An Ode to my Piano

Dear One,

It’s been more than a decade since we first met but honestly, you’re in my earliest recollections of childhood, I can’t remember a time when i did not have you in my life.

I remember being excited on my first piano lesson at Symphony Music School @ the old CWP and in the following months, being so eager to get home to you to practice ‘A Dozen A Day’ and John Thompson’s.

I remember practicing my grade 1 A:1 piece, ‘Sarabande’ and it was my very first favorite song. I can still remember the tune clearly today, thanks to you.

I remember very vividly the day i came home after piano lesson to practice triads for the very first time, i thought I was becoming pro. silly little me

You grew with me, sitting in the corner of the hall, faithfully accompanying me at every daily practice session.

I remember as I stepped into youthhood, venting my frustrations out on you, playing ‘Danza de la Moza Donosa’ by Alberto Ginastera in the most ungraceful, forceful way.

I remember crying on you mere hours before my grade 8 practical exam because that morning my fingers couldn’t seem to perfect the trills for A:1.

I remember the feeling of accomplishment each time i tried out the few bars of what i composed for grade 8 theory (though my compositions were never that great).

You’ve watched me grow, witnessed my terrible days and my on top of the cloud days.
You’ve brought me only more growth and so much joy with every hour I spent together with you.
You’ve shaped me in more ways than you can ever imagine, you were with me when no one understood why trills were so hard to play with stiff morning wrists.

Thank you for the years of love and happiness and laughter you’ve brought to me, my family and my friends.

Thanks to you, my practices have led me this far.
Thank you for never letting me down, for never letting me go away sad and I promise I’ll keep stepping upwards.

You’ve grown old with me and now it’s time to say good bye.

Thank you for being my first real piano, for sticking by me through so much tears and pain, for being a comforting constant in my life.

You’ve served me well.

It’s 2.00pm, the movers have come.

My heart is swelling with emotions.

So now, dear one, it’s time for you to go make some other place better and I hope you fill their house and hearts with the same happiness and gentle, faithful love you’ve given me for all this while.

Lovingly yours,
Joanna Tan.

 

 

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was blind but now i see

Some things ‘happened’ and having time to reflect and re-focus my view on my Christian life changed me, a rebel, to lay down my arms, to follow Christ, to desire to be changed into Christ-likeness. 

I have changed.

I want to live in a way that just by my behaviour and manner of life, people will take note that I have been with Jesus. I want to live to bring glory to my Saviour in everything I do.
I want to daily pursue the One who loved me and gave Himself for me.

My new journey has just begun but already I feel lonely.

like I am alone in all that I think and feel now.

The ones I called my closest friends and the ones that I felt I loved best ridicule me. To a certain extent, they think I’m crazy. They pity me for choosing this boring path of life. Maybe they even dislike me now.

I don’t want to be in the company of friends that have no fear of God. I no longer wish to spend time with people that claim to know God but whose actions deny Him. // Titus 1:16

It’s not that I dislike my friends. In fact, I now wish to spend time with them but to talk to them about the things of God.

And if I don’t want to hang with them, it’s just that there are no common interests/ factors anymore.
I am not cool like them anymore. I no longer listen to the rock music i used to, I made a decision to stop swearing. I purposed to dress in a modest way, to love God and I want my life to only show surrender to Him. But all my old friends are continuing in the old way of living, an ungodly walk. // Amos 3:3 //

Before I told some of my friends of the change in me, I told God that my friendships are all His, He could do whatever He wanted to do with my friendships. But I see now that it is not a one-time decision but rather a day by day constant prayerful yielding and surrendering. I constantly find myself struggling, having fallen in the erroneous prideful thinking that I may reach a form of perfection, or quench the sinfulness in me. But at the same time knowing my error, I have discovered the peace and joy, realizing the genuineness that I am weak but thank God, He is strong.

It is my weakness that will allow God to use His power to change and work in me. A strong person needs no help. A weak person does. And I am so weak. His strength is made perfect in my weakness. “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV

 // how strangely wonderful it is to acknowledge my weakness; the very quality in which I despise myself so often for is the same channel in which God chose for His strength to do a perfecting work in my life, if I will let Him //

I have decided to follow Jesus and though none go with me still I will follow.

I am confident that to leave my life in the Hands that bled to save it,

are the safest Hands to keep it.

Saturday Series: perfect flaws

You’re loving people for their flaws because deep down in your gentle tired heart, you actually want someone to love you for all your flaws.
You hope that by loving them for their visible glaring faults, they might one day, in turn, love you, as unconditionally as you love them, for yours.
Now face it, people in the world don’t think the way you do, and they aren’t as kind-hearted as you.

So stop. Stop loving people for their flaws. Just stop –/

There’s nothing lovable about flaws. You need to learn to accept their faults and character cracks. That’s all. Full stop.
You don’t have to romanticize or balloon their faults to love them.

How about this: Love them for their strengths. Love them for their successes and good points.

And at the same time, you must learn to love yourself. Love yourself for everything you excel in. Find something you’re good at and grow from there. Stop deprecating yourself.
Don’t just focus on your failings.
Think of how much you can love yourself for all your shortcomings if you could love those people for all their despicableness.

Remember, you can never hate yourself into a version you or anyone else will love.

Then, I hope you’ll be able to find the happiness you’ve been pretending to have.

Thursday Thoughts: I am Sorry.

{ I don’t know what to do with apologies }

It’s kinda sad when people hurt you and apologize and now the onus is on you to painfully and more carefully hide how it all still hurts. No, it shouldn’t be this way.

–// Take a plate. Drop it.
Watch the shattered pieces decorate the floor.
Collect the broken shards.

Now, apologize to it.

There. It is fixed. //

We’ve all been taught by our parents to apologize when we are in the wrong and to graciously accept apologies from those that wrong us.
While I still agree with that rule, however, to a certain extent, I no longer believe an “I’m sorry” is applicable to severe offences.

It seems to me that an offer of apology serves to only ease the conscience of the offender…
and does nothing to help the wounded…
Does it not?
–/ I hear so many hearts breaking //

That is why, in some cases, I do not believe an apology is worth anything.

Sure, it is a valid courtesy. But still, sadly, and too often, a courtesy too late.

One day, I will teach my own children the importance of saying sorry, but I will also teach them that some hurts created are too deep that not even a hundred apologies accompanied with “Please forgive me” cards attached to a thousand red roses can ever reverse the damage.
I will tell them how their own mother’s youth-hood was drowned with blood and tears and many fears because she was weak and foolish enough to let people’s words stab her heart a million times over.
I will show them my scars and tell them how I wish for them to be strong people, that will not easily let some outsider’s brusque discouraging actions and words affect their heart.
But if and when it does, I understand, and oh my beautiful child, it is okay.
They can climb into my bed in the middle of any night at any time and I will hold them till their shoulders stop shaking, until their tears dry.
I will remind them to be always careful of what they say, and how much I hope and pray that they never be found guilty of killing someone’s soul or spirit with quick, sharp tongues that shoots careless words.

So if you know you’ve hurt me deeply, show me with your actions that you’re truly sorry.
If you have apologized, I truly admire the humility and courage you had put together to do so and thank you.

But if you haven’t, don’t.

Don’t apologize.
It’d only make me cry cos I’d feel so lost. And I don’t want to feel that way.

Don’t apologize.
Please.

I wouldn’t know what to do with it.

Thursday Thoughts: How You Love Me Now

They teach you how to love but never how to stop. And through your anguish, you learn that some love has no end.

I think it’s kinda dangerous if you like someone for some specific reason. Cos what if that reason is gone one day, how are you gonna continue to love that person?
So I say to the brave hearts, if you find love, love them for no reason, love them for them.
That way, they’ll never need to worry about you losing love for them.

Thursday Thoughts: All the Light I cannot see.

The sun is always shining. But you are the one that decides how bright it shines.

It’s been night

For as long as I can remember

And i have forgotten

All the light

I cannot see.
.

Fading stars

Barely faking a glittery farce

Black dark night

I’ve lost my sight.
.

How long will the night last?

I pray the day comes fast

To show me

All the light

I cannot see.
.

And if the darkness

Won’t seem to pass

I pray to God

To teach me

To trust

In all the Light

I cannot see.

“Be still, my soul, the waves and winds still know, the Voice that ruled them while He dwelt below.”