Monday, April 28, 2008

fAt & VaiN

I’m growing fat! Well, I’m getting heavier. And clothes are becoming un-wearable… which is disturbing. I try to console myself that I am gaining muscle mass, that’s why I’m heavier. But does increasing muscle mass also come with additional bulk around the tummy and butts?!

The only other time I had weight concerns was when I came back from New Zealand after my first year of university there. I think I put on something like 10kgs, and my family claims they could not recognize me at the airport, which was disturbing as well.

Weight hasn’t really been an issue with me. Until recently. Because a fat body makes it very difficult to follow-on and catch-up with ballet lessons. While all my classmates look like they are floating and prancing weightless in the studio, I feel like an anchor rooted to the floor, and my poor ankles and toes are crying out in pain.

I am disturbed that I am so disturbed about my weight. Oh vanity of vanities!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

tHe MinD Is tHE MaTteR

As I was jogging today, I kept telling myself, “Stamina, not speed. Stamina, not speed. Stamina, not speed…” They always say it’s a question of mind over matter. And I have always wondered, who are the “they”? And why are the clichés always so… you know… so true? I guess that’s what makes them clichés? Pity I wasn’t the wise person who came up with them.

My mind wanders while I am jogging. I always start out trying to have a conversation with God. But it often peters out as I get distracted by the things that pass me by.

I look at the ixora shrubs, and I am reminded of how I used to yank off bunches of the flowers, pull out their stamen, and taste the sweet nectar right at the tip. It fascinated me to no end. The fact that I could actually taste the nectar of a flower, just like a bee or bird or butterfly can (if they do taste nectar from flowers, that is).

I look at fellow joggers and I wonder why are they running, how far have they been running. And of course, would I be able to catch up with them if we were in a race? Sometimes I’ll pass the same jogger twice in our routes, and there is that awkward moment of whether I should smile in acknowledgement (or encouragement), or just avoid eye contact.

I look at the people strolling by, the people waiting for taxis or buses, the cyclists with their shrill bell to catch my attention (which irritates me to no end because I think of a bicycle as a mode of transport in itself and therefore should not be on a pedestrian walkway!). Anyhow, I am always curious to find out what those people are thinking when they see me running past. Because some days I run with confident strides. Other days I run away in desperation. Still other days that I just… run. And it’s interesting to note that it is those days where I am running without an agenda that I am able to run the furthest.

So is it really a question of mind over matter?

I don’t know, for sometimes, my mind likes to play tricks on me.

oF Two KiNDs

“I have even entertained the theory that there are two kinds of people in the world: those who must at points move on because they fear they will lose or damage something if they don’t; and those who stay because to love for them means to persevere and to hold on. Both, in truth, are attempts at preserving something. I do believe this, though what that something is, I think, is never the same from person to person or even explicable, for the most part.”

(from The May Queen, essay by Dao Strom)

Friday, April 25, 2008

EthiCS & mONeY

It’s a question of morals. Ethics.

It’s a question of practicality. Money.

And these 2 things have been bugging me for days. I know it’s about a little give and take. I know it’s about reaching a balance. I know it’s about this and that and the other.

Yet what I can’t understand is how oblivious some people are to this struggle. Would you sell your soul to the devil if he could guarantee you a life of wealth and riches? Would you give that lady in the wheelchair a dollar for 3 packets of tissues?

Ethics. Money. Ethics. Money. Ethics. Money. Ethics. Money. Ethics. Money. The fight never ends, just like the chicken-and-egg question. Although I can tell you for sure that “ethics” comes much earlier in the dictionary than “money”.

So I’m still debating, attempting to be a crackpot. To do, or not to do?

Sometimes, there can be method to the madness.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

tImE tO grOw oLd

When I got married, I walked down the aisle with my father beside me, and Pachelbel's Canon playing in the background. It was one of my favourite tunes then, and still is now. There is something about the rhythm, the tone, the whole flow of the piece that makes my soul want to soar up into the sky.

Music moves me in that strange and mysterious way. Sometimes, it is the tune that catches me. Other times, the words speak to me. Often, I pretend I am the person in the song and in that sense, the music encapsulates who I am (or perhaps it is more accurate to say I try to mould myself to fit into the song).

So when I watched the movie “Music and Lyrics”, that was for me in some sense the ultimate dream come true (not for me, but for Alex Fletcher and Sophie Fisher at least). If only life was just so simple.

I still believe in fairy tales though. I still dream about a happily-ever-after. And I am still waiting for my fairy godmother to appear and whisk me off in a pumpkin-turned-coach.

Time. It passes. And I know I have definitely grown older (wrinkles and eye-bags notwithstanding).

But am I any the wiser? Your guess is as good as mine!

Monday, April 21, 2008


In one of my "toilet inspiration moments", it became clear to me.

There is no point in moaning and groaning about the past, because it has passed. Nothing can change it (unless time travel becomes possible but that's another story in itself).

The only thing we can do is to look forward, and walk. To walk and walk and continue walking till the end. Look in front. Look far into the horizon. Look far away till your eyes can't see. That's where we are aiming for.

So go. And don't turn back. Just go.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

tHInkiNG, TeLLiNg, aND LivInG

Was having a conversation with a friend the other day. You know, the usual "what-is-the-meaning-of-my-life" kind of conversation. I don't know why, but we always manage to squeeze this topic into any innocuous chit-chat. For what else can we talk about? The past is passed and gone, nothing we can do about it. Except that perhaps with each telling, the embellishments to our story grows. What was a 6-inch lizard becomes a 6-foot long komodo dragon. Or something like that.

I like to ponder on life. And thinking gives me a high. But somewhere in that process of thinking and pondering, I lost touch with who I am. Or rather, I lost me. So my friend is right. I did write myself into the role of the tragic heroine in the story of my life.

I admit my mistakes. I take what learning I can get from them, and I try not to make those same mistakes again. It's a tough call. Coming face to face with myself. Knowing I am not perfect, and never will be. But knowing that should not stop me from living. I always write like this wise old person, as if I have lived a long long life and seen many many things.

Who am I kidding? I have hardly even started living. God made us unique. Our paths in life are unique. And obviously, only I can walk the path that I choose. So my friend is right again. My life is my own, and I have got to take responsibility for it.

So much for wisdom.

And thinkers of the world unite! For life would be so much simpler without our ruminations.

jUst PoNDeRinG

I saw poverty, and I saw wealth
I saw sickness, and I saw health

The disparity in this world is so great. Sometimes I look upon it in abject isolation and helplessness. Would giving that little child a dollar really help her? Would contributing to some charity fund-raiser really help those in need?

I looked at the little girl and her brother, walking bare-feet down the asphalt roads, hands cupped to receive what little people deign to give. Most just turned away. I did too. Turned away.

It has always been a struggle for me. The struggle to save the world vs. the struggle to save myself. I look too near into the now, I lose perspective. I look too far into the future, I lose perspective. I don't look, and I lose hope.

That should have been mine. It should have been me.

Regrets? What do you think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Act 1 of a young man's life is the story of his setting out to conquer the world.

Act 2 is the story of a young man realising that the world is not about to be conquered by the likes of him.

(Carl Jung)

... and I wonder what Act 3 will bring ...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

tWo LesSoNS i LeaRNt

I have had a lot of thinking time these last couple days. It is a wonder how the mind is able to wander. I thought of a lot of things. I thought about life. I thought about death. I thought about sickness. I thought about health. I thought about fighting. I thought about surrendering. I thought about hate. I thought about love.

I am generally not very verbal about my Catholic faith, or any religious beliefs to be exact. I think of faith as something personal. A communion with a bigger being who knows many more things much better than I could ever hope to learn in my lifetime.

A lot of things happened to me recently. Too many to tell. Too private to share. When things occur, the significance of the moment often escapes me. My friend once said I have a delayed reaction to things. It’s like my mind needs time to absorb the information, and more time to figure out the meaning of what took place. Which isn’t all that bad, I guess.

Through these days of pondering, what hit me the hardest are the lessons in gratitude and humility. I saw a lot of things I don’t usually see in my day-to-day life. I encountered a lot of things I don’t usually experience in my day-to-day life. A lot of these are like little “life-changing” moments for me.

When people reach out to help, do you have the humility to accept their help? When people reach out to give, do you have the gratitude to accept what they are giving? It takes courage. A lot of courage to acknowledge that you are just a drop in the ocean. It takes courage. A lot of courage to say “thank you”.

Bitter as the medicine may be, I think God wanted me to learn how to be grateful, and to learn how to be humble.

And for these lessons, I am eternally thankful.

LaME eXcUse?

Dear friends,

dEliRiuM has been off sick, hence the long silence. Will resume my writings in a wee bit.

God, do I miss blogging!!

Friday, April 4, 2008

siLeNt CrY

God, I have a problem.
I'm just a man and I'm feeling so alone.
God, I know you have no name, but I need to call you something.
God, I know you are not a man like me, but I need to think of you that way.
God, I know you are everywhere, but I need to talk to you somewhere.
God, I know you are eternal, but I need you now.
God, forgive my limitations, and help me.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

LetTEr tO yOU, fRieNd

Dear friend,

I haven’t written to you in a while. Not in such a public sphere anyway. But then I thought, what’s the harm?

You have always told me, we are more than our feelings, a whole lot more than anger or happiness or sadness or joy or pain or euphoria. You used the analogy of a jewel to explain to me, that each feeling is like a facet of the jewel, nothing more and nothing less. A cut of the diamond reflects light and brilliance, but that is not all of the diamond. So also we cannot let just one emotion or feeling define who we are.

Having pondered on this for some time, I have come to a conclusion. About the fundamental difference between us. While I am scared to reveal my vulnerabilities, when I do decide to share my weaknesses, it is because I am looking for sympathy, consolation, and a shoulder to cry on. You, on the other hand, are able to express your brokenness and struggles, not because you need pity, but because you use this freedom to learn more about yourself.

A bird in a gilded cage will not know what she is missing because she has never enjoyed the freedom of soaring through the fluffy white clouds in the baby blue skies.

Friend, you have the keys. Would you let me out so I can fly where you have been and feel the wind whip through my wings?



Mine is the soul that never sleeps
Mine is the soul that feels too deep
Mine is the soul that hurts and weeps
Mine is the soul you cannot keep

Yours is the soul that thinks and seeks
Yours is the soul strong yet weak
Yours is the soul humble and meek
Yours is the soul I hope to speak

Can we be soul-mates
Drawn together by fate
Did life happen too early too late