Reading and Writing

Spent unusually long amount of time immersing myself in books the past week. Finished reading two books, one on creative writing (Bird by Bird) and the other being a fictional novel about time (The Time Keeper).

Never considered doing any writing myself, but Bird by Bird is one of those books you just can’t let go once you started reading. The creative writing process sounded a lot like creating art needing, among many things, keen observations and daily practices. Perhaps I should experiment with that a little when I find the time later.

Never got into reading fantasy fictional novels, especially those without accompanying attractive illustrations. I sometimes think it’s a waste of time reading something that’s unreal and totally out of this world. Where’s the application? I’m a practical guy, I know. So it seemed a little strange that I would be so absorbed into reading The Time Keeper. Reading the book felt like what the female protagonist in the book was trying to say to the boy whom she had a crush on but who never liked her in return – “time flies with you”. That’s actually something I would like to tell the girl-I-like someday too.

Sketch… Sunday Service

Let Your Life Speak

Finished reading the little book Let Your Life Speak. Don’t remember where I came across that book and noted it down on my reading list. I probably was just captivated by the title.

Can’t say that I liked the book, but there’s something intriguing in it that got me thinking. The author says that even though we’re created in the image of God, each of us is born with our unique bound limits as well as gifted potentials. We must live an authentic life by listening to our inner voice and following it to do what we were naturally made to do at our conception. That is all good and well until he mentioned that if we don’t live our lives authentically, we will harm not just our own lives but also the lives of people around us. And then the author goes on to describe vividly his dark journey into and out of depression.

I didn’t really understand that lesson until I played badminton yesterday. My old worn out shoes were super slippery at the court, but I figured I’ll survive through the non competitive pick-up games. I was playing with some good players in one of the games, and I got kinda frustrated as I missed running to the many shots I would have no problem returning if not the slippery shoes. I was frustrated not only because I wasn’t playing to my full potential, but also for being a liability to my partner who seemed very eager to win.

It’s a good lesson that I should remember, that it is important to live my life authentically and living it to its full potential of its conceived purpose, so as not to harm myself as well as others around me.

May God continue to guide me in understanding my conceived purpose and to live life to the fullness. May I be a blessing and not a curse to everyone around me. 🙏🏻

Sketch… Sunday Service

After the Storm

Typhoon Mangkhut turned out to be as devastating as forecasted. Countless trees were fallen all over the city. Seeing the ravaged city streets feels a little apocalyptic, don’t recall seeing the city like this ever before. Luckily, no human lives were lost due to the storm.

As the city recovers from the storm, my little cold war with my mom is slowly fading away. Haven’t had dinner at home during weekdays since the argument with my mom broke out over dinner a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been avoiding conversations with my mom and have turned down her daily dinner invitations. It doesn’t feel good to turn her down, but I think it’s the right thing to do, it’s always difficult during the transitioning period before a new (and hopefully) better habit/routine kicks in, right?

Had dinner at home tonight as I’ve promised my mom that I’ll have dinner at home on Sundays and not weeknights from now on. Will probably make an exception tomorrow as it’s Mid-Autumn festival.

May God continue to help the city recover from the storm while reconciling me and my mom after the argument.

Sketch… Sunday Service

Awaiting Storm…

Typing up this weekly entry in the studio as the whole city anxiously waits for the approaching super typhoon Mangkhut…

Started off this week with a little family storm of my own.  Had a big argument with my mom on Monday over dinner.  It was a recurring argument about me not willing to eat the large bowl of rice that my mom thinks I should be eating.  I usually just shove the extra rice back to the cooker and silently let my mom scold a little before peacefully eating the dinner with my parents.  But this time my mom snapped and yelled and wouldn’t let the issue go.  I was angry but couldn’t talk back and reason with her because that’s useless and would make the situation worse.  I ended up not eating dinner at home for the rest of the week.  Truth is that I’m more worried than angry, according to my sister my mom has been arguing with her and my dad since returning from Canada, and now even me (her most spoiled son) was not exempted, what’s wrong?

Had been spending a lot of time this week figuring out a good way to vectorise some of my brush-and-ink artwork.  Seemed to have found a good solution and will try to archive the pile of artwork I had accumulated over the past year or so.

Met and caught up with a relative new friend over lunch yesterday.  She’s an interesting friend who serendipitously found me when I felt lost after my uncle passed away more than a year ago.

Met and caught up with an old friend today.  It’s nearly 30 years since I first met this friend and his brother in TO, we were play buddies whenever our parents played mahjong together.  We lost contact until we bumped into each other again in UW enrolling in the same undergraduate programme!  I invited him to play badminton with the UW Alumni group this morning, he injured his ankle halfway.  We had lunch, visited a Chinese doctor, and shared a cab home.  We had plenty of time to catch up as he had to walk slowly and the taxi ride was also slowed down due to congestion.

Enjoy meeting and catching up with friends, and I’m still eagerly waiting for the girl-I-like to free up some time to meet up with me as the city anxiously waits for the approaching super typhoon Mangkhut…

Sketch… Sunday Service

Picking Up The Slack

Sunday – Back to my home church’s Sunday Service after my ~1.5 month vacation.

Monday – Still jet-lagging and woke up early, went for a morning run after my usual morning routine.  It was my first run since May, could only complete ~2.5k and could barely catch my breath afterwards, totally out of shape.

Tuesday – Back to school and continuing my ~2.5 years and counting “Tuesdays with Morrie”-like Chinese calligraphy class.  One of our classmates invited us to her home afterwards to celebrate my eldest classmate’s (belated) 90th bday.  My classmate’s husband cooked and served many delicious dishes, another classmate brought loads of fruits (which I had to carry since I’m the youngest), my teacher brought 2 cakes made by his son who is a chef, and I brought the ginseng tea and ice wine from my trip.  It was a very joyful meal to say the least!

Friday – Back to fellowship.

Saturday – Played some pickup badminton.  Haven’t played for months and my shoes and racquet grip are disintegrating.

Slowly I’m acclimatising back to the familiar HK lifestyle just as I remembered before my (unplanned) long vacation…

I also tried asking the girl-I-like out to hopefully pick up where we left off before my trip, but she seemed busy with deadlines to meet, and so my wait continues.

Sketch… Sunday Service