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Waiting

There is so much waiting around the world these days. People waiting for families to return, dead or alive. People waiting for wars to end, for aid to come, for politicians to end their differences, for us to understand that we are really just killing each other. Perhaps, on a larger scale, we are just waiting for everything here to melt away, for someone to raise a white flag that reads ” I surrender.” But it would take someone great to do that, wouldn’t it? After all, we are the prideful humans.

And so we stretch out further, waiting. hoping. There is always hope in every waiting. This hope that encompasses a knowing and it is with this knowing  that I will believe.

My hero stands at the end of the tunnel.

 

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Solitude

Writing can be an extremely lonely journey. Yet, at the same time, you get that euphoric feeling of everyone comprehending the things you penned but could not say, that sense of solidarity and engagement. You often find yourself standing alone, thinking that the only space that you are entitled to occupy is the mere extend of your physical being. But lest you know, ( and if you only knew), that you are occupying more than that. Your presence overflows into spaces that deem you unworthy, as a writer and as a human. You can occupy all of that.

Now it is time to pluck up your courage and claim it.

About the photo: 

This photo was taken in a ‘zero room’ flat in Singapore. I have never been to nor am I aware of the existence of zero room apartments. But this is where the unwanted dwells. where poverty lies widespread within its corridors, an evidence of the contradictions of what a prosperous Singapore is. They are part of society, part of us. Nation, City. People.

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Illusion

I was spending time piling on the layers, layers that represented my life. Colored in varying opacity, it is a reflection of the multi-faceted life I had. The exciting flavors and spectrum of colors I often boast proudly about. Some layers are delivered with an intensity and a vigor so strong it felt like I was maneuvering in drunken stupor while others pale in their shades, giving these layers a kind of melancholic tune. But the combination of layers creates an illusion, an imagination of what is and what is not. It creates a subtle confusion and like venom, it slowly chips away your core, stealing away a centralization that guides your sanity as a human.

Are you seeing or are you not?

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Us, Frauds

All of us, are frauds and it is time that we just be honest and upfront about it. 

We often play the authenticity cards well, proclaiming proudly of our realness. The world informs us of its value of authenticity as we design advertisements teaching people how to find realness, how to buy authenticity. But can authenticity be bought? 

No. Authenticity is an admission that you are you. You embrace this fact. You quit trying to be because you are. 

But often, reality trains us otherwise. Words, they cling onto your identity and we find ourselves using them to become someone else. While I was in grad school, I would often use the word “notion” frequently, thinking that this word has the power to transform and brand me as more of an academic. Now that I am working, the phrase “For your perusal please” is peppered over correspondences for the sake of being more professional. 

We are all afraid of blowing our covers. There is a deeply seated fear that one day someone might come along and tear down these masks that cover us from the simple truth. We fear that when that happens, this realization that our value encompasses more than just awards and achievements will destabilize and destroy the things that we know. 

The world fashion values around visuals. You don’t find a person being lauded for just being a human. There is no pat on the back for just trying your best to be one. All of us, we will eventually leave this place and when we do, we take nothing along. It is just you and yourself.

I am looking forward to the day when Us, Frauds will stand bravely and admit that we are not the embodiment nor the identity for any other word. We simply are and that in itself, is enough.  

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Routine

We set out each day, at a particular time and place, each consumed by important matters for the day. What is amazing is the point where paths eventually convene. How fate knocks because of an everyday routine, a journey where strangers dissolve into familiar faces.

There is a comforting story surrounding this queer encounter, for you know but yet you don’t. In a way, this is how we often settle for things. Superficial not deep. As long as the membrane of the story is tantalizing, the details don’t matter. 

Routine can be a lonely journey. For some of us, this sense of somewhat connection would suffice for the day.

Finding Faces

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Faces are windows and as the curtains unfold, there is an endless outflow of life. In them I find a repository of expressions, each one exquisite and special. Almost certain that there will not be another replicate, it made every individual precious as gold. There are times I find a question poring through the fabric of their eyes, a mischievous grin lining the sides of their cheeks or just a sheer undulated joy protected within the walls of simplicity. These are the moments I search for, the paths I would gladly pander on as I continue to seek and hopefully to find, every treasure in each crafted face.

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Second Chances

Sometimes a place gives you second chances. Another opportunity to feel its crevices and its rough edges. A chance to run your fingers through the soul of the city and to feel its pulse. But second chances are sometimes given but not deeply savoured. We jumped right at it searching for the familiar when we should be seeking the new.

A second chance is a promise. A promise that there is always a path that is aligned for you, a promise that hope is present. Today, I was savouring my ‘second chance’ in a city I once lived, manoeuvring back in time and slowing down my pace so I could truly see what I had fail to see before.

And I discover that the tunnel will always be lit.

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Closing Chapters

My world often find its way to the point where I find myself at the end of the line, at the tip of closing chapters. These words ‘The End’ are not my favorite words at all. They are like microphones, amplifying a fact that I have already known, it is the finale of a story. The part where characters curtsy and take their leave from the stage.

I cling on tightly to the remnants of its last words, like a possessive lover, refusing to let them go. You see, I have a queer understanding that stories live forever. Like in fairy tales, they are often ‘ happily ever after’, and not ‘ The End’. In my stubbornness, I formulated that if stories are good, they should not end. But all stories come to an end, don’t they? Reflecting upon our human lives, we have closed countless chapters written in our own humanity story.

I find myself arriving at one conclusion after pondering over my incessant possessive behavior upon my own stories.

I was scared that there wouldn’t be another story as fabulous as this one.     

Our stories all begin with struggles of trepidation. We fought through times when our lives hit rock bottom and through prolong seasons of uncertainty. I think that we have this idea that bravery and courage only come once in a very long time. It might knock at your door once but never twice. And so, we search through the gutters, deep within ourselves to find the courage and bravery to trudge through these challenging plots where our stories tread, and when we come out of it with success stories written on our backs, we are convinced that we could never go through all of that again. Yes, people get tired of bravery. Suddenly, we want others to (for once) be brave for us, for our lives.

But things do not work like that. In the movie, The Pursuit Of Happyness, there is a quote that says, ” If you want something, go get it. Period.” What is present is not an absence of bravery but a chosen choice to dwell in fear. The truth is that we are scared that our next story will not be as ‘successful’ as the impending one that we are going to write. Here’s the thing, we need to let it go, do not compare because no story can ever be the same. Our stories are written and they will be rewritten.

” We know and then we do better” Said Maya Angelou. Let us not dwell on the past. Yes, there are lessons that we learn and precious memories that we keep. But we tuck these lessons and memories safely beneath our sleeves and when the tumultuous plots come around, we take them out and remind ourselves time and again that no, we are not afraid.

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Finding Seasons

In Singapore, there are no colorful seasons to behold. No changes in the colors to fill up the corners of my imagination. Perhaps, it is the lack that resulted in the cherished. It has been raining perpetually lately in Singapore and the sounds of raindrops against my windowsill send waves of imagination through. I like to think that with the fresh bout of continuous downpour, the plants sitting outside my house are drinking it in, storing the nutrients into its reservoir of goodness. I imagined the leaves turning plump with green as its roots grow strong in strength.

I cherish the seasons in my life, the ones I traverse through in the pouring rain or when I’m basking under the richness of the sun. I can’t say that it is all about feeling good when you find yourself in a downpour. The uncomfortable-ness sets off feelings of dread. But what I am sure of is that the downpour always brings out truth. Truths that  mold character and strengthen faith. You learn to eliminate self-doubt, and to quit asking ‘what if’. You keep walking, knowing deep in your gut that the sun will eventually come. And it will.

But seasons change constantly and this is its true beauty, that as you find yourself being placed in the webs of constant change, a repertoire of colors is waiting to greet you at your doorstep. I’m not sure if I will be enjoying the next season of my life, but that is not the main point. The crux is to know that as the colors changes, there is always rain, and warmth thereafter. And what you need to do is to reach out into your season and Walk. In. Faith.

[This post is for my best friend who walks with me through my seasons. As I would do the same for her in all of hers.]