Friday 30 December 2022


Is the year roaring to an end for you? Will it begin with a whimper?

Or are these anthropomorphic ideas of the tiger and the rabbit? Water tiger turns to water rabbit in a day. Or, more accurately, on January 22nd. I will be travelling on that day. I think that bodes well? A return home from faraway adventures. Air borne. Lupus in flight. 

It is two thirty am. I am eating a slice of chocolate cake - fudgy, the kind I love. The house is silent. Luckily, Milo, the Tayabali Tamaruke, is asleep behind a closed bedroom door. Would he have barked if he'd seen me? Or padded comfortably down with his nocturnal mate? He has slept in my bed, on my bed, for many nights this holiday. 

Oh, did I mention I am in Singapore as I type? I remember my first blog post about the big travels I (and Mum and Dad) made in 2010, for my younger brother's wedding. And then again, to visit my year old nephew. Time hasn't flown. It has grown. We have become more of ourselves. Some parts of our lives are weightier. Some parts baffling. I cried tears of loneliness tonight, even though I am surrounded by those I love. The human heart is a mysterious thing. Hence art. Hence poetry. Of which I have written so little, I'm unsure if I still qualify as Poet.

Qualify. That word is my nemesis. What am I qualified for? I recall at my university interview, the Head of the English department asking me why I wanted to do English at university. What's the point? he asked. And he wasn't even challenging me. He seemed to be in need of answers himself. Which annoyed me. I flashed altruistic reasons at him. The purpose of literature, the transformational nature of accurate, good journalism. The need for truth in a world of propaganda and prejudice. The power of persuasion in devious, megalomaniacal hands. I remember the professor's name was John. My youthful nature must have amused him. But now, looking back, I see how one can become tired and worn down by repetition and indifference. 

What am I trying to say? Oh yes. Qualifications. Success. And the stunning necessity of art, beauty and goodness to live alongside and within, and without. I have been blessed all my life to be surrounded by art, in every home. My parents' art in homes around the world. My siblings creating artful homes, which I want to enjoy forever. My eyes have troubled me this trip. New surroundings take a while to adjust to. Once the sun sets, I falter. But a helping hand has almost always been near. Can you qualify as a successful human being if you always need help? Thich Nhat Hanh would say yes. That is interdependence. I will be travelling home on the day Thây passed into continuation. There is significance in that. Perhaps.

I hope your last day of the calendar year 2022 has some joy and peace interwoven. And that our collective unknown 2023 ... well, what can we wish for? More green on earth. More ease after darkness. For our better natures to prevail. And for those who suffer, to have the possibility of play. To play again, someday.