16 November, 2008

A New Self



A man lies in his bed in a room with no door, He waits hoping for a presence, something, anything, to enter. After spending half his life searching, he still felt as blank as the ceiling at which he stared, he is alive, but feels absolutely nothing.

So is he?

When he was six he believed that the moon over head followed him, By nine he had deciphered the allusion, trading magic for fact, no trade backs. So this is what it's like to be an adult, if he only knew now what he knew then.

Lying sideways atop crumpled sheets with no covers, he decides to dream... dream up a new self for himself.

Pearl Jam, 'Im Open'

06 November, 2008

A Change has Come



Let that which stood in front go behind,
Let that which was behind advance to the front,
Let bigots, fools, & unclean persons offer new propositions,
Let the old propositions be postponed.

Walt Whitman (1819–1892), U.S. poet. Reversals.

02 November, 2008

Some of Us, Some of Them...



Over the years, I have come to believe that its simpler to love people who are a figment of yr imagination. The real troubles in your life begin when you actually start liking a real person, with all of their humanly imperfections, cultural and social differences; people who aren't really tall, dark & handsome, or flattering in their ways, but it seems that they make you feel at home. So what do you do when you realize that all of 'us' aren't Cinderellas, and most of 'them' aren't Prince Charmings?

I guess that in true fiction, the reality of love comes from embracing the differences and finding a common ground of acceptance. Its only then that you can choose to follow the journey of being someone far far better than the person you were when you were alone, and the person he becomes when he is with you.

This is why it is not simple. Its hard for a reason. The reason is simple :)... Its the reward of actually making a real person love you for who you are and to love him for who he is. Which is why knowing Joe the Plumber as a real person would be far more rewarding than being in love with Popeye or Chandler Bing.

Tailored from an old comment on I Love Him.

XoXo :)
Isbah Z

21 October, 2008

Living the Questions




...I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke, 1903 in Letters to a Young Poet

19 October, 2008

On Smart Phones


To be, or not to be?

To be, or not to be: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? To die: to sleep; No more; and, by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to, 'tis a consummation Devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep; To sleep: perchance to dream: ay, there's the rub; For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, When we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause. There's the respect that makes calamity of so long life; For who would bear the whips and scorns of time, the oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely, the pangs of disprized love, the law's delay, the insolence of office, and the spurns that patient merit of the unworthy takes, when he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin? who would fardels bear, to grunt and sweat under a weary life, but that the dread of something after death, the undiscovered country from whose bourn no traveler returns, puzzles the will, and makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of?

~ William Shakespeare, Hamlet.

26 September, 2008

Fear

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.

~ Paulo Coelho

01 September, 2008

Modern Art

Modern pictures are, no doubt, delightful to look at. At least, some of them are. But they are quite impossible to live with; they are too clever, too assertive, too intellectual. Their meaning is too obvious, and their method too clearly defined. One exhausts what they have to say in a very short time, and then they become as tedious as one’s relations.

~ Oscar Wilde

Inartistic Tragedies

It often happens that the real tragedies of life occur in such an inartistic manner that they hurt us by their crude violence, their absolute incoherence, their absurd want of meaning, their entire lack of style.

~ Oscar Wilde

10 August, 2008

Where we are is not where we want to be...

I often wonder: suppose we could begin life over again, knowing what we were doing? Suppose we could use one life, already ended, as a sort of rough draft for another? I think that every one of us would try, more than anything else, not to repeat himself, at the very least he would rearrange his manner of life, he would make sure of rooms like these, with flowers and light ... I have a wife and two daughters, my wife's health is delicate and so on and so on, and if I had to begin life all over again I would not marry... No, no!

I don't think there can really be a town so dull and stupid as to have no place for a clever, cultured person. Let us suppose even that among the hundred thousand inhabitants of this backward and uneducated town, there are only three persons like yourself. It stands to reason that you won't be able to conquer that dark mob around you; little by little as you grow older you will be bound to give way and lose yourselves in this crowd of a hundred thousand human beings; their life will suck you up in itself, but still, you won't disappear having influenced nobody; later on, others like you will come, perhaps six of them, then twelve, and so on, until at last your sort will be in the majority. In two or three hundred years' time life on this earth will be unimaginably beautiful and wonderful. Mankind needs such a life, and if it is not ours today then we must look ahead for it, wait, think, prepare for it. We must see and know more than our fathers and grandfathers saw and knew.

What seems to us serious, significant and important will, in future times, be forgotten or won’t seem important at all.

In Moscow you can sit in an enormous restaurant where you don't know anybody and where nobody knows you, and you don't feel all the same that you're a stranger. And here you know everybody and everybody knows you, and you're a stranger... and a lonely stranger.

To Moscow, to Moscow, to Moscow!

It's curious that we can't possibly tell what exactly will be considered great and important, and what will seem paltry and ridiculous. Did not the discoveries of Copernicus or Columbus, let us say, seem useless and ridiculous at first, while the nonsensical writings of some wiseacre seemed true?

I used to know a certain amount five-and-twenty years ago, but I don't remember anything now. Nothing. Perhaps I'm not really a man, and am only pretending that I've got arms and legs and a head; perhaps I don't exist at all, and only imagine that I walk, and eat, and sleep.... The devil only knows.

We must work, work. That is why we are unhappy and look at the world so sadly; we don't know what work is.

I can't make you love me by force, of course... but I don't intend to have any more-favored rivals... No... I swear to you by all the saints, I shall kill my rival... Oh, beautiful one!

A few days ago I was reading the prison diary of a French minister. He had been sentenced on account of the Panama scandal. With what joy, what delight, he speaks of the birds he saw through the prison windows, which he had never noticed while he was a minister. Now, of course, that he is at liberty, he notices birds no more than he did before. When you go to live in Moscow you'll not notice it, in just the same way. There can be no happiness for us, it only exists in our wishes.

After us they’ll fly in hot air balloons, coat styles will change, perhaps they’ll discover a sixth sense and cultivate it, but life will remain the same, a hard life full of secrets, but happy. And a thousand years from now man will still be sighing, “Oh! Life is so hard!” and will still, like now, be afraid of death and not want to die.

It seems to me that a man must have faith, or must search for a faith, or his life will be empty, empty.... To live and not to know why the cranes fly, why babies are born, why there are stars in the sky.... Either you must know why you live, or everything is trivial, not worth a straw.

Time will pass, and we shall go away for ever, and we shall be forgotten, our faces will be forgotten, our voices, and how many there were of us; but our sufferings will pass into joy for those who will live after us, happiness and peace will be established upon earth, and they will remember kindly and bless those who have lived before.

Mankind is looking for something, and will certainly find it. Oh, if it only happened more quickly.

~ Extract from 'The Three Sisters' by Anton Chekhov.

15 July, 2008

The Tests of Faith

'Do people think that they will say we have faith and they will be left alone and not tested.' (29:2) 'And Certainly We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits. But give glad tidings to the As-sabirin (the patient ones) who: when afflicted with calamities say, Truly: To Allah we belong and truly to Him we shall return.'

~ Al Baqarah

Courtesy: SAK

03 July, 2008

On Modernism


Modern pictures are, no doubt, delightful to look at. At least, some of them are. But they are quite impossible to live with; they are too clever, too assertive, too intellectual. Their meaning is too obvious, and their method too clearly defined. One exhausts what they have to say in a very short time, and then they become as tedious as one’s relations.

~ Oscar Wilde

11 June, 2008

Familiarities

Whenever I go somewhere, I carry my bag with me, not because I have a purpose for it, but beacause I want to have something familiar with me when I enter the land of the unknown. Something that keeps my secrets and knows who I am inside out.

~ Shy Girl

20 May, 2008

Deciding to Live

Have you ever had one of those walks, when the sun is piercing through your skin but you can't feel the heat, because the pain in your heart is so much more?

I still remember the day when I decided to walk away from it all. With the air that I breathe left behind me, I decided to live... that moment, that freedom, that one breath - for myself, for once.

Isbah Z

17 May, 2008

Heart Decides?

Life does not work on formulas or facts. It works on experiences and reasons. Its only when the experiences that life has to offer grow on you, that you realize the true reason for your existence. And its only then, that the faith in you makes you see the existence of God, even in the falling of leaves.

Its your faith that tells you that even when things are falling apart, happiness exists. For its only when old leaves fall, the new ones can grow. And when the new ones grow, the faith strengthens. And its your faith, that makes you understand that the stories you have read about Heaven & Hell are not just stories. The heart finds its own heaven in the blessings of life, the hug of a friend, the prayer of a mother, & that the hell in life comes with the tragedies of life... the heart break, the trauma... the accidents.

Its true. The heart decides.

And when it does, you find another world inside the world you live in. But to see this world, the leaves have to fall. For its only when the old leaves fall, the new ones can grow!

Isbah Z, on the post Heart Decides on Syra's blog.

25 April, 2008

Sin City




While searching for justice, I learned that no matter what wrong people do, God doesn’t come out of the skies to perish them, lightning doesn’t strike them dead and earth doesn’t open to bury their sinful souls. The strong and clever get to enjoy the bounties of the heaven they create for themselves and the weaker will always spend their lives resenting their hell and waiting for justice to serve its purpose.

Isbah Z

22 April, 2008

What Is Fake Within?


They do their best to say what they say, because they don’t want anyone go away unfulfilled. But if we have not been through pain in life, we cannot understand what pain is, we can only imagine its intensity. It’s easier to give it an absolute value and then multiply it with a valid superscript. But you can never read loss, you can only feel it. You can never measure pain, only go through it alone. And you cannot equate your life's sufferings to another man's, you can only 'relate' to them. Maybe I understand the meaning of rejection, where you only perceive it as a word in the dictionary, only because I can relate to it, and you can’t. If we have not been a victim of deception, how can we possibly understand the meaning of what is fake within? How can we expect a deaf man to believe in sound, how can we expect a mute to believe in voice, although it is there. Things like literature... some people get it, some people don’t. But those who try must remember that words can’t help anyone understand what is fake within, only life can.

~ Isbah Z commenting on What is fake within in this post .

17 April, 2008

To Love is to Suffer


To love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore to love is to suffer, not to love is to suffer. To suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy then is to suffer. But suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be unhappy one must love, or love to suffer, or suffer from too much happiness.

~ Woody Allen, (American Actor, Author, Screenwriter and Film Director, b.1935), from the movie 'Love & Death'.

So Far Today...


09 April, 2008

Almost Everything




Give me all the earthly treasures
That a single man can hold
Put the magic in my fingers
That turns everything to gold
Hand me the sun, say that I've won
The world on a string
And then I will have almost everything!

~ Extract from Richard Marx's song 'Almost Everything' from the album 'Days in Avalon'.

Forgetting


Perhaps I am doomed to retrace my steps under the illusion that I am exploring, doomed to try and learn what I should simply recognize, learning a mere fraction of what I have forgotten.

~André Breton.

14 March, 2008

Fear

At man’s core there is a voice that wants him never to give in to fear. But if it is true that in general man cannot give in to fear, at the very least he postpones indefinitely the moment when he will have to confront himself with the object of his fear... when he will no longer have the assistance of reason as guaranteed by God, or when he will no longer have the assistance of God such as reason guaranteed. It is necessary to recoil, but it is necessary to leap, and perhaps one only recoils in order to leap better.

~ Georges Bataille (1897–1962), French novelist & critic.
Quoted in: “Two Values of Sade in Bataille’s Text”.

20 February, 2008

Grey Things




History

Some people believe that without history, our lives amount to nothing. At some point we all have to choose: do we fall back on what we know, or do we step forward to something new? It's hard not to be haunted by our past. Our history is what shapes us... what guides us. Our history resurfaces time after time after time. So we have to remember sometimes the most important history is the history we’re making today.

Wounds

What's worse?

New wounds which are so horribly painful or old wounds that should've healed years ago and never did?

Maybe our old wounds teach us something. They remind us where we've been and what we've overcome. They teach us lessons about what to avoid in the future. That's what we like to think. But that's not the way it is, is it? Some things we just have to learn over and over and over again.

Disappearances

Disappearances happen in science. Disease can suddenly fade away, tumors go missing, and we open someone up to discover the cancer is gone. It's unexplained. It’s rare, but it happens. We call it mis-diagnosis. Say we never saw it in the first place, any explanation but the truth. That life is full of vanishing acts.

If something that we didn’t know we had disappears...

Do we miss it?

~ Meredith Grey's voiceovers from Grey's Anatomy.

12 February, 2008

The Serenity Prayer




G
od, grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
the courage to change the things I can;
and the wisdom to know the difference.

~ Reinhold Niebuhr

31 January, 2008

Beauty, Charm, Admiration


Beauty

All forms of beauty, like all possible phenomena, contain an element of the eternal and an element of the transitory - of the absolute and of the particular. Absolute and eternal beauty does not exist, or rather it is only an abstraction creamed from the general surface of different beauties. The particular element in each manifestation comes from the emotions: and just as we have our own particular emotions, so we have our own beauty.

Charles Baudelaire (1821–67), French poet. Curiosités Esthétiques,“Salon of 1846,” sct. 18 (1868; repr. in The Mirror of Art, ed. by Jonathan Mayne, 1955).

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Charm

All charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their attraction.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Erskine, in The Portrait of Mr. W. H., ch. 1 (first published in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, July 1889).

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Admiration

Bad artists always admire each other’s work. They call it being large-minded and free from prejudice. But a truly great artist cannot conceive of life being shown, or beauty fashioned, under any conditions other than those he has selected.

Oscar Wilde (1854–1900), Anglo-Irish playwright, author. Gilbert, in The Critic as Artist, pt. 2 (published in Intentions, 1891).

25 January, 2008

Pick Me, Choose Me, Love Me!


I have come to believe that love happens. And when it does, it gets you whether you want it or not, like it or not. It almost seems as if it gives you a high, an energy that makes you think that whatever you have thought for yourself is right, what you have imagined will lead you to where we have dreamed to be one day. When love grows on you, it makes you believe that boundaries don’t exist, 'You and I' becomes 'Us', and that makes you sacrifice things that you never thought you were capable of living without, to the point that it starts reflecting in your identity. It’s all very surreal really.

But what do you do when you realize your short comings as a couple? What do you do when all that emotional drama and ecstasy doesn’t last and all the magic fades away? The politically correct answer would be to pretend to ignore it. Because we are raised to keep trying to work things out. Even when you know you are jumping into the fire, you are obligated to try. So, most of the times, we don’t stop it from damaging our identities, and choose to drag the fragile relationship with the baggage it cannot endure anymore. Why don’t we learn to stop in due time? And most importantly, if this is what the fate of most relationships is, why do we let it happen in the first place?

The thing is, we can’t save ourselves from the world forever. But we can learn to stop. Even when we are in love, stop for our integrity and self respect, stop giving up ourselves for the ones who are not worth the sacrifice. Stop ignoring the obvious symptoms of degeneration of love, and start understanding that when it’s over, it over! Happiness, joy, commitment, promises… all have a life. When love leaves you, it never looks back at you, no matter how hard you try. And when that happens, all you're left with is yourself. And when you are left with yourself, all you are going to need to forget that fake happiness, joy, commitment crap is that self respect & integrity that you lost a while ago for the love that left you standing still.

But what is it exactly that keeps us hanging on? From what I understand, sometimes, when we have ‘invested’ a lot in a relationship, we are reluctant in admitting that it’s going to be over. We want ‘The Memory’ to be true just because we waited very long for it to be true, dreamed too much for it to happen, even when the other person doesn’t feel the same way. But can you blame them entirely for not loving you anymore? What can you say? It happens, just like love. It happens. It is quite possible that people can’t love you back the way you want them to. So the right thing to do is to let them go. Trust me, starting over or even standing still cannot be as bad as living in the pretence of a fake-perfect-love-story.

Having said that, one should always keep in mind that boundaries don't keep others out, they fence you in, and so it would be terrible thing to say that people should aspire not to fall in love anymore. It’s a natural and most humanly act to follow. Just remember that there's a line that separates you from everything else in this world. Even love. When someone tries to cross that line, you either let them, or you don't. If you let them, you risk too much, so just be sure that it’s worth it. If you don't, just remember that it wasn’t worth you. Plus, remember that the ones that really disserve giving up your honor for will never ask for it in the first place.

~Isbah Z

23 January, 2008

Anger, Passion, Aesthetics


Anger
I am often mad, but I would hate to be nothing but mad: and I think I would lose what little value I may have as a writer if I were to refuse, as a matter of principle, to accept the warming rays of the sun, and to report them, whenever, and if ever, they happen to strike me.

E. B. White (1899–1985), U.S. author, editor. Interview in Writers at Work (Eighth Series, ed. by George Plimpton, 1988).

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Passion
Passions spin the plot: We are betrayed by what is false within.

George Meredith (1828–1909), English author. Modern Love, Sonnet 43 (1862).

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Aesthetics
I hate that aesthetic game of the eye and the mind, played by these connoisseurs, these mandarins who “appreciate” beauty. What is beauty, anyway? There’s no such thing. I never “appreciate,” any more than I “like.” I love or I hate.

Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Spanish artist. Quoted in: Françoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life with Picasso, pt. 6 (1964).

03 January, 2008

Curriculum Vitae

The future shrinks
Whether the past
Is well or badly spent.

We shape our lives
Although their forms
Are never what we meant.

~ Dana Gioia from Interrogations at Noon

01 January, 2008

Summer Storm

We stood on the rented patio
While the party went on inside.
You knew the groom from college.
I was a friend of the bride.

We hugged the brownstone wall behind us
To keep our dress clothes dry
And watched the sudden summer storm
Floodlit against the sky.

The rain was like a waterfall
Of brilliant beaded light,
Cool and silent as the stars
The storm hid from the night.

To my surprise, you took my arm
A gesture you didn't explain
And we spoke in whispers, as if we two
Might imitate the rain.

Then suddenly the storm receded
As swiftly as it came.
The doors behind us opened up.
The hostess called your name.

I watched you merge into the group,
Aloof and yet polite.
We didn't speak another word
Except to say goodnight.

Why does that evening's memory
Return with this night's storm
A party twenty years ago,
Its disappointments warm?

There are so many might have beens,
What ifs that won't stay buried,
Other cities, other jobs,
Strangers we might have married.

And memory insists on pining
For places it never went,
As if life would be happier
Just by being different.

~ Dana Gioia from his widely acknowledged book, Interrogations at Noon.

Happy New Year

I never really understood the enthusiasm involved in celebrating the New Year. Celebrating the mistakes that we have made and laying ground for many other that we are about to make in the comming year. I mean, what's the big deal? But apart from my truely growing cynical self, the only thing that I always look forward to, cant live without watching and can wait a million years for - are the fireworks arranged for the new year celebrations. :D

These are truely mind blowing!!

New Year celebrations in Times Square, NewYork




New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia




Happy New Year guys! (Whatever that means!) :)