charlene + renhui // portraits

“Luck,” says Mister Eilliot, “is the most important element of all”.

Every once or twice in a year, a guy like me gets his otherwise misaligned stars aligned, and good things come his way. The weather becomes generally nicer, birds fly higher and photographs take the place of the pictures. The end result, very simply, are portraits such as those of Charlene & Renhui you see above.

I am deeply thankful for chance encounters like these. More so than ever, I am deeply appreciative of the kindness and warmth couples like Charlene & Renhui shower upon me with the least hesitation. These photographs aren’t reciprocation. Rather, I’d like to think of them as accurate representations of who they really are in reality.

It is not often that you meet a couple who listens to The Kooks, The Xx, The National, Shoegazers and the like. Charlene & Renhui are big time music junkies and they go all out to quench their thirst for being in the presence of live, pulsating gigs and concerts alike. In some ways, I empathize with that thirst because those are the rare few times in life where you feel truly alive.  Beer in hand running past the crowd from stage to stage when you can hardly decide if you should go for Coldplay, Radiohead or Kings of Leon playing simultaneously at different stages.

It has been so long since I’ve been able to just talk and listen to a couple not just about their relationships, hilarious anecdotes back in SMU, but also about little things when absent, makes our lives pretty much dull. In some cases, these are also the same things that when absent, aren’t quite worth living for. Little things like music interests, food or the next good place to have coffee and spend a lazy Sunday afternoon with the ones you hold most dear to. Talking to someone and listening to someone talking are simple human behaviors, but they too are human endeavors we constantly forget to pursue.

Significant people in my life often bemoan at the fact that I do not listen enough or that I hardly remember significant dates like their birthdays. Most recently, it was that I am flippant with my responses. More often than not, I begged to differ but also often wondered how would everything would have unfolded if I really could have just listened a little closer, looked into their eyes a little more often.

Flat, neutral and in a magic potion of charged stillness.

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