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Dreams are what you wake up from.

14 years of Livejournalling, and hopefully, more to come.

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:: Rituals That Sustain Us ::

:: Rituals That Sustain Us ::



If you have watched Departures, the Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film, you will know that Departures is about the tribulations of an undertaker, or okuribito (the person who sends off, literally translated). While the theme of sending off the dead is central to the plot of the movie, the other important theme, pervasive though not in focus, in the protagonist’s love for his cello. In fact, the same haunting cello melody flowed through the entire movie, throughout the ups and downs of Daigo’s life.

If you didn’t know, the soundtrack of the film was composed by Joe Hisaishi. I know Joe, because he is the same composer who composed the soundtrack of Hayao Miyazaki’s many animes, such as Princess Mononoke, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and the most recent Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea. However, the one that left an indelible impression on me was his composition for Laputa: Castle in the Sky, in 1986.

As much as we were presented with the visual rituals of death, and how these rituals, and those who perform them, are being shunned by society, we could have lost sight of the fact that there was another recurring ritual, the ritual of playing the cello. Coincidentally (or not?), it was Daigo’s first ritual that was shunned when the Orchestra lost its popularity and was thus disbanded. It was also the ritual that Daigo that returned to, time and time again, during the lowest points of his journey. Perhaps, like the rituals of death, that gives the living a reason to mourn, and then, to move on, playing the cello was Daigo’s personal ritual, that gave him a source of comfort and strength to carry on with life.

While M suddenly found passion again, tucked away in the corner of the bedroom, in the form of his dusty old cello, I wonder what my ritual is. Is it music, like how it was for Daigo and M? Or was it something else? Upon introspection, I realised that my ritual could just be the same as the people reading what I’ve just written – journaling. It is the very ritual, the ritual of diarying and journaling that I have started since my secondary school days. It has never ceased, and perhaps I should take this opportunity to relook at this ritual of mine, and write some more.

What is your ritual?

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u're such an interesting read. and those good looks my god. =)

this movie (together with Benjamin Button) made me think about the cycle of life, and how what kind of impression and memories people will have of me at my funeral.

my ritual - movies and music. i'm not sure whether i really love them so much, or that i am using them as instruments of escapism. i guess it's a combination of both.

in fact, if my life is a movie, my cd collection would be the soundtrack.

Music, definitely.
I would feel, still, ashamed to say this, but there were younger days when I would record onto tapes songs played on the radio and replayed them the way DJs did. I wasn't sure it was the music, the attention, or the fame that I was after, but as time passes by in life, despite the dream still being there, music is what I am going after all these while. Sure, there are frustrating days, in the constant search for new music, and days when I will refuse to hit play on my playlist, but in the long run, it is still the first thing I turn to, regardless of. The adventure, cheap thrill of finding new and good music undiscovered will continue to force a starving sensation upon me, and nothing but good music will probably be the one to perk up my mood for the moment. Truth be told, music is my steady, my crush, my high school escaping runaway, my treasure.
It may sound like a cliche, but I will say this anyway: I don't know what I will do if there wasn't music.

Finally, someone manages to bring out the real meaning of the movie.. its not so much about death or losing your loved ones...

But I don't really like the movie that much...

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