broken

we are not perfect and neither is our world.

 

life has had so many ups and downs the last few months for me. there have been so many emotions, so many attempts to communicate how i’m feeling, so many fears and frustrations of people not believing or listening to me, that i withdrew. the stress from school overpowered any sense of commitment to community that i withdrew and tried to deal with it alone, which actually meant shoving it to the back of my mind and i exploded a few times.

yesterday and today were rough also. yesterday HSBC put on the cocktail event where all our sculptures were showcased. i’ll put pictures up soon. it was incredible. to see the product of my blood and sweat and tears and sickness and fatigue in tangible form right in front of me, to see people reading the vision behind it, to see them interacting with it as it challenged their concept of art as something that shouldn’t be touched, was completely worth it. i was so excited and in shock that i actually tripped a couple of times and fell once.

this morning i woke up to the news that my mama and sister are going to try to visit this year, and whereas i’m excited i am not getting my hopes up, that way i can be prepared. (is that me being mentally defensive and not letting myself enjoy the speculation?!). I had a quiet morning then lunch with my roommate. it was raining but a nice temperature.

then i got back up to the house and it started. i had a voice message from one of my close friends back home about grief in her life. i went to school and had a 2/3 hour conversation with another very close friend about heartbreak and uncertainty. another friend wasn’t doing well so couldn’t join me to buy supper down the road at a cheap indian place. another friend came to join me as i ate in the park, hidden by a shadow, lost in reflections and wonderings of the previous conversations, but the mood still seemed off and sensitive to me. another sister-friend called me crying tonight after i got home about the horrors and furies of bullying.

my heart cannot handle any more tears, and i am so confused as to why suddenly i am doing fine and things around me are falling apart.

am i meant to be strong? is this timing not a coincidence?

but it’s like i told my friend who called me tonight, emotions and heartbreak are part of the package of being human, and i believe God wants us to vent to him about it, dirt and all. i think when there is intensity and frustrating questions and feelings that send us into emotional convulsions, he doesn’t want some sort of nice proper prayer. he wants the messy.

i think God is going to get a messy prayer from some people tonight. if y’all could keep all these things in your own, i would appreciate it so much on behalf of all my wonderful friends here.

 

- s

community.

it’s suddenly a amber rainstorm warning. kowloon tong MTR station is completely flooded because rain and hail broke the sunroof. my house smells dreadfully musty unless i keep the windows cracked – which helps with the humidity levels.

the rain on my air-con just above my head sounds like rain on a tin roof, and i remember sleeping in a cabin listening to the same sound.

hong kong is quiet, and i will sleep deeply tonight, up here in the bird’s nest (my room/studio), lulled by the rain.

once again i realise i don’t know everything.

and the main thing i’ve been learning lately is about community.

times have been a bit rough on my end. i won’t go into details, but as a result of much pressure - someone recently explained to me the difference between stress and pressure and our connotations of it – i have withdrawn. but i have been tricking myself that i haven’t, because i have been flitting around and although i’m seeing people often, there is no depth in my daily relationships.

my ‘family’ here in hong kong have noticed i’ve been absent a lot lately. granted, much of that is because of school. the workload at SCAD is nearly unbearable. i go to church sunday, get there just as it starts, and leave right after.

i’m peopled-out, tired, and anxious. so i take the bus straight home and i stay here in the bird’s nest, unless i’m at school.

but friday, one of my closest friends in hong kong sat me down and gently called me out on my withdrawal, asking me to come back.

and i realised then that i have had no idea of my isolation.

‘i know you as a person,’ he said, ‘and i know you have a tendency to withdraw.’

i sat there in silence for what seemed like a while, trying to identify the root of why i’ve been separating myself from those who love me. i’m still working on that one.

but i learned something friday night, and saturday night, and today when i finally saw everyone and managed at last to respond to the load of texts asking where i have been and am i okay, that people care about me.

that is the hardest thing for me to admit, and it’s the scariest thing for me to accept.

i’m being very vulnerable here on the internet, but this is real life and i know i’m not the only one who thinks this way.

videmus – seek beauty in everyday life. i had gone a long time without seeing beauty this deep, and this is it – community. family. faith.

have a great week, everyone. live knowing you are loved.

- s

ginger

i just want to brag on my ginger and how fast he’s growing.

i planted him about 2-3 weeks ago and at first was worried because he wasn’t growing very quickly. probably because the weather was cold and our flat hasn’t got central heat, but we kept the heater on all the time. sometimes i kept him away from the window but then gave him his own little nook on the windowsill because it doesn’t get direct sun, so i figured he would be happy.

and boy is he! he’s EXPLODED and grown probably just over an inch within the last week and a half. i’m going to get another pot to put him in soon so he can be completely covered and i found out where to buy small bags of soil around here, so he’ll be even happier soon. and the weather is great so it seems like the overall mood of our neighbourhood and all the plants around are faring very well.

(sorry i’m referring to a plant as ‘he.’)

this isn’t some sort of intellectual technical gardening post. i just stuck a ‘spudding’ ginger root in a pot with some dirt and give him some love and he started growing. as soon as i figure out if i’m staying in this flat for another year, i’m going to plant some more. (also as soon as i get shelves on the walls.)

- s

Linguistics.

Lately i have been having difficulties understanding english. Except my name. Here is the average scenario.

Someone: hey syd!
Me: huh?
Someone: akshdudj kijkijijjjjj looppppp kiiiiihhhhh hshhhuhhahssssaaaaaa.
Me: (looks at someone blankly for about 5 seconds)
(Thinking: i literally did not understand a word you just said.)

This has become increasingly confusing, as i am a native english speaker. Despite the fact that daily i am surrounded by throngs of other languages – cantonese, mandarin, hindi, french, italian, hebrew, and even urdu – it still seems that i should be able to retain knowledge of my mother tongue.

However, i have fabricated a conclusion as to the reasoning of this phenomenon.

I have a Thought Language.

So in fact my native language is not english, it is Thought, specifically Sydthought. And when one knows more than one language and parts of another (i’m learning cantonese), one gets the languages mixed up. So naturally i will not always have an easy time understanding english, because sometimes my ability to quickly and accurately translate english into Thought is impaired by attentiveness to alternate attractions.

Now this explains why sometimes people may suppose me unintelligent or just plain dumb. So please stay patient when i get my languages mixed up.

- s

cana.

this is a guest post from my enthusiastic, energetic, encouraging, delightful roommate Miriam who i wish was never moving out, but unfortunately in June she has to return to germany.

 

here was an insight she got the other night. you may need to read the passage in John to understand what exactly she’s talking about. it’s a beautiful story.

 

So the other day, we were talking about how things happen in our life, that we don’t deserve and how our life can be that good! As we did devotions on this day we were reading from the gospel of John 2:1-12 where Jesus turned the water into wine.

And it just came up to my mind, that the wedding is actually our life! We try to have the best of everything: A pretty dress, a handsome husband, a loving family, the close friends and of course good food and delicious wine! We try so hard and we are convinced that we will have a perfect wedding and it will be the best day of our life! Well I am not married, but I dream about these things.

On this particular wedding, something really bad happened, they ran out of wine!

So if the wedding is our life then we try our best and we are so proud of all the things that happens. We give all we have and we try to get the best out of everyday! But wait…they ran out of wine..is there a chance that our life isn’t perfect? That we need more than just ourselves to fix this? This couldn’t be planned, there was no plan B! There is a new situation that is about to turn the beautiful day in a nightmare! This is when Jesus comes in!

Jesus took the water jars, that were used for the Jewish rites of purification (what we try to make ourselves clean and pure with) and fills it with water!

We can’t give him anything but water that is all we can effort by ourselves! We try to take wine, and it kept us in a good mood and we thought we achieved the highest we can with it but actually all we have is water! Nothing special, just plain water! Everyone can get this from the well! No one comes back from a wedding talking about the good water they drank! If they had extraordinary wine on the other hand..that would be something to talk about and to remember!

So Jesus takes the water we have and turns it into wine! A better wine that we can ever have! The steward was surprised, why they didn’t gave out the good wine in the first place?

Yes Jesus, why did we have to wait this long for the good things to happen? Why do you give us the wine less good first? Wait…you didn’t gave us the bad wine? We got this ourselves? You only took what was left, what we could afford and changed it into good wine?

Wow…How come? Did we deserve this? Yes! Why? Because you love us! WOW!

Lord I am so grateful for all you have done for me! You can change our lives for good! When we try everything we can and didn’t came to what we wanted…you take what is left and restore it for the better! Thank you!

One more thing: The guests didn’t realize that there was something going on. They were happy with the wine they had. The people that know where the ones behind the scenes! Its about what happened in the inside! Everyone is drunk, they might not even be able to see a change in our lives, there is no need to actually impress them anymore! We can do this only for us! God wants to restore us because of you! Not so you can look good in front of you family and friends, but only because of you! He wants joy for you and the perfect life he can give you!

Sometimes we might be at the point in our lives, where nothing is working out! We just can’t go any further and it seems like our life is broken! Especially our inside!  It is like a wedding without wine! Then all we need is trust! Admit what you did wrong and ask Jesus to come in! He will take your life and turns it into the best wine! You can give out good wine and make the people remember you!

trace.

i was absolutely honoured to see that Mariella, one of my dear sisters from 5 years ago, was inspired by my profile picture on Facebook and decided to trace it.

she’s been such an encouragement to me to not fear trying new things – she picked up art by herself and was relentless in pursuing it, no matter how other people thought or no matter how disappointed she was. she kept at it and didn’t give up and still hasn’t given up. what a true artist – she is doing it simply because she loves it.

 

isn’t that the point of art?