Sunday, 16 February 2014

信仰 XÌNYÂNG (Faith) 相信 XIÃNGXÌN (Believe)

A faithful heart makes wishes come true
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Sometimes I feel very conscious of how my blog posts have dwindled. Other times I think it a perfectly natural conclusion to having recruited my energy towards my Masters. Mostly I spend the hours writing or trying to write or thinking about writing…

Or I am immovably exhausted by the wolf, able only to lie down somewhere, anywhere, and sleep… and read… and sleep…

Sometimes I find myself running, with gritted teeth and fierce determination towards something, my writing contained in a book, and a destination that I must get to, or else have failed my quest…

Sometimes I worry about bills (so many bills!) -

Lately, I find myself thinking incessantly of a cat or a dog… last night I dreamt a dog found me, and I fed him two bananas. One firm and ripe which he ecstatically enjoyed. The other was a pathetic over-ripe specimen, the last of the old bunch. The dog munched it, hacked it up and gave me a withering look. Really? And you want me to stay with you

Even the dog in my dream thinks me hopeless - but I feel I have lived dogless for too long. I don't think I could be cat lady, having zero experience with their snooty ways - I might be too intimidated - but a dog? Even a snooty dog? I feel I could be ready…
                                 No? You think I should start with a hedgehog first?

Images from Hayao Miyazaki's Whisper of the Heart
and Darcy the Flying Hedgehog from pinterest

Sunday, 2 February 2014


I love environment

I can see a bird flying free in the blue sky

After the rain that washed everything new

Environment gives us oxygen and carbon dioxide

Birds are talking to us. 

This is a little group poem written in cahoots with three children from a Delhi slum - the wonders of Skype! They form part of an organisation called ROPIO - Reach Out and Pass It On - which aims to build a self-sustaining, empowering environment for children.
Subjects covered: Cricket (I wanted to know if there was an all-women's cricket team - there is)
Poetry: the name of one of the girls was Kavita, which means 'poem' in Hindi, so naturally yours truly assigned the task of co-writing a poem. I also sent them one of mine - about autumn breathing outside my window… I could hear them reading it aloud to one another before they approved of it :)

It is Chinese New Year and although there are no festive dragons or fireworks here in Cambridge, my year began with Rafi's angel voice on my phone belting out 'Gong Xi Fa Cai Auntie Shaiii!!' which, as you can imagine, I have replayed several times. It is a feather sent from a thousand li away and it never fails to cheer me.

The old woman remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a foolish sum. This bird, boasted the market vendor, was once a duck that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose, and now look!- it is too beautiful to eat. Then the woman and the swan sailed across an ocean many thousands of li wide, stretching their necks towards America…but when she arrived in the new country, the immigration officials pulled her swan away from her, leaving the woman fluttering her arms and with only one swan feather for a memory… Now the woman was old. For a long time now the woman had wanted to give her daughter the single swan feather and tell her, "This feather may look worthless, but it comes from afar and carries with it all my good intentions." 
Thus begins The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. I think about the feathers I am carrying for my nephew and nieces - some will appear worthless, and some may be misunderstood, but I shall carry my heart in them, and with it, all my good intentions.