Tagged: photography

Last Tree Standing

Dearest ______,

During one of those long drives around the country, I spotted this lone tree– barely alive; barely erect– right in the middle of an expanse of flat land. The last tree standing, what it’s fighting for, nobody knows.

I hear of people like Yohji Yamamoto or even Joan Rivers who want (or wanted, for the latter) nothing in life but to work until the end. For the sake of the work; the craft; the baby, more than anything else. And I truly respect that, the notion of a tree just being a tree until it no longer is.

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Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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Patterns

Dearest ______,

The older we get, the more we understand how very little in the world is actually and truly unique. As opposed to many years ago, when we donned (the idea of) our innate uniqueness like an armour (i.e. heartbreaks that no one else had ever felt in the past, goals that were very particular results of our individually unique struggles, ideas that no one had ever thought of before, etc).

Through the years though, we’ve grown to appreciate the thought of shared experiences. With the Internet these days, it’s so much easier to see how “everybody is just like everybody else.” Call it Collective Consciousness, or simply the shrinking of the world: most of us know now of lives similar to ours, only lived across different continents around the world.

With divisiveness and extreme Nationalism being some of the most glaring threats to the World Wide Web free world today, we aim to see patterns in our shared humanity. Humankind, that one true race that trumps man-made geographical borders, societal categories, and religious belief systems.

And we should aim to see patterns, so we can be more appreciative; genuinely accepting of the differences that are inherently sewn into our individualities and even our collective cultures.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Oranges

Dearest ______,

Gong Xi Fa Cai!

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Living in Singapore, I’ve learned that Mandarin Oranges are an auspicious symbol of good fortune because “tangerine” in Chinese sounds similar to the word “luck” or “wealth”. Hence you see people gifting households with oranges as a way of wishing a home prosperity and an abundance of happiness. More so during the Chinese New Year season (as it is now), it isn’t uncommon to find small trees bearing these fruits all around houses and buildings to usher in good luck.

This CNY, while I do wish that everybody receives plentiful gifts of “tangerine”, I’m also hoping that we all learn how to pick them off of the trees ourselves. May this Year of the Rooster bring each of us the most effective wake-up calls to earnestly grab opportunities and obligations alike, in wake of all our coming days.

Carpe diem! Or, Carpe them oranges! 

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Country Road

Dearest ______,

Whenever we take road trips around the countryside, it always surprises me when I see solitary figures walking purposefully across miles and miles of flat land; up and down expanses of treelined hills. Sometimes they walk with four- legged friends, sometimes completely alone. But always, walking to directions navigated by their own biological compasses, the same internal makeup that allows them to wake up right before dawn.

In the heart of Mother Nature at her most naked form, unshaven and undone: proof of (human) life! Sons and daughters of the earth.

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Hiraeth

Dearest ______,

Is it possible to miss a place that you’ve never been to before?

For the Welsh, this phenomenon is called Hiraeth, which is described as “the nostalgia and the grief for lost places of your past, or places that never were.”

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I had something that vaguely resembled Hiraeth last year: I was standing on the terraces of Cafe Hafa in Tangier (f.1921), looking at the vast shadows of Spain far across the Strait of Gibraltar. Save for the distant crashing of waves and the clinking of silverware on heated glass, it was a quiet day for mint teas. Too quiet in fact, that for a brief moment, I longed for any form of old-world decadence befalling the now sobered up cafe. A little Moroccan shindig, like what we’d all read about when the beatniks were there, way back in the day.

But then I quickly realised how I actually kind of hate commotion (excluding the occasional mosh pit). Burroughs would probably have hated my law-abiding ass. And so Hiraeth quickly turned into Here I Is.

Which wasn’t; isn’t so bad, after all: Here I is.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

Le Rouge et Le Noir 

Dearest ______,

 Photographic providence in colours, that is all.

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Sometimes I wish I cared for actual human interactions more. I am constantly in awe of people who are at ease with making small talk with other people strangers because I’m pretty sure that if I just learn how to say “Hi, how are you?”, I’d be surprised with what I’ll know about people. Maybe they’re downright mean, but maybe they’re only waiting for someone to talk to. I’ve always dreaded the latter more, which has probably deprived me of many a lost narrative out there. Compelling tales never told, secrets shared to someone else instead.

I try. But more often than not, I just make do with made-up stories about people in my head. Heehee.

Love,

Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.