No Show

is it a disturbance
shaped by
a past experience
or a certain
universality?

enlighten me,
if I err on this;
the storm will brew once more.

silence shall then mark
the end of the show.

a show to no applause
a show of make-believe
a show of no-shows;

may God bless the crowd.

(Leave the scene if you don’t mind)

Advertisements

The Irony Behind Advice

Advice can come in all forms of shapes and sizes, and from anyone at anytime. It can come from your mum when needed most (“Just follow your heart sweetheart, everything is going to be okay”), or it can come unwelcomed from a rival (“Why don’t you learn how to dress for success even a little like me?”) 

Given the assumed constructive nature of an advice, most are friendly and designed to improve a situation or an individual, be it in influencing a decision or how to do things better. Friends advice each other all the time when things look a little dry for the other, and the Internet is full of people writing advisory articles in forum pages and websites. 

The irony however, is this: we often tend to take the advice given by strangers or random sources more seriously than those given to us by our families and close friends. This is a weird phenomena, but it’s true for a large part of us. Take for example when we’re young: When our mums tell us to eat our vegetables, we tend to shrug it off but when we read up on the advices online on the importance of vegetables to our diet, or when we see our friends or crush enjoying their greens and egging us to eat them, we start to appreciate and consume them. 

How different is it from when your mum nicely tells you to eat your veggies at dinner time? Not much really, the vegetables still taste about the same. 

There’s something strange about this really, that we choose to ignore or neglect the advice of those who know us best, and those who want the best for us. Perhaps it is taking for granted the goodwill that our loved ones have for us, or maybe we seek to learn only from experiencing it for ourselves. The hard way, if you ask me. 

It would probably be good if we learn to take advice for us more seriously, and give them a thought before throwing them away into the mental garbage bin at the back of our heads. We should of course have a mind and an opinion of our own, but we could always use for a different (perhaps previously hidden) perspective in a situation. We may think we know better, but sometimes.. we really don’t. 

(P.S another irony of advice is that we often give them to people like they are free, but use them ourselves as though it’d cost us a new car or apartment, but thats to be saved for another day. Haha.)

What’s Best?

I don’t like the idea of posting a lot of what I write, but it’s been getting addictive these days so here’s another. I think it would be nice if I can write for a living, so maybe that is something I can consider doing in time. 

Here’s something to think about: is what we think best for ourselves really what is best for us?

We usually have a rough idea of what we want for ourselves in the things we do, and the things we seek to achieve when we set out on endeavours. We plan and chart our courses in such a way that we eventually get what we desire or think is good for ourselves, be it studying abroad, securing the next promotion, or proposing to our potential life partner. We think we know what we want and what is good for us, and we set out to achieve those things. 

Inevitably we face challenges, obstacles, and hurdles along the way.. and we lose heart. We start questioning if what we are aiming for is achievable, and if what we seek is really what is ideal for us. Some of us find another route to the same destination, others change their destination altogether, and there’s a bunch who stick by the same path and continue on tirelessly. 

We have a choice to be one of the three kinds of journeyman, and we probably have no one to check or justify with except ourselves. We only can know which is the best of the lot after reaching (or not reaching) our destination, if that is where we want to be at all. 

So I say, have faith in what you do and who you are, and let the rest take care of themselves along the way. There is little to do otherwise.

Hammer, Arrow and a Red Lightning

(The long awaited Polling Day is finally here, after a quiet Cooling Off Day yesterday. I’m very excited for the release of results tonight, and I can’t wait to see how narrow (or wide) things can get in constituencies such as East Coast, Marine Parade and Holland-Bukit Timah. Here’s a little something from traveling across the island and catching many polling stations in action today.)

Old men in white ironed shirts walk slowly along streets
With a white card in hand and a vision of yesteryears
A remembrance of good days gone by where their hair
Now grey was once lush and black;

They remember their humble village:
Transformed into a first world city that came
With a flash of Red Lightning and a Strong Man –
Change was there and life altered for the better;

Younger men in starched red shirts and blue tops
Walk the same streets with the same white card in hand
With a vision of years to come and what lies ahead
A hope of better days to come as their hair slowly grey;

They remember their modern city:
Houses and cars expensive beyond understanding
With a city filled with foreign faces and names
Where competition is high and provident funds appear withheld;

Both have the Red Lightning in mind as they step into stations:
One with a memory of yesterday and another with a vision of tomorrow
Where one looks upon the change that came
While the other looks at the change that is to come;

The Hammer and the Arrow promises change with their hearts
The Red Lightning assures improvement with their heads;

Vote wisely throughout the week they all say,
Let’s see tonight who shall emerge on top in the fray.

Crossroads

Sometimes we are led to crossroads
With a left and a right down each side:
Paths which lead on to the unknown
Where the destinations are purposefully out of sight;

We cannot know where each will take us to and
We cannot tell how the journeys would be but
One thing we can be sure of is that
We can only head down one of the two pathways;

How do we make up our minds at crossroads?
.
.
.

I have a feeling they lead eventually to the same end point.

Everyone Needs A Best Friend

(My apologies for not writing anything for a long time; military life is indeed very time consuming and leaves little time even for rest. With whatever little space I have to myself during the weekdays, I have not been able to squeeze in space for any writing so let’s see what comes up on a Saturday morning at seven yeah? Have fun everyone, it’s the weekends!)

All of us do get stuck at one point or another:
Points where our compasses swing in all directions and our watches tell a foreign time,
Times when our hearts and minds are not facing the same direction,
Scenes where we stand rooted at the spot with brewing anxiety and unease;

Then the nightmares set in:
We get recurring dreams of getting lost or running away,
Like a reflection of reality we cannot find our bearings or escape fast enough,
Yet we really do not know what we truly are finding or getting away from;

Stop.
Where has our clarity of mind vanished to?
What has become of the answers to our enquiring prayers?
When is it time for us to get a grip and turn around to face our fears?

I invite you now to reach out your hand and hold on to this person:
This individual in your life whom you can call when you’re feeling scared at three a.m,
This someone whom you seek advice from when faced with diverging paths,
This person whom you ask out for a cup of coffee when you’re feeling down;

I believe this is the very hand that will
Ease your fears and warm your heart when the thunders roar at night,
Take your hand and walk with you along one of the paths all the way to the end,
Bring a smile to your face and lift your spirits when things head downhill;

If at this point you realize that this piece of writing is disjointed and messy,
Do not worry for I can summarise one and twenty lines into a single line,
Presented on a platter with a colon and a space in between:

Everyone needs a best friend.

Think Otherwise

(Just 5 minutes before I tackle the intricacies of Southeast Asian History)

Its not rare for us sometimes to look at how old we are
And think quietly to ourselves,
‘hey, ain’t I all grown up already?’

As though the numbers actually mean something;

You think of yourself as perhaps an eighteen year old
That is all ready to take on the world after college
With a future to look ahead to
And a university and career waiting in store;

You think of all the things you’re going to get
For yourself
Such as your first car or first house or first dog or
Even your first girlfriend or first job;

Then you get a little lost with all these thoughts
For a while – not long but just a while,
And then you look at the things around you and
The main things that you think about in your free time:

That it was only a few months ago when you were still in school
Wearing maybe a uniform and doing something really immature
Like dirtying your whole mouth eating your favourite ice cream cone
Or just sitting on the slide with your best friend laughing;

And then you can’t help but wonder:
Have I really grown up?
Are the times really bygone now?

In a twinkle perhaps you will realize
That sometimes some things in life never will change:

Your childhood best friend will always stay as your childhood best friend
While your favourite ice cream too will stay as your favourite ice cream
And you’ll always stay the person that you were and are

Except that you may think otherwise.