I came to the chaotic and hippie Kaleidoscope from the rigid and structured Singapore, so it was pretty much a shock to me at the beginning. Nobody seems to be doing anything yet they seem to be doing many things. The whole place was painted with bright colours yet there seem to be a foreboding darkness. The quotes on the walls are inspirational yet the decays and molds are depressing. The place is full of people and calm energy yet it is somehow void of life and strength. There is so much going on with kids playing and people painting, planting and practising yoga, yet there is a sense of emptiness. It is full of mixed energies from the delusional to the inspirational. It is a bubbling cauldron of creations and destructions. It is somewhat like the surreal world where dreams and reality collide. The part where you see people pilling bricks on the crumbling wall of babel.At night the place will turn into a magical place, when it is dark and you could not see all that is falling apart. What you have left is a peaceful house in the middle of a jungle, with the sounds of nature engulfing the place. I had an amazing discussion with some of the people at night, out in the jungle on the verandah. Heated debates in the cooling jungle breeze. The place starts to grow on me after I stayed the second night. Somehow you start to overlook all the dirt, the mess and the broken. You start to feel at home and just want to chill and do nothing much there. Unfortunately or fortunately, I still haven’t decide, I had to go anyhow because I would like to get some dip in the sea which I love before my short trip is done. I told the Australian hippie I debated over night with, that I had to go as the place starts to grow on me, and he commented later when he heard it again “ah so that is why you left, you are afraid of attachment”. Which he could be right, maybe I am running away from all the commitments and attachments? Maybe I am running from the sufferings or the fear of loss.
So I left the surreal Kaleidoscope. Now that I am reflecting back on it, it does put a smile on my face. As someone who loves surreal arts and surreal books, how much more beautiful it is than to experience surreality itself. Indeed it is not something you love at first sight, but with enough awe and appreciation you will see the beauty in it, the magic it brings to the people willing to surrender themselves into it. Kaleidoscope resembles life in a way, full of hopes and dreams and creations, yet there will always be destructions, imperfections and sufferings. Wabisabi, to see the beauty in the imperfect. Life can be wonderful and yet at the same time also suffering, maybe that is how it should be. The strife for dreams and creations despite all the loss and destructions is what makes life meaningful. So we beat on, day after day, like boats against the currents, to continue living the life that borders surreality.