Sunday, October 8, 2006

A Grass Leaf, or A Girl with Kaleidoscope Eyes?




Trinh Cong Son, the melancholic songwriter whose music stays timeless in millions of Vietnamese hearts (except for some, including mine), once wrote, "Time after time in life I found myself to be a grass leaf soughing in freedom." (Đi ta có khi là lá c, ngi hát ca rt t do).


I think he might want to compare himself, or, broadly speaking, human life, with the life of a grass leaf. If that were true, I wonder why he should make such comparison. "You don't need to compare yourself with grass leaves," I thought to myself. "Instead you may think of yourself as a girl with kaleidoscope eyes." In fact this phrase is borrowed from some lyrics in the Beatles song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". There's nothing important here except the difference between the two ways of expressing oneself. Trinh Cong Son, strongly influenced by Buddhist faith and doctrines, does not lay much appreciation on human beings, whereas the Beatles, a purely western band, leave no room in their heart for any supernatural force, neither Jesus nor Buddha. Their leader, John Lennon, once said (brazenly enough to call God back to earth and to conjure up all dead believers), "Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock and roll or Christianity... Jesus was all right, but his disciples were thick and ordinary."


Anyway, put John Lennon and his quotes aside. What I'd lilke to say here is that the Beatles would always put themselves first, and by that they showed us their appreciation for human beings to some extent.