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Cleaning the figurative dust off this platform

11 Oct

It’s been a while since I sat down to write.

There are so many things I could talk about…

  1. My Japanniversary – I’ve been here for a year-and-counting!
  2. My thoughts on competition and sports festival
  3. My trip back to Singapore
  4. Exciting News
  5. On how living in a house all to myself has changed me
  6. Pugs in all their greatness

However, it’s hard to write after delaying it for so long.

Sometimes you have a compelling thought, or something that really bugs you, or something that you feel is really ‘deep’. You think to yourself, “This would be a great thing to write about in my online blog.” But guess what, you never get down to it. And as time passes, it seems less and less deep, and the importance of writing about it passes.

Soon, you may realise that close to a year passes as dust, in all its figurativeness, grows on your blog. If you didn’t yet see it, I’m definitely describing the state of this blog.

Thus, despite having no real theme/topic/reason for this post, I’m simply cleaning the figurative dust off this platform, in every sense of the word.

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Spiderllets – Chapter 2, read it now!

19 Nov

http://sheandread.wordpress.com/

She and Read – Chapter 1….

12 Nov

now online!!

Read it here – http://sheandread.wordpress.com/

:3

Aside

Reaching Toward the Glowing Comfort

17 Apr

It was all dark when I realised that this was the start of my life. Confusion surrounded me, there was no place to go. Around me, the ground, it seemed to swallow me up.

Unexpectedly, I adapted. Time, a concept I came to be familiar with, passed. I grew; digging deeper, soaking in any cool, liquid goodness I could find.

***

A new sensation entered my senses. Warmth, heat. I tried to open my eyes, but could not. I could only barely sense it through top of my head. I wanted to grow closer to that warmth. It seemed pleasant. It gave me hope that the darkness I struggled through was not in vain.

Time continued to pass. I stretched further and further downwards. Reaching as low as I could go. The growth above and below was unequal. Despite unrelentlessly pushing myself forward, I felt my legs grow longer and stronger, but my eyes still saw black darkness. Limited in my options, I continued in what seemed like a mundanity.

Time, a concept that I started to lose track of, passed. I had forgotten for what purpose I pushed myself to keep growing. The darkness was my only comfort, the only thing I was familiar with.

Then, it came as a surprise.

It was painful, sharp, and blinding. My eyes, they were finally open. I remembered when I had first felt that tingling sensation of warmth. I looked above and found my new source of comfort. A round ball of glowing light.

Time, continued to pass. There seemed to be no room for me stretch out my legs. Was I stuck? Maybe, I did not need to stretch out further. Now, I could concentrate on stretching myself towards the warmth and push myself closer to its source.

***

I thought that there was no where to go except up. Yet, why does it seem like my head is falling closer to the ground rather than closer to the radiant ball of glowing warmth?

***

Something, something; it is pulling me away from my home. Stop, stop! It hurts. This place is all I know. I grew up in its darkness. The warmth that calms my heart is right there. What will I do if you rip me from the only things I know? Why do you try and halt my efforts to reach that comforting light?

***

Ah, I had fainted and am now awake. Where am I? My feet, they feel a familiar sensation. The same that I had felt when my life had just begun; cool, liquid goodness. This familiar sensation. Warmth. I open my eyes. There, glowing in the sky, my comfort and hope, the round ball of light. I stretch out my feet in relief… there is space? Space! Space for my feet to stretch out further than it had before. My life’s goal has not changed, as long as I am able to continue reaching forward, I will one day reach that comforting light.

 

Change is always scary. It can often be painful and confusing. It can also be crippling, causing you to settle, for what you may think is the best alternative.

The process is not easy. Just when you think you finally understand it all, you are shaken and uprooted from what has become familiar. However, if you persevere and allow yourself to go through the discomfort, you will find yourself in a better position for growth – whatever that growth may mean to you. You will then learn that it was only your own shortsightedness that kept you in a place of stunted growth. 

 

The Ending of a Season

15 Apr

Sakura petals scattered on the ground. Bare cherry blossom trees. A sad face. 

It’s not surprising that many of the photos I see now pertaining to sakura cherry blossoms are of its fallen petals, lamenting the passing of its blooming season.

My knowledge of the sakura cherry blossom, or of any flower for that matter, is sorely lacking. However, I’m pretty sure I’m not wrong in saying that the sakura flower blooms for a really short time!

I think this factors in to why and how the sakura cherry blossoms garner up so much excitement from the public.

Yes, it’s a pretty flower.

Yes, it’s almost magical to experience pink petals, carried by the wind, making disney-like-moment swirls around you.

But I think the most heart-gripping thing of these flowers is how fleeting it is. Miss the chance to see them during the 3 or so weeks that they are around, and you’ll have to wait a full year.

Humans seem to find comfort in security, in stability, in the longevity of things.

At the sakura cherry blossom (which I found out existed for the first time in my 5 years here – oh the joys of working in a communications role), I bought a pair of earrings.

Its major selling point? Sakura cherry blossom petals preserved in resin.

Of course, when I bought it at the time, I thought they were extremely unique and, obviously, pretty. Looking back, I must have subconsciously thought that since these flowers are so rare, why not have one with me at all times, one that would never disappear!

The sooner we come to terms with the fact that nothing lasts forever, the sooner we can appreciate each blooming season, and adapt to life’s changing seasons.

 

“Every breath is a second chance”

Always, Switchfoot.

Is Creativity for Everyone?

14 Apr

“What is that supposed to be?”

“It’s.. abstract?”

“She must be a writer..”

“Only photographers can see beauty in that.”

 

It would not be surprising to find out that many people after admiring a beautiful picture, or reading a thought-provoking book, stand in awe for a couple of minutes or days, only to move on from there and with their lives, awaiting the next creatively intriguing piece that might come their way.

I don’t think that creativity is exclusively reserved for photographers, writers, or artists alone.

Here’s a question for you: “Do you know a creative person?”
Now with that person in your mind, you might probably formulate this next thought in your mind, “I’m not creative, like Person XYZ…”

Sure, people with portfolios have evidence of their work and the creativity that resides within them. Though there is no denying that a certain measure of what is considered creativity is also considered talent, there would be no evidence of creativity without the investment of time.

Photographers, take the time to view the world through the lens. Writers, take the time to imagine and create a world out of words. Artists, take the time to pen the images in their mind on canvases.

So, you too, can take the time to tap into what you could call your own creativity!

Here are some ideas:

If it’s sunny out, sit in a park, in the sun (obviously). Arm yourself with a book to read, or a notebook to scribble on.

If you like your caffeine, sit in a quaint café. Delicious aromas can be really inspiring.

If interaction makes the clockwork in your brain run crazy, people/children/dog/bird watch!

A Beach. A Forest. A Bench. A Tree. Grass.

The possibilities are endless 

A Collared Life

10 Apr
Mao with his red flea collar

Mao with his red flea collar

A fluffy snowball caught my eye as the bus turned a corner. The cat stretched its back out on the porch of the house and seemed to pull a yawn of content as it soaked in the sunlight.

“Its owner must be so lucky to have such a ball of cuteness in its care”, I thought to myself.

Collars.

A sign of belonging. It makes all the difference between a stray and an owned pet.

A sign of identification. That cat belongs to Mr. Winterland or Ms. Spring (yes, I’m excited for Spring).

I still remember when I bought a flea collar for ‘Mao’. It marked the day that we acknowledged adopting the black-and-white stray as our own.

Collars are not reserved for animals alone. You’d be surprised at how many of us don our own collars of identification…

1. Family Collar

  • Are you a son or daughter? Brother or sister? Father or mother?
  • Perhaps you identify with the responsibility or piety you have towards family that affects important life decisions

2. The Work Collar

  • Does what you do at work excite you? Or does work enter your thoughts so much that it torments you in your dreams?
  • Maybe you’re working towards reaching that next place in your job, or keeping an eye out for that unique opportunity

3. The Significant Other Collar

  • Your every move seems to coincide with the actions and plans of another person
  • Are you finding it hard to imagine life without him/her?
  • People associate you and him/her interchangeably as a single item (oh lookies, an unintended pun)

4. The One who Lives for Food Collar

  • Do you find yourself smiling most widely when presented with food? (A picture speaks a thousand words)
  • No work without food?
  • A typical conversation might go, “How’s your day?” “Not too good, I can’t decide what to have for lunch!”

5. The Student Collar

  • The writing never stops?
  • The reading keeps piling up no matter how much you do?
  • You’re goal is to finish that final final

So what collar are you wearing today?

Yay for stress-induced nonsensical blogposts that get churned out in between writing papers and studying for finals!

Hi, I am Phone

1 Apr

image

Nice to meet you!

Today I decided that I would share with the world my importance.

If you must know, this is most definitely not in response to the fact that my owner left me abandoned all alone, in the cold, on the back car seat. Of course I’m not offended. After all I was picked up almost immediately by my owner’s friend, who then speedily made arrangements to return my to my owner’s hands. In contrast, I believe that my owner felt the effects of neglecting me.

After all, I’m a responsible phone, committed to getting my job done.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of what I do on a daily basis :

1. I make sure my owner wakes up on time. She usually does but often heads back to sleep. That’s why I make sure that my snooze button is enabled

2. I help her stay connected with friends and family in another country

3. I help her stay connected with friends in the same country

4. I minimize her time spent waiting for the bus by telling her when the next buses are due to arrive

5. I give her immediate answers to questions she may be pondering about (yes, I’m wiser than I might look)

6. When she gets cravings, I point her in the right direction. I offer her choices; myriads upon myriads of recipes

7. Seriously guys, I’m the one who helps her feel, stay, be connected

Sometimes it’s easy to feel like I’m being taken for granted. However, when I remember my purpose in life, I’m motivated to continue to be the best phone I could ever be for my owner.

And that, my friends, is true devotion. May I live a long life and serve my owner well.

>

The Colour White

28 Mar

The day I realised my first strand of white hair, I was incredibly excited.

It marked the beginnings of my entry into a shared experience with the older and wiser (??) group of human beings.

To date, there’s been two strands of white hair that would pop up noticeably on the top of my head. It amuses me. They seem to taunt me each time by growing faster and whiter each time I dispose of them.

“You will never get rid of us. We’re here to stay.”

A classmate recently told me that I shouldn’t pull them out by the roots. Apparently you damage the hair roots around it when you do that; promoting more hair loss.

Horrors.

Am I to be robbed of one of my favourite pastimes – the searching and pulling out of white hairs…?

Oh, and did I mention that the searchable count of white hair has increased from 2 to 3 strands?

The Dreaming Cycles; what happens when you’re awake

8 Mar

The Dream Cycle1

I have a problem.

My problem is that I dream too much.

I dream for what seems like a second, only to realise that light has turned to night, and more than just a couple hours have gone by. I go through stages of what I would like to call the “dreaming cycle”, only to realise that I’ve gone full circle and possibly not moved an inch forward.

Stage #1: The Dreaming Dreamer

Symptoms:

  • You’re inspired.
  • You sit through Creative Writing class when your professor shares with the class his experience with the publication process and immediately start making a mental checklist of things like where to submit your articles, catchy topic sentences…
  • You spend hours looking through calligraphy/graphic design pieces/videos/photos/articles, reasoning with yourself that you are simply getting inspired

Stage #2: The Driven Dreamer

Symptoms:

  • You feel like anything is possible.
  • You’re out to conquer the world.
  • You have 10 things on your checklist and you WILL have all of them done by today

Stage #3: The Depressed Dreamer

Symptoms:

  • The day is gone and you completed.. half of one of the things of your list. In other words, you completed nothing.
  • It’s been 4 months since your last blog post.
  • Everyone’s work seems better than yours, there’s probably not going to be anyone out there who will appreciate your art, or what you call art
  • You end up doing nothing all day, but yet you’re tired and mentally exhausted

Stage #4: The Deranged Dreamer

Symptoms:

  • You’re mad
  • What are dreams anyway?!
  • My life is never going to amount to anything

Stage #5: The Defeated Dreamer

Symptoms:

  • You have decided that its time to get your head out of the clouds and focus on the path ahead of you
  • School and work become a priority
  • You avoid the things that used to inspire you – tumblr/VIMEO/instagram/deviantart etc
  • When you do go onto any of these sites, you feel like everything is condemning you in the face and you’re reminded of your incompetence
  • …. oh wait
  •  look at that beautiful calligraphy work
  • HEY, I could do that to!!

Go back to stage one and repeat it all over again.

I can’t say that this stages happen in this order, or if they even happen at all.

I do think that my problem lies with my impatience and lack of perseverance, which is one of the reasons I’ve written this post. I want to remind myself of my acknowledgement of these weaknesses I have, and to hopefully see improvement in future years.

Now, if, I had everything in my control, this is how my ideal day would look like:

1. Wake up when my body decides its well-rested and not when my alarm clock rings

2. Indulge in training: Spiritual (reading the Bible and other books that are waiting to be read), Physical (exercising)

3. Create a calligraphy piece

4. Have an awesome photography shooting day, perhaps catch a pug or two

5. Actually, I would play with my pug

6. Make a video

7. Start and finish reading a new book

8. Write a blog post

9. Submit an article for any publication

10. Write a book from cover to cover and get it published

And there you have it, Joy’s perfect day.

Disclaimer: Enjoy this rant for what it is, but do realise that it is a rant, and an exaggerated one at that. It is heartfelt and honest, and hopefully to a certain extent, humourous, but I do have a grasp on reality – I promise.