Thursday, 28 October 2010

mandarin lake

yesterday i saw an old lady with a back so terribly hunched her head was touching her knees. she could only follow the gravel as she walked. i wondered how long since she last gazed at the sky. maybe that would be the least of her worries, with aches like that. sadness lumped in my throat, i felt embarrassed to witness the scene without lending help. she was enfeebled yet still hauling a huge cart of cardboard, presumably to sell. i wanted to be of use, but old people with cardboard in hong kong are gravely protective of their belongings.

having spent childhood walking from home to anywhere seeing poverty. children begging, mothers with babies begging, old people with their heads kowtowed to the ground begging. i use to wonder what spot i'd pick in the city if i had to beg for survival suddenly. while normally seeing these incidents would throw me into heartache, yesterday it kind of left me with a bittersweet feel. she had been doing something i didn't expect anyone of her physic to do. which made me realise, maybe i judged too early, maybe what i saw wasn't tragic, but another paradigm for encouragement, grit, courage, life. what's that line again... (and forgive me for quoting him):

because I am bigger than my body gives me credit for.

Monday, 25 October 2010

hong kong

every morning i wake up to the sound of heat stinging the windows. people always say they can't hear it but it sounds just like honeycombs crackling in a distant fire; the annoying adherence of my skin to my bed sheets, and the air conditioner so quietly whispering ‘enough… seriously’.

summer in hong kong feels wonderful. everyday the warmth of this air would wake me up before the sun got too high. i'd eat an icy pole every morning, the sugar would trickle down my hands and i'd have to lick it before it got sticky. i don't like it when it runs down to my elbows.

i have this map i've been keeping with me, it doesn't have streets but it does show all the islands. i have folded it a few too many times so some of the names are lost in the creases, but nonetheless it is still very helpful for a traveller. i don't like the giant maps that block paths from other people. the ones you see the adults in the family hold. they always try to match the street names, but it is silly because they often miss what's just around them.

today i realised: it wasn't summer anymore.

i have been calling my time ‘summer’ for almost two months after the beginning of autumn. time is amazing don't you think? sometimes they become our enemies, like when you are young and think the rain will never pass. you listen to your teacher in class, only to wonder whether the whole world has stopped moving, or if she is just really, really boring. other times they help us grow, to become better people, bigger dreamers, accomplished believers.

maybe i have been lost in time, if not completely. my time is counted by days. i think people keep track by banding them into weeks or months, but days are the best of times — so much can happen if you let it. so little can amount if you leave it. i have been whole-heartedly embracing each new sunrise. i envelop it no matter what light is being presented. i am not waking up to dreams coming true. in fact i feel like i am handed a blank canvas. every. single. day.

i don't want to receive a blank canvas everyday for the rest of my life, but i like the fact that right now, i can still take it hold it, and make what i will. maybe one day i will have enough colours to paint a van gogh. but right now i appreciate the few paint colours i do have. if i can't fix something the day before the next day i am given a new chance, and being able to step back and realise this has been so good for me. time passes differently for everyone.

i hope to get more paints for november though. maybe i can save a few canvases and make something prettier in the days and sunrises coming.