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Twinkle & The Power of a Single Star – III

Part III – Stars, Angels and Dreams

Dedicated to the Star, the Angel and the Dream

Stars

Behold the power of a single K-pop star when one sees Jung Soo Yeon’s sizzling rendition on Christmas Eve 2011 of the Disney classic When You Wish Upon A Star

It’s the performance, the visuals 🙂 and the lyrics of course :). The lyrics go as follows:-

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you
If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star as dreamers do

Fate is kind, she brings to those who love the sweet fulfillment of their secret longing
Like a bolt out of the blue, fate steps in and sees you through
When you wish upon a star
Your dreams come true

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires will come to you
If your heart is in your dreams
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star your dreams come true

Angels

What shows up at night?
Other than stars not many other things
Except for lovely angels and our long-awaited dreams
Stars, Angels and Dreams, is there a link?
The more you think, the more so it seems

When you wish upon a star, it is an angel that hears you
And she quietly sets about a myriad of cues
creating a series of unexpected steps
To bring about a difference in view

Angels are small in size but big in heart
And they always try to do their part
Small like a star’s twinkle to the eye
Let down your guard and they will just slip by

Kindness and charity is their self-trap

They aim to put others on the map

They move around much having lightness in their step
Bringing everyone blessings like a tap

An Angel worked hard to make things happen
She was probably acting at the direction of heaven
And when dreams come true, despite our problems and quirks
Due regard must be had to the Angel’s work

Heavens are where from the Angels come
Yet looking to the sky, there seems to be none
We can look up and yet can’t tell what we missed
Until the Angel appears in our midst

Dreams

When you believe in a dream, you should reach for the stars…

An opportunity for change confronted me in due time
Bringing about the need to count my dimes
On the one hand there was a tussle within me
On the other hand was the comfort of familiarity

Stars being my constant gazing
Make it hard for me to keep my grounding
The pull to reach for the stars comes from the longing
And gravity works against us through our belongings

For eons I kept my feet close to the ground
And now I start to feel my heart pound
As I part with my roof to reach above my head
To tell the truth, I am truly a little afraid

To take a plunge to reach for the stars
Is good for the soul but not exactly a must
But true living is about getting closer to your dreams
Even if it means moving towards the other extreme

If I lose the roof over my head
Will there be thatches or tents in place instead?
Having the sky as an awning
Need not necessarily be a bad thing
As all the stars into view it brings
Except and unless when there is perennial clouding

Stargazing of whatever nature comes at a cost
But the cost of which should not be reason a cause be lost
In the desert where there are no clouds block my vision
Is truly the place of calling and where to be for all seasons

I part with the roof and head to the desert
After having done my sums and careful research
In Tucson, Arizona the deserts are abound
And naturally the costs of travel will inevitably mount

How difficult is it to reconcile?
For a man to give up his entire house
Just to climb up a hundred plus yards
And cover maybe over twenty plus miles?

Prudence requires a parting with toys
No more room for pet peeves and childish boys
Only with luck and blessings can things fall into place
If things go awry, my lovely ponies I can only hope to retrace

Does seeing clearer mean getting any closer?
Are sight and distance linked? that is the poser
What can I make of all such dreams
Can they come true? Yes it so seems

Dreams can come true
But only if you can ride out the blues
Putting together all the nuts, bolts and screws
And making sure that nothing can come loose

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October 3, 2012 Posted by | Amateur Astronomy, Life, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | 1 Comment

Twinkle & The Power of a Single Star – II

Part II – Stargazing on Earth

We on Earth – are on a spaceship, and inevitably some of us become obsessed with celestial bodies and the space that is the Universe.

This obsession manifests as the urge to stargaze. In so doing, we seek to expose the mysteries of the Universe and to unravel its origins and the meaning of life.

Today, 6th June 2012 marks the Transit of Venus, a day when planet Venus passes in between the Sun and Earth. During this day, Venus will appear as a black dot moving across the Sun. Unfortunately, due to the capriciousness of the weather, the sky was overcast and prevented my witness to this event. Another 100 years or so has to pass before the next transit.

I loathe to be thwarted in my astronomical escapades but I have no choice. I am too minute in the scheme of things to make any demands on the Cosmos. For all the difficulties of stargazing from Earth, I am however consoled by the ease of stargazing on Earth.

Man’s gravitation towards pretty and wondrous things is only nature taking its course. Even though we loathe to admit, in life, we bear witness to both the pleasant and the ugly. To this end, people abhor evil and while nice and pleasant things are easily accepted, pretty things get all the attention.

As we appreciate the two ends of the spectrum and come to realise the limited time that we have, our attention turns to search for understanding and meaning to it all. As we search for meaning in life, we inevitably question the purpose of each of our lives.

As we search for the purposes of our lives, we realise the need to get in touch with ourselves.

To get in touch with ourselves, we need to look at ourselves, our identity, our thoughts, our feelings and emotions.

This change in focus must not be equated to nelsonian blindness – as in seeking to block out the unpleasant and the ugly but rather a looking to understand the self better. This is in itself by no means a small feat and aptly qualifies as a revolution on the personal level nonetheless.

To the seemingly innocuous question – Which is your favourite star?

One would normally expect an answer pointing towards a particular stellar constellation.

But when we find instead an answer referring to a member of the K-pop band Girls’ Generation, other than acknowledging the power of a single star in this instance, one would need to acknowledge that there certainly is a need for some serious investigation in one’s aspirations, adulations and obsessions.

Girls’ Generation is the translated English name for So Nyuh Shi Dae, more commonly known by the acronym SNSD, the original Korean name of the South Korean K-pop band that is now famous across the entire Earth. They are to me, the best girl band to have ever walked, danced, pranced and adorned the face of this earth. Girls’ Generation is also made up of 9 distinct members: TaeYeon, Jessica, Tiffany, Sunny, HyoYeon, SooYoung, Yuri, SeoHyun and Yoona.

SM Entertainment recently changed its focus. SM separated 3 girls from the rest to form a sub-group and named them TaeTiSeo – TaeYeon, Tiffany and SeoHyun for short. And TaeTiSeo have released an album called Twinkle.

The ensuing performances of the songs in Twinkle seem deliberate in showing off the trio and their talents more intensely. The coverage of TaeTiSeo’s performances are also markedly more close-up, more personal, and more intense.

Fans are on one hand thrilled by the focus on 3 very able members of our favourite band, it certainly does not mean that the rest are forgotten. The hope is that the focus is temporary and not permanent. Like the Venus Transit today is a focus on the play of the Sun, Venus and Earth, our Solar System will only truly be Complete with the Sun and its 8 planets. 🙂

By all logic of reasoning and the confines of definition of the English language, the answer, albeit unusual, is nevertheless gramatically and logically correct. For it is irrefutable that the girls in Girls’ Generation are each also stars in their own right, K-pop stars to be exact. 🙂

June 6, 2012 Posted by | Amateur Astronomy, Life, So Nyuh Shi Dae - Girls' Generation | Leave a comment

Twinkle & The Power of a Single Star – I

Part I – Stargazing from Earth

In my recent amateurish astronomical exploits, my observations and ruminations over objects gobular, circular and spherical, ecclesiastical and celestial, I arrived at some conclusions.

On an almost nightly basis, we may catch a glimpse of meteors which are also called shooting stars. Sometimes, we get to see comets.

In our night sky, the most noticeable body is the Moon. 

Next brightest to the moon are small bright specks which appear to be stars but are actually the neighbouring planets in our solar system. e.g. Venus, Jupiter, Mars.

Last in the line are the stars from our galaxy – the Milky Way – these are scattered across the sky.

Though it would seem that the moon and the planets outshine the stars, the truth is that our moon and the planets do not emit light. They look bright because they are closer to us and they reflect the light from the sun.

Save for the moon, these bodies are invisible to us during daytime and they become visible only at dusk, they appear as darkness sets in when the sun sets.

The stars and the planets are masked during daytime. The “masking” comes about because light from our sun illuminates the entire sky, the stars and planets being relatively dimmer, they are outshone and are “masked” by the sunlight.

Thus the power of the sun illuminates and yet masks the sky at the same time. Ironic it seems, as it is.

In as much as our sun prevents us from seeing the planets and the stars during daytime, it’s presence combined with the earth’s rotation creates night and the illumination of the planets and the moon which makes our observations of the planets and the stars possible.

Whilst the sun illuminates our lives during daytime, it’s temporary obscuring gives us night.

Even at night, it illuminates the moon and the planets and is actually still providing half of the earth with daylight.

We blame the sun for the warm weather. This is but a miniscule fraction of the sun’s power filtered by our atmosphere. The full brunt of the unmoderated radiation from the sun is lethal to us but yet, without the sun, we would be cast into an eternal winter.

However, because of the Sun’s omnipresence (in that never failed to rise at dawn and has always stuck around us and has never disappeared save for occasional solar eclipses), we take it for granted and expect it to be there all the time. Our minds then revolve around our own little concerns and worries.

Even as we forget our own concerns and worries and gaze at the faraway stars at night, we often forget that our sun is actually also a star, and not unlike the stars in our night sky which we gaze at.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star which every child knows reflects the human fascination with the distant stars. 🙂

In contrast to the hundreds of thousands of stars scattered all over the night sky – in outer space, the star most important to us is the star that is nearest – that which shines our day and that which also gives us night including the night for us to gaze at other stars. 🙂

It is only when light disappears and darkness sets in, do we then seek light again. Ironic it seems, as it is.

Contrast humans with nature. Nature has its impeccable way of correctly and aptly paying tribute to our sun in setting the established positions in relative importance.

We strain to spot shooting stars, scrutinise the moon, search for the planets, marvel at the occasional comet and be dazzled by faraway stars.

The moon outshines them all.

Yet the moon orbits our earth. And meteors burn up in Earth’s atmosphere.

The earth and the planets and comets in turn orbit the Sun.

In astronomy and astrology, the other stars may be no lesser than our sun and the planets may be no lesser than our earth and whilst all may be instructive as to the origins of our universe and our own coming, they are simply too far away to be of any importance or to have any effect on our daily lives. 🙂

The conclusion of all of this is …. one should not spend too much time stargazing … 🙂 🙂 🙂

May 21, 2012 Posted by | Amateur Astronomy, Life | Leave a comment

Between Melancholia and Euphoria is a space called Mundane

I have had enough of shifting my speakers and it was time they had to go.

I was unable to convince myself to continue holding out for the ideal naim system when it was obvious that even if it materialised, I would not have much time to enjoy it.

Rather than work against the odds of getting the system into place, I took the easy way out – I sold my last remaining naim components to go for something simple.

It was a surrender. Non-resistance to the greater forces at hand.

Giving up the pursuit of perfection to embrace the ordinary and mundane.

Ordinary, normal and mundane does not equate to non-importance. There are ordinary things which we sometimes take for granted but are so essential that we cannot live without.

This frightening prospect was revealed in the movie “Melancholia”.

Terrified as I was by the prospect that our oft-taken-for-granted Earth might not be alone, and of the possibility of a sister planet, lurking in somewhere in space, appearing with little warning to collide into our Earth and subsume it and everything on it – including us, I sought to learn more about the celestial objects in outer space and started looking at telescopes.

My impulses were restrained only by the revelation that almost all sources had advised that a novice astronomer ought to stick to something simple and not too expensive.

I have since been torn between a medium and well-equiped power scope and the famed budget Galileoscope as I honestly do not know how long my latest fancy will last.

Whilst I hunted for the right telescope, my mind also wandered towards the possibility of marrying a camera onto the scope to do some serious astro-photography.

The telescope trail then led me towards the latest digital cameras and lenses. I have not touched photography for ages and I must say I am impressed by how much is available to the hobbyist for so little these days.

The Nikon D800E is a photographer’s dream. For me, it would make a fantastic fancam as well. 🙂

I have lived with multiple speakers for a long, long time.

Biking led to several hot machines sitting side by side in the garage.

Now a newfound interest in astronomy is threatening to unleash a resurrection of an old hobby with a vengeance.

Is there a simpler way to through all these desires and temptations?

That thought turned me towards my beloved Ipad which has accompanied me through a year of euphoria, boredom and melancholia and in doing so never made me feel the need to acquire anything.

And I began to think that I might be better off after all just by reading and learning about astronomy on my Ipad from the comfort of my couch rather than lugging and setting-up a telescope every now and then. 🙂

Must I pursue perfection when what’s mundane and at hand may be all that I need?

Indulging in the mundane avoids the complexities of life and the melancholia that comes with it.

Being mundane is about being ordinary and treading the simple path.

Being mundane would also mean being simple-minded and taking joy in the simple things.

It is about enjoying the stuff of life.

It is not about disconnectedness.

It is actually connectedness to the highest order.

It is about taking on life … and living it. 🙂

P.s. Taking pleasures in things simple and mundane is what i hope for and the Nikon D800E looks keen to help me do so but then again the Nikon D800E is anything but mundane. 🙂

April 3, 2012 Posted by | Amateur Astronomy, audiophilia, Life | Leave a comment