It’s been awhile since I blogged. I took 2.5 weeks off and went back to Vancouver with a detour to New York. When I travel, I don’t like to be connected all the time and so I never get data on my phone (the occasional wifi is sufficient) and I don’t do any writing electronically, unless I absolutely have to. I do however bring notebooks with me to jot things down and write postcards to my family and friends. Then after I got back, I was caught up with work and projects. I know. These aren’t excuses not to write.
Just an update on a few interesting things I came across
1. Mortality by Christopher Hitchens – A glimpse of what it is like to face death. Christopher Hitchens – a notable author, literary critic and journalist. Mortality is Hitchens’ documenting his thoughts and experiences while he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer and living in ‘tumorville’ for 18 months. The book is composed of 7 chapters that he wrote and sent to be published in Vanity Fair. Hitchen found it ironic that he of all people who built his career by voicing out his opinions and views would have to spent the last part of his life voiceless. He was a man who loved to talk and encouraged people to find their ‘own voice’.
“We are the only ones who can deploy vocal communication for sheer pleasure and recreation, combining it with our two other boasts of reason and humour to produce higher syntheses. To lose this ability is to be deprived of an entire range of faculty: It is assuredly to die more than a little.”
“A good conversation is … realising that decent points are being made and understood, that irony is in play, and elaboration and that a dull or obvious remark would be
almost physically hurtful.”
“One thing that grave illness does is to make you examine familiar principles and seemingly reliable sayings. And there’s one that I find I am not saying with
quite the same conviction as I once used to: In particular, I have slightly stopped issuing the announcement that ‘Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.’
In fact, I now sometimes wonder why I ever thought it profound.”
Definitely thought provoking. It made me realised that people should embrace the concept of death. It is part of life and we should try to understand it. People are afraid of the unknown, and death is an unknown. But if we take the time to understand and prepare ourselves of what is to come (at least abstractly), it would really help with what doctors and psychologists have termed as the Five stages of dealing with grief / death: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. We might be even able to jump to acceptance right at the get-go.
2. For some reason, I’ve always loved Louis C.K. He’s such a brilliant comedian. Anyone who willingly goes on stage, spitting out words just to make people laugh deserves a round of applause. But Louis C.K. does this with a down-to-earth style wittiness that is very relatable. Comics are extremely insightful people with brilliant minds. Most are very humble as they have experienced what it’s like to be laughed off stage or not get a single laugh at all. Loads of valuable life lessons to be learnt from them.
Here’s Louis C.K.’s interview ‘On Life and Stand-Up: ‘I Live in Service for My Kids’.
Also worth watching is Talking Funny, where four of the best comedians, Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais and Louis CK discuss about comedy. I’ve watched it awhile back but this is a video that I would revisit from time to time. And it still cracks me up! (“Does he whistle?”).
3. Found these lovely postcards on my walk up to Soho, Central. #edibleletters (IG: edible_letters).