Usually, an old chapter ends before a new one is begun. But not this one. There's no closure here, no epilogue to wrap it all up. It's a rush, a condensation of time, like a hastily-assembled sandwich with a woeful lack of dressing. And it shows. The aftereffects are apparent, blatantly so, in the bags lining eyes, in the bouts of depressed silence and the tracks of Hozier playing on repeat.
So right now, right here, in the dark of this relatively quiet Friday night - the first of twenty fifteen's - I'll write one.
This holiday, I've truly come to experience and perhaps grasp slight understanding of 'impermanence'. It's a sacred topic (to me) and a rather personal one, but I'm sharing it here since this space is to document aspects of my life, and this is another. I've been lounging about the house in a little of a 'footle', not thinking about anything in particular, not doing anything in particular, just craving some silent companionship and something to keep this boredom at bay.
To be truthful, nothing seems to work. Eating a snack delivers momentary distraction, movies and shows stave insouciance off for an hour or two, and excursions always seem to end too soon. You see, this is impermanence, this ending of anything in a temporal state, be it physical or mental. Nothing lasts forever.
Photo essay: a blue sunset
Blue. It's all blue. Aquamarine, tranquil shades of blue, in a gradient gradually deepening as the sun sinks. It's soothing, soft, sleepy. It's a place nestled in childhood memories, residing in a time so long ago. There's a melancholic, pensive mood hovering about as we stroll along the boardwalk, the fine line that lies between the shore and the trees. Little sound is heard, save the roaring of planes and the chugging of boats, along with the ceaseless crashing of the waves against the shoreline.
The sky is a continuous swath of blue - baby blue, azure, cornflower. It's not too late. The clouds breeze past, slowly, languorously. I admire them, for the patience to live the slow life, for being. They are hardly solid, just bits and pieces of wool scattered about an unblemished landscape of blue.
It's broken once, by the silhouette of an eagle as she soars overhead, gliding on air, held aloft by the freedom flowing through her wings. Someplace deep, I wished to be her, yearned to be able to travel as she pleased, to see things that no eye ever has. She is fortunate, having attained the blessing of nature.
And soon, she is gone, up, up and away. Perhaps I will meet her, someplace else, in some other time.
Dusk moves in. We stroll along the boardwalk, feet slapping against the worn wooden planks, the path ahead shrouded with trees. It's familiar, yet foreign, as if appearing from a long-lost dream. I can picture the fey dancing about the leaves in this evanescence, light as air, darting back and forth under the yellow glow of the street lights. And then they disappear, flitting away when humans come, as if they never existed.
Below the horizon lies the plateau of the sea, swishing, swirling. It's like a kitten, pouncing about at times, and still as stone at others. The tugboats drag creases into it, making it one unbroken piece of wrinkled fabric. Froth spews from the boat, and ripples resonate across the waters, distorting the scribbles of light reflected on her.
The lights are everywhere, up, down, to the sides. They illuminate the skies and seas, emitting sparks in the gloom. In the distance, the lamp atop a boat is radiant, a light that is constant, guiding it wherever it might be headed. Farther off, a cluster glows. Is it another island? I know not. There's little I know of, really, save of the stars and moon in the sky, the constellations millions of light years away. I find it hard to imagine - a night pitch black, cloudless, sprinkled with stars red, green and blue. Alight for us to savour, take in and take our breaths away.
I think back now. Words do not pour forth, but rather, thoughts - the overpowering senses of sight, smell, sounds. It was then, in that place, noisy with the crashing sound of the waves, did the words come, conjured out of nowhere. They're gone now, as swift as it came, the beautiful lyrics of the sunset - a blue sunset.
Pancakes are here now - simple, straightforward things, they are. I've made this a million and one (I exaggerate) times, all the while in some other form or another - chocolate , orange-rum, rose+sea salt, etc etc. But this one's going to be plain - like a clear slate free of whatever fancy flavour and what-have-you. I think, this one's something that you can make whilst frantically tossing on your shirt and stuffing your essentials, shrieking at whoever else is at home that you're going to leave. (again, I exaggerate. see? this tells you that you really should pack your bag the night before) It's fast - six-ingredients, extra-fluffy pancakes.
The rhubarb-rosewater is merely an addition you can make on the side. It's fast, and you can store it for any future purposes, including admiring the brilliant pink tinge.
- to be continued-
and repurposed 10-minute flower garland
I believe that story-writing is a skill that all children are gifted with.
I think that it is embedded in their bones, coursing through their veins, weaving in and out of their minds like the imagination that they have. It's magic, it truly is. Even in their waking dreams, they believe, believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy, so wholeheartedly with the hopefulness glimmering in their eyes and roseate cheeks, that even you begin to be convinced too.
I believe that they snatch these wisps of stories from their air with chubby fists, spinning them into tales richly laden with creativity, with fantasies beyond anyone's wildest dreams. They concoct these tales, prescribing smiles for everyone. They bring much joy.
But the innocence and naivety of childhood is not eternal. It fades, either slowly and gradually, or vanishes with celerity, without a trace to be left behind. Slowly, as we grow, that gold in our bones simmers down and is whisked away, into places no-one knows of. It disappears as we grow, replaced by worries and the depressingly blank wall we face as we slowly, but surely, age. Colour, we see on more, as well as the spices of life. Magic which once bewitched us turns into legerdemain, mere tricks and sleight of deceiving hands. We do not capture the essence of beauty in everyday life, with mind brimming with worries and frustrations.
I stand (or rather, sit) here today, neither child nor adult, teetering on the edge of both worlds, one filled with enchantment, the other dull, defined. I'm unsure, not knowing of what to do, of which path to take. I do not wish to let that beauty of childhood escape, but already, I feel it seeping away. There's nothing to do but wait; wait for time to make her move.
Orange-Rum Gingerbread Pancakes
And whilst being soaked in the childhood spirit - why not have a flower garland - mess-free! I don't believe in letting things go to waste, hence repurposing these 5-minute paper roses into a garland.
5 + 5 equals 10. Just ten minutes of your time for a fancy garland. Worth it, eh?
Tape roses onto a metre or so long piece of yarn with tape and hang. Enjoy.
Weekly Wanderings 4 - out and about, in and online
It's the second. The second week, the second semester, second... everything.
It's been a most exhausting week (I must be overly so; I couldn't muster the brainpower for thinking up another adjective), but definitely not lacking in vibrancy.
from left to right:
#1 finally caught up with the long-lost friend at Provence
#2 lunch / tea at Lowercase
#3 more Provence. it was 2 bags this time.
#5 attending the SYF exhibition
#6 sunday shopping
#7 back again
#8 caught in the rain
#9 breakfast - from Provence
I've been bustling about town this week, from eateries to exhibits. I've met people old and new, as well as attained many, many new things.
It's not just me who's been active, my mouse has been too. Scroll down for some sites and stuff (what an ambiguous term!) I've seen this past week.
#1 Independence Day has passed (besides, I'm not even in America) but this article is worth a read.
#2 I confess - I'm a sucker for graphic and interior design, and this definitely has got my suction pads worked up.
#3 few things do I need, but this truly gets me going.
#4 despite all the previous tech-y things, I've gone back to my childhood. This song has been floating through my head recently.
#5 and to end off, a short story. warning, not for those who fear dystopia. it gave me nightmares.
So, the above post has been a rather short one, and the recipe below shall be too.
This is closer to being a pancake than a pizza, but the name stuck. Baked with the lack of stabilizers, as I coin eggs and applesauce, it's relatively flat and resembles a thin-crust pizza, crisp at the edges.
And though it's far from achieving official pizza-status, this is closer to summer than nearly anything. Think of warmed fruits, bursting and tender with juices, paired with the fresh, sweet, and herby essence of basil along with the crunch of walnuts. Honey is a subtle addition ; you can choose to either smear it over the pizza before baking, or drizzle over post-baking.
1. Preheat oven to 180c / 350f.
2. Whisk flour, salt, baking powder and milk. Pour into a greased oven-safe dish (I used a cake tin). Bake for 10 mins.
3. Flip pancake and if doing so, smear honey over and add remaining ingredients. Bake for another 10 mins.
4. Remove and drizzle honey over, if you did not smear it over previously. Slice, serve, and enjoy.
-to be continued-