Sunday, July 22, 2012


soothing tea at RealFoodGrocer 
rainbows on table ( Photo credit: Evelyn)
bookmark from littered with books
beautiful sky and dragon-shaped cloud

Sitting on the steps by the river in the slight drizzle watching the boats go by had never felt so peaceful. We talked about the fear of not being able to find ourselves, the sadness we felt upon realizing that we could no longer talk to old friends because people change too much, how tiring it was trying to sustain those friendships, my odd trait of only lending books to people I thought were worthy of them, the wish that we weren't born in this city, our resolution never to become like another office clone trapped in those huge skyscrapers, her dream to become a wedding photographer, social hierarchies and the feeling of being an outsider, being attracted to people who could write, our tendency to idealize people till we fell in love with the idea of them; her ex, her fear of falling in love again-“ I feel like I can never give myself so completely to anyone again. It feels like I've lost a huge part of myself” and the quiet sadness in the way she held herself, and I thought about how life breaks people in places unimaginable and it made me feel heavy inside.

When it was my turn to talk, I was fumbling, stuttering, I couldn't speak, couldn't put across what I felt, I couldn't even begin to explain about him, what did he mean to me then, it was as if I had buried it so deep that trying to articulate it out felt like a pointless excavation. Speaking has never come naturally to me, but I was shocked at how much worse it'd gotten. Did something happen, she asked. I told her no, that I used to talk more in the past. Silently I added, I think part of me has died and I don't know why. But she was so very patient, and eventually the awkward lapses became less pronounced. She said, as an afterthought,“You're like a closed book” and “I sense that you don't really open up to people easily, and it's difficult for you to let your guard down” when I apologised about earlier. I realized that we weren't as alike after all- she was spontaneous and fickle-minded and impulsive, I was safe and stubborn and resolute. I marveled at her capacity to care for and love others with such pureness, I could never do that.

Later on, while tucking into my char siew pau, and she munching on her kaya toast and hot chocolate (simple joys in life), we lamented on the unfairness of having to earn the respect of certain people in order to gain acceptance. Also, we came to a conclusion that we put up our works online isn't for the sake of selfish reasons like instant gratification or stupid reasons like validation because we shouldn't base our self worth on the approval of others. Rather, it's about the inherent value of art, to use this platform so that our art can enlighten, inspire and connect with people. (hopefully)

Something she said struck me, “ In photojournalism, you look for art in the ordinary moments. But in other photography genres, you create art. There's a difference.” 

1 comment:

Diana Rahim said...

I understand about not being able to talk to people anymore.