waste Lands (Book Three), because the mild ethereal quality of his lines seem like a cross between Kaori Yuki (Angel Sanctuary) and Mamiya Oki (Lover's Diary).

In my humble opinion, Wizard and Glass has the most exquisite artistry out of The Dark Tower books, displaying the unique dark surrealism so similar to McKean's work in DC Vertigo's The Sandman series.

Wizard and Glass has over 800 pages, plus 18 full-page color paintings and seven black-and-white drawings. All illustrations are by McKean, which is reason enough to buy the book. Never mind that the bound volume weighs around three pounds or so.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Surfacing

Surfacing - Margaret Atwood"This above all, to refuse to be a victim. Unless I can do that I can do nothing. I have to recant, give up the old belief that I am powerless and because of it nothing I can do will ever hurt anyone. A lie which was always more disastrous than the truth would have been. The word games, the winning and losing games are finished; at the moment there are no others but they will have to be invented, withdrawing is no longer possible and the alternative is death."

I came across the beautiful quote posted above some time ago. It is from Surfacing, a novel by mystery writer Margaret Atwood.

I have one of Atwood's earlier works in my personal collection, Playing for the Ashes. It was published many years ago, with professional cricket as the backdrop.

There is a great possibility that I will look up this particular book in one of my bookstore jaunts in the near future.

The novel's Amazon.com page provides a summary of the story:
Part detective novel, part psychological thriller, Surfacing is the story of a talented woman artist who goes in search of her missing father on a remote island in northern Quebec.

Setting out with her lover and another young couple, she soon finds herself captivated by the isolated setting, where a marriage begins to fall apart, violence and death lurk just beneath the surface, and sex becomes a catalyst for conflict and dangerous choices.

Surfacing is a work permeated with an aura of suspense, complex with layered meanings, and written in brilliant, diamond-sharp prose. Here is a rich mine of ideas from an extraordinary writer about contemporary life and nature, families and marriage, and about women fragmented...and becoming whole.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Toxic Love

Toxic Love - Linda Holeman"No, it's not the stars that are so beautiful and wondrous. They explode or collapse and fall away and you never see them again. But if you're very lucky, you find that the moon and the stars can work together. When one star burns itself out, the light from the moon will get you through until you see the next star."
~Linda Holeman, Starlight, Star Bright

"Despite being of sound mind and body, and in the middle of my teenage years, I have not known a great love - or even one of mediocre quality. Because of this lack, I have submerged myself in the love of others. I've rolled in it, soaked it up, swallowed it whole."
~Linda Holeman, Love, Unrequited

The quotes above are from the compilation of short stories entitled Toxic Love, penned by Linda Holeman.

Toxic Love is generally considered as suitable for the Young Adult genre but the sentiments it evokes are, in my opinion, deep and poignant - mature in their deceptive simplicity.

I am very much reminded of the style of another YA author, Francesca Lia Block, and her own collection of short stories, Girl Goddess #9.

As for Eastern simplicity and sensibility, I highly recommend the works of the very talented Banana Yoshimoto, especially her compilation of brilliant shorts, Lizard (Tokage).

Monday, January 26, 2015

Strawberry Kiss

Still, there was a tale he had read once, long ago, as a small boy: the story of a traveler who had slipped down a cliff, with man-eating tigers above him and a lethal fall below him, who managed to stop his fall halfway down the side of the cliff, holding on for dear life. There was a clump of strawberries beside him, and certain death above him and below. What should he do? went the question.

And the reply was, Eat the strawberries.

The story had never made sense to him as a boy. It did now. So he closed his eyes, threw himself into the kiss and experienced nothing but Sam's lips and the softness of her skin against his, sweet as a wild strawberry.

~Neil Gaiman, American Gods

Words on Destiny

Following my reading sessions of The Sandman and his Endless siblings since last month, I would like to share this quote about Destiny.

In the Sandman mythology, Destiny is the oldest sibling and basically existed even living things had the capacity live, die and dream.

I think it's beautifully worded and, yes, true.

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for; but, rather something to be achieved.

~William Jennings Bryan

Weakest of the Weak

I found a poem from my miscellaneous text file folder that I want to share with anyone who cares to read. I loved this piece the first time I read it.

The poem's verses speak of love, wanting but only watching and very much hurting. Quite beautiful, this one.
Strength 
I am strong 
When I feel dawn's gentle kiss on my cheek
And wish for nothing more but your touch
I stay still and keep my hand empty 
While you look on another with whole soul in your eyes
Dare I snatch you away?
I fall silent and whisper, "Never"
On a night like tonight
Only your arms can lull me to sleep
Yet I lift no finger to call you 
Then the stars fall from heaven
As it happens once more
I see the whole universe
Walk through the door
In spite of myself, I hear you move
I feel you speak
And wish for nothing more
But to be the weakest of weak

Friday, January 23, 2015

Just a Quote Diary

I would like to officially welcome one and all to Shi's Blogger, my diary on my various favorite quotable finds from all over the Web.

I love movies, anime, literature, gaming and other aspects of popular culture, so these are the sources from where I usually curate the quotes I blog.