Beauty, Expression, Just saying, Relationships
Comments 6

“How many years do you have to live?”


Hey guys!

Today I want to talk about…LIFE. Haha.

It’s really absurd sometimes to observe how people tend to think they can live forever. In humid Singapore, there are no four seasons, so it is easy to be numbed to the flow of time. There are tall buildings, and everyone is busy working, rushing something, sensitive to every movement of the market economy. There is this saying among the hard workers at Raffles Place on Fridays, of colleagues telling each other– “Let’s leave office while the sky is still blue today.”

Today I went for a walk outside in the forest again outside my house, and saw so many pretty autumn leaves. Some red, some brown, some yellow, and some wilted. And I thought of this Japanese verse:

「春の風包まれて 遥かな夢描いて
夏の雲途切れては 消えていった
秋の空切なくて 冬の海冷たくて
夢中になっていく程 時は経っていたね」

Which translates as:

“Spring’s Wind visits, drawing a far-off dream;
The break in the summer clouds disappears;
The autumn sky is painful, the winter’s sea is cold;
The more I am in tuned with the seasons, the faster time passes.”

“The autumn sky is painful”–Such eloquence! I felt that today. The autumn sky is not just painful–it speaks of closure, beauty in imperfection, of a graceful death. The autumn sunset awed, captured my heart, and I heaved a sigh of relief.

Ambivalence–I don’t think I can fight that anymore. I always thought it’s good just to be happy, but as I grew older I realised that the depth of happiness is always relative to that of sadness. These two emotions co-exist and reinforce each other, until one day you can look at the autumn sky with teary eyes and smile from your heart.

Life is so short, it’s best not to entertain everyone. Perhaps one rule to live by is to ask yourself: “Is this relationship an emotional/intellectual connection I want to pursue?” If it isn’t, perhaps it is time to let this connection go, or simply let it die a natural death.

(Not talking about my relationship with The Boyfriend by the way. :D)


  1. Markku Ikonen says

    Beautiful poem, as you ponder life tonight listen to Tony Bennett singing the Autumn Leaves and it put the right perspective into the mood governed by the autumn and its beauty
    Everything has its opposite Life-Death and everything in between its the end part that we have problem with!

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