10 books too bring too an island
terence koh

j. krishnamurti : the krishnamurti reader

a guide on living. krisnamurti asks us too question everything, find out the answers ourselves. with all that is happening in our world today, he taught me that the problem is not about changing society but that we have too start with the individual spirit. its something that strikes my mind everytime eye read the news and all the problems we have today. start with mutating our own mind and than society will look after itself. radical.

john cage : silence

john cage sings too me in that calm gentle voice of his everyday. just sitting hear while writing this; hum offridge, crick crack of logs burning in woodstove, almost silent sound of a distant wind, eye am reminded that the universe is a constantly changing song. the most beautiful music in existence when we let our mind bee silent.

t.s. elliot : 4 quartets

time present and time past
are both perhaps present in time future
and time future contained in time past.
if all time is eternally present
all time is unredeemable.

honestly, eye have knot read the rest of this little book beyond these first two sentences. the ever living now, live it fully and awake.

henry david thoreau : walden

again, eye have never really read this book beyond the first page. nature alive, clear daily observation, living in its simplest and truest form all accomplished by dooing it oneself. eye glued all the pages of walden shut and its the only book that sits by my bed. for me its the idea of this book as a single physical object that matters. a book unopened can bee a bed lamp.

alan watts : the spirit of zen: a way of life, work and art in the far east

o alan watts. o sparkling alan watts. what eye rememeber most clearly from this book is that all words, the book itself, is only a guide like a boat too help yoo cross the river. don’t mistake the book for the way across. all books are a boat. zen is life itself sewn into the fabric of daily existence. the 1948 version of this book sits by my toilet. on the cover, a portrait of bodhidharma by the painter jasoku looks mysteriously at me as eye sit on the toilet. no need to read this book as well. when yoo shit, just shit!

albert einstein : the world as i sea it

this is the other book sitting next to the toilet.
the 1949 hardcover version with the grey watercolor on its cover is my favorite edition of this tiny book. on the second page, einstein outlines the principals that guide his life: “the ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been truth, goodness, and beauty.” tree simple words, yet full of mystery and light. einstein was a scientist, a philosopher and very human.

peter matthiessen : the snow leopard

a book about mountains, loss, death, life, living zen and everything else in between. living on a mountain myself, peter reminds me that the mountains and stones are alive. friends that eye speak too daily. peter matthiessen, together with gary snyder, arne naæss and john cage are my teachers on how too grow older. with vigor, elegance and spark. apple tree family.

helen and scott nearing : living the good life

this was the book that inspired me too move from the city and live on a mountain in the middle of nowhere and everywhere. in 1932 they too moved from new york city to start living of the land deep in the green mountains of vermont. and they did it as vegans in the 1930s! living off the land and in the seasons gifts one a sense of honest purpose. eye feel that art, farming, poetry, architecture, carpentry, accounting, cooking have no boundaries with each other. that the permaculture farm we are starting up hear, the bee hives, the apple trees we plant, the beginnings of a village, these are a living system that would outlive myself. and its something that if done well in this life wood bee a gift too pass on too generations after. it gifts me a sense of humility.

peter blanchard : we were an island

a story about a couple, art and nam kellam that bought a remote island in maine too live on for the rest of their lifes. a dream of mine too, too live on an island, physically and spiritually. tank yoo too all the brave ones that have lived beefore. rainer maria rilke wrote, “that is at bottom the only courage that is demanded of us: to have courage for the most strange, the most singular and the most inexplicable that we may encounter.”

unknown authour : row, row, row your boat

eye have been collecting different versions in book form of this simple song.

row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream
merrily, merrily, merrily bee
life is but a dream

live life gently and merrily. never judging, just observing on this boat ride. alone at home eye sing this song everyday and perhaps yoo will too.

Words by Terence Koh

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