Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blind yet seeing

Eight more days to go.
Hand aches from scribbling.

NYTimes reports research on how the brain seems to have the ability to physically "see" - a man, blinded by stroke, navigates an obstacle course successfully. Amazing.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Details in the fabric

By Jason Mraz

Calm down
Deep breaths
And get yourself dressed instead
Of running around
And pulling all your threads and
Breaking yourself up

If it's a broken part, replace it
But, if it's a broken arm then brace it
If it's a broken heart then face it

And hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your own name
And go your own way

And everything will be fine

Hang on
Help is on the way
Stay strong
I'm doing everything

Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way
Hold your own
Know your name
And go your own way

And everything, everything will be fine

Are the details in the fabric
Are the things that make you panic
Are your thoughts results of static cling?

Are the things that make you blow
Hell, no reason, go on and scream
If you're shocked it's just the fault
Of faulty manufacturing

Everything will be fine
Everything in no time at all

Friday, December 19, 2008



The year ends
The new beckons

Faith and fear
Fresh and familar

What gives?
What's next?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Bankruptcy is the father of confession

Library II by Hong Kyoung Tack

Faith, Circumstances.
Fears, Character.
Frustrations, Confession.
Forgiveness, Communication.
Father, Confide.
Foolishness, Courage.
Face, Covering.

Friday, December 12, 2008


Brush (2008) by Lee Jung Woong - a painting within a painting?

Fly Away Home No. 6 by Yim Tae Kyu - what see you?

Chanced upon the Korean Art exhibition at SAM, was a welcome end to a Friday. The exhibition theme? Modern transcendence qua east meets west. Thought one of Lee's painting (not shown here) was a rather powerful capture of motion - of a still brush over spreading ink. Was struck by how Park Seo Bo so intricately created parallel lines of paper onto the canvas - he aims for the ultimate emptying out of himself. Very zen huh?

Strangers spotted along the streets:
- European man, angry, shouting and flinging his textbook onto the ground while walking off SMU campus. He must have failed his exams.
- 2 Malaysian Chinese girls, chatting excitedly about hair care and hair salons
- Singaporean Chinese guy, scolding someone over the phone, probably did something wrong though clear instructions were given

Someone spilled his marriage story and his past party lifestyle to me over lunch today. How to relate and how to encourage, one wonders.

Finally, a thought that occurred to me while swimming laps: What measure gives the strength of a man? Oh yes, size matters- the size of his shoulders, for his ability to carry others through life. And with responsibilities and social/emotional dependents, this man can't be in perpetual solitude. But befriend, understand and strengthen, he ought to.


Thursday, December 11, 2008


Sunday, December 07, 2008

5h09m with old pal

Marathon 2008 report:
  • This being 2nd marathon, was a lot more relaxed and didn't over-hydrate or over-deepheated

  • No extreme thigh and calf cramps incapacitating further running but a curious tightness in the right glut (went away after roadside stretch)

  • Great running company made for actually enjoyable run albeit last 2km seemed a real killer

  • Slight chafing (not telling where) and nowhere else thank goodness

  • Next day was able to move about relatively freely and even do some chirpy emcee-ing

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

choose life

In or out,
here or there,
it's now or never.

Here, there, everywhere,
for it is according to what one has,
and not what one does not...
only if there is first a willing mind.

Positive, negative,
pessimist, optimist,
life, death,
zero, sub-zero.

What?? The substance of things hoped for?

Choose life, or else choose the other.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don't be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand... That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.

Philippians 2:4,13 (MSG)

It's an awful feeling choosing not to lend any more money to someone who can't seem to fend for himself. Yet it seems enough is enough. All one can do now is pray...

More colorful doodling ensues... let the juices - or pastels in this case - flow.

The day is far spent


Awful feeling...

Let each of you esteem and look upon and be concerned for not [merely] his own interests, but also each for the interests of others... [Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Philippians 2:4,13 (AMP)

It's an awful feeling choosing not to lend any more money to friend who repeatedly borrowed money and can't seem to take care of himself. Yet it seems "enough is enough" and there's nothing else one can do except pray.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Let down your guard

"Where Do We Go From Here" (2008) by Tim Rollins and Kids of Survival

Who am I?

Why am I here?

What am I doing?

Why are you here?

Is what I'm doing of any good?

Why am you still here?

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Ed needs inspiration

Sleepiness, weariness, heedless.

Routineness, expressionless, directionless.

Naffness, laffness, mirthness.

Fearless, joyous, peace-ness.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lessons in Leadership

1. Details determine destiny. Familarity breeds complacency.

2. Win over your people and that's probably half the battle won.

3. Lead by example, else you have no moral standing.

4. Address situations and attitudes on the spot.

5. Believe in self, after all, you're appointed by Him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

silence that echoes

Daphnis & Chloe: Frontis Piece by Marc Chagall

Question: Where was Adam when Eve ate of the apple?

If he wasn't around, there's a problem. Or if he was around, now there's a bigger problem. His silence has echoed through the decades of the centuries.

Today, many men are not assuming their positions as fathers. If he's absent, the child is affected. But if he's present yet not carrying influence, the damage is worse.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Let it flow

a la color doodles

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Tempted to cuss... Yet, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, says He.

Battling tigers of the mind- there they are! Prowling, growling, fouling-

Perhaps, per chance, perceive- more wisdom one needs.

The muscle of determination- contracting, stretching, now stiffening.

Suck in the guts, boy!

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Paying Back and Doing Good

陈嘉庚 Tan Kah Kee (1874-1961)和李光前 Lee Kong Chian (1893-1967)集企业家、商业巨子和慈善家于一身,其臻于至善的一生,在过去的百余年间对新加坡影响至深。陈嘉庚是一名民族主义者,坚信惟有教育和现代化方能为中国带来富强和昌盛。李光前则秉承了陈嘉庚促进教育的宏愿,在新加坡走向建国之时,慷慨资助国家的教育事业和其他社会之需,其仁者风范在新加坡社会堪称楷模。

Two great men of initially humble backgrounds-one an apprentice in a rice mill, the other juggling jobs as teacher/translator/surveyor. Yet they were willing to work hard, possessed prudent and effective business sense, and most of all, had a lifelong passion for education and paying back to society.

Tan Kah Kee seemed particularly perceptive: "Our land is still plagued by cumulative evils of autocratic rule, incomplete development of a republican system, inadequate education of the population, and underdevelopment of local industries. The improvement of these four facets relies exclusively on higher education and specialised knowledge."

Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and to sow seeds that will profit countless generations to come.

Check out the exhibition at National Library: http://www.thelegacy.nl.sg

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Vision without technique is blind

Keep on asking and it will be given you;
keep on seeking and you will find;
keep on knocking [reverently]
and [the door] will be opened to you.

For everyone who keeps on asking receives;
and he who keeps on seeking finds;
and to him who keeps on knocking,
[the door] will be opened.
Matthew 7:7-8 (Amplified Bible)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Do the unusual

For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. ~Romans 10:10

What do you see? What do you hear?

What do you want? What do you desire?

Speak it. See it. Do the unusual.

Thursday, October 30, 2008


After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven. And the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet speaking with me, saying, “Come up here, and I will show you things which must take place after this.”
Revelation 4:1
Was off in China last week, so no email/blog/MSN/facebook/news etc... Woohoo!

Was impacted by how hungry the local people are, not for food, but for spiritual nourishment. And was amazed at how He's with you as long as you're willing to try. And no doubt this applies to everything in life, be it leading in music, speaking in a less comfortable language, doing something new...

What do I see? Love, full in eager hearts waiting to be filled... Lives, full of potential waiting to be released... Leaders, full of futures waiting to be realised.

Truly, all things work together for good to those who love Him. Gotta keep on keeping on :)

Friday, October 17, 2008

If you're into it


Thursday, October 16, 2008

ready, steady

A steady aim, a strong ram,
it's a whack to nail it home!

Faith, confidence and focus,
brings one right on target.

Yet lack thereof,
leaves only wavering and lingering.

Sticks and stones may break bones,
but words and wins will surely build.

Steady, ready, matey go!
And on and on, it goes and grows.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

be harry

One wonders if both feelings of being dead sure and being hopelessly in love will ever coincide.

*whistles* it had to be yooouuu...

You know, the passionate pursuit of that which presses the heart no end. The ponderous portion which provides purpose and sometimes perplexity. The precious that one cannot pretend to live without.

Ok, this is plain prattling, isn't it?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Tanned and Tranned

Highlights from Bintan:
- Swimming in the clear blue sea, especially amidst rain
- Finishing My Friend Leonard (who reminds me of Robert De Niro)
- Chilling with cool friends over good food
- Enjoying activities I normally wouldn't do (laser quest & ATV)

What a well-taken break :)

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Expect Something

18 March 1965: Russian astronaut Alexei Arkhipovich Leonov becomes the first man to walk in space

Then Jesus said to the officer, "You may go home now. Your faith has made it happen." Right then his servant was healed. (Matthew 8:13 CEV)

Friday, October 03, 2008

I'm Not Crying

I Want to Stay with the Tree

"Joseph" 11yo, child abuse victim

Do you know how much I long,
For your one word of praise?
Yet everything I did was wrong.
I hear your voice blaring in my face,
The one who loved me was gone.

Oh how I yearned for your touch,
When my body hurts so,
You turned away, didn’t bother much,
My eyes traced your steps, my pain untold,
As you drift’d off with a shrug.

If you can’t have me,
I want to stay with the tree.
Let me go far far away,
I will find a place.
A bright, magical one,
with butterflies dancing in the sun.

How can I talk to you, like…
Before? You’d smiled at me.
When I could sit close by your side,
As you read out stories of Winnie.
And then you kissed me goodnight.

What are they asking me now?
I don’t want to think, please...
But I want it to stop somehow,
God, take me out of these miseries!
I want to shout it out loud!

Don’t you know I still want you?
Just can’t find words to say.
My real needs, if only you knew.
For you to accept me I will pray.
I wish you’ll know how I feel.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Harpsical whims

Joanna Newsom - Peach Plum Pear


We've seen those mountains kneeling, felten and grey
We thought our very hearts would up and melt away
From that snow in the nighttime
Just going
And going
And the stirring of wind chimes
In the morning
In the morning
Helps me find my way back in
From the place where I have been

And, Emily - I saw you last night by the river
I dreamed you were skipping little stones across the surface of the water
Frowning at the angle where they were lost, and slipped under forever
In a mud-cloud, mica-spangled, like the sky'd been breathing on a mirror

Anyhow - I sat by your side, by the water
You taught me the names of the stars overhead that I wrote down in my ledger
Thoough all I knew of the rote universe were those pleiades loosed in december
I promised you I‘d set them to verse so I'd always remember



1. intense, driving, or overmastering feeling or conviction
2. a strong liking or desire for or devotion to some activity, object, or concept
3. the sufferings of Christ between the night of the Last Supper and his death

It oft elude, that passion of old... or did it?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Giver Remembered

Paul Newman (1925-2008) well-known for his legendary roles in Hollywood, also remembered for his incredible giving to charity and the arts - more than $250M in all.

Paul Newman on acting:
Study your craft and know who you are and what’s special about you. Find out what everyone does on a film set, ask questions and listen. Make sure you live life, which means don’t do things where you court celebrity, and give something positive back to our society.

His characters were often of a lone man, fighting the impossible fight against the odds. Even if the fight was ultimately unsuccessful, his refusal to back down ensured he'd always be a winner in the audience's eyes.

See BBC News for more.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Do what is right because it is right

Postwar study of Iwo Jima battle: Seeing that it was impossible to conduct our air, sea, and ground operations on Iwo Jima toward ultimate victory, it was decided that in order to gain time necessary for the preparation of the Homeland defence, our forces should rely solely upon the established defensive equipment in that area, checking the enemy by delaying tactics... It was a most depressing thought that we had no available means left for the exploitation of the strategical opportunities which might from time to time occur in the course of these operations.

I have never experienced hopelessness. I have never been driven to desperation. I have never had to cling on to dear life.

But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.
Matthew 13:20-21

We're at peace and yet ever at war. An actively fighting spirit is what a man ought to have. After all, all men will die, but how many dare live?

Monday, September 22, 2008

World Peace

An ideal perhaps naive, yet a hope for things unseen.

International Peace Day, Kabul, September 21, 2008

Injured woman calling, Georgia, August 9, 2008 (NDP remember?)

Victory celebration process, Jammu, August 31, 2008

Flood refugees, Nepal, August 24, 2008

Pictures courtesy of Reuters

Sunday, September 21, 2008

choice begets choice

Father & Son

Freedom of choice is what all of us desire. Interestingly, choosing another's will over one's desires breeds purpose - and usually increased choices later on :)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Father, Son

Obama and Senior

Now we are no longer slaves but God's own sons. And since we are his sons, everything he has belongs to us, for that is the way God planned. (Galatians 4:7)

A son bears the imprint of the father - even if absent. Yet there is a process of willing adoption and acceptance.

In his book, James Frey found himself adopted by Leonard, who somehow had the knack for knowing what he was going through and what he needed, despite his past abuses with alcohol and drugs and his near depressive state.

Many accounts abound, of talented and achieving people who caught something from their dads - even women do.

Guess that explains the yearning for a father, friend and mentor.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Diary of an Old Soul

The world's smallest man joins the woman with the longest legs in the world to mark the launch of a new Guinness Book of World Records in London's Trafalgar Square.

A dim aurora rises in my east,
Beyond the line of jagged questions hoar,
As if the head of our intombed High Priest
Began to glow behind the unopened door:
Sure the gold wings will soon rise from the gray!--
They rise not. Up I rise, press on the more,
To meet the slow coming of the Master's day.

Sometimes I wake, and, lo! I have forgot,
And drifted out upon an ebbing sea!
My soul that was at rest now resteth not,
For I am with myself and not with thee;
Truth seems a blind moon in a glaring morn,
Where nothing is but sick-heart vanity:
Oh, thou who knowest! save thy child forlorn.


How many helps thou giv'st to those would learn!
To some sore pain, to others a sinking heart;
To some a weariness worse than any smart;
To some a haunting, fearing, blind concern;
Madness to some; to some the shaking dart
Of hideous death still following as they turn;
To some a hunger that will not depart.


Go, my beloved children, live your life.
Wounded, faint, bleeding, never yield the strife.
Stunned, fallen-awake, arise, and fight again.
Before you victory stands, with shining train
Of hopes not credible until they are.
Beyond morass and mountain swells the star
Of perfect love--the home of longing heart and brain

From A Book of Strife, in the Form of the Diary of an Old Soul (1880) by George MacDonald (1824 - 1905)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

take risks

After a long absence, the master of those three servants came back and settled up with them. The one given five thousand dollars showed him how he had doubled his investment. His master commended him: "Good work! You did your job well. From now on be my partner."

The servant given one thousand said, "Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless ways, that you demand the best and make no allowances for error. I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place and secured your money. Here it is, safe and sound down to the last cent."

The master was furious. "That's a terrible way to live! It's criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least? The least you could have done would have been to invest the sum with the bankers, where at least I would have gotten a little interest.

"Take the thousand and give it to the one who risked the most. And get rid of this 'play-it-safe' who won't go out on a limb. Throw him out into utter darkness."

Matthew 25:19-30 (The Message)

changing changes to change change

HRM Singapore on making room for change:

We need to change the way we think about change. Sustained change may begin with actions, checklists, and tools, but must evolve to adopt a fundamentally different identity. Rather than think about change tools or programs, we should be thinking about changing identities...

Change requires letting go of an old identity. To forgo and let an old identity die requires clarity about what has to change, candor about the need for change, and courage to make the change happen...

Sustained change takes time. But actions that sustain change may be done in predictable ways. Leaders may follow a four 3s methodology to help move people from desiring a change to actually doing it.

· 3 hours: What can I do in the next three hours to make progress on this initiative?
· 3 days: What can I do in the next three days to make progress on this initiative?
· 3 weeks: What can I do in the next three weeks to sustain progress on this initiative?
· 3 months: What can I do in the next three months to demonstrate progress on this initiative?

The four 3s allow leaders to make sure that the change starts now, but continues. It allows leaders to have a dialogue with those in change to see if the change is actually occurring in short, specific ways that lead to longer term success.

Friday, September 12, 2008

that evanescent grip

Alison Rich tells BBC: What about if you have to speak to someone new who has a disfigurement, how should you react? Where should you look? Look them in the eye, but gently. If you find this hard at first then look at the bridge of their nose, it has the same effect. Shake their hand if appropriate, smile, nod your head in acknowledgement of their presence. Be sensitive to their cues - do they radiate confidence, fragility or sadness, are they in a hurry?

What should you say? How about "Hello." Sometimes it's a simple as that, talk about the weather, the price of petrol, how crowded the train is - as you would with anyone else. If you know the person and they have recently acquired a disfigurement, you could say that you're sorry they've been unwell or had an accident and ask them how they are.

Question: not-so-good circumstances equal bad luck?

The idea of luck, probability and random circumstances should be incongruous with the idea that a superior supernatural being governs all natural events.

So when a bad thing happens to a good man, what do we say that it is?

When a righteous man is rewarded with prosperity which blesses his lineage, i.e. that his later generations are blessed, that be good circumstances? Or not?

Conversely, a man born into poorer circumstances finds it harder to break out of his poverty. Is it plain bad luck?

What are the ultimate determinants of success in life? Is luck or circumstance one of them?

But there's no doubt that God's sovereign and in ultimate control... yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live (1 Corinthians 8:6)

Many things we fail to understand. Trust me, He says.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Grow old with you?

Got off the bus today and saw an old lady pulling out a paper cup from the dustbin. Putting it to her mouth, she drank from it without hesitating.

Had to turn away, was too much to bear.

I thought, give her money. But feet kept moving and lost sight of her. How much to give, would it really make any difference?

Shortly after 5 meters, I stopped and back-tracked. But she was gone.

Etched in my mind, this image will be...

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

just do it

Yoda says, do or do not.

Gotta do it to do it.