Monday, September 26, 2005

tom's midnight garden

In one of her entries ( Katie Beth talked about re-reading "Pride and Prejudice". That got me inspired to re- read "Tom's Midnight Garden", one of my favorites as a kid. Katie wrote that "as you get older, the way you understand a book changes as you use new eyes to read it." That is true. i remembered crying when i was nearing the end of the story at the age of 10. Last night, i did not cry. However, i was still able to connect with the magic i felt as a 10 year old child. it's about a boy who was sent to his uncle's place to avoid the measles that his brother was having at home. That was when he discovered the midnight garden, a place that only existed in his reality and in the characters he encountered in the garden. Our conventional sense of time and space is challenged as we enter the place with Tom, only if you allow it. It's in there that he found his playmates, especially the girl, Hattie, whom he was terribly fond of. Therefore, during this stay at his uncle's home, which was otherwise boring and mundane with no friends to play and connect with, he found his adventures all at night, when everyone was fast asleep.

Up till now, i remain in love with the imagined reality of the midnight garden. The story also strikes a chord with me given that i have such die- hard nocturnal habits. Tom's garden was not perceived by his family, but only by the people he played with and those who chose to see it. In that place, time becomes a non-entity, and reality comes alive! Love, connection, work and play become one.

At first, Tom was hesitant to enter that place when the clock struck "thirteen". At last he gave in to his instincts.
The door " was not locked, he found; only bolted. He drew the bolt, and, very slowly, to make no sound, turned the door knob.That's when Tom found the moonlight, and "it flooded in, as bright as daylight."
It's nice to read the story. It gives me the courage to listen to my instincts. Quite often, i see this bolted door in my life, and a gleam of light coming through. i never quite do much about it. The next time i see it, i hope to push it wide open and go for the bright moonlight.

Maybe one day, the imagined will become real.


( image from an exhibition by brian gothong tan)

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

the dance of shermaine

and so sher and i decided to wander around orchard road after our gigs on sunday. i happened to have my digital camera with me :)

gig time 003

gig time 002

Sunday, September 18, 2005

the sound of silence

three nights ago, i went to bed at 2 am. then woke up suddenly at 5 am. couldn't go back to sleep so i filled a paper with some words, after which i slept again into the very late morning:

Pebbles fill the sky
one psychedelic night
that drives me to ecstasy
and then
back again,
to earthly sanity.


Madness, i sometimes long for you.
In you, i see no rules and
no lies.
In you , i see a freedom without boundaries.
The music i hear,
is structureless and tribal,
yet true
in its innocence.
i continue to long for the day
when I could party with you
into the night that sees no day,
and into the days that see no end.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

My grandma (dad's mum) has five daughters and eight sons. When the whole family gets together, it is a riot! Usually, it's only during Chinese New Year that everyone comes together for a celebration. This evening was my grandma's birthday. Been away for 6 years, it was overwhelming to encounter so many familiar faces again. it's regrettable that I am not fluent in hokkien/taiwanese ( a chinese dialect) and therefore, not being able to communicate well with my grandma, who only speaks the latter. i can only ask and say simple things to her like, " happy birthday"," so how is everything?", and " do you still play mahjong?" and....that was about it. Many times, help will come from the translators around me.i hope to do better!
Actually, I was never really too close to the family on my father's side. i thought that when i attended the birthday party tonight, i would still feel quite a bit like a stranger, since I was away for 6 years. But surprisingly, I was able to connect with my aunts and nephews like never before. I felt more personable with them than I was 6 years ago. I never imagined I would laugh,joke and tell personal stories I had in the states with five aunts around me on a table, but I actually did.It was quite a family reunion.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

i want to remember

i hope that the spirit of shanghai will remain with me. i went there with minimal expectations, thinking that it was going to be predictable. but i was wrong.i had been to several cities but nothing beats the intensity i personally felt around me in shanghai. now that i am back, i want to be able to remember that intensity and have it close to me. i want to remember the excitement, the boundless enthusiasm, the youthfulness not only of the young, but also the old. i also want to remember xi-an and its free-spiritedness. i want to remember the youths breakdancing in public and the street musicians playing in the muslim quarter. The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang (秦始皇) and his Terracotta Army, together with other historical attractions in the city, transported me into a chinese past that sometimes seems strange and even bewildering to me.
most importantly, i want to remember the journey i had with my mum, and how healing took place in my relationship with her, in spite of the sporadic difficulties that came between us. i want to remember each time i went to Christ for help ,He answered my prayers. and that no matter how far i have at times fallen short, He heals and has already forgiven me.

Dancing horses. that is how i see my trip to xi-an and shanghai.

and of course, the journey with my mum continues.....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

flying to china with my mum in two hours' time. will be back later next week.