Neubauten’s lullaby

July 26, 2010 § 4 Comments

The demolishing of what was once a carefully designed toilet is finally underway. Several weeks ago, the neighbours one floor below us complained of water leaking and staining their ceiling. After some checks, it was found to be due to the building’s old age so with some subsidy, we now have to redo the waterproofing for the toilets. We have two – one in the kitchen and one in the master bedroom.

Today, they began works in the kitchen’s toilet. First up, hacking away at the tiles, removing the toilet bowls and all other attachments. What I didn’t anticipate though, was the massive noise we’d have to endure. The drilling went on for hours and even after it stopped, I still felt the tremors and heard the ringing in my ears.

It really felt as though Einstürzende Neubauten were playing live in my house. There was no escape. And like all music (experimental, in this case) the sounds continued to ring long after the songs had ended.

Totally random information that’s unrelated and yet, somehow connected to this entry, is that Einstürzende Neubauten actually means collapsing new buildings, and the band’s trademark is using custom-built instruments made out of scrap metal, building tools and samples of noises in their performances. Destruction was part of their music order.

After the contractors left my house, I surveyed the mess and shuddered at the thought of them ‘doing’ my bedroom toilet next. I am not looking forward to sleeping in my bed when that happens.

Yes people, it’s my princess-and-the-pea moment. Except that the pea here is a destroyed toilet.

*

Destruction. Does it really need to take place before improvements can be made?

Let’s take a house’s foundation, for example. To build a simple one-storey structure, the foundation created would be perfect for that purpose, and nothing more. But once expansion is required (multiple storeys) and perhaps, further extensions outwards, the builders would have to destroy what was once familiar – home – and start rebuilding from scratch. Imagine the hacking, demolishing and noise that takes place.

What happens then when your dreams grow bigger and your potential increases? When you pray and ask the Dream Maker to extend your borders… what actually are you asking for? Are you ready for the demolishing of what was once familiar – not because it was necessarily bad but because it’s not sufficient for the amazing things that lie in store?

Growth gets painful, noisy, confusing and at times, plain dirty. At the end of the day, you clean up the mess and sigh with relief, thinking that maybe, it’s all over, until a new day arrives and the hacking begins. Then there’s the drilling deeper (introspection, anyone?), the painstaking brick-laying (which seems to take forever) and the moment when you survey the process and ask, what in the world is happening? Weren’t the old days better? Can’t we just be happy with the way things were?

The only thing that grounds you then is the hope of something beautifully glorious ahead which you can’t quite see yet. So you hurry to the blueprints to recapture that vision, to flesh out the rooms of the future.

That’s why I read the blueprint of life. It’s what I need to get through my days when I feel overwhelmed by the mess that greets me. It reminds me of promises made, dreams painted and one day… a new and glorious place to live in. My life sometimes feels as though it’s constantly under construction, a works-in-progress.

Destruction. I think I can deal with it.

Especially when I know the contractor in charge is the Dream Maker.

He is the best builder I ever know. After all, He made Himself the chief cornerstone of my new home.

*

Einstürzende Neubauten, play on. Your music is now no longer the sound of massive destruction but one of hope. Great things are ahead of me.

And yes, my toilets too.

home

April 3, 2009 § Leave a comment

winter-school

…at the end of the day, I think Home is something you make, not something you find. Something you’re always leaving, and somewhere you’re always looking for or returning to. It’s part of growing up, and not the best part. – Neil Gaiman

Full estates with gardens, 4-storey apartments, dingy one bedroom/kitchen/toilet apartments, dormitories… I’ve stayed in them all and I’ve realised that home is truly where you make it happen.

Home today is my books, my music, my secret corner (which right now is in the kitchen, at the counter-top when the whole family has gone to bed) and my love… thankfully I can carry these things everywhere I go. Almost.

Recently, I found my home extending as far as my heart grows. It now covers several countries and as the borders of my home snake around the world, I find myself needing less and less to feel, well, at home. Maybe I’m just not as sentimental as before.

Good food for thought as I plan on my next place of comfort.

paperhouse

And as each day passes, we colour in the walls with memories. But like children, once you’re done colouring within the lines, you turn the page and start a new picture. I’m done with the picture I have now. I’m ready for something new. Something awesome.

Aside, here’s a little track by the Manic Street Preachers doing a cover of Rihanna’s Umbrella. I hated the original. Loved the cover. Especially after watching them sing it live in the contradicting sweltering heat.

Umbrella by Manic Street Preachers

Totally random, I know.

feeding a new home

March 30, 2009 § 1 Comment

Music: To Build You A Home by Cinematic Orchestra

Sitting in the luxury of not having to know what to do next, the Mother, The Husband & I began talking getting a new home.

‘Let’s get this straight… so all three of us have thought that it is perhaps, time to explore the idea of purchasing a new home?’ I asked them. They nodded.

‘Oh coolest!’I squealed.

‘But it’s the number one reason for stress, moving house, that is,’ The Mother said with her usual caution toward anything new. We talked about loans, financial health etc. I lost her somewhere at the term ‘house valuation’.

The Husband, who was by now, half asleep with his head on the dining table, mumbled his agreement. Mother was almost right though, moving house (funny how we call it moving house, we’re actually moving homes and changing houses) is the third common cause of stress, following death and divorce.

But we’ll conquer that mountain when we get there, which may be a year or two later. We like to take our time to do these things. I’d say that we’re at the Dreaming Stage of our new home, and like all dreams, we’ve decided (okay, I proposed enthusiastically, the rest just nodded) to compile a scrapbook of homes, interior designs etc. We’re going to feed the dream till it gets so big it overwhelms our senses. My opinion is that in doing so, when we finally see the right place months later, it’ll be easier to know it’s the right place. Besides, it’s fun to dream!

So here’s my dining room option #1. Get ready for more pictures of how different corners of our new home will look!

dreamdiningroom

There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home

Cause, I built a home
for you… for me

– Cinematic Orchestra

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