Filed under: Two Cents' Worth, Uncategorized | Tags: creation, creative, inspiration, music, prose, sat, satisfaction
There’s this beautiful thing about music, about how it sings to your heart and soul. Some pieces make you soar, some of them make you weep like there’s no future tomorrow.
Music is a universal language, yet there are times we speak in tunes, and nothing else.
That excruciating feeling when I hear the whine of a sorrowful melody, the gentle tug at my heart-strings when I sink deep into the hoarse whispers that acoustic often brings. The smile that plays around my lips when chords of summer beckon, and I imagine the four seasons that pass by the window.
More than anything, I miss creating and playing music. Fingers that used to run the black and white ivories have somewhat remembered melodies from long ago, but have much inertia to pick up a new line. A voice that explored the recording studios since the age of 9 has been torched by whisky and cigars.
Tonight it was “creative satisfaction” versus “creative inspiration”.
Subsets of one another, perhaps? I gain creative satisfaction when someone inspires and pushes me to create, to play around with, to expand, to tease out something I could call my own, or ours. Yet creative inspiration is such a wonderful thing that hinges on both parties because it cannot be one-sided. You inspire me as I inspire you. I build castles on your clouds while you gather them from my warm breath. And in those castles you created a maze, which I added more turns and edges to.
That’s creation. Stemmed from….
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This is what my horoscope, the Aquarius, tells me to do in in May.
Free now from the family burden, you are none the less feeling overwhelmed. It could be work or academia, which will be particularly taxing for Aquarians this month. Projects pile up, and authority figures can be unreasonably demanding. Don’t let them intimidate you. You are a highly capable individual who will get the work done as quickly as a human can. Will there be any leftover time for your personal life? Absolutely not. Your romance may also suffer. I can only advise you to remove your heart from your sleeve and tuck it into your breast pocket. Let it rest. While it’s in repose, take an inventory of the space inside that heart, and record the order of the occupants. With so many lovers and so little time to give to each of them, this might be a good time to downsize. Are you nurturing any old flames? Perhaps it’s time to put those people to rest as well. Maybe you are still committing time to friendships that have lost their meaning as well. Now is the time to withdraw a bit. Lower other people’s expectations of you so you can choose more intelligently to whom it is exactly you want to offer your time and affection. Be ruthless eliminating dead wood so you can be more devoted to those who really count. You will see. You’ll feel stronger emotionally, and your relationships will be substantially more solid.
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To those who think their work is stressful and the rest ain’t; to those who feel their world’s crashing down and they can’t do anything about it; to those who sit back and think they have achieved success.
There’s a tremendous lot of growing up to do everyday. I discover and learn more about myself on a daily basis, and at the end of each day I evaluate and think through what I need to work on to make myself a person I desire to be (*note: not “a better person”), I pick out weakness and flaws and decide whether I am going to live with them for the rest of my life, or work towards erasing them.
There are fewer “repeated chances”, and there’s no time to sit on things. Only a few angels will reach out a helping hand to aid you when you stumble and fall – the rest of the world will get on with the rat race they’ve always been in. How often do you find that angel, how often do you expect to fail before you finally succeed?
There are circumstances where margins of error are extremely narrow (or absent), there are situations where one cannot afford to make mistakes. A trader makes a wrong decision – he loses maybe $400, or $4 million in that second. The finance sector is brutal in that way.
What we do – public relations, marketing, corporate communications – the majority seems not to even realise that we exist. Our jobs are the first to go during the economic crunch, because we seemingly sit around and do nothing (except probably attend launches and drink champgne). Nobody realizes the information they read, the events they attend, the advertisements they see, the campaigns they become part of, the lifestyle they lead – are orchestrated by the invisible marketing-communications workforce.
Stop making my work seem like nothing substantial. Every word I write – makes a bloody difference.
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A blank state of mind. A blank face in the morning. Walking through the streets blindly, led by pure habit and instinct. The nation seems to have been overtaken by human robots – no expression, no emotions.
Rush hour traffic has more than its high volumes of working executives, mainland Chinese and jostling Indians. Weary stress lines frame frizzled, oily hair, slouched shoulders balancing heavy laptop cases…too many. The nation has became a sea of tired, rat-racers…also known as Singaporeans.
Freshness punctured the air today when I stood beside four Dunman High School girls, absorbed in their little game. Giggles peppered the rumbling of the train, while the rest of us stared on, contemplating both envy and contempt for their innocent childishness. Trapped in the rat race, one soon realizes that work is never-ending; there is always too much work to do and too little people to complete them.
We take a day off, only to come back to more work and staying in an extra few hours to complete outstanding tasks. We go on holidays, only to worry about the 1000+ unread emails that await our return.
We run the race that never ends, we run with the cheese that dangles right before our hands.
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There have been a great many stories about great people achieving success in the face of adversity. They have scaled mountains, they have won a name for themselves – more often than not, the mentioned will be a handicapped in some way or another. Or perhaps there would be the odd normal person who suddenly becomes an icon of inspiration or a millionaire (however you want to see it) by humble steps, hard work and plenty of motivation.
In the face of adversity, will my decisions/actions…be anything worth considering for the “great”? In our strive to become a fraction of our icons of inspiration, is there space for me to whine about my pathetic inconsistencies in my life?
Whether there is space, or not, I am already one foot in, like how I am with so many other things in my life. I am constantly utterly annoyed at myself for not being as competent as I will like to be, for feeling so inefficient in work and always striving to perfect the art of writing. “Perfection” is the word subject to an individual’s intepretation though – because to me, perfecting the art of writing means the mastery of different styles to please different target groups – ranging from the masses to the nit-pickers who vet through my work.
This part of me is also constantly yearning for bullet-speed accelerated learning speed, a well of experience that unfortunately only comes with time and a bloody good common sense. I often chide myself for not being smarter, more creative, more on the ball, a better writer, a better multi-tasker. “Following through” isn’t what I will settle for, “initiating” is what I ultimately aim for.
I was idly browsing through the past photos of Riley and Wiley when they were back in the same room as me. I thought how heart-warming it was to return to “home” after a horribly tired day, to see two little pairs of furry ears prick up when you open the door. Those darlings of mine were either lounging on different parts of the bed, on my chair, on my table or on the window pane. Or they would stop midway of whatever they were doing – playing, attacking my dream-catcher, stealing food from the shelves, attempting to open the fridge – to stare at me with those same ears and huge black eyes.I remembered how I could laze the afternoon away with my cats when I didn’t feel like stepping out of my room. I liked how they would find any warm spot and snuggle in with me when it was bed-time (although they have 5 bed-times during the day while I have only 1). I absolutely love how Riley would attempt to lie across my keyboard when I was busy trying to get my assignments done, and how he would roll on his back while snoozing on my lap. It was amusing how they could drive me nuts just by attempting to steal my cup of Milo – I could not leave any form of human food/drink on the table if not it will be gone. I missed the days when I could use Riley (the fatter cat) as my pillow for my afternoon naps while he used me as his pillow in the night.
The two brothers – Riley and Wiley were worlds apart in character, and sizes. Wiley was the wilful one (aptly named, huh?) who would not hesitate a second to steal food from my hand when I wasn’t looking, who would jump off my window and get himself stuck in between the 1st and 2nd storey, requiring me to assemble a rescue team just to get him down, even having to bear his frightened urges to scratch and all. Riley was the fat and lazy Garfield (wrong colour, though) who would shy away from strangers but attach himself to me almost all day. He was the one I showered more attention to when both of them were growing up because of his quieter nature. Wiley would annoy the hell out of me but he was still the more active of the two, willing to destroy any dreamcatcher, string and toys that I bought for him with his trimmed claws and quick paw reflexes. Of course, Wiley was a darling with girls (like all cute boys are) who went goo-goo-gaa-gaa over him simply because he was a natural affectionate playful kitten. Riley will rather stay under my hand, cowering away from strangers but warming up only to those who were patient with him.
It is a common misconception that cats are aloof, obnoxious, lazy and everything negative. Cat owners will disagree. Majority often wonder why owners bother to clean up after their cats, succumb themselves to stroking their cats and etc. Cat owners will beg to differ – treat a cat with utmost affection whilst it is growing up and you end up with what I term a “dog-cat”. “Dog-cats” sit and meow at the door when they hear your footsteps approaching the front door, they greet you at your doorstep and continue meowing till you sit down and give them the belly rub they have been waiting for. “Dog-cats” snooze at your feet while you type furiously away at your laptop while rushing for your next assignment (of course, they might attempt to snooze behind your butt or on your lap as well) and “dog-cats” snuggle up to you in bed when you retire for the night. Riley is my “dog-cat”, only except that he doesn’t live with me anymore – he attaches himself to Nick like he thinks the world of my good ol’ bro.
Choosing between my cats and my mum was the most miserable day of my life, but people didn’t really understand how I felt because only a privileged few know the emotional bond I share with my cats whilst I watch them grow from babies into young adults. The emptiness I felt upon returning home to an empty apartment of cat fur was suffocating. I had not changed my sofa covers till today even though those two rascals have left a couple of dirty paw prints on my mother’s precious white sofa, partly because I was too lazy, but well…you know.
So completes a “sort of tribute” to my cats. I would take in another two kittens in future, really…when I get my own apartment and I make my own rules. Hah. I will continue living my dream. 🙂