Saturday, 27 August 2011

Love is...

Love is when you keep on encouraging me when the going gets tough. Love is when you stayed up till 2.30am to help me count, tally and double check the numbers even though it is not your job. Your support warms up my heart and I feel very much cared for, protected by my man.

Love is patient, love is enduring, love is accepting. They say action speaks louder than words but soft, gentle words can melt a heart more than action can do, at least for ladies. So, speak it, do it, love it!


Protect your lady like Donald Duck did in this pix!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

I love this song! (Here we go again)

Okay, this time it isn't a Japanese song, referring to my recent craze for the song Tegami by Angela Aki. :-)

It is this song - Gabriel's Oboe (Whispers In a Dream) - which is the second version of lyric-added to the original musical score of Gabriel's Oboe. Sarah Brightman introduced Nella Fantasia with Italian lyrics and now Hayley Westenra introduced her version of Gabriel's Oboe with her own composed lyrics - enjoy the song!

Gabriel's Oboe (Whispers In a Dream)
lyrics composed by Hayley

Whispers in a dream
The world is quiet and waiting
And all around the air is still
And sings the angel.

When all has come to pass
The storm has breathed its last
And the rain has washed our fears away
Love will fall.

Whispers in the wind
The clouds part to let the light in
And all around the people sigh
As birds take to the sky.

When all has come to pass
The storm has breathed its last
And the rain has washed our fears away
Love will fall on us all.

The world will smile again.


Whispers in a dream
The world is quiet and waiting
And all around the air is still
And sings the angel.

When all has come to pass
The storm has breathed its last
And the rain has washed our fears away
Love will fall on us all.

And we can smile again. 

I love Hayley Westenra as well. Here's a tribute to her - a decade of her musical career:

Friday, 12 August 2011

New Passion - Kinda Crazy Though :-)

I have a new (crazy passion). Guess what, guess what? *grins*

I finally acted on my long-time-wish to learn a second (classical) musical instrument. I don't count the recorder that we learned back in primary school as a second instrument to my piano. I've been talking about it since I was in my teens, then kinda put it on hold when I was busy with tertiary studies, then work, then marriage.

Now, thanks to my childless state, which is a curse or blessing in disguise depending on how you are looking at it (I want a child more than anything at this point but wanting too much of something you don't have yet is very painful, so I decided to pick up and pursue my girly dream, which I figured is a good distraction) - I adjusted a bit of my schedule and found time to enrol in a music school nearby home for my first music lesson in a decade (or maybe more than a decade!). I actually started teaching music in 1998 when I was still studying and hadn't attended another music class after I 'graduated'.

I believe I've always been musically inclined since young. I've been exposed to almost everything parents could afford, from kiddies song since young up to classical music education (piano) up to my teen years; the rich experience of both English and Chinese oldies and then some (read: three) singing classes before I left my hometown and everything in music behind as I moved to Kuala Lumpur and even had my piano sold in the last decade.  Now that is one complex sentence, I'm just long-winded and don't practice what I preach (simple writing is always the best, don't use too many brackets, etc.etc.).

So which instrument did I choose? Guess, guess, guess?

The flute. Still involving pressing the keys albeit not on the keyboard but on the keypad of the flute. It's so heavy compared to a Chinese flute! My dad had a flute's Chinese cousin and I remembered him blowing the Chinese flute in my younger days. He stopped as we grew bigger and he older, lack of stamina, I think.

And man, it really does take a lot of stamina to blow, and the use of the correct breathing technique from the thoracic diaphragm is essential to produce the correct sound/pitch from the flute. Took me about 10 minutes of soundless blowing as I adjusted my oral cavity and my lips and my body stance before I produced the first audible deep B note from the flute!

I was nearly giving up and the instructor/teacher was encouraging me to be patient cos it takes some time to get used to the blowing. It was a one-on-one class, it's a male instructor (I don't know why but I prefer this term more than 'teacher') and he's very polite and very gentleman, asking prior permission and apologising in the few instances there are bound to be necessary physical contact like adjusted my fingers on the keys and my wrist holding position of the flute and my chin against the lip plate of the flute. 

It was only 45 minutes (with a few minutes extra time as it was the first class) -- but man, I talked about it endlessly after that while narrating to my hubby about it, I was excited and erm, I think passionate is a better word. I plan to buy a flute to keep practising at home. Put that on the tab of my darling as my upcoming birthday gift then. *wink* I just discovered how expensive flutes are and found out that it's because they are mostly handmade as it's a very sensitive musical instrument. There are even gold plated ones because the better quality the metal is, the better the sound is!

The good thing about learning a second instrument at such a mature age (read: old) is that you are more prepared to absorb what the lessons had to teach as you pay for it yourself, and you are more focused. Younger students usually are 'forced' at a young age to learn the piano or violin and it doesn't help that music lessons are so exam-based - think ABRSM (abbreviation for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music) and Trinity College music exams.

The disadvantage of taking up a second/new instrument when you are an adult is that you are slower to pick up on certain things, i.e. your brain and body coordination is a bit slower if you've never tapped into that area ever! Like playing the electone where you need to use both hands and legs at the same time, like driving, like playing the piano, or any other musical instrument or even dancing.

Trust me, I cannot NOT admit old age is catching up. I feel a bit like a failure after the first lesson cos I can barely blow the notes, the sound coming from my flute is like lacking energy and not even 50% of the richness of my instructor's. Maybe it's the ego/kiasu'ism inside me, cos I consider myself a fast learner. So I'm even more determined to get myself a flute to practice!

Oh yes, I'm continuing this passion. Will learn flute for long term and it's more portable than a piano anyway, I can bring it anywhere like a laptop, lol. It's so cool! Why do I choose the flute? Because of the haunting, melancholic but smooth melodious sound.

The music centre which I picked to have my one-on-one flute lesson seems to be lacking online presence, they are on fb (via foursquare check-in) and on foursquare though but lack of review and other info about them online. They are here - Dream World Music:

I shall end this blogpost with a soothing tune of a flute duet for the classic song, "Unchained Melody".

I sang this song as a duet with my husband at my wedding dinner in 2007, and my goal is to be able to play it on the flute by my next wedding anniversary next July 2012. It's a kinda crazy goal cos my instructor said it will take 3-5 months just to learn 'Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star'! - but I'm determined. So I decide I'm gonna enjoy achieving my goal!!! Wish me luck. :-)

I have decided to start a whole new blog to record my 'journey' into mastering my second musical instrument here:

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

When You Had Your Heart Broken - When Relationships End

Girls, guys, ever felt like how Beyonce is singing in the video above?

Ever gone through the "Why?" phase when you read up anything and ask anyone you can get hold of to get the reason why it ended? You are not alone. Many has gone through that phase and they survived and put it behind them very soon.

I was looking for the most accurate proverb (谚语) for my observation of today's incident, August 9th, 2011. A girl was crying while concerned friends talked to her, and she was wiping her tears away with a tissue paper while continuing to narrate her story. Let's gloss over the details in respect of the privacy of the girl and the parties involved (which involves young love and heartache and of course girl-boy, that much I can say).

What would you say to a crying girl who had her heart broken? That brought me back to all the incidents in the past, the movies I've watched and the songs I've heard and played over and over again. The songs of heartache and heartbreak are not popular for nothing... the sentiment is echoed in many hearts, young and old alike and the resonance is so strong the songs become popular. 

The first thing that popped to my mind is 'This too, shall pass'.

Then the vision in mind is my memory of a scene from a poignant movie I watched (back in 1990s) and how two adults confided in each other and the other said, "My grandmother always told me, that 'This too shall pass'," I cannot recall the movie or even the gender of the characters but I remember that particular scene with that particular advice.

Hurt will pass, happiness will pass, emotions are temporary. Like the wheel, you seem to be at the same place but if you are a dot on the wheel, you are sometimes up and sometimes down. Nothing is fixed, especially not your feelings.

Even the most loving couple will have their down times, and it is through overcoming these adversity and difficult times that we learn to grow and improve in life.

Yes, I had my fair share of having been hurt and had my heart broken when I was younger, read: Before age 23. My parents said I was just dramatising and seeking attention cos they are adults after all but back then it felt like the end of the world for me.

At that time, I felt like wishing the Earth would open up and swallow me inside cos I was so ashamed to face my social circle now that I am no longer part of the couple they identified me with. Back when you are younger and the peers mean the world to you, and conformity is a must, it seemed like a dead-end for me.

Another time I felt like flying away like in a dream to a land where no one knows me.. and I'd be lying if I say I never thought of ending my life. Thank goodness I never really acted on that last thought! Many negative thoughts went through my mind like the film reel at those low points. I felt like no one could understand how I felt. I blamed the other party first, then turned self-destructive as I turned the blame to myself, saying I'm too fat (I was only less than 110 lbs back then at one point!), maybe I'm too ugly, too insensitive, not good enough, and that's why the relationship ended. I had done a few things back then in retaliation, now that I look back, they are kinda embarrassing but I learned from those humiliating instances. Now that I'm past 30, no one cares anyway!

If the pain was RAW at that time, then I'd say I'm RIPE with age now that it doesn't really matter anyway! :-) Can I copyright this line here?

Looking back, as I'm writing this, I tried to relive the pain and the answer from my heart, is a dull numbed scarred pain, very faint, and I cannot believe how much it hurt back then. It has passed. Yes, it has passed!

How do you mend a broken heart? 

The best remedy is self-forgiveness (and ignore the wrong-doer) and let time heal the pain. As for the one who wronged you, let him/her be, or let them be, karma is a b*tch that will get you back, so let karma do her job.

Turn inside yourself and start enduring. Enduring and forgiving a person are two totally different things. Like you endure having to save a patient's life cos you are a doctor but you cannot forgive that person because that patient killed someone you loved. Enduring is doing the right thing in life, to continue in living, and forgiving is something more personal and takes time, so no hurry there.

There will come a time in the future that the past does not matter anymore. The chapter will be closed and you will read back that chapter with neutral feelings.  The heart isn't made of glass, which I would like to believe back when I was a naive young girl. Silly young(er) me believed my heart was broken into tiny shards of glass and could never recover anymore after the heart breaks (yes, in plural form).

Nope, the heart is more versatile than you think. It is NOT made of glass. Time is essence when it comes to heart break. The pain is yours and yours alone, when the time comes, let it go and be amazed at the revelation that will only follow after we let go. Never close your heart for new wondrous opportunities. I'm an optimistic fool and I'm glad the optimism paid off to a certain extent in my life so far. 

*This advice comes from a girl (now woman) people call 'weak' and emotional. If I can come this far, so can everyone else*

A quick search on google came up with this link and the proverb 'This too shall pass' has roots so far back!

Both girls and guys had their hearts broken either way, so here's a song sung by guys to end this blogpost, that is only fitting since this blogpost starts with a song sung by a woman. :-)

How do you mend a broken heart from BeeGees (1971) but sung in 1998 video:

This is a continuation of A creature called woman: FEELINGS - from negative to positive (Part 1)