Sunday, December 25, 2016

weaving narratives into the tapestry of life

I heard this story in church this morning. May it bless you as much as it has blessed me.
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A story was told of a man who found a teapot while he was strolling on a beach. Seeing that it looked rather exquisite though old, he began to rub the sand off it. Lo and behold, amidst the smoke that was coming out of the spout appeared a genie. "I, my master, am a genie. I can grant you one, only one, wish that you have. My master, please make your request." The man's initial shock was turned to glee and he asked for the newspapers that would be published a year from now. "Very well. Your wish shall be granted." With that, the genie vanished the same way he came, in a shroud of smoke, and in its place were the papers the man wanted.
He flipped to the pages that would give him information of the stock market. Happily, he started planning his potential investments and how he would splurge on himself. Feeling very pleased, he began to relax and started browsing through the news. As he turned another page, he saw his own face, on an obituary. A year later, he would pass away into oblivion. That certainly changed his priorities in life.
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What narrative will you be weaving into the tapestry of life for the new year? May it be one that's full of faith, hope and ❤️

Thursday, December 8, 2016

stephanie dogfoot the word artist

totally enjoyed Stephanie Dogfoot's rendition. compelling. honest. humorous.

remember the spate of cat abuse incidents that happened in yishun last year? along with that, it brings to mind the kind old ladies or aunties who are always feeding the stray cats. one poem she shared was inspired by these aunties who are guardian angels for the cats. Titled 'Vigilaunty', it is so apt and humourous and the ending speaks of a heartfelt truth, "if you see an old lady squatting, open tin in hand, maybe join her and you might understand the quiet joy that comes from a purring cat, not all kind gestures must be grand."

http://news.asiaone.com/…/singap…/18th-cat-abuse-case-yishun

the other poem she shared was about a detention centre she visited in London. Yarl's Wood Immigration Detention Removal Centre is a detention centre for foreign nationals prior to their deportation from the United Kingdom, one of 13 such centres currently in the UK. just last year, hundreds protest for the closure of the centre in response to the countless detainee abuse cases. in the poem, she shares her honest feelings about trying to make sense of it all.

it's so true. there are just some experiences in life, they shake you, you just can't pretend to know or understand it all.

https://www.theguardian.com/…/hundreds-protest-at-yarls-woo…

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

peace offering at standing rock

"Peace offering at Standing Rock. The veterans joined Native American tribal elders in a ceremony celebrating the Dakota Access Pipeline easement denial."
in a world where atrocities, known and unknown, are committed every day, it seems that no amount of good anyone does will ever make a difference. world peace is an elusive concept and out of reach for many. yet, hope never dies and while this moving historical moment will not obliterate all the evils in this world, it is one that shows the road to restoration can start with repentance and forgiveness. more than a pact to mend broken ties, it is a promise never to hurt, and to take a tough stand to protect, not what is mine nor what is yours, but what belongs to us.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

playing with fire

the meaning of theatre has changed for me over the years but certainly, it has deepened in some ways. however, for these Afghanistan ladies who pursue acting in a highly restrictive context, it is literally a matter of life and death. some of them had lost their lives in their pursuit. as you watch some of these ladies, who lived to tell their tales, break down because they had lost their friends and because it was such a tough battle, you can feel the sadness and the angst in them in the same vein. yet, the bravery of these passionate ladies as they put up a fight in their own ways to fulfill their dreams is no less compelling and shines through.
although the filmmaker herself was not present, the UN Women had invited a veteran theatrical director and a Muslim actress for the post-show discussion. i had the privilege of meeting Natalie Hennedige of Cake Theatrical Productions and when i asked her what is the essence that runs through her productions. she said that it's the delving into 'what it means to live.' what a food for thought as i make my own journey in life.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

这就是人情味


so, as i was reading this, it brought to mind the kindness extended to me this morning - a beautiful and breezy morning. seeing that i seemed to be having some trouble with my bicycle brakes, an old lady on wheelchair offered me a tool that she thought might be of help. then, an uncle on bicycle came along and offered to fix the brakes. one look at it and immediately, he knew what was wrong with it and told us to wait while he went to fetch his tools. when he was upstairs, he shouted, don't leave yet, okay? i am coming down soon. and so he fixed my brakes and shared with us stories about his 45-year-old French model bicycle and his road trips with friends to Malaysia in the old days. as Royce Yap puts it so aptly, 这就是人情味。

because of such kindness, i could complete the route without any mishap. route : bendemeer-sports hub-gardens by the bay-east coast park (up to food centre)-marina barrage-marina bay sands-esplanade-city hall-little india

Saturday, September 3, 2016

train to busan

i wonder

how it feels to be paralysed with fear 
how it feels to hear your mom dying over the phone 
how it feels to have your daughter saved by someone whom you left behind in the face of crisis 
how it feels to be saved by someone whom you shut out of safety because of your selfishness 
how it feels to be told by your own daughter that you only care for yourself 
how it feels to see your loved ones transform into something less than human 
how it feels to be told it's all right not to give up seats for old folks in a crisis 
how it feels to be afraid and yet be bold enough to face death for your loved ones 
how it feels to leave your comrade behind after saying sorry 
how it feels to know you have a hand in the tragic happenings 
how it feels to think you are the only survivor left 
how it feels to be ostracised and denied the passageway to safety 
how it feels to see through life and feel the meaninglessness of it all 
how it feels to be pushed toward death by someone you were trying to save 
how it feels to think that you are finally safe when actually the end of your life is nearing 
how it feels not to be able to hold on to your loved ones how it feels to finally learn 
how to live for others in the face of death 
how it feels to walk into uncertainty after a harrowing experience 
how a song can help a child be brave and walk through a dark tunnel

the 'Train to Busan' gives one an inkling.i wonder how the child actor (the only one in the show) who plays su-an was prepped for the movie and the impact on herthe actors are incredible. I mean those who acted as zombies. i wonder how many knees were scraped and muscles torn as they pounced on one another, jerked their necks and twisted their arms here and there.will i be that one to push others to death to save my own skin or that one to save others while struggling to hold on tightly to life? it's clear what selfishness and selflessness look like. it's also easy to criticise the selfish ones and to applaud the noble ones when you are just an onlooker.what will i choose to do if i was in the midst of it all? i shudder at the thought. feeling the tremors in my hands.and may i add : haven't screamed in a movie for the longest time but my screams were mostly the soundless type. speechless shock.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

pangdemonium's frozen

It was interesting what took centre stage in my heart and mind. There were emotional bits in me in response to the play. Felt the grieve and guts of a mother who lost her child to a criminal whom she had seemingly forgiven. But, more keenly felt, the intellectual part. The delving into the criminal mind and human heart was intriguing. A criminal who had a haunted past. Is such a criminal capable of true remorse? Is it a crime of evil or a crime of illness? A revelation at the end made me examine that question further. Each character, frozen in his own struggle and yet intertwined with that of others, trying to unthaw in his search for what's humane before complete self-destruction. Kudos to the actors at Pangdemonium who brought out the essence, whatever that may be for you.