Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

translated by jay rubin

translated by jay rubin

Norwegian Wood is the first Murakami novel I’ve read.  And this will certainly not be the last.

Each of the character in Norwegian Book were so distinct, so life-like and were so richly depicted.  The author has a unique way in making you feel how each character truly felt.  It has a very nostalgic feel to it yet the interactions in the book seem so real.  Murakami’s words create perfect pictures without becoming too descriptive.  And the thoughts he pulls out of the reader tend to suck the energy out for a little while.

And though the story is simple, the range of emotions the characters experience seem so complex making this book so elegant and sophisticated.  At first it seemed like a normal beautiful love story, until you reach the story’s dark spin to it.  The ending actually left me feeling like my intelligence was raped or I was mind-fucked by Murakami.

Because of Murakami’s beautiful way with imagery perhaps the best thing about Norwegian Wood is that it is open to the reader’s interpretation.  I doubt if two people after reading Norwegian Wood will settle with the same interpretation of the events that transpired and the characters’ respective motivations.

Payb stars… ay layk it…

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived: A New Classic Fairy Tale

Times has really changed.  Take a peek on how pumpkin farmer Cedric, turns out to be The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived.

Though written in such an upbeat and intelligent way, conservatives here in the Philippines would for sure protest, dispute and object in case this fairy tale of a book will ever be available on the shelves of Philippine bookstores.  For the severe conservatives, imagining Cedric sharing the same bookshelf-space along with The Happy Price, Thumbelina, Pinocchio, Aladdin, and other beloved fairy tale characters in children’s media would be quite difficult to endure and tolerate.

But have you ever wondered? Considering that Filipino children grew up reading and being read with fairy tales with straight/heterosexual characters, i.e., the price end up marrying the princess and lives happily ever after, there are still multitudes of Filipinos who turn up being gay?

This would only make you conclude that story plots of fascinating fairy tales has nothing to do with the development of a child in terms of sexual identity or gender preference.  Perhaps discussing about “sexuality-is-genetic” and the “born-this-way” principle would already be too much.

"often, we can find the answers back where we began" --- daniel errico

“often, we can find the answers back where we’ve began” — daniel errico

Times has really changed.  And I would like to believe that it has gone more accepting.  In fact, the writer of this new classic of a fairy tale, Daniel Errico the founder of FreeChildrenStories.com , happens to be a straight guy.

Though I am an adult who has yet to develop a more mature disposition, I can say that The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived being an absolutely charming fairy tale has nothing to do with sexuality.  For me, it is about receiving the ultimate reward from having a big heart and being brave enough to be true to oneself.

En Dey Libd Hapili Eber Apter…

My Brain Break Colored Pieces

Here are three additional art pieces that is the fruit of my recent brain breaks.

still can't believe i made this...

still can’t believe i made this…

love your own...

love your own…

i know my color wheel...

i know my color wheel…

The Secret Garden coloring book has definitely made my time and concentration within a relaxing bubble.  Choosing the right shade of green, avoiding going over the lines and slowly filling up the page has at least temporarily fades my intense concerns.  It shuts me off from the rest world and brings me to a different level of calmness.

And it is good to know that based on neuroscientific research, Art Therapy to human beings can physically change, grow and rejuvenate the brain.  Another benefit of this activity is that, it unplugs me and kept me away from the world of the worldwide web for some considerable time.

Pang myusiyum talaga ang peg!

Being So Immersed in Coloring My Secret Garden

My presence into the world of internet has been reduced for the past week.  This is because I have been busy utilizing my brain’s right hemisphere for the past few days.

No, I have not been reading a book but instead – believe it or not – I have gone crazy with a coloring book.  I know it sounds like another childish silliness, but this coloring book seem to relax me.

the book itself, uncolored, is gorgeous!

the book itself, uncolored, is gorgeous!

my first venture!

my first venture!

Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford has so far been completely entrancing!  It has been the book that surprisingly calms me and at the same time enabled me to squeeze a lot of my creative juices.

I have yet to know or read an actual science that proves coloring in a coloring book makes the person happier or reduce stress.  But for me, it has been an effective tool for a blissful meditative escape from stress and pressures of daily life.

flowers and the "ipis" (as per nengkoy)

flowers and the “ipis” (as per nengkoy)

primary colors!

primary colors!

my next project...

my next project…

And after finishing three pages by simply coloring away to my heart’s content, I was chilled out to realize that there exist some creativity in me.  This book is so engrossing, it is like being so immersed in your own Secret Garden…

Aminin! Pang Nashonal Myusiyum ang gawa ko!

The Superbook Knows That Love Always Wins

A considerable amount of my time growing up during my pre and early teen years was spent by watching the original cartoon animation series The Superbook.  It is an anime series that chronicled the events in the Bible’s Old and New Testament.

joym chris and gizmo

joy, chris and gizmo

The Bible in its written form can be so intensely deep and enormously ornate in words, idiolect and terminologies.  Because of this, its thoughts, teachings and philosophies can be at times so difficult to understand.  Because of this, The Superbook then was my early basis and reference on how to understand the stories and teachings of the Bible.

And from among all episodes of this valuable anime series during the 1980s (including its re-runs dubbed in Filipino language), never did I saw Christian, Joy and their toy robot Gizmo encounter an episode that being gay and falling in love with a person of the same sex or gender is a sin.

Maybe it is because the creators of The Superbook series knows that it does not take a person to read, know and understand the Bible to realize that falling in love is not a sin.  I guess The Superbook creators knew that love is universal and that love is beautiful.  I guess The Superbook knows that there’s no book on “how” and there’s no book on “who” when in comes to love.

The same thought that this music conveys…

Ay lab Superbuk! Ang kumontra, Chaka!

Catching Fire (The Movie): The Long Wait Is Not Over Yet

catchingfireposterWhile I fell on queue to buy tickets for the movie Catching Fire, I grasped and recognized that finally the long wait is over for the release to the sequel movie of Hunger Games.  It was a long agonizing wait!  The feeling of patiently waiting for its commercial release here in the Philippines was basically the same when I was awaiting for the release of the book a couple of years ago.

The film is definitely entertainingly engrossing and absorbing!  I even wanted to press my left hand’s three middle fingers against my lips then raise it while inside the movie house when defiant revolutionary people of various Districts were raising theirs to show their opposition to President Snow and The Capitol.

peeta & katniss on their way to the quarter quell

peeta & katniss on their way to the quarter quell

I refuse to make a review of this movie since there have been tons of reviews and write-ups about Katniss Everdeen, Peeta Mellark and this entertaining film.  Let me just say which part of the movie that I like most.

The best part of the movie for me was actually the end part of it.  It ends abruptly which will leave you wanting for more.  After being so engrossed watching on how the turn of events happened, the end part would make you realize and be reminded that the movie is a sequel awaiting a sequel.  The ending will simply haunt you.

If you think that the long wait is over, you definitely are mistaken.

Pakibilisan ang pag syuting…