true // love

October 6, 2016 § Leave a comment

true // love

2yre_s

What is this incessant melancholy that hangs around my spirit like stale smoke? I am contented, I tell myself. I have accomplished the things I set out to do this year. I’m poised for greater adventures ahead. With my birthday looming just a few days away, I have many things to be grateful for.

Why then is this darkness lurking just beyond my peripheral vision?

Simple. I mourn the things that played out strangely different from the countless rehearsals held in my head. I wrote the script but the actors didn’t like the lines. The props fell apart and the scenes… forever lost. No one would remember the original play, forever seeing only what unfolded. Would I ever dare pick up that beautiful script again, try again to make real my visions?

I strongly doubt it. I’ve grown cynical of true love, for what is true?

<blackout on stage; cue mournful violin solo; follow-spot on Woman #2>

I know love. I’ve tasted it. Shared it. Lost it.

I know passion. I’ve indulged in it. Felt its dying embers.

I know desire. Answered its call. And went home empty.

But what is true?

<blackout on stage as flickering images of random YouTube happy moments are cast onto backdrop, some random bittersweet music plays>

<follow-spot on Woman #3 centrestage>

True is what you are to yourself. True is what you do for yourself, to make yourself contented with who you really are and not for someone else’s acceptance. True is choosing to spend time with the people you want by your side when you die.

True… is not another human who brings happiness, it’s you. It’s me.

It’s who we are in the dark, down on our knees crying, wailing, moaning in silent pain before washing our faces and going out with a smile. It’s the choices we make when no one is watching or judging, but choices we make anyway because that’s who we are. True is not an experience to wait for. It’s an experience we make with ourselves.

<blackout; Woman #4>

Nevermind the man I fell in love with who ghosted on me months after.

Nevermind the man who strong-armed me into having sex with him.

Nevermind the man who, after hearing that story, cursed and left me.

Nevermind the affectionate bastard with the wittiest conversation who really was just looking for the next lay. And who I unfortunately developed feelings for.

Nevermind the men I dated. And dated. And dated.

Nevermind if after all these experiences I doubted myself, hated myself, wondered why I was so pathetic, stupid, blah blah blah… I knew deep within me that they just weren’t that into me. And for good reason.

I wasn’t ready.

Because I wasn’t yet true to myself.

<blackout; Woman #1>

I’m a mother.

<Woman #2> Writer.

<Woman #3> Lover.

<Woman #1> Teacher.

<Woman #4> Daughter.

<blackout; follow-spot on Woman #1>

When I can be true to all these different facets of myself, I will meet true love — every single day in the mirror.

But then, perhaps, just perhaps… I’ll also meet him at my regular coffee-shop around the corner. And this time, I’ll be ready.

love, writing & everything in between

April 23, 2016 § Leave a comment

handholding

“Promise me one thing?” Eric suddenly stopped walking, grabbing my hands. “Promise me you’ll start writing again. But not for me, work, or any other audience you might have. Write again for yourself because you need to. Don’t lose yourself hun.”

I nodded as he embraced me tightly, doing my darnest to hold back the tears. He was leaving and we knew better than to try anything but say goodbye. Watching him walk away, I chose to smile through the dull, throbbing ache that quietly engulfed me.

I remember the ride back home that night.
I remember the days that followed after.

I remember how he used to look up at me in the middle of whatever it was we were doing, that lazy smile spreading across his face.

I remember it all. But as the days pass, the intensity of what I remember fades, like a painting left out in the hot sun. Pain-filled or beautiful, every memory loses its colour, creating space for new ones. And I’m scared. I don’t want to forget. Who are we but the sum of every moment experienced? What happens when these moments disappear?

I need to remember. I want to remember. This is why I have decided to write again though putting these words down on a blank screen is a struggle. The words aren’t coming easily.

*

I didn’t date for a while after Eric left. There wasn’t the slightest inclination to do so. We were still chatting occasionally on Skype and I was honestly happy with my life; meeting friends who made me laugh, hanging out with Dean (my foodie-buddie) and hitting the gym.

The contentment with life though, was unsettling. I didn’t want to wake up one day in my 60’s, surrounded by cats and knitting needles, wishing I had a companion.

“I need to start dating again,” I mumbled to Dean, my mouth filled with delicious burger. “I mean, what if I wait so long I forget how to even be with a guy?”

“That’s the way to go!” Dean whooped, “Because these muscles down here… you lose it if you don’t use it girl!”

I rolled my eyes.

“Dean… I’m talking about dates. Not one-night stands,” I reached for my milkshake.

“Yeah, that’s how you start. All I’m saying is, you never know where it leads you. And it’s great to hear you want to get out there again. I’m all for it!” Dean’s enthusiasm always made me laugh.

And that was how I got on Tinder.
Which was where I met George.
Believed I could actually try working at a relationship.
Only to be utterly disappointed again.

*

The limits of my language means the limits of my world.
― Ludwig Wittgenstein

“I want you to strip away everything you’ve ever memorized about writing. No more idioms, catchy phrases, adjectives you don’t use in daily life… lose all of them,” I explained to my student today. “Write from what you understand, but take care to spend time choosing the perfect word that describes what you see, feel, hear and feel.”

She frowned.

“So I just write what I feel or see in my head?” She really looked confused. Years of being taught to write fanciful prose in hopes of scoring a perfect grade had robbed her of a very important skill – she didn’t know how to frame her thoughts with words.

“I’m not going to grade you. You don’t need to fear failure. Just write,” I encouraged her. “Look for something in the story you can connect with and say what’s important to you. If you don’t have the word that describes what you’re feeling, that’s when you look for it. But it needs to be motivated by what you want to say, and nothing else. Most definitely not your audience nor your grades. That’s fake.”

She smiled.

“Okay, I’ll try that.”

*

And like her, I say the same thing too.

“Okay, I’ll try that.”

I’ll try stripping away every pretension, the need to impress or be perfect. If clumsiness mars my syntax, forgive me. Writing feels both strange and familiar at the same time. What I long to see appear differs greatly from what I had hoped. One day soon (after much practice and with good timing), I’ll nail it.

Much like love, really.

“Without knowing the force of words, it is impossible to know more.”
― Confucius

*

I’m writing again, Eric.
I’m keeping my promise.
Not to you, I know. You wouldn’t want that.
But for myself.
Finally.
I’m writing again.

For me.

Thank you.

the first thing

January 13, 2012 § 2 Comments

The first thing you do when you sit down at the computer…

Let me guess: check the incoming. Check email or traffic stats or messages from your boss. Check the tweets you follow or the FB status of friends.

You’ve just surrendered not only a block of time but your freshest, best chance to start something new.

If you’re a tech company or a marketer, your goal is to be the first thing people do when they start their day.

If you’re an artist, a leader or someone seeking to make a difference, the first thing you do should be to lay tracks to accomplish your goals, not to hear how others have reacted/responded/insisted to what happened yesterday.

– Seth Godin

Awesome reminder for my days ahead – that I should never start the morning reacting or responding to what happened yesterday. Instead, I shall learn to be quiet, to listen and think…

And in the midst of impossibilities, make dreams come true.

20 makeup artists. 7 stylists. 230 performers. 3 outrageous costumes. 1 team. It’s all coming together. And it all started with a dream. Wow. Who will I be at the end of these three weeks, and what I have I learnt?

th.ink

April 22, 2011 § 4 Comments

‘Do you ever stop thinking?’ I asked Jap Girl & Crazy one day, after a shoot. We were seated in a lovely Japanese restaurant, out little treat after a tiring day.

‘Yeah, all the time,’ Jap Girl replied. ‘Sometimes, I find myself doing it in the middle of a meeting or discussion, and I realize it’s kinda bad because when I start thinking again, I’ve lost my place in whatever has been going on… so I’ve been trying to get disciplined about my habit.’

‘You’re kidding, right?’ I was amazed. ‘How do you not think at all?’

‘It’s easy,’ Crazy said. ‘You just don’t. Your mind is blank. It shuts down, that’s all…’

‘You can’t just stop thinking…’ I shook my head in disbelief. ‘I mean, it’s more a sense of self-awareness, right? Like maybe you aren’t aware that you’re drifting off and thinking about other things like a nice wall, a pretty font, how the lady looks weird…’

‘Well, see… I never thought about that. I just don’t think in those blank spaces.’ Jap Girl looked puzzled. ‘You mean you think all the time? Don’t you ever run out of thoughts? Or get too tired to think anymore?’

‘Well, when I run out of thoughts… I think about why I have no more thoughts. Or that I’m too tired to think, and start to think about why I’m so tired, or how I can be less tired. Or ask myself why I have reached a place where thoughts are no longer pleasant… I have never stopped thinking. They aren’t all serious thoughts!’ I added, seeing their worried faces.

‘They can be random. But I’m aware of what inspired those random ideas…’ I paused. ‘I don’t think I’ve ever been in that place where thoughts don’t exist.’

‘I wonder if that’s a good thing or bad…’ Crazy said.

*

If my life was measured by the number of thoughts that cascaded through my mind, I have lived more than 2 months in the past 2 weeks. Staying awake for too many hours left too much time for reflections, assumptions and summaries.

If, however, growth was measured by the number of times my thoughts were corrected, altered and changed (to adapt to a new perception/understanding), then I have sped through a year in 14 days.

And what have I learnt?

  1. Perfection is an illusion, as long as it’s based on man’s performance.
  2. There is always more to meets the eye in any situation. There is always a story behind the actions of every person you meet. And there is always a different way of looking at things.
  3. Value is an intangible quality, too often measured by tangible qualities, which oversimplify its true worth.
  4. Purple cows can only be found in fields where it’s possible to reinvent what people expect.
  5. My position is a role. Not an identity.
  6. Leap, and the net will appear.
  7. Everything. And I mean everything… is temporary. Hold all things with a loose hand.
  8. Real creativity requires significant work.
  9. Love is the ultimate idea generator, the propelling force, the beginning and end of everything.
  10. I need an ‘off’ switch built into my brain.

*

And now, I sleep.

Goodnight world.

*

PS. I don’t think my posts qualify as a post-a-day anymore. More like a post-whenever-possible

one last plea

February 15, 2011 § 2 Comments

I chanced upon a post up on THIS:los angeles and knew I just had to reproduce it in its entirety here.

THIS is a group of 6 artists who have a dream to create a space for artists to speak about their work, to interact with their audience and facilitate a creative atmosphere in the community. They recently held a show titled ‘These Friends 2’ which featured artwork by artists they admired. Unfortunately, towards the end of their opening, someone stole a piece off the wall and ran away.

It was a rare polaroid of the late Dennis Hopper. Their heart-wrenching letter to the thief follows after.

To the person who stole the image of Dennis Hopper from THIS:los angeles on Friday night,

We have a feeling you have no idea what you’ve taken.

You’ve taken the one single physical document of the photographer’s time with his subject.
This is not a print, as there is no negative. There is only this single image.
You’ve taken our trust.
You’ve taken others faith in us.
You’ve impacted the way our business, that we have worked so hard to build,
will be able to work with people we respect and love in the future.
A business we do not make a profit from.

There is no way that this Polaroid will ever have the same worth to you that it holds for Jason, everyone at THIS, and to our community in general. As long as you have it all you hold is the sadness and anger that has been created by your taking it.

We personally believe you made a very snap and not very wise decision. It happens to all of us and all we can do is try to make it right. Many of us have done this. Please make this right. We are not interested in prosecution, we are not interested in the monetary worth as ultimately in the case of this image there actually really isn’t one.

We just want it back.

The show is called These Friends. It is our hand reaching out to our community, our friends and their friends and inviting them into the space we have created and we assume you were one of those people. There is a very good chance that you are a friend of someone who is a friend of the people who were involved in this show. Please do not steal from your friends. Even if you aren’t friends with any of the people in the show or at the gallery, our door was open, no questions asked, to meet and enjoy some really amazing works of art, by some really exciting and talented artists.

THIS is open for all of us to make new friends and come together as a community. We feel like we have succeeded in that 10 fold, especially with this last show. Everyone who we talk to says about how amazing of a night it was. It’s impossible for us to remember it that way because of this theft.

We opened our doors in hopes to meet new friends and new people in a new neighborhood and we have, we’ve met so many amazing people and had so many amazing times. It might not be possible for us to continue the way we have because of this theft.

All we ask is that you please give it back. Please please return the photo.

*

What motivated the thief to steal that polaroid? Money? Intense adoration for Jason Lee? A desire to rip apart what took so long to put together?

I really hope they get the polaroid back soon.

2011 & other random challenges

January 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

I’ve always loved a challenge.

Whether or not I actually manage to complete it with panache is another thing, but I’m a sucker for such things. So when I read that WordPress was conducting an experiment (one with a motivational angle – they motivate, we respond) I decided I’d try.

All I have to do really, is sign up.

The tough bit comes after, when I sit down and begin my challenge: to post something new every single day for the whole year. Will I have that much to write? That bit shouldn’t be too hard. It’s the time factor… Those of you who know me, know how crunched for time I am… always.

But since we’re already on the topic of arbitrary challenges that I set for myself… and will myself to complete with no other reason that to… well, finish it… here are some other things I’ll be challenging myself with for 2011.

1. Trek up to the Everest Base Camp

2. Learn how to speak Japanese

3. Learn makeup for brides and actually get someone foolish enough to hire me

4. Complete my first marathon

5. Complete my next half-marathon within 2 hours

6. Read a book a month. At least.

7. Sleep at least 7 hours EVERY SINGLE NIGHT.

And with work in mind…

8. Learn to use Photoshop

9. Buy a camera & actually start taking pictures

10. Write more scripts!

There. I’m done. I think that should keep me sufficiently occupied.

*mad insane chuckle*

a new world

October 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Look back in silence, the cradle of your whole life. There in the distance, losing its greatest pride. Nothing is easy, nothing is sacred, why? Where did the bow break? It happened before your time. And there were people there, lovely as you’ve ever been. Tonight, you can start again. Laughing in the open air, have yourself another dream.

‘Mother, it’s cold here.’
‘Father, thy will be done.’
‘Thunder and lightning are crashing down. They got me on the run, direct me to the sun.’

Redemption keeps my covers clean tonight. We can start again.

– Brandon Flowers

*

‘What do you see, when you look at me?’ the girl asked Him. She wiped her tears with the sleeves of her shirt.

‘Who do you see when you look in the mirror?’ He asked her. She sighed. She knew the right answer but it didn’t help ease the frustrations building up inside. The truth was, she felt ugly and heavy. Pulling away slightly from Him, the anger began to creep in her veins. Didn’t He understand? Why wasn’t He helping her? What was with all the questions that He posed in reply to her questions? She just wanted plain answers.

Standing up, she walked to the edge of the cliff and looked out over the sea.

‘Can I fly? Or am I too weighed down now for my wings?’ her lips curled into a sneer. She tried to unfurl hers but they hadn’t been used for a long time, the joints sticky and unyielding to her mind’s command.

‘Do you remember how the worlds came into existence?’ He said.

‘Yes,’ she nodded, defiantly refusing to look at Him. ‘It began with a song. A song that You sang.’ She recited the words, echoing a distant memory of bed time tales and sunlit stories. ‘You sang the colours into place, split the waters from the land. You called each creature into existence and moulded the humans. We were the only ones you used Your hands to craft.’

‘You’re my child, and like her father… you have Me in you. What does that say about you?’

She stared out at the waters crashing on the rocks, her eyes unblinking against the winds. Silent.

‘You have forgotten the power of the song. You are a child of the Creator and yet, you have forgotten the strength and weight of your words,’ He continued. ‘The world you live in is a world you’ve created entirely by yourself. The waves you are watching with intense fury now are waves that merely reflect the state of your heart. They react to you.’

‘And me? What about me?’ She whirled around and kicked the ground. ‘Are you saying that I am a creation of my own doing? I thought You moulded me, breathed life into me! What am I? Tell me!’

‘You are life because I made you that way. Yes, you are right. I designed you with extreme care and love. But who you become… that is something that you create. That is the power a parent gives His child – the power to fashion a dream.’

Staring at her, He still saw the beauty, made more furiously gorgeous as she stood, the wind whipping her hair like tendrils of smoke all around. Her eyes burned with a deep amber glow and He loved her more still.

‘Can I fly?’ She asked again.

‘Who do you say you are?’ He asked her in return. He wanted to say more but no. This was her world and He refused to interfere in her rebirth.

She didn’t answer but began walking to the edge of the cliff and stood there for what seemed like ages. What was she doing? Every fibre in His being longed to know for she captivated Him. What rhythm was her heart beating now?

And then He saw it before He heard the first strains of her song.

*

For death and life are in the power of the tongue;

And they that love it shall it the fruit thereof.

– Proverbs 18:21

 

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