Farewell To The Forest

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Do we care about our environment? Do we care for the future generations? Do we care if our planet will survive for another million years? Yes, yes, we should care. We should care about our forests. Let's never say farewell to the forests. We must help.

Ad infinitum

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Dear Universe,

#whyislifeworthliving is my love letter to love, life and Woody Allen. A place with the purpose of documenting the adventures of life, love, dreams, hopes. A compendium of life and its mysteries and eccentricities. Life deserves to be recorded, remembered, preserved, appreciated.  This is my effort to keep striving and fighting for my endeavors, beliefs, morals and to give back to this uncanny and extraordinary experience and opportunity we call life. This is my continual desire to live a more conscious and proactive life with a greater purpose. And to persistently and truly harness and fuel my potential. This is my pursuit of happiness. I dedicate my words, ideas and thoughts to the dreamers and optimistic argonauts, who have a thirst for life, knowledge and happiness. This moment is beautiful. We are infinite. ∞

Yours Truly,
Avalonne Hall


Sunday, September 27, 2015

Autumn moonlight--
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut. 
Autumn Moonlight by Matsuo Basho

What a glorious sight it was. The blood moon was glowing. Romantic, mystical, eerie. I wish I could have shared this moment with you. The next supermoon eclipse won’t occur until 2033.

Everyone Says I Love You

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Everyone Says I Love You 2

Funny how life goes. This film knows exactly how I feel about love. Watching this film makes me feel like I grew up in New York City in the '90s, but I didn't. His '90s films really feel like memories to me. I grew up in Hong Kong, but somehow my mind and soul wandered to a different city in a different country. There is something so special about this town. This week, I've been exploring this city and soaking up the last of the summer warmth before autumn descends to winter. Fall is such an exciting time of year, but I'm also not ready for the year to end.

One more month before I'm another year older. What does that mean for me? It means a lot. I want to have the most productive month of my year right now. I have projects, goals, deadlines and I'm going to make it happen for myself. I feel like I have all this creative energy burning within me, ready to show the world that I have something to say. Everyone says I love you? I want to say I love you, universe! And yes, you should tell the ones you love that you love them. 

I'm through with love
I'll never fall again
Said adieu to love
Don't ever call again
For I must have you or no one
And so I'm through with love 
I've locked my heart
I'll keep my feelings there
I've stocked my heart
With icy, frigid air
And I mean to care for no one
Because I'm through with love 
Why did you lead me
To think you could care?
You didn't need me
For you had your share
Of slaves around you 
To hound you and swear
With deep emotion and devotion to you 
Goodbye to spring and all it meant to me
It can never bring the thing that used to be
For I must have you or no one
And so I'm through with love 

Everyone Says I Love You 1
Everyone Says I Love You 3


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fall is upon us. When we think of autumn, we think of the leaves starting to change, the cool crisp air and the smell of pumpkin spice and cinnamon (I don't like either scents to be honest). This is actually the moment the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. We know very well what happens on Earth when fall's majesty approaches us. But when you think about it, the earth is spinning and now we're at the moment the Sun rises directly in the east and sets directly in the west, which means we will have an equal amount of daylight. It is officially the #FirstDayOfFall.

"Happy Equinox to all Earthlings," tweeted Neil deGrasse Tyson earlier. Thank you for reminding us that this is our planet and we are responsible for keeping this planet alive and healthy. There is just so much happening in this world, we cannot possibly know about everything. I'm not just talking about current affairs, I also mean so much has happened in the history of this planet, our solar system and universe. There is so much we know, don't know and have yet to know. Isn't that such a haunting feeling? But I want to know and learn from people who do know and I'm going to continue to learn.

I am compelled to learn, write and document everything that inspires me. Dedicating Autumn from Allegro-Adagio Molto by Antonio Vivaldi to celebrate the Autumn Equinox.

nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

                   (after a pause)
            Uh... Did you ever get around to e.e.

                   (wrapping her arms
                   around her chest and
                   looking away from
                   Elliot for a moment)
            Yes, he's just adorable.

Elliot nods.

            They have a very large gay
            clientele, you know, where I get my
            teeth cleaned, and... all the
            hygienists now wear gloves because
            they're afraid of AIDS.

                   (taking a breath)
            Oh, right.

There is another moment of silence.  Elliot stares at Lee,
who continues to look down, her arms around her chest.  The
harpsichord plays on.

            Did you ever get around to the poem
            on page a hundred and twelve?

            Yes, it made me cry
                   (tentatively looking
                   at Elliot)
            It was so beautiful... so romantic.

Lee looks down again; the music plays softly and Elliot
continues to stare at her, thinking.

                         ELLIOT (V.O.)
            I want so badly to kiss her.  Not
            here, you idiot.  You've got to get
            her alone someplace.

As Elliot's thoughts are heard over the scene, Lee glances
around the loft, then begins to walk away.  The camera
follows her as she goes past the nude drawings, which become
the focus of attention as Lee walks offscreen.

                         ELLIOT (V.O.)
            But I've got to proceed cautiously.
            This is a very delicate situation.
            Okay, uh... ask her if you can see
            her for lunch or a drink tomorrow.

Lee walks back onscreen, to the bookshelf behind the drawings.
She takes the e.e. cummings book from the shelf and flips
through it as she walks back to Elliot, who is still leaning
by the stereo, still ruminating.

                         ELLIOT (V.O.)
            And be ready to make light of the
            offer if she's unresponsive.  This
            has to be done very skillfully,
            very diplomatically.

                   (showing Elliot a
                   poem in her book)            
            Did you ever read this one--? 

Elliot leaps up, grabs Lee, and kisses her passionately.
Lee, surprised, pushes him away.

            Elliot!  Don't!

            Lee!  Lee!  Lee, I'm in love with

He kisses Lee again. He clumsily turns around; she humps
against the stereo unit. As Lee pulls away, she smashes
into the turntable. The needle scratches loudly. Lee,
shocked, is gasping. The record, pushed to a different part
of the concerto, now plays a more complicated, faster fugue.

Is it possible that someone could feel so strongly about another without a real reason? Isn't love and attraction completely irrational and illogical sometimes? This scene in Hannah and Her Sisters is so delicate and well-crafted, from the dialogue to the subtle nuances of the actors. The tension builds up as Elliot slowly questions Lee about the e.e. cummings poem. She knows what's coming, but she tries to avoid the subject by awkwardly mentioning AIDS. This is such a Woody Allen sense of humor. But you really have to listen for it, since she mumbles those lines ever so slightly.

The building up of tension is so beautifully done between these characters. You know his longing for her since his first lines in the film "God, she's beautiful." He says it with confidence. But life has a hilarious and twisted sense of humor when you fall in love with your wife's sister. I guess sometimes, maybe people are looking for trouble, when they try to find drama to spice up their own dull lives. This is something that really fascinates me in storytelling. I'm still learning about life. I'll always be a student, never a master. I have to keep studying people to create stories and learn about character motivation. Always fictional, never autobiographical.

Kamasi Washington

Monday, September 21, 2015

"There is no happiness without someone to share it."

Caro shared this rendition of Clair de Lune by Kamasi Washington on a Saturday night at 9:38 p.m. The moment I clicked the link, I thought to myself, "I'm alone listening to Clair de Lune, what a beautiful thing." At 1:01, when the saxophone hits that chord, the tears started to stream down my face. Then I thought, "I'm crying, I'm missing Caro, feeling alone, restless and grateful. All at the same time." I was so emotionally distraught, because I felt all these conflicting emotions. How can I feel so sad and happy at the same time. That moment will forever be a core memory.

There is something about the sound of a saxophone that hits me on every level. His music is truly magical and epic. I'm so moved by these kinds of musicians who want to create such inspiring music. We're hoping to see him at (le) poisson rouge on October 16th! Thank you for your beautiful music. I'm truly in awe.


Clair de Lune

8:32 p.m.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Listening to Chopin at Grand Central Station. Opposite the spot that Chris Evans' character sits in the beginning of the film...

This feels like bliss. I'm alone, but I'm not, because I feel like I'm a part of this crazy adventure called life. I may not lead an exciting and dramatic life, but I feel like my observations on the human condition have led to my rationality and logical approach to life. Instead, I want my characters that I create to have interesting and even dramatic story lines.

At the end of the day, I just want to be content and in constant pursuit of joy, passion and adventure. I hope to have happiness and health. So yeah, I don't need romance. I feel very valid in my existence. I don't think someone will just come into my life and "sweep me off my feet". The universe has better things to do.

I just feel grateful to be here in this moment, this place, this time. Here I am in the heart of New York City. Living, breathing, writing. How can it get any better than this? I am alive. This moment is infinite. The universe has conspired to allow me to be here. Thank you for giving me a chance to live it, breathe it, be a part of it.

If it was 1:30 a.m., there would be less people here and I would be able to experience what the characters in Before We Go did. Sometimes people just find each other. Maybe someday I'll experience that kind of human connection... Maybe never. No rush, universe, no pressure. It's all in the timing.

One more aria. Vissi d'arte. Enjoy this moment.

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond

Saturday, September 19, 2015

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands

somewhere i have never travelled,gladly beyond by e. e. cummings

There is something so magical about the poetry of e.e. cummings. The romanticism, lyricism and playfulness of his words are so charming. I first got exposed to poetry in high school, but never studied Cummings unfortunately. I was mostly enchanted by T.S. Eliot and Dylan Thomas. When I discovered e.e. cummings in Hannah and Her Sisters years ago, I knew his words will change my life forever. If only I understood how to construct poetry properly, I'd make my words dance off the page. I don't dabble in writing poetry, but I like to be inspired by different types of poetry.

I recently got into Chinese poetry and I never knew I'd understand it. Granted, I can't read Chinese all that well, but with the assistance of my godmother who was visiting, she introduced me to a few Chinese poets from the Tang and Song Dynasty. We're talking hundreds and hundreds of years ago, these romantic men were looking up at the moon and writing about her long lost loves. How moving is that? They would write about yearning and desire. These are themes that we all understand. I really hope to learn Chinese and hopefully be able to read these poems.

I know why Elliot gives this poem to Lee in the film. There is so much power and weakness in these words, that you can't help but feel weak in the knees. How can someone love another with all their being? I love his unabashed use of punctuation and wordplay. There is so much depth and layers to his words. I have to unravel the meaning of each line and with every discovery, there is genius behind the craft of every single chosen word.

I may not feel such an intense power and attraction to another human, but I wholly feel immensely in awe of life and its wonders. You don't need romance to appreciate life, just a little gratitude and appreciation is enough for me to know life is worth living.

With every single step I take in life, 
I discover more and more beauty.

Anywhere and everywhere.

Be lonely

Friday, September 18, 2015


“When I get lonely these days, I think: So BE lonely, Liz. Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings.”

― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Magic Lessons with Elizabeth Gilbert

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert: "So I wanted to make a podcast where I could take the subject of creativity out into the world and have real conversations with real people about it. And that's where Magic Lessons come from. And what are magic lessons? Road maps for the path to creativity, the extra nudge we need when we're feeling stuck in our creative lives."

I cannot stress how much I am in awe of Elizabeth Gilbert and her body of work. Magic Lessons is her first venture into the podcast world and I'm so hooked. She has such an effervescent personality, wise, calming, genuine and kind-hearted. That's everything I want out of a podcast host who's tackling the the subject of creativity. I watched her TED Talk 'Your Elusive Creative Genius' a while back and I was so completely inspired by her. I need to re-watch it and just watch it once a month as a reminder. Now that she has her own podcast, I know I will continue to be exposed to Elizabeth Gilbert's intelligence and creativity.

I think my 'creative genius' was laying dormant for a few years. I'm in a constant struggle to let my creativity out. Liz mentions that fear is the main reason we procrastinate. Also fear manifests itself as many different emotions. She is absolutely correct on this point. I was plagued with procrastination for the majority of my life. This doesn't mean I never had a creative thought or idea in my mind, but I was so paralyzed by procrastination and ultimately, fear. I was just so stuck with no words. Now that I have kicked procrastination in the butt, I'm ready to let my creative genius out.

In Liz Gilbert's own words, "Pursue your passions like a mofo."

I genuinely feel ready to stop making excuses and be the creative person I deserve to be. I'm ready to work hard, write hard, believe hard and be a passionate mofo. I have so much passion in me. I have a fire burning within me and I'm ready to turn that fire into creative words, photos, ideas, drawings, anything. I refuse to be stuck in life. I'm navigating my way to a creative life.

Thank you for your wisdom, Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm a huge fan. #BigMagic


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"However long it takes you to reach your summit, just keep walking and don't think about it." ― Roberta Vinci

In life, you need to believe and care. Care for yourself and care for others. Be selfish and be selfless. Find a balance and be a well-rounded human being. We are not perfect. We cannot strive for perfection. Instead, work hard, be nice, try your best, don't give up. That will lead to your success and hopefully, happiness.

I don't know if I'll ever "succeed" in life, but I know I will not give up on myself and my dreams. I am nothing without my dreams and passion. I have the willpower, strength, drive and motivation to push myself to the ends of the universe.

There is no limit. Climb to the highest point, the summit. Climb. Climb. Climb. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Strive. Strive. Strive. Love. Love. Love. This is my mantra.

What are you afraid of?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

"I am not afraid of death, I just don't want to be there when it happens." ― Woody Allen

I would be lying if I said I wasn't afraid of death. My fear of death is paralyzing. It's probably best not to write about death, it's such a morbid subject. This reminds me I need to read The Denial of Death by Ernest Becker. I do have a morbid fascination with death, but it's an unhealthy and dark fascination. I can't help but be interested in the subject, but then I get so terrified by all the ways a human can die. After death, there's nothing. Or maybe there's something. I don't know. No one can possibly know, but I want to believe in reincarnation.

Do you believe in reincarnation? Heaven? Hell? Nothingness? Darkness? Emptiness?

Let's just not obsess about death or after life and focus on life. Focus on living, existing and living the best life you possibly can. Let's make the world a better place. I will focus on that.


Friday, September 11, 2015

14 years later, I have not forgotten and never ever will forget. How can anyone forget? 14 years ago, the world was shattered by a single event that led to millions of broken hearts. Sending condolences to everyone affected. Life can end in an instant, so live life with a real sense of purpose. Live life like you have no excuses for anything. Commit to living life with enthusiasm and passion. Be a kind person. Be a good person. Be a giving person. Be a forgiving person. Love and care with your heart. #NeverForget

Love yourself

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"I'm standing for anyone who has struggled with self-esteem issues like me, because all bodies are valuable. To support self-acceptance, draw a  on my body."  Amy Pence-Brown

Instead of buying a lipstick you think you need, watch this video and think about what self-acceptance means to you. "In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act. Because all bodies are valuable." I think we've all fallen into this trap of we're not good enough, so we need to buy this product or that product to validate our worth and existence. I've definitely fallen into the trap of consumerism and celebrity culture. Blank is the highest paid actress this year according to Forbes. Or how to dress like Blank this fall? Which lipstick color did Blank wear at New York Fashion Week. It's all a little silly.

Growing up I definitely suffered from self-esteem problems. If you don't have emotionally supportive parental figures who don't teach you how to love yourself in a non-egotistical way, you're bound to develop insecurities about yourself and your physical appearance. So I'd say it starts off at a very young age. Hong Kong has the type of culture and mentality, where your elders feel compelled to dole out backhanded compliments or flat out insults about your appearance, weight, hair color and style, clothes, tattoos, etc. Luckily, I wasn't too subjected to that treatment, but I've definitely been on the receiving end of it. I absolutely do not agree with this kind of subtle verbal abuse.

At the end of the day, it made me a stronger person. That's why I'm so in awe of Amy Pence-Brown for doing this social experiment to promote self love and acceptance. Even to this day, I feel like I finally have a somewhat healthy self esteem, but I would never stand in a middle of a crowded place in my underwear and allow people to draw on me while I was blindfolded. That takes a lot of guts and courage. I can be fearless with certain things, but I could never do what she did. She is truly an inspiration and I commend her fearlessness.

The internet will always be plagued with trolls. From reading comments, I've discovered that the video has already been receiving some backlash. I find this absolutely appalling that people could actively but indirectly bully this incredible and courageous woman for supporting self-acceptance.

Who are these people? Are these people a 10? Do they have some complex that makes them think they're better than everyone else? Do they have "perfect" bodies and healthy bank accounts? Do they understand what self-acceptance is? Do they accept themselves? Who do you think you are? 

I'll tell you who you are, you're a coward. You are a hateful coward who should keep your hateful words to yourself. Just refrain yourself from typing. And stop being a coward. Just because the internet allows you to be anonymous, doesn't mean you should spew out ugly, monstrous words, because you are not in any way making the world a better place. These internet trolls need to be sent to an island forever.

Thank you Amy Pence-Brown for your act of self-love. I support your cause, because I think we all need to be a little more positive and spread that energy to make the world a better place. It's never going to change overnight, but if people slowly accept themselves, they may start to accept one another and hopefully, one day, we'll find ourselves on a happy and healthy planet. And then our grandchildren will thank the older generation for paving the way for them.

The Reflektor Tapes

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Trapped in a prison,
in a prism of light.
Alone in the darkness,
a darkness of white.
We fell in love,
alone on a stage,
in the reflective age. 
Entre la nuit, la nuit et l'aurore.
Entre le royaume des vivants et des morts.
[Translation: "Between the night, the night and the dawn. Between the realm of the living and the dead."]

I only recently got into Arcade Fire. I don't know where I was when Neon Bible or Funeral came out. Oh right, I was listening to a different genre of music. So now I'm super into the hypnotic sound and the romantic lyricism of Arcade Fire. I keep playing Reflektor and We Exist on repeat. Repeat and repeat. I love how music can affect me emotionally. I listen to music and I start to imagine visual imagery of a scene or colors and shapes. I wish I was more musically inclined and was able to read sheet music. But I digress.

I listen to a lot of music and all kinds of music. I mostly prefer to listen to classical, jazz, Bossa nova, opera, film scores, oldies and then I'll try to listen to new music. And sometimes I'll latch onto one or two singles and play them on repeat. I have a hard time finding new music, but I don't feel that way about Arcade Fire and I hope to learn more about their journey and philosophy of their music from the documentary. It's amazing to see influential musicians create such emotional and exciting work.

The Reflektor Tapes will have its world premiere at TIFF 2015 on 12 September 2015 and it will get a theatrical release on 24 September 2015.


Sunday, September 6, 2015

Today was like any other day, except it wasn't. She had only slept for four hours and this time, it didn't feel quite right. Her eyes opened to the sound of absolute silence. She was awake an hour before her alarm was due to go off. She laid there with her eyes open, chanting to herself, "I'm alive, thank you, I'm alive. Thank you universe." It felt like any regular day, she felt awake, yet she felt restless and weighted by the lack of sleep. Maybe it was insomnia, maybe it was exhaustion, but something was brewing under the surface. She had yet to know. The future was imminent. Like every day, the future was just in front of her.

She had experienced delirium. She had experienced insomnia. She had experienced exhaustion, but this felt... different. She refocused her attention to other thoughts: joy, happiness, gratitude, positive emotions. How could she not feel happiness or gratitude? She was alive, she could see, hear, speak, she had functioning limbs, a beating heart. She lives here and she was surrounded by beauty, but her mind was preoccupied... with a plague. The fear of death was looming. The fear started to develop, build, and morph into an ugly monster. It was overtaking all her senses. Her physical senses weren't failing her, but the physical body felt like it was shutting down. Stiff neck, lump in the throat, muscle ache, fatigue, migraine, pins and needles.

These symptoms weren't promising. She was paralyzed. How fast does a disease act? How fast does the fear of death consume your mind? It was fast. These symptoms came out of nowhere and suddenly, it was all she could think of. Are these symptoms a sign that her life was about to end. Why was she feeling all these physical symptoms? Are they real? Was she just imagining them? What was happening to her on a cellular level? How was she meant to navigate these thoughts? A million thoughts entered her mind.

Imagining what her next step was to be, she thought to herself, "This could be it. It's about to be over. When will I have my chance to tell you that I love you, I'm proud of you, I want you to be happy and live life to the fullest, because someday you'll be here, where I am right now and you won't want to waste another moment thinking about anything else but gratitude for your life." It was the most calming and chaotic moment of her life. She felt euphoria. She felt like she could release herself and let everything go.

But she wasn't ready to let go. So she fought it. She fought it with all her strength and might to crush this monster. This monstrous power was haunting and forceful, but she had no other choice. She found the strength within herself to put it to rest. How are you meant to fight the fear of death, when death feels like it's pointing right at you, ready to drag you away? She looked at it straight in the eye and said, "I'm not ready. I won't be ready until I have given myself and all of myself back to this universe. You will not take me away."

Slowly, her eyes fluttered open. She found herself in the same place. In the same place, but different. The air was lighter and purer. She could breathe again. There was no lump in her throat, no stiff neck, She felt bliss. She was overcome with tears of joy and sadness. The tears kept flowing copiously. The words of fear and joy kept flowing out of her mouth uncontrollably. "I thought I was going to die. I thought my life was going to end. It was completely irrational, but I thought I was going to die." In response, she was met with a disembodied voice, "You can't go yet. You have a huge list to accomplish and many to inspire to help us make this world more loving and caring."

This voice was right. She knew she trusted this voice with all her heart and being. She thanked the voice. It was the universe speaking to her. She was ready to live.