Movie: 2 April 2020
Story and painting: 3 April 2020
Acrylic paint on canvas
Last night, I came across the movie Life of Pi on channel 29. Actually, I had watched it a couple of years before but I couldn't really remember the details. All I knew was that it's a movie about a boy who got stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger in the middle of the ocean. I somehow recalled it was a good movie so I decided to rewatch it on television. When I finished watching, the scene that I was most impressed with was when Pi sits and hugs the tiger. It made me think of human beings, and how, when fear fades away, loving-compassion emerges in its place. I think the tiger symbolizes the fear that exists in our hearts — the only thing that gives life meaning. Understanding and overcoming fear entails peace and serenity. Without fear, everything fuses into one — no ego, no fear, no attachment. We will let go and become one with nature, just like how we can become one with God.
After watching the movie, I better understood how to live with fear at this critical time when worldwide we are suffering from COVID-19, and in Chiang Mai we are facing record-breaking levels of PM 2.5 pollution. We feel that we are surrounded by danger and there is nothing to life. But that doesn't mean that life is meaningless. The fact that I'm still making art and constantly trying to understand life and my mind makes my own life meaningful.
Understanding and living with fear have another significant meaning. During national lockdown, while people are forced to stay at home and many social activities have been cancelled around the world, perhaps there is no better time than now for nature to recover - for example, the ozone gap has just closed. Perhaps it gives us a chance to realize the real value and meaning of our existence on earth. During this moment of fear without fear, we may come to understand the state of being one with nature, of letting go of material things, fame, money, and power. When there is no fear, in that split second, there is no bias about the happiness or suffering of existence. Fear can be the force of creativity and destruction simultaneously; it wholly depends on our perception, which will eventually shape our reality. God, thank you for this life.