Last night, I had one of those dreams that I literally thought I was going to die. I honestly didn’t know where I was. There were some people with me, but I could not remember who they were. Anyways, so, I was in a middle of maybe jungle, maybe… I do not know. A place where i need to run fast enough to climb that very steep ‘wooden’ hill. Ah… I remember, it was like an obstacle course in which i need to pass the obstacles to the next level. Now, I didn’t know which course was it, but it was definitely a difficult one. Okay, so, I watched everybody go and I was the last one to go. I ran as fast as I could. It was so scary.. oh my gosh!! scary.. it wasn’t just steep… it was 90 degree. who could ever climb this thing? It was okay at first, but as I was going higher.. gosh..it was scary.. my legs were shaking, my heart was racing – i was sure whether it was because of the run or I was scared. I ran, I almost reached the top. One foot left… and I didn’t make it. I think I lost my momentum. I could not reach the top and I was falling, like 20 or 30 feet high? All I know is, it was really high and there was nothing to hold. I was terrified, I went ‘oh no.. oh no… no…’. Then… I was in a dark place. I was in my bed, staring at the ceiling. ‘It was only a dream!’ Thank God! What a crazy dream!
The thing about life is this… it is so mysterious and so beautiful that you need to be alive to experience it and see it. It is not like living in a dream, but more than that. It is with the sense of transcendence. Funny, because my life right now is all about frustration. Sometimes I do feel stupid, like this morning for example. I realised, I am so stupid that I feel so stupid (Does that make sense?). Sometimes, I wonder, why wasn’t I born with such intelligence and wisdom. Okay, I know that not everybody has wisdom; some have knowledge but no widsom. I hope that is not me. Well, mine is worse, I don’t have a lot of knowledge and lacking in wisdom.
Like right now, I am should go to sleep now. It’s late and tomorrow I need to go to work but I am still writing this blog, because inspiration just came through. Or rather, I just need to express myself, after a long of absence. Where have I been, no where, I am just here, trying to make a difference for myself and hopefully for others as well. But, I am just a nobody, so, some people doesn’t take me seriously.
Yet, with all these troubles and frustrations, I strive to feel alive in my everyday living. Living a life that is fully alive is indeed a glory to God. It is indeed allowing God to bless our lives. I don’t have to always know or understand what life is about. I won’t understand all of it. But, that does not stop me from striving to understand more about life. I mean without it, will life has meaning. Of course it will! But, it can make a huge difference because I am finding who I am. Then, I would dare to step into the unknown and who knows, discover something about myself that I didn’t know it existed. How wonderful it would be.
Oh life… the reality is bitter, but the fruits are sweet. How magnificent.
(PS: Just speaking on top of my head…)
I love poems and one of my favourites is Roald Dahl’s Television. Telling us the importance of reading. Now, I love to read and I keep telling people to always read. Not to gain knowledge, although yes, that is one of the benefits, but reading can have an amazing impact on our soul and of course reading fires our imagination. No doubt about it. So, here is one my favourites poem by Roald Dahl.
The most important thing we’ve learned,
So far as children are concerned,
Is never, NEVER, NEVER let
Them near your television set —
Or better still, just don’t install
The idiotic thing at all.
In almost every house we’ve been,
We’ve watched them gaping at the screen.
They loll and slop and lounge about,
And stare until their eyes pop out.
(Last week in someone’s place we saw
A dozen eyeballs on the floor.)
They sit and stare and stare and sit
Until they’re hypnotised by it,
Until they’re absolutely drunk
With all that shocking ghastly junk.
Oh yes, we know it keeps them still,
They don’t climb out the window sill,
They never fight or kick or punch,
They leave you free to cook the lunch
And wash the dishes in the sink —
But did you ever stop to think,
To wonder just exactly what
This does to your beloved tot?
IT ROTS THE SENSE IN THE HEAD!
IT KILLS IMAGINATION DEAD!
IT CLOGS AND CLUTTERS UP THE MIND!
IT MAKES A CHILD SO DULL AND BLIND
HE CAN NO LONGER UNDERSTAND
A FANTASY, A FAIRYLAND!
HIS BRAIN BECOMES AS SOFT AS CHEESE!
HIS POWERS OF THINKING RUST AND FREEZE!
HE CANNOT THINK — HE ONLY SEES!
‘All right!’ you’ll cry. ‘All right!’ you’ll say,
‘But if we take the set away,
What shall we do to entertain
Our darling children? Please explain!’
We’ll answer this by asking you,
‘What used the darling ones to do?
‘How used they keep themselves contented
Before this monster was invented?’
Have you forgotten? Don’t you know?
We’ll say it very loud and slow:
THEY … USED … TO … READ! They’d READ and READ,
AND READ and READ, and then proceed
To READ some more. Great Scott! Gadzooks!
One half their lives was reading books!
The nursery shelves held books galore!
Books cluttered up the nursery floor!
And in the bedroom, by the bed,
More books were waiting to be read!
Such wondrous, fine, fantastic tales
Of dragons, gypsies, queens, and whales
And treasure isles, and distant shores
Where smugglers rowed with muffled oars,
And pirates wearing purple pants,
And sailing ships and elephants,
And cannibals crouching ’round the pot,
Stirring away at something hot.
(It smells so good, what can it be?
Good gracious, it’s Penelope.)
The younger ones had Beatrix Potter
With Mr. Tod, the dirty rotter,
And Squirrel Nutkin, Pigling Bland,
And Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle and-
Just How The Camel Got His Hump,
And How the Monkey Lost His Rump,
And Mr. Toad, and bless my soul,
There’s Mr. Rat and Mr. Mole-
Oh, books, what books they used to know,
Those children living long ago!
So please, oh please, we beg, we pray,
Go throw your TV set away,
And in its place you can install
A lovely bookshelf on the wall.
Then fill the shelves with lots of books,
Ignoring all the dirty looks,
The screams and yells, the bites and kicks,
And children hitting you with sticks-
Fear not, because we promise you
That, in about a week or two
Of having nothing else to do,
They’ll now begin to feel the need
Of having something to read.
And once they start — oh boy, oh boy!
You watch the slowly growing joy
That fills their hearts. They’ll grow so keen
They’ll wonder what they’d ever seen
In that ridiculous machine,
That nauseating, foul, unclean,
Repulsive television screen!
And later, each and every kid
Will love you more for what you did.
Okay, before I proceed, just to let you know, I accidentally deleted the things I wrote here. I didn’t know how it happened, but it happened very fast. So, I had to retype it. It was not a good day for me, particularly tonight. You will know it later.
So, today marks the 15th day of Chinese New Year, also a final day of New Year. 15 days gone, just like that. People got off work early today, just for the celebration; good food, firecrackers, fireworks, and maybe listening to Chinese New Year song for the last time this year. For me, I posted the video of pupils dancing to ‘Everyday is a good day’ song on Instagram.
Tua Pek Kong temple was once again filled with worshippers causing traffic congestion. It wasn’t their fault though, they had to fulfil their duties; give thanks for the things that happened for the past 15 days and to ask for blessings throughout this year.
I planned to celebrate it with my family tonight, but it didn’t go as planned because I had a dinner at a restaurant tonight. I wasn’t looking forward to go, not because I wished to be with my family at home and celebrate with them, but because I was fighting flu. I wasn’t feeling so well.
Nevertheless, I had to go there with an open heart and positivity. I went there with such great spirit, but met with disappointment. You see, there were three of us in the initial plan. Three of us agreed to attend because nobody else wanted to attend. None of them showed up. I was disappointed because I felt like I’ve been left alone. Now, I was trying to be a baby or to give in to self pity, but I wasn’t particularly comfortable sitting at a table full of strangers. I wasn’t good in meeting new people.
So, I need my teammates with me! I just could not enjoy my meals and yes, I left after the second dish because I felt stupid and because I was feeling very tired and quite sick. I think, if one of them was there, I would feel better. But yes, I was quite sick, so I decided to go home and it was already 9pm! We had just finished our second dish!
I left with disappointment but at the same time relieve that I had left. I could breathe the air again! I went for a slice of pizza and went home. There went the last day of CNY celebration. Slowly my disappointment slipped away and I listened to ‘Everyday Is A Good Day’ many times. I tried to sing along too. It didn’t matter what happened tonight, I am still living.
Photography is something that I love, but it is not something that I am good at. This picture was taken few weeks ago, after work. It was quite late, I believe almost 11pm. Shot using my iPhone. The view of the river and the lights you see there, are lights from the temple. That woman walking is my colleague.
This is the lent season, and for us catholic, it is a season of fasting and penance. Every lent season always remind me of one thing (apart from Jesus’ passion and death). It reminds me of my first fasting experience. Now, I never fast except for Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. That was the first time I decided to fast because I was inspired by my roommate. Every lent season she will turn into vegetarian for 40 days and she never fail.
So, I thought, since I had a roommate who is a catholic, I could fast with her. I took it up and told the people in the kitchen that I will be vegetarian for 40 days. I had my dining card stamped as vegetarian. No escape this time.
First day was fine, I was pretty excited, my first day went without any difficulties. I thought this was easy, 40 days might be a piece a cake for me.
Second day, fine. Third day, okay, I could feel a little pinch; fourth day, the pinch was getting painful; the fifth day, my body was craving for meat; sixth day, I felt angry; seventh day, I went to the KFC.
That was heaven!!! I enjoyed the chicken so much that when I finished it, I immediately felt regret. I went back to the hostel, I told my roommate what happened…
“You did what??!!” She asked, I could feel the bitter and disappointment in her voice. Maybe a little shock too.
“I went to the KFC and ate the chicken” I said, with greatest regret.
“Because it is chicken! I could not stand it!”
“Why did you do that? You should resist it!”
“You’ve done it for a week. Why did you give up? You have 33 days left!”
“Thirty three days!!! I don’t know if I can survive 33 days!” I said it, still could not imagine that I had to fast that long. But I knew I had to do it
“So, what do I do now?” I asked.
“What to do now? Start over. Failing one day, doesn’t mean you stop it all together. You have 33 days left, start fasting again. This time ask God for strength, you own strength will fail you, but God won’t” She pointed out.
I listened to her advice and started fasting again. And truly, this time I did it with great determination. Since that day, I struggled, but not as much as I first started. I started to pray more as I fast daily.
I survived that 40 days.
This photo was taken few weeks ago. The mayor (right) walked around the night market.