Thursday, September 3, 2015
I'm on my way out the country to a destination frequented by Singaporean folk. We're still in the country and we were just having a discussion on multi-culturalism versus interculturalism. What also came up was the attacking and general resentment of foreign immigrants- whether blue collared or white collared. The family and I were just relating our own tales of being subject to behaviour of this sort. (Of course not leaving out moments when a Singaporean HAS come to our defensive and such)
The table next door seems to have overheard us and has proceeded to switch to mandarin and begin speaking horribly of us- presumably because they figure we can't understand.
They have also proceeded to (in a failed attempt) discreetly take pictures of us.
I guess I'm really sad. Just really, really sad.
Despite never having felt at home in this country, there is still so much I have grown to appreciate and love immensely. And there are so many people who I've met here, spent most of my life with, people who have Contributed to making me more of a person than I could've ever hoped to become.
There are so many good people here, so many genuine and friendly and loving Singaporeans I could never imagine doing life without.
But then things like this happen and I realize:
It doesn't matter how much I love what I have here or how sincerely grateful and blessed I feel to have gotten to live and and spent time in Singapore. Sure she's got her shortcomings- but name me a place that doesn't?
Yet despite that, it doesn't seem enough.
Never mind that I contribute to the society (I'd like to think), and the economy. Never mind that I teach in local schools and Strive towards igniting a love for the English language and literature and the arts. Never mind that I am burdened with continuous want to remind teenagers here that they are enough, that they are talented in their own ways and that I want to be a source of encouragement where they often feel like they only ever do things wrong. Never mind that some part of me (I have come to realize) truly does care about this society and the people who've been ostracized...
Moments like these, or incidences where even now, in the year 2015 I still have been told to my face,
"Stupid foreigner go back to your own country"-
It just makes me realize
I'm not welcome here, am i?
We aren't welcome.
When my kids ask me
"Ms C but why? Why Singapore..? Why would you want to live here?"
And I smile and say,
"Now isn't that the million dollar question, hey?"
I'm not saying it with resentment or any amount of snark. I'm saying it with a very special level of sadness and heartache that was formed and only belongs here.
Having said all this though, I refuse for my posts to sound so bloody tragic. So I'd like instead to take time here to say thank you to all the amazing Singaporeans I have come to know and love here. So many of you are my go-to people and I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for you. And even when I go off on rants like these, please know that whenever I am asked why I'm still living here,
I think of you.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
Monday, June 15, 2015
I am so afraid of heights and yet, when I think of ways out I think of
Parapets, corners, bridges, too many levels up and the way I cannot hear my tears fall against the concrete floor.
If my body falls, will it make a sound?
And if it doesn't, does it mean it's actually fallen at all?
Did you know,
You can fall in love in so many ways.
And did you know? Even after, you can keep falling in love...
Over and over and over again.
But did you also know that you can keep Falling and you tell yourself it doesn't hurt but Jesus Christ it does and you wish you wouldn't hurt, wish you could outrun this bullshit
But then you're numb numb numb
And sitting on the couch with your coffee wishing for the first time that you had your tears and your sadness-
Do you know why?
Because it's all that's left of her.
And that matters.
It's almost like, all that sadness caused by that absence..
That absence of her...
That's all you have left.
That's all you've got left darling.
Saturday, June 13, 2015
Today, I was part of the 28,000 people gathered at this amazing event. I've received looks of alarm when I admit I haven't been before. Perhaps because I've never been the sort to shove my flag in people's faces, and I kinda wondered if this would be doing that. But then today I realized it's really just a big happy party of families and children and grass and dogs and balloons and picnics and wine and love. Just an outpouring of so much love- it's so heartening to see heterosexual couples come, to see families and their children be there. Because their being there screams "you deserve all this love as much as we do".
Also having chilled out picnics, good conversation, listening to good writers and speakers- that's really what we do. There isn't any gay agenda. If there was, that would probably be it: chill out, have awesome picnics and good conversations with people you love. And just, be.
Friday, June 12, 2015
Thursday, June 11, 2015
Tuesday, June 9, 2015
Friday, June 5, 2015
Thursday, June 4, 2015
Sunday, May 31, 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
Monday, May 25, 2015
To find balances, to breathe easier,
To drink my morning coffee without crying for half an hour
To sit on the empty couch without doing a double take realizing you're not there.
I am trying to get to know myself again;
Trying to listen to my body and what it needs and wants
Learning to respect it
Giving myself time to understand it better.
I am trying to learn to not be so sad.
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Friday, May 15, 2015
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
Around and around and around and around
Sometimes it doesn't feel like we're going anywhere
We're just going around and around and around
Until you've spun away, I've lost your teacup
I'm in my own, alone,
Just going in circles.
Around and around and around and around
Thursday, April 30, 2015
So one day you come to the conclusion that you've officially reached the maximum amount of hurt you can feel.
And that kinda sucks but it's also like,
No really, it can't get anymore painful than this.
Something else comes around and you're like.
Oh wait, hey,
It can actually get more painful.
you're the joke.
Sunday, April 26, 2015
"I will not ask you to stay
If you must go, go
I don't need you
I will breathe (carefully) without you
I will smile (slowly) without you
I will go on (eventually) without you
I'd be much happier
If you chose to not leave,
But if you must let go, let go
And I will too
And hopefully one day
I will teach my heart to not break
Whenever everyday thoughts
Lead to you
I'm afraid I'm much too weak,
I'm afraid we'll always be
A book with the end pages ripped out,
I'm afraid I'll always wonder,
Always place everyone second to you
I'm afraid I'll always love you
But I will not ask you to stay."
Monday, April 20, 2015
Sunday, April 19, 2015
It has also been quite an experience teaching and working with the participants of Miss C's Little Blackbox - with it all leading up to this!
In our devised piece
I'm All Left Turns (and I don't know which is right).
We explore how our parents got to being the people they are today, and summon the courage to tell them all the things we wish they knew.
Seah Bei Ying
Directed by Charis Vera
Written & Conceptualised by Charis Vera & Marvin Wong, together with the actors of Ms C's Little Blackbox.
Tickets available on:
Saturday, April 4, 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
However much time you've spent running away,
You'll never outrun yourself.
And when it feels like most of your time is spent fighting off everything else,
really, the last person you want to fight is yourself.
There is calm.
Just like you used to know.
I thought I used to know how to get myself there
It's relief that I never forgot.
"Yes, yes I am."
Tuesday, March 3, 2015
Unsteady and shaking, it is all she can do to hang on to these words.
But all she knows is this unfathomable, ineffable pain that's burning the inside of her veins, eating away at all the things that keep her together.
Forces a smile she knows you cannot see, managing a
Because that, that's kinda what it is. It isn't anything until you make it something. And it isn't supposed to be anything to begin with anyway.
It's nothing, it's nothing.
And if she says it enough,
maybe it'll dull all the razor sharp blades that feel like they're running patterns on the inside of her skin,
Maybe it'll stop the way she hates herself for feeling all the things she does,
Maybe it'll make her feel less like an idiot,
Like she is the biggest fool in a game she didn't ask to play.
Monday, March 2, 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
Saturday, February 14, 2015
Sunday, February 8, 2015
Tuesday, February 3, 2015
Or sit beside me and breathe and tell me, just by being here, that it will be okay.
You cannot reach for me and have me lean into your touch,
Feeling for the one right thing in a world going wrong.
And that's not your fault.
It's not your fault that you cannot fit in all the ways another has before,
Or that you don't make my breath catch at the thought of you.
It's not your fault
That someone can be all the things you need them to be, for you,
But you can't be that for them.
And I'm sorry,
That as much as you want to be,
Friday, January 30, 2015
And when they blistered I started to cry
Because that meant in time, it would hurt less, and eventually go away.
And I cannot say I'd know who I am without the pain.
This ache is all I have left of you
And I don't want to lose that too.
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Saturday, January 24, 2015
Sunday, January 18, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
Her voice is cold, familiar, snaking itself around and pulling me to her.
She was the echo off comforting bathroom floors, the constant gentle murmur that would find me when the flush of toilets drowned out all thought.
There are so many days you have fooled yourself into thinking you've run far enough away,
Until she finds you.
And oh, she always knows where to find you.
Sunday, January 11, 2015
Monday, January 5, 2015
Tripping up on all the questions that play on the edge of her tongue and
Finding spaces between sentences for doubt to paint ugly pictures
She wanders, eyes closed, back into places of safety.
Back to a place where she can find proper footing,
Back to where it is okay to take a breath