January 31, 2010 0 Comments

He left his present in the care of a stranger - his friend's friend - and left quietly, almost sneakily. And in that act, he felt a strange combination of shame and courage.
'I would never be happy,' he told his friend with a sad, faraway look in his eyes.

He had no idea why he said that. Perhaps he just wanted to see if anyone care for his existence. Or he just needed to know how others would react to such an outrageous statement. Maybe these words reflected a suppressed thought, he really had no idea.

But for whatever reasons, he said it.

The resulting silence, the slightly stunned expression of his friend caused him to regret saying that. He felt an acute disappointment when no apt response was forthcoming. In that moment, the world was reduced to him and his injured feelings.
Life has been better, ever since he decided to seize the day and make every moment count. It was amazing, the subsequent brightness and brilliance.

Before him, many flowers unfurled. He just wasn't sure if he liked this whole new world or preferred the monotonic past.


Blessed be to one and all

January 27, 2010 0 Comments

It has been a long time since I last read any self-improvement books. Those inspirational stories that fills the heart with hope, those parables that paint everything with an air of possibility.

Miss reading those and-they-live-happily-ever-after stories and the attendant sense that everything will end well, perfectly, beautifully.

The psychological texts, prompting self-examination, self-reflection, self-censure, was disturbing my mind's peace for naught. I've failed to grasp the penultimate nature of the works - to nurture oneself through reflection - and wallowed comfortably in the discomforting pessimism.

It's so easy to lose one's way, so easy for everything to tend towards disorder, entropy. So much easier to live a life of self-denial, self-pity, so much easier to be cool and aloof and not be hurt.

And it's harder, much harder to pull oneself together, to conduct oneself with dignity, decency and decorum. Life's never easy, isn't it?

Planning to read more inspirational stories and let them draw the fractious parts of me into a tuneful symphony once again. Blessed be to one and all.



January 27, 2010 0 Comments

Feeling drained by the work that I've been doing.

It's decidedly difficult to remain upbeat about a work which demand nothing more than smiling and greeting. The monotony's sheer torture.

Perhaps, the end is near. A leap of faith, prithee.

It takes courage to oppose the strange comfort of a predictable but mindless job. The note of finality despite the lulling sense of peace is liberating, as though one's waking up after hours of dreaming about a relentless straight line.

Am glad for this opportunity to see the world from a different perspective - to serve and not just be served.


A Fair Weather Friend

January 21, 2010 0 Comments

He's regretful after rashly telling his friend that he's a fair weather companion.

It's sad, the way he behaves when he's particularly needy and vulnerable. It's sad, how he pushes his friends away when he needs their support and understanding most.

He was feeling so disappointed that he behaved in an uncharacteristic manner. 

'I'm feeling rather lousy now but I won't tell you why since you're a fair weather friend.'

He didn't know why he did it, why he sent that message, especially since he had decided not to tell his friend why. Perhaps he just wanted to relieve those bottled feelings and that particular friend came to mind. Or more honestly, that guy was a distant friend whom he rarely met up with and their social circles were so different that they hardly overlapped. Surely, it was safe to speak to that friend.

He was afraid of getting hurt, of being close to another person and that attendant potential for being injured.

This friend responded in an awkward manner.

A hurt person would be so wrapped up in his pain that he wouldn't be able to feel for others. He wondered if his friend was shocked to receive such a message for neither rhyme nor reason. He wished that he didn't always put himself in the position where he has to apologise.

Thoughts, all fragment. Sigh.


Random Thoughts

January 19, 2010 0 Comments

Shall exercise my faculty of will to wean myself off the addiction to gloominess and pessimism.

Somewhere, somehow, I've lost the quality of exuberance and innocence that I once carelessly possessed. I didn't treasure them back then. I thought that being happy was easy. It was a state that I was so used to.

Their presence was not appreciated but their absence was startlingly conspicuous.

Only when I've lost them did I realise how precious innocence and felicity truly are.

The loss, it was irreversible. It led to a darkening vision, a gradual hopelessness, a general belief in the futility of living.

It's time to reverse this excessive notice of all things negative and start paying attention to the present.

The single bloom of wild flower, the almost-quiet warbling of neighbourhood songbirds, the sparkle in the stranger's eyes. Perhaps, if one look hard enough, there's beauty every where. Perhaps, there's beauty where ever life is.


Reluctant Smiles

January 16, 2010 , 0 Comments

Need to fortify my defences so that I won't scar so readily.

Feels as though I'm too easily hurt by the opinions of the people around me.

I care too much, I feel too deeply.

And I pretend that I don't care that much nor feel that deeply.

I've come to realise that my smiles are becoming more strained. It's requiring more effort, more energy to pull my mouth into a smile.

How I yearn to find the boy that I once was. But, how?


Dali's Space Elephant

January 13, 2010 0 Comments

Saw an original Dali sculpture yesterday and was overwhelmed by his sheer ingenuity. This elephant on spider legs was drawn from his The Temptation of Saint Anthony.

Was floating about in a daze after someone told me that this sculpture was an original. Never thought that I'd get to see such a renowned artwork on this humble islet.

Dali's works emphasize the subconscious over the rational and merge fantasy with reality. They blend substance and style. The sheer creativity involved in creating this work...

Art's a never-ending journey of marveling, wondering... and I'm glad it's this way too.


Commune with Nature

January 11, 2010 , 0 Comments

Did these works a few months back in ballpoint ink. They were part of the 'Commune with Nature' series, works concerned with exploring what it would be like if plants and animals could communicate with us.

It was a period of sustained revelry in Nature's wonders, of much time spent wandering in places rich in Her presence.

It was also a period of saddening realisations - the adverse, even horrific, effects of human activities on Her and Her creations.

Would we still indulge in such damaging work if we could hear their cries? Would we be able to?

The Wolf with Mouth
The Talking Orchid
The Tree with Eyes and Mouths for Leaves

These Surrealism-influenced works merges fantasy with reality, truth with illusion. Animals and plants are personified, given human features and characteristics.

Perhaps the cacophony and chaos of life could be transformed into one seamless symphony when one could communicate, understand and empathise with all.

A whimsical, somewhat wishful, thinking on my part.


Who am I?

January 09, 2010 0 Comments

Deriving my sense of self, my identity from the people around me.

There, my friends are there,
I smiled as I hurried towards them,
wearing Happiness on my face.
Oh, my family!
Let's see...
must be Calm, Prudent and Responsible,
or they'll fret.
And, my colleagues, they're judging.
A bit of a Joker, a dash of Impertinence -
maybe a look of perpetual sleepiness? -
that'll be just right.
Settled, everything's settled.
A costume for each scenario,
with glitzy expressions to match.

People come and go, and my identity's in a constant flux.

No no, my family's meeting my friends!
Do I remain cool or
should I be joyful, bubbly?
And why did they - my school mates -
visit my work place uninvited,
unannounced and unwanted?
How do I deal with it?!
I fingered each mask, trembling.
I wore one while facing one friend
and another while facing another.
Tired. Nervous.
Switching facades's not easy.
It's never easy.
After a day's work,
I could finally rest easy at home.

When I'm alone, that's when I don't know who I am.

The spotlights blinked, dulled
then disappeared.
Sighing, I shed all the costumes,
threw the aching bag of
accessories in one corner,
and rested my weary soul.
My eyes softly closed,
my breathing became even...
My thoughts stilled,
my body relaxed.

I jolted awake,
bolted upright.
What am I?



January 06, 2010 0 Comments

Thankful for the friends who made it difficult for me to feel sorry for myself.

Am a very determined person, sometimes to my very detriments. Was painfully determined to be moody. Deliberately altered my online status such that no one would know that today's my birthday.

No one, I thought, would know about this day. It shall be a day as typical as any.

Planned to sit in a quiet corner in the neighbourhood park under the dusky lights of the street lamps. Planned to simply enjoy some ice-cream, write a bit, read a little. Planned to feel sorry and happy that I've chosen such a route of painful self-abandonment.

Planned to mourn my birthday. To mourn the global warming that I'm contributing to, the waste gases I generate, the thoughtless, hurtful remarks that I shouldn't have said...

Guess that's why I'm so relieved and grateful for friends who won't allow me to do all that. They messaged me uplifting smses, gave me treasured gifts and reminded me that perhaps, my life isn't so meaningless.

Thank you all, friends, thank you God, for all that and more.


Of Pride and Perjury 2011

January 05, 2010 0 Comments

A new year awaits ahead and I'm filled with much trepidation. Feels as though time and tide are relentlessly marching forward in a tune I neither understand nor, frankly, hope to understand.

Pleased with the life I've chosen - bit of work, much reading, thinking and drawing. It's a comfortable living, one that appeals to my sensibilities, but there's this silent, omniscient, tireless voice that keeps wanting me to do more with my life.

The alter ego wants me to study accountancy or business or law or simply any course that'd bring in the dollars. The alter ego tells me that I must forsake my happiness to pursue the ideal 5Cs - car, condo, cash, credit card, country club membership. And I must admit that, no matter how irrational the alter ego is, I'm tempted.

Oh yes, I'm tempted.

Know that not all those who studied law or accountancy or business would end up rich. Know that even if they're rich, they might not be happy (unless they're happy solely because they're rich). Know that happiness in and of itself is spiritual richness.

But Knowing, it's so different from Understanding.

Feels as though I'm groping blindly in the darkness, thirsty for enlightenment and yet, not knowing that I hold a canteen of water in my hands.
Was sharing with two treasured friends about how I felt.

Sharing stories about the subtle look of horror when people hear that I'm planning to study a pure Science and - horror of horrors - be a teacher thereafter. The involuntary gasps. The looks of aspersions and the subsequent awkwardness.

One told me that he secretly 'don't admire' those who chose to remain in the system without venturing out, those who settled on what they know and dare not try. I guess, I understand why.

Another shared with me the similarly aloof treatment he received when he told others that he'd be studying Mathematics. (It's not just my imagination.) The subtle, yet palpable, distaste.
I love teaching, the attendant satisfaction from knowing that I've made a difference. I like knowing that I'm not mindlessly accumulating money for self, that I'm contributing, in my humble little ways, to the society.

But, how do I ever come face-to-face to the possibility that I'd be mediocre?
Many friends told me that I ought to pursue happiness, that I ought to do what that makes me happy.

But, what's the price of happiness?
What should I do?

How I wish someone would make the choice for me and allow me to close my eyes, still my heart, silent my desires while travelling down the path of their choice.


The Taxi Uncle who went Bonkers

January 02, 2010 0 Comments

Was thinking about the recent trip to KL and the taxi uncle who went bonkers. He was supposed to drive us to the bus terminal. The trip was nothing short of an eye opener.

The Uncle talked non-stop and drove recklessly. When we suggested that he should concentrate on his driving, he reassured us that everyone in Malaysia drives like him.

To prove his point, he swerved dangerously into other lanes, narrowly avoiding other motorcars. It was such a close shave! 'It's okay, don't worry, there are car accidents everyday in Malaysia, no worries,' he cackled,' you Singaporeans are jokers. Do you know what Jokers mean?'

! Don't worry? Daily car accidents? How could we not worry, especially after his mad outbursts?

My friends got so scared that they contacted other friends who were in another cab and asked that they trail us.

He was filled with such bitterness. Such anger. 'Please, Uncle, our families would be worried sick if we aren't back home in time,' we pleaded when he refused to tell us how long it would take before we reach the bus terminal. We cajoled and wheedled, but all he'd repeat in a harsh cackle is that it'd take two hours before we would reach the terminal.

Two hours?! By then, the bus would have left!

'Worried? Who would be worried for me?!' He had exclaimed resentfully. I could only imagine the hardships he went through. An immigrant from China, driving in a completely foreign Malaysia where cultures were radically different. I could only imagine his initial joy when he left his homelands, in search of a better future, of the subsequent trials and tribulations which left him bitter, disappointed and disillusioned.

Life is a series of peaks and valleys but his life seemed to have bottomed out permanently after hitting a series of increasingly steep and narrow valleys. His insane laughter while he swerved recklessly between lanes, his freehand driving, his mocking words, his rudeness to the ladies, his reluctance to heed the cries of frightened customers...

It felt as though he had nothing left to lose. The dangerous way he drove, it reflected a psychological disturbance, a suicidal wish to end it all.

I prayed hard for him, prayed that he could find the peace that he so seeks, peace that he so desires but perhaps knows not that he desires.