winds; relished thoughts
revel like oasis
wounded memories metamorphose
Tuesday, Nov. 06, 2018 @ 9:45 p.m.
These days, instead of picking up my writer pen, I pick up the translator pen and recreate Chinese contemporary martial arts novels into an English novel.
After translating over 100 chapters each month, I fell in love with the martial arts, the plot twists, the romances and the history and with the death of Jin Yong, the pioneer of modern Chinese wuxia last week, I hope to continue the legacy.
But since I get paid to write and translate, the allure of rising to be a manager becomes less and less attractive to me.
Not because I have no ambition, but because I already own my freelance business and oversee myself from contract negotiations and crafting words, to payments and the full cycle of my projects. I definitely enjoy seeing sides of employee (day job) and owner (night hustle), and who can resist doing amazing things like voice overs and translation of chinese legacies?
But of course, my hope is to fully retire into this underground gig economy and focus on translating, teaching and writing. This will hopefully give me more time to write my Chinese literature and appreciate Arabic poetry.
After all, if Allpoetry facebook group can organically grow into 2500+ members worldwide, and my translator's pen could start off with $0, everything is possible.
Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2018 @ 4:21 p.m.
I knew my destiny and what I had to do.
Even the counselor said I need healing from the trauma of writer life and not counseling.
I try to be light.
But I know who I am with is always my opposite.
Depending on where you believe in Christianity, I am already paired up with the dark side being with a Sunni Muslim.
Or we may say that we are united as followers or descendents of Ishmael and Isaac.
Or we unified the Arab and Chinese worlds and that we would have made the Silk Road Trade in Chang'an so smooth. In a different dynasty like Yuan dynasty, I would definitely be in a higher rank because of the significant other.
But you usually see him first.
I am, after all, packed with an ambition and grit of a dragon, yet I fully know I am to heal and to love and to write. You don't want to see me too soon, because that meant something would happen.
Or perhaps, I just want to give you a teaser with writes and make you savour gothchyld here and there in my selfish desires.
Monday, Aug. 13, 2018 @ 10:19 p.m.
I wanted to be strong, to be bold, to change someth
I was raised to a warrior and charm the crowds with a smirk, and tested again and again with projects under projects, but my emotions would not numb and tears still flow at certain fleeting moments.
It was not until years later that I was told I have a much more powerful gift - to heal, to create, to give meaning and perhaps, to change the world.
Let me shred and peel myself in front of you.
Unveil my scars concealed under layers of concealer for decades.
And breathe life as I choke out the toxins like a periodic ritual.
Perhaps, creative souls also liken that we trespass two worlds - the reality that has its own set of practical rules and prejudiced ideas, and the organic, evolving creative realm that envelopes us with love and go tell us to do something.
All the time, my creative side tells me to preserve this emotional beauty with elegant words, but then go be a fiery word warrior that mediates and fight for peace and understanding at the most turbulent shores.
I didn't buy a ticket to the most dangerous places and fight - that would be irrational, and that is another's purpose. But we will get back to that later, because my life also connects to these conflicting forces.
Before I come back to this conflict, I had to acknowledge my raw emotions and the creative realm are my core self, and read encyclopedias upon encylclopedias of dysfunctions of the heart and the mind. Perhaps that was what God had in mind for me. After all, it is not everyday I come out unscathed of a havoc.
To untangle and sense the hidden emotions and struggling life of those who have numbed so long.
To discern and continually pray that those who killed their core selves will one day embrace their murdered selves and cherish their lives.
To be a sounding board for them and tilt them to ideas, but never to force them so. It is their homework, I often assert myself, even if it takes a life time.
However, I made a vow that I will never be a counselor. To absorb so much is too much for me and I do not want to poison myself. It is better to be the initial guiding light and lead them to the rational professionals who can do that.
At my core, I am simply an artist-writer-historian who creates and breathes meaning and this is the formula that I can thrive with.
Now, back to our conflicting forces....
A decade ago, I did try to be bold and have some literary revolution over war at Middle East. My kindred spirits are dear to me and I bury myself into books, attempting to learn their laws and the root of the problem.
But life decided it was time for me to cherish and savour art history to strengthen my craft and leave this for 10 years later, when I met my soulmate and came into a crossover.
In the Bible, we are constantly reminded of the different paths that Isaac and Ishmael. Through Gentiles, I have read the stories of Isaac, but he read and believe in the origins of Ishmael.
I do not know of God's plans ahead, but I do know that this conflict continues today in warfare.
Some of us and some of them have turned into extremists who have gone too deep in the dark unfortunately. But there is still hope.
I never convert to his side, there are some beliefs that I don't believe in, but from historical books, it appears that this long-standing feud started when we kill whoever who disagrees with us, and this dragged onto crusades and quests to purify the world, along with some corruption here and there.
So now, I shed and sit in the position of diplomat - still hoping to be more like God through the Bible, but dissecting Middle East history and politics as if an expert. (Let's not forget the lecture about Wahhabism, it was exhausting)
Kick into my out of the world writer self and you cannot get a more delicate position.
But I guess, this resiliency means I get to change the world after all.
The Battle With Silence
Sunday, Aug. 05, 2018 @ 4:25 p.m.
The 6-hour Mindfulness Retreat last week opened a Pandora's box.
It was not my first time in a Mindfulness Retreat, nor the first time I saw my mind warped and wrecked and wrestled in pieces.
But when I came out, I had refluxes, anxiety attacks and little critters reminding me of the haunting silence.
As introspective I can be, I have been burned into fearing stillness. Growing up in Hong Kong does not help when everything can be answered in 2 minutes and you have a barrage of apps to toy with in the subways either.
But to leave my inquisitive mind into a stasis when half of me have a booked schedule, and the other half of me have my challenge to be writer-diplomat-historian, that is placing me in a haunted house.
This reverie spins and kills my inspirations into strings of madness, but it is precisely the root I have to face.
My body will one day return to ashes, and I do not need to burn and churn my mind to build Venice when this stillness enables me to savour finer things in life. Not everyone has this gift to be self aware and decipher their issues at the expense of a $20 mindfulness therapy and aspiring mindfulness teacher training. (Yes, this is happening)
To slow down and inhale life
To realize meanings and purposes
and retreat into a sabbath of art
in this blended reality
and return to both worlds in big love adagio
Monday, Apr. 02, 2018 @ 11:20 p.m.
While Canada is a living proof of thriving diversity, at times, I relish over my cross-cultural upbringing and experience.
Recently, one of my poems is selected to be included in Allpoetry's 2018 Anthology "On Earth As It Is in Poetry" under the name "gothchyld" (it will be published in US!). While each write has their own story and each publication is equally special, I was more amazed that as a former EAL/ESL student, I have not only continued to study English in A-Levels and University level, but manage to publish my English poetry in UK and US.
While my parents intentionally taught me English and Cantonese (but of course, with a bit of Chinese accent), my cross-cultural upbringing was completely accidental.
I have seen that cross cultural adults often made choices - to revert to their primary culture (e.g. ethnicity by blood), to convert to their secondary culture (e.g. where/what they were brought up) or to maintain their fluidity of cultures and went on to be even more mixed. How I took the latter high road, I do not know.
Although they were born and bred in Asia, my parents were never local by heart. Perhaps, because they love both Hollywood and Korean movies, and embrace the progressive society that the West have. I remember a childhood traveling to museums in Asia and North America, and reading both Red Mansion and Pride and Prejudice.
Enter British international school that was a melting of nationalities. After catching up with English for 2 years to be on par with my peers (critical thinking was not well integrated in local schools then), the romance of soccer and sophistication of Shakespeare have won over me. My love of Shakespeare definitely spills over to university and beyond and I still occasionally brag how I studied under two renowned Shakespearean scholars (Prof. Jill Levenson and Prof. Holger Syme), where I learned to decipher beyond iambic pentameter and write about Elizabethan medicine.
But art appreciation took over.
And so did my writing partner from Middle East who brought a breath of fresh air.
10+ years, I met with my classmate, who has progressively become 'local' in Hong Kong culture after she met her Hong Kong born and bred fiance. Her Cantonese and knowledge of Hong Kong culture probably beats me now, but I know my dilemma on Hong Kong and China governance would never let me revert to a local.
Or my cousin who has studied the arts and met her Caucasian boyfriend in the creative industries. But I know I can barely finish an American/Canadian TV show, have almost quit alcohol altogether (liver takes too long to breakdown) nor do I like camping so forget that.
Life somehow decide that it will be more fun for me to retain all my cultures and take on a new one. It has continued to groom me to appreciate and understand more of Chinese and British history and literature, along with Canadian art. Then after my writing partner vanished back to the practical world, I met my South Asian fiance with a similar cross cultural upbringing and I end up deciphering Mughal and Ottoman Empires along with Islamic laws (very sporadically) to understand beyond family gossip.
Despite Chinese questioning my interesting life choices (based on 9/10 Chinese friends and cousins), the South Asian fraction has welcomed me with open arms (based on 9/9 South Asian friends). Something must be right.
This may just be glocalization at its best.
But I know I will definitely remind future children that the world is truly their oyster with 4 cultures and languages at their hands.