Life like the maze runner

There’s a lot about life that we can’t comprehend enough with our minds. That’s okay.
In this post I’m writing about three things: quotes, photographs and my short thoughts on The Maze Runner series. I’ve been reading a lot of stuff recently and I came across many sentences that struck a chord in me. I think that somehow, each statement relates to some part of my life and although I can never explain enough how it does, I guess I could mention a little of it.
Also, I’ve kept in touch with photography – taking pictures of everyday things in my everyday life whenever I felt like it. I’m proud to say I managed to take more photos – both using the phone and the camera, and I’ve learnt to appreciate the simple beauty of the world. It doesn’t need to be minimalistic, complex, simple or vibrant for a photo to look beautiful and for the world to appear more serene and picturesque than it really is. It doesn’t take much for a photo to show peace when my heart is in turmoil. In fact, the photos could calm me down, so I hope you like it too.
Also, ever since I saw the poster about The Maze Runner movie, I was interested in the series and the plot and I went to read the whole series. The Maze Runner Trilogy is now one of my favourite series of books and stories aside from others, and I think that since it’s pretty hot now, I could write something short on it. It’s nothing like a real review or a synopsis – it’s just part of my thoughts that I’m sharing, so take it with a pinch of salt.

When you grow really close to friends, sometimes you forget to continue learning more about them.

This is something my best friend mentioned that I came across. It hit me, because I realised that in a friendship, it’s all about getting to know and love the other person. How does a friendship last? It lasts through communication with the other party. And that’s keeping track of their loves, wants and life. That’s knowing how they think and thus finding out more about them. That’s going through thick and thin with them and constantly learning about them when they live through the million different situations life can present itself. That’s understanding, arguing against or embracing their point of view of something, and keeping up a conversation you know you couldn’t have with someone else you weren’t that close to. That’s sharing your life with them in a manner that’s not demanding – you don’t need to meet them so often, you don’t have to physically touch them or be with them, you don’t have to have the depth of emotional investment like a relationship (there is emotional investment, but on a different level), but you can be their best friend and literally go through life with the friendliest and most sincere support you could ever get outside your family. Your close friend becomes like your sibling. Your heart, your life, a part of you.

The marks humans leave are too often scars.

How true this is. So many people talk about ‘leaving a legacy’, ‘leaving a mark’, ‘leaving a good impression’ in this fast-paced world we live in, but who talks about ‘leaving a scar’? For a scar to appear, there has to be a wound, and it’s a painful and long process when you get a scar or when you leave one on someone else. Nobody talks about these bad things, as if it’s taboo, because honestly speaking, who wants to do that? Who wants to leave scars on someone else?
Sadly, we do it – intentionally or not. It doesn’t take much for you to inflict a hurt on someone and let that turn into a scar in their lives. This got me thinking because I wondered what sort of actions I might have had to inflict a scar on someone else, and whether I had done it before. It also made me wonder how many scars I have on myself, and sad to say, I do have big ugly ones which cross the pages of my book. I hope it’ll fade, but here’s something to remember – scars are permanent, they’re meant to be left there and meant to leave a mark. They’re meant to last and meant to look ugly. They’re meant to be somewhat obvious that it’s there and they’re meant to carry memories. Keeping that in mind, I know the scars will never go away. The scars you leave behind on someone else will never go away. They fade, but never to the point they disappear completely. Humans often leave behind scars on someone else because they don’t think carefully about any sin they do, or they do something on purpose for their own benefit. More often than not, being selfish leaves behind ugly scars and large black voids. I think I look like a volcano crater right at this moment.
I would want to be a paintbrush and leave behind strokes of colour and vibrancy in someone else’s life, and paint a painting on them, with us, about something happy. Even if I were to paint something dull and depressing, I would want to do it well and make sure it becomes something beautiful, not an ugly scar out of place on a smooth piece of paper. I would want to fill the paper with something natural and beautiful, something to treasure and remember whether or not it’s colourful or sombre. I would want to be an artist and paint breathtaking pictures on other people’s lives. I would want to leave behind something good.
Scrap that notion that we leave behind scars. I might be scarred, but it doesn’t mean I can’t be an artist.

We’re not friends, we’re not enemies. We’re strangers with some memories.

How often does this happen? Right away, you can think of a few scenarios which turn out this way – relationships of all kinds. Romantic, platonic, family. Sometimes we prefer to think of someone else this way rather than calling them our enemies because it’s so tiring to keep hating someone after a long period of time when nothing happens. Sometimes it’s better to think of someone as a stranger with memories because we’ve forgiven the person but we’ve gone too far to become close again, or to even become a friend or an acquaintance. The talk just dies, the feelings all die, and the person becomes just another someone in the world, a stranger, with memories.
This happens too often, and it’s a sad thing. People we once knew so well, people we still know, but people we have to pretend we don’t know. These people are the ones that you know the random details about them – what they like, how they live, what they like to eat and drink, where they like to go, how their families are like, how many siblings they had, what they did at certain times – and yet, some time later, when you set your eyes on them again, you guys are strangers, you don’t talk, you don’t see each other, you might not even say hi. You walk past each other like you’ve never known them, but yet in your memories, you clearly live the times you’ve spent with them, all your knowledge of them, and every emotion that comes with it.
It’s heartbreaking if you keep thinking about it, so move on. And don’t let this happen if you can help it, because it’s one of the saddest things you could do, leaving a scar on their lives and your own life, and letting go of someone.

The Maze Runner Trilogy is a series with four books in it – The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure and The Kill Order, the last book being a prequel to the first three books which are sequels. Written by James Dashner, in a nutshell, the story revolves around Thomas the main character, and his friends Minho, Newt, Gally, Alby, Chuck and Teresa. They are Gladers, who appear from The Box having absolutely no memories of their past except their names, and they are forced to survive in the Glade surrounded by the Maze with seemingly no way out. But they eventually get out, find out the Maze was the first phase of the Trials, and are forced to go through a second trial at the Scorch, and finally a third trial before they’re released and grow to understand a lot of things outside the trials. They grow to become against the organisation WICKED, and they try to bring it down and get out of it. That’s the trilogy in a nutshell.

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This is one of the most amazing (and favourite! If I may add) series of books I have ever read. It really kept me hooked for long hours and it never failed to excite me and keep the pages turning. There’s a lot of real emotions invested in the books which I could feel as well, and I think the storyline and characters were well-written and portrayed.
What I loved most were the emotions I could truly feel from the characters, especially Thomas, while reading, and this was especially so in the first book of the series, The Maze Runner. It felt so real and somewhat like what we’re all living in now – trapped in a place called Earth with no way out no matter how far we’ve explored the universe. I could feel his frustration, terror, fear, anger and curiosity bursting all at once, and after reading the book I was too worked up to calm down and snap back to reality. In a way it mirrors our lives right now and the elements of the Glade are very real and normal in our society as well. We’re like them – frustrated with no way out. If we really had a life-degenerating disease like the Flare, which is actually possible in our times, we would definitely fall into chaos just like them. We would panic, we would be desperate for a cure, we would feel all the pent-up frustrations and emotions at everyone and ourselves. We wouldn’t want to suffer and there would be people definitely begging to die, like Newt. There would be killing, there would be lots of pain and regret, there would be an end. As such, the world is very much like how it’s described in the series. The events and the plot is realistic and imaginable, and I liked how the events unfolded. I liked how there was an element of unpredictability due to the future setting of the story and the use of advanced technology, which many of it hasn’t really penetrated into modern society in the way it’s common in the book, and due to the fact that the book focused more on the adventure, the unknown and the forward movement of time and the characters. It isn’t a sappy story with a lot of romance in it (you can almost always predict romance novels and films), it isn’t a usual story with something you can easily predict, and that’s what kept me hooked.
One of the downsides of the story, to me, would be the lack of romantic emotions in the book. Sure, there are confused feelings between Thomas and Teresa and Brenda, but it’s not that deeply invested in and more focused on the trust issue that Thomas has with them. It’s not focused on the attraction and as Thomas’s trust in Teresa goes on a roller coaster ride, it becomes increasingly evident that Teresa isn’t someone he would and could easily choose. How would you be able to choose someone you’ve lost trust in so many times and doubted so many times? I feel that the author could have added more spice to the story by adding the element of true love in it, and perhaps to more characters, such as maybe some sort of lust or feeling in Minho. Thomas being the only one with a (complicated) attraction makes it seem as though the characters are subjects, not humans with emotions which include attraction to the opposite sex. Especially so as they’re all mostly teenagers, with raging hormones, and since I doubt the Swipe did anything to remove their raging hormones, surely there would have been more people with emotions and attraction to each other than just the girls and Thomas. The author’s attempt to inject some form of normal humanity in the books by mentioning Minho talking to a cute girl in the Berg and the group seeing a couple at Crank Palace is too little, and while I understand that the author might not have wanted to focus on romance, he should have included more emotions within the other characters. The emotions were too centred towards Thomas, and personally I would have liked to understand Minho, Brenda and Newt a lot more.
My favourite characters are Thomas and Minho, quite naturally, but I think there’s a lot more to the thought processes and self-control that Thomas possesses that I like. This is probably because the story is written somewhat in Thomas’s perspective, internal-focalised into his thoughts and emotions. It’s apt for him as the main character of the book, but it also intrigued me to the thought processes of the other characters, especially Minho, Alby, Chuck, Gally, Jorge, Brenda and Newt. I really wanted to know how these characters felt an thought throughout, not merely from Thomas’s perspective, but from theirs as well. I hope the movie manages to bring out more emotions in them than the book could.
Overall, I really loved these series, and I think I will read the books again when I have time – and definitely watch the movie.
On a side note, if I may add, I keep portraying Minho’s image not as the actor in The Maze Runner movie, whom I think is Ki Hong Lee, but as SHINee’s Minho – I think he somewhat suits the description as well. He’s athletic and definitely suited to be a runner, he’s of the same Asian race, and he could very well fight like Minho does in the book. He’s quite suited for the role, and I think that’s why his image is stuck in my mind whenever I picture Minho in the book. Hopefully Ki Hong Lee does a good job in changing my image of Minho… if I want him to (I like SHINee’s Minho and yes, I am a K-Pop fan).

Last but not least, here are some pictures I snapped randomly. They’re all taken by me, so please credit me. They depict parts of my everyday life which I won’t be elaborating even when I post the pictures, and I hope you enjoy them. I did my best and it served to re-ignite my passion for photography which had been dying lately. I’ll slowly improve my skills because I think these are not the best shots, but they’re beautiful enough at the moment. They bring peace to my turmoil.

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The following photo is something I found online. I liked the feel it gave me – freedom and calm. I think it’s interesting how a photo that’s not blue in colour could invoke so much feeling and thought in me. It’s pinkish, and I think I’m loving the hues.

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The picture below is the last photo of this post. It’s so realistic I thought it was photographed…

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… but nope, it’s a giant charcoal drawing, and the artist is super talented to be able to draw like this! I’m really amazed at the amount of talent the world has, and I just wish there is something concrete I know I’m good at. I love this picture from this artist called Mandy Wang, and I think this is one of my favourite paintings that I’ll ever come across. You can check out Mandy’s instagram here which features her drawings and art, and admire her talent.

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