So last Tuesday I had the absolutely exciting opportunity to go to a “Of Monsters And Men” concert. Actually it was a birthday present for a friend – I invited her to go since we’re both into this sort of music – indie rock and folk rock – and they happen to be on a “shooting star”-like course in the scene.
For those of you who don’t know “Of Monsters and Men” (OMAM) – maybe you’ve already heard of their most known single “Little Talks” and this would be the band behind it – and if you didn’t, well let me tell you that they’re a group of 6 amazing musicians from Iceland. Founded 2010 they have released one album so far, namely “My Head Is an Animal” last September.
So, as I said, I went to watch them on stage last Tuesday with my friend. I’d already been super-excited that day and the previous day and the day before the previous day… you get it. Ironically though, as excited and giddy as we were – we weren’t able to sing along. To practically no song – which is rather a no-go for a concert. I think we were both just too busy, too caught up in other things this summer that we never bothered to learn them so that one day before the concert – in between studying for exams and working on our final paper – we were in quite a frenzy to cram the lyrics into our heads. Looking back, it seems really pathetic to me now. I could have as well just let it be – to get twelve, rather complex (in comparison with some of the charts/pop songs nowadays) written lyrics in under 24 hours is hardly able to accomplish for the average (wo)man.
We made it up though by appearing extra early for the concert. We read on the internet that it was sold out and decided to come a few hours early (even missing out a bit of school) to get the best places – preferably at the utmost front! Stupidly we forgot that it was a weekday and that most of the concert attendants wouldn’t come before an hour before door opening due to their jobs. So we ended up being the only ones there… for quite a few hours. Luckily we bought something to eat so we could pass the time. Also the door was partly open and we could hear them during their sound check – which only increased our excitement.
At about 6 pm the first other concert attendants came and then the whole rush at about 7.30 pm. And again luck was with us because when the crew set the queuing zone we were already there (standing at a very convenient place) and we ended up indeed at the very front! At about 8.45 pm it finally started. We on the front actually got to stand right under the handrail which later turned out to be very convenient for my photographic needs. The whole concert took place at Abart, Zürich a music club of middle size with a quite small stage but which also allows high intimacy and interaction with the audience.
The show started with supporting act Lay Low, a musician from Iceland as well. She played us about 6 songs which I would categorise into alternative country and folk. I actually liked her quite a lot – she was very friendly, modest and energetic. (The way she plays her guitar and slams her boots on the ground – intimidating and fascinating alike.)
Then, after a long break, came the long-awaited “Of Monsters and Men” accurately on 10 pm. As you see from the set list photo above they started with their second most famous song “Dirty Paws” – and already enthused the whole crowd. People left and right from us were dancing and I was trying to record the show but it was hard not to give in to the shaking and swaying of the bodies around me. (In the end I gave in though and as a result all my records are slightly blurry now.) It went on with “From Finner” to “Love, Love, Love” to “Lakehouse” and finally the long-awaited “Little Talks”, which everyone, even we, were able to sing. And it was a fantastic feeling too, because the whole crowd was pressed into this tiny space and the band on this tiny stage and everyone was singing with their loudest voice and everyone was swaying and shaking and jumping up and down. It’s always in moments like these that I get this feeling of infinity; a certainty that this moment will stay forever in my memory and a wave of euphoria rushing over me as I give in to the music, give up my body, my soul and just obey rhythm and melody for that one song…
Needless to say now that “Of Monsters and Men” are fantastic to watch and hear live. They are completely worth it, if not only for the charisma of the two lead singers (Nanna and Ragnar) and the passion of the drum player Arnar (he plays so crazy, so passionate – it’s thrilling to watch).
After an hour it was already over. As an encore they presented my favourite song “Sloom” and “Yellow Light” and stopped on schedule at 11:10 pm to release the euphoric audience into the night, full of music fever, of heat and passion and especially a feeling of complete satisfaction.
Well maybe I’m a crook
for stealing your heart away
and maybe I’m a crook
for not caring for it.
And maybe I’m a bad, bad, bad, bad person
Well baby, I know
And these fingertips
will never run through your skin
and those bright blue eyes
can only meet mine
across a room, filled with people
that are less important than you
All cause you love, love, love
when you know I can’t love.
You love, love, love
when you know I can’t love.
You love, love, love
when you know I can’t love, you.
So I think it’s best
we both forget
before we dwell on it.
The way you held me so tight
all through the night,
till it was near morning.
Love, Love, Love – Of Monsters and Men
“Seven Days In Sunny June” – PhotoWeek:
all roads lead to a sunset
As I certainly told you like, a 100 times before, I attended a home economics course. It took place in the western side of Switzerland, almost in the French-speaking part. Anyway, our school was quite isolated from the big cities and so we had to walk about half an hour to get there each weekend. These walks were mostly very funny because we didn’t have to drag our suitcases all the way (two of our heads came to pick them up with a car) and so had a lot of time to chat and just enjoy the “healthy country air” and such.
It was on the second Sunday that I took this picture; we were just about to walk from the train station to our school when this sunset came into view. As beautiful as it was, you surely understand why I just had to take a photo of it!
(And I know, Sunset Drive is not exactly in Switzerland but these two words were just the first ones that came to my mind when seeing this!)
PS: Title (of my PhotoWeek) courtesy to the song “Seven Days In Sunny June” by Jamiroquai. These are all photos taken in May (but posted in June).
There are too many things on my mind right now. Too many to count, actually. Too many to write. Since I’ve got holidays right now, I should be writing much more than usual – at least that was what I thought – but instead my writer’s block refuses to fade away. I simply don’t know what to write about. And once I’m being inspired, my inspiration comes from little things, not big enough to be worth to write about, in my opinion.
But two days ago I got a very nice mail-review on my blog, which totally made my day. In it the person stated to have always wanted to start a blog, but just never knew what to write about.
And this sentence reminded me so much of myself in the beginning; I felt insecure about what to post: insecure, if someone would read it or just like it or if someone was interested in what I was writing at all. Now I don’t think that way anymore – or at least that’s what I used to think. I guess, that after posting photos everyday, I slipped again into my early state, this insecurity of what to write about.
But after reading the mail-review 2 days ago, I furiously wanted to set an example and so I’m ending up here, writing a post about what caught my eye today, although it’s not something too big:
’cause there’s no comfort in the waiting room
just nervous pacers bracing for bad news
and then the nurse comes round and everyone will lift their heads
but I’m thinking of what Sarah said:
that “love is watching someone die.”
What Sarah Said – Death Cab For Cutie
This morning I was listening to one of my favourite bands, Death Cab For Cutie. And somehow it was the first time that I really listened to the lyrics of this song because I just never noticed this beautiful, blue and mostly true passage: “Love is watching someone die.”
It was just one of those moments, you know, when realization hits you, realization of something that you somehow always have known all along but never managed to put in one, single sentence.
And therefore it never came to my mind – in this one, single, complete sentence – that actually, if someone’s dying – and you really love this someone – you’ll stay at his side, no matter how painful or how long until death has taken him. Love is not finished once death has come, but stays for much longer. Love is not walking away. Love is the willingness to take pain and hurt upon yourself to make something better for somebody; to sacrifice your comfort for someone beloved.
When I was ten, my grandmother died. It was New Year’s Eve when we heard that she was ill. We flew back home to Indonesia, but of course it was too late. When we arrived it was New Year and she already deceased. It was the most cruel new beginning I’ve ever experienced. First I was in such a shock that I couldn’t say a word; but one moment later I was crying my heart out. I admired her so much and though I didn’t get much time in my life to get to know her, the few years I spent with her were enough to make her one of the most important persons in my life. Seeing me so broken, my cousin dragged me to the coffin so I could say a proper goodbye to her. But instead I squirmed free of her grasp and ran away. I feared to face the reality, the truth, the beloved face.
I regret it until now, that I couldn’t see her last expression properly. That I prefered to look away.
I know it’s not the exact situation as in the quote above, but it’s the closest to the situation above I ‘ve ever experienced. And when it was so hard to just look at a person already dead, how much harder is it to watch someone die?
And here I’d like to ask you if you’ve experienced something similar?
At the end of this song there was this one question that haunted me for a while (but I’m not going to write about it now):
So who’s gonna watch you die?
Like I promised, here starts my photo week with photos I took a week ago. They’re not the best and they’re not the most creative but I hope you still enjoy them!
I love this place
But it’s haunted without you
My tired heart
Is beating so slow
Our hearts sing less than
We wanted, we wanted
Our hearts sing ’cause
We do not know, we do not know
To light the night, to help us grow
To help us grow
It is not said, I always know
Little House – Amanda Seyfried
The Story: Actually, I’ve always wanted to shoot a picture with a cute, little house in it. But in my imagination the house was much older and in a very shabby condition, which gave the whole picture a mysterious, dark touch. Sadly I haven’t found such a house yet, but for the moment I’m quite satisfied with this one as well! I like the black-white contrast and the big trees around this house – they give one the impression of something dark and mysterious!
oh you’re such a pretty thing, I’ll take you and I’ll make you all mine
I know, I said that I’ll be posting something about Berlin this week and I’ll keep this promise, really. It’s just that the draft’s not finished yet, I’ll probably post it on Saturday evening.
As a filler until then, again a photo: This is a shot of one of my mum’s orchids – she’s got quite a collection – and I chose this particularly one because it’s just the most special one. Not only is it one she purchased on the Orchid Exhibition in Bern 2 months ago, but I also very much like the patterns on the petals – they somehow remind me of a pink dalmatian!
Oh, and by the way, I went for a walk today and took some shots of flowers and such, and I decided to do a “photo week” next week (starting from Monday), which means that every day I’ll post one of my favourites until Sunday. Hope you like them and until next time!
Bah. I hate it. Everyday, and I really mean everyday, I’ve got to edit my posts. It’s so annoying and I’m 100% sure that I have to edit the same ones next week again or so. Do you also have to edit this much?
Anyway as for today, I actually (half-) promised you to write the second part to my “home” post. Unfortunately, I’ve forgotten what I wanted to write. (So tragic, it always happens to me.) The only things I can add are my two statements to a saying a friend told me (see the comments of home part 1) and to the movie Up in the Air.
1): Home is where you heart is.
Well, actually, it just confirms my definition of home; because my family’s in my heart, and where my heart is, ergo my family, is my home. But then again, I thought, I must have many homes. Because my heart belongs to Berlin for example, a city I’ve only visited once, but has rapidly grown to my favourite city. Or to my bed, because that’s where I feel safe and warm on dark, winter days (like the ones currently). Or home may also be here in front of my computer, blogging, because doing this feels so right for me at the moment. Is it possible to have many homes? I hope so.
2) Is it possible to have no home at all?
I’ve recently seen the movie Up in the Air, the one with George Clooney, Anna Kendrick and Vera Farmiga. In this movie, Ryan Bingham’s (George Clooney) always travelling around the world, first, because he has to (it has to do with his job) and second, because he wants to tie the record of having 10000 frequent flyer miles. During the film, there are of course a few scenes in which he returns “home”. But is it really home? He calls it home. But how can it be home to him, if he’s hardly ever there? He doesn’t know anything about his neighbours, because he has never time to visit them properly. His flat’s always tidy, because he’s rarely at home to use all of his furnitures and belongings. I don’t think, that his family’s home to him either. He has flighty contact with his sisters; he never visits them and so, doesn’t know them anymore. Home to him, or the real, true feeling of being at home, I think, are the few moments he shared with other people (of course all during travelling), when he (probably) forgot what his goals really were when he completely let himself be there, at this place with this person, and just enjoyed the moment and forgot to actually just stay there for a short time. (Now, if I want to continue, I have to spoil, and that’s what I don’t want to do, therefore I’m not going to say anything anymore about the plot.)
But isn’t this sad? Home for me, is a place where you feel warm and safe, a place you like to be (and concerning me, there can be a lot of those places); or the feeling of being safe, loved and relaxed. A feeling you can always recall when you’re having bad times, and a feeling that will comfort you then. And Ryan Bingham, I think, doesn’t have this feeling or this place. He’s homeless. He’s a lonely soul. He has no home at all.
When I was younger, the thought of going alone through the world, having freedom and all the time alone for you, pleased me. I wanted to be one of those heroes, who were strong, because they’re alone and are able to do everything on their own; who are able to do everything they wanted, having no boundaries at all.
But these thoughts didn’t stay for long; I recognized, that it might be nice just to be alone for a while, but it’s also nice to know having someone supporting you, and accepting you, no matter who you are or what you did. This is the thing I wouldn’t have if I were all alone: acceptance. Acceptance from the people you like. As a loner you’ve always have to fight for some acceptance, for some tolerance. And also an important thing: trust. It’s nice to know people trusting you; and vice versa people whom you can trust. And for my little me (I was about eleven or so), this was the most important reason, why I gave up on the idea of being a “cool” loner. Because I’ve always had problems with trust, because I hardly trust someone and I didn’t want to end up all alone without no one to trust and no one trusting me. And as long as I had my family around me, I realized, this was guaranteed, and from then on I knew where I could find my home.
Uh, geez. That was a big family-love-declaration. I’m usually not this (love-) declaring person.
It’s 00:57 am and I’m still up, annoyed that I didn’t write yesterday. But I am pretty tired (I just can’t sleep) and a quote hasn’t left my mind since sunday: It’s a quote I read on Fidel Hart’s Blog:
“…travel can become a compulsion. It keeps us away from friends and loved ones – even when we’re back. When I’m away, I often yearn for home. When I’m home, I’m listless. I seem no longer to fit. History and literature are filled with characters who see Asia, or Venice, and can never go back to the way they were.” -Anthony Bourdain
I commented, that I don’t travel as much as other people do, but because of moving from Indonesia to Switzerland at a very young age, I sometimes doubt my belonging. Or actually, I sometimes don’t know where to belong. I think, if I left Indonesia when I was a baby, I surely think of Switzerland as my homeland. And if I left Switzerland in my teenager years, Indonesia would be my homeland. It’s just too bad that I left at an age somewhere in the middle between the two options above; it has the effect on me that I’ve spent too little time in Indonesia to have the complete feeling of belonging there; but also have not experienced my whole childhood in Switzerland, so that I missed the little, but somehow important things, that you traditionally do in your country during your childhood. I mean kindergarten is in every country different. And these things connect people; in primary school they would once in a while talk about their kindergarten times and share all these memories and traditions they’ve learned together, while I somehow felt a bit left out.
So during the past day I’ve been wondering, once again, where I truly belong too. There are many people asking me whether I like Switzerland or Indonesia more. I’ve got to say, that’s a tricky question and my answer depends on my mood; after visiting my relatives in Indonesia, I’d definitely say Indonesia; but after recently having some amazing experiences with Swiss friends, I surely say Switzerland. Anyway I don’t think that’s the point to really come to an answer about my musings. The belonging to a country, a state, a nation, does it really depend on how much you like it? I guess that now, that Switzerland has a rather conservative attitude obverse (?) (criminal) foreigners, which doesn’t please a few people I know, they still think of themselves belonging to Switzerland: First, because it just the country in which they were born and second there are of course, other, better sides of Switzerland!
And if I’d compared the traits of my two homelands, I don’t think that I’ll know the answer; because everything has its good and its bad sides.
After a long time thinking (I’m so tired, I’ll might write down all my thoughts some time later for you) I came to the conclusion that maybe I belong to neither of these two nations. Why? I think that with me being dragged from my birthplace at a young age, but still not being long enough in another country, I define the word “home” for me not basing on which country I like more to live in,or in which country I’ve got more friends, or on my actual situation (living in Switzerland) in contrary to my birthplace (Indonesia); no, I simply adjusted my heart on where my family momentarily is, I think. (Or, at least that’s what I think at the moment, this may change tomorrow morning.) I think, that home is where I’m surrounded by my family, because that’s when I feel most at ease, and so home to me could also be Germany, French, Italy or Austria; it doesn’t really matter as long as my family’s around me.
What’s home for you?
And you know it’s now 01:32 am and I’m really, really tired and can’t concentrate. I’m sorry that this post didn’t focus so much on the quote at the beginning, if you expected a spectacular analysis or so. And I’d like to write more, but am plainly tired, maybe I’m writing some part 2 tomorrow (I’ve got ideas referring to the movie Up In The Air).
As for now, goodnight world!
Just short for today: I just want to quickly write down my observations at a lunch I had to attend today. It’s actually a launch of my family and some other Indonesian families & friends of us.
Observations on a New Year’s Lunch of Indonesian families
- Most essential point: We like to eat Asian, especially Chinese food. Don’t ask me why, but on every great occasion there would be Chinese food. It’s true many of us have Chinese roots, because many centuries ago, many Chinese people came to Indonesia (and brought their traditions, and that means food too, with them), but still… I mean, I’m bored and annoyed of eating so many times Chinese food. But this whole thing could probably just be, because there are Chinese restaurants everywhere around the world. 😉
- We like to share our food with others. Like every typical Asian (? Or probably just Indonesian?) family we order the main course for everyone. That means that there are several dishes on the table and everybody just takes a bit of what he likes best, which is possible to order in Chinese/Asian restaurants. That’s in fact a really good idea; if I go eat Chinese with my Swiss friends, I always order a menu for myself and afterwards I’m always full up. So, I just eat as much as I can (without having a bad conscience for not finishing my meal) and in the end there’d be always someone eating up the rest. 😉
- There are always photos taken (Eh, actually not only of the people, but of the food as well.). Which can be very annoying, but also somehow funny, because it has somehow developed to an Asian trait (just watch the behaviour of Asian tourist, which is also very cute and funny) over the years.
- Indonesian are known for their love for food; I think that of all nations I’ve got to know, Indonesians really love food most. Whereas European tourist would particularly recommend to each other good hotels, museums and shops, Asian tourists look for the best restaurants! It’s so typical; when my cousin was once visiting us here in Switzerland, we didn’t get to make a full sight-seeing tour because of their importance of having a culinary tour. 😀
- The passion for food is also shown in their conversation topics. When I listened to my mum and her friends, they mostly talk about food! But not only food of all kinds, but also the cooking, and of course, good restaurants you just have to visit once in your life.
Well, that was it for now. Seeing, observing, hearing this has just made me so happy; I think it’s cute (Go ahead. Just think I’m weird.) to see people getting so happy just by enjoying and eating food, talking about food.
And last, I’ve finished reading Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins today; and I just found the perfect quote of the main character, Katniss Everdeen for this post:
“… All around the dining hall, you can feel the rejuvenating effect that a good meal can bring on. The way it can make people kinder, funnier, more optimistic, and remind them it’s not a mistake to go on living. …”
Today the Christmas present I ordered online for my sister arrived: the new Taylor Swift cd Speak Now. While listening to it, I read the booklet and so the prologue Taylor Swift has written (right use of tense here?). It was about to speak now itself, actually to speak up.
“In real life, saying the right thing at the right moment is beyond crucial. So crucial, in fact, that most of us start to hesitate, for fear of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. But lately what I’ve begun to fear more than that is letting the moment pass without saying anything.”
At this point I stopped reading; I noticed that she’s right. I noticed that most of the (many) quiet moments I shared with other people are not basing on my shyness or that I didn’t know what to say, but because I feared to say the wrong thing at the wrong time. And while thinking of something right to say, of something appropriate, the small talk that will please my dialogue partner, I let the moment pass and in the end had nothing to say.
“I think most of us fear reaching the end of our life, and looking back regretting the moments we didn’t speak up. When we didn’t say ‘I love you’. When we should have said ‘I’m sorry’. When we didn’t stand up for ourselves or someone who needed help.”
When I was reading this, all the memories came to my mind: The times I could have defend my sister in front of my parents – but didn’t. The times I could have been the one helping an outcast being integrated – but didn’t, because I didn’t want any conflicts with other people. The times I could have done the things I really wanted – but didn’t, because I fear of being accused of being disrespectful.
Now as I’m writing this, I realize that I’ve done a lot of things wrong and instead of apologizing have locked all the mistakes in my heart, shut my eyes from the truth.
I’ve been pretty selfish sometimes, always looking for what’s best for me, so that I would not have any problems. But I never realized that by chosing to be neutral and innocent I would’ve the bigger problem: not being honest with myself.
And I have an opinion to almost everything, but rarely declared it, because I feared of being confronted with arguments; with “But what if…”s and “Proof me…”s and “See? Now what do you have to say?”s and afterwards not knowing the answer. It always has been a sign of weakness for me, not knowing the answer of something; in my earlier years the strongest people I knew had always something to say.
I just never noticed that you don’t have to know everything, that you can’t know everything. I mean, you can still be strong. You can be silent for once and strong.
“What you say might be too much for some people. Maybe it will come out all wrong and you’ll stutter and you’ll walk away embarrassed, wincing as you play it all back in your head. But I think that the words you stop yourself from saying are the ones that will haunt you the longest.”
And it’s so true what she says: it can be too much, it can come out all the wrong way. And I realize once again that for being honest with yourself, you sometimes have to take the courage and the risk to say the wrong things, but saying it in all the right ways.
In this very moment I’m taking the decision to speak up. To speak up for the ones needing my help. Defending them, even if it means having conflicts afterwards. At least, in the end, I won’t be alone, because usually the ones you help, will help you too, if needed.
To speak up when I want to do something different than I ought to do; starting to believe that it doesn’t always have to do with your culture and its ethics; but with having the right to do the things you want to do and so being all yourself. (I always have this problems expressing feelings in a foreign language. Well, I hope you still understand.)
To speak up, so that I won’t have any hidden inner conflicts in my heart anymore. To speak up, so that I won’t regret the things I’ve said or haven’t said when I’m old and looking back on my life, because my words were as honest as possible.
I know it won’t start easy; every time I’ll speak up, I will have to overcome my fears. But all beginnings are difficult, right?
“So say it to them. Or say it to yourself in the mirror. Say it in a letter you’ll never send or in a book millions might read someday. I think you deserve to look back on your life without a chorus of resounding voices saying ‘I could’ve, but it’s too late now.'”
PS: Thanks, Taylor! 😀