Saturday, October 09, 2010

an old excerpt

Do you remember the flutter of love at first sight, that cliché of clichés knocking upon the metal, barred door of your delicate alabaster heart. Slowly the blood trickles into the walls of your heart, growing stronger, pumping louder, with vigour. Hope springs eternal. You start to believe in magic. The world seems like a miniature globe in the palm of your hands. You wake up to the prospect of the next minute, the next hour, the next moment of pure contentment. The face of your loved one melds itself into your memory, every crease, every wrinkle, and every out of place hair. You adopt his habits and he eases himself into your routine. The blossoming of your relationship becomes a dance. You dream of today, tomorrow, forever wrapped in his enveloping love. Love is the irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired. So says, Robert Frost. The power of love bowls you over. Even as you start to see that love sits dangerously close to hate and anger simply because of the intensity of the passion. You hover on the brink of destruction, knowing that your dependency renders you ever so fragile. Then you await that blasted hour, when it comes crashing down. You are left at ground zero. Disease sets in, subconsciously invited. Once you knew your love was a lie, or at least held too big a missing piece to the jigsaw, nothing else makes sense anymore. Your weakened body tells the disease, take me now. And so you fade away into a greying mess of nothingness. Nothingness.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

sunday afternoon

in 18 days, this semester will be over. let's give it all we've got. by the collective pronoun i am referring to me, myself and i and all the many manifestations. i.e, the mugger mei, the hyper mei, the ambitious mei, the can't-resist-a-dance mei, etc. no i am not schizophrenic. someone in a class of mine pronounced the word, "shit-zo-phrenic", almost on reflex all the lit majors imperceptibly caught the raised eyebrows and sniggering eyes of each other. such elitists we can be at times.
my diana F+ deluxe kit and instant back and leather cases have arrived from hongkong, courtesy of lomography and a certain indulgent creature. the timing is a sure test. but i will be firm and steadfast in my rejection of premature ecstasies. for years and years i have left this blogosphere dusty and neglected for fear of reporting trivial details that no one cares to know of let alone read of.
throws caution to the wind
oh heck.
in my deadline ridden schedule, riding on the coat-tails of a certain looming exam season, i caught the movie bright star on rental. it is about the life and love (yes, singular) of the great John Keats. he died believing himself a failure at 25 (egad. a year younger than I am, now) and posthumously is recognized as one of the greatest Romantic poets. Shall we be mesmerized by his verse? (some of us might be more mesmerized by his dark, brooding eyes as portrayed by his character in the movie).

lines from john keats (1795-1821)

Bright Star
Bright star, would I were steadfast as thou art —
Not in lone splendour hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like Nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the moors —
No — yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillow'd upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever — or else swoon to death.
it is sunday afternoon, and always a tinge of excitement nudges me. a languorous thought of afternoon tea teases me away from the piles of text on Oedipus Rex and Antigone. fret not. the day is still young and i will yet fashion another decent essay but for now...tea and scones, anyone?

random thoughts to kick start the revival of this blog



Friday, March 05, 2010

my best days are ahead of me by danny gokey

Blowing out the candles on another birthday cake
Old enough to look back and laugh at my mistakes
Young enough to look at the future and like what I see
My best days are ahead of me

Life hasn't always been a party, but mostly it's been good
There's only one or two things that I'd change if I could
I don't get lost in the past or get stuck in some side memory, yeah
My best days are ahead of me

Age ain't nothing but a number
Sometimes I have to wonder what does it really mean
But hey I'm still puttin' it together
I keep getting better
If I keep getting better
I can be whatever I wanna be
My best days are ahead of me

Age ain't nothing but a number
Sometimes I have to wonder what does it really mean
Hey I'm still puttin' it together
I keep getting better
If I keep getting better
I can be whatever I wanna be
My best days are ahead of me

I've got sunsets to witness
Dreams to dance with
Beaches to walk on and lovers to kiss
There's a whole lot of world out there that I can't wait to see
My best days are ahead of me
My best days are ahead of me

Sunday, January 10, 2010

what kids say...

my primary one student said to me today.

"WOW. it's 305pm already!! time is FLYING HERE! because i'm having fun, teacher aster!!"

first day of creative writing classes. not the first smile of the day.

looking back, looking forward

my mum is the best. on new year's eve, she rounds us all up, we sit around in a circle in the living room, jammies and all. and we know we're in for a ride, rethinking the past year, setting goals for the year ahead. i love the breath of a new year, unfettered, uncloying..light and breezy, waiting for a new whiff. the old year sits like a backpack on your back, full of memories, moments, experiences, and of course, the lessons to take away.
and so the new year has begun, whizzing by. resolutions down in pen. let's take a big bite out of 2010=)

Thursday, January 07, 2010

you are the butter to my bread and the breath in my life...

Isn't this a lovely kitchen?
It's Julia Child's kitchen, the French Chef portrayed by Meryl Streep in the recent movie Julie & Julia, which i just saw this afternoon, flopped in bed in my jammies, down with a throat infection that made me feel like dying.

The movie made me feel like living, though. and cooking. so i pottered out to the mart downstairs in the slight drizzle and cobbled some meat and seafood together. What Julie Powell did in the movie and in real life,really, was embark on a radical journey. To cook 524 recipes from Julia Child's cookbook in a 365 days and to blog about it. It's the radical journeys that the world takes notice of, really. Like when Chin Yew quit his job and painted every day for a month and sparked off. These are the things that changed lives begin with.

It is still the first week of the new year. There is time yet for me to be inspired and set off on something that will take my "writing" out of my head of sandcastles and onto some permanent plane of existence.
Meanwhile I'm off to cook.

From Julie Powell's real blog...

Friday, August 13, 2004

I don’t know what to say.

Julia Child was ninety-one years old when she died, late yesterday, in
her sleep. It’s the death that all of us want, after a life so full it
would seem she was one of history’s true lucky souls, if only luck had
had anything to do with it. She enriched the lives of thousands – my
life she quite literally turned around. She died well-loved, and I
hope she died well-fed. There is no tragedy here. It’s a day for
remembrance, and celebration.

So why am I so fucking sad?

I heard this morning. I was working on my book – I’m always working
on my book, only “freaking out over” would probably be a better term –
when the emails started pouring in. Condolences from my relatives, and
my friends, and my blog-friends, comforting me as if I was suffering
the loss of a family member. I never met Julia Child. I have no
particular reason to think she’d even have liked me if I had. I have
no claim over the woman at all, unless it’s the claim those who have
nearly drowned have over the person who pulled them out of the ocean.
And yet I do feel this loss personally, as a great six-foot-two hole in
my world.

Julia Child began learning to cook when she was thirty-seven years
old. She started because she wanted to feed her husband Paul. She
started because though she’d fallen in love with great food late, when
she did she’d fallen hard. She started because she was in Paris. She
started because she didn’t know what else to do.

Who knows how it happens, how you come upon your essential gift? For
this was hers. Not the cooking itself so much – lots of people cook
better than Julia. Not even the recipes – others can write recipes.
What was Julia’s true gift, then? She certainly had enormous energy,
and that was a sort of gift, if a genetic one – perhaps the one thing
about her you can pin down on the luck of the draw. She was a great
teacher, certainly – funny, and generous, and enthusiastic, with so
much overbrimming confidence that she had nothing to do with the
surplus but start doling it out to others. But she also had a great
gift for learning. Perhaps that was the talent she discovered in
herself at the age of 37, at the Cordon Bleu School in Paris – the
thirst to keep finding out, the openness to experience that makes life
worth living.

She was no bending reed, of course. She had no use for silly,
fear-driven food fads; she could be set in her ways, even mulish, and
when she wanted to she could be withering. That’s fine. That’s good
even. We don’t need saints. Who changes their life under the
influence of a saint? Okay – don’t answer that. But the point is –
Julia was so impressive, so instructive, so exhilarating, because she
was a woman, not a goddess. Julia didn’t create armies of drones,
mindlessly equating her name with taste and muttering “It’s a Good
Thing” under their minty breath. Instead she created feisty, buttery,
adventurous cooks, always diving in to the next possible disaster,
because goddammit, if Julia did it, so could we.

This morning, I was writing about lobster murder. As anyone who’s
here will remember, Julia’s instructions for Homard a l’Americaine were
particularly troubling. Now, bisecting a living lobster is not an easy
thing to do – not for the cook, and certainly not for the lobster. I
still feel a little bad about it, and this morning I was writing
something maybe a little resentful about how I had visited this torture
on a crustacean on Julia’s directive.

She told me I could do it, so I did, and it was hard. I don’t ever,
ever want to do it again – not for her, not for anybody. But it was
important that I do it once. Killing that lobster made me face up to a
lot of stuff that bothers me – stuff about responsibility, and hard
decisions, and carving (bad word, maybe) a place in the world I can be
comfortable in. I would not have done it without Julia to tell me –
“Go ahead – What could happen?”

There’s so much I would not have done. Because it would not have been
there for me to do. Without you here, I would be a different person –
a smaller, a sadder, a more frightened person.

So thank you Julia. Thank you.

I don’t believe in this kind of thing, and I sort of get the feeling
you don’t either, but I’m going to make an exception in your case. I’m
going to choose to believe that tonight, you’re eating sole meunieré,
with Paul, and you’re lifting a glass to toast whatever comes next.

Bon Appetit.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunday, November 01, 2009


i do not write on this blog often. when i do, i coat it with ambiguity. i do not write of specific happenings, or dissect my feelings and thoughts on this, that or the other. i don't want to be reduced into something less than what is. i do not want to be bare upon the table, a cadaver for an enquiring mind.
but i have a voice that sometimes longs to be heard in words, strung along into a chain of meaning. a meaning that reflects a truth. a truth that is often masked... how can i say something to someone and no one and everyone at once?

it is a cold, chilly, rain-dripped early sunday morning. in my mind it is still saturday because that makes the weekend seem longer. so it seems like i have more time to slowly pluck off the post-its on the side of my desk. each yellow post-it note bears an essay or assignment to finish in the next couple of days or so. the post-its are yellow but not so sunny.

i am missing him. weekend after weekend i try to edge him out little by little so that i have more time to spend on my readings and other things to do. i want my alone time. i want my get my room in shape time. i want my space to breathe. it has only been 3 days and all i want to do is see him. let him keep me warm. tell him my thoughts on the Michael Jackson "film" I caught today. it is 8pm in Spain. perhaps I could sneak a call, just to say hello from across the oceans...

i am prone to displacement, replacement of thought upon thought, stream upon stream of consciousness. i can convince myself of alternate realities. I can, I am, I want, I should.
maybe i should.
just write my essays. and stop thinking, stop feeling.

meanwhile, i pray your brother finds his way home this very moment..