Back to (Passive) Social…

The past week had been an unusually social one since the third wave of the pandemic hit us in early July – had dinner with a few fellowship brothers on Tue, a friend’s brief studio visit and mom’s and sister’s bday dinner on Thu, and met a friend’s friend on Sat to introduce her to my teacher’s Sat. calligraphy class. The social meetups were all initiated by others, I’m still not actively socializing yet.

I’m still somewhat in social-distancing mode, still hiding myself to finish up with the studio’s cleanup. Spent much of the time to care for the many plants (mostly succulents) in the studio. This is probably the first time I pruned the studio’s greenery in 2020, they seem to be doing pretty well under my low maintenance (weekly watering) and survival-of-the-fittest strategy. It’s kinda therapeutic to get my hands dirty with gardening once in a while.

Was notified on Friday that our proposal for the upcoming deTour exhibition didn’t get accepted. Kinda feel discouraged as I had high hopes for the proposed project. But at least we’ve tried, shouldn’t hold any “what-if” regrets.

Not much is happening in the political scene other than a Supreme Court judge resigning due to the imposed National Security Law, just another sign of an already deteriorating judiciary system. But I still pray that the 12 HK youths detained in China can be safely brought back for an open trial in the deteriorating system, it is still better than the closed and corrupted counterpart in China.

Oh Lord, please protect and save the 12 HK youths detained in China, bring them back safely for an open and fair trial. 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service

Back to Social?

As soon as the government relaxed the social distancing measures to allow as many as 4 ppl to meet, the city seems to have livened up almost immediately. I had dim sum lunch with my parents for the first time since the 3rd pandemic broke out in July. Also took the opportunity to farewell a friend who will be moving to Taiwan next week. A few fellowship brothers also scheduled a dinner next week.

As much as I enjoy meeting and catching up with friends, I feel a bit anxious taking the MTR and being caught in the crowd even though almost everyone is masked. I guess I’ll need some time to transition back to socializing. Let’s hope there’s adequate time for me to adjust and catch up with friends before a possible 4th wave hit us again.

Not much has happened in the city this past week in terms of politics, that’s probably good news seeing how our city has rapidly deteriorated since the National Security law was passed in July. Need to continue pray for the 12 youths who are still detained in Mainland China.

In addition to the pandemic, there are too many things happening in our city as well as our world (wildfire in US, social unrest in Belarus,…), I find myself praying more but shorter prayers. Whenever I come across any bad news, I would just close my eyes and do a short prayer, otherwise I would likely forget about it when the next wave of bad news hit.

Oh Lord, did You hear my sporadic short prayers? Can You be merciful to us and help us stay safe and healthy during these challenging times? Let us continue to trust in You and not lose faith or hope. 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service

Back To School

Resumed my weekly calligraphy class after stopping a couple of months due to the pandemic. We went to have lunch with our 93 y/o ex-classmate after class, the six of us had to split into 3 tables due to the still effective social-distancing measures. Happy to see my elderly classmate and teacher both healthy and well after the devastating 3rd wave killing nearly a hundred of mostly elderly in the city.

In politics, our government renounced the well established “Separation of Powers” in favor of a more totalitarian approach in ruling the city. It’s yet another nail in the coffin for our previously free and prosperous city. I’m kinda growing desensitized in seeing the continuing downfall of our city, can anything new surprise me this week? Not sure what the future has in store, can only do our best to help in the present, so I continue to pray for the 12 young protesters who are detained in China for attempting to flee to Taiwan seeking asylum. Please help by signing the petition.

Work-wise, I continued cleaning up the studio, made considerable progress in clearing up my main working desk, now feeling more ready to going back to the studio full time this coming week. Studio work is kinda like my refuge during these challenging times. I’m anticipating what the post-COVID-19 era will be like and preparing the studio for it. It feels a bit like Noah building the Ark back in his days, everybody thought he was crazy until it started to rain cats and dogs.

Oh Lord, please continue to protect me and my family during these challenging times. Please continue to guide me in life and lead me to do what’s good in Your eyes. 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service

Interesting Turn of Events

Early this past week a few pro-democracy leaders were arrested for suspecting rioting on July 21st last year. One of them actually broadcasted live during the event and was beaten by gangs of white shirts in front of the camera, many Hongkongers watched the livestream and had trouble sleeping. I remember vividly of watching the livestream in a hotel in Singapore and slept poorly that night too. Funny how an obvious victim who reported the case to the police is now being charged for rioting after 13 long months of investigation.

The absurdity in our city continues to unfold as 12 ppl (mostly youngsters) were caught by Mainland police as they were smuggling to Taiwan by sea. There are ppl caught illegally smuggling to our city occasionally, but this is the first time I heard of ppl smuggling away from it. This is just another example of how absurd and insecure our city has become since the national security law was imposed on us without our consent just 2 months ago.

Another absurd event happened in the art community. I recently finished reading a great book on pen & ink and I mentioned that briefly on my previous post(s). The book was recommended by the Inktober organizer(s) who will be releasing a book that is now being accused of plagiarism. The accuser is the author of the book the Inktober organizer(s) had recommended! Watched the nearly hour-long accusation video and I’m now more than convinced of the shameless copying involved. Inktober is actually one of my favorite art events since I started participating in its daily inking challenges throughout October 2 years ago, it motivated me to practice cartooning and connected me with many other artists who are doing the same thing. With the event organizer tainted of plagiarism, I’m not too sure if I’ll join the challenge again in October this year. I was actually looking forward to it as I’ve rekindled my interest in inking and cartooning since the pandemic have allowed me more time to indulge in art. Sigh.

In midst of the many absurdity happening in our world today, God still seems to be here protecting me and my family, and for that I’m truly grateful. Oh Lord, pls also protect and save the 12 youngsters who were caught and detained in Mainland China. 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service

1/2 Work From Home (Week 2)

Continued my alternate days of working from home this week. Continued indulging in ink art while at home. One of the books on ink art I borrowed from the library earlier turned out to be really good and got me interested in pen and ink art again.

Work wise, I got excited when contacted for an interview for a proposal I submitted awhile back, but the interview was a bit discouraging and I hit an emotional low after. Didn’t sleep too well that night, but I think it had more to do with the coffee I had that afternoon before the interview.

Thank God my emotional low didn’t last too long. My daily devotional in the morning was on Ezekiel and it talked about how he persisted in preaching the same bad visions to the Israelites for more than 10 years despite harsh feedbacks and constant persecutions. The commentator talked about how life is a marathon and not a sprint, one will likely need to slowdown, walk, or even fall during the race, but it’s not an issue as long as you and get back up and continue the race to the finish line. I also recall the famous quote from Einstein “Life is like riding a bicycle, to keep your balance, you must continue moving.” (Probably not exactly wording)

With the proposal likely not happening, I started thinking more about the future direction for my work. It’s actually something I’ve been thinking a lot during these slow economic days. This year is the 7th year since the studio was established, I’m thinking about taking this Sabbatical year to take a break from the core business to do something new. Instead of laboring in R&D work solitarily, I plan to expand beyond the studio to collaborate with other people and organizations. I consider this a co-operative program for the studio, it’s actually the central idea for the proposal I submitted, I figured I can still carry on the proposal despite the discouraging interview as long as the plan is good in God’s eyes, right?

Stumbled upon a series of inspiring stories on some successfully funded social enterprises who are helping to tackle the many environmental issues the world is facing. My motivation for work rose back up. Went back to work early on Saturday, worked hard all day and successfully completed the structure of the model bridge I had been working on and off for the last month or so, a good start to completing the long standing studio cleanup/renovation project!

The confirmed COVID-19 cases continue to drop steadily to about 20-30 ppl daily. If the trend continues, it won’t be long till I can feel safe to go back to work full time.

Oh Lord, pls forgive me for falling prey to sin and letting You down again. Pls pick me up and start life anew with You. Life is meaningless without You O Lord. 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service