A month ago, when I had an idea of doing a web comedy series, my thrilled self went, “Why not?”
Fast forward to one month later, and that question has turned into “What the heck was I thinking?” Writing comedy is no joke. My writing partner and I had countless hair-pulling moments. Thank goodness for those anti hair loss shampoos.
It is in such desperate times that I thought of a passage in the book “The Comic Toolbox” by John Vorhaus. The author was describing a way to overcome one’s skepticism towards re-writing.
Imagine being on top of a fairly high hill, from which you can see the top of the mountain. If one wants to get to the mountain’s top, he or she would have to go down the hill and find his or her way through the foggy valley to the mountain. One wouldn’t be able to say for sure if he or she would reach the mountain top. Yet, it is a risk that one would have to bear if he or she wants to be at the mountain top.
Not only is this philosophy relevant to writing, it can also be applied to life in general. “Safe is risky,” said American entrepreneur Seth Godin. Many shudder at the thought of failures and vulnerability. Yet, it is only by taking risks that one recognizes how far he or she can go.
“Colors are the deeds and suffering of light” goes a quote by the German artist Johan Wolfgan von Goethe.
I first stumbled upon this quote while reading the photography book of Alex Webb titled “Suffering of Light’. The Magnum photographer commented of how he was mesmerized by the radiance of color photography, especially of photos taken in the tropical region.
While the streaking sun had bothered me much while I was in Bangkok, I am relieved of the slight tinge of vibrancy in my photos.
There is something called the Terror Management Theory. No, this theory has nothing to do with horror movies! Rather, it proposes that human behavior is always motivated by their sub-conscious fear towards death. So, religions supposedly came about to help us mere mortals make sense of the world (and make peace with death).
This brings me to a point raised by a Thai friend of mine. She mentioned how, in a Buddhist perspective, an early, natural death may not necessarily be a negative thing. A person who dies young may have a pure soul and have completed what he or she is meant to do on Earth.
I may not be a Buddhist, but what she said resounded in my heart. At 23, I’m still making sense of the world, let alone death. Ironically, I’ve come to realize that the fear of death has somewhat made my life worth living.
Alice: Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
The Cat: That depends a good deal on where you want to get to
Alice: I don’t much care where –
The Cat: Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.
Alice: – so long as I get somewhere.
The Cat: Oh, you’re sure to do that, if only you walk long enough.
Extracted from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
Stamford Road, Singapore
“Our siblings — they resemble us just enough to make all their differences confusing, and no matter what we choose to make of this, we are cast in relation to them our whole lives long.” – Susan Scarf Merrell
I have a brother who is eight years older than me. While both of us look like our father, my brother and I have different English surnames, thanks to our very creative mother.
Over the years, we grew apart — literally. The 1998 riot in Jakarta led my parents to move me to Singapore and my brother to Australia. 14 years later, I’m still in Singapore, while he has been back in Jakarta for the past few years.
He is married, and I am single. Soon, he will be a father, and I an aunt.
Brasbasah Road, Singapore
“When you’re surrounded by all these people, it can be even lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anybody or talk to anybody, you feel like you’re really alone.” – Fiona Apple
I was imagining someone new joining a public aerobics class. It is inevitable that awkward, self-conscious moments will ensue. Besides looking to the front, one has to keep his or her vigorous moments in check in order to not hit the neighbors. One would look towards others in need of some tension relievers, whether in the form of a smile or a laughter. When a wide-eyed plea yielded nothing, that is when the loneliest feeling would start to kick in. Even among the crowd.
Don’t worry. Life’s not that bad, thankfully. A smile is usually potent enough to set off another smile.
Central Public Library, Singapore.
In Singapore, the sun is never kind. Baked under its full glory, one could hardly see what lies ahead.
My future… is like the sun. I know that it will always be there, but I could never be sure what it really is like. Of course, it wouldn’t be fun if I know what I’ll be like in the future. Maybe that’s why the future can be as blinding as the sun.
For now, all I could do is to look at the clues left behind by the future, just like how the shadows were born from the rays of light. I’ll look into my heart, gaze afar and walk ahead.
Suntec City Convention Hall, Singapore
When the rain fell today, I immediately thought of the film “Magnolia” and its bizarre rain sequence. No spoilers here, I promise. What I can tell you, though, is that the film deals heavily with the topic of coincidences.
I like coincidences because they make our lives more entertaining. Life always has its own funny way of creating adventures. Whatever form it has, a coincidence usually serves as a test of one’s personality, for the better or worse.
Do you believe in coincidences?
Over the years, the Night Festival has become a higly anticipated affair in Singapore. Besides the beautiful light installations at the museums, the Festival hosts many performances. The large number of visitors each year means that there is always a demand for large-scale extravaganza.
Enter Ozono Producciones. For this year’s edition of the Festival, the Argentinian performance group offered three different spectacles. The first involved a dancer moving to the music while being suspended by a crane. The second was of two dancers frolicking and jumping across a giant silver curtain. The last performance involved four dancers serenading the crowd on top of a translucent pool.
Each performance carries one to a make-believe world where one could roam in space or on water freely. While the performances are rather crowd-pleasers, I have to admit that they are very physically demanding. Thus, I have an absolute respect for the performers for giving their all.
For anything that goes up, something else must go down. Such words ring true in Singapore, especially as the country has very limited space.
Two days ago in Singapore, an announcement on a new train line was made. This meant that areas affected by the line construction will be acquired by the government. Pearl’s Center is one of those buildings located within the affected area. The building stands next to the building in the photograph’s background, Pearl Bank Apartments. The ironic thing is that the Pearl Bank Apartments had undergone a few unsuccessful attempts of en-bloc sale to a private developer across the years. In contrast, the acquisition notice on Pearl’s Center had caught its residents by surprise. So, two years from now, the unwilling residents would still be living in the area, while the willing ones would have left.
It is always sad that, in progressing towards the future, one has to keep tearing down the past. What we see now will be different from what our children see.