August 29, 2009 0 Comments

Kind of sad to be bidding goodbyes after days spend together.

Was rather insulted when my friends responded with disbelief, incredulity and in one case, a middle finger, as I told them that I would miss their presence.

to meet again seems slim.
people drift apart,
friends come and go.
things fall apart,
the centre cannot hold.
A stark conclusion that in some cases, we were only friendly strangers, not friends.

It's a personal definition of mine, a view that people aren't really friends if they can't connect meaningfully for even the briefest moment.

Don't know who they are or what they want to be. Don't know their dreams, aspirations and hopes. Don't know their fears, insecurities and doubts. Don't know what that makes them truly unique individuals.

True, joy was shared. Jokes, insults and banter were shared, but was sadness and weakness shared too?

Very shallow relationships, I guess. Not everyone can form meaningful relationships with anyone.
Really glad that there were some common experiences shared. Those activities - sometimes insane, sometimes inane.

Am really fortunate, thankful to have made friends - people with whom I shared mutual respect and care for.

May all your endeavours bear the fruits that you so desire. May you grow spiritually and emotionally, unleashing the innate beauty within.
Managed to seek out a few of these friends to wish them well before they leave and our lives diverge.

Was genuinely happy for them, that they are able to chase their dreams and grow through new experiences.
All the best, people :]


Receiving as I Give

August 22, 2009 , , 0 Comments

Had a strange, unquantifiable desire to volunteer today. Perhaps I've lost touch with the inner self, perhaps I'm missing the simple joys of yesteryear or perhaps I'm just tired of the materialism, self-absorption and power plays around me.

Made a determined decision to volunteer, despite the fact that I had to travel to and fro between several places and flit between commitments. Was glad to do it. A choice that i wouldn't resent.

Wandering around the compound,
desperately seeking.
Where are they?
Why is the place empty?

I shuffle past cool, metallic structures,
hard, definite concrete.
The compound is sprawling,

I listen to the sound of human absence
while fingering my wrist.

A strain of lilting laughter
filters through the environment.
It is a welcomed surprise.

With hastening pace, I move
towards the source.
For some reason,
the closer I get,
the slower I move.

This is what I see:

People who give without expecting returns;
People who smile brilliantly
and perhaps have the least reasons to;

People who sit in corners,
bored and sleepy;
People who sullenly stare.

It is, at once,
an escape from the reality
and a confrontation too.

Understanding what bone-deep weariness means.



August 17, 2009 0 Comments

saw the snuffling of life today. the course of nature, one preying on another. does it apply to the ever complex relations b/w human beings too?
celebrations of age and beyond. the joy of reunion and such. shedding the burdens of today to embrace the pleasures of yesteryear.
unwilling to relinquish the past, although relinquishing's inevitable. the fear of leaping. the fear of not leaping. not simply sitting on the fence, but dancing in the tensions of current moments.
life does not unfold backwards, neither does it tarries with yesterdays.
simple pleasures in life. imposing one's will, thoughts and feelings on inanimate objects. anthropomorphism.
refuting, rebutting, retaliating. ranting and raving against the authorities.


Random thoughts

August 15, 2009 0 Comments

bit drained.

wondered if i am putting too much of myself into tutoring, so much so that i leave no room for myself.

a thirsty wanderer dropping pebbles into a drying well.

to get the water level to rise so that he can scoop some up to drink.

futile, painful, perhaps even stupid.

trying, keep trying.

can't quit. don't want to quit. won't quit.

even if it costs me my social life, i must get these people - my cousins - to do well for their exams...
mule-headed, me.
longing to go for art exhibitions...

singapore art show
national museum

must schedule time to visit these lovely events...
pondering how to ignite interest in studying. how to get people to be curious, inquisitive about the wondrous world around them.

nuturing people into holistic individuals is turning out to be far more demanding than i expected.

how i wished i can stop caring.

didn't know if what i am employing the correct pedagogy when tutoring. the tensions of not knowing. the pains.
beginning a series of surreal drawings... releasing the tensions of constant fretting. escapism.

surrealism is the marriage of skill and substance. an art movement that i am intoxicated with. argh- i want time to go for the exhibitions!


Heaven's Embrace

August 15, 2009 0 Comments

Hues of colours - gentle yellow, dusty blue, mellow beige, cloudy white - float gently across the surface, slowly condensing into a misty panorama.

The pastel shades take on abstract shapes that vaguely suggests something familiar, diaphanous, ephemeral and achingly frail.

Love this piece for quiet calmness resonating within me as I lay my eyes on it.


Faculty of Wonderment

August 13, 2009 0 Comments

Was awaiting by a fountain in a shopping mall, eating my chicken drumstick rather lazily when the screams of a kid drew my attention.

She was inching ever closer to the edge of fountain, struggling playfully against the restricting grasp of her dad. She just wanted to get closer to the waters and inspect its beauty.

Was thunderstruck. I had sat there for so long, yet was blind to the cascading waters. It seemed as though i had became immune to beauty, desensitised by its presence. How did this happen? I was once fascinated by this very fountain too.

And so, I ceased eating and began staring at the dancing liquid. Slowly, I was drawn into the vortex.

The cobalt colours swirled in rhythmic motions, foaming and frothing. Jets of it fired, arcing through the air. Pools of it rose and receded.

It was an orchestra of grace, a painting of vibrancy, a theatrical drama.

Glad that I had sat down and appreciated this melody.
Always a continuous battle to keep one's eyes open.


Of life and living - vibrancy and vitality

Wanted to get back to celebrating colours again.

Finally understood why colour field artists like Mark Rotho and Impressionists like Cezanne and Van Gogh love the significance of colours.

Colours seem to have a life of their own, gently inviting viewers into their world to experience the heights and depths of emotions that they alone can offer. Lovely and inspiring and enriching.


Strand (II)

August 12, 2009 , 0 Comments

Went to ECP to relax. An emotional catharsis, to feel the winds and hear the waves.

Did a few sketches. Satisfied at the way they turned out.

Was pedaling furiously once it started to rain. Realised that I'm going to be thoroughly wet no matter how fast I went. Enjoyed the rain once I recognised that the journey matters more than the end. Coming to terms with that was a relief and a revelation.
Joke of the day:

I'm training my hamsters to speak. Apparently, they only talk when no one's present. Really shy animals.



August 09, 2009 0 Comments

today's the day after national day. kind of drained from the melodrama of the day.

was distinctly disappointed that the pledge moment didn't take place in the area around marina bay. was awaiting fervently for it to occur.
self-love versus self-esteem. people criticises themselves sometimes, not because they genuinely feel inferior, but because they are fishing for compliments.
divergent paths lay in store. tensions between that which is realistic and that which is quixotic.
lessons on tempering the temperament
technology and whether it can be trusted in the hands of its creators.
the road less travelled. further along the road less travelled. the road less travelled and beyond - m scott peck
joke of the day (nationalistic fervour) :

when i walked through the scanners to enter the stadium, it beeped. they realised that i was a biochemical threat, capable of mass destruction. they found out that i am a Sex Bomb.

those who do not recite the pledge shall be fined (contributed by jia jun).


The Different Loves

August 08, 2009 0 Comments

Just saw a kid the other day in the library. He was physically deformed with jutting pelvic bones and abnormally raised shoulders. Arms bent at impossible angles. Backbone twisted awkwardly to the right.

Was impressed by the aura of determination that he's exuding, the grit in his demeanor.

He was reading stuff that seemed way beyond his years.

To my surprise, a lady - his mum? his sister? - stepped out from beyond the aisle to sit alongside him. The sight of them sitting in easy carmaraderie caused me to feel warm despite the frigid temperatures within the library. Their care and concern for each other was palpable.

Wanted to approach them to tell them how much I enjoyed seeing the happiness between them. But I lacked the courage to compliment strangers.

On hindsight, how I wished I had done that.
An excerpt from 'The Road Less Travelled' by M Scott Peck:

If being loved is your goal, you will fail to achieve it. The only way of being loved is to be a person worthy of love, and you cannot be a person worthy of love when your primary goal in life is to be passively loved.
Wondering about education. Was reading a book when a bolt of lightning struck me out of the blue. That people don't bother to advance themselves for they do not love themselves. Had a long talk with my cousin, trying to convince him to respect himself, his future, and work for what he believes in. An emotional roller coaster for both of us.

How to get people to be interested in teaching? How to develop the most comprehensive pedagogy - to ignite interest in learning, in self-growth?

'I'm not here to teach you just chem, just maths, just how to draw. All that doesn't matter, not to me. I'm here to teach you to learn to appreciate life and living, to be more inquisitive to the beauty around you. Remember, while you're learning, I'm learning along with you.'

All this tutoring business is giving me powerful headaches.
An excerpt from 'Confessor' by Terry Goodkind:

To exist in this vast universe is the great gift of life. Our tiny silver of time is our gift of life. The universe will go on, indifferent to our brief existence, but while we are here we touch not just part of that vastness, but also the lives around us. Life is the gift that each one of us has been given. Each life is our own's and nobody else's. It is precious beyond all counting, it is the greatest value we can have. Cherish it for what it is.


The Joy of Seeing

August 06, 2009 , 0 Comments

Bursts of fire streamed from cracks. Joyful, happy.

Impressed by the tenacity of the plants above. There's barely any soil and yet, they're flowering.

A lesson on resilience by Nature.
Pause and enjoy the little things often ignored as we bypass them in a harried, egocentric manner. (Sad, isn't it, to realise what one has been missing all along? And how wonderful it is to finally open one's eyes and see the swirls of light and life all around!)

The mynah with its glossy midnight feathers, the resplendent blooms, the little sparrows... They're all pulsating with life.

Woah, the joy of seeing.


I will survive

August 05, 2009 0 Comments

Came across this song - someone will be singing it for NDP. It has a really addictive tempo. Enjoy!

Had quite a bad day today, stressed beyond rhyme and reason for events that seem so insignificant now.


Just Another Bird

August 04, 2009 0 Comments

Just saw these photos which brought back many memories - most of them bad, I'm afraid.

The poor mynah got stuck in a pile of rat glue. It was wheezing and struggling.
Its flesh were raw and red.
Its feathers were literally glued to its body.

Its right leg were curled into an unnatural angle.

My heart went out to the poor bird and I got my friend to clean up the bird with me.

While we were washing the bird in the sink, a lot of people passed by and made many disparaging remarks.

'Better let it die'
'Just twist the neck'
'Stupid bird, deserves to die'

And the most interesting comment:
'Thank god, you saved it.' (I was momentarily happy) ', if not I won't dare to take hot water from the dispenser anymore!'

Someone called me 'SPCA', in what he cleverly thought was a derogatory mock.

Felt sorry for these people.
Life, without compassion.
Somehow, they decided they could judge life... who - or what - can live and should live.

The bird eventually recovered, against all odds and criticisms.

Fly free, and live defiantly!


Green Sea Turtle

August 03, 2009 0 Comments