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.