Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Playing with knives

I thought I was  on the razor edge of depression. Seems like I have already fallen. Somedays I believe me when I tell myself that I am alright. Oscar winning performances can somewhat fool some friends into thinking I am ok. At least I think they are fooled. Yet on other days, I can't lie to myself. I will never be ok anymore. I lost some pieces of me and I can't ever be whole.

I learnt how a friend lost her sister suddenly. And another acquaintance lost his close friend to suicide. I have spent hours stalking their Facebook reading the beautiful notes left behind by their loved  ones. And I feel jealous of all the love they had in their lives and the difference they made. I feel jealous that one had the courage to take her own life.

And I think about my own mortality. How empty my own service would be. How stark my own page would be. How discouraging. I don't have the will or motivation to carry on and neither the courage to end it all. To continually feel  deserving of hurt is of course not healthy but I can't deny what I feel.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


It's not anger.It's bitterness. Bitter that I am only left with age and dust. And as I contemplate the days ahead I can't help but see darkness. As I contemplate death I only see loneliness.

There is no reason to be happy. There is no joy here. Go look elsewhere.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014


I started out this post several times. Mostly variations of emptiness. I collect specimen of my misery like an entomologist collects butterflies. Carefully preserved, labeled and mounted in a frame.
But fate intervened and put in my path three lines that has stuck.

The first being: To prove your courage
The second being: Not today
And the last : To regain what's lost

Monday, March 17, 2014

Second life or trying to cheer up

Having to lose it all to live again is extreme. It's not a shock to the system. It's death.

The person who once lived in the shell is gone. To be replace by a new tenant. Untried, unpredictable and unsure. It's not a reinvention of the self but it's getting to know the new person that's moved in.

I know why the phoenix has to rise from ashes. No rebirth can occur without annihilation.

Sunday, January 26, 2014



The lost

I learned to give not because I have much...But because I know exactly how it feels to have nothing. - Anon

Tales from My Mother - Chye Buey

Behind the Chinese restaurants that dot Penang Road and the maze of other knotted lanes, very late at night, the neighbourhood would be enticed by a delicious waft of sour spicy soup.

Leftovers from the day's wasteful patrons, uneaten prawns, poultry and pork collected from serving plates, would be tipped into a large pot with tamarind, chillies and vegetables, then stewed over a fire.

The restaurant's less well-heeled patrons, the ones that approach the kitchen door from the back lanes, would carry the hot soup in recycled tin cans of about 5 inches high, back into the night from whence they came. Dinner and comfort for a few cents.

My mother remembers that it was delicious.

Tales from My Mother

After her training in Alor Star, class of '66, my mother was posted to Baling, Kedah in 1970.

The hospital was tiny, sitting next to a mountain. The doors were weaved mengkuang leaves that swiveled. The hospital served the community consisting of rubber tappers. Not that her salary was generous. About a few hundred ringgit.

She stayed at the nurses' hostel just beside the hospital with 4 other nurses. The hostel was primarily a house on stilts, with an Ammah who would come to cook and then go on her way.

As there were only four nurses living there and duty rosters being what they were, it was not uncommon to be the only person at the hostel at any particular time. Being next to said mountain, there was hardly any discernible TV or radio reception. So afternoons were spent, not doing anything much. There was a cinema showing Hindustani movies in town. But that would entail a lonely walk back after the show.

Bear in mind, this was during the height of the Emergency and curfew was imposed after hours. There were soldiers in the area, as there were Communist guerillas.

She was serving here when the infamous Baling talks were held between the nation's founder, Tunku Abdul Rahman with Chin Peng, leader of the Malayan Communist Party. To say that the residents were not nervous would be a stretch.

She stayed for three years until her posting to Jerantut, Pahang.

We visited Baling today. The old hospital could not be traced. Development or perhaps, MRSM, has descended upon the sleepy hallow and there were so many people that to my mother, it is no longer recognizable.