Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rest In Peace Precious Felix !!!

Yesterday was a day that goes down in history for us as we lost our precious Felix !!! He was with us for almost 18 years and even though every one says that he lived a long and happy life, it is still very painful to accept the fact that he no longer is !!! I have never ever come across a cat with such a developed personality and charisma !!!

Felix was a present I got for my sister when she was 7 years old as a First Holy Communion gift. We need to keep in mind that today, this young girl has grown into a woman and is today 24 years old. She has not lived a moment without Felix beside her, at least she is not aware of the years she lived when she didn't have the cat. I have never ever come across someone who is obsessed with her pet. Pictures of Felix everywhere, and when I say everywhere I literally mean everywhere !!! No wonder she calls him 'brother'. Bless, she doesn't know what life is without him, but unfortunately she has to learn now. The same goes to my parents. It's like the death of one of their children because Felix was always there: waiting, hoping to be fed the moment he makes the slightest sound and all the rest of it. Such a nice cat !!! And today it was really weird going over to my parents' house and not seeing him there on his armchair ........ the house was weirdly silent and empty. A cat and yet he gave so much life to the house because the silence today hit me and made me realise that animals are beings with souls, characters and personalities. Why do we think that we are anything better? Where does this arrogance come from?

Why do we assume that animals are less than us? Why do we insist that they do not possess any soul? And if they don't possess any soul, then where does their unique character come from? If they don't possess a soul, what makes us think that we do? The hatred that we have for one another which is not to be found in animals? Is this the confirmation that we have a soul within our being?

Honestly, losing Felix is like losing a brother and of course, any death makes us reflect on our own. It is a depressing topic and I am quite depressed today, however, death is ultimately the one reality that we cannot ever ever doubt. It goes hand in hand with what Descartes says on doubt: doubt everything because the one thing that cannot be doubted is doubt itself !!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Open Your Eyes Not Your Mind !!!!

"Open your eyes, not your mind!!!" - this is the fantastic sentence Jesus tells Judas and of course, us as well. I don't know how many times I've watched this beautiful film, however, this time this sentence really stood out and touched a chord deep deep down inside me. This fantastic montage was put together by a very precious and dear friend of mine Fr Pierre OFM and he gave me the permission to upload it here if i wanted to. Of course, here it is ............. as some of you might remember, some months ago I was going through a 'feeling sorry for Judas' phase and uploaded a comment about it. This is where Pierre suggested that I could use his clip if I wanted to.

How many times I am ever so arrogant with God and His Son Jesus? How many times I refuse to believe something just because my mind tells me that it is neither logical nor rational? Why is it that I put so much trust in what my mind can apprehend rather than what my eyes can perceive? Who told me that reason is so much superior to sensory perception? Where did this myth come from? Who started it? What made me believe and accept it?

On the other hand, why is it that I don't see all the signs around me when I perceive them with my senses? How can it be the case that reason is superior to that which my senses are perceiving every single second of the day? Of course, reason is important but it is not the one thing needed for confirmation. We are surrounded by God's infinite beauty and yet we fail to appreciate and read the messages because our feeble, limited and human mind cannot understand God and God's supernatural nature !! And Jesus here is telling me: Open your eyes not your mind !!!

I do still feel sorry for Judas because he was chosen for this specific role, but someone once had told me that just because Judas was chosen does not necessarily mean that God wanted Judas to do what he actually did, but rather that God, in His infinite wisdom, could foresee what Judas would be able to do due to his character and its weakness. Let me explain myself better. Both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus in their own way. Judas sold Jesus, whereas Peter denied that he even knew Jesus three times !!! I have no doubt that both actions hurt Jesus deeply as we need to remember that these were two of his closest friends. How would we have felt if this had happened to us? Would we not have felt destroyed? Why should Jesus 'the Man' feel any different? However, the conclusion is not exactly the same, is it?

While we know what happened to Peter because he realised what he had done, repented and cried his heart out, Judas despaired and hanged himself. This is where the tragedy lies. Peter did not give up on God's mercy, kindness and forgiveness but Judas did. And it is this fact, which I believe, lead him to despair and suicide. He just could not believe and accept it in his heart that God's love and mercy are infinitely bigger than his 'crime'. And he despaired, and he gave up ........ and he killed himself and that is wrong !!!

Again, this fact makes me feel even sorrier for Judas because he just could not cope with what he had done to his friend. And these are the questions I would like to ask myself today: do I really feel this bad about myself when I go out of line and do things I should not really do? Does it fill me with such guilt? I don't think so !!! I don't think that my soul is half as sensitive as Judas'. I might not have physically killed anyone however, that does not mean that I have not killed .................. I killed people emotionally, and yet I am aware of it and still living!! Why should I feel hatred towards a soul that despaired because it realised and understood the gravity of the action it had committed? Of course, I'm not proclaiming suicide (don't get me wrong) but all I'm saying is that: we are in no position to judge because we are no better.

If Judas was predestined to betray Jesus, then I simply can't see him being burnt in hell: it would surely not be just and God is justice itself. To be morally responsible for any action, the action has to be freely chosen by the agent and not coerced into it. So there, Judas' integrity is questionable. On the other hand, if Judas freely chose to betray his friend and Master, then at least through that deed, the gates of Heaven were open wide in order to accept both you and me inside. We had no chance before that event took place !!! Should Judas pay for this price by being eternally hated, misunderstood and condemned !!!! I don't think so !!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Almost Here Again !!!

Ah how fast time flies !!! This time two years ago, we were in Dresden enjoying the company of two of our sweetest and kindest friends Kate and Ulf. It was an amazing experience, because it snowed and the famous Dresden Christmas Markets had just opened and the atmosphere was almost unreal, especially to me who is not such a big Christmas fan. I remember the freezing cold evenings at the market drinking mulled wine ......... what an experience that was !!! It helped me change my view on Christmas.

Christmas has always been a time of stress for me. What with the parties and the gifts and all that ... and I used to say to myself: but is this what Christmas is all about? Is this what Christmas should be all about? I mean, the King of Heaven was born in utter poverty ... and now it seems that one cannot celebrate a proper Christmas unless one is wealthy? Something must have seriously gone wrong !!!

As my bestest of friends says: Christmas is a time of being with the family and enjoying each other's company and not the mad rushing in and out of shops buying gifts and worrying that you will not have enough money left to see you through the end of the month. I cannot see any reason to rejoice in that predicament, can you? But yeah, my friend's view starting to sink in and I also started to realise that Christmas is not really about materialism but it's a profound, deep and spiritual experience. The problem was that I was allowing Christmas to become a materialistic experience forgetting the real event altogether.

They say that the best things in life are free: and I'm sure that you agree with me here when I say that LOVE is one of the best things in life. It cannot be bought but it can only be freely given. That is what Christmas is all about !!! LOVE !!! God's love to humankind !!! God's initiative to once again work at redeeming us from our sinful nature !!! This event does not need parties, alcohol, drugs, unnecessary deaths, unnecessary debt, unnecessary stress but just INNER GRATITUDE !!! Nothing else I guess !!!

As I have already said, I've never been big into Christmas, but my friend's advice together with the experience in Dresden has changed my mind completely ......... I'm actually looking forward to Christmas !!!!

This picture was taken on our first night in Dresden. I cannot quite remember the place but the Christmas tree impressed me greatly and so did the atmosphere there !!! There is nothing better than a great night out with great friends and soul mates !!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bongu Mulej !!! Bongu Malta !!!

How many times we must have slept and woken up since the day we were born? How many times we must have taken it for granted that we are in fact going to make it in the morning and wake up, as usual, and life continues as usual as well. But have we ever stopped and wondered: we are so lucky to wake up once again. Only God knows how many people slept with our same hope and yet did not manage to materialise those dreams and ambitions because they died in their sleep.

We take everything for granted and it is a shame because it robs our life of its sparkle. Every morning is a new day ... a new beginning ... a chance to start anew and not continue from yesterday. We forget that our machine, which is our body, is so fragile and delicate, that it can collapse before our very eyes and crumble to the ground.

We need to open our eyes and hearts a little bit more !!! We need to appreciate what surrounds us because I find that as time progresses so is humanity regressing. We are becoming like machines and what makes us distinctively human, which acccording to Aristotle, is our faculty to reason and achieve eudaimonia, has been on hold for such a long time now. And then we complain that life is boring and that life has no meaning. Of course, it doesn't !!! Life needs the meaning you give it in order to have one. We are no longer babies ........ we can do things on our own and we should not be needing anyone to transform this boring life into an exciting one. We have all the tools necessary to bring this change about. But no !! We choose to sit down and veg in front our TV expecting to be happy and totally at peace with self, others and the world !!! What a disillusion !!!

Once I read that happiness is an inside job !!! At the time I didn't quite grasp the concept but now that I'm older but not necessarily wiser, I think I have an inkling !!! If you want to be happy, just be happy. I think it's a decision after all and it should not depend on external factors. How can something so magical and awesome like happiness depend on trivial external factors ??? If that was the case, then we can hardly ever be happy !!!

This picture which I took a couple of days ago, stirred all these emotions in me. I suddenly realised that happiness is a state and it can be achieved if the will is so determined. I suddenly realised that I have been taking life for granted and that one day all this before me and around me is going to end. But then I said to myself: why should I live my life as if it has already ended? Isn't that insane ?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Artist Called God !!!

Sometimes we go to museums and marvel at the genuinely awesome paintings that we see hung on the walls and in window frames. And of course, that sense of awe is legitimate because what our eyes perceive somehow reaches deep inside and touches our souls and it feels just like someone threw a bucket of ice cold water over our heads and for some seconds our breathing stops. Again ... I say that this feeling is legitimate and justified. People have this 'divine spark' (William Blake) and it is powerful and breath-taking, or rather it can be if used well.

However, we fail to see the work of a much greater artist whose name is God !! I believe the problem is OVER-FAMILIARITY. Our eyes have grown accustomed to His work and we expect Him to keep painting wonderful scenes and landscapes around us .... and thus, we stop appreciating His art which is a shame and also the death of what inspired and moves our souls within.

Our World is God's Art Studio and yet we do not grasp its meaning. We take it as given that the sun should rise and set every day and yet we do not stop and appreciate the particular beautiful art that is taking place ... that is happening ... that is shaping up right before our eyes. Why is it that we have stopped appreciating the wonders around us? We are always in waiting for some miracle or other and then when we are faced with one we just let it pass us by because we have not even recgonised it as a miracle in the first place. God never stops painting and creating. He is in his Art Studio every second of every day and He even asks us to help Him paint a nicer world. However, we are free to either accept or reject.

We should change our attitude. We should not be blind while we can still see. Why do we have to lose something in order to appreciate it? Why can't we appreciate it while we have it and while it lasts? What is the point of wanting to see another sunset when we're blind, when we can see them every day and yet act as if we are already blind?

I took this picture last year and for me it is a typical photo of what God's Studio looks like. Impressive ... breath-taking .... inspiring .... powerful ......... come on, let's work with God and continue creating a beautiful world together !!!!

Friday, September 3, 2010

You're right, it's wrong !!!

It cannot be denied that cigarettes kill. I have been reading about this over and over again, and yet what do I do? I still smoke !! But why ??? Why is it that for some reason or other I cannot find it in myself to give them up. Why am I so stupid that I allow something so inanimate destroy the animate in me? Lately I've been suffering from bronchitis quite frequently and now I'm starting to wonder: could it be that smoking is telling me that I ought to stop before it stops me ? I think that this can easily be the case.

Why is it that there are certain things in life which we know are wrong, and yet treat them as if they are right? Smoking is only but just one example. There are countless of examples (and here I would like you to think of your own) and reflect upon this truth. Sometimes we know that saying one word less will prove to be more beneficial and yet we go on and say that one word which at the end of the day causes us distress and sadness. On the other hand, we might also feel that doing something, which can be an inconvenience for us, can actually brighten up our day and yet we fail to do that. At least, this happens to me and it happens to me on regular basis and then I end up saying to myself: but what has stopped me? What has robbed me of happiness, light, peace and internal harmony.

Could that little voice deep deep down inside be God's? And why do we not take it as seriously as we ought to? The consequences of what our actions are going to have are usually known to us, like for example smoking: we know that smoking is not a healthy thing and yet we (smokers) persist and if that is not madness, I just don't know what madness is ...... To do consciously that which is obviously wrong is a crime/sin in actual fact. We can't say that we didn't know, the media is on and on and on about it. We can't say that it is not true: statistics speak for themselves, and yet .......... I keep on smoking. What's wrong with me ??

When am I going to realise that life is not a joke, life is precious, life is a loan, that life is beautiful, life is holy, life is finite ............ ?? I'm sure that for some reason or other this truth has not as yet sunk in ..... if it had, I would not light the next cigarette.

My stupidity disgusts me at times !! Does it disgust you ???

Friday, August 13, 2010

Viva Santa Marija !!! Another Unnecessary Tragedy !!!

And it happened once again. Once again, life was deliberately taken away and nothing I'm sure is ever going to happen about it. What does it take for the authorities to realise that life is precious and should not be intentionally put in danger. It is not like this thing happens once in a blue moon, actually once in a blue moon this tragedy doesn't happen. And why? Do we really believe that God needs this madness? I just hope that these poor victims won't find a bigger tragedy waiting for them due to idolatory. Because this all boils down to idolatory.

This has to stop. Too many lives have been claimed, too many families have been broken and shattered forever. All these fireworks leave us with is an increasing number of widows and fatherless children. And lifelong scars. Why? When are we going to learn that this is an unnatural thing? Why should feasts be celebrated this way? Why is it that even though we know that this has actually claimed life, it is in our very human nature to think that others can die except us. But we're wrong !!! Death looks at no faces, places, and races. It comes and it goes. It never stops its journey.

Now we will be faced with leaders saying how sorry they are and all that usual crap and life will go on just the same. I'm more than sure that even while I'm writing, some other idiot is in some fireworks factory thinking that everybody can die (of course) bar him. How stupid !!! How sad !!! How pathetic !!! How selfish !!! How immature !!!

This has to stop. It is having a negative long term effect on society in general as well. Children are being brought up without their fathers for starters and denied that which by nature ought to be theirs. Of course, fathers die due to illness and that is part of life, but to deliberately work in such places when you have a family (even if you don't) .... it just sounds like suicide to me .... nothing else, and just like suicide it is ultimate selfishness. These children's life will have to change now of course and they might not also be given the opportunities they could have had, had their fathers thought of them more than the bloody feast they paganly celebrate.

Anyway, fingers crossed something happens. Laws have to be changed. It just cannot carry on. We need to realise that death is final and irreversible !!! We need to realise that yes, it can happen to all of us. We need to realise that idolatory has always rubbed God the wrong way !!!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

How Can I Ever .... (08.09.2004)

How Funny Life is
At times.
Strange things happen …
We might not always manage to understand
While they’re shaping up
But nonetheless
They make Perfect Sense
After they’ve happened.

God works in Mysterious Ways
That I believe
For I’ve seen it with my own two eyes.
It’s needed to endure pain
Because then
You can understand
The Beauty of Beautiful Things.
We need Opposites …
… To Understand
… To Experience
… To Appreciate

How can I ever dare to say I’m Happy
If I was never deeply Sad?
How can I ever think to say I’m Living
If I was never deeply Dead?

How can I ever dare to say I’m Rich
If I was never truly Poor?
How can I ever think of saying I’m Loving
If my heart was never truly Sore?

This picture was taken last year during one awesome winter afternoon walk. This area is magnificent as it is purely natural and thus it brings God to my higher level of consciousness.

Judas Iscariot - Saint or Demon ??

Right now I'm going through a phase of feeling rather sorry for Judas Iscariot. He has always been discarded as evil and not so many people (including me) give him much of our time and consideration. But then, when you stop and think you do realise that maybe we ought to thank him. This might come as shocking I know !!
But logic dictates that someone had to set the chain of events in motion in order for us to be saved by the death and resurrection of our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ. That is how God wanted things to happen because we could have been saved through other different ways. In this light, then shouldn't we be grateful for Judas for accepting to be the one to set this chain in motion? I don't think I would have accepted this 'plan' but for some reason or other he did.

The Gospel of Judas makes it quite clear that he was the only one who really and truly understood Jesus' nature and message whereas the other eleven were blinded by the conception and perception of 'their God rather than 'God'. They are the ones who were blinded by the blood shed in martrydom, something which Judas makes clear that God is not after. Rather, God does not need our death but our life. And when you stop and think about it, it makes perfect sense. God is the giver of life and He gives us life to live it, and live it to the full. What is the point of giving a life when it is expected to be given in return? If God can do all things and if God can foresee and intervene, then wouldn't it be natural for God to change all those events which might lead to martyrdom?

If I give you rather than lend you a book I do not and should not expect it back. We say that God is the giver rather than the lender of life!!! And this has made me realise that maybe it is true. Martyrdom is not what God wants but He wants us to be grateful for the gift which He gave us and use it to the full. The Gospel of Judas, makes this very clear. Judas understood the message so much so that he had no qualms in accepting that which Jesus suggested. That he should become the betrayer (and at a price) to set the plan of salvation in motion.

In this light, Judas almost becomes a hero in my eyes. Someone I should really thank because through his acceptance, I have been saved and redeemed, through the passion of my Saviour !!!

The Best Day I Remember (08.09.2004)

The best day I remember
Is the Second Day of December.
The day when Fate,
Which is so Sweet,
Decided that You and Me

The best day of my Life.
I have never ever felt this much alive.
The day when Light,
Which is so Pure,
Decided that You and Me
Be together,

Ah what a lovely little poem. It is indeed one of the very short poems I ever wrote but very much to the point. There are those days in our lives which Time will never (because it cannot)steal away from us but are eternally locked in the depths of our hearts and souls. This is such a day for me. It was the beginning of my second birth where suddenly life became meaningful. It was the day when life felt like it was going somewhere and going somewhere with someone who was also going somewhere. It was the day where for the first time ever I started to believe that goodness can actually exist and walk on two legs !!! It was the day where my old life died (happily) and a new one started. A very special and precious day.

I know that years have passed, and Time does somehow manipulate us in its own way. Time brings change and change can be either for the better or for the worse, but let me tell you this ..... the nature of that Love has remained the same. Thanks for everything. XXX

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Greed Equals Pain !!!

We come on this planet for a relatively short time. A hundred years is stretching it a little bit but let's just imagine that this figure is average. And what do we do while here? We create wars, wars and more wars everywhere. Why is this? Why do we kill others when death is inevitable? Why can't we enjoy our time here and be thankful and create a place where our experience here is never harrowing. But no!! Our leaders want to fight .. they want to acquire .... they want to shorten other people's lives .... they want to go down in history ..... and for what?

Of course, wars are a necessary evil to protect us from the enemy. But the enemy is something that we make ourselves. If we never bother about attacking and acquiring, then there will be no such thing as enemy and if there is no enemy then there isn't the need to protect and be protected. It all boils down to GREED !!!!

Greed is the devil!!! It is the curse of everyone and everything. It is that which brings about pain and suffering. It is that which blinds us to reality. It is that which makes us forget that we are not here forever. It is that which changes dynamics in small groups and societies. It is that which has replaced God (the gods) in our lives.

Why can't we realise that this has been happening since the Garden of Eden's times and its consequences were never positive. After all this time, do we believe that something good can come out of it? Not really. Why not work hard and create a better, safer, happier and fairer world for everyone? This buffles me!!

This picture was taken in Berlin (somewhere near the Berlin Wall)!!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Are Animals More Human ???

Sometimes you look at the creatures we call 'animals' and wonder if they are more human than we are. You hear of human cruelty that not even the wildest animal would ever do. Today, I was shocked as I learnt about the case of Khyra, a seven-year-old girl who was starved to death by her own mother and her partner. You just cannot help but wonder: what is this?

I have always said and believed that certain animals can really and truly teach us to be human. They live their lives out of values (we never grant them that but they do - their sense of fairness supersedes ours). They tend to overcome difficulties much faster than we do. They do not quite bother much with differences in species - and us - you're black, you're white, you're straight, you're gay, you're this and you're that. Still, we think that we are the pinnacle of creation. Why are we so arrogant to assume that? Why do we assume that animals do not have souls? My gosh, if animals don't have souls, I wonder who does !!

We say that we are rational and free to choose. Consequently, we are responsible for our actions. For this reason, our crimes (shortcomings) even worse. We cannot say that we are not to be blamed. We are not only animals but rational animals according to Aristotle and this is going to be our condemnation on Judgement Day. We were given reason, and yet we do not always use it as we should. Animals are innocent, we can never be !!! Is all this the result of or lack of a soul within?

The human in the picture is Felix: our family cat !!!!

The Universe (10.09.2004)

We are Lonely Beings
In this Universe
Which scares us Shitless
Because She has a Mind and a Heart
Of Her Own.

We believe that everything
Revolves around us.
But we revolve around everything.
We are the Object of the Universe’s Hatred!!!

She Drowns us when She wants to.
She Shakes us when She wants to.
She Flicks us when She wants to.
She Scorches us when She wants to.

And we are Helpless
And Thankful that it was Others
Who Perished and not Us
Yet petrified that the Day might come
When She decides to pay us an Unexpected Visit
And uses Her awesome Authority
Given to Her by the Almighty.

An Authority which we are
Too Weak and Pathetic
To fight against, even though
Some of us do believe that we are Indispensable.
The Universe can only not exist
Without Herself.

Gosh this is a bit of a bleak poem. I cannot quite remember what inspired me to write it but a catastrophe must have taken place back then. Maybe a Natural Disaster which stayed with me. Or it could have also been the case of some Politician giving the impression that the sun will never rise without his Consent. Actually, the latter sounds more like it !!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spirituality or Religion !!!

Something which has always fascinated me about these Islands is this question: are we religious or spiritual as a nation? In Malta and in Gozo, you cannot walk more than ten metres without bumping into some church or chapel. We are surrounded by them, so much so, that they have stopped having a deeper meaning other than they have become a part of our landscape. But is that the way it should be?

I find that we are much more devotional than spiritual. Of course, there is nothing wrong with this but to stop there is not what the spiritual life entails. I don't think that it is enough to go to Mass on Sundays, and kiss the holy pictures and statues before you sleep. That is not what I believe the spiritual life is all about. Of course, I cannot generalise here, but many people feel (right or wrong is for you to judge) that being devotional is going to secure a seat in heaven. I'm not so sure about that. I think knowing about Jesus and knowing Jesus are not exactly the same thing (of course this can also be referring to God for the non-Christian). It's like knowing someone in pictures and knowing someone in real life. The latter is definitely more real and effective than the former.

I find that even though we boast of being a Christian nation, I don't quite see Christianity as much as is expected. Even simply driving on these roads testifies to what I'm trying to say. There is no 'others should come before me' mentality as Christianity professes, but it's all about me .... me ... me ... and me again. What is this? Who are we fooling? Not God for sure. There is no sense of selflessness!! Is it the case that the churches and chapels which surround us everywhere have been taken completely for granted? Are they the mountains which we do not have?

Malta is such a beautiful island. The Maltese are, generally speaking, wonderful people but what gets on my nerves is this hypocritical notion of religion. We need to wake up and realise that there is more than just kissing holy pictures and sleeping on a church bench every Sunday in order to go to heaven. We need to have a relationship with God and that relationship with God has to be the cornerstone of our every single human relationship. Of course, I'm mostly talking to me here ... but if I happen to be talking to you as well, then try and change as well. I'm going to give it a shot !!!! I took this picture in Mgarr last winter. It is one of my favourites as it smacks heavily of Malta and its culture.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Books (08.09.2004)

A Book
Is a printed Friend
… Close at hand

You can find yourself in it
You can read about yourself in it
You can understand yourself in it
You can plan your dreams in it

It teaches you
It guides you
It empowers you
It re-invents you

Explodes the power of your Imagination
Makes you Soul Sensitive
To the World around you
… Understand it better
… Deeper

Helps you escape
The World when it’s painful
… Enter a fancy World
Of Fairies and Hobbits
And their bloody funny feet!!!

Thank you Authors
For your books

As I said in my profile, reading is one of the greatest passions I have in my life. For this reason, I decided a long time ago to write a poem about them. Books are great friends and companions. They open windows ......... they broaden horizons.

What is Beauty?

I took this picture around two years ago. I remember it was a very cold day and yet the sunset was just spectacular. I had never seen such a deep orange sky aligned perfectly with deep black clouds. And I remember saying to myself: can all this beauty be accidental? Can all this beauty be contingent? Is it possible that there is an Artist somewhere out of our reach (or deep down inside us) who is creating all this beauty and perfection?

These moments are intensely spiritual. The body stops participating in time and for some reason or other, it just freezes and contemplates that which the eyes are perceiving. And then Plato came to mind: What is Beauty? How do we comprehend it? We never really see it walking down the street in a physical form and yet we understand it and recognise it when we are confronted by it. Is it the case that we are born with the IDEA BEAUTY? Is Beauty an objective truth which exists even if we do not perceive it? As human beings we do not evaluate things the same but still, we all seem to have the same measurements embedded deep within us. Where did these IDEAS come from? Are they ETERNAL? Are they CREATED? And if they were CREATED who CREATED them? Who brought them into existence?

On the other hand, what about those places/landscapes which are not as beautiful? Shall we say that there is no IDEA to match them? Or is it the case the they are the result of the IDEA BEAUTY's lack of participation? Could it also be the case that we just don't perceive it as beautiful but in actual fact it is because everything created is beautiful?

I don't know what the answers to these questions are or can be. I would appreciate some opinions for sure !!!

The Changelessness of Change !!!

Ah well it has to be admitted that time never stops and it is constantly changing that which it finds in its way. Every time I come across a gentleman like this one (I took this picture in Gozo last year at San Lawrenz), I just stop and think: gosh, this guy was a young child once so completely different from who he is today. Needless to say, it does not necessarily mean that he was better off because ultimately we can never tell where exactly people are in their own very souls. But it fascinates me how we change, how mortal we are, how transcient life is ... how nothing ever remains the same ..... and then of course, I took a good long look at myself and realised that the transformation I had pondered on is actually happening to me as well. The same speed !!! Maybe this guy entered the world before me but apart from that ... the process is the same.

How strange and yet fascinating it all is. We think that we are here forever. We believe that only other people can die but not us and our loved ones. And then ... it happens. Suddenly, we realise that we are all the same fishes (different shapes and colours) in the same ocean after all. And for this reason, life should never be taken for granted. A life taken for granted is death !!! At least that is how I see it. We need to be more awefilled, we need to be more childlike (not childish of course). We need to realise that due to the fact that we had a start, we must also admit that we also have a finish !!! We don't know exaclty when and how ... but there it is !!! It's just a question of more time, more aging, more changes !!!

Life is a precious gift ................. let's treat it so !!!

Life Is Like A River (09.09.2004)

Life is like a River
It always flows
Without ever stopping
… Down
… Down

Sometimes it’s Calm
Sometimes it’s Rough
But always in Motion nonetheless

Activity above it
Activity below it
Just like our Life
… External activity
… Internal activity

… Boats and Ships
… Fishes and Sharks
… Small things
… Big things
But Events nonetheless

Some are Insignificant
… Like Boats and Fishes
Some are Significant
… Like Ships and Sharks
Some are Harmless
Some are Harmful
But always moving down

Sometimes it’s Gray
Sometimes it’s Blue
Sometimes it’s Cold
Sometimes it’s Warm
But whatever
It’s always moving
And we can’t stop it.

Well, we can for a short while
But it’s Unnatural
… Boats and Ships are meant to move
… Fishes and Sharks are meant to swim
Not to stay put
That’s the way it is!!

Life is like a River
… Always moving
… Moving always
Without stopping
… Down
… Down

This is a poem I wrote a few years ago. Actually, I can't believe it has been that long!! I can still remember the emotion which compelled me to pen it down. The meaning of life has always been one of those things which interested me ever since I was a young child. I always felt that there is something beyond the present, beyond that which the senses can sense!! Of course, even to this day I am still trying to search for AN answer rather than THE answer, because I believe that there is the possibility of many!!

God's Beauty

When I look at this image one thing only comes to mind: God's beauty. There is something about nature which for me reflects the face of God. I took this shot last winter at Ghar Lapsi on a very windy day. Photography for me is not just about capturing and freezing precious moments, but it is also an opportunity to connect with the Divine. We are surrounded by God's beauty and yet for me it is the sea which speaks the loudest!! Either it's because I live here on this awesome island (Malta) but for some reason or other, the sea is God's stamp. I cannot be faraway from the sea for too long. I just feel like I am not actually living but existing when I am not able to see it for more than three or four days. It is so much a part of me. It gives me that which I need in order to feel the soul stirring within me. Unfortunately, it has claimed many lives and it will continue doing so, yet when I gaze at it, I just can't help but wonder about our coming into existence.

Charles Darwin's theory might be flawed in many ways, but that life was issued from the sea is definitely a definite truth. Nothing on this planet lives without water, even our cars need water to help them run. Water is that which keeps us going. Water is that which sustains us. Water is our Exodus.

Some people have a problem with the Evolution Theory. This is something which I never quite understood. They claim that it is atheistic. But how can it be so? At the end of the day, Someone had to set this process in motion ..... whether we were instantly created or not, does not in any way support the premise that God does not exist. The First Mover (as Aristotle calls this Supreme Being) is who sets everything in motion without having to be moved.

Isn't it a comforting feeling to know that nature is still in the process of evolution? Nature is stilll alive!! Nature is dynamic!! Nature is becoming!!

Children And Self-Determination !!!

It has been quite a demanding day on my brain today as I spent a good two-thirds of it reading on children and their rights. It's amazing how something so simple can in actual fact turn out to be an academic nightmare. We take it for granted that children should/not have certain rights but then when one is asked to defend such a thesis one finds that it is not as easy as expected. There are many different arguments why minors should/not have certain rights and when you read alot you end up not really knowing what the right decision is.

What stuck though is this: children should not be allowed to exercise self-determination so that they can appreciate its value when they become adults. Any thoughts on this?

Welcome !!

The idea behind this blog is to share thoughts and insights that might strike me as interesting or fascinating during the day about life in general and its meaning. As the name of this blog indicates, 'The Examined Life' is basically a collection of observations which might help me understand life and all that it contains a little bit better.

We are rational creatures and therefore, we are expected to use this faculty in order to come to comprehend higher and nobler truths. Our eyes can only see that which is physical but we all know that it is not only the physical which exists on this planet. There are other things which our eyes cannot see and yet exist nonetheless. Fingers crossed, this blog will enable me to come to see clearer and understand better those things which ultimately really matter !!!