Weekly Update (0612-0617)

0612 – Dim sum lunch with parents. Typhoon Merbok hit town, made the special day extra memorable. 

0613 – Joint a class to learn how to create open source Chinese fonts, following God’s guildance (I think). 

0614 – Only night I had dinner at home this week (excluding Sunday). 

0615 – Saw a Chinese calligraphy exhibition with my calligraphy teacher and classmates.  Was treated dinner by an old neighbor and friend. 

0616 – Fellowship followed by wings and beer with an old friend visiting town. 

0617 – Joint a minibus workshop in the morning.  Karaoke buffet with friends in the evening. 

It had been a slightly busy (social) week, hoped but couldn’t find an extended quiet time to think and type up some of my recent thoughts. 

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Practice…

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Hot Days!!

IMG_4401The weather is so hot these days that one immediately starts sweating within 5 min. of walking outside.  I finally turned on the air-conditioner at home for the first time last weekend, as environmentally friendly as I hoped to be, I seriously couldn’t sleep without it.

I thought I could still do my morning run this week if I wake up early enough before the hot summer sun takes over the day, but the temperature wouldn’t go any lower than 28 degrees even without the sun in the evening.  I have no other options but to declare a temporary end to my weekly morning running practice.

Started picking up playing badminton again recently, and I’ll probably need to think up other additional exercises to keep my belly in check.

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New Daily Routine

In the last couple of weeks, I’ve started a new daily (almost) habit of practicing calligraphy and portraiture drawing using a brush pen.  As much as I love doing art, I’m still very skeptical about the idea of becoming a full-time (starving) artist.

Since my uncle got really sick earlier this year and later passed away, I found my initial idea of designing and selling functional, sustainable, and delightful products a bit meaningless, it’s not something I can use to help my deceased uncle one bit whatsoever.  My initial ambition and passion in setting up the studio seemed to have faded away.

Recently I’ve started dreaming of a new career, I find myself constantly thinking of ways to use the gifts that God has lavishly given me to help others (while making a living hopefully).  Art seems to be one of the key ingredients, and I’ve also started acquiring other ingredients (skillsets), for that future endeavor.  While waiting for this yet vague “dream” to be realised, I figured it’s best to discipline myself in some kind of regular training to keep my skills sharpened.  As the saying goes, “chance favors the prepared mind.”

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Running

Missed my weekly running practice on Wed. morning due to rain (black rain signal), and woke up late yesterday (poor sleep due to irritating mosquito), had to postpone the run to this morning.   Cloudy day, and temperature wasn’t too hot, good day for a healthy dose of exercise.

Running, and probably other aerobic exercises too, seems magical in clearing up one’s mind and steering it to think more positively.  Hope the hot summer won’t arrive soon that I may extend my weekly running exercise a bit longer.

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UW Alumni TBOD

Attracted by the presentation title Science & Entrepreneurship, I decided to join a formal alumni event of my former alma mater for the first time after moving back to HK for 7 or 8 years.  The talk was basically a presentation of the facts and milestones of the university’s initiative in incubating tech startups in the university town back in Canada, I couldn’t seem to find relevance for my current work/career.  And not knowing anyone at the event, my anti-social nature took precedence and I felt old and out-of-place.  Some youngsters were kind enough to initiate some conversations with me, but I had a hard time telling them my current work and had to present myself as a (starving) artist. 😅

The event did nonetheless bring back some fond memories of my undergraduate days, I was so full of dreams and felt like I could make a difference in the world after graduating from one of the most prestigious engineering school in the country.  I couldn’t be more wrong in my attitude.  After working in the software industry for a few years and then furthered and broadened my education, I couldn’t help but become more humbled and mellow.

Looking back now, I did like engineering, it’s all about curiosity, research, innovation, design, and applying it to solve problems and help others.  I seemed to have lost that side of myself, grateful that I was able to find it back tonight, guess the alumni event wasn’t entirely meaningless after all.

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Readings and Recent Updates

IMG_4365Finished reading a couple of good books (Where’s God When It Hurts, Man’s Search for Meaning).  I’ve always avoided reading books on war, death, and suffering, and I would probably never have picked up and read those books if not for my uncle’s recent passing away.

My uncle’s passing away seems to be transforming me still, I’m now reading books I would not normally read, watching movies I would not normally watch, and probably due to a heightened sense of sympathy, I now find myself shedding tears more easily when reading and seeing others suffer.  And being more aware about the limits of my time on earth, I seemed to have become more frugal in my use of time, hoping that more of my time be spent on the more important things – family, relationships, and my personal quest in search of life’s meaning.

“Oh Lord, please continue to lead and guide my life, let me use the gifts you have given me to serve others, help me to live my life to the fullest, a life that’s worthy of Your praise.” 🙏🏼

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New Studio T-shirts

Used my amateurish silkscreen printing skill to design and print some studio t-shirts.  This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a long time.  I’m never a fashionable guy, and more like a cartoon character, I prefer to wear the “same” clothes each day.

With the set of studio t-shirts printed, I’ll likely spend less time each morning searching through my pile of t-shirts and deciding what to wear.  The extra time saved can be put to better use elsewhere!

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Practice…

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Easter Monday

IMG_4308Through a flyer I came across after strolling around a christian bookstore, I discovered and signed up for an art jamming session on this Creative Monday.  I’ve been wanting to try out art jamming and learn to paint with acrylics for many years, but passed many opportunities due to timing and cost.  Today’s art jamming session fitted my schedule and budget perfectly!

It’s been more than a year since I last painted on canvas, but it didn’t take too long for me to get back into the groove, it still felt good to spend a few hours of solitude to focus all my attention on doing art while letting my worries and troubles slip.  Art can be quite therapeutic.

The art jamming session was held at Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre, a unique chinese style christian sanctuary, and it was actually my first time visiting.  It seemed particularly serendipitous to be doing art at a christian sanctuary on Easter Monday while I’ve been questioning myself recently about the role of art in my life.

“Oh Lord, You have entrusted me with the gift of art, how shall I use it to serve others and to glorify Your name?”

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