Mountains & Me

I how is it so?
How it comes to be,
that everytime I see the clouds hugging the mountains’ bodies,
I also feel them hugging me.

-Tiffany Teoh

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Love for Rumi’s Book on Love.

When I first read Rumi I had to admit I didn’t quite like his poetry. I thought it was too much about God and I’m not one of believing in a deity or a higher faith.

It took a second read about a year apart for me to truly appreciate the beauty and the satisfaction that glows inside a reader when they read his poems.

I just needed to replace the word God with another word that brings to mine some sort of serenity. The word does not exists, so I continue to read his poems with the word God as a lack for a better word. After all, even atheists need something flawless to believe in.

“grow instead in universal light” –  Rumi

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All Art is Useless

When I was a young girl, I used to love art, I was always excited to start a drawing, colour it in with my Faber-Castell colour pencils, you know the basic set we always get as kids. I used to attentively colour in the lines and in one direction so it looked as perfect as possible. I would then run to my mums’ room and quietly stick the finished pieces on her cupboard. I was so excited to see her reaction,  anticipating a “wow that’s really good!” heck I thought I was an artist.

Instead she came in and took them down, and told me not to stick anymore on her wooden cupboard as it would spoil the finishing on the wood.

I took it to mean, my art was not good enough.

My memory in relation to art in my pubescent years were quite fuzzy.

When I was in high school I found myself using art class to just chit chat with friends and play boardgames in class. I had never finished a piece of art unless it was graded. Even then I never finished it in class. I wasn’t lazy. I was just too ashamed.

I didn’t understand art. I didn’t understand how to draw a sunrise over rolling hills and colour them in. My I always tear a hole in the paper from erasing the same area too often because I couldn’t get  the sketch right, my water colours were a mess and it always soaked the paper, I couldn’t comprehend colours. Oil pastels and crayons were my best friends as they were solid and not susceptible to water.

I was sent to art classes outside of school. What would art class teach me anyways? I didn’t understand what perspective was, aside from someone’s opinion on my work which was always disheartening. All it made me realise was even in a group of kids outside of my  school, I was definitely the worse at it.

And though I always took my art page home and worked for hours on it, when I took it to class I always received a fail or just a scraping pass. That Red pen mark over my Blue sky, reflecting a 4/10 was enough to make me never touch the paint brush again.

My mother said it was my hands, I didn’t  have the slender fingers of an artist. Back then I hated art, and my hands.

In my most recent years, it took going to dozens of art exhibitions and seeing thousands of products that were regarded as “valuable artwork”. It took meeting lots of artists and speaking to lots of art enthusiasts. It took reading up on so many “art techniques” that preschoolers could realise themselves. It took trying again to create something that one person would regard as art for me to realise, that all art is quite subjective. And in the words of Oscar Wilde, “All art is quite useless.”

And I love art!

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Lola the lionfish by Clément and I.

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Journey to France: Day 102

Hi all, in the past week, Clément and I have been volunteering at Jeffrey’s Animal Retreat,  here in Langkawi. Here,  Jeffrey single handedly or with fellow volunteers, manages the day to day activities of caring for, rescuing, homing and rehabilitating traumatised or disabled animals. Not only that, he also cares for additional stray dogs housed by Hindu and Buddhist temples. He manages this out of his own pocket and with the help of some of his friends.

In a week we rescued 3 pups, all are healthy and active babies! This morning we allowed them to interact with the other dogs for the first time.

Cuteness ensued.

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If anyone is coming  to Langkawi and is interested to volunteer (there’s no cost) at this shelter and accommodation is provided. You will learn so much on animal behaviour and training. You will feel more connected with animals than you ever had and these skills are transferable outside of the shelter.

Dear readers, I know most of you are animal lovers, I know there are some of you who would cry just hearing of an animal being in pain. I know there are those of you who want to do good by the helpless and will support those that share your love and passion. Jeff looks after these darlings from his own pocket (from his savings during the time he used to work in USA. The care he provides is a 24 hour commitment hence he’s very limited time to gain more income to keep his care going.

I know there are those of you who are truly love dogs. I’ve seen your posts of Facebook and your anger when dogs get hurt. $3 AUD is the cost of a shot of antibiotics for a week here. That’s less than a cup of coffee. Help keep this care going on for longer. Any little amount helps.

If you’re willing to sacrifice a cup of coffee for the life of a puppy you can donate it here : Let’s Help Some Pups!

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Journey to France: Day 102

Hi all, in the past week, Clément and I have been volunteering at Jeffrey’s Animal Retreat,  here in Langkawi. Here,  Jeffrey single handedly or with fellow volunteers, manages the day to day activities of caring for, rescuing, homing and rehabilitating traumatised or disabled animals. Not only that, he also cares for additional stray dogs housed by Hindu and Buddhist temples. He manages this out of his own pocket and with the help of some of his friends.

In a week we rescued 3 pups, all are healthy and active babies! This morning we allowed them to interact with the other dogs for the first time.

Cuteness ensued.

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If anyone is coming  to Langkawi and is interested to volunteer (there’s no cost) at this shelter and accommodation is provided. You will learn so much on animal behaviour and training. You will feel more connected with animals than you ever had and these skills are transferable outside of the shelter.

Dear readers, I know most of you are animal lovers, I know there are some of you who would cry just hearing of an animal being in pain. I know there are those of you who want to do good by the helpless and will support those that share your love and passion. Jeff looks after these darlings from his own pocket (from his savings during the time he used to work in USA. The care he provides is a 24 hour commitment hence he’s very limited time to gain more income to keep his care going.

I know there are those of you who are truly love dogs. I’ve seen your posts of Facebook and your anger when dogs get hurt. $3 AUD is the cost of a shot of antibiotics for a week here. That’s less than a cup of coffee. Help keep this care going on for longer. Any little amount helps.

If you’re willing to sacrifice a cup of coffee for the life of a puppy you can donate it here : Let’s Help Some Pups!

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