Saturday, February 28, 2009

The LiTTle HiLl

On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I’m listening to one of my favourite John Denver CDs. The songs touch me, in a bittersweet kind of way. And they make me think of nature’s richness and beauty, and a longing to run barefoot across the field outside.

I remember when I was young, my parents would bring me to the Istana gardens come weekend. And I loved those outings. We have a favourite spot, atop a little hill, and we would spend lots of time running up and down that hill.

Such is the energy that comes from being a little child. If you were to ask me to jog down the hill today, I don’t think I can do it. Too many fears run through my mind, about falling and failing.

Wistful, is how I might describe my feelings now.

Friday, February 27, 2009

oF OLd pEoPLe & brEAd

It pains me to see old people alone. It causes a strange stirring in my heart that I cannot really explain. Except that it usually leaves me a little teary-eyed. I remember when I was young, I wanted to be a baker so I could bake bread and give them to old people. But as I grew up, things changed. Priorities changed. Perspectives changed. I had inadvertantly left the old folks out of my mind, which is preoccupied with making money and enjoying my life.

But I still hope I can learn how to bake bread someday.


I find it awkward to talk to people with masks on their face. I find it disturbing that I am not able to fully read their facial expression. And somehow, it bothers me that the other person thinks I’m contagious with something horrible that she needs to don on a face mask before talking to me.

Lots of things bother me these days.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

tHe FreEDom OF ForGIvinG

I remember when I was young, I liked solving math puzzles. Especially when the answer is a whole number. Reciting the times table gave me a high. Finishing a difficult algebraic equation gave me a buzz. I loved mental sums.

Perhaps this reflects a little about my own nature. I like things to fall in place. I like things to have a certain orderliness amongst themselves. I like things to be properly worked out.

Resolution, brings me peace.

Forgiving, brings me freedom.

NiGhT FaLls faSt

Night falls fast.
Today is in the past.

Blown from the dark hill hither to my door
Three flakes, then four
Arrive, then many more.

(Edna St. Vincent Millay)

Monday, February 23, 2009


Have you forgotten what you told me before?
Or am I dreaming of conversations we never had?
If you were to have your way, would you have walked away?
If I were to have my way, would I have asked you to stay?

It is trying to live through a life built on what-ifs.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


A puppy was asking his mother, “Mum, where do I find happiness?”

The mother answered, “My dear child, happiness is in your tail.”

So the puppy went away and spent the whole day in the yard chasing his tail. When it came night, he gave up, exhausted, and said to his mother, “Mother, you are wrong, I can never catch happiness.”

And the mother smiled, “Silly boy, just go, and happiness will follow you.”

Friday, February 20, 2009


The patient opposite me has had her leg amputated because of diabetes. Every time she needs to go to the toilet, she needs to be transferred to and fro her bed onto the wheelchair. The grimace she has on her face breaks my heart.

I find people-watching exciting. But observing people in a hospital ward setting is fascinating. All of these patients, with their own life stories, with their own illnesses, with their own doubts and anxiety. Sometimes I see them taken off the ventilator and I give a cheer. Sometimes I see them lying there, fighting for their last breaths and I tear.

Mortality is very real.

HiTs & MisSeS

It is quiet. Where has all the laughter of the children gone? They used to annoy me, with their shrill gaiety at the school-morning hour. Now that I’m away, I seem to miss them.

Actually, now that I’m away, I seem to be missing a lot of things.

I miss the familiar confines of my neighbourhood, the familiar faces of my neighbours, the familiar smell of the air around.

I miss life. I used to have a passion for life. Somewhere along the way, though, it became lost. Truth be told, life is tiring now.

Until the other day when I heard the shrill laughter of children getting ready for school, did I realise, it was here all along.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

CoMiNG fuLl CiRcLe

Once long ago, I was swooning over the idea of finding my knight in shining armour who’ll come and whisk me away into happily ever after. Fifteen, twenty, thirty years later and still that dream hasn’t come true.

It did come true for a while. One year and five months to be exact. But the heartache that came after completely broke me. It left me empty. Was I empty before? Or was the emptiness caused by losing someone close to me?

I told you then: It is not that I cannot live without you, but that I choose to be with you. And I tell you now: So is it that I choose to leave you, because I cannot live with you.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I have a sickness no one knows or understands. It defies even my own logic. I can offer no explanations or no details. Only that I am sick inside, in a withering, ephemeral sort of gutter.

Each day marches on interminably.

“Just hang in there,” he said.

WhAT haPPEnEd?

I create their life stories, anticipating their anger, figuring out their sorrow. I love each of them dearly, my own creations. And then I think, their stories are so much bigger than mine. Who am I anyway? Their stories carry with them history, sadness, joys, and life.

My life has been lackluster for the past few years. I wonder what happened.

Friday, February 13, 2009


I must have said this before.

Hospitals, in a strange way, make me feel safe.


I am tired. An exhaustion that is from inside of me, creeping out of my bones. I wonder where it came from, or when it came. It just suddenly came. And I am so caught up in the tiredness and exhaustion.

I just want to lay me down to sleep.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

fuLL MoOn

I saw a perfect sphere of the moon tonight. It was beautiful, in a magical kind of way. And I was comforted by the thought that you might be looking at the same moon too. I wonder if you were as awed by its beauty as I was. I wonder if you were as mesmerized by its magic as I was.

I wonder, if you thought of me.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Even the present does not exist. Because the moment you say present, the present is already gone.


Suddenly, immortality doesn’t seem so appealing anymore. Life, in its own timely way, can prove more than one can handle. I wonder if I’m always the one playing catch-up.

They say, sometimes circumstances force you to do things you don’t mean to. Force you to open doors you would rather leave shut. Force you to take decisions you would rather leave alone. Force you to go on when you would rather lie down and sleep.

No, I don’t think I fancy immortality.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

tHEre YoU gO

Don't look down. Just keep on moving.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are YoU gaMe?

On my way to work every morning, I fight through throngs of people. Working professionals in their power suits. Housewives carrying their babies and grocery bags. Students with their casual laughter and chit-chat.

And as I stare at the sea of faces surrounding me, I wonder how they manage to put themselves together. I wonder how they find the strength to go on. I wonder how they know not to cave in.

The colleague who complains about her boss. The mother driven to wits’ end by her son. The classmate at loggerheads with the teacher. They want to give up, have to give up, should have given up. But they don’t. They say they want to give up but they don’t. Hypocrites, every single one of them. Hypocrites.

The games people play.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

ThiS tHouGhT

The thought crossed my mind, many times. It stays, my secret. I talk to it, this thought. I converse with it, this secret. Unfortunately, it is not something you can know, until perhaps it is too late. For while I commune with the stars, this thoughtful secret thought gnaws deep inside my being.

Until one day I topple over.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Pain, is really very painful.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Get oVEr iT

My friend callously suggested that I should just get over it. Yet there are some things you cannot get over, you never get over. There are some things, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot forgive, much less forget. There are some things, I wish I had the energy to fight, but I don’t.

You know a person has reached the end of the rope when she no longer cares for her self.

Sunday, February 1, 2009


So here I stand. On the outside. Looking in.
Like how it has always been.
It is safer. By the sides. From a distance.

To see is a form of reverence.