Chinese Chess in Nha Trang, Vietnam. Photography by Olivia Griselda.

Day 122: Quit Playing, It’s Tea Time

Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of toast and tea.
— T.S. Eliot

Nha Trang, Vietnam.

Day 121: Only God Forgives

It is interesting to see the different manifestations of divine powers that humans have come up with.

A week ago while in Vietnam, I visited the Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam. The Cao Dai religion is a culmination of a few religions, including Buddhism, Christianity and Confucianism. In their prayers, the worshipers faces the Divine Eye, which represents God.

I believe that most, if not all, religions lead towards the same path. The question of religion should then become whether one believes in the existence of God.

Happy Easter!

Photography by Olivia Griselda. Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam.
Photography by Olivia Griselda. Cao Dai Temple in Tay Ninh, Vietnam.


Day 120: All At Sea

A few years ago, I came across a Japanese saying about water. It commented on how water could represent both life and death. One could not live without water. Yet, one could also easily lose his life to water. Such is a paradox of life.

RIP Prof Winston Koh 1963-2013

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Day 119: Nobody Knows

Somewhere, the gods are laughing at us humans. “Hooray! Hooray! The end of the world has been postponed,” as the creator of Tin Tin comic series would say.

If doomsday did occur, my last day on earth would have been lame. I wasn’t saying my last prayers. Instead, I was singing along to One Direction songs with my colleagues.

How did you spend your supposed last day on earth?

Bugis, Singapore.

Day 118: Rule of Three

As the saying goes, two is a company, three is a crowd. But, hey, I have to admit that the three can pack punches!

Consider if there are two little pigs rather than three. Or, only two bears to scare Goldilocks away. Would the stories have worked as well? I doubt so, though I could still picture the two bears kicking Goldilock’s butt. Using the rule of three, one creates tension, builds the tension and then releases it.

Rule of three is one of the easiest writing tool. Admittedly, at times I can get too carried away with it! Time to start breaking the rule…

Lavender, Singapore.

Day 117: Read Between the Lines

Two years ago, a palm reader said to me that my 2013 is going to be a boom or a bust. He was literally reading between the lines of my palms.

To be honest, I don’t completely believe in his predictions of me. Not that I am denying those bad predictions (haha!). It’s just that there are only so many things that those palm lines could reveal. If humans can indeed predict the future so well, then everybody would have lived happily (ever after). Unfortunately, that is far from the truth.

Sometimes, the present moment leaves clues about the future. At other times, it doesn’t. All we could do is to embrace the present moment and go wherever it takes us. 2013 is just two weeks away, and I am excited to see how it will unfold.

Lavender, Singapore.

Day 116: Hill-Climbing Problem

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.

Bugis, Singapore.