Friday, December 15, 2017

Letters 551: Of Love & Solitude

"For those who are not frightened by the solitude, everything will have a different taste."

- Paulo Coelho (Manuscript Found in Accra, 2012)


To whom I haven't met yet,

          Every time a new year comes around, people make a new resolutions. As usual, year after year, the same thing happens. Within a few months, the resolutions quietly fizzle out. But I guess I still steadfastly held on to my New Year's resolutions, successfully achieved some & in pursuit of much more.

            As mentioned previously in my letters, I contributed 5% of my monthly income to buy & distribute foods for the unfortunate ones. Each time, I listened to wonderful stories from them. One of them (an old man at the retirement home) told me about the time he had always dreamed of being his own boss. As such, he participated (unknowingly) in a Ponzi scheme called the Sunshine Empire in Singapore. But it did not turn out as planned when he found out it was a multi-level marketing scheme & not as easy as promised by his up line. His family also did their part by cutting down whatever spending expenses they could & scrape through financially each month. He worked as a contract labor soon after the scheme went bust. The work was taxing as the pay was far less than normal job. He was unhappy with himself because he felt he was wasting his life doing petty stuff until today. 

              I suggested to him that he start operating a food stall at any food court near their home. It was a risky suggestion but after much deliberation, I decided it is the best thing for him at the moment. Granted, it will never be easy or as promising like what I envisaged for them. Business will be slow, losses will be more than profits. But I asked them to make a New Year resolution for 2018 to never give up & march forward. In my words, "die die must try". 

                Dear you, the last time I met him was a week ago. He is much happier person now compare to a month ago. He enjoys his work as a hawker. I am pretty sure nothing is going to hold him back from the future. I am proud of him. One less wandering soul off the street right? This is a love.

                Love is only a word, until we decide to let it possess us & people around with all its force. Love make us march forward & never give up. It is always the last key on the key chain to opens the door in difficult life. 

                I guess that is it for the 551st letter to you. Until then, have yourself a wonderful march towards the end of this glorious year.


p.s

Don't try to be useful, try to be yourself. It makes all the differences. :)


To destiny,

The Half Moon Serenades.

15th of December 2017.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Letters 550: From Road Trip with Love

"And stand together yet not too near together for the pillar of the temple stand apart & the oak tree with the cypress grow not in each other's shadow."

- Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet, 1923)


To whom I haven't met yet,

           Over the past 11 years, I've written quite a lot (550 letters to be exact), yes cry me a single tear & I've written in a variety of places no one in their right mind would try to do creative writing.

            Instead of spending hours ranting on social media about every issue affecting my life as the year fast approaching the end, I took off on a road trip with a wish list of 'to-dos' for the past three weeks. After all, everything we know on earth is finite & if there are things we want to do, we had better do it fast before we died right?

             The road trip wasn't a depressing affair. In fact, it was quite fun doing crazy things that I wanted to do for so long. I guess it is for me to seize the day, live it fully & make each day counts. These are experiences that add new perspectives & feed the soul. It change me in unexpected ways, adding strength to my character & teaching me to count my blessings & to love others.

              Dear you, every day is indeed a bonus. I missed someone in Malacca. I never mentioned it because I knew it would not make a difference because it would be artificial & empty efforts like watching the paint to dry up on the wall. 

                But that's life. It is perhaps enough to think back with fondness on our shared moment in the sun. Some friendships evolve, some love fade away, some memories become fossilized marvels, suspended in perfection, frozen in our mind. 

                 I guess I learned so much in this year road trip my hummingbird.


p.s

One day, when you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Pinky promise. :)


Always,

The Half Moon Serenades.

29th of November 2017. 

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Letters 549: Farewell Little Angel

"What you seek is seeking you."

- Rumi 


To whom I haven't met yet,

            I recalled few years ago, holding a newborn in the orphanage as others formed a circle around with clasped hands & prayed for her. They knew that not all abandoned infants, let alone the one found in a dustbin get to survive. Despite their sorrow, they were grateful his life wasn't at risk.

            Will you believe me if I told you that baby is an amazing creature? A customized, detailed work of God, mimicking their respective mother/father, down to the pattern of their smile across their cute little face. You will be surprise to know that some babies are really amazing in their resilience. Like a piece of white cloth, they haven't feel the pain that we go through. I guess the little angels wasn't ready to say their farewell.

             Dear you, the word 'farewell' has become so common these days. There always seems to be some acquaintance saying 'goodbye', one after another accompanied by their predictable circumstances in my life. So many farewells along the way but it is the 'farewell forever' that depletes the soul. But luckily, there were none this year.

              This morning, as I stepped into the living hall at the orphanage, I saw a young sweet girl hurrying towards me. My mind flashed to the memories with her years ago (see above). She gave me a good hug (super tight huggy wiggy hug in her own words). I had earnestly prayed for her & the rest of orphans. I brushed my hand against her face, it was wet with tears. I found out my prayers went answered because she finally found adoptive family to start her new life all over again.

               Life is sweet, memories are forever. At last, she will be free & I can finally say a farewell. A sweet farewell of course. Somehow in my haste, I wrote for her a piece of letter with a hope that one day, when she mastered the language, she will read & live her life to the fullest. 

               How sweet right my hummingbird? A good reason to be happy today before I embark on my  3 weeks Tour of Asia in three days time. I typed this letter for you with smiles attached. I just haven't met you yet. :)


p.s

Be joyful in hope, patience in affliction & faithful in prayer.


For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.

11th of November 2017.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Letters 548: Being Alive

"Light trumps darkness every time."

- Jodi Picoult (Change of Heart, 2008)


To whom I haven't met yet,

              For me, life doesn't come with a ready-made meaning. It is something we're supposed to give meaning to, at least this is what my life mantra. I am not saying that we should replace our desire for pleasurable experiences with a life focused solely on purpose & meaning. It is more to the pursuit of maximum happiness in life.

              The challenges I face daily can indeed feel overwhelming, but it can take on great meaning when I look beyond my immediate struggles at the bigger picture. I can actually think that I am nothing nothing special or that I do not have what it takes to make a difference, but eventually at the end of the day, I really make a difference, let it be in my life or others. 

               Yesterday, I talked with a girl about her future. Her mind is full of 'what if' instead of 'I can'. But little she realize that the greatest limitations are the ones she impose on herself. I prayed that she throw out these misconceptions that she will eventually understand just how big a difference she can make if she starting to believe in herself. 

               Dear you, occasionally I let small things get to my mind. I am not perfect. But we would not be human if we were able to keep our minds continuously calm & composed right? Certainly it gives me comfort when my own moments of struggle & doubt pay a visit.

                Maybe the best way is to embrace life with sheer enthusiasm. In the meantime, I learnt to be more grateful & content with what I have in life right now. I am grateful I have few houses, cars, loving & caring mother, a healthy body even though I am fat, good education, great food & wonderful jobs.

                Simply for being alive.


p.s

God has made every thing beautiful in its time.


I am with you,

The Half Moon Serenades,

11th of November 2017. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Letters 547: Never Say Goodbye

"If we lose our hope, that's our real disaster."

- Dalai Lama XIV


To whom I haven't met yet,

         To be honest, we live in an age of unpredictability yet some things come with certainty such as ageing, suffering & death. 

         Three days ago, once again I had the opportunity to distribute foods to the beggars at Chulia Street. One particular beggar caught my eyes, an old lady. I watch her breathe through her mouth which is always agape. Each time she consumed the chicken burger that I bought for them, her eyes closed & her face twisted at an odd angle as the act of swallowing the food is giving her too much trouble. You can see the outline of skeleton is etched clearly beneath her wrinkles skin. I guess her life has been reduced to this routine of eat & sleep. 

         For the past 3 years, this old lady used to be able to grip my hand when I held hers but lately, she cannot even do that anymore. All signs of communication are being cut off & hijacked by her old age. All I could do that night is pray.

         Dear you, I often wonder what goes on in her tangled mind. Her strength is disappearing yet she still can smile & praise my monthly efforts. One of her favorite question is 'Where is your girl? Faster find one & bring her together before I died.' Normally I will brush aside such question but I feel privileged & promised her that I will bring the moment I found you one day, someday. 

         Life is strange. What's left of her? Only strength.She is now reduced to a specter of former self. It is painful to watch the old age suck the life out of its victim as it takes them down a long, dark road of no return. I hope she will never say goodbye.

          I tried. If one listens to my hard work silently in search of you, it will tears their heart away. But I am not expecting much nowadays my hummingbird. I believe somewhere out there, somewhere along the lines, I will eventually found you. 

           You will be my home & happiness. *cross fingers* :)


p.s

As long as you know that God is with you, it doesn't matter who is against you.




For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades. 

24th of October 2017.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Letters 546: Of Birthday, Bouquet & Believe

"There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."

- Jawaharlal Nehru


To whom I haven't met yet,

           The words 'Happy Birthday' has become so common for me this month. There always a birthday one after another, accompanied by predictable moments. Some birthdays depleted my energy while some enhanced my perspectives towards the world. Each time I celebrated a birthday, I realize I have outdone myself again. I know, it's Whatsapp world where a simple wish might be enough yet I prefer to ask them out for a little celebration. 

              Yesterday, I spoiled someone with gifts on her birthday. Three bottles of Victoria Secret's perfumes, tonnes of clothes from Padini Authentics & a bouquet of flowers from 50Gram, not to mention countless wonderful foods from early in the morning until late evening. At first, she hesitated a bit as she said it was amount to a bully but after yours truly convinced her, it turned to be one of the best birthday celebration this year.

                She did great on our shopping 'adventure'. I channeled all my energy in accompanying her from one mall to another. It makes me believe that I took the right decision by making her make her own choices of birthday gifts instead of me shoving it in her throat. 

                  We shared many wonderful stories about our life too. It truly makes me wonder about everyone around me. Is that person hurting? What's the person next move. But the moment I looked at her laughing non-stop about my silly jokes or mistakes, I am very sure I took the right road. 

                   In these photo, you saw her precious smile with the bouquet from 50Gram. It was an opposite reaction compare to my previous experience. Her excitement truly lights up the world that day. 

                   Life is full of bad times but it will always wake you up to the good stuff you weren't paying attention too. Until then, have yourself a wonderful week wherever you are in this world.


p.s

Be still & know that God is there with you.


For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.

19th of October 2017.

                  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Letters 545: Of Faith & Mountains

"I half closed my eyes & imagined this was the spot where everything I'd ever lost since my childhood had washed up."

- Kazuo Ishiguro (Never Let Me Go, 2005)


To whom I haven't met yet, 

          Will you believe me if I said the dead do speak & they try to tell us something? Each time I saw a dead body, whether in my line of job or simply accident victims at the roadside made me realize that we are often put in such situations between life & death for a reason. 

          There are always lessons to be learnt. The stories behind the tragedy, their struggle in life & respect in death. Sometimes, I paused for a moment to reflect & think about my own life perhaps & the inevitability of death, specifically in the time between them. 


          Anyway, lets talk about my day at the orphanage few days ago. There was this little girl, she painted my left hand with crayons until it looks like Barney the Purple Dinosaur. Well, maybe she was upset because I tied her hair like a ribbon. Lately her favorite hobby is pinching my nose non-stop but of course yours truly here tickled her & she laughed until fell asleep. I believe, someday, this little angel will grow up & be the princess of the moon.

           Dear you, people said I did all this because I felt pity with the orphans or simply running away from hectic life. But people must understand, life does not have a 'turbo' button that, upon being pressed, will make the hectic life disappear. I have told myself if God let me have a good life, I will do everything humanly possible to save a life, in this case, the orphans & the beggars that I helped.

             Until the next letter, have yourself a wonderful life ahead hummingbird. I wish you were to live my life. Just have faith. :)


p.s

Faith can move mountains. 


Yours truly,

The Half Moon Serenades.

16th of October 2017.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Letters 544: Strong & Courageous

"When a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day, make a wish & think of me."

- Jack Powell (Jack, 1996)


To whom I haven't met yet.

            In life, there are journeys that are physically less hectic but nevertheless require some form of strength. When one is on a journey with a medical ailment, it can be physically & mentally draining. But did you know that it can work wonders when family & friends are on hand to offer a shoulder to cry on, help & cheer you on?

             For the past few Sundays, I volunteered at a psychiatric hospital in my home state. It was more to a job but I took it as volunteering sessions with one of the patient there. She was a rape victim. The experience was so horrible until she decided to jump from a building few years ago but luckily a Good Samaritan managed to pull her before she jumped. 

             I was the first one apart from her family members that visited her in the psychiatric hospital since then. My friend asked me for a favor, whether I can help with this particular job so I decided to make my own leap of faith & said 'yes' immediately. To be honest, each time I listened to her, it remind me once again about how two persons from different walks of life are united by emotional stories. 

             Dear you, every journey is different. Some require extensive preparations, some require just the right dosage of love to help one to take yet another step forward. I told people around me not to focus on the hard part of their life but to trust in God who gives strength & grace in such difficult times.

              This is true not only for her but also for you, my hummingbird. If you ever found yourself heading towards bottomless pit in your life one day, put in your mind that yours truly here will spearhead your march towards the sky. 

               Until the next letter, have yourself a wonderful life there. I miss you.


p.s

Be strong & courageous. :)


For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.

10th of October 2017.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Letters 543: Unexpected Road

"Some days are meant to be counted, others are meant to be weighed."

- Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat Pray Love, 2006)


To whom I have met, 

            A week ago, I went to the Penang General Hospital Psychiatric Ward for a work related stuff. It was a weird experience, an eye opening to be exact. I saw tonnes of patients with tonnes of stories.

              You see, people try, give advice & asked them to read every book but the truth is there is no right way for a patient to be completely cured from mental illness. They blamed themselves, they blamed hectic life, they blamed God. But, anyone can become mentally ill. No one is safe. 

               A glamorous life does not protect you from mental illness. It truly makes me wonder about everyone around me. Is that person hurting? What's the person's story? 

                I sat down with a young girl, mentally ill due to sexual abuse she received. She tried to find her appetite with a patch of plaster still on her forehead. 

                Dear Samantha, mentally ill patient do not look like the people in the movies sometimes. They are just people that took a road they never expected. This girl, she is doing great. I listened to her stories, makes silly jokes to cheer her up & channeled my funny attitude into her. 

                She is trying to move forward but the road is hard. But I told her that I believe in her. God is with her. I asked her to seek God & hopefully she will follow my advice. We love because He first loved us. 

                 Until then, have yourself a wonderful weekend there. I love you.


p.s 

After all this time, I still miss you everyday.


Always,

The Half Moon Serenades.
1st of October 2017.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Letters 542: Masquerade

"I was aiming at just enough to keep you from walking out."

- Melvin Udall (As Good as It Gets, 1997)


To whom I have met,

          Few days ago, I thought I lost everything when a motorcyclist rammed his bike directly at me while I crossed the road. Those few minutes under the heavy rain, lying upside down changed my perspective towards life. Fortunately by God's grace, yours truly here escaped with only bleeding knees & deep cuts which required tonnes of stitches. 

           I still remember how it felt thinking that I was about to lose my life but then miraculously, I were given a second chance. I will never forget those accident & the Almighty God. Few years back, I might questioned God, asking Him why I had this stroke of bad luck? But nowadays, I just live my life to the fullest. I owe my life to Him who hears & answers my prayers most of the time. 

          Anyway, the next day, with stitches still fresh intact, I went out to distribute food for the beggars, alone. 20 packets of rice to be exact. Unfortunately Samantha, the rice went cold as it took me more than one hour to do it as both of my legs still in recovery process. Sometimes, I am wondering what actually inside the beggars mind? Maybe the feel hopeless or maybe they simply tired with their life? 

           Dear Samantha, real life is not like the Hollywood movies we watched at the cinema. Sometimes, a cheerful man outside can be a masquerade for a broken man hidden inside. I hope behind your ever loving smile, you will remain as a strong girl forever & ever. Be kind, we never know but sometimes, a little kindness goes a long way. Like a ripple in a body of a water, that one act that can change someone else life. 

          I guess that's all I gotta say in this letter. I miss you. Have yourself a wonderful semester break from college there.


p.s

Love keeps no record of wrongs.


Always, 

The Half Moon Serenades.

22nd of September 2017.