Saturday, February 12, 2005

Starry Night Suprise

I walked along the river at the Esplanade, marvelling at how beautiful Singapore is at night. The breeze shaved my skin, teasing with its coolness.

They have a small stage along the riverfront. Tonight, a musician is performing her heart out to a small but noisy crowd, each one of them lapping up her melodic voice. It is actually rather good, and I had previously jostled with my friends to get some good seats (it was free), but left them and went for the walk instead.

I settled down on the benches along the riverfront. To my left, a bunch of kids were jostling excitedly, snapping moments for themselves that they will look back years later and laugh at how silly their hairstyle had been back then (that thought made me smile).

To my right, a couple adopted a more professional approach, complete with tripods and zoom lens. They were taking turns looking through the lens, seeing the other side of the river. I looked across, wondering what was it that had them smiling with silent contentness. Not seeing anything out of the usual, I leaned back, and necked my head upwards.

And was rewarded with a most beautiful sight.

The night was dark enough for the stars to come out and play, little twinkling spots, with non-twinkling blights (satellites) blotting the sky in its apparent randomness. The cloud formations moved, encouraged strongly by the wind. Big, small, in all shapes and sizes.

Sitting there, looking at it, it doesn't feel like the cloud itself is moving; it feels as if I am, like the whole world is, always in a constant motion. A reminder that no matter what happens, tomorrow is another day that the sun will rise and set upon, another night when the stars comes out to delight us, blinking almost mischieviously. A reminder that the worries of yesterday, like silly haircuts, will become nothing more than old news.

That life goes on.

In the background, the crowd broke into a rapturous applause.

2 comments:

anna. said...

Fik, I always knew you had this inside you, but I've never see you put it forward to well! Wow! Beautiful!

vava said...

This is my favourite piece amongst all ur others.It's truly a difficult decision to make.But i did it=P,been to S'pore 4 several times,could visualize all those breath-taking details..

If this were a painting it would lool like Auguste Renoir's masterpiece,of popular river resorts and views of a bustling Paris. Renoir was particularly entranced by people and often painted friends and lovers.

"Renoir seems to have had the enviable ability to see anything as potentially of interest. He does not go deep into the substance of what he sees but seizes upon its appearance, grasping its generalities, which then enables the spectator to respond with immediate pleasure. "Pleasure" may be decried by the puritanical instinct within us all, but it is surely the necessary enhancer that life needs. Instead they depict delightful, intimate scenes of the French middle class at leisure in the country or at cafes and concerts in Paris.

Renoir always took a simple pleasure in whatever met his good-humored attention, but he refused to let what he saw dominate what he wanted to paint. Again he deliberately sets out to give the impression, the sensation of something, its generalities, its glancing life.

Maybe, ideally, everything is worthy of attentive scrutiny, but in practice there is no time. We remember only what takes our immediate notice as we move along."