Blessings for the new year

Last year, I had set about to fulfill Neil Gaiman’s New Year Wish, which was:

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art — write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”

I realized all elements of the above, and for this I am very grateful. I look back at 2016 with immense gratitude, pride and joy. I will set out to accomplish this again for this year and I look forward to continue my journey in enriching my mind and life, surrounded by loving family and friends.

I spent 2016 enjoying the good company of my ever supportive and uplifting family, strengthening friendships and made new friends along the way. I was surrounded and enriched by affection and love, and deeply felt God’s magnificent love and mercy, along with an abundance of blessings bestowed by the Universe. I feel truly blessed and am ever grateful for the myriad of beauty, experiences and opportunities which have come my way. Many wonderful souls have touched my heart and made a difference in my life; I hope I continue to contribute towards a positive difference in others and in this dynamic world in which we live.

I completed the first year of my Masters degree and will be working hard to conclude the final 3 terms in school by the end of this year. While I want to finish with an excellent CGPA, at the end of the day, I would like to be able to absorb and apply what I learn towards my next career. Along the way, I managed to find good work with generally kind people, and look forward to complete a rewarding project this year.

This year has started out well and is already passing by quickly. I recently attended a lovely wedding of a delightful young couple as well as the birthday celebration of a brave little girl who inspired me to write my first blog post – she has just turned two and is growing up to be a healthy, sometimes solemn yet delightful child. My observance of young love and budding youth inspires me and further augments new hope for the future.

Chinese New Year is approaching next week; we transition from the year of the Monkey into the year of the Rooster on February 28. I would like to add the following addition to my personal aspirations and share with you another of Neil Gaiman’s New Year Wish, which is:

“…I hope you will have a wonderful year, that you’ll dream dangerously and outrageously, that you’ll make something that didn’t exist before you made it, that you will be loved and that you will be liked, and that you will have people to love and to like in return. And, most importantly (because I think there should be more kindness and more wisdom in the world right now), that you will, when you need to be, be wise, and that you will always be kind.”

Blessings for the new year

King of My Heart

I met a man who made my soul dance on clouds in the moonlight, and in my complete submission, ruled my very being as I “crowned him with my heart”. I cannot help but to reference two songs by Sade, “Kiss of Life” and “Your Love is King” for the way I felt (and continue to feel), and a song which I have been listening to lately by Daiyan Trisha, called “Stargazing”, in which the lyrics are so poignantly perfect.

I never expected this to happen and yet it did, and this has made me grateful to God and the universe for the opportunity to meet this gentle, beautiful soul, and I want the world to know that D will be forever in my heart and mind.

I marvel at how we even met, how our paths crossed; such was an unconventional encounter that there were instances when I was doubtful to proceed for weeks and yet there was an inner voice in me that whispered, why not? I allowed myself to open up and trust this person completely, which is very uncharacteristic for those who know me well. In doing so, he shared much of himself, more so than I did him. There was no judgment between us, only tender understanding, passion and love.

My heart was heavy when I had to say good bye to D. We were on the sidewalk outside of my home, where his friend was waiting to drive him to the airport. He enveloped me in a tight hug and lifted me up so I could bury my face into his neck, to inhale his scent for the last time, and for one last kiss. He said that he would never forget me and my heart felt like it was going to burst into a million pieces.

How could I forget the aqua of his eyes, especially when they were burning into mine, dilated with desire? He has an easy smile, which deepened a dimple with a scar on his right cheek. Skin so firm and smooth, with parts textured with scarification and tattoos of mantras and mystic symbols. D was so matured and wise for his age, and with his newfound beliefs and yoga lifestyle, his calmness and self-possession infused into my own equanimity. It is hard to believe that he was born during my last semester in college. I wonder what he saw in me, and what effect I had on him.

If only he knew the depth of the impact he had on me. I did tell him how beautiful, sexy and incredible he was, and how he made me feel – something I consciously did often while we were together. Yet there were things left unsaid, like how he made me float on clouds of happiness for days after, how he managed to impart a deep sense of peace and serenity, and completely satiated an ardor beyond compare.

I wear his gift as a pendant, a vertebra of an unknown sea creature, which he had found a series of on the beach. To be honest, I am not sure how long I would wear it for; it will always remind me of him. Thank you, God, for the gift of D in my life, however brief and intense a time it was. I wish and pray for God to continue to watch over D, and Bless him abundantly always.

King of My Heart

Fabric of Life

A friend of mine (PL) recently gave me a keychain with a cute fabric elephant, a souvenir from her trip to Phuket from the Mayagotami Foundation. The tag said, “Saori weaving is pure improvisation from the heart, with no premeditated pattern in mind. Saori is profound inner journey yet we can enjoy it socially, working alongside Weave & Give”.

This led me to think about my own life, or rather myself as a piece of fabric, which is still a work in progress, so to speak. We go through life making choices on a daily basis, some big, some small. These choices impact our lives and others either directly or indirectly. Choices somehow shape who we are in terms of our character, and make us unique individuals. With every choice, we weave another string into the fabric of our being. I believe that the people we meet and let into our lives also contribute to the strings of our personal fabric, through experiences, shared memories and the way different people make us feel  – soft, hard, textured, sequined, beaded and in different colors.

At the core of it all, we are all special. Some of us are more quirky, creative, analytical, pragmatic, optimistic, sociable, fearless or reserved. I would like more of us recognize our own unique personal traits, accept them and embrace them. I have found greater acceptance of myself in the past few years; it took some time to build up this level of self confidence and I must admit that having a childhood in a loving, secure environment probably helped blessed me with this innate state of being. There have been times of adversity in my life; it is all relative when I compare what I have been through with so many others who have had to or are struggling with difficulties and challenges. However, looking back at how things have come to pass, I am grateful for these lessons in life and the opportunities they presented to make me assess who I am and what I capable of. Many of these experiences have reassured me that you are what you make for yourself, particularly in taking charge of your own happiness and self worth.

During difficult times, it may be very challenging to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many times I had asked myself whether it would get harder, how much more would my psyche or heart be able to take? I remember it felt like I was drowning in a pool of mud and there was no possibility of pulling my way out, when it just keeps sucking you in deeper. Screaming in an empty room for a sign. For some relief. Some miracle. Then the roar of silence and feeling that crushing weight of emptiness. Time would tick by. Hours would pass. Then days, then months. All this has tempered my own fabric; adversity had stretched it, but it was never torn.

I examine my own fabric of life and remind myself to be grateful. I am very grateful for the life that I have, for the family that I have, for my health, for all the blessings God gives, and for the friends who give so generously in friendship and touch my life in ways they may not realize, whether they are near or far. With the bad, there is good, and I have learnt to appreciate the latter and actively seek to weave more happiness, joy and love into my own fabric, and hopefully into the fabric of others.

What does your fabric look or feel like?

Fabric of Life

Family Who Matter

Who are the people most important in your life now?

For me, it is always my parents, who are extremely loving, supportive and understanding in everything that I do. Growing up, I was much closer to my father and I admit that I still enjoy typical first born privileges, being the proverbial apple of his eye. Going into adulthood, I developed a closer relationship with my mother, who understood me as a woman, and is able advise on matters which only mothers and women can relate to.

I speak to my parents often and we share what is happening in our lives almost on a daily basis. I seek their advice, enjoy listening to them recount what they do at home, what they are cooking, eating, which tv series they follow, what is growing in their abundant garden and the various activities they do with friends and family. My parents have a much more active social life than I do, and it amuses me to no end the dramas they encounter. Oh, such is life in a small town!

I cherish moments and experiences with my parents and for many years, we vacation as a family together, sharing the love for travel and an adventure for food. My parents are quite well traveled and have an uncanny ability to find excellent food in peculiar places or restaurants all over the world. Whenever they visit, they bring my favorite home cooked dishes, lovingly prepared, along with a multitude of foodstuff to wreck my diet. I happily indulge as food is part of the love they share with me.

During this particular time of ancestral remembrance and worship, I fondly remember the grandparents who are no longer with us. My paternal grandfather was a gentle quiet man, who loved orchids, played the saxophone and knew how to perfectly butter toast. My paternal grandmother was a strong woman to be reckoned with when she was around, an amazing cook who enjoyed sipping on brandy and smoking cigarettes right up to a ripe old age and was generally very domineering in life; I believe I inherited some of her dominant personality traits. My maternal grandfather was a towering figure (literally) who also enjoyed cooking, experimenting in the kitchen and was a strong, wise man with a good sense of humor.

While I was present at both my grandfathers’ funerals, I did not attend my paternal grandmother’s funeral as she passed on and is buried in Australia. I pray to them, with gratitude of the years of having known them, for giving me wonderful parents, and with the belief that their spirits are at peace, and that they continue to watch over us as our guardian angels.

I am blessed to have an adorable maternal grandmother, who is 95 and lives with my parents. She constantly frets over all of us and worries that I would never settle down to get married. One time years ago in an attempt to guilt trip, she started crying, telling me that I should get married so that a man would “take care of me”. I was so shocked that my singlehood affected her so much. I had to explain to her that getting married is not the ‘end all and be all’ of a woman’s life, and that there is much more to life than having a man define who I am.

Citing examples of people she knew who have been in abusive relationships, married to men who are useless (i.e. cheaters, gamblers, alcoholics, unambitious lackwits, spineless doormats), I managed to convince my grandmother that it is better off for me to be single and happy than be married and miserable. Nevertheless, she still grumbles on why I have to be so picky in choosing a life partner, which I laugh off in good humor. Sometimes I remind her that my father has set the bar so high, it is hard for any man to measure up.

With love and gratitude to family who matter, Amen.

Family Who Matter