We’re so helpless
We’re slaves to our impulses
We’re afraid of our emotions
And no one knows where the shore is
We’re divided by the ocean
And the only thing I know is
That the answer isn’t for us
No the answer isn’t for us
I will never be drawn to the pragmatic drudgery of the local life that you are so accustomed to
Somewhere, in my mind, brighter shores await…
Somewhere, in my mind, life is an endless journey of thrill and adventure…
Somehwere, in my mind, exists the real meaning of life….
July is ebbing, August is dawning…
I just had a chance to thumb through some beautiful collections of images and words by a friend/acquaintance. I must remind myself not to lose myself in the sea of the everyday, to be swept away by the emotional volatilities of others around me, to embrace the quiet and the peaceful…
Something that my mother said to me today: “The greater the calm in your heart, the deeper your love for others.”
Every day in this place is still an opportunity, still a privilege. I have been immensely thankful for this year.
I want to spend more time devoting my love, effort, energy and sincerity into people who deserve this love that I have shored up inside me.
For my parents who have given me everything they’ve had, who have never asked for anything more and accepted me as I am, regardless. For my brother who is staunchly loyal and always reminds me of home.
After being away for four years…I think I do value the idea of family, of the existence of people who have been such an integral part of my identity, existence and sense of comfort. I relish the freedom in London now, but I think this sense of freedom also comes with the knowledge that I will be returning back.
I think I understand the power of giving now. The more you give, the more you receive and the more humbled you become. All the so-called ‘problems’ and ‘issues’ that I had to ‘put up’ with – in fact, they are non-existent. In fact, when I start to act as if these issues do not even exist in the first place, I am much better off, much happier, much more grateful. And the home environment that I am in suddenly feels a lot more like home. I remember those days in childhood, counting down to the new year’s, enjoying a good meal, exploring new places…they can still be recovered, and my parents definitely deserve a lot more than that for all that they have given me.
Keep it simple, encourage people to do what they believe in, keep the positivity, never give up hope, do not project assumptions or judgments. I think these are good rules to live by.
There will be a meet the parents session next week, I stutter; for some reason my heart feels half-frozen in fear, and in my mind I think about the times when communication breaks down, when the halting English from my mothers’ lips becomes incongruent with the essays and assignments that I have astidiously completed in school.
But there is someone called Miss Heng present, and Miss Heng, like my mother, has grown up in the web of the Teochew language; Miss Heng knows what it is like to claim ownership to two histories and cultural memories; Miss Heng says hello, switches to Mandarin effortlessly, speaks to my mother about language and literature without batting an eyelid. My heart flutters, stutters; in my mind’s eye, a barrier begins to stumble.
I realise that I am still pretty much enamoured with this world that I am working with, and that I find personal fulfiment even from the smallest tasks that I do.
Some wise words from Bhagya, written in the introduction to the Living History publication:
History, by definition, is remote, like a distant ship on the edge of a converging horizon. It condenses reality by painting it in very broad strokes, one eddy in the river of time.
If approached through the pages of a newspaper, however, history comes alive. The amorphous past takes firm shape to hover in the present, so real that you can almost touch it.
Newspapers have been called the first draft of history. But they are so much more. They are portable, foldable repositories of living history.
Ah, but now that the weather is warm again my heart yearns for that one Saturday morning at the end of January, when the world was strangely alive with possibilities, when I wrapped myself up in a scarf and tights and wore my high-heeled boots, when I stepped out into the cold at Liverpool Street, when the air was so dry with cold I needed to wrap my fingers up with gloves in order to raise that camera lens to my eye. I remember things, too many things, and moments among days like this I hold on with an urgency so as to remind myself of how life is an intricate web of time, moments, people passing by, overflowing with opportunity.
But life is like that. Things happen, people come, people go. You remember the places that you have lived in, ever so briefly, in your mind. One morning, you wake up with the fleeting taste of a land at the corners of your mouth. Some nights your heart yearns for the quality of days that happened a decade ago. We see things, we make connections, we get hurt, we get lost. But life is still like that, still worth going on for.
From today onwards I promise to be utterly honest with myself.