Month: May 2014

Comparing Happiness and Meaning

“Making happiness the focal point of your life trivializes it, because in order to regard anything as truly important, you also have to regard its loss as truly meaningful. Opening yourself up to moments of deep meaning simultaneously means that you have to open yourself up to the possibility of deep hurt and sorrow. You do that anytime, for example, you make a relationship profound, you put your emotions on the line and that has to be real, or else the relationship can’t be real. To hope that sort of risk could be obliterated by the indulgence in a simplistic form of happiness is to shrink in cowardice from the demands real human existence places on people.” -Jordan B. Peterson, CBC Idea’s “Say No to Happiness” P.S. There’s a reason for these quotes – stay tuned!  

The Power of Storytelling

“No philosophy can compare in intensity and richness of meaning with a properly narrated story… storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it… it brings about consent and reconciliation with things as they really are…” – Hannah Arendt, political philosopher

Indian Rhino Bardia National Park

Nepal Revisited: Adventures in Royal Bardia Park

Recently, I had the opportunity to contribute to Beatler.com, a local blog that covers food, entertainment, travel, lifestyle and technology. Drawn to one writer’s reflections on his trip to Belize, a place that I explored almost a decade ago, I felt inspired to revisit old journeys by working on a travel piece, this time around my adventures at Royal National Bardia Park in Nepal. Returning to Nepal in mind and spirit was interesting. When I wrote the Reflection of Nepal series right after my trip, I had felt compelled to get everything down, cramming together flavours, ideas, and lessons learned lest the vivid intensity of experience fade forever from memory. But now a year and a half removed, I found myself revisiting past events with no great hurry, having the time to mull over my notes and the patience to let scenes breathe and develop naturally. The entire four-part series, complete with the customary themes of nature and culture befitting an Ekostory, has recently been posted online. You can read them here: Part 1: Bardia …

Funky Asian acorns Lithocarpus

Funky Asian Acorns: Schema’s Seeds and Leaves

Recent shifts in thinking and a trip back to Hong Kong caused me to reflect upon the past and my roots as a 1.5 generation Chinese-Canadian. Drawing upon life and circumstance for inspiration, I spent my time away from blogging to work on a piece of bicultural creative non-fiction. I am delighted to announce that the finished work has been accepted by a sustainability-themed issue of Schema Magazine, an online publication “for the interculturally-minded”. Seeds and Leaves began as a seed (ha!) sparked by a call for essays that featured a plant or tree as the main character; it has since grown to become an account of a botanical illustration class I took last fall. I hope you enjoy this short tale about a brief encounter of two immigrants, one human, one not, and I welcome your thoughts on this personal Ekostory that attempts to weave together ideas of nature, culture, and identity. Read the story here

Mishchenko’s Macrotastic Wonders

I’m a sucker for macro photography; maybe because I appreciate how it can reveal the extraordinary in the miniscule and  mundane. Recently, I came across the work of Ukranian photographer Vyacheslav Mischenko; his macros manage to capture the whimsical wonder that is the subject of the past two Ekostories. From kissing snails on cherry stems to toadstool sentinels standing guard over patches of dewy green, Mischenko’s work illustrates that a multitude of unnoticed realities exist in parallel to our own, and can be as enchanting as our minds’ most fantastical creations. For more absurdly astonishing photos, please check out his portfolio or visit his Facebook page. Related Ekostories: The Beauty of Water Droplets, by Andrew Osokin Pikmin 3 Photography All images © Vyacheslav Mischenko.