Black

Black is my favourite colour. It is a colour that no matter how you try to dye other colours over it, it will still remain black. It is not the colour of sin or of sadness, it is the colour of obstinate rebellion against the pressure of liberal society.

It is the colour of steadfastness.

I want to be black – steadfast and never changing – the one painting over others, not the one being painted over. But society doesn’t accept people dyed in black.

People come up to you with paint in a balloon. They smile at you and say hi. You smile back and you say hi. You enjoy a conversation with them. You want to be friends. They continue smiling and hand their balloon to you. Paint yourself with my colour so that I know you’re serious. Okay, you reply. You squeeze the paint over your own colour.

The two of you travel along together. Then a bicycle comes and knocks you over. You fall into the mud. The colour they painted you over with is now a different colour. They frown at you. They whisper about you. They talk about how concerned they are about you behind your back. They smile at you. Then they dye themselves over with someone else’s colour and now you’re not their friend anymore.

You never liked that colour anyway. So you find someone else you like talking to and dye yourself in their colour.

Be yourself, they say. But no one really knows what that actually means. When you write cards to people, you only list the things that they did for you. You don’t thank them for who they are, only what they did for you. That’s the true colour of the world.

Black is my favourite colour. It is the colour of nothing. The colour of death. The colour that cannot be dyed over. The colour that is permanent and never changing. The colour that is irreversible. Unless you meet someone who is white with the potency of bleach, you are invincible.

I am not black. I am an ugly muddy brown, the colour you get when you mix too many colours together. A colour that only gets uglier and uglier as other colours are thrown into the mix. What was my original colour?

It doesn’t really matter. I can’t remember it anyway.

Checkmate

Checkmate doesn’t mean you’ve simply cornered the enemy king. It’s a declaration that the enemy king is yours.”

Life is a game, they say, but what crappy game has 7 billion players wandering around, creating their own rules to achieve objectives that they made up for themselves?

That is the first question that the story ‘No Game No Life’ presented to me in the form that I appreciate the most: anime. Chess is a game that you can win at if you are capable of considering the 10^24 moves that can be made. Almost any other game can be manipulated and logically conquered with mathematics, physics and a good knowledge of the rules.

That is the key to winning. Knowledge. If you know what card your opponent holds in their hand, you know how to play your own. If you know what is the move the opponent will make, you know how to attack and defend yourself at the same time. If you know the opponent’s weak point, you know how to manipulate them to give you what you want.

With knowledge, you have the skeleton key to unlock any door you want, fully aware of the consequences. And so knowledge is something I endeavour to store up for myself. That is why people dedicate years and years of their lives to study the Bible. If that is indeed the rulebook by which the game called ‘Reality’ is run, than it would be undoubtedly important to know everything you can about this world and anticipate how to conquer it.

If you do not endeavour to find out everything you can about everything, if you cannot separate fact from fiction, you will walk to your own death. In a world of voices, do you know which one to mute? In a world of enemies, do you know which one to trust?

Are you amazed? ‘No Game No Life’ explains all this through a comedic animated story. More than just the importance of knowledge, I have learnt a lot of other things.

Rule by fear leads to assassination.

The first loss will hurt, but that’s why it was fun.

People who can’t fly have to create a way to do so even though they stay the same.

To doThe weak should leave it to the strong to fight head-on.

 

In a real war, only a fool waits for the enemy’s turn.

There is no more trusted observer than someone who suspects you.

Only an idiot starts a fight he can’t win.

Fulfilled people are just an urban legend.

I could write about these things for days on end, but at the end of the day, the important thing is that I realised that it is I, the player, who controls the game. To do everything for a reason from now on, that is my aim. To think of the infinite goal rather than the immediate one, to work without giving power to the enemy, to start fights that I know beyond a doubt I will win, to fight with wisdom and most of all, to learn the rules before the crucial point.

Checkmate.

I am going to be more than just a misunderstood existence in this world, I will be someone you regret not understanding better.

“In every time, in every world, the strong polish their fangs while the weak polish their wisdom.”

Beauty in Order

“It is impossible for us to break the law. we can only break ourselves against the law.”

Somehow, everyone hates rules. But yet, everyone thrives when there is order. How ironic. In times of chaos and depression, we seek a routine, a method of doing things that will lead to success. In times of disaster and panic, we seek a fixed path out into the light. But yet we laugh at the law and try to destroy it.

When turmoil is all that I see, order is what helps me to fly above the storm. Waking up at a fixed time. Looking at the same thing when I first open my eyes. Knowing that everything is the same, knowing that I can find something in a familiar hiding place, that is how I know that I am safe.

When everything is lost and I am alone in the world, I know when I look up, God is there. What God is doing while I’m suffering doesn’t matter to me, neither does it matter that everyone laughs at my belief in God or treats Him as a curse word, unwittingly, they remind me of that one order in my life that I can count on seeing when I open my eyes from the nightmare.

In the days of calamity, when I open my eyes, He whispers:

“I am here.”

So that is why I treasure order and law. And that is why I will keep trying to stick to my timetable despite my feelings. Because my feelings will desert me but He won’t.

After Death

If I have achieved nothing by the time I die,

It’s okay because everyone leaves with empty hands.

Most people they warm up as they go through life and encounter difficulties. Over time, they meet people worth keeping, times worth smiling, and things worth chasing. Despite all their suffering, they find this elusive thing called ‘happiness’.

Why am I different? Every time I fall, I lose the heart to pick myself up and keep moving. My heart doesn’t warm up, it just gets colder and harder. Whether it is people or memories or things, I don’t care about any of that.

It’s tiring to pretend that it matters, this thing called ‘happiness’.

If I leave no legacy or memory when I die,

It’s okay because even time erases the best stories.

There is nothing worth doing when after all the suffering

You’re in a coffin with your eyes closed.

Listen to Mummy

My mother is always right, especially when she’s giving me advice. She also has this uncanny habit of being able to tell what kind of people my friends are just from meeting them once. She once told me my current clique was a bad influence and later, the clique broke up after some drama where I spent a whole semester in the counsellor’s office. The people she said were reliable turned out to be trustworthy and the people she said were suspicious did indeed turn out to be as she said.

Being a teenager, I ignored most of my mother’s advice, thinking, “I know these people much better since I see them five times a week.” So it was only after the best friend she told me was dubious and probably unreliable betrayed me by dropping me like a sack of potatoes with a string of lies tied around the mouth of it, I decided that it was worth listening to what she had to say.

Last night, I was commenting on how much more efficient my brain used to be in making decisions and planning out my life and how after a year of losing it because of anxiety, my brain is now unable to move faster. I told her that the only strategy that works now is to dam up my brain with a wall of blank and let one thought through at a time and that it is such a tedious process compared to when I had multiple strings of thought running simultaneously.

She said this, “I don’t think your brain is less efficient now. I think you’re more mature now and that’s why there’s more to think about.”

“Last time you didn’t have the experience, so there were things you didn’t even need to consider, but now that you know and you’ve gone through a lot more, you have to consider those factors when you plan and make decisions.”

I didn’t even give her a context of what I was planning and she could give this kind of advice. Sometimes, I think she’s very childish for arguing with my dad over something he bought from the supermarket, but then at times like this, I just feel very awed and I think that one day I want to be wise like her.

 

 

 

The Artist Date

The Artist Date is a concept from Julia Cameron’s creative course ‘The Artist Way’ and the essential idea of this is to make time alone each week to do something ‘whimsical’ or ‘enchanting’ to do something that ignites the imagination.

I have not had the chance to set out time to feed my muse so this idea intrigues me. For as certain as time is hard to find, so is it certain that I need to release myself from this year long block.

Here are some ideas I’ve discovered from across the Internet that I would like to try:

  1. Take $5 to a dollar store and see how much fun you can buy with so little.
  2. Go to the library and read a book that’s new to you or one that you wouldn’t normally read.
  3. Spend an afternoon colouring in.
  4. Go to an independent cafe and journal or do Bible study.
  5. Write out the plot-line of a novel you might write one day.
  6. Cook something you have never tried before.
  7. Go to IKEA and take pictures of everything you find beautiful. Compile an image file of your perfect home.
  8. Choose a colour, go out and take pictures of everything in that colour. Create a collage of all your pictures.
  9. Write a poem.
  10. Imagine what your life would have been like 200 years ago, write about a day in your life.
  11. Go accessory shopping and buy something more adventurous than normal.

  12. Dust off whatever musical instrument you used to own (ukulele) and play through a few songs.

  13. Write a bucket list.
  14. Grab a stack of magazines, and clip whatever looks interesting or cool to create your own inspiration board.

  15. Send a care package to your best friend or to a family member.

  16. Make a list of twenty things you’d like to do before your 20th birthday.

  17. Buy a soft toy.
  18. Create a look book.
  19. Visit a graveyard.
  20. Draw a mythical creature.
  21. Go to a botanical garden and photograph or sketch the flowers and trees.
  22. Make a bracelet.
  23. Practice handwriting
  24. Film a video.
  25. Create a playlist of all your favourite songs.

Do whatever your creative soul needs to enrich itself and have fun.”