All posts by Marck

My New Years… resolution

Dream Elephant

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Aaaaaahhhmazing

Ok, so… hmmm… to get to amazing – I had to go through a literally thoroughly horrible day.

It was one of those days starting with a phone call, with a person who was intent on spreading morning gloom and pour acid in my coffee… and I was not able to convince him to see a positive way forward, and I think he had enough black and somber mood left in him to ruin the day for everybody in a midsize city after me.

I wanted to make it a better day, and decided to make a genuine attempt to mend a personal issue – something I had put off because I just could not figure out what had actually happened and what my part in it was… I wanted to regain a friend. I send a message, it was initially looking like a good idea – but it spiralled into something quite ugly and… well – let’s just say that although air was cleared and all that, I’m not entirely sure the rift was mended – I think maybe it turned into a ravine with some thorny bushes… so – at this point I was still not making it a memorable day.

The 3 ladies in my local lunch spot did however – as always – put a smile on me, and the food was as good as ever. One of these fine peeps have served me lunch for 13+ years, and she is still the same smiling, energetic, professional and lovely person… now that is something to be admired !!

End of daylight – and a final call to be done, and finally finally, finally the day starts to pick up. Doing anything with people in Brazil has always been fun, interesting, productive and just easy really – I’m thinking that maybe i should follow my love of Caipirinha ( with real sugar cane sugar please ), learn Portuguese and move there… hmm interesting 🙂

Then I got to Aaaaaahhh … took time to watch some episodes of Shark Tank – which is a little more ‘showtime’ than BBC’s Dragons Den, but I absolutely love seeing these people who creates jobs and builds something meaningful for themselves from nothing to success, love the ideas, the talent, the fact that somebody who comes from a nowhere town, with little education – and born so far from silver spoons that vampires stay the winter when they migrate, can make truly remarkable things happen. A young lady literally sold the scrap metal she got from her brothers window installation company to get a few hundred dollars – and grew it into a sizable business.

And then I came across this site with monthly photo competitions with children as theme, and especially the animals and children series got me… what I would give to be a boy again – for just a day… well just this day really, I’d have my dogs back thank you… and go by the creek – through the forest and down to the fjord where the vikings once sailed … ahhh yes.  And if only I wasn’t allergic to cats – I’d love to be the boy in the picture I borrowed from Marta Obiegla – I hope she don’t mind me sharing her amazing work.

So yes – after a really bad day, one that will sting for a while… I came out knowing that there are people who are kind to each other even if they have no particular reason, and don’t need a reason – like my lunch ladies, we can work together and make something interesting and meaningful happen with people we have never even met in person and across cultures and races – because we have so much in common by just being humans, and there is so much talent and creativity in the world – that those few who try to pull us down and hold us back… they don’t matter in the long run.

Amazing isn’t it 😉

I need to share this too

A follow up to the story from India – these good peeps at Vet Ranch are doing an amazing job !!

Just have a look at the beautiful little guy they saved in the video…  he went from nearly dead to adopted by a loving family in a few days.

Thank you guys !!

 

Tissues please… I need tissues

Now isn’t that a nice happy dog in that header… ?  I love it !

 

But this is where the story starts…

mange-sick-dog-rescue-animal-aid-unlimited-1

Hard to stomach isn’t it… but this one ends well.

I’m a big fan of Bored Panda – it’s a great place to be inspired, amazed, amused and sometimes left speechless and for me, when it comes to saving animals, with quiverin voice and a raised triumphant fist in celebration of the people who does the amazing work, and yes – I often need tissues…

I always root for the little guy, children in need, animals, … I imagine we all do… right ?! But I don’t think we actually do enough. No finger pointing, I’d like to believe we would all want to if it wasn’t that everyday life takes over and… well you know.

I admire the people who does help in what ever little way they can. I’m currently only helping with money – which is at least something, but I wish I were better at actually Doing something actively. To be honest – I have a hard time handling the emotional side of dealing with people and animals in need. I have a big big lump in my throat every time and I’m still having vivid memories of storming out of an orphanage for newborns in Vietnam in tears – it took hours for me to calm down. And just keep in mind that only a few hundred dollars pays for diapers and medicine for several months…

I am in awe of the people who does step up and does the work, dedicated to helping others !!

Again – 2% makes the difference

Leonard Cohen, peace and the 2%

I don’t mean to do the same-same thing and try and get attention from other people’s misery… but within hours I was experiencing a number of things around the ‘things that separates us’ and ‘things that makes us the same and equals’… the 2% or less…

Years back I decided to leave my native country and move to Asia, one of the weightiest reasons was I had tired of peoples increasingly narrow-minded and racially biased focus on what supposedly separates us due to skin colour, religion or what ever reason people will make up just to feel it’s ok to point fingers at others instead of accepting that differences are options to learn and living an interesting life !

On that fateful Friday, I was having lunch with a lady whom I otherwise believe to be a very nice and kind to everybody personality… so my surprise was perhaps bigger when she proclaimed that her children would never be allowed to date someone who are not “Made In X” (replace x with country of birth)… she even acronym’ed it MI(x) – which really was for a lack of words – sickening.

Friday evening I met with a very good friend (who shares my particular heritage) for a burger and a glass of wine in the local neighbourhood … and my belief in people and that race or colour absolutely does not separate us was restored as Chinese, Malay and Indian heritage men and women made it a great evening … little did I know what was about to happen in the City of Love and Light which I love and have so many great memories from.

Saturday morning – and I’m out of bed early to head for a game of golf with friends… and the headlines hit me… calling friends in Paris and getting in touch with French people I know locally to check if They and Theirs are ok… it felt very different from checking on friends in Thailand after the 2004 Christmas tsunami … nature has its ways – we humans have no excuses… we just don’t !

Saturday evening I was watching the latest season of True Detective (so should you), and the title melody really caught me – Leonard Cohen is unmistakable. His song Nevermind is about war, casualties of war, religions… you get it – but mostly it’s about Peace and Tolerance !!

They play an “edited” version of Nevermind in the intro… so my surprise came when listening in full… it changed everything when this beautiful voice chanted Salaam over the as always profound words of Cohen.

Salaam as you may know means Peace… every greeting a muslim makes is a wish for peace.

I am not religious, it has never appealed to me or made any sense for me to be part of or live by a religion or specific belief. But I respect it tremendously – so much that I will not make a mockery of religion by using it for photo ops or getting attention or as a cover for my actions, and not least because it deserves respect – Period !!

We are 98% the same – regardless of origin or beliefs… and it is the 2% that makes us unique and interesting.

It is also the 2% of extra tolerance you give in a situation that makes a difference… 2% in traffic, in the grocery store, the train, sidewalk, realising that maybe this stressed and in-the-moment-obnoxious person is just having a bad day and could use 2% patience from you…

It is the 2% we can give in countless ways that will bring us closer and can help prevent the 2% who ruins it for everybody by their self serving manners and from spreading negativity and sadly death.

Imagine if we all give 2%… imagine just 2% extra tolerance towards others and the world around you, so when you need it yourself – it’s there. Imagine how this accumulation of common tolerance could take us to only needing 0.2% … 0.02% … and imagine how the number of people who feel left out, put under pressure, pushed away for being “different” will go down with it…

2% guys…

Just 2%…

Imagine that !!

And yes – I’m speaking to Me as well, we can all do better.

I found Nemo

I don’t know whether he’s an elderly gentleman with funky taste in pink pants or a cool young guy with great taste in classic shoes… doesn’t matter really – I love it regardless.

One of my favourite paintings by one of my favourite artists and people Nemo Jantzen – it takes me to many places… from old Hollywood movies to Sunday morning golf, shooting balls from the plush carpet in the boardroom … and the bold colours makes me happy every day, I’m sooo not a pink guy – it’s just fresh and “in my face”… provoking  me to dare being me !!

Thank you Nemo for letting me care for this wonderful piece for a while, and I’m lovingly adding this to your Dad’s memory – wish I’d had a chance to meet him.

Disruptions

It happens to all of us… the piling up of the things, events, people in need, everyday stuff that is just more important than ourselves in that moment – and that’s all good and the way it should be… but add the disrupters, negative influences, people who are capable of making everybody around them miserable… you know – those people we should just ignore because they don’t deserve any of our attention or time… but they gnaw away at our energy, creativity and leaves us gasping for air.

I mean ok, I can deal with one or two of them at any time – we all have to tolerate them (remember… to tolerate is to ignore), but add them up, this little army of grey souls that seem to appear like a seven year itch… even the best of good peeps get overwhelmed. And annoyingly we start pulling past pains and bad experiences back into the mix – rather than good times, victories and the belief that this world is inherently populated by cool people.

A good friend of mine had the good graces to pick a couple of vultures off my back this week… I feel lighter now, it is such a fresh feeling to be reminded that friendship is there for all of us. He also had to kick my behind and remind me that to some degree I had allowed these grey souls to pull me out of orbit… good point – well said, thank you !!

We need disruptions, sometimes we even need periods with bad ones to remind us of what we’re supposed to be doing !

… the image is not really related – but a very happy 75 year old gentleman had his first balloon flight recently… and Yes – he has definitely done enough for other people in his life to deserve it – and more 🙂

Iittala’s hand blown Ruutu vases

I have an item on my wish list, it’s been there for about 20 years now – and I’m not sure I’ll ever… like Ever… be able to afford it. The original handblown Alvar Aalto vase – ohh and I want the tree trunk mould it was gracefully and skilfully handblown into… just one of those things that maybe very few would appreciate – but to me it is a piece of art, unique and beautiful.

Looks like I’ll have to put a few items next to Aalto on the list… The Bouroullec brothers have once again done a little of their magic – and created the Ruutu vases… with Iittala of course, check what’s involved in creating these beauties and I’m sure you’ll appreciate them too.