Sunday, May 27, 2012

let me tell you this

  Lately, I've been feeling my insides stirring again. I'm getting a little restless, my heart has grown and so has my soul, and this current reality which I'm living feels like an old shirt which is starting to fit a little too tightly.  For that very reason, I know that huge changes are coming soon -what it is I'm not specifically sure yet but seeing how it's a journey, I'm planning to find out.

  I have also been having inspiration roll in like bowling balls, hitting all the right targets in me so to stir me up. One of this includes discovering a poem I had once read on a train which had been converted into a cafe while I was on a holiday. I remember being a little puzzled by it then, but I guess that I'd never really forgotten it for it was recently when I realised that I now truly know what it means and so I went in search of it. I found out that its author is someone called Kahlil Gibran, and in the same way in which I had discovered Rumi, his writings immediately resonated with me so there wasn't much more I could do other than to put him on my list of people who inspire me.
  It is incredible how I have made this discovery. Not just the one above, but one day it registered in me that most (if not all) of my strengths, the things that I had the most confidence in doing and know how to do the best, are all things that I have learnt up on my own. The things which have been of the most use and meanings to me are all self-taught; none from the institution (or as I call 'robot churning factory') of schooling.
  My parents taught me how to read. They read to me before the start of my memory, until around I was four or five, when I started reading on my own -and have since never stopped. Then I started writing on my own (one of my first memories of it being a page's diary of a Sunday afternoon) around five or six. Written words have always been my biggest, most consuming love, and it still is. Nevertheless, I believe that I became interested in photography around fourteen. I did not have a camera of my own then, and only received a five megapixels point-and-shoot a year or two later -which I used to shoot quite literally everything. It's been quite a long journey, although at times it doesn't feel entirely like it and I just want to be better so badly it consumes me. Then, here's one which I don't bring up as often, or rather, hardly at all. It is spirituality, or religion, or to me -how to live. I wasn't brought up in a religious family (something which I'm really thankful of right now) and so had never really known much about it. I was taught 'morals', and how to read. I remember a teacher I had in high school who told us that we should spend our lives looking for the 'true religion', the one with the 'truest teachings' and then follow that. I wondered about that back then; however, I have come to learn that there isn't a 'truest religion'. No one religion owns god. God is everywhere, in everything and your heart (where even this words are just pointers. They mean nothing until you discover the place which they point to.) is the best guidance. It was in my search of ways to achieve a dream back then when I stumbled upon all these great truths that other great people back in history have discovered and shared. It is from those understandings which I have learnt the truths of the universe -which most people are unaware about even though they themselves are it- as well as ways to live. I don't need to be taught them, for I actively seek them out and they come.

  Now, back to the main purpose of this post. Here is the poem as mentioned above, and a bit of ramble I poured out the other day when I was all fired up (it wasn't in the best way then, but well, I created something which might inspire you so here it is).

On Children

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
Which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterdays.

You are the bows from which your children 
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.
 Kahlil Gibran

  If you have dreams, desires, wishes, wants, anything which you love at all and you have for some tragic reason not pursued it, GO. Go and do it! If you want to dance, go; if you want to sing, go; if you want to write, by all means pick up a pen, pick up any stray piece of paper and write on there! If you don't know how to do them yet, if you think you will never be able to play the piano for the simple reason that you don't know how right now, go and learn. Do anything which brings you closer, which makes you the more you whom you want to be.

  And I'm telling you here right now, if you have these unfulfilled wishes, and are not willing to truly go after them, Do Not ever expect your children to fulfil them for you. Your children are not you. They came to this form through you, but they have their own wants, which may be different from yours. It annoys me more than anything else in the world to hear friends say things like, 'I've always wanted to learn ballet, but I didn't/my parents didn't send me for lessons when I was younger/any other excuse, so I'm going to make my daughter learn it in the future.' It's even worse when they say that their own parents said that and expected that of them.

  What happened to unconditional love? Un-conditional. No conditions. You love them regardless of anything. I've heard of parents who think of their children as 'failures' just because they didn't get the results they wanted them to, didn't take up a degree in medicine or engineering or law... And you still dare to say that 'no matter what, I still love them'. Do the children know? How would they know if they don't feel it?

  If you don't really go after what you want, it probably means that you couldn't have want it that much after all. It means precisely that, because if you'd really want it that bad, no excuse at all would have been able to block you. And one of the only differences between people who live in the best way possible and those who don't is that the former takes complete responsibility for their lives (and also, open-mindedness and wisdom). Those with the knowledge that everything is a choice, every single thing down to the thoughts that orbit in their head, will make things happen rather than complain about whatever is happening.

  Let me tell you this. Your desires are your own, and yours only. Others have their own, respect that. And remember that your happiness is also your very own responsibility; nobody can make you happy or upset without your consent.

  I write this not so much for my parents, but for my friends (as well as a reminder to myself). Those who will someday have younglings of their own. I hope you see truth in this and allow those whom you bring into this world live.

Here I send you much love, courage and support.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

underground stories.

Solemn faces. I was paradoxically reminded of the two laughing girls on yesterday's tube. From the way they acted, I presumed that they were sisters, or at the very least, cousins. But if in some weird worldly situation and they were neither, they were probably soul sisters.

The girl on the right had darker hair, and seemed to be telling the other something, to which she herself laughed too. The other, who was blond and had a black pin in her hair, laughed too, and then she leaned over onto her sister. This was such a refreshment from the usual poker faces, mine then included. I'd been tired and though I usually don't mind smiling at strangers, I just couldn't seem to find the strength then. 

I was in London last Christmas, and that definitely wasn't the nicest time to visit London. The timetables of the tubes were all rather messed up, that is if they weren't entirely closed. I guess one could say it was experience though.

Somewhere along the seat across where I sat, there was a young lady reading a christmas card. It said 'let it snow' on the cover. When she had finished, I watched to see a smile, like I would after reading something like that. Then there it was. A faint one, but I was pretty sure it happened. She fumbled for the opening of the envelope, and slipped her card back in when she found it.

Beside her, a woman was trying to untangle her purple earphones. I noticed that she had a chunky gold ring on the brown right ring finger of hers, and plasters around her thumb.

Passing overgrowths and red bricks. Above ground trains. There was another young lady sitting opposite me, her eyes drawn up at the tips with black and shiny baby blue. I thought she looked somewhat like a doll, and peeped at her every once in a while. She busied herself, ears clogged up with Apple's signature white earphones and never once looked at me.

One of my favourite quotes on an advertisement board.

early May.

Just a few pictures I thought I would share. :)

Film Society's first formal.

I'm not really good at partying and I would much rather have been outside on a photo-shoot or something, but it was nice dressing up and apparently, the event was a success. I didn't take many photos though, and I also left early. Guess I'll never be conventional, and rather thankfully so too.

 It was also my friend's birthday a week ago. Around twenty of us went to this Japanese restaurant for dinner as a celebration. 

I hope to have more interesting posts soon.

Sunday, May 13, 2012


  Once in a while, I vaguely remember the times back when I would have some of these people I looked up too (or rather, deemed 'cool' back then) whom I wished I could be close friends with so that we could do fun stuff together, but at the same time, also kind of relied on luck or chance to get us together and that being said, it hardly ever happened. It wasn't until I realised that if I couldn't be close friends with them, why not be someone I would admire instead. And so I began living life in ways which me myself would be proud of, and not constantly trying to compare it to others.

  Now, I'll tell you why this way of living works so much better and brings so much more peace. Firstly, I remember reading this from a motivational book. It said, what others think of you is none of your business. It is true, because the only thing that matters is what you think of yourself for that will show through all your modes of expression. I don't give much attention to these people, but there are these who would go all the way to hate someone out of pure jealousy because the one they hate is striving and the former feels like they are not. I often wonder, of all that time they waste, they could have instead used it to work on themselves, better themselves. I finally truly get it now, what my father had always used to tell me and my sister: if you do not have anything nice to say, don't say anything. The universe is filled with such a range and variety of things, and it is absolutely okay that we wouldn't like everything. But every once in a while, we come across things which speak to our eyes and heart. Acknowledge those. You don't have to care much for the rest. Send love to the ones that you love and rest at that.

  I do not tolerate or care for jealousy, whether you are my lover, friend, someone who likes my work or even someone who just knows one thing about me. Anyone can be great; go and work on yourself, practice dedication, burn your passion, learn, vibrate love to all. And that's the only thing I feel like I have a responsibility for others. If you've noticed, I only share love, care, happiness and all that is good (except for perhaps one or two jokes. Which we create space for, don't we?). It isn't like I don't have my down days, I do. I just choose not to publish and spread them all over the place. I would rather build nice things and allow others to gain from it.

  Anyway, I have this simple handwritten poster on my room wall which serves to remind me: be someone you are proud of! I work towards that, I always do. It is all the reason why I have principles, so even with my very open mind (for learning and learning and learning), I know what I want and stand for it. Even if it means standing alone.
  Go create the life of your dreams. You will need all your time for that.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

blue hedges

"We grow great by dreams. All big men are dreamers. They see things in the soft haze of a spring day or in the red fire of a long winter's evening. Some of us let these great dreams die, but others nourish and protect them; nurse them through bad days till they bring them to the sunshine and light which comes always to those who sincerely hope that their dreams will come true."
—Woodrow T. Wilson

Live young. Keep your dreams fresh, for it's the only thing we live for.

I remember telling this friend of mine while we were out shooting this set, that I kind of wanted to create a Facebook page to help get my work out there, but also doubting it at the same time -I was worried about seeming pretentious or something. However, she totally did not see it that way, and told me instead that if it's what I love, I should go ahead with it.
So, I would also like to take a minute here to thank all those who support me, especially my friends. I made a new Facebook page just recently for me to publish my work in a proper place rather than just mixing them all in with personal pictures like birthdays and all. Seeing the audience building is a very gratifying business, especially when for now, they are all mostly my friends. I imagine it reaching hundreds, thousands and more, and think about then when it would probably be impossible keep track of all the people; and now, just one extra friend liking it means so much to me and even more so knowing that it's out of pure sincerity. Which is precisely the reason why I'm not sending out messages to everyone on my friend list, posting links on their walls, or even directly asking them to like the page. I've realised that it isn't the number of people you have on a 'fan list', but actually producing quality work -which I am striving so much for- and the people would come. 

The whole process of photography makes me so happy. Thank you so much for willingly being my audience.

Much love,

Friday, May 4, 2012

Ten Lessons from Einstein:

1. Be curious.
"I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious."

2. Persevere.
"It's not that I'm so smart; it's just that I stay with problems longer."

3. Focus on the present.
"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."

4. Imagine.
"Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life's coming attractions. Imagination is more important than knowledge."

5. Fail.
"A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new."

6. Don't waste the present thinking of the future.
"I never think of the future - it comes soon enough."

7. Aim to help.
"Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value."

8. Learn from your mistakes.
 "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

9. Knowledge comes as you live.
"Information is not knowledge. The only source of knowledge is experience."

10. Learn the rules, play better.
 "You have to learn the rules of the game. And then you have to play better than anyone else." 

*text via.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

who said normal?

book owl.

One of my first attempts at self-portraiture with some of my favourite things in the world. And yes, I do tend to read upside down.