Love the Hate

In the end they’re gonna judge you anyway so whatever.

I’m learning to love endings. It’s almost sadistic even, maybe, I don’t know. Something like the way a paper turns brown and curls as if writhing in pain as fire consumes it. That kind of pain, I see as art.

While the poor paper disappears, devoured by the devil of a flame, isn’t it bitterly ironic however that it is the fire that was more beautiful?

I’m learning to love the hate I get from my writings, both existing and nonexistent. Kept as proof to shackle me? I’m sorry there won’t be apologies. 

You know why I love the hate? It’s because it trains me to rise higher each time.

You talk about me but I don’t know your name.

That’s exactly how legends live.

You show me what you lack pathetically, honesty, self-respect, love and respect for others.

I solemnly promise I shall strive to fulfill what you have failed to do so.

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.

 

 

I know where I’m going

You thought you were moving on but suddenly you feel like you’re the one left behind, and never will have time to fill the gaps that are here to stay, never get a chance to say what you want to say.

Thousands of twenty-four hours have passed away the way tides swell and retire; not here to stay, not here to stay, they seem to murmur to those who would listen.
And the darkness descends like curtains after a play; only the anticipated thunderous applause is exchanged for an ear-splitting silence.

Dead. Gone.

Nothing remains the same.

And you. You are the one left behind.

Those you knew and loved, speedily slip away from you like gentle ghostly mist floating into oblivion on a wintry day; they’re leaving, all of them and you are stupidly clinging to the pitiful little trinkets you keep that reminds you of them to find a solace for yourself.

Your shrivelled brain, filled with complicated innumerable theories and age old proven formulas, yet strangled with some dust framed memories of some previously loved pretty muse but you were moving on.

Or were you?

Weaving in and out of an insanely endless cyclical routine, it’s ridiculously easy to forget what you’re doing and why you’re doing what you’re doing.

The lines, where are the lines, you scream, as an agony deep in your soul firms its unmerciful enslaving grasp around your neck, stifling your breath and oh, it hurts.
Where are the lines that should you cross you would be deemed extreme. If only they were drawn with lead and graphite and washed with a coat of the blackest ink, and you would never cross that repulsive line.

You don’t want to be defined as extreme, do you?

And the whole mocking world now includes the ones who claim to walk the same walk with you, and they make you the championing fool. They seem to take a cruel delight in blurring all the lines for you with open, high, intellectual ‘non-judgmental’ talk, crafted with fake innocence to belittle you, and make you feel small and basically a nothing. The fact is, in the end, they make you think that they’re better than you.

If there ever was a living paradoxical flummox that would drive them, drive them up the wall, drive them crazy, they point at you and you’re that one.

Here I stand, the most miserable forgetful creature.
How dreadful to claim weakness as brother to my living and dishonor the Victory that reigns in me.

Redeeming Love called me from darkness into Light, and yet selfish pride and waves of bitterness engulfs me, filling me from the very depths of my chest, then over spilling and eagerly consuming, threatening to maliciously devour my entire being, to take me captive.

I look in the mirror and yes, I see how wretched I am.

I realize I don’t deserve the Lord’s lovingkindness, but He is so kind to me.
I thank and praise Him for loving me even when I rejected and despised His longsuffering towards me.

He is so, so good to me.

I am compelled by Love Himself and I must follow Him.

1 Peter 2:9-10 KJV
But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.

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

Do you ever get those moments that washes over you and draws you into a strange feeling, like a déjà vu of some sort, when you pass by a familiar area or maybe when you breathe in a certain scent, and you remember so clearly what happened on the 11th of June last year or maybe it’s not something that comes to mind but a certain someone?
And then you’re not sure if you’re shaking because your heart feels like it’s breaking or if it’s because you suddenly feel so naked and cold without the people who left and you miss them more than you ever realized.

It was the months and months with those memories I never told anyone but had somehow painted their way throughout on every inch of me that I thought, perhaps, it was a lie, that we, humans, were constructed for forgetfulness.

Youth Camp 2015!

Youth camp ended last Saturday; been catching up with teammates and also catching up on sleep too. 
Had a great time during youth camp and it was a totally different experience compared to the other camps, like maybe more spiritually ready to learn and accept God’s word during camp.

  
To me, every sermon and testimony shared gave me something to think about and devotions, it was a real blessing to be with the 5 other senior girls. Devotions was a time to be completely honest and humble about personal struggles. Over the 5 days, I personally learnt to appreciate the privilege of bringing our cares and burdens to the Saviour. 

It didn’t matter that we were competing against each other, or that we were in different teams. As long as we faced a crisis/ problem, we went straight to God. Or when we didn’t know what to do/ which direction to take, for example, preparation for my team’s skit, we committed our work to God and prayed for wisdom to do all for His glory. 

Grateful for this years camp and specifically, for my team!

   
 Things were different this year, I wasn’t the oldest in the team but I was the leader. And if you know me, I’m not a natural leader. I admit it was a struggle at first. But by the time first day was over, I realized that if I didn’t do anything/ lead the team, no one else would do it and everyone/ everything we tried to do will be in disarray. 

So despite my desperate incompetence to lead the team, I’m thankful for strength and super thankful for my team. They were always supportive and encouraging to me, always asking me if I was alright and if I needed anything I could ask them. 

Team Steadfast: || JY, me, Ella, Andrea, Erica, Kloe, TF, John, Joseph, Azel ||

   
 It was a super fun 5 days with my team and sure, there were frustrating moments, there were tears, but we were a team and stuck together.

Super blessed to be in Team Steadfast and although we didn’t win in the end, having worked and fought together, knowing my posse did their best, in my heart, it was more than enough.

I know we say this every year but we really mean it!! : looking forward to the youth camp reunion and the next youth camp!