Chinatown in 2008.

Most posts here run on a photo-to-thought philosophy, visceral images provoking latent truths and ideas we all hold within.

But i thought this quote from Mary Oliver so relatable and beautifully simple with its use of verbal imagery – the universal metaphor of bride and groom* – that i wanted a place to immortalise it.

And preferably a place which could give earthly evidence to to it:

All my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom,

taking the world into my arms.
– Mary Oliver

It’s easy to be swamped by the magnitude of alpine mountains, or flooded with a sense of magic by the otherworldly, but after casting around for a tangible behemoth to match the quote, i realised it had already been exemplified in the yearly excitement:

Singapore. along Chinatown street market.

The quiet awe i held walking around in the Chinese New Year chaos of Chinatown; the childlike rapture gained from seeing the familiar for the first time.

Singapore, Chinatown
Singapore, Chinatown

Artifacts calling for our attention: sign, lamps, lights, speakers, institutions.

Modern pillars built around shophouses from colonial times:
imposing structures, built to contain lives, to entertain lives and to imbibe life.


Singapore, Chinatown

Does one too many diminish meaning?

The human horde below, their creations dominant above.

Waiting for whom and what?


The gods above us, accorded with illumination and omnipotence-
of religion,
of consumption.
our governments,
our binding traditions.

Did we create them, only to pick and choose who to defy and obey?

… if the knowledge of god is the most necessary,
then why is it not the most evident and the clearest?
-p. b. shelley.
Chinatown, Singapore
Both entranced by their surroundings: father documenting, son washed away by exotic displays.
Chinatown, Singapore
Objectifying yourself comes true.


Look upon familiar faces with renewed love,
go over once more to check what you have missed,
and re-examine your idea of magic.

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