Saturday, January 26, 2013

My creative power

By now, I suppose that friends who read this blog would have realized that I have a fascination with personality tests. This is the results of one that I have done, out of sheer fun of it.

At this moment, my body seems to be telling me to find time to rest and do less. Maybe by doing less, I could be in a state of being more often?

Your Creative Power is Your Logic
You're the type of person who is great at execution. You don't just dream about ideas - you make them happen!
You are idealistic and determined, but you are also a realist. You only undertake projects you're pretty sure you can finish.

You are a natural problem solver, and you actually think better when you're being challenged.
You do best when you work by yourself or when you're in charge. You ideas are big, dramatic, and the best.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I welcome a brand New Year of 2013

A sketch of Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia.

The year of 2013 started on a mystical note, it seems. The message seems to be asking me to make time to slow down.

On the first day of the year, I was excited for a day out in Nature to cycle along East Coast Park. My friends were wonderful to make time for me. Then, barely less than ten minutes of cycling, when I was want to get down the bicycle to stop for a moment, I sprained my ankle. I had sprained that ankle more than a decade ago. Thankfully, I had made the decisions not to continue cycling. My friends were very accommodating, and one of them helped me to return the bicycle. Then I made my way to see a Chinese physician who specializes in sprains and injuries of the bones & muscles. Thankfully, this Chinese physician who specializes in sprains was available on a New Year's Day to attend to me!

Two weeks from New Year's Day, I am thankful that I could still make time to check out some places in Singapore. At the same time, I had to slow down physically. It was painful to race especially when I was told to wear an ankle guard until the pain at the ankle totally subside.

Over the past months, I was undergoing several treatments of Traditional Chinese Medicine medication and acupuncture. I was rather amazed how acupuncture could so amazingly help facilitate the body to work on healing itself. While I was healing from the sprain, I tried to get a few acupuncture treatments for the foot and the leg too. The treatments helped to relieve the muscle aches.

A few days ago, I had managed to get myself a simple copy of a handbook on acupuncture from one of the book-stores at Bras Basah Complex. The task at hand is to make time to read it.

I have a number of other books to read. Maybe the message is to slow down on some other aspects of my life so that I could free up time to read and to learn actively. Life has a lot to offer and for us to learn. It seems like I have started the year 2013 with a message that shall bless me.

One of the outcomes of slowing down was that I had the time to sketch, from a newspapers advertisement, an image of Tanah Lot, Bali, Indonesia. I felt a sense of inner peace during the process of sketching this. It is a blessing to appreciate the joy of sketching and making good art.

Year 2013: I shall learn to slow down a bit, to appreciate the present moments more and to make good art!

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Places: OH! Open House 2013: What's our Happiness Index?

OH! Open House is one of the interesting annual art-walks in Singapore that take its participants to private spaces to enjoy works of art. I had checked out this event on 5 January 2013, and here's an account of my experiences at this event: OH! Open House 2013: What's our Happiness Index?

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Places: A tour of Soon Thian Keing

As much as I am still uncertain which is the first Chinese temple in Singapore, my visit to Soon Thian Keing temple on 9 Dec 2012 seemed to reveal to me that Soon Thian Keing is Singapore's first Chinese Temple. Find out more about my visit to Soon Thian Keing temple at 19 Lorong 29 Geylang here: A tour of Soon Thian Keing.

Read: Emily of Emerald Hill

Title: Emily of Emerald Hill
Author: Stella Kon
Publisher: Constellation Books (2002)

After several visits to the exhibition, Emily of Emerald Hill: Singapore Identity on Stage, I decided it was necessary to buy myself a copy of Emily of Emerald Hill by Stella Kon and read it!

I had read it a few months ago. This one-woman play is a page-turner. I remember I had finished it within a relatively short span of time. Although there are a number of Peranakan Malay expressions found throughout the play, it is still accessible to read. My general sense of the play is that many scenarios were written in an open-ended way so readers like myself are free to draw our own conclusions on various incidents such as how did Emily's son actually died.

Some of the moving moments in the play as I read it were when there was a softening of Emily's attitudes towards her daughter, Doris, towards the end of the play. In addition, the kindness that Emily has for her friend, Bee Choo, seemed to reveal that deeper in Emily, there is an essence of humanity. What a stark contrast to Emily's persona that she seemed to be portraying during much of the play.

Reading this play has deepened my appreciation of the exhibition. I recommend visitors to the exhibition, Emily of Emerald Hill: Singapore Identity on Stage, to consider reading this book if they have yet to.

Also see:

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Counting my blessings, the year 2012

As I usher the brand new year of 2013, I shall take some moments to look back and reflect upon the year 2012. As I reflect on the year that has just passed, I choose to count my blessings and to acknowledge the challenges and struggles that I have overcame along the way.

Health wise, I am deeply thankful that my general health has seen improvement over time. Through the help of caring and professional physicians as well as friends who have shared health tips with me, I have gained more knowledge and confidence in self-care. I have a number of friends to thank, particularly RL for having checked in from time to time and lending health tips that were invaluable. On the other hand, there were a few good friends who think I am a hypochondriac, so I shall take their opinions as reminders not to be overly obsessive with health issues. I could only say after health was improved, I could appreciate how invaluable health could be.

The year 2012 had began on the darker side with the demise of a paternal grandmother. She had passed away at the end of the year 2011. She had lived in a different country and I had very limited interactions with her. I am still puzzled how I could have felt grief and darkness when the year started. Maybe I had felt my father's grief and it was something not easily spoken about? The experience has possibly helped me to be more empathetic when faced with loved ones and friends who have to encounter the passing away of loved ones. This year seemed to be a year when I had attended the most number of wakes thus far. I am still finding it hard to believe that a late-colleague had passed away quite unexpectedly in June 2012. Maybe the message that the year 2012 had for me was to treasure every moment that we are alive with our loved ones?

Then there were moments of self-doubts to be faced and dealt with. Perhaps these arise from a typical mid-life crisis that had came too early? I thank my friends, particularly RL, Mystic, JY, ML, IS, J, SH, TC and so forth for lending their presence, support and ears when I needed their assuring and encouraging presence. Thank you dear friends.

It would have been natural to infer that a person facing health concerns and self-doubts may not be the most wonderful person to live together with. I take the opportunity to thank my family members for their tolerance, patience and kindness. I am not sure if I could return and repay all that kindness so I figured it can help to pay their kindness forward?

Work-wise, I count my blessings that while it has been an extremely challenging year, it has reminded me that   I am at the very least strong enough to pull through the year. Perhaps what does not kill us will make us stronger? Thank goodness for extremely tolerant and kind colleagues who have been patient with my idiosyncrasies and have been willing to lend a hand when needed. I am also pleased to have spent some time exploring the field of Art Therapy by taking up a 3-day Introduction to Art Therapy and the Creative Process and the Returning Home to Yourself classes by local art-therapist Joanna Tan. While I do not seem to have a strong conviction that Art Therapy is an area that I could specialize in as yet, I have at least started to explore and find out more about it.

Relationship wise, 2012 was a year where I have unexpectedly been making a great number of new friends. I do agree that human beings are social beings. Perhaps it is through our relationships that we best learn and best grow better as persons. I am thankful to everyone whom I have came across and the friends I have. Their presence in this world has shaped me to some extent. I am also deeply grateful to the people around me who have in one way or another shared their time with me. The times together gave me a sense of fellowship which often brings comfort and care that I appreciate.

Interestingly, I had found myself spending more time with children in the year of 2012. My first nephew was born in the year of 2012! I am still clueless what it means to be an aunt. Anyway, my nephew has certainly brought joy to the family. May he be safe, healthy and joyful. Other than the birth of my nephew, there were births of colleagues' and friends' children throughout the year. May these children be safe, healthy and joyful. It was also quite humbling to spend time with the children of some of my friends. I had wanted to spend time with my friends and one way to do so was to include their children! Children do teach us a lot about life, just as we adults may show them how they could learn to thrive in this world. I thank my friends' children for sharing with me their joy and enthusiasm about living.

Where blogging is concerned, my post on the Innovation Great Singapore Souvenirs tops the chart as the most popular of my blog-posts that was written in the year 2012. Yet, if you were to ask me, my personal favourite was the collection of posts listed under the title, Sydney May 2012, containing notes of my visit to Sydney. I had surprised myself by visiting Sydney at that time of the year when I was not of the best of health. In fact I was wondering if I ought to go. Looking back, I am glad I did. I was grateful to spend some time in Sydney with two of my wonderful friends and their family. I was also very thankful for the opportunity to attend my first Interfaith service at Uniting Church led by, Stephanie Dowrick, one of the authors whom I respect.

I am also thankful that one of my entries to the Heritage 2012 Blog Competition had won the second prize. It was an encouragement for me to have won a prize in the competition. I have also learnt ways to improve my writing skills and presentation skills through reading the entries of other participants.

Music wise, it was a slower year. I had decided to take a break from double bass lessons and it was not quite a decision I could be pleased with even though doing so had freed up some time for me to nurse myself to better health. I miss learning more about how to play better on the double bass. So I have learnt, it will help to make time to enhance my capacity in make music! Nevertheless, I am thankful that despite a hiatus from double bass lessons, I have still have opportunities to play music and delight in the process of music-making.

So as I conclude this post, I count my blessings for the year 2012. May the 2013 bring me progress, good health and better blessings to come.

In the meantime, I wish you a better year to come. May the New Year bring you progress, growth, good health and joy.

Happy New Year

Wishing you and your loved ones a Happy New Year.

I came across this wish and I have found it meaningful. "I wish you enough".

"I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive.
I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish enough "Hello's" to get you through the final "Goodbye."
- by Bob Perks.

May the new year bring you good health, joy and peace.