An Open Letter to My 8-month-old Daughter

An Open Letter to My 8-month-old Daughter

Pick a flower on Earth and you move the farthest star.

Dearest Baby Lily,

The day you were born, a star in another galaxy shifted. Nothing seemed to have changed in our world. But yet, in every meaningful, mystical way, nothing could ever be the same again.

It was a terribly ordinary day in April. On our way to the hospital, the taxi driver was listening to some Mandarin FM chatter punctuated with terribly unsubtle ads. As I was suffering through my contractions while waiting for my cervix to dilate, I remember feeling a little let down because the hospital Subway had run out of peanut butter cookies.

That was it. The day my world shifted ever so imperceptibly and irrevocably on its axis.

I’m sure that in cubicles everywhere, no one even sneezed different. Nobody’s heart skipped a beat. No irate driver whose lane had just been cut felt the magic in the air.

Why am I writing this, baby girl? Because I want to tell you that some of the most extraordinary things in the world can seem so ordinary to the naked eye. Just like the day you arrived like an astronaut, an alien or a budding flower from another galaxy to light up my world.

You, whose little body fills up with so much personality each day that it periodically bursts forth in rippling laughter. You, who taught me everything I thought I knew but didn’t — love at first sight, all-encompassing love, how to throw my head back when I laugh, how to crinkle every inch of my face when I smile, how to sing out-of-tune lullabies when I’m nursing a cough, how to dance till I can’t catch my breath…

Why am I writing this, baby girl? Because as I see you learning to take your first fearless steps, I imagine the day you’ll spread your wings and go forth alone into this world – this wonderful, magical world; this (sometimes) unimaginative and unkind world.

I’m so excited for you, baby girl. But I’m also scared… scared that someday, you’ll want something that seems a little out of your reach, fall in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, or lose faith in something you’ve always thought you wanted. That the world might break your heart and your spirit. And, for a moment, you just might think you are (and life is) ordinary.

But if you could see yourself through my eyes, as you are today, chuckling uncontrollably on your baby mat, you will know that that can’t be true.

You, life, the entire universe you brought with you when you came to this world, is anything but ordinary. Even if I may not be around then to catch you, kiss you and rock you to sleep, you will always be my most beloved, beautiful little girl. Even when you can’t see it, like the stars, my love for you will follow you wherever you go.

And you will always be special, irreplaceable, un-dimmable, no matter what they say.

Lily, the day you were born, you moved the farthest star in another galaxy. Nothing will ever be the same again. Mummy was there, and I swear it’s true.

Dawn Song

Dawn Song

How should I describe the dawn, my love?
The secret space between today and tomorrow
Where you are wandering between worlds
Falling from level to level
Always further away from me

How should I measure that distance?
Between your automatic endearments
As we pursue the waking rituals
Which lead us from room to room
Always closer to resignation

And how should I honour the passing?
As the tide changes, and the dying die
And we stand by the door
Shifting from one goodbye to another
Always nearer the next dawn

P.s.: This is an old entry from my private blog…

Also read: An Old Love Letter

Pix from mycolourfuldaze.blogspot.com
Pix from mycolourfuldaze.blogspot.com

What My Chihuahua Taught Me About Making Small Talk

What My Chihuahua Taught Me About Making Small Talk

Another one from my Chihuahua Series. As you can tell, I can’t draw, and my sexy women’s legs look like they’ve been twisted in a fall. But my own overweight chihuahua insists that underdogs have voices too, and that they deserve to be heard as much as anybody else. And I’m just trying to be a good mummy to her even though she always tells me I’m full of shit.
On that note, happy weekend-socialising!

Chi ST 1

Chi ST 2

Chi ST 3

For more chihuahua rants here: Monday Blue Pooches

An Old Love Letter

Do you cringe when you read your old diary entry? I usually do – time helps me to look at the old me through detached eyes, and I often see the absurdity of the situation.
But when I dug up this old poem I wrote many years ago, 
the feeling is still so strangely familiar… Do you ever feel this way?
Photo taken in Greece
Photo taken in Greece

POEM

In the mornings
When the air is damp
With so many ambivalent tears
Which you blot out
With a shrug
And automatically adjust
A face of pleasant indifference
Do you remember me?

In the afternoons
The air thin
As if sucked out
Of a bright yellow vacuum
And you breathe hard
Through lips thick with
The sticky taste of decay
Do you miss me?

And in the evenings
All the world
Heaving anonymously
Under the weight
Of time and memory
And necessary shopping bags
Which graze your legs
And you smile patiently
Have you forgiven me?

A Passing Memory

A Passing Memory

Many years ago, I was assigned to write a story on a hospice for a small Singapore-based health magazine.

The PR person for the hospice scheduled me to interview two patients, both of whom seemed happy enough to spend one precious day in the last days of their lives sharing their life story with me.

On the day of the interview, I came down with a bad cold. I didn’t want to infect terminally ill patients so I rescheduled the interview. When I called back a few days, I was told that one of my interviewees had passed away from complications.

So I did my interview with just one patient who was down with 4th stage lung cancer that had spread to the bones. I only remember that throughout the interview, she kept telling me, with a brittle smile, a hoarse voice and a twinkle in her eye, that she knew she’d be well and home with her family by Christmas.

She passed away a couple of weeks after.

                                                                                                        —–

At that time, I was very affected by this. I was not quite sure if I was inspired or simply depressed.

Because of a common cold, I lost the opportunity to meet a dying man with a story to tell. The woman who I did speak to was frail as a leaf, but so tenaciously optimistic – a poster girl for infinite human capacity to hope. And if that wasn’t enough irony and pathos, why would two people on the brink of death chose to spend their most treasured time speaking to an utter stranger when two years ago, they might not have spared me the time of day if I passed them on the streets.

Having said that, I really don’t want to milk this experience for moral summaries or trite truisms.

It was, as I told it.
It moved me and shifted the course of my life forever (if only by a micro-inch) – just like all the people we’ve met, books we’ve read, movies we’ve watched, places we’ve been to… everything that left a lump in our throat.

I’m starting this blog because I believe that extraordinary and ordinary inspirations happen every single day. And I don’t want to miss them.