Do I Believe In Magic?

As a child, I thought the David Copperfield show was pure magic. He could make people float, he cut them up and they didn’t bleed, and he made airplanes and elephants disappear. How magical was that!

Then I grew up. And learnt about chemistry, physics, sleight of hand, optical illusions … suddenly, magic became de-magicked. I mean, The Magician’s Greatest Secrets was a hit on telly.

Today, definitely older and debatably wiser, David Cooperfield’s magic no longer enthralls me. I learnt that the real Copperfield was a Dickensian orphan made good. I have an unwillingness to suspend belief.


But I still believe in magic. I believe it’s the infant’s happy squeal, the child’s look of wonder and joy at his achievement, the deep and unspoken communication between animal and man, the music performance that brings an audience to tears …

I believe that the truly magical defies science and logic. Know where to look and you’ll find magic in the power of life that allows us to heal, and which teaches us to hope.


RDP ~ MAGIC



What’s It Worth?

What exactly is a masterpiece? And how do you determine its worth?

Is it Beethoven’s Fifth?

Tchaikovsky’s ballets?

Van Gogh’s paintings?

I M Pei’s designs?

The 2 year old’s first independent crayon picture?

The spider’s gossamer web on a dewy sparkling morning?

Perhaps the true masterpiece is what you see when you look in the mirror. Flawed, flawless, fragile, frazzled, freckled, frownlined, finely coiffed … whoever you are and however you look, YOU are the masterpiece, and perfectly priceless.


RDP PROMPT ~ MASTERPIECE

Lunar New Year

It is impossible to miss the coming of Spring if you’re in Singapore: there’s a riot of reds and golds, loads of seasonal (and fattening!) foods and snacks, dancing dragons, prancing lions and a few days off work.

Here’s a picture from my visit to Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar, a busy commercial hub.

This was taken in front of an office building.

It features the first 6 animals of the Chinese zodiac; the first animal of the zodiac cycle is the rat (this year’s animal), which is on the extreme left.

Sadly, a crowd prevented me from taking a picture of the remaining 6 animals on the other side.

But imagine coming to work and seeing these colours! Should put a real spring in your step!


RDP PROMPT ~ SPRING


Is This Aesthetic?

I had a chat with some teens last month about their social media use; specifically, we were discussing what they post on Instagram and why this photo and not that one.

The answer? Aesthetics. Ok, so what’s aesthetics? How do you decide what’s aesthetics? The 13 year old stared at me and said, “It’s what will make me happy if look at it again.”

Buoyed by the memory of that conversation, I present this photo:

taken from my plane seat over Dubai.

Is it beautiful? Not particularly. I didn’t plan it or compose it or do whatever it is that photographers do. This is just a snapshot taken on a 3 year old cranky phone through a window.

Is it meaningful? I’m in a man made machine, in a privileged window seat up in the air watching a sunrise whose colours and transformations no man could make more beautiful. So, yes.

Is it aesthetic? Even with the blob of engine in the corner? I think the engine provides context. So, to me, yes.

And it makes me happy to look at it because a sunrise is a new beginning.


RDP PROMPT ~ AESTHETICS

Of Couplets And Conscious Uncoupling

I have absolutely not one intelligent thing to write about ‘rhyme’ that more literate and well-versed folk haven’t already written about.

Except to say the word ‘rhyme’ made me think of ‘reason’. Which led me to the realisation that couplets end with a rhyme, which is reason enough for their existence and popularity.

Gwynneth Paltrow, I’m sure, had her reasons for those precise words in her famous divorce announcement. But doesn’t it make you think of a couplet that got un-rhymed?

See? I said I really had nothing intelligent to say.


But then again, hanging up a couplet (written in gold or black on red paper) of good wishes is a traditional decorative element for the Lunar New Year. Which is also celebrated with the exchange of oranges as symbols of gold and wealth.

Which brings me to this: does anyone know what rhymes with orange?

There really was no rhyme (or reason) for this post.


RDP PROMPT – RHYME

I Wandered. But I Wonder If I’m Home Yet?

My previous post was on 1 Jan 2019. Imagine that. Back then, I was sunnily determined to post about kind things, nice things and things that made the world less troubling and lonely. Then came 2 Jan 2019 …

Since then, there have been so many times I’ve wanted to write, to find some catharsis in posting but I didn’t think I needed to drag someone else’s day down with my whinging. I didn’t want to trigger something unhappy for someone else either. Needless to say, I was in no mood to look for kindness.

But here I am! By some weird and wonderful way, I received some new ‘likes’ and comments this month. Having been AWOL, I never expected any form of contact at all; I didn’t visit anyone’s sites (I am truly sorry for this). Was this a sign that it was time to rejoin the writing world? Was today’s RDP prompt – Wander – a metaphorical kick in the butt? A reminder that it was past time to let things out? And maybe then be able to let things go? Perhaps. Or perhaps writing is going to be a huge mistake because it means I’ll have to tell some, if not all, of my metaphorical wanderings. Am I ready for this much sharing?

Life hasn’t gotten any easier by any means; indeed, it could very well get worse this year. But without turning this into a soap opera, I’ll write. I’ll write about my wandering, missing year and, yes, I’m looking out for kindness again – there were many who were kind to me when I didn’t even know I needed that little extra smile.

So, hello friends, old and new! If you’ll bear with me, I’m back.


RDP Prompt ~ WANDER

Lights Up!

I had the pleasure of a quick night time drive through Orchard Road in Singapore in mid-November.

These shaky cellphone pictures from a moving vehicle really don’t do justice to the Christmas lights. The theme, which some have questioned as being un-Christian, is ‘A Disney Christmas’.

But what struck me was how, a three-minute drive from the end of the shopping belt, we came across this other light up for Diwali or Deepavali – the Hindu Festival of Lights, in Little India in Serangoon Road.

This festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness.

How wonderfully brilliant that two diverse festive occasions can be celebrated peacefully and harmoniously almost side by side.

RAGTAG DAILY PROMPT ~ BRILLIANCE