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Archive for the ‘thinking aloud’ Category

ONLINE

We don’t seem to speak much with people on the phone these days. Instead we instinctively tap on messaging apps and text each other.

This is another random musing I wrote, inspired by our second nature behaviour of letting our fingers do the talking.

~~~~~~

ONLINE

Green light’s on

… Every pulse …

Connecting you

And me

I

Sense

Your teasing smile ; )

Laughing eyes ^^

The ebb and flow

Of words

In your mind

As the text races

To and fro

Across the unknown abyss of

Space and time

Leaping~~~

With anticipation

Onto your screen

And mine

>>>

Downloading…

A still

A video

A moment in time

We laugh : D

Decibel scale: !!!

But

I can’t hear you

Can you hear me?

_Idle_

.

.

.

Unembellished silence

Because

The last word anyone needs

is

“Goodbye.”

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Leave me alone

I need space to think

Why my shadow shrinks then grows tall everyday

But never ages a single day

  

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Life’s a blur

Is it the rain? 

Or is it the haze?

Maybe it’s just my hypoxic brain

That’s still in a daze…  

  

 
  
 

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I’m back in school for my full-time graduate studies after a long, long time.

Here’s my ode to the essential furniture in any student’s life.

~~~~~~

Ode to the Study Table

The tabletop is but a stage
For the rotund pen holder
Who wisely takes the form
Of an erudite owl
Brimming over with ideas
To be put to paper
And awaiting the day
When it finally brings change to the world
~
A clear, empty glass
– Is it truly empty, I ask
Perhaps it is already full
A liquid that looks solid to the fool
Alas, the eye is too weary to see
Beyond a skin so crystalline
To realise some things reveal their true forms
Only in the deep recesses of the mind
~
A MacBook clammed shut
From the ennui
Of surveying the digital ocean
At the command of your fingertips
Combing through terabytes
Of gobbledygook
To fetch you the pearl that
You cannot hold
~
Bent double but no trouble
The light will shine forth
From the humble table lamp
When the night falls
And illuminate the scribbles
On the yellow sticky note pad
That records memories you cannot keep
In your overburdened head
~
The mouse sits still and ponders why
The MacBook ignores it, no matter how it pries
The owl’s eyes are open but its mouth stays shut
Even the lamp decides to let darkness preside
It is now time
To turn in for the night
Let the gentle curtains turn away
The visiting moonlight

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It’s been a while. So much has happened yet so much left unwritten. But in a way, I feel that I am more alive these days than I had been before.

As I strive to live in each and every moment, I am thankful too, for every person and blessing along the way that has brought me to the beginning of another new journey.

This is a story about a new beginning many years ago.

~~~~~~

Some partings are poetic. My favourite sensei gifted me one literally.

Years ago, she ignited my love for the Japanese language when she came to Singapore to teach at the foreign language centre run by our education ministry. I looked forward to every lesson she taught and enjoyed every minute of the time she spent with our class. Sadly, her contract ended two years later, and she had to return to Tokyo with her family.

Before she left, she gave me a book of poems by a Japanese writer Yuri Mitsuhara (光原百合). The title was Michi「道」, which means “The Path”. It was a pocket-sized picture book, or e-hon as the Japanese would call it. Each poem was accompanied by a delicately beautiful hand-drawn illustration of forests, fields, hills or lakes by the award-winning Niigata-born illustrator, Ken Kuroi (黒井健).

Mitsuhara herself was born in Hiroshima and studied English literature and linguistics in Osaka University. She is well known in Japan for her large volume of works, ranging from Japanese mystery novels and translations of English novels to poetry and e-hon. Michi was published in 1989 and was one of her earliest works.

The book featured 14 short poems and my favourite was the opening piece Tabi no Hajime ni 「旅の初めに」, which means “The Beginning of a Journey”. It aptly summed up the anticipation and trepidation that I, and probably my sensei too, had felt at that time – she had found a new job in Tokyo and I was awaiting the start of my junior college years.

As our paths diverged and took us further and further away on our respective journeys, we lost contact with each other.

Three weeks ago, when I retrieved the book from my bookshelf, it suddenly dawned upon me that perhaps there could be clues to where my sensei was right now. I decided to turn to Google.

Thanks to the proliferation of social media, her profile popped up in one of the search results, much to my delight. With the click of a button, and an email that she wasn’t expecting, we were reunited online.

Amazingly, both of us were about to begin our new adventures once again. I am going back to school for my full-time studies, while my sensei is taking up a new teaching position in Paris. It felt as if everything had gone a full circle.

And here’s the poem. I couldn’t find any English translation, so this is my feeble attempt at translating it.

The Beginning of a Journey

The mountain paths are difficult

So set your sights on the tree in the distance

And take your steps towards it

Look up if you think you have lost your way

Keep your eyes on the tree

And you will arrive there someday

You can reach for a milestone far away

Or aim for a goal, oh so high

When you traverse a path that is long and far

「旅の初めに」

山道はわかりにくいから

遠くに見えるあの木を

目印に行くといい

迷いそうになったら見上げてごらん

あの木をめざしていけば

いつか必ず着けるから

目印は遥かなものがいい

高いものがいい

遠い道を行くときには

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The rain has finally returned to some parts of our little island today, after an unusually long dry spell that started in mid-January this year.

Felt particularly sorry for the grasses and shrubs that are exposed in our tropical sun. The once-verdant field near our home now reminds me of a parched savannah, sans tall grasses and wild cats. In some places, the blades of grass are now so sun-bleached and lifeless that they look almost unreal.

Can’t do much for the flora but decided that I could at least try to conserve more water. Like leaving a plastic basin in the sink to collect the used water when I rinse my utensils or wash my hands, then transferring the water into a pail for other uses.

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Never gave the simple act of turning on the faucet much thought before. But this plastic basin has helped me realise how much clean running water goes down the drain each time I turn on the tap. Modern life can be quite wasteful, really.

Takes a drought to remind us of the fragility of life. And to be thankful for what we have, and waste not.

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Spotted this young lady at the neighbourhood lottery shop some days ago.

Clad in a tight t-shirt and a pair of hot pants, she stood out in the crowd of middle-aged “uncles” and “aunties” who were queuing for their turn to place their bets for the Lunar New Year big prize.

February 14th happened to be the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, which marks the end of the festive celebrations. And it coincided with Valentine’s Day.

And for those dreaming of a windfall, the much-awaited Hong Bao Draw results were finally out this night. Someone out there probably had three causes for a celebration.

Could it be this lady?

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