Tag Archive | love

Hold on or give up?

Reader’s Digest Asia posted this photo on its Facebook page:

The caption says, “In reply, my friend told me, “I held on so long, only to give up in the end so that I would remember the lesson learned.” Dear friends, what do you think?”

This is my answer:
It depends on what you are holding on though. If it is something you want to achieve/reach, holding on may not be enough, you have to give it your best shot. If you fail once give it another try. Hold on ’til the end for every sunrise gives you an opportunity to get your heart’s desire. If what you are holding on to, however, is a person or a relationship, it’s not a question of whether to hold on or let go I guess. It’s whether the person still wants you in his/her life. Sometimes, no matter how much we try to be a part of our special someone’s life, he/she may be better off and happier without us in it. Not holding on doesn’t mean we love less for letting go is a way of showing how great our love is that we would gladly embrace pain just to see them happy. Whichever, nonetheless, let’s try not to lose sight of what we have while holding on to what we don’t have 😀

Irony of love

While waiting for the train this morning, I saw a blind couple standing few steps from me. Yes, both of them are blind. They looked so happy playing-fights. When they spoke, they faced each other as if they were looking at each other’s eyes. When the train came, they squeezed into the crowd without letting go of their hands. I thought to myself, they may not be able to see the beauty this world has to offer, but the presence of each other will let them see the beauty of love.

The thought of the couple never left me. I stared at the heavy clouds beyond the glass window wondering, aren’t most, if not all, of us blind?

In this restless world we are living, there will always come a time when the deafening hustle and bustle of a technology-driven lifestyle can no longer conceal the screaming of our hearts.

We all have people to love. There are our family, relatives, friends, classmates or colleagues, neighbors and even our pets. And then there is this special someone who turns our world upside down.

Loving them seems to change everything in us. They’re like a rainbow after the rain, painting a kaleidoscope to our once dull world. The inspiration they gave allows us to soar higher than we could have imagined reaching. They can change or challenge some of our idealism without even uttering a word. They are the ones who taught us the kind of love that seeks for what is best for the person while bringing out the best in us.

Whenever there is a chance, we always make it a point to let them feel our love. If only it is possible to stick a post-it on our forehead with the words “I love you”, we could have done it just to let them know. However, most of them just don’t seem to see. And if they do, sometimes they’d push us away.

How many of us suffer from the agony of unreciprocated love? How many of us have been rejected because the person we love loves someone else? But how many of us have been blind to the love given to us? Are we not the one who’s blind?

Love lessons from cherry blossoms

Cherry blossoms, who wouldn’t be awe-struck by its captivating beauty? I first marvelled at its grandeur one serene springtime afternoon in London. As I stared at its exhilarating bloom, scenes of romantic films set under a cloud of cherry blossoms or during hanami flashed back. Then I thought, no wonder why it is a favorite spot for lovers, there is something idyllic in it that captures the heart and soul.

What is more fascinating about cherry blossoms is its metaphorical depiction of the ephemeral nature of life, a belief greatly embedded in the Japanese culture.

I haven’t really given this flower much thought until last Friday when my friend Art gave me a copy of Makoto Shinkai’s short animated film “Five Centimeters Per Second (Byōsoku Go Senchimētoru)”. He was not very sure of the substance of the film but recommended it to me because the animation is undoubtedly amazing.

The story is about two elementary best friends Takaki and Akari who were bonded by compatibility. It started with the two watching the cherry blossoms together. After graduating, Akari moved due to her parent’s job and communicated with Takaki through letters. They were both anticipating for the time when they will be able to watch the cherry blossoms again.

Eventually, Takaki decided to see Akari when he knew that they will also be moving which will keep them too far to see each other again. He wrote a letter expressing his feelings to Akari but the letter slipped from his pocket and had flown through the snowstorm. The snowstorm kept the train delayed which made Takaki anxious that Akari might not be able to wait for him.

Akari cried when she saw Takaki. They shared their first and last kiss under a snow covered cherry blossom tree. After Takaki left on the train the next morning, Akari sadly looked at her own letter she had not given to Takaki.

The second chapter focused on Sumida, Takaki’s classmate in junior high who was in love with him. Sumida used to hide on a wall while waiting for Takaki to appear at the parking area before she goes to her own scooter. She did that intentionally to get a chance to drive home with Takaki. She used to spot Takaki writing a mail and secretly wished that it was her who’s getting the message. At the end of the chapter it turned out Takaki’s written mails were not sent.

Sumida decided to express her feelings to Takaki. However, she realized that Takaki has been staring at something from a very far distance; something she knew she will never outmatch. She then chose not to disclose her feelings.

The final chapter showed Takaki leaving his job after he broke down from his distressing life that longs for Akari. Akari reminisced the past when she stumbled upon her letter for Takaki while going through her old possessions. However, she was already engaged.

It ended with the two coming across each other on a train crossing and stood at the opposite tracks. When they turn to look at each other, a train passed blocking their view. After the train had gone, Akari was no longer on the other side. Takaki went on his way, showered with cherry blossoms.

The film was a bit subtle but what is compelling about it is how it shows the agony of unexpressed love in the simplest realistic way, not to mention the fact that not everything has a happy ending.

Perhaps, we can all relate to the feeling of loving someone but couldn’t find the courage to say what we truly feel. When we look at them, how we wish to feel their comforting embrace but the moment they get near us all we can manage to say is “Hi’ or “How are you?”.

If only Facebook was present at the time when this film was written, perhaps the characters will be just like us; prowling at the profile of that special someone looking at every photo and reading every post and comment, clicking “older posts” until we see the message “There are no more posts to show”.

When it comes to love, we all have our different stories to tell. Each story is very special that we never get tired telling them over and over again, with all smiles and giggles. When we are in love, the simple things become meaningful and every moment spent with that someone becomes a treasure, forever engraved in our memory. A simple smile can bring sunshine into our days. A brief eye contact can bring that butterflies into our stomach.

But, in the midst of these frenzy feelings lies a heart drown by melancholy. Words unsaid accumulate each day giving us an unbearable heaviness that we somehow manage to deal with simply because we don’t really have a choice ‘coz letting them out may risk a lot of things.

The title of the film “5 Centimeters Per Second” was taken from the speed at which cherry blossoms petals fall. Cherry blossoms depict the transience of life and how people, at some point stays together and gradually drift apart.

Knowing that life is fleeting, I wonder, will it really be worthwhile to live with “what if” and “if only” in the end?  Are the risks we consider that pull us back greater than the possibilities of being with the one we love? Why is it that most people find the courage to say things out only when the person they love is almost gone?

Then I thought, perhaps the mesmerizing charm of cherry blossoms over a short period reminds us that some good things never last so we should make the most out of it before the wind of time take if from our grasp.

(An instrumental at the end of the film which I kept listening while writing this entry)