Sometimes I think
That maybe, long before we were born
Because even when our bodies are apart
It feels like our hearts are side by side
There is a line of thought that we have a soul mate – we shared one body and spirit before reincarnation on earth and that body split into two – male and female. As soulmates belong to the same body in their previous life, and in meeting in this life the affinity and connection feel like “hearts are side by side.” Physically, soul mates can be apart and still feel each other heartbeats. In this line of thought, it is stating that love and affinity can transcend distance and time.
I always, always
A voice calling my name, my name
Please don’t cry anymore
I can feel your love
There is another thought – which is we can hear our soul mate from a distance. In their distress, we have a sense that we need to be there for them. It is unspoken communication beyond the physical, going into the spiritual. It is almost telepathic. I had experienced this level of affinity with my best friend, and we are telepathic in our communication. That by being deeply connected and bonded with a person, you know what the person moods and emotions are even from a distance.
At some point I realised
That we were born apart
And because of that
We probably feel incomplete
As we pray for the same happiness
We’re carving the same wounds into our hearts
The key lyrics here is “carving the same wounds into our hearts.” What does that mean? There are opposite ends of emotions – happiness and sadness, pain and pleasure, love and hate. With intense love, comes intense loathing. This is the price of love, that there will be arguments, there will be wounds, there will be scars. It is all in the pursuit of happiness. When things are not right – there will be incompletions. I had mentioned in my previous post that in ancient China, the belief is that reincarnated lovers are those who had incompletions in their past life to be reincarnated into this life to face the same tribunals to make things right or they will be reincarnated again in a karmic cycle.
I’ll keep, keep calling
So that you never, never
Please don’t cry anymore
I won’t leave you alone or anything
I always, always
A voice calling my name, my name
Please don’t cry anymore
I can feel your love
I’ll love you
I love you, you
Even if time
I’ll still love you
Sometimes I think
That maybe if we’re reborn
Interestingly the end of the song lyrics, she mentions being reborn by sharing “one life”. Which means two souls meet again and form a bond to become one complete whole in their next life. This song is a beautiful portrayal of what a soulmate means in the metaphorical sense. It is not physical to us to see our souls, or feel souls or even prove or quantify love, but the very emotion and affinity that is there between lovers could very well transcend the physical in the literary sense is what makes love beautiful to seek for.
Pole Digital Art – Pole Dancing Abstract by Manos Kolaras
I watched a movie scene about a mafia boss who owns a nightclub and was talking to a visitor in a VIP room overlooking the main event hall. He told the visitor to look at one of the pole dancers. He confessed that pole dancer is his daughter. She got down the poles and went up to a man to ask if he would like a lap dance. The mafia boss, wearing a gold necklace and Rolex watch, was looking at the whole scene, smiling in joy. I could never understand why he was happy that his own daughter was trading her flesh for cash. Why wouldn’t he support her financially as a rich mafia boss so she could pursue a decent job? The movie disturbed me for many years before I slept each night, I would think back on that scene and his half sinister half overjoyed smile. It is the smile a father gives when his child gives him a birthday card.
I wondered if my father would ever put me into the flesh trade, and be overjoyed if I am stripping and doing a lap dance for a stranger. It was an underground world unknown to me. For all I knew in the first eighteen years of my life is that I got everything I wanted. My father never said no to any toy or request. As the only child, I was spoiled silly and lavished with attention from my extended family. I was treasured as the firstborn of the 28th generation on my mom’s side of the family, and the only descendant left with the surname on my dad’s side by my grandmother. My father never had a son, so he treated me like one and taught me chess, poker, and how to game the casino. His biggest unfulfilled dream is to write a book, and he never succeeded doing so. He is proud that I chose to become a novelist and he is overjoyed when I publish my books. I told my parents recently I want to perform on stage as I missed that so much. They are supportive of my artistic development and they give me free rein to do whatever I want, no matter what with unconditional love.
In perspective, if my dad was a mafia boss, he would want me to take over his mafia business as his only daughter. From a mafia boss point of view, his daughter has to learn the trade from bottom up. Where else is a better way to start than to be a stripper (in perspective it is like being a waiter of a restaurant if he owns a restaurant). If she does well as a popular stripper, gets contacts from clients, and clients come back for more, it brings in business. In this perspective, I finally understood why the mafia boss gave an overjoyed smile when his daughter managed to convince a client for a lap dance. It was part of the trade, and his wish for his daughter to continue his legacy to take over the nightclub (since he doesn’t have a son).
In this video, the butterfly is eaten by a praying mantis, that is turn eaten by a serpent. The serpent dies and flowers bloom from it’s decay. The world is filled with beauty once more.
The butterfly (woman) and praying mantis (man) meets in the serpent’s body (joined as one entity). The flowers bloom (beauty reasonates from their union in the decay of the serpent) fills the world with their love.
Such is a love that contributes love, beauty and knowledge to the world over.
The lyrics of this song is magical on many levels. It speaks about a love that is beyond time distance and form, flowing through different timelines, different reincarnations, the seasons and the wind and the sun. It speaks of a love that transcends all reasons and it is held in the heart of her palm.
I have admittedly, shamefully, been unable to write about love or analyse love stories of any kind for ten years. I am able to do so now, as I finally forgave and accepted my past. There is a profoundness in acceptance that love is there, beyond physicality and through different reincarnations. For this, I am able to analyse this love song.
“My left-hand holds an empty heart. My right palm holds a heart entrenched in love. My fingers interlock to hold prisoner the essence of the heart. The sacrifice of our love is embedded deeply in my bones.”
These lines mean that her left hand is holding an “empty heart”. Which means the love has not been returned. But she is holding faith by using her right palm to “hold prisoner the essence of the heart.” That the love is embedded deeply in her bones is a symbolisation that she will never forget the love that is there.
“After seven reincarnations, we must wait another hundred years.”
There is a Chinese belief that if we do not resolve or said what there is to say in this lifetime, it will bring forward to the next life due to incompletions. It will flow to our next life, to the next till it reaches a resolution, a clear ending. If we deny the truth, the truth will follow us till the next life, where we will meet the exact same situation again, and we are given an opportunity to choose to complete the ending. If we do not choose to complete, it will flow to the next life and the next.
“You are fate. You are thundering hoofbeats. Being the passion of my love, you chased me through the icy sky and snowy ground.”
These lyrics symbolises admiration of her lover, that he is her fate. He had chased her to the ends of the earth, and she had loved him passionately through these moments. It is believed in ancient Chinese culture that we will only meet this kind of love rarely in our lifetime, and if it reaches to the point of ecstasy, it is due to a reincarnation from the past that overflows to this life.
“Until a thousand arrows pierce my heart, my heart will only give up then.”
It is believed that love dies when the heart dies, that even with 999 arrows, she will not give up her love, till her heart dies in a metaphorical sense.
“If it is all possible I will use my life to save yours.”
In this profound ending of the song – she is in full knowledge that she is willing to die for her lover and give her heart to him to save him. With this full knowledge of the fact she will wait 100 years for the next reincarnation to repeat this love story and hopefully, they will be together in that lifetime.
The Amercian Dream – the wealth, the women and all the world has to provide for a man. Men would spend their whole lives pursuing the idealism of what it is to be socially accepted in the environment they are in. To get that woman of their dreams, and provide her with everything her heart desires, to be accepted by society as the epitome of success.
Breaking that illusion is that, maybe, it is not it. Maybe it is not about pursuing a woman. Maybe it is not about acquiring all the wealth in the world. Maybe it is just by being true to your heart, being true to who you are, being true to yourself. By answering and being honest with your feelings, by making a simple declaration of love. For all the wealth can’t be bought to the grave. All the hard work it takes to get there – it may be a waste of effort itself. For it is of utmost importance that one dedicates fully themselves to another – without the need for any form of external validation.
Even doing everything it takes to pleases someone may not be the conclusion of the ultimate goal of life to propagate one’s genes to the next generation. It may or may not happen. It could be keeping to life simple pleasures is the answer and solution to what we truly desire. That the desire for the company of a person you love keeps the demons at bay, gives you the reason for existence itself, the air that you breathe and the purposefulness and fulfilment of life.
That it could be that person may or may not be with you physically, but that person could reside in a place in your heart that will last the test of time. That our ego wants what we can’t have, for love is the ultimate service to others, for when we are lost in others, that we find ourselves again. By finding ourselves in the eyes of others, that we can truly discover what is our happiness. That love that is selfish, will lead to pain and suffering, and only by letting go that true love arises.
In the Amercian Dream, that what we desire may be illusions and all it is there to be is to be true to our hearts and honour ourselves for who we are. The past will be in the past, and it will not resurface once it is long gone. We can try to recreate the past, but it will never be in the future. For love resides in a place unseen, and there is no physicality to love itself.
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” The Great Gatsby
Ever so often Gackt would speak to me through his music. He is singing to my soul, pulling my heart strings, beckoning me into his story. Gackt, a Japanese singer, married a Korean woman during his music career. Soon, the paparazzi stalked his wife till she had no more privacy in her life. She fell into a deep depression, losing her freedom overnight. They parted ways soon after, and he never remarried. He disappeared from the limelight for two years before launching his music albums – Six Day and Seventh Night. They topped the charts in Japan.
The songs in the two albums thugs my heart strings till today, more than a decade later, as they were the most authentic expression of himself. The song, Saikai Story made me tear while I am in the subway station. I could not understand the lyrics but his voice brought out so much emotions stirring within me. In an interview, Gackt said he would never remarry and I never understood why. But now I finally understood.
There is calling beyond oneself, one egoistical self, that we have to experience losing the very thing we are clinging onto that only then the universal expression of ourselves can truly arise out of nothing. In his dedication to his artistry, he had to let go of security in being in a relationship – for the freedom of his spouse. It was for her happiness that he let her go, and for her to find her freedom. To release her from the very monster he created – himself as the truest expression of who he is for the world as a artist.
The truest expression of who I am for the world does not require me to be in a relationship, or have children. In fact, the very worlds I create will last beyond me than any other form of legacies I could leave behind. As an author of worlds, I have the power to create daily.
For this; I choose my artistry. I choose my solitude. I choose my happiness.
Painted Skin is about love, coming from the same author who wrote the story behind The Fox Lovers Movie deriving from Strange Stories From a Chinese Studio. It is a supernatural Chinese classical story based on myths and legends believed by common people in that era – that demons, fox spirits and supernatural powers exist in the backdrop of unorthodox Taoist beliefs to deal with them. In Painted Skin, a warrior rescues a demon who disguised herself as a victim of bandits – she was at the point of getting raped when the warrior rescued her. They fall in love at the point of him rescuing her from the bandits. He brings her home and takes her in as a family member. The tension in the story lies with the fact that the warrior is already married to a woman, and he believes that he has to remain loyal, when in fact, he is in love with the young girl.
In the events that unfold, they find themselves in situations that push the norms of love and marriage conventions at that era.
There are several love triangles at play:
The wife has a past lover who is a war hero, who has came back to the village to hunt down the demon.
Unknown to all, the demon who had disguised herself as a lovely young girl is the source of deaths in the city
The female demon has a male demon lover who kills villagers at night to bring their hearts to feed her, although she is in love with a human, the male demon doesn’t care.
The war hero is still in love with the wife and thinks her husband bringing back a young girl to his home is infringing on her modesty.
At the end, all the characters had to confront what it is to experience true love by letting go.
The wife had to confront that her husband is in love with the female demon and commit suicide so that they can pursue happiness.
The male demon had to accept that the female demon doesn’t love him but has fallen in love with a human, which greatly insults him but he will be there for her nevertheless
The war hero had to accept that the wife did not choose him, but that doesn’t mean he loves her and will be there for her in the moment of crisis.
The female demon had to confront that she could not be selfish in her love and that love wasn’t about getting what she wants, but about letting others pursue their happiness
The demon hunter could only open her sealed sword only by the expression of love and not hate. Only the expression of love could enable her to kill the demons.
I truly enjoyed the movie, especially the pool scene which finally expressed the authentic feelings of the husband, that although he keeps denying what is there, that he is truly in love with the demon by having a vivid dream of her in a red dress, going into a hidden pool behind a cave, and making love in the passionately in an illicit romance that existed as a fantasy but he could not enact in reality due to the fact he was married. It was the moment of revelation in the whole movie that the husband was pretending that there was nothing going on, that he didn’t consider the young girl as his lover, but he kept it so hidden well in his thoughts to be a good husband and general, to the extent he sacrificed his own freedom and expression of love by declining to take on a mistress. Which, was the biggest mistake he made for he could have a wife and a mistress and it would be what he actually wanted, instead of his pretence that he had to prove he is “better than that”.
Chinese love stories mostly end in tragedy. Such is the nature and taboo of romantic love in Ancient China, that it is elusive and not attainable by mortals and belonged to the realm of fantasy and one has to be prepared to face death in the face of love. This is a recurring theme in classical love stories originating from Ancient China. Couples did not choose their marriage partners but they are matched by their parents based on social class and debt payment.
In The Fox Lover Movie, the debt payment marriage was arranged for the magistrate son. The magistrate had saved a fox in the woods, who happens to be the mother spirit fox of nine lovely daughter foxes and one earthly girl. The son could choose any girl that he liked. however, he is mentally handicapped after suffering from an illness. He chooses all the girls blindly. The mother fox said he could only choose one girl, and if he can’t make a choice, she will fly a kite to the girls and the girl who catches the kite will be the one who he will marry. The kite landed on the most mischevious daughter called Willow. She refuses to marry an idiot and wants to seek true love, but it is the wish of her mother that she does.
The movie proceeds to go through the levels of love, by exploring the nature of what true love is about.
Level 1 – Obligatory Love
The first scene is obligatory love one’s parents wishes, that the magistrate son marries Willow. However, Willow opposes the match, wanting to seek true undying love and is willing to die for love instead of marrying an idiot. She attempts to commit suicide after a humiliating realisation that the magistrate son could not tell the difference if he loved her sisters or her. Willow is stopped by her mother.
Level 2 – Sisterly Love
Ling, Willow’s sister sees Willow’s plight and would want to take her place as the bride to the son. Ling tells Willow that she would marry the son because it serves two purpose – to appease their mother’s wishes and to save mankind once the marriage is consummated and the son’s inner powers will be unleashed. She would marry sacrifice herself to save people’s lives, and make things right. Willow does not agree to Ling’s proposal and walks away. Willow tries to sacrifice herself instead to consummate the marriage with the son. Willow and the magistrate son enters the bedchamber. They remove their clothes but she tricks him into believing that consummation is about watching the clouds and rain. They fail to consummate the marriage.
Level 3 – Motherly Love
The fox mother upon seeing Willow being so upset about the forced marriage agrees to get a legendary physician to heal the magistrate son ailment so he can make a wise decision on who he wants to marry. Once he regains consciousnesses and restores his mental capacity, he will choose another bride from the remaining girls. Willow should not attend the choosing of bride ceremony. Willow is overjoyed and thanks her mother profusely.
Level 4 – Infatuation Love
The magistrate son talks about Willow in his sleep. When Ling tries to seduce the son into sleeping with her, the son says no, he loves Willow and will only enter the bedchamber with her. Ling is moved and touched, and shares this with Willow, that the son, although appearing as an idiot, truly loves Willow only. Willow has a change of heart towards the magistrate son.
Level 5 – Kindred Love
The demon returns to kill the magistrate’s son after receiving news that the son has superpowers that will be unlocked once he consummates a marriage. Although Willow failed to consummate with the magistrate’s son, they merge powers together and fend off the demon. This is a kind of kindred friendship love, that friends would do for each other but it is still not at the level of true love – which is what Willow wants.
Level 6 – Foolish Love
The magistrate’s son and Willow fall unconscious after the demon attack. The physician rescues the both of them. The physician proposes that Willow fuses her 1000-year-old fox spirit with the magistrate’s son so that he will wake up in one day, instead of one year. There are villagers dying daily from the demon’s demands for fresh victims. Willow agrees to the fusion. The physician warns that Willow will lose her memory and become foolish, so foolish that she will not remember her name. Willow is not deterred. She says this is what she wants to do, and even if it means dying for him, she is willing to do so for love. The physician executes the fusion. Willow will only have 14 hours of consciousness before losing her memory. She says that’s enough for her.
Level 7 – Sacrificial Love
The son wakes up fully conscious and mentally sound from the coma and is given the choice to choose a bride again. This time he chooses Ling, but upon smelling Willow, he remembers her from the past. He chooses to marry Willow. A fairy visits Willow and advises her that he needs to marry an earthly girl to unleash his powers, and being with a fox spirit will not do that. Willow decides to give him up completely to Ling. Willow tells Ling that she is losing her mind, that her mind is blank and empty. Please marry him for me, please replace me and please love him. Ling is moved and touched. She cries and smiles at the same time in agreement. Willow does a dance of love while Ling consummates the marriage with the son.
Level 8 – True Love
The demon attacks the foxes hide out while the marriage was being consummated. The fox daughters defend the territory but they perish one by one. The demons were too strong and they could not fend off their attack. Willow stumbles and falls after being hit. The son emerges from the bedchamber with superpowers and defeats the demon. He sees Willow lying on the ground, almost unconscious. He declares his love for her, that he will hold her in his heart no matter what came in the way. Willow finally experiences true love. She closes her eyes and perished into the wind.
Level 9 – Love Lives On
Ling and the son has a child. The child writes calligraphy and proceeds to tear the paper up like what Willow used to do. Ling reminds him that Willow’s spirit lives in him, and it has been transferred to the child. It is no surprise the child resembles Willow.
In conclusion, this movie explores the aspects of love deeply, and it is profound on many levels. This is one of the best movies I had watched on exploring the themes on love. I was moved to tears at the ending. True love is a kind of love that most people will never experience in their lifetime, and as the prophecy unfolds – one must be prepared to die for it, which resulted in Willow’s sacrifice and death at the end.
It does not matter if we are in a dream or reality. Even the reality we live in could be a hologram. Or we could be in a dream, dreaming of reality itself. Reality and dreams are both constituted by us, and we are the architect of both worlds. We can create worlds in any form or space. The human imagination is how we create life to be. The moment we give in to our fears it destroys our creations (Mal). The moment we believe and trust in others and their belief in us, it brings out something bigger than ourselves than our limited construct of what we think it is (inauthentic unreal fears that sabotages our creations).
From analyzing inception I tried to take actions to end the night terrors. I took three actions – call three friends and tell share with them about my inauthentic fears of death and of an apocalypse that will wipe out the world. Before I slept, I called my mum and dad and listened to them for who they are and what they are doing in life. I finally had a beautiful dream.
In this beautiful dream, I am with my family and we are in a park. I was a child running around freely. They are laughing and smiling. My grandparents appeared in the foreground. My grandfather picked me up and said, “Ting, you are beautiful. You will do the family proud.” The dream goes fast forward. I am now in front of a world stage and speaking to an audience about a world government. From this construct radiating outwards, the governments of the world started to melt and converge into one universal government with one universal language. There is no more war or poverty or homelessness. There is an abundance of resources for the human population. At the highest level of civilization – we had achieved utopia.
I dream of Gackt very often. Maybe it’s the way my minions dream about Risque in her Scarlet Throne. But I had been idolising Gackt since I was a teenager and watched and consumed all his songs and videos and got them translated and even hung posters of him on my wall.
Ever so often I will get a recurring dream of him. I would be dating him in a cafe. I am in his presence where he engulfs me into his soul and disappears. He is literally everything I ever wanted in a man. He is multi-talented, plays many instruments, sings like a dove and lastly, he speaks to my soul and tugs my heartstrings like a violin as his voice enters me.
I am inspired by him, and his magical performances. Like the crazy fangirl I am, I read his biography and memorised it. I can’t speak Japanese and I will never end up marrying him or even remotely moving to Tokyo. But he still is in my life like an angel behind me and my creations. When I feel down, I turn to him and his music and it uplifts me. I had never dared write in a fanmail. I kept my obsessive feelings for him in a place where no one will see it, deeply buried in my subconscious, I am floating in the abyss of his voice.
At the back of my mind, he is always with me. In times like now when I feel quite down and upset and lousy about myself, I turn to him. He speaks to me and although he sings in a language I don’t understand, I can hear his soul. Through this healing process, I am energised to create again.
Gackt has this power over me I don’t quite comprehend either. Is it obsessive fan girl love? Or is it just the act of disappearing into his soul that makes me feel alive again? I don’t know. No one else in my life has this effect on me as he does. I could probably sing Mizerable in Japanese although I don’t understand a word just because I had listened to it thousands of times till I had memorised the lyrics in a language I don’t understand.
I totally get his misery, his isolation, his alienation. That sometimes being a creator is a solitary, lonely journey in a vast desert. There is no oasis, just mirages that appear and disappears in the desert storm. In this journey as a creator, I know my soul may never be understood or heard and yet I cry and sing a song no one might ever comprehend.
As I write this, my realisation of why I am doing what I do is pouring back to me like a torrential rain. Why did I stop for so long? Why? My existence is based on the feedback of my surroundings. If the calling is for me to create more works of art and beauty – it should be it.
In the depth of the milky way of creative energies, I am finally at one with creation itself.
She is releasing a novel (Hourglass Series) yearly and weekly YouTube videos. She does experimental flash fiction on this blog, along with song, movies and character analysis using historical and literature references.
One Million Views on Scarlet Queen YouTube (2015)