Reading Between the Light

myannmar-bunny-studying

Knowledge illuminates the dark of ignorance.

In between the intermittent blackouts in the small township of Nyaungshwe at Inle Lake (Myanmar, Nov 2014), I came across this ‘bunny’ by the candlelight, squinting her eyes over what looked like a math workbook. My Myanmar trip was almost 2 years ago but this image stuck with me all this time.

Her burning desire to learn was admirable. It made me think about how easily I would give up when the conditions weren’t right or conducive to pursue a dream. I succumb to the environment and do what was natural in that circumstance. If there was a blackout, it was time to sleep, not read. If blackouts happened every night, I would’ve slept those hours away, dreaming about my dreams. Dreaming is easier than doing.

So I was struck by this little girl before me who let what she wanted to accomplish light up the situation… and let not reality smother her plight.

Being a Puppet Ain’t So Bad

Pinocchio-Syndrome

Sometimes, we need someone to pull our strings to get us moving.

Don’t we all want to be the masters of our own destiny? Disgruntled at being nothing more than mere pawns of our bosses and puppets of manipulative colleagues, friends, family and lovers?

But before learning how to cut the strings, learn to be used. When we are used so often that the person using us could no longer do without us, that’s when the puppet becomes the master. Being a puppet ain’t so bad even if it means we only come to life through others. It beats being a puppet that never get to live at all.

Until one day, we are enlightened and are no longer controlled by the strings of fate.

Tracing Traditions at Luang Prabang

Luang-Prabang-Monks-Alms

Follow the flow to grow.

成长基于尊长。

An Encounter with Serenity on Luang Prabang’s Bamboo Bridge

Monk-Bamboo-Bridge

Without worry, there’s no hurry.

放下杂念,脚步轻便。

And So We Are

Pig-Tiger

Do we mind what is different, or focus on pursuing what is common?

You know that I am weird

And so are you

But there’s nothing to be feared.

You know I am not perfect

And so are you

But that doesn’t mean there’s a defect.

You know I’ve given my all

But would you?

And so we head for the fall.

Let Romance Pop-Up with a Handmade Card

It was my first time making a birthday card, a pop-up one. I wanted to make it really special because love has the power to make you do things like that. And when the relationship is over, it’s the crazy things you have done or done together that will become a warm memory of this person you were once in love with.

Bday-Card-1

The recipient of the card has an artistic streak and has created several pieces of abstract and sometimes profound digital artworks. Since it is for a birthday, I picked this piece that was inspired by the recipient’s trip to Sydney and was enthralled by the fireworks at Darling Harbour, resembling angels of light bringing something good with them.

I spent a couple of sleepless nights thinking about how to make the birthday special and a few more getting excited about the idea of making a pop-up card, but more on thinking about how to do it. Thankfully, there are Youtube tutorials around.

So after an online crash course and picking the image, I set about conceptualising a pop-up card using elements in the image to form the layered effect and it’s off to Bras Basah to buy materials. Although it is a simple card, quite a bit of brain cells died to anticipate the number of cards and the combination of different types needed to provide a nice finish.

Bday-Card-2

I settled on 2 pieces of black construction paper, one to for the pop-up structure to hold the pieces of graphics, and another to form a backing so that when you look through the holes cut out from the top piece, you don’t see through them. I also got a thicker gold card to form the outer skin of the card.

Bday-Card-3

Side view of the pop-up card with 2 layers of black construction paper. The first layer if for cutting folded strips to hold the graphics and the back layer is complete the illusion of a night sky for the fireworks, else you will see through the cut strips.

Bday-Card-4

I’ve thought through and done the measurements but unfortunately, I didn’t take into account the fact that the full height of the centre graphic is taller than the height of the card when folded close, resulting in it jutting out of the card. *Panic!* To rectify the problem, I went back to the stationery shop to buy a bigger piece of gold outer skin as the first one I got was the same size as the black construction papers and extended the size of the card to fit everything in.

Bday-Card-5

Ta-da! The completed card. Not something exceptionally beautiful but it came from the heart. The envelope says “Celebrate”, the front of the card states the recipient’s name, and inside says “Happy Birthday” so they form sort of a 3-part greeting before the message. I know, the message I wrote is lame. LOL.

So that’s my little adventure into arts and crafts. I think there’s nothing more romantic than a handmade something because it says that that person is thinking about you through the conceptualisation, planning, and execution stages. It’s time consuming and a lot of work.

But when you see the person’s eyes really light up, it’s all worth it.

好花不常开,梅景不长在

Sakura-Fallen

A sakura flower that has fallen before it has withered; just like a relationship that has ended before the love has been weathered.

苦守五季,终遇一春,

心花绽放,日夜成诗。

无奈

花未凋谢,却已落枝,

爱未冷却,恋已无存。

奈何

心花生刺,日夜成尸,

寒痛伴伤,碎多一次。

我会永远记得我们一起看过的美(梅)景。

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