Life on the sideline
IN THE long run, we are all dead. So, the only life worth living is the laidback life, where one steps aside, relaxes and watches more energetic folks run the rat race.
Since October 1978 when I began life as a journalist in Singapore’s monopolistic newspaper, I’ve been writing not just news reports but personal-style essays, opinions and reviews (books, films and computers).
Instead of leaving them as yellowed cuttings in biscuit tins and shoe boxes, I’ve updated some of my published stories for the Web so they can be accessible to friends and sympathetic readers. On this Web site, I’ve also added the occasional contributions by others.
In three decades of journalism, I have written about practically everything under the moon (I write best at night), except fashion, golf, crime and movie stars. I’ve selected those pieces of writing I enjoyed reading back to myself (if you don’t enjoy reading what you’ve written, trash ’em). My themes are mainly loafing and leisure pursuits, pretty girls and dreams, life and the next life, and, always, Buddha’s exhortations to make the most of this human span before death hits us unexpectedly and inconveniently.
Except for the Latin quotes and maxims, and excerpts from Chinese poems and the Classics, and the magisterial King James Bible (God save me from modern-day insipid translations!), there’s nothing pretentious here.
In the Tao Te Ching 道德經 it is said:
The best people are like water
bringing help to all creatures
choosing what others dislike
hence approaching the Tao
dwelling with nature
thinking with depth
helping with kindness
speaking with trust
governing with peace
working with ability
moving with timeliness
and without conflict
they get no blame.
Don’t we all love to be counted among the best people?
If you’ve got any comment, write in the Guest Book
(see bottom of this page).
– Francis Chin, January 2005, revised December 2013
Note: Above quote from chapter 8, translated by Red Pine
Malin Kundang is ashamed of his mother
Why nobody reads your blog
Father of Internet on future world
Great places for adventure
Review of Ting Shao Kuang’s art
Life was tough and a squeeze 50 years ago
Robust Latin maxims to stiffen your conduct
Devils and angels at my death
Credit card, chicks and other Cs that males die for
Adopt a godfather, always credit your boss &
other proven strategies
Lorenzo the Magnificent & Michelangelo
Re-reading Dream of the Red Chamber
Fun with Tang poetry
Translating Li Bai
Much-loved Chinese poem
Recalling a night with his beloved
Sunset on the river 暮江吟
Meditation on Emily Dickinson
Won the Rat Race, but still a rat
Keep memories in vignettes, not videos
Imagine what you can do with $100 million
Celebrating life at a Chinese funeral
Books of the last millennium that have changed Asia
Yup, he’s Tua Pekkong
Surviving the terror of the Bardo
Google mentor couldn’t swim, drowns in pool
Not what people say are nice
Song Dynasty lyrical poetry
Premier Yan Shu 晏殊 on the petite joys that make life worthwhile
May all your prayers be not answered
Poems of Thomas Lovell Beddoes