Come make your eyes explode!

I know what you're thinking. No, it's not just a random picture of candies (I surprised myself with my special secret ability to make sense of that ridiculous picture). But I also know what else you're thinking. Yes, it's ugly. But entertain me and look again. Can you see something else?

I doubt it. Not when you don't know what you're looking for.

This ugly picture here is called a stereogram. Those of you who might know what I'm talking about here can go back to the image immediately and look again. I'm serious, go back before I give you the big spoiler. If you're one of those clueless people, read on.

You know how you sometimes hear about two people looking at a seemingly boring pattern image and you have one guy going, "Oh yeah, I can see a dolphin in that picture!", and the other guy (always the annoyed one, with a Scottish accent) saying, "Are you on Special K again? No, I don't see a damn thing!".

Okay, so I made the Scottish accent up, but you have to agree with me that hear this scenario all the time. Those two people are most likely looking at a stereogram.

A stereogram, to put it simply, a two-dimensional image that is created to produce an optical illusion, giving you a sense of depth. A sense of depth is what makes us see in 3-D. A stereogram, like the one on top, has a sort of "hidden" 3-D shape that you can only see if you focus your vision in a certain way. I don't want to give you a lecture on stereogram, so Google if you wanna know more.

But I will tell you briefly how to look at it. You need to use your "soft gaze", which is exactly the gaze you have when you are deeply lost in thoughts.Remember how the things around you appear blurry and you slightly see double at the same time? This is because your focus is not to an object near you. Instead, your point of focus is far away, as if you are looking at a person far in a field.

If you can't voluntarily make that gaze, or simply can't remember how to, try fixing your gaze at a wall a bit further from you. Then hold that gaze and slowly turn your head to the monitor and look at the crazy candy picture. Keep on looking and slightly adjust your focus until you see a 3-D shape. If you can, pat yourself on the head. The first experience of that three dimensional perspective is always quite overwhelming.

If you can't, keep trying. If you still can't after trying, then it sucks to be you.

P.S. I remember my first stereogram many years ago. I was basically like a kid excited to get a remote control helicopter. Oh, wait, I never got any.

I hate you too

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Home II

I reached home. Mama was there to greet me first. Her face was filled with a thousand emotions that magically resonated within me as well. It wasn't simply "happy" or "relieved". The concoction of emotions splashed into a unique colour that is rarely ever seen.

She stood there as if waiting to be hugged. I embraced her and closed my eyes. I could feel the rest of the world didn't exist as I was locked. It was just... us.

Then there was my dad together with my brothers all rejoicing in the reunion. I hugged each one of them.

I gave one of my best hugs to my dearest younger sister. I can see how she have grown into a mature woman.

But one was missing. And I missed him dearly.

Then they told me he died. From their faces, I could tell it was a truth. My brother was really gone.

Slowly I kneeled and I cried.

I cried very hard. And it was very hard to control.

My sister sat beside me later that night. She said three years ago, I was supposed to die. I didn't wake up for a year and my dead brother made a selfless deal so that he could trade places with me. Ever since then he was slowly dying, but he never showed it to anyone.

The worst part was that I never realised any of this ever happened. I didn't even know I was out cold for a year. With this newfound knowledge, again I cried. My sister hugged me differently this time. It was as if she was trying to embrace my broken heart to prevent it from chipping away. I think I felt her tears on my shoulder.

Days later, I found myself staring out the window into the dark midnight sky. There were strands of stars dangling in the moonless dark blue canvas. It was indeed a beautiful sight but I failed to appreciate it. I might be looking at the stars, but my eyes truly staring into a lifeless void.

Then he came into my room. I looked to him and felt a gush of tears wanting to stream down my cheeks again. To see him again after all the years, after all the news, after all the tears, after all the guilt, was an overwhelming experience that I could not describe in existing terms. He approached me slowly and stroked my right cheek. He never said a word, but I could understand him. His gentle eyes and bittersweet smile said it all. He wanted me to know that it is alright. "Everything is going to be alright..."

At this point too much tears had streamed that I could not feel them anymore. I had never cried so much in my entire life.

Then I woke up - eyes opened first - but I was still lying on my bed. I wasn't sure if my eyes were wet, as I was too engrossed in the emotions I felt at that moment, and it didn't matter to me. Strangely (or not?), I knew it was just a dream within seconds of waking up.

Sometimes I have incredibly vivid dreams such as this, and I could retain the memories of the emotions that I felt within the dream. They all felt exactly like the real thing; the emotions were not blunted in any way at all. As horrible as the dream I had last night was, I was glad to live in that dream. The experience of such intense emotions I have never encountered before in my real life. I was given the opportunity to go through it before a real scenario hits me. Maybe this will prepare me. But then, maybe you can never prepare.

With that said, I felt a strong longing to be at home with my mum and dad, my brothers and my only sister. I really wished I was at home where I don't feel alone.

When a person misses his family, meeting them, seeing them with his own eyes, kissing them and hugging them are not the only things that matter - it goes so much further than that. In essence, it is their mere presence around him that his heart asks for.

In other words, when you are with your family, you don't even have to say anything. It is enough to just sit quietly beside any of them and look softly at the faces. They might be puzzled at your rare gaze, but keep on looking and just give a slight smile. They might then understand.

How I wish I could sit at my usual spot at home with my mum and sister right now. With the sound of scissors and sewing machine and baby and trivial chat filling my ears. Ridiculously noisy at times but I can always escape to the kitchen.

(credits to desertman @ deviantART)
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Home I

Where the doors are moaning all day long,
Where the stairs are leaning dusk till dawn,

Where the windows are breathing in the light,
Where the rooms are a collection of our lives,

This is a place where I don't feel alone,
This is a place that I call my home...
(Cinematic Orchestra - That Home)


I swear if this song was what I hear first thing when I woke up this morning, I'd cry.

Dreams can feel so real.

(credits to ariadnezenit @ deviantART)

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