Monday, December 31, 2007

mY JoUrNEy oF AcCepTaNce

Accepting me, for who I am.
Accepting others, for who they are.
Accepting, that I am broken.
Accepting, that no one is perfect.
Accepting, responsibility for my own life.
Accepting, decisions that I make for myself.
Accepting, I cannot blame others for the choices I make.
Accepting help, when it comes, in whatever form it comes.

Accepting, with humility, and grace.
Accepting, with faith, and courage.

It’s time.

Let go of the old, embrace the new.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

wE fiGHt, We FiGht, we FigHT

Every scar is a battle fought, and lost
Every tear speaks of opportunity, and cost

Without darkness, there is no light
Without blindness, there is no sight

Each man fights his own fight

Just breathe
And believe

Friday, December 28, 2007

sPheREs oF PosSibiLiTieS

I sit, surrounded by 4 cats and a dog. In this little world of mine, I am the master.

Beyond me, is a world so immense and complex. In this big wide world, I am but a little speck.

Change your frame of reference, and you get a totally different perspective. Change your perspective, and you get a new lease of life.

What’s this about considering both sides of the coin? It’s a mighty darn big sphere that has infinite possibilities, if only you care to look.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

gOinG On

The world sucks. Bad people kill. Good people die. It’s never just right, or wrong. Questions don’t necessarily have answers. After the darkness may not come light.

Yet, we go on, like the Energiser bunny. Tides continue to turn. Day and night are engaged in an endless game of tag.

Choose life, he said

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

mY RoOm

My room is in a mess! But I’m not quite in the mood to do anything about it. It’s a weird theory, but I don’t like to do things halfway, so when I know I don’t have the energy to tidy my room to mint condition, I just let it languish.

That’s my perfectionist self talking. Either I do something 200%, or I don’t do it at all.

Or that could be my lazy self talking. Why bother to fold your blanket when you are going to be using it again tonight?

Be careful what you wish for.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


I wonder, when our world-views started to develop and took shape and fell into place. Was there a moment when enlightenment dawned upon us? Or was it an amalgamation of experiences that informed us?

When did I learn the difference between good and bad? How did I come to know that killing is bad but forgiving is good? What gave me the tinted glasses, rose or otherwise, with which I see the world?

Once in a while, something comes along that challenges our beliefs, our values, our world-views, what we hold sacred. And suddenly, you lose your bearings. It is like the compass of life decided to malfunction, right at the juncture where you need it the most.

In situations like this, you have to re-evaluate your world-views, re-negotiate a new set of bearings, re-learn how to live.

So do I choose left, or right? I think I’ll just follow my nose.


Christmas Day has traditionally been one of joy, cheer, warmth, laughter, goodwill, and love.

It is a quiet Christmas this year. No visiting. No partying. Just a kind of quiet solitude. A kind of hushed silence. A kind of calm balance.

So I count my blessings this day…

  • Christmas mass in the morning.
  • Preparing dinner and eating with my family.
  • Exchanging gifts with my loved ones.

And for this, I am ever grateful – one more chance at living.

Monday, December 24, 2007


Wistful, is how I would describe my mood now. An intriguing, lingering, sobering kind of mood. I used to love the holiday period, the festive dressing-up-and-going-for-mass Christmas mood, the excited can’t-wait-for-it-to-come New Year kind of mood.

In the last two years though, I have been feeling detached from this holiday. A holiday that brings with it so many, so many, just so many memories. Wistful, because I have been happier before. Wistful, because I could be happier in the future.

Waiting, for a miracle to happen.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

oF LiFe & rEaLiTY

I want to write a book. A book about life. But it will be a difficult book to write. Because life is so big and huge and enormous to pen down into words.

I have this bad habit, of thinking about life more than actually living it. And perhaps inadvertently, I have missed out on a lot of things in life. Because, think about it, the only way to truly understand life is to live it.

Mind the gap, between what you think is reality and what reality is.

cOnTEmpLaTinG HOspiTaLs

Hospitals, are such institutions of structure and stability in a time of chaos and confusion. The clerks, the orderlies, the nurses, the doctors, they each know their place. While you are caught up in the pandemonium of sickness and anxiety, there is also an underlying unspoken order to things.

You are briefed before you are admitted to hospital. You get to your ward and you are given your bed and a set of hospital “clothes” to wear (which are normally in some horrible sickly colour and so big you are swimming in it). Every morning you wake up at 7am. You are given your breakfast and then shoo-ed off to bathe. The doctors make their rounds about 10am. They make polite conversation with you while looking through your case-sheet, and adjust your meds as they see fit. And for the rest of the day, you are pretty much left alone. Meals are served at specific times (five meals a day). Then comes dispensing time where you are given your meds and the nurses try to stare at you discreetly to make sure you take them. Not forgetting the checks on your blood-pressure, your blood, and sometimes your urine. Lights out at 9pm. And the days go by in similar routine.

A routine that is boring, yet so organised. So organised you feel protected. So organised you are able to calm down. So organised it’s like a refuge from the hectic world outside.

I like hospitals because they make me feel safe, so safe.

Monday, December 17, 2007

tHE RaiN & mE

It’s been raining the whole day. The kind of dreary rain that leaves you feeling weary. Like all the colours have been washed out, leaving behind a faded grayish gray. And the sun has gone into hiding. I need to wear a sweater even in my own house.

It’s been raining the whole day. The kind of gloomy rain that leaves me feeling moody. Like all pensive and serious, leaving me with some kind of faint throbbing headache. And the thinking doesn’t have a point. I call it the end-of-year blues.

It’s been raining the whole day. And it’s interesting the impact the weather has on my mood.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

bUY, BuY, bUy!

I was at a bookstore today trying to look for the kind of envelope with bubble-wrap inside so I can send some DVDs off to a friend. I didn’t find the envelope, apparently they only sell them in post-offices.

But wow, the number of people out shopping completely bowled me over! It was as if the entire population decided to descend on the shopping mall, all at the same time. Seriously, it was like everyone, decided at the same moment, to scramble for calendars for 2008. All the gift shops and toy stores and department outlets were filled to the brim. People were walking around carrying humungous bagsful of shopping.

Why do people feel obligated to give gifts at Christmas? I mean, how many of us have gotten completely useless stuff at Christmas gift exchanges? The commercialism that is hyped up over Christmas is so far from the reality of Jesus’ birth in the manger that it’s a wonder they are connected in any way.

Me? I reject commercialism. But, I still like the shopping!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

mEAniNg & LifE

I have been pondering about life. More specifically, my life. And even more specifically, the meaning of my life.

See, it’s one of those philosophical (rhetorical?) questions that tend to visit me every now and again.

I remember one muggy and humid afternoon, when I was 11. I had just woken up from my afternoon nap. And at that moment of waking, at that precise moment when my eyes opened, I had an insight. I AM ALIVE! The realization hit me with such force and clarity that I was winded. Even today, I can still remember that feeling inside me. That feeling of utter certainty, and a kind of awe.

Now, that’s what I would call a life-changing experience. And I suppose from that time, I have been on this search for the meaning of my life. Who am I? What is my role in this world? Or, simply put, what the hell am I doing here?

My friend says there is no answer, one just sort of grows into the question/ answer.

So while I continue to ruminate and integrate, I thought these words from Woodrow Wilson give me some sort of beginning to begin with, I guess…

“You are not here merely to make a living. You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world. You impoverish yourself if you forget this errand.”

And I wonder, how?

Friday, December 14, 2007

sTRanGeR @ tHE dOoR

Last night, a man came to our door. A stranger, who stood outside, without words, just looking. We jumped out of our skins and everyone had a momentary panic attack. And as Dad walked over to check out what the matter was, the man, the stranger, he asked for some water. Dad waved him off and shut our wooden door.

And today, thinking about that incident last night, I’m not so sure waving him off was the best thing to do. Remember what Jesus said about feeding the poor and helping our neighbours?

Then again, we have been taught from young to never talk with strangers. Our instinct is self-preservation, and any threat to that, real or imagined, is to protect ourselves. And with all these stories about thefts and killers and stalkers and terrorism, we can never be sure.

Was the stranger genuinely thirsty he had to stop outside our house to ask for a cup of water? Was the stranger trying to be funny and looking for a way to rob us? Was the stranger in his right mind? Was the stranger in need of help?

We’ll never know, because we waved him away.

Perhaps the least we could have done was to give him a cup of water, you think?

Thursday, December 13, 2007


How can someone hold so much anger inside them? Wouldn’t they collapse from the weight?

Imagine having to carry the wrath of the world on your back. Imagine having to shoulder those grudges and pettiness over time.

You clench your iron-hot fists. You grit your charcoal-stained teeth. And for that moment, you crush up the world and bite off your enemy’s head.

The human heart can only hold this much, before it overflows.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

oF FaiRY tALeS & LovE

When I was younger, I was fascinated with fairy tales. I dreamed of myself being the ill-treated, forgotten, downtrodden princess whose prince would come one day to rescue her and they would then live happily ever after.

I think I was less enamoured by the happily ever after part as I was drawn to the idea that there’s a prince who would come. For me. A prince especially for me. I mean, what more can one ask for in life than this?

Life happens. Love rages. Love cools. Love proposes. Love denies. Love ignites. Love lost.

He said perhaps I could learn to love again. I think not.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


For you, who shared with me the story of the elephant.

Monday, December 10, 2007

wHaT A ChaNgE

Priorities change, over time. Things I used to love I don’t love anymore. Things I didn’t love I love now.

I used to love being a busy executive, traveling to different places for my work, once even going as far as USA. I love the fact that I was being recognized in my work, that I am busy because my work has value. And the sense of fulfillment when my work gains praise from clients or my bosses gave me a rush. I felt important.

Now, I have become tired. I don’t relish living out of my suitcase anymore. I cannot stand the stress that comes with work, the tight deadlines, the groveling in front of clients. It all just feels so fake, perpetrating a vicious cycle I do not believe in.

Stability. That’s what I want now. Time. That’s what I yearn for now. Space. That’s what I long for now. The stability and time and space to explore the world anew. And freedom. The freedom to pick up a book and be able to spend time reading it. The freedom to catch my dreams and write them down. The freedom to live.

My favourite colour used to be blue. But now I think the reds and browns, the greens and yellows, the blacks and greys, the oranges and pinks, I think they are just as pretty.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

LoOK at mE

After the echoes of applause have died down, there comes an understanding. Being on stage just for that moment takes a lot of you and out of you. And yet, we continue to yearn, for that moment. That moment, when you are all alone on the stage. That moment, when all your months of preparations come to fruition. That moment, when you are recognized.

Or perhaps, I’m just a big sucker for attention.

iNSidE oF Me

“Being compelled to speak honestly might be uncomfortable – but facing one’s true being is perilous. The human soul, stripped naked, is a hungry, prideful thing.”

(from JLA: League of One by Christopher Moeller)

Thursday, December 6, 2007

hERe gOEs

Screw the dream and live the life!


I feel an intense sense of restlessness. Churning up my insides.

A vapour that shrouds me. A mist of worry.

Restless. Intensely restless.

I wonder why?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

'tiS ThE QueSTioN

We fall, and we stand up, and we fall again, and we stand up again… and again and again. Every time you fall, something in you changes. You are no longer the same person.

The change could be ground-breaking and earth-shattering. Or the change could be light as a baby’s fingers touching your face. The change could turn your whole world upside down and inside out. Or the change could leave only the tiniest traces on you.

Yet change, is indelible. Or so they say, change is the only constant in life.

Have I allowed the changes to make me a better person or have I let the changes defeat me?

Monday, December 3, 2007

tHRoUgH yOUr EyeS

Without your eyes, I am nobody
Without your eyes, I am nothing
Without your eyes, I don’t know who I am
Without your eyes, I don’t know what to do

My life, is built on what you think of me
My reality, is built on what you see of me
My self-worth, is built on what you recognize in me
My very being, is built on what you expect from me

Look away, and I disappear
Turn away, and I cease to exist
Walk away, and I am no more

So please, don’t let go of me, not now.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

iT WiLL bE Ok

I have a teddy dog named Micki. He’s been with me for ages, and I cuddle him every time I sleep. Over the years, Micki has seen a fair bit of my dreams and imaginings. He has shared in my joys and happenings. He has witnessed my tears and heartbreakings.

Micki is a faithful friend. He doesn’t judge me. He listens to me. His presence calms me. And I love how he smells, like home. Micki smells like I have come home.

But Micki has been losing weight. He is now probably only three-quarters or less than when we first met. I suspect my blood, sweat and tears have finally got to him. Micki is becoming frail and fraying at the edges.

Yet whenever I cry, he continues to hold me. And in times of fear, we hide together under the blanket. I count my breathing in sets of 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 until I am no longer hyperventilating.

And he whispers in my ear, “It’s ok. It’s all going to be ok.”

Saturday, December 1, 2007

SeEKiNg tRUth

I have been doing a lot of thinking these days. Looking hard into my self. And it’s difficult work. Learning to listen to the voices within you is difficult. How do you stop the incessant chatter and listen out for that still small voice inside? How do you know which voice is really you?

There are things I discovered about myself that shocked me. Half-truths I tried to hide. Lies I tried to tell. But it’s like your heart or conscience never lets you go. It always comes back to the same basic ground rule – what is the truth? And only you know what is true. The path that leads to truth is a path you must walk alone.

My friend tells me, there are different facets to truth, and one aspect of it may not be the complete truth.

For I am greater than the sum of my parts.

Friday, November 30, 2007


No one says anything bad about the dead. I mean, I haven’t come across anyone who says to the dead, “You really deserved to die!”

People tend to remember the nice things. How wonderfully caring he was as a father. How absolutely filial he was as a son. How amazingly loving he was as a husband. How truly blessed it was to have befriended him.

Is it out of a polite respect for the dead? No matter who or what he was before, in death he is always good and kind-hearted and nice.

How simple it all seems. Death, the great equalizer.

tHE paRAdOx Of SiLEncE

Silence, can be very frightening. It makes me feel alone, and so lonely. It makes me go scrambling for my CDs and mp3s, my stereo and my handphone. It makes me want to chatter endlessly. It is a silence that is so loud I need to do everything I can to block it out. It is the silence when I am with others.

Silence, can be very comforting. It makes me feel alone, and so peaceful. It gives me space to breathe. It makes me want to sit down and spend time with it. It is a whisper that makes me want to stop doing everything I can to soak it in. It is the silence when I am alone.

I am slowly learning to distinguish between the different silences, and the emotions they create in me.

Whether I feel uneasy. Or whether I feel calm.

Whether I am standing outside looking in. Or whether I am standing inside looking out.

Whether it paralyses me. Or whether it sets me free.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


So he is back once more. Perhaps part of me yearns for him – the feeling, emotional part of me. Because he is so comfortable, so safe. Yet another part of me knows it’s time to let him go – the rational, thinking part of me. Because he weighs me down, denies me my freedom.

Is it selfish to want to protect myself? Is it fair to me to sacrifice myself? It’s a puzzle to me, always has been.

Where does selfishness begin and self-sacrifice end?

Sunday, November 25, 2007


I recently heard about this site called “Second Life”, where you can virtually live a second life of your choice, online. I haven’t figured out the mechanics of the site yet, but apparently people spend real money acquiring virtual things in cyberspace.

And I’ve been recently trying to follow two TV series, Heroes and Dead Zone, where ordinary people through some strange twist of fate acquire supernatural powers. Like being able to bend time and see things that are to happen in the future.

And I wonder, if I had a second life or a super-power, what would I most wish for? It’s a very difficult question, actually. Because when you come down to it, do I really want to change my life? Do I really want to be bigger than who I am now? As it is, life can get overwhelming at times, so do I really want to be burdened with more responsibilities? Maybe not.

Having a talent or a skill is always predicated on the assumption that it will be of some service to humanity. Like you have a good voice so you sing to entertain people. Or you are very good with computers so your friends call you when their laptops hang. And the list goes on...

My question is, when you possess a knack for introspection, of what good is it to the world that you have all these insights into yourself?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

tHiNKinG aBouT dEaTh

I have been thinking about death. My uncle passed away a couple months back, and I have been thinking about death. Taking stock of the list of dead I know.

My grandma (on dad’s side) passed away when I was 13. My uncle passed away when I was 14 or 15. My granddad (on mum’s side) passed away when I was 15 or 16. My school-mate jumped to his death when I was 17. My cousin died in a road accident when I was 18. I stopped a friend from killing herself when I was 21. My good friend’s dad passed away when I was 24 or 25. A friend died when I was 27.

And these are just the ones I know, personally. There are countless other deaths of acquaintances, deaths of friends of acquaintances, deaths of family of acquaintances. And each death touches me in a different way.

We mourn for the passing of someone we once knew. We mourn for the opportunities that the dead will miss. We mourn for the children and grandchildren they will never see.

But sometimes I wonder, whether we are actually mourning for ourselves. The dead have no more consciousness of this world. And we cry because we will miss them. We grieve for the moments that we will no longer be able to share with them.

Perhaps, we feel cheated because they are dead and we are not.

Friday, November 23, 2007

aNoThER quOTe

"If the only prayer you said in your life was 'thank you', that would suffice." - (Meister Eckhart)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

mY LitTLe piECe oF SkY

It took me a long time to come to this realization. That the world does not just revolve around me. That it’s not always just about me, me, me, myself and I.

Imagine having to carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. By yourself.

Isn’t it better to be part of humanity? That way, you just have to worry about the little piece of sky that belongs to you.

Monday, November 19, 2007

sLoW DoWn

Have you noticed how fast you are going every day?

Today I took my time getting through the day. When I woke up I did not haul myself off the bed immediately but I lay there for a while to feel the alive-ness in me. When I had lunch I did not gobble down my sandwich but I chewed carefully and tried to taste every bit of the butter, the bread, the cheese. When I went out I did not hurry but walked each step with deliberation and purpose. When I read my comic I did not rush through flipping the pages but read each conversation and admired each panel for the artwork they are. When I played my music I did not try and do other things but listened to each word and story each song tells. When I came home I did not take the lift but walked up 11 flights of stairs and counted all 138 steps I took.

So although I probably did not get as many things done today as I normally would have, I felt my heart beating, I counted my breathing, I watched my eyelids close and open, I saw the raindrops pooling into puddles, I reached out for the wind and she embraced me back.

I touched mindfulness and discovered awareness.

Sunday, November 18, 2007


I held an old lady’s hand today, and I saw the light dance in her eyes.
I held a dog in my embrace today, and I felt the delight in her nose kisses.
I held a cat in my arms today, and I felt the fear that made her fur bristle.

I held on for so long, only to realise that I should perhaps be letting go.

Friday, November 16, 2007

fAiRy tALes

The problem with fairy tales is that they always end happily ever after. But it doesn’t happen this way in reality. Not in my reality anyway. We could be happy, perhaps for a while. But we don’t have the concept of an ever after. It’s like our puny minds stop at what was and what is, unable to process what is to come.

I imagine my life to be this dot in the space-time continuum. And this dot carries the baggage of my past, while trying to live in the present, but has no knowledge of the future. You see, I could possibly spend the rest of my life thinking and writing about life. But, it could be infinitely more exciting and rewarding to be actually living.

Read this quote from Henri-Frederic Amiel and it set me thinking (again)…

“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.”

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


Many people have called me sentimental. And I suppose I am. I like to dream more than I like to live in reality.

When I was young, my ambition was to become a farmer’s wife. I guess it was all the nursery rhymes about Mary having a little lamb and the Cow jumping over the moon and Home On The Range and Old Macdonald’s Farm that did it. Being a farmer’s wife just felt so romantic to me… imagine Black Beauty meets Laura in her Little House on the Prairie.

I suppose I would still like to become a farmer’s wife now, although they tell me it’s hard work. I love the great outdoors. The blue sky. The white clouds. The green trees. The wind whispering, the shadows lengthening, the clock ticking.

And she said, “Do not belittle the mundane things in life.”

Monday, November 12, 2007

a QuoTe

"The soul would have no rainbow had the eyes no tears." - (John Vance Cheney)

Sunday, November 11, 2007

ThE fiSHeRmAn

So I like this picture of a lone fisherman out at sea. I’m not sure it can be called a picture, but it’s made of eggshells painstakingly broken into little bits to form the waves that wrap around the silhouette of the fisherman in his little row-boat.

I like how the white eggshell-bits stand in such stark contrast to the black lacquer wood on which the artwork is created. I like the detailing that brings out the crest of each wave. I like the shadowy, mysterious fisherman.

I guess I like this picture because there is so much room for imagination, for creating stories. And there’s no right or wrong. It’s just you and your thoughts and limitless possibilities.

See, if I had a chance, I’d like to be that fisherman out there, alone on my little row-boat. If not for the fact that I don't know anything about fishing. If not for the fact that I get seasick very easily.

Handicapped, I can only hope to live my dreams through others.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

ThOUghTs & wORds

I love to think. In a myriad thousand ways. I love to ponder. I love to reminisce. I love to roll a thought around in my head. I love the adrenalin rush of a good idea that pops up out of nowhere. I love the stable familiarity of logic and reasoning. I love my grey matter.

I love words. I am good with words. I love the way words come together to create sentences. I love the way my head can string together sentences into beautiful paragraphs. I love the way my head can weave together stories. I love the interplay and juxtaposition of word against word. Your word, or mine?

It’s a terrible curse to be struck with an overactive imagination and have the knack for words. Because I think so much I forget to live. More often than not, I would have thought through a particular situation rather than actually live in that moment.

My friend calls it “mental masturbation”… and how apt.

Friday, November 9, 2007

TeLLiNg stORieS

We tell stories, to tell ourselves into being.

We tell stories, so that we can be better beings.

We tell stories, because each telling gives us a new beginning.

We tell stories, for the life and death and light and darkness that they bring.

wHoSE FauLt?

She said, "It is not the baby elephant's fault that he doesn't know how to break free from the chains when he has grown up."

It isn't his fault.

It wasn't my fault, was it?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

GiRL nEXt DoOr

Small town homecoming queen
She's the star in this scene
There's no way to deny she's lovely
Perfect skin, perfect hair
Perfumed hearts everywhere
Tell myself that inside she's ugly
Maybe I'm just jealous
I can't help but hate her
Secretly I wonder if my boyfriend wants to date her

She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sitting in the stands
She gets the top bunk I'm sleeping on the floor
She's Miss America and I'm just the girl next door

Senior class president
She must be heaven sent
She was never the last one standing
A backseat debutaunt
Everything that you want
Never too harsh or too demanding
Maybe I'll admit it
I'm a little bitter
Everybody loves her but I just wanna hit her

She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sitting in the stands
She gets the top bunk I'm sleeping on the floor
She's Miss America and I'm just the girl next door
Oh and I'm just the girl next door

I don't know why I'm feeling sorry for myself
I spend all my time wishing that I was someone else

She is the prom queen I'm in the marching band
She is a cheerleader I'm sitting in the stands
I get a little bit, she gets a little more
She's Miss America... she's Miss America
I'm just the girl next door...

(from Saving Jane)

Monday, November 5, 2007

dEciSiONs And InDeCiSioNS

So I have a choice between Option A or Option B.

Option A involves self-sacrifice, for the greater good of society (perhaps not so melodramatic). Option A involves denying myself some of the baser instincts that are in me. Option A requires me to give up that which I love.

Option B is about personal indulgence, for my own selfish happiness. Option B involves giving free rein to my human instincts, base or otherwise. Option B allows me to embrace that which I love.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.” – (Robert Frost)

Is the road less traveled necessarily the best? What fool would knowingly choose the harder road?

And yet perhaps, we choose, so that we can live with the consequences.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

PonDEriNg LovE

I wonder if love is always an either/ or? Like you either love someone or you don’t. Or is love a continuum? Like love at one end, different degrees of likeability and dislikeability, right through to hate on the other end. Or can love and hate exist together? Like when you have a love-hate relationship with someone.

Love is an emotion that has always puzzled me. Like a cloud with fuzzy edges, that joins and un-joins with other pieces of clouds, to become something bigger than what it was, or to become something smaller than when it started off.

Love morphs, over time. To love or be loved. Make love, not war.

Someone once said, “Love me or hate me, but spare me your indifference.”

Friday, November 2, 2007

mAniC pOEm

Do not love me, I bite
Do not pity me, I fight
Do not hate me, I cried
Do not follow me, I’ll hide

Go away, Mr. D, go away
You are not welcomed to stay
All I wanted to do was play
But you, you stalk me day after day

It’s so easy to give in
To say, you win
And yet you’ve never seen
The places I have been

So love me
Pity me
Hate me
Follow me
Let me
Be me

Thursday, November 1, 2007

tHe CaLL

I’ve been reading a fair bit about doctors for a project I’m working on. And it just amazes me some of the things doctors do. The passion with which they practice their science. The patience with which they deal with their patients. The perseverance with which they try to save one more life.

There are certain professions in life that require a calling, I think. Apart from priests and nuns, that is. Doctors. Nurses. Teachers.

The fact that they touch the lives of others, both literally and metaphorically. To be able to stare humanity in the face and give it form and shape, light and colour, and life.

I wonder what my calling is. And who is calling me.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Of eLEpHaNts aNd ChAiNs

He told me a story today. About elephants.

In order to keep the baby elephants from wandering far, zookeepers chain them to a wooden stake in the ground. Being young, the baby elephants do not have the strength to break the chains. And so, they learn to stray no further than where their chain ends.

When the baby elephants grow up to be jumbo elephants, they still stay within the confines of the chains’ length. Even though the jumbo elephants now actually do have the power to snap the chains and roam freely. They don’t. Because they have no knowledge of their might.

What are the chains that bind us? What is stopping you from breaking free?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

oN a DaRK AnD sToRMy NigHt

I sit surrounded by noises of the night
Crickets, bullfrogs, rain and cars
If I sit really still and tight
I can hear the wind rush in from afar

At night my mind comes awake
Thoughts that elude me in the day
Come trotting out for me to take
Before morning snatches them away

The point is there is no point
The thing is there is no choice
What gives, you say
Choose life, I pray

Monday, October 29, 2007

GiViNg Up

Giving up. Throwing in the towel. Washing my hands off this. Calling it quits. Packing it in. Backing away. Withdrawing. Stop doing it.

So many ways. Of giving up.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

ThE WoRLd wE SeE

The problem is that seeing is never plain. The woman who has just found a new lover gazes out her kitchen window at the overgrown lawn and sees there luxuriance, a wild and delicious excess. The man who has just lost his job looks out the same window at the same lawn and sees there more evidence of his decline. There is always something that is behind our seeing, something prior to it. Even the so-called objective standpoint of the scientist, however valuable and important, is not an absolute frame of reference but rather grows out of a particular set of interests and concerns. Thus the question arises: If we must see the world clearly in order to choose it, what world must we see?

(from Learning To Fall by Philip Simmons)

Saturday, October 27, 2007


I cried. The heart-wrenching, tears-brimming-over, gasping-for-breath kind of crying. It came suddenly. And it stayed for a long time. I cried for me, my family, my friends. I cried for my life, my being, my self. I cried for the poor, the destitute, the world.

With the warm tears dripping down my chin, I realized something.

Crying can be very liberating.

Friday, October 26, 2007


I cut myself the other day, near the knuckle of my finger, and it was painful. It still is painful because every time I bend my finger, the wound seems to re-open.

I was reading a book the other day, about how the author was abused as a child, and it was painful. The kind of pain that makes you weep even though you have no experience of the abuse nor know the person who was abused.

I visited my ex-boyfriend the other day, with his wife, and it was painful. It was a bittersweet pain that grips your heart for a moment and then passes, because you are now finally convinced you can lay the dream to rest.

And she asked me, “Do you believe there is meaning in pain?"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

WaLK tHe RoaD

All we have to believe with is our senses: the tools we use to perceive the world, our sight, our touch, our memory. If they lie to us, then nothing can be trusted. And even if we do not believe, then still we cannot travel in any other way than the road our senses show us; and we must walk that road to the end.

(from American Gods by Neil Gaiman)

What happens when that road our senses show us is a dead-end?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I had an incredible urge to run away just now. I don’t know why or how but I just needed to run, to leap, to fly, with the wind. To run forever.

But I am so tired. Exhausted and bone-weary tired. I want to sleep, to slumber, to lie down, with the earth. To sleep forever.

In this moment, in this moment that goes on forever, I am caught.

Caught, in a forever moment.

Monday, October 22, 2007

WitHOuT tHe TrAPpiNgS

I sat by the river after work and people-watched.

The river was a muddy-murky grey, but that didn’t stop the tourists in the little motorboats from laughing and taking photos. It was nothing near the crystal clear water in the Maldives or Mauritius.

There was a cigarette butt peeking out from under the stool. Nearby, mothers were variously screaming at their children not to run too near the water’s edge, or calling for them to come see the water. Meanwhile, a little girl fell down and cried. It was nothing like the picturesque scenes from Cathedral Square or Eiffel Tower.

I thought about my friend, about how nice it would be if my friend were there with me too, and I SMS-ed my friend. It was nothing compared to having my friend walk with me on the beach or exploring the rainforest to see orang utans.

And yet, I sat there by the river for an hour, soaking in the sights and sounds. I was mesmerized. It was not picture-perfect. It was in fact chaotic and messy. But that, that is life. Dirty water, wailing children, sitting alone.

And I am humbled.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

tHe LasT

The last time I met you was long ago, in another world, in another lifetime.

The last thing he said to me was, “You must take care of yourself.”

The last supper Jesus took, with his 12 beloved apostles.

The last, the last.

The last book, the last chapter, the last page, the last sentence, the last word.

The last straw, that broke the camel’s back.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


Birthdays, seem to take forever, especially when you can’t wait to grow up. Birthdays, come and go so quickly, especially after you stop trying to count them.

Birthdays, are deeply personal, deeply reflective. Birthdays, have a way of making you think about life.

Sometimes, holding on can be really difficult.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Every once in a while, knowledge happens.

Like the other day when I finally understood what my ballet teacher had been telling me for ages, to tuck in my tailbone.

Like the other day when I finally discovered that despite all of my narcissistic fantasies, I am only human.

An all-too-human human.

tHe LitTLe oLD LadY

Today I passed a hunched little old lady on my way to the train station, sitting in a wheelchair. She was selling packets of tissue. A lady approached her, gave her two dollars, and walked away.

What I thought was a hunched little old lady suddenly yelled at the top of her voice, shouting to the world that she was no beggar, that she makes an honest living by selling tissue.

In her voice and in her eyes, I saw the fierce determination of one who wasn’t willing to give up, no matter what life had thrown her way. Hunched and little though she was, bound to the wheelchair, she had a stature and presence that could equal any one of us walking by.

And I thought, I don’t want to grow old.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

pOiNTs Of VieW

A cup half full. A cup half empty. Two ways of looking at the same thing. Yet how difficult. To cajole your mind into discovering the other side of the coin.

There is me and you and them. There is this and that and the other.

There is life and death and what happens after.

Multiplicity. Like a kaleidoscope. Or being in a house of mirrors. A circle with infinite angles.

Will one day the mind topple over with too many points of view?

Monday, October 15, 2007


These are enervating thoughts, the thoughts of despair. They crowd back, unbidden, when human life as it unrolls goes ill, when we lose control of our lives or the illusion of control, and it seems that we are not moving toward any end but merely blown. Our life seems cursed to be a wiggle merely, and a wandering without end. Even nature is hostile and poisonous, as though it were impossible for our vulnerability to survive on these acrid stones.

Whether these thoughts are true or not I find less interesting than the possibilities for beauty they may hold. We are down here in time, where beauty grows. Even if things are as bad as they could possibly be, and as meaningless, then matters of truth are themselves indifferent; we may as well please our sensibilities and, with as much spirit as we can muster, go out with a buck and wing.

(from Teaching A Stone To Talk by Annie Dillard)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

nOt MuTUaLLy EXcLusiVe

Would someone who had never known democracy or political freedom miss it? Would you feel the loss of something you never had before? Would happiness not be happiness if there wasn’t also sadness? Would the darkness not be so painful if you did not know the joy of light?

Perhaps, it is because we have the capacity to be happy and sad that makes life. Maybe, it’s about mutual inclusion. That life only makes sense when you take the good and the bad together.

A friend once said, “You can’t just want the birds singing at your front porch without them also shitting on it.”

Saturday, October 13, 2007

jUSt BrEAtHe

I made her a butterfly the other day. I wanted to give her something she could remember me by.

Actually, every time I visit, I would fold a paper crane for her. And she would keep them in this little box that she carries around with her. And she said she could count how many there are some day.

A friendship forms, over time. I tell her secrets I don’t tell anyone else. I feel safe with her. I trust her, with my life sometimes.

And she said, “Just breathe.”

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

aLPhaBEt SouP

Campbell’s Chicken Alphabet Soup. When I was little, I’d pick out letters to form words before I ate them, which made the whole soup-drinking experience that much more enjoyable. I don’t remember if I really liked the soup actually, but it was definitely fun trying to scoop all the alphabets that made up my name into the spoon (all 21 of them, and they all had to be in the same mouthful).

I don’t like beansprouts. I remember when I was in school, I would painstakingly pick out all the beansprouts from my fried noodles before I ate it. And then with the pile of beansprouts left behind, I would shuffle them around to form my initials and leave them on the plate like a declaration.

And every time I go into bookstores or gift shops selling bookmarks or keychains or magnets or notepads or stickers or any of such paraphernalia with names on them, I would always check if my name is around.

I am such a narcissistic freak!

Monday, October 8, 2007


Fear is a strange and wild animal. It is a creature that roams mysteriously inside you. Sometimes, fear wears itself like a protective armour on you, keeping you safe from dangers unknown. Sometimes, fear rears its powerful head over you, making you do things you otherwise wouldn’t. Yet fear, is always so hard to grasp. At times irrational, at times logical. At times emotional, at times physical.

Fear, it is almost as if you can taste it in your cold sweat, feel it in your trembling tendons, see it in your eyes alight with fire, hear it in the pounding of your heart, hold it in your open arms.

What are you fearful of?

Sunday, October 7, 2007

bLiND SpoTs

It is a little past 1am, and the night air is cool. Cold, in fact, my arms are sporting goosebumps. I hear crickets and cars. And the voices of toads after a day full of rain.

My spectacles cracked the other day. A deep angry line runs right through the middle of my right lens. I now peep at the world through two fragments of the lens hanging precariously together by the force of the frame.

And my blind spot prevents me from getting too giddy. The crack is so right in my face that I sometimes don’t see it. Like a lot of things I don’t see about myself. Perhaps because I don’t want to acknowledge that they are there. Perhaps I don’t know they are there.

But it’s important to confront your blind spots every once in a while.


It is very misty today. Outside my window, I can’t even see the rooftops of the houses opposite me clearly. Like someone veiled a piece of white lace over the landscape. It must be terrible for burn victims to live through all the gauze and bandages.

Yet that which protects also prevents you from experiencing the world. Like loving yourself too little, or loving yourself too much.

And he asked, “Why do you have friends?”

Saturday, October 6, 2007

a BrOKen-WinGeD biRD

I am a bird with a broken wing
I am a mockingbird that cannot sing

Life is heavy, life weighs me down
Life is sad, life makes me frown

She said to fight
But the light’s too bright

I am a bird that is too tired
I am a wind-up bird that’s come unwired

Please let me sleep
A slumber forever and so deep

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly

-- Langston Hughes

Wednesday, October 3, 2007


Beading, is a skill that requires much focus and attention to detail. Looking through the pattern books, selecting a pattern that you like, counting out the beads, threading them, working with the beader’s tools… Often, it is an all-consuming task.

Beading, is also a very solitary skill. It is just you, and the beads, and nothing else matters while you are working on that project.

I like to be alone, but I don’t like being lonely.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

cOMinG aGAiN

The darkness is coming back again. I can feel it. In my bones.

Isn’t it strange that in a world full of lights, that darkness can come creeping upon you so silently, stealthily, scarily? You would think that with all these artificial light that stretches our days into nights, that the darkness would retreat somehow, somewhere. But it doesn’t. It never does.

The darkness lays in wait. Always. For the opportunity to pounce again.

And I can feel it crouching, unknown, unknowing.

I wonder what the darkness will take with it this time?

Monday, October 1, 2007


We were discussing death the other day.

How suddenly some people die, and the regrets of those left behind.

How slowly some people die, and the pain they have to go through.

How some people don’t want to die, but cannot escape death. How some people want to die, but cannot escape life.

Like the man who jumped down 35 stories and did not die.

You know what’s worst? Life sucks, and you don’t die.

a QueStiON oF oWnERsHip

I was on the train today and I saw a lady studiously looking through various pieces of paper. She was all focused on the task at hand, and it intrigued me. And I realized she was looking for a maid.

The pieces of paper had things like height and weight and colour description (light or tanned or dark, I think I saw). It also had things like “What I can do” and “What I want to say to my prospective employer”, where the maid writes down things like “I can cook and look after kids and clean…”

I did not realise that this is part of the process of looking for a maid. Like looking through their CVs.

And suddenly I’m appalled. Since when have we earned the right to own other human beings?

Sunday, September 30, 2007


"I'm so tired I can hardly move. I'm even too tired to cry. If I started to cry, the tears wouldn't run down my face, they'd walk!" -- Charlie Brown

Saturday, September 29, 2007


... my friend. My friend left. My friend left a couple of weeks ago. My friend left a couple of weeks ago and I miss my friend.

It’s a when-will-I-get-to-see-you-again kind of missing. It’s a how-are-you-doing-I’m-worried-about-you kind of missing. It’s a I’m-missing-you-very-much-I-wish-you-are-here kind of missing.

Have you ever missed someone so much that you wish you could pluck them from your dreams and hug them? That is how much I miss you, my friend.

Friday, September 28, 2007


The person who has natural curls goes for hair re-bonding. The person who has straight hair goes and perms it.

The person who is fat goes on a strict diet. The person who is thin stuffs herself with food.

The person who fights to live dies. The person who seeks death lives.

While one door closes, another door opens. Go through the open door, don’t look back, and don’t try to open closed doors.

She said choices are over-rated. Perhaps.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


In the seven years since the coming of the plague, I have learned how to live alone. At first I had the excuse of needing to bury my loved ones. I washed my husband's corpse, a task more intimate than sex. I settled my daughter in her grave, glad at least that it was me, and not some rubber-gloved undertaker. And then they were gone and there was nothing left to do. No one to tend. No one to live for.

So I learned to get by without reasons. I have no justification for my existence anymore. I am nobody's mother, nobody's wife, nobody's daughter or sister or friend. It shames me sometimes, this urge to survive. It seems shallow and animal, to want to go on when everyone I ever cared for is dead.

And then a stranger came and talked to me and made me remember what it was like, to discover the echoes of yourself in someone else's story.

(from Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold by Alisa Kwitney)

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I saw a bag lady the other day. Or rather, I smelt her first before I saw her tiny little body shuffling in front of me. It wasn’t just the “old-people” smell she had on her but something more human, like she probably hadn’t showered in months.

And in that instance, I was very grateful for the thick wooly jacket I was wearing. My sister and I were returning to the youth hostel where we had a nice clean room and hot running water to bathe in.

Sometimes it is so easy to forget little luxuries of life that we take for granted. Like having a full wardrobe of clean clothes to pick from. Money to buy a meal. A bed to sleep on. A roof over our heads. Or you being able to use a computer to access the internet to read this.

It must be really awful being homeless in winter.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Born of good intentions

A way to cope

Taking as much as giving

Out of my depth

The past and taunts

Fear tries to cower

A fire of might

The pain can be so stark

Life and love begone


"Can I ask a stupid question?"

"Sure. Ask away."

"It's sort of more than one question. But. Look. Um, why do we hurt? Why do we die? Why isn't life good all the time? Why isn't it fair?"

"Those aren't stupid questions, Hazel. For some people they're the only questions that matter."

"Does that mean you won't answer them?"

"Sure, I'll answer. But it's kind of a big subject, and it's got lots of answers. And the answers don't really mean anything -- they aren't stupid questions, but they could just as well be 'When is purple?' or 'Why does Thursday?', if you see what I mean..."

"Not really."

"Well. I think some of it is probably contrasts. Light and shadow. If you never had the bad times, how would you know you had the good times?

But some of it is just: If you're going to be human, then there are a whole load of things that come with it. Eyes, a heart, days and life.

It's the moments that illuminate it, though. The times you don't see when you're having them... they make the rest of it matter."

(from Death: The Time of Your Life by Neil Gaiman)

Sunday, September 23, 2007

mEmoRiEs aGAin

It has been a long while. And memories trick you. Sometimes I think none of what I remember ever took place. It seems as if my mind makes up its own stories.

Like the time my cousin dropped me into the sea. In my mind I sank so deep into the waters I saw the stern of a big fat cruise-liner coming towards me. Now even I know that sounds absurd, but I can see it so clearly in my mind it's scary!

And the scenes replay themselves. Over and over again.

The mind remembers what the body tries to forget.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Sitting on a swing. I saw some little kids at the playground, and thought to myself, I haven't sat on a swing in a long while.

I was always the nervous one, unlike some of my friends who loved to swoop right up into the skies, while I remained modestly close to the ground.

If I could sit on a swing right now, I would want to swing up high into the clouds.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ChaNGing TiMEs

I just attended my little sister's graduation and I am feeling a little wistful.

Back during my time in university, I handwrote letters home every week. Email did not come into existence until my 2nd year, and even then, only a spattering of friends had email addresses.

I still remember during my graduation, our family camera had decided to commit suicide and we had to buy a disposable camera. Photos were taken with great care and precision, as we were limited by the number of shots we had. Digital cameras and mobile phones were foreign concepts.

Today, I was the photographer for my sister's graduation and I could take hundreds of photos with our snazzy new digital camera boasting a great 7.9 megapixels with video capabilities. And immediately after I am blogging about the whole experience.

Things are so different now, and I feel old.

Monday, September 10, 2007


Airports always give me a funny feeling.

It is filled with so many emotions. The joy of seeing someone dear. The fear of losing someone near. The moments of parting and meeting.

And a lot of waiting. Waiting to check your luggage in. Waiting for your luggage to be scanned. Waiting to board the plane.

Airports give me a funny feeling in the stomach.

Friday, September 7, 2007


Even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Monday, September 3, 2007


Learning ballet when I was young was a breeze. I looked at what my teacher was doing, I followed, and I felt myself inside each movement.

Learning ballet now when I am grown up is difficult. I look at what my classmates are doing, I can’t catch up, and I feel like a big fat elephant in each class.

I think I discovered the other day where the difference lies. Being young, you are less self-conscious, and learning is a lot by the feel of how things are. Being older, I become more conscious of who I am to the people around me, and the learning is a lot more theoretical. Almost as if growing older, I need to be given a reason to learn.

Can’t teach an old dog new tricks? Try me!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


A child’s sense of space and time is limited to the here and now. In any activity, a child gives it their full attention, because there is nothing else that can occupy the here and now. For a child, a country can be reduced to the size of grandma’s house. For a child, one last time can mean the game goes on forever.

Present. Being present. Being fully present.

To cherish the here and now, because all we have are moments.

oN cOuRSe

It was a long way away, yet she kept going at it. She never gave up, not once. For as long as she could draw breath, she would keep on going. And perhaps someday, she would reach her destination. Like those who had gone before.

Don’t we all? Plod along. Some of us choose to follow others. Some of us choose to take the road less traveled. Some of us chart our own course. Some of us go off course and need a kind soul to be with us for a while until we can go again.

She said plodding along is alright.

Friday, August 31, 2007

sTeP bY StEp

When I was little, I loved doing puzzles. All sorts of puzzles. From math to jigsaw to those where you have to trace the line to identify which fish Joe caught. I also liked to play connecting the dots. It’s an experience in itself when you trace through the numbers and see your creation come to life.

And one thing I learnt from playing connecting the dots. There are no shortcuts. You need to move from 1 to 2 to 3 and so on. Otherwise, you end up with a mess, and you can’t see what the thing was meant to be.

Like being caught in the muddle of life, unable to trace any meaning or value or worth to your existence. Until you figure out that 2 follows 1 and 3 follows 2. “Step by Step” was the motto in my primary school.

I’m ready to take the next step now.