Sunday, October 09, 2011

Looking for Elegance

Perhaps it's all due to the dissolution, but for a long time, I didn't want to be seen. While I had wanted to have my hair short for some time, it was a deliberate decision to have it really short. It's saying, don't see me as a woman in want of attention from a male. And right now, this feels more me than my long hair self.

I have at times deliberately dressed like a boy too, to avoid attention. I've also been looking for looser fitting tops, long skirts and dresses; clothes that don't scream my sexuality. The hunt has not been very successful.

So I was really glad to see this presentation.

Rick Owens' vision for women's clothes really speaks to me right now: "Stately elegance is about the opposite of sex. The clothes obviously follow a certain shape....They are not completely rejecting sex but it's kind of ignoring it in a very cool way (I hope)".

I love his sense of aesthetics, and I'm going to keep a lookout for this look.

Friday, September 23, 2011

One Chapter is Closed, and a New One Begins

Today, I collected the papers for the final judgment. It's finally all over. I'm not crushed. After all, it was only a matter of time since the interim judgment was given. I was living my life as well as I could in the mean time. It's only paperwork, even if it grants me back my single status in the eye of the law.

My only concern is, emotionally, have I reached closure? I spoke to a friend who's also going through a divorce, and we agree we fear going into another relationship, making us rather non-committal in the eyes of others. I am not sure what I need to do to reach closure. But I know, I don't want to make the same mistakes. Even if the failure of a relationship is in the dynamics of two persons, I know I am not faultless. Until I come face-to-face with my own issues, I would necessarily have to learn the lessons again in future. This, I will have to deal with, sooner rather than later. How, I don't know yet.

Friends have asked me to celebrate. I'm ambivalent about it. It feels wrong to celebrate the dissolution of an union that's meant to last a lifetime. I would rather think of it as a start to a new beginning, as a chance for me to get clarity on who I am and what I want, to live my life as I want. And that is worth celebrating.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Letting Go is Hard

I've embarked on another spring-cleaning exercise again. It never fails to amaze me how long it takes. This time it's the CDs. And I'm sure I need to get rid of more books. I need space. Stacking the yoga props is one corner is annoying me and I'm starting to feel the energy of the room is really down down down. I need to change the room which has pretty much looked the same in 10 years, except that it's increasingly cluttered. And the odd layout of the room is challenging me on how to rearrange the furniture.

Clearing things out makes me wonder if I'm taking the easy way out of junking stuff so that I no longer have to deal with them. Am I attempting to obliterate my past? Except that the past doesn't matter anymore. Only what I do in the present matters. And there is a lot of baggage to let go of.

I've basically stated to the boss that I'll be working part-time only come Aug. I don't know if this is the best arrangement. A couple of people asked if it wouldn't better to leave completely since I'm so unhappy there. I do feel that way. Except that when I broached the topic last year, the boss said nothing (to me). When I tried to hand over the work, he didn't catch.

I hate to think that the 3.5 years I spent getting things organized is going to go down the drain the moment I leave. Maybe I really need to let go of control. Yet, I also wonder if I'm running away from dealing with issues by wanting to leave. Yet, I feel I'm losing my will by staying. The sense of ennui and the negativity that surrounds the place is taking to much out of me. Maybe my sense of responsibility is over-riding my sense of what is good for me.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Notes on Hanoi

Overlooking the Old Quarter from the hostel rooftop

Living in the Old Quarter, it was easy to walk around and soak in the atmosphere of old Hanoi. Of course, I had to visit 87 Ma May Street, an old house restored in 1999 that's listed in every guide on Hanoi. I wasn't enamored with the place.

Instead, wandering around the area, I chanced upon the Bach Ma Temple, and Quan De Temple at 28 Hang Buom which are better conserved. In fact, 28 Hang Buom houses the Ca Tru Thang Long or the Vietnam Folklore Association. I would have loved to attend the Ca Tru singing performance that shows only every Saturday night if my schedule had allowed it. It seems like a more authentic and traditional than the water puppet show at the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre.

To end the day, it is worth going to square around St Joseph's Cathedral, where the youths hang out having drinks in little cafes and soaking in the vibrancy of the city.

Otherwise, chancing upon Green Palm Gallery and seeing the works of Nguyen Thann Binh and Bui Huu Hung is the most enjoyable experience I encountered while strolling around Hanoi.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Halong Bay

The whole purpose of my visit to Vietnam in April was to see Halong Bay, and I was not disappointed. Despite the rains on the first day, the usual delays, the cruise went well. The limestone karsts were beautiful, the air was great. It was fun to kayak underneath caves and come into a completely secluded areas. Notwithstanding the 3000 visitors a day, the Bay was well-maintained.

The highlight of the 3-day cruise with the Hanoi Backpacker's Hostel was the midnight kayaking trip on the second night. The algae in the waters turned luminous when the water was stirred. Depending on the location, the algae gave a blue or green glow. With every stroke of the paddle, the water lit up. I stirred up the water just for the sake of seeing the glow. A thousand diamonds can't compare to the luminescence of the algae.

In the still of the night, underneath a blanket of stars, it was an utterly serene yet surreal experience.

A Wealth of Clothes

I finally splurged and bought a pair of dark blue jeans. I know I said I wouldn't splurge on a pair of jeans. I'm surprised at how long I've waited. Now it feels like there's so much more possibilities in my wardrobe. I didn't want to bring home something I wasn't in love with and have it sit in my closet unworn most of the time. I have too many of those stuff already.

In the past one month alone, I must have spent enough on clothes to last me a year at least. Of course, there are the beautiful gifts from friends. But it's all good. Right now, I feel an abundance, perhaps overabundance, of clothes. I'm happy to pass things over now. Even though I really like Dolce and Gabbana's Spring 2011 inspired clothes in the stores. This feeling of abundance is good -that I have no need for anything; no wants. A sweet equilibrium.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Back from Bali

After two weeks of yoga, much organic food, and occasional massages, I swear my face was glowing last night when I looked in the mirror. By this morning, the glow seemed to have dissipated. Maybe sleeping in an air-conditioned room (finally!) dries out the skin. While the two weeks were tiring, I feel rejuvenated too. Maybe it's the focus on practice. Since we had very intermittent access to the internet, and it was mostly too inconvenient and tiring to go to town often, time was spent very simply. Yoga, meals, a little shopping and wondering around town, and an occasional massage or facial. And a little reading before bedtime. I didn't miss Facebook or my emails. And I didn't access Google Reader at all. I only miss talking to and being with certain friends. It made me realized that it is possible to live without a lot of the entertainment in modern life which translates to a lot of time saved for really important things.

If not for friends, I almost didn't want to come back. I wonder how long this little glow I still have would last.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Hitting the Pause Button

I've been so busy, I wish I can push a pause button on my life some days. I'm glad I have absolutely nothing planned this weekend. I thought of catching one of the many promising movies showing in theatres now but braving the weekend crowd doesn't appeal to me right now.

But it has been all good. I am having fun with contact improvisation. Yong has been an excellent instructor and I had great fun at the first jam I attended although I grazed my knee ('cos I didn't get knee pads as I was told to). I'm trying to build up my yoga practice again, after stopping and resting for quite a bit since November. And now there is real incentive to build up my practice in preparation for the Bali retreat in May which will be doing very strong work based on backbends and inverts that I love. This is much more exciting and motivating than an exam.

And there are so many yoga workshops and music events coming up, I don't know which to choose, with the limited resources I have. But at least, now I feel like I'm living a little.