“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden
Anticipating that the sun sets in Singapore at seven, I grabbed a croissant and a curry puff from 7-11 before walking to the Marina Bay observation deck. The time reads 5.30pm.
It is a curious thing to me on how the day turns into night, and night into day. When the situation permits, I focus on the different hues in the sky during dawn and dusk, in attempt to catch the moment when light enters and leaves the atmosphere. But I never succeed. I often wonder if math could pinpoint the exact time or moment when it takes place, for what is gradual is often lost on me and only could be acknowledge retrospectively.
Perhaps this is nature’s way of saying that all changes are gradual, and I am reminded of a quote by Lao Tzu who said: “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” I admit that I was never fascinated by nature as a child, but as I grow older, I feel compelled to think that nature is perhaps the most underrated and unappreciated teacher to man. One can learn so much more from the observation of nature than in literature. Thus it seems only appropriate that I am never ceased to be amazed by the simplicity of nature which mask its brilliant intricacies.
So there I was, up in the observation deck, waiting for the night to beckon. I took pictures, marvelled at the sight of what this small country had achieved, rejected the tower photographer’s offer to get my picture taken and contemplated on the assortment of souvenirs, before settling down upon a flight of stairs, observing the skies above for the last daylight to withdraw.
Then, a tap on my right shoulder.
I turned, and in his thick European accent, asked if I could take a picture for him. I obliged, leaving the sky for the moment in trade of the clunky digital camera which bore the CANON label on its side. Through the viewfinder, both male and female of the same height, same hair colour and probably of the same origins smiles with an effeminate charm; a smile that would unfaze even the end of time.
The quality had me captivated. Where most couples concern themselves with trivial matters of what movie to watch, where to dine and what to do, these two person in front of me, who probably came half way around the world to be here, exude a certain calmness, serenity and contentment; as though to say that being together is enough.
After inspecting the picture and smiling in unison, they thanked me and walked side by side down the wooden deck, with hands slowly entwined, without a hint of hurry, so to be able to enjoy even the process of searching their partner’s hand in mid air. I stood in silence and return to the skies above me, reminded by how often we enjoy the destination while forsaking the enjoyment of the process.
I am wont to think that we know a great many people in relationships, but only so few that are happy. Some people are inclined to feel that being together is insufficient or that it is only sufficient for the time being; as if that the relationship has to go somewhere, that there is always a better place to go. And perhaps there is, but I think if one should set the direction of his ship toward his destination, one can enjoy every breeze along the way without worry. And if the vessel never reaches in this lifetime, as least his intentions are pure and his life complete.
Back home, it is inevitable that some would be skeptical to my observation. Perhaps it is true what a friend said, that they may be eloping, or perhaps the lady is the wife of a drug lord and this being the only night they have together; or other similar soap-ish drama.
But their point is not such and such; rather it is to say that people in relationship sometime run into problems and they cannot, in their troubled state of mind, be both romantic and in love with each other. I would have no doubt that I would agree in a heartbeat in the past; after all, marriage is about falling in love with the same person over and over again; falling out of love is but a part of it.
But now I must digress and am accustomed to think it is a manner of perspective. For if the light of the moon is shrouded by the clouds of night, am I obscured from light which illuminates or is light illuminating dark clouds? The same question compels me to think if our capability for love should be clouded by adversities, or should be there in spite of it.
I am incline to feel that it is the latter that we should strive for.