perfection is boring

Continuing my latest painting obsession. This little one is the closest to what I wanted to achieve. When I was done, I was rather…

disappointed.

Because it looks just as I expected.

There’s nothing surprising or unique because I played it very safe and didn’t make any mistakes with this one.

Potato painting

The Little One is into painting lately and I have no excuse not to indulge her, since I have the supplies and even a dusty art education from a past life time! Guess who had more fun?

Ps. I found that it’s not easy to do. Maybe it’s my cheap paints but you need to control the amount of paint on the potato in order to get a sharp edge. Also I sucked at carving the stamps (I didn’t have enough small enough cookie cutters as a mold). But repeating a shape lent to such lovely results! The Little One had fun too, painting her hands.

a sonnet: Through an Eternal Overcast

During a writing course I took recently, I wrote a sonnet. Dedicated to my friend, C.C, an artist’s soul embittered by an unrewarding working life. Yet, if we have a passion, hobby, an obsession, we have an exit towards joy and connection.

 

Through an Eternal Overcast

England is an eternal overcast.
Traditions too, on a sensitive mind.
If family is no home for an outcast
Will you make sure my friend’s not left behind?
She rages against eternal Mondays,
A sign of life, as vivid as her veins,
Throbbing with art to explode into rays
That puncture the grey skies of all her pains.
Friend, you burn holes with your pen. If you dare
To write yourself across your face, and link
Each pore into constellations so rare,
To write “star struck” would be a waste of ink.
Who knows what’s in Destiny’s crystal ball.
Life is pain, but your art will free us all.

an introvert who won’t stop talking

Talking, if you ask me, may look like a function of being human, but it is like trying to cross four lanes of two way traffic in China where there isn’t a crosswalk for another mile. I’ve spent most of my life standing on the edge assessing the traffic of conversation, only to keep missing my chances. Sometimes I puff up and take a step, only to be a millisecond too slow for the appropriate lapse between comments, and I’m ran over by someone coming faster and louder.

It had costed me everything from face-burning shame and haunting regrets, to stomach-knotting anguish and heart-stabbing pain, that many a night I swore into my tear-soaked pillow that I shall never, ever, utter another word except “Yes”, “OK” and “Thank you”. Even “Hi” must be taken off the table.

Social media has provided a crosswalk where there was none. I will no longer miss my turn, I will no longer be talked over. I can even start my own conversation and go at my own pace! I was crippled, and now I walk. A beating heart being brave and talking to the world.

Until nobody likes.
And all you hear back is crickets.

I sat in the dark clutching my phone and swear that I will never, ever, spend another second writing another stupid post about my stupid thoughts and feelings that nobody cares to know.

I sink into the dark ocean of loneliness.
No more pain.
No more noise.
The world does not need me.

Even though the world does not need me, when morning comes and I see people and evidence of love and solidarity, I yearn. I yearn for connection, I yearn to be seen. I yearn to be seen like I never was. If the world does not care, then the world does not care what I say and how much I post.

I’m conservative in looks, but I’m a rebel in my bone marrow. I croaked my first “Hi” at the boys standing in the lunch line. Even flashed them a smile and took them by surprise. I shouted one of their names across the gym like I was a cheerleader. It worked for him, though I’d never felt so much shame for a success. I have the strength and determination to make myself speak against my nature, I can make myself say things that are waiting to burst forth like fireworks.

I won’t let it go unsaid that sometimes I do get likes and comments that lift me up into the clouds where all the angels live. They’ve shown me the way home. But all the likes and comments and love shown are not a solid enough ground to stand on. The antidote to this dangerous sport is, perhaps, to learn from the local Chinese gliding through the four lanes of two way traffic, undaunted by provoking an occasional held-down honk: Knowing that you are entitled to the road as much as the cars and other people.

 

pleasure reading: Diner Escargot

Too much positive and self-help reading gets very draining, because collectively the authors sound like they’re urging you to get better, as if you are not enough already. There are also different names, theories and strategies for the same things so I’m getting off that hamster wheel to enjoy some fiction.

Just the opportunity to turn a beetle back on its back, to me, is a blessed encounter. Holding a fresh laid egg and feeling its warmth on my face; to find tiny jewels of morning dew on the leaves sparkling more brilliantly than diamonds, and tasting a miso soup made with the kind of bamboo fungus, found at the entrance of the bamboo forest, that is adorned with a beautiful white lacy skirt that gives it the nickname of ‘veiled lady’ – these are moments of joy that makes me want to give God a kiss on the cheeks to thank him.

– an excerpt I translated from a very lovely Japanese novel “Diner Escargot”

If it feels right I might be sharing more like this!