Most Yummilicious taste in the World: Honey

I have a craving for honey, and its curious how it started with Patty’s casual question over the cubicle (that’s our style at work), “eh what do you usually have for breakfast?”

I love it when people ask me breakfast questions. I just think it is so gorgeously sincere! When you ask me about what I’d like for breakfast, is like asking an intimate question to really get to know me, because breakfast is a sacred time for many.

 

For night owls, breakfast is spent in deep knock-out slumber on the bed; a private escape to dreams.

For morning people like me, breakfast is a world of amazing possibilities: milk? cereal? cookies? dunk them in tea? or hot chocolate? maybe bread? maybe bread with butter? and even honey?

 

Honey. Oh boy. When I die, drench me in honey. It is a sure way to get into heaven…

I can’t adequately describe how this sticky chewy, aromatic substance is in so many ways my best mealtime companion. It IS sacred. Sigh. The love goes on.

 

Anyway, the reason why I am writing is this: I just returned from a holiday to India, and I have so many thoughts and feelings inside me.

1. I can’t believe I spent a good 7 days without spam-checking my iPhone. I did it! I was dropped from 3G for a good week, with no good reception and no way of accessing Facebook and whatsapp on the move and it has only done me good. Like SO MUCH good. Gone were the times of checking incessantly for messages that would not be coming in anyway, or mindlessly flicking the screen looking for nothing. Instead, i set my gaze to the beautiful (and sometimes hectic) surroundings, and try to drown myself in all the colors and sounds.

Did you know India is beautiful? Some things I loved were the way cows and little goats frolicked in the sunny streets with no care, like regular pets. I loved the traditional garbs of the Indian women, I loved the occasional spectacular saris and punjabi outfits gracing the streets. I love the street hawkers, and the big juicy fruits they peddled only for a few rupees.

 

2. I enjoyed being free. During my entire trip, the only object I pursued was pleasure. I was completely at leisure to do what I want to do when I want to do it. I could make a choice to stuff myself with masala, or laze out in the sun and contemplate life. I could read, listen to my music, or write in my diary.  I didn’t check my emails, and I didn’t get in touch with anyone who was not around me. I had to make conversations with my travel buddies, and I do so when i felt like it. In the end, we knew each other so much better than we ever could, and the friendships I’ve made in the easy times are things I will cherish forever.

 

3. My senses were invigorated by immense beauty. I had the chance to visit the Big Temple in Thanjavur, the scale of the temple and its beauty awed me. I was in Kodaikanal, and the mountainous scenes, steep cliffs and rocks were so gorgeous. I find myself in love again.

 

 

The funny thing is that to me, no matter now beautiful are the things I see, man made or natural, they all don’t come close to the beauty of relationships. One of the biggest takeaway I have out of my India trip is the message that: live your life to the utmost every single minute.

I don’t mean you have to now rush like a mad thing trying to accomplish something every second. In fact I mean the opposite. I mean that we can try to be at peace with ourselves, and still our mind to concentrate on the present, because each moment is different, and if you are always living in the future or for the past, you are just wasting your time away.

I mean that we should be deeply conscious of our existence and be grateful for that. I mean that each day we can perhaps come closer to understanding ourselves and drawing our full potential, and enjoy the process of growing and learning. We are not perfect, and the last thing to do is to try to be someone else just to be perfect. But how about being the best of me? I think that’s a worthy pursuit for this life.

And ironically as it sounds, I see that the best way to be perfectly us, is to think about others. We have come a full circle back down to relationships. The act of giving something good and pleasing to someone else, so that both parties can share something beautiful, a kind of grace that is invisible and intangible.

I don’t know, but I truly think that we are born to be in relationships with each other. A single person alone is nothing much, what joy can be derived out of enjoying nature’s beauty by oneself? We are all mirrors for each other, what we do to others define ourselves.

What a heavy lessons for such a light-hearted holiday huh! I don’t know what’s gotten to me. My sore throat must be burning up my head. Time to snuggle (:

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Chimera: The Collector’s Show

Chimera is on at SAM now, and I saw it twice! The time spent was well worth it, because some pieces of work were like wine, you appreciate them better over time >>

“Titled Chimera, a deliberately evocative word that references both the mythological hybrid monster and the idea of an illusion, fantasy, or delusion, the exhibition presents contemporary art in all its various and hybrid forms, from painting to sculpture, to new media and interactive multi-media. The works selected eschew conventional spectacle in favour of a reflection on vision and visuality, offering up visually seductive surfaces tinged with undercurrents of anxiety. These artworks remind us of the spectres of our age – questions and issues which continue to haunt us and test our judgement at every turn and corner of our new millennium.”

 

Truly a gorgeous show (:

 

This is Venus in Prints. The prints were not tattooed evenly. It was sprinkled on to create a pulsating effect, of Venus emerging and pulling back into the printed canvas behind. Cool!

 

Now this is really beautiful. Japanese artist Tabaimo recreated a scene by the sea at midnight. A silent and still black surface was broken up by emerging waves, projected on the black surface from above. The sides were plated with mirrors so that the waves stretch across infinity; for a moment I thought I was looking at the endless sea just standing there in that small, black room.

What a feeling!

Because I can’t say it as well, or accurately, as Tabaimo can, here’s the full text:

 

This below is a simple drawing on Japanese rice paper.

Doesn’t it remind you of a scene in a Manga? I adore the colours on the canvas, and the muted effect on the paper! Take a look at that whirlwind, do you see a werewolf in red shoes?

The confusion so perfect describes the state of our lives at any time.

 

Look at this piano.. or an absence of one. Does its “haunting hallowness” get to your heart? This is Jo’s favourite piece. This shroud is not held in place by racks. It is super-glued together!!!! ok sounds awfully stupid but you get what I mean, starched stiff.

The real beauty of the work also lies behind its titling. Psychogenic Fugue.

 

The true sublime music is lost, leaving behind a shadow of its former splendor. That is the music we know today.
Not that I hate the music now.. I am a huge fan of alternative/ pop/ all sorts of junk they produce these days.. but I can’t help feeling she’s right.

 

I know it is quite cheaters of me to post photos of other exhibitions here too.. but technically they are the same exhibition what! 8Q is a part of SAM, just like Future Proof is an alternative to the Collector’s Show. So the first piece here is Human Condition by Joel Yuen:

Crafted of marble, Joel created a set of three hands and hovered each piece over a fine print of a marble surface. Do you see a shadow cast by the hovering statue? Is that the true shadow? Not really, because he had printed a shadow on the paper as well.

Curiosities.

And this room, it just takes your breath away.

I am not talking about the deco, the deco is so down-to-earth that it can absolutely bore you. But you should be there! This room is in monochrome. Everything. And the walls, they are melting in. There is no air, it is so narrow, you feel trapped and stuck. Sucked in to an airless space.

It is the personification of a mental block :) I can’t describe the constriction I felt in my lungs when I first stepped in. And it really helped that the only way to access the room was via a narrow windy corridor absolutely papered by waste paper.

I am serious!

 

You know what, I really can’t keep going on about the show. There are just so many good words, so many rich experiences to share, that I can’t do it all. I just can’t! So below are just some random photos of the show, fantastic as they are, they don’t even come close to the real experience!

     

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A stick-note charm to remind myself never to not do that

I DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE YEAR WAITING IN VAIN.

So don’t wait! Get out there and grab a life, an adventure for yourself.

I DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE YEAR BEING FAT.

So stop being greedy, and seriously quit eating so much!

I DON’T WANT TO SPEND THE YEAR BEING SUCH A LAZY CRAP AT WORK.

So work harder and be smarter.

I DON’T WANT TO BE AN ILLITERATE, VULGAR GIRL WHO KNOWS NO JOY IN LIFE.

So read regularly!

I DON’T WANT TO BE FAITHLESS.

So pray often, and offer each day up to him!

I DON’T WANT TO BE JE-JE-JE-JADED.

So do good deeds everyday. Stop being a self-centered bitch!

I DON’T WANT TO LEAVE YOU OUT COLD.

So spend more time with people I love, who loves me so. Get down to writing that letter which you never finished.

I DON’T WANT TO HAVE REGRETS.

Seize the day, live in the present moment.

 

More time with God, books, exercise, good healthy work that enriches my experience and makes me useful.

Less time being stuck in my comfort zone. Being lazy, eating non-stop, and feeling perfectly selfish and insular is not the way to live.

It is time to branch out, catch some sunlight, and grow.

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Going places with good music

Music of the season!

Foster the People – Pumped up Kicks

Ed Sheeran – Lego House

The Kooks – Naive

Muse – Starlight

陶喆 - 普通朋友

Florence and the Machine – Shake it Out

Gavin DeGraw – I don’t wanna be

Martin Solveig – Hello

Michael Henry & Justin Robinett – What the Hell

Ok to be fair, there would only be 9 songs on the billboard. Of all the tunes popping up in my mind these are definitely the favourites.

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Things that make you Cry and Laugh at the same time

One thing is life for sure.

I hope your life is funny, sunny, bitter and sweet at the same time. That’s a life worth living.

But other than Life, there are moments littered in our every day that possess the same powerful effect, that could make you laugh and cry at the same time:

A Good Read. A book that speaks to you through its volumes of a past experience, a deep ache within. Or maybe one that offers a window to someone else’s life, a life so helpless and fragile, and yet you could not reach out to help in any way. You laugh because you can imagine its simple sweetness, and you cry for all the unfairness suffered.

A Decade-old Photo. When you see your smooth, oval face and the spotless laugh that knew no troubles; oh how you hate and love at the same time! Love for the moment you had, and hate that it is long over. Pleaseeee get over the bitterness and be grateful that you were enriched by such beautiful experiences! (:

A Cup of Coffee. You could be having it alone, or perhaps as a friendly brew with an old acquaintance; anyhow, caffeine is a great brain stimulant, and at times it could work just as well even for the tear ducts! Say if you were sharing a private joke (even just to yourself) and you burnt your tongue while chuckling quietly.

Very likely.

An Unwilling Lesson Learnt. That was what happened to me today. I was bringing my parents out for a day trip, our usual food-hunt, and I envisioned a relaxing stroll after a delicious meal.

To my own grievous fault (heh), it became a stressful roundabout walk, long hours of getting lost, and a set of tired and grumpy parents, carrying two pairs of feet that were more tired and grumpy than anything ):

It was really my fault. Not only did I walk too fast, I was way too impatient in finding my way around, indecisive about what to do, and too stubborn to take any advice.

You know I thought I changed! I used to be a panicky drowning-duck-in-the-pond type of person, and I really, really thought I shook that off already. I thought that I have learnt to carry myself in a confident, relaxed way. I was so wrong! I am still the worried little girl trying so hard to prove myself. 

After all these years, I am still the same in so many ways. What a downer.

I guess one improvement is that I don’t sulk out loud and pretend nothing’s wrong anymore. I shed a few quiet tears, and as I thought back about the frantic walking we did, I actually managed to laugh out. AT myself.

There you go, crying and laughing at the same time!

How could I be so wrong, thinking that I’m all good and grown now. How you surprise me, oh G.

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You will always be a one hit wonder

Don’t you think that we can be such stubborn creatures always?

Our itchy hearts always, always want something new.

Not that they are bad, but maybe we are disillusioned about their benefits. Sometimes they are not good for us.

Or maybe it is simply not the right time.

“I shall not want.”

It is so much easier said than done, but to call it quits before trying is a coward. Don’t b e like that! Face the music and carry on. Try to be patient and kind, and wait for it to come to you, all in good time (:

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The longer I run

I have grown to like running again! It is a feeling that was long lost to me.

Back in 2010 I used to really run quite a lot. LOL it scares me that the mention of years of the new millennium actually sounds like old news. (WHAT KIND OF AGE ARE WE LIVING IN? An age that ages too fast, me thinks.)

I could do 10 at a whim, and I was hooked to the thrill of breathlessness. I wasn’t crazy fast, but I wasn’t slow, I was damn tired, but I so loved it. I loved the feel of my carbs burning away (I’ll admit as much!) and I loved the scream in my legs, because back then I needed to feel intensely before I could recognise my worth. If it doesn’t hurt I wasn’t doing enough.

And of course it didn’t last long, this act of living life half-alive. Soon I was getting too comfortable with myself all over again, and those memories of “die running” no longer attracted me. In fact it sent shivers down my spine!

But now I am back! And it feels so good to be sane and motivated at the same time. I think I am really, really rickety and old now, but I no longer need to proof a point. Sure I run to lose weight, but also because I want to be healthy and feel alive. I want to live at the tip of my toes! So I run.

I ran and as I did, I shed all troubles of the day, the what ifs and what nots. I ran as fast as I would like, without worrying how much there was to go before I could stop, without thinking if I have arrived.

Right now what mattered most was being present. So just bring one leg forward,

and the other,

and you go!

P.S. This is a random incident that happened after the run. I title it THE TEXTURE OF SIN: I promise I didn’t feel like eating anything at all. But it turns out it was a futile promise :\ if not for the retainers, I would have sunk my front teeth right into the heart of the creamy, yummy brown cube. Chocolates are defenseless against my enamel prison!! And it all came about from just one touch. A tentative finger prodding the smooth, mahogany surface of the chocolate dome. A touch can kill. A touch can move waves of desireeeee…!

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The best way to kill a read

The most effective way to kill a good read is to read it really, really fast. Joel calls that being a “speed freak”.

But it isn’t really my fault, not really. The book is just so, so sad. I had to kill it before it kills me. Sorry Bookie, my life is more real to me than yours. I am so sorry you had to die such an unglamorous death.

Like Joel said, I fulfilled my “freaky nature” by exploding through the book at the top speed. Two-lines-per-second. My eyes were blurry as it skimmed the alphabets, barely registering a verb, an adjective, not even a word, they were all a jumble of alphabets, or closer to nothing, because before I could “see” the letter a I have already skipped forward to n and then it was y and another word that began with t.

Names were my speed bumps, I would pause at the word “Norah” “David” “Paul” (if they happened to register); inverted commas which signaled conversations caught my attention. A truly tiring way to read.

But tell me if you can, that it is not sad, to keep a secret from your beloved wife! Tell me that it is not tragic to see a family fall apart because of one sore mistake!

Tell me that meaningless affairs are not heart-wrenching, and that you do not pity the man who lives a secret life behind his camera lens.

A talented boy who used music as an outlet for anger and leading his life out of defiance. Three persons’ sad memories intermingled into a rivers of bitterness and then an OCEAN of regrets.

The worst: a secret, a wrongful secret,i kept till the very last breath and taken to the deathbed: the injustice of it! And finally when it was all said and done the dust had already settled and there was nothing more to say, or do. The dead is gone and the living try their best to live again, live like they have never seen sadness.

OK, the ending wasn’t that bleak, but it might just have been, you know. Anyhow to me it doesn’t make up for the lost years and the decades of anguish, but really, it just teaches us that life still goes on, heedless of mundane human tragedies. No tragedy is too hard for Life to get over.

So tell me if you had such a book in your hand you would not dash through it, beat down the unhappy, stifling paragraphs and be done with it. It will take some time before i read it again!

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A strange feeling we have met before.

I was standing at the junction listlessly  fiddling my phone when I noticed a strange, broad hand waving in my face. Not thinking anything at all I looked up and saw – Dass! He was back from London!

I know it is very strange, but I couldn’t say how glad I was to see him. Of course I didn’t know that feeling inside me was gladness at first. I said a surprised “hey!” and started removing my ear piece, and rolling them together neatly. I looked at him and asked him where did he come from, while he asked me if I just got off the train at the same time. The best way to start a conversation was by asking mundane questions.

He had small, bleary eyes, and I could tell he needed sleep badly, or is it is old problem coming back again? I felt like his caretaker thinking about such everyday things! He replied that he just got off the bus, and that he was at the learning centre. I asked him when did he arrive in Singapore, he said on the First, and yes he brought his wife and daughter back home as well. I asked about his house in London, and his place in Khatib, if it was empty. A friend stays there now, he said.

The green man flashed, and we started crossing the road. I said he looked thinner, which pleased him and he asked skeptically if it was true. Ok not tremendously thinner like I envisioned when Patty said so, but yes slightly slimmer. (OK but he was actually much slimmer when he first joined, ha!) He said he took a nap on the bus, and was still trying to adjust to local time. I asked if he took a longer nap during the lesson. He said he was at the verge of giving up towards the end of the class, and that others who just came back from the US didn’t fare any better.

We were standing and talking like that for a while at the corner of the crossing, and I waited for his green man with him. When the green man started walking, I waved goodbye to him, and we said we would see each other in the office again on Friday.

I know it was really stupid, but I couldn’t help smiling to myself as I walked the rest of the way home. Dass is back! Maybe I didn’t realize it but I do miss my boss. My nit-picking-micro-controlling-impatient-silly-laugh-introverted-intelligent boss.

But maybe it is because he has yet answered an important question, therefore seeing him makes me feel glad that some sort of an answer was near?

Whatever, I was glad to see him. Happy actually. Happy that he was doing well, that his family seemed well and good.

It is a strange yet wonderful feeling, to see an old friend face to face, in times unexpected.

What a way to start a week! : D

xoxo, G

P.S. strange things happened. The wind was really huge yesterday morning when I went out for yoga class; it sent the dry, yellow leaves flying in the air. A man on a bicycle moving towards me had a shocked expression on his face when a leaf dropped into his front basket which almost made me laugh. He was such a lucky guy! I have tried so hard on so many occasions to catch falling leaves, they say it is good luck, but I never did. And lo’behold, one lone leaf simply floated into his basket! He is going to have a good year, surely!

P.P.S I remembered that something strange happened today as well, but I can’t remember what. I love remembering whimsical stories, I would tell myself to note that and write it down when I get the chance, but most of the time I didn’t. I hope secretly inside I have stashed these stories in a safe corner, and one day they can come to me again, and I shall review them at leisure.

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A shining light

Happie Neu Ear and belated merry Christmas!!

Live a little, love more, and have lots of blessings.
I wish that you are a light for others, and for yourself,

xoxo,
G

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