Tuesday, October 07, 2008

new land, new life

just arrived here in germany. realized that i am about 5 days too early because the international student german class had been cancelled. this gives me the time to look for housing that, hopefully, willl last for the next few years. i am now staying put in Hotel Meyers, a traditional- looking place, taken care by a very nice lady and her husband who speak not a single word of english. i am very happy that i survived the journey here, carrying four heavy pieces of luggage, including my german violin, which has found back its home in this country! without those random people coming my way to help me carry my stuffs, up and down the train, and the station here at braunschweig which had no elevator, i bet i wouldn't have made it so well.
for now, things are pretty quiet, both in the hotel, in town and in the school. i hope to enjoy such calmness and tranquility, finish reading 2 books at my own pace, and slowy and gradually absorbing the rhythm, structure and sound of the german language, before the pace of life picks up once again and meeting new faces and entering the world of image and probably, fiction making, and who knows, ( as some friends suggest) even experiencing romance of some kind haha ...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


it's amazing how time flies.almost three years ago, when i flew back to singapore from the states, shermaine had one kid, day. Now that i am leaving for germany, i am playing with three beautiful kids of hers, day, dee , and lulu !
it's also amazing how these children turn a simple place where i live into a wonderland for themselves. they effortlessly find quite a number of things to do and play with, and don't quite cease to enjoy themeselves. they certainly teach me how to have fun at my own home , or come to think of it, wherever i go!

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

for those who love laughing

sharing here an article that a friend posted to us today. i quite enjoy reading it and being reminded of happy things like this!

"Ever-Laughing Life!

Avoid being the cranky old person you swore you'd never be!

by Pastor John Coulombe

A joyful heart makes a happy face; a broken heart crushes the spirit … All the days of the afflicted are bad, but for the happy, life is a continual feast … A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a broken spirit saps a person's strength (Prov. 15:13, 15; 17:22).

Allen Klein, who lectures on healing through humor, claims that children laugh 400 times a day while adults laugh only 15 times a day. Is it any wonder that the nightly news is so negative and dreary while Sesame Street and Barney are so bright and full of songs? Perhaps we need to spend more time with five year olds and instead of trying to get them to be like us, try to be more like them. Didn't Jesus say unless we become as children, we would not see or experience the Kingdom of God?

So how's your sense of humor? Solomon lays it out straight by warning us that three things occur when we lose our sense of humor: 1) our spirit breaks; 2) we shrivel up emotionally; 3) we lose our vitality and health. Research reveals that people with a sense of humor have fewer symptoms of physical ailments.

Norman Cousins, former editor of Saturday Review and professor at UCLA's School of Medicine wrote about his life-changing experience with humor. In his book, Anatomy of an Illness, he documented his story of dealing with a serious collagen disease. "I made the joyous discovery that 10 minutes of genuine belly laughter had an anesthetic effect and would give me at least two hours of pain-free sleep." He surrounded himself with videos of some of the great comedians. He also checked out of the hospital and moved into a hotel where he could "laugh twice as hard at half the price."

Cousins says that laughter is "inner jogging." Every system in our body gets a workout when we have a hearty laugh. Our cardiovascular and respiratory systems benefit more from 20 seconds of laugher than from three minutes of exercise on a rowing machine. Muscles release tension and endorphins are released into the blood stream, creating the "runner's high" which long-distance joggers experience.

It has been proven that laughter has an immediate and direct affect upon heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure, breathing rate, muscle activity, brain activity, and finally, the way our body handles disease through activating our immune system and fighting infection. Impressive, huh?

Pastor Chuck Swindoll wrote "humor is not a sin. It is a God-given escape hatch … a safety valve … to lack a good sense of humor is a serious deficiency (The Finishing Touch). He then goes on to mention that a healthy sense of humor is determined by at least four abilities:

1. The ability to laugh at our own mistakes; 2. The ability to accept justified criticism—and get over it;
3. The ability to interject (or at least enjoy) wholesome humor when surrounded by a tense, heated situation;
4. The ability to control those statements that would be unfit—even though they may be funny.

Want to live long and well? Solomon wisely gives us the formula: A relaxed attitude lengthens life … (Prov.14:30) . Are you on edge, wound tight, worked up, and strung out? God's prescription is a sense of humor for those struggling with tense moments. I've heard it said that laughter is the lotion for the sunburns of life.

Helmut Thielecke, German theologian and pastor, gives us these poignant thoughts for we who are the Church: Should we not see that lines of laughter about the eyes are just as much marks of faith as are the lines of care and seriousness? Is it only earnestness that is baptized? Is laughter pagan? … A church is in a bad way when it banishes laughter from the sanctuary and leaves it to the cabaret, the nightclub, and the toastmasters.

So resist becoming the cranky, old person you swore you'd never be. May you have an ever-laughing life on earth and an everlasting life in heaven!

http://blog. christianitytoda y.com/buildingad ultministries/ 2008/09/everlaug hing_life. html "

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

back to basics

as i was walking home from the train station today, i saw and remembered the spot which my bike was stolen two years ago. i then now think about the new bike that is now lying in the garage, very much unused. one of the places i went to rather frequently more than 2 years ago, was the beach at east coast park. i was there with my bike, being alone with the sea, experiencing the freedom, the vastness. now that i am leaving for germany , in less than a month, i am thinking of going back to the spot , where i could be near to the sea again. this time round, i wonder what are the thoughts , colors or new tales that will come to my heart as i stand at the same spot again? will i still think about the deep blue gaze, when rested upon my soul, creates such a special feeling that i wonder if it could ever be replaced again, and will i think about the neverending dream that leads me from one place to another? will it motivate me to read a book containing stories of the Sea in the bible , all in the german language, which i bought two months ago?

then as i walked further , away from the stolen bike spot, i caught sight of a bird. at that moment , it poked its beak into the flowing water of the drain, and out came a tiny fish in its mouth and then the bird swallowed it immediately! maybe it was a random thought, but the moment just made me think about how simple life could be, without the frills , the chaos or order, and even the colors. the bird was enjoying the mere act of "being". the feeling was also similar to watching children play . it was a nice black and white photograph.
oh yes, i still desire colors, salt and seasonings , crystals and other things, but how nice it would be to experience, no matter how rare the chances are, the simplicity of it all, which is to go back to basics, to go back to the sea.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

it was said somewhere, that " the law condemns the best of us, but grace saves the worst of us." thank God for his wonderful grace....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

snow falling on a summer day


seven years ago, on a winter day,
you told me that the garden existed.
we drew pictures, and gave these flowers
a variety of colors and names,
and you gave me real seeds, hoping that
they will be of good use.
many times i sleep,
i dream of the fragrance of the moment which
the garden was born in my heart,
seven years ago.
as i look back,
i see a path strewn with these seeds.
even though the road is not quite straight,
i still feel the shape of the garden,
guiding and teaching me.
here i am reminiscing on a summer day,
but for one moment
i see snow falling just outside my window.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

where is the recipe?

i want to go into a make believe world
make my own slurpee drinks
and create my own cheery pies
bake a cake that doesn't taste quite right,
together with other culinary adventures
so that my hunger for the unknown
is satisfied
and my thirst for colours
is quenched
then i will feel happy,
like a 5 year old
and whether it is winter, summer
or any changing season,
this world remains as it is .

Monday, July 07, 2008

"keep walking.."


i would prefer walking in circles or spirals , than to walk in a straight line to reach a certain destination....i have a feeling that by doing the former, it would feel a little more effortless and magical.

i am not sure whether life in singapore these 2 years and a half have been circular, but certainly it has brought me a step closer to a place in my heart, germany. i will be leaving for Deutschland this coming October, for a good few years. Many times, things that stem from the heart are not entirely rational, so it is hard to answer the question fully , " why germany ?" By going there, and experiencing the story for myself, i will probably be able to understand the rationale behind it. i already know of a few good reasons, but i am looking forward to see , what this step will do to my existence, say 2 - 3 years from now.

yesterday i was talking to a friend who majored in philosophy. he said that his dad forced him into it, and he was glad that he completed the degree. in two days, he will start work in a well paid corporate job. he said that when he was back in school at california , he saw "spirals" behind the eyes of some lecturers inside the philosophy departments. he did not mean it in a positive way, but he meant to say there were some kind of ongoing confusion etc. well, i am sure not everyone who teaches philosophy in a university is like that, but i guess because he personally didn't like the department's atmosphere so much and that's why he saw what he saw. as for me , i do admire people with a philo major ;)

so when i mean going through life in spirals, i hope they would be some kind of positive ones, like the spirals that lead you to somewhere happy, somewhere free, not somewhere dark and despairing, like to the place of no return.

i know of a few people who are having new phases in their lives. i received an email from a dear friend one hour ago and he told me he was going back to school for masters in literature and creative writing after about 10 or more years spent in the workforce. i am very happy for him.
we all take different directions, but whatever it is, having a new chapter always evokes a pleasant feeling for me.

Friday, May 23, 2008

i chanced upon this one of the few online poems about the earthquake in Sichuan...

The Road to Heaven

Child, hurry
Seize mother's hand
The road to heaven is very dark
Mother is afraid that your head is knocked
Hurry, seize mother's hand
Let mother accompany you to walk
Mother, afraid
Actually the road to heaven is very dark
I can not see your hand
The collapsed wall snatch sun
I never see it again
Your soft expression in your eye
Child, you go ahead
The road ahead
It never has unhappiness again
It never has endless study
And your father's fist
But child, you have to remember
My and father's appearance
Also want to walk with you in next life
Mother, don't worry
Although the road to heave is a lot crowd
But here there are many classmates and friends
Every mother, who is our mother as well
Every child, who is our baby as well
The day without me
Mother, You give your love to many alive child
I remember the appearance of mother and father
We also want to walk together in next life

Monday, May 19, 2008

flying again

so next week, i will be off travelling to Germany for about 3 weeks, to do some exams in schools ...

i guess i am also looking forward to the few hours stop over in amsterdam.

other than that, i don't really know what to expect, especially when i haven't really taken care of the accomodation yet. the prayer i have is that God will watch over me, and create me a path of protected and blessed unpreditability
and memorable encounters and tales...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

playing with montage

i saw the ocean, and the objects and words came into being, mysteriously...






Friday, March 28, 2008

what's up

nowadays, it is a little harder to be honest in the way i write, especially to the outside world. that is not a good sign, because i assume that what makes us read, or at least, what makes me want to read another person's thoughts, is honesty, even if the contents can be shocking( to some ) or surprising .

but i feel i may not be that bold as yet. it is okay, one day( soon enough i hope) i will find back that boldness. deep within me, there are certain thoughts i am intimate with, thoughts that want to battle the people or things that oppress, whether intentionally or inadvertently, thoughts that want to change certain things, thoughts that say " i have had enough!"...

or maybe because i haven't found the right language to communicate the emotion within me, the emotion that wants to break free, the emotion that makes me a stranger to some.
music speaks in a different way. images can communicate the abstract nature of such things. but oh my God, words can be very effective if written or said the right way. but what is the right way? i will find out along the way...

anyway, today i re discovered the beauty of just having pure joy in Christ. looking back at the past, it was such a joy that transcended puzzles, difficulties or dark alleyways. it is a joy that tells me if i don't have an answer now, i will certainly have it later. it is the Hope in the unseen, especially when life sometimes brings you into an unpredictable adventure. or maybe i am fantasizing too much because i am reading now the first book of the Lord of the Rings, and as the hobbits go to where it is more dangerous, darker and uncertain, i feel as if i am following them.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

"All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost." -

J.R.R Tolkien

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


The color of freedom is light blue,
when it touches the sky
or the sea,
it blends in like it always
belongs there
like a child who is in love
with his own home.
The color of freedom is light blue,
when it engages with red,
yellow and purple,
it gives them a light friendly touch
telling them that they are beautiful
as they are
but it is happy remaining as it is.
The color of freedom is light blue,
and as it travels into the unknown
encountering dangers and risks
of all kinds,
it knows that it can always
hide in the safety of its own hue.

The color of freedom is light blue

Friday, January 04, 2008

ubud, bali


the street leading to our accomodation









among the places we visited were the rice fields.it felt nice to be close to the mud, the water, and the color green that surrounded me. i can't help but also imagine how taking a mud bath can be therapeutic...