All posts tagged: self

Record: 雨天裡的茶

Alex and I went out for a hop-around-try-things kinda day last week. It was one of those days where the rain was on and off, going from sunny to pouring and vice versa in the span of 10 seconds throughout the day. Started the day with a cup of 絲襪奶茶, which is old school classic, HK-style milk tea. We popped into Lan Fong Yuen  (pretty famous, lots of celebrity shots stuck onto their walls) while heading through SoHo and it was the perfect kind of dingy for me. There’s HK charm about the raised sitting stools, cluttered laminate papers, and a dangerous proximity to the street on which cars are passing by which makes these places so damn lovable. I didn’t know Alex would order me a hot tea (the weather was 30degrees) but it meant we got the full flavour of HK’s tea style. It was definitely a nostalgic cup to have, full of high school memories and lunch breaks. By contrast, I dropped into an artisan tea boutique in PMQ to look at their beautiful clay …

OOTD: The Last

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, and have decided this will be the last OOTD post on my blog for the foreseeable future. I first started doing OOTD blog posts because I wanted to affirm that the self was not a thing that was a formulaic list of compatible and complementary things. The labels that we often use to identify what kind of people we are, are boundaries that demarcate the places where we are always escaping our selves. This just means that I can’t even really begin to define myself in wholeness and completeness because there’s too much to cover. Isn’t that something marvelously wonderful, worth affirming and celebrating over and over again? I didn’t always think this way, and I think most of us don’t. Or we are afraid of what it means for us to be fluid, blobs, spillages. Labeling who you are is not a bad thing at all. Sometimes the labels allow us to leverage principles that we might otherwise find difficult to grasp. Sometimes the labels …

OOTD: Same Same but Different

I’ve always been a default T-shirt and jeans type of person. Most of my childhood was spent in denim of all kinds, and T-shirts of many colours and cuts. Style-wise, it was never a stand-out type of combination, but it was reliable, comfortable, and always within the realm of acceptable trends. I’ve diversified immensely from my 16-year-old wardrobe, experimenting and growing into different kinds of relationships with my changing fashion. Perhaps a part of it was beginning to understand that I had some control over the way I walked in this world through the way I put myself together. I wanted to learn about this control, develop it, nurture it, and use it. Sometimes we want to change ourselves to become more of something, to be more like the person we dream ourselves to be, to be the person we think will make us happy. Sometimes it takes many styles, sets of outfits and changes to become the person that slips into a pair of jeans with ease. That person was always the person you were; …

Muscle Memory

One of the biggest things I love about the Chinese language is muscle memory. If you write anything enough, your hand remembers how to write it. With the Chinese language though, to write anything well, you have to remember how to write it. With the rise of technology and the pinyin system, it has become much easier to type out Chinese words, as all you need is the sound. But the physical act of writing out the language remains deeply tied to the action of your hand, and the memory of each stroke that makes up a character. I think my poetry is often about memory, because it is about language. More specifically, my poetry has often been about trying to do what the Chinese language often does to me – viscerally, emotionally, spiritually, even physically – in English.  My aesthetic, tone of voice, and distilling process is very much informed by what I know of the Chinese language, and how it works. I only recently came to this realization overtly, that my poetry was …

An Open Letter To My Birthday Girl

Dearest. What does it feel like inside when you turn around and look back at the past 364 days quietly forgetting? The first day of the last year you can’t even bring up at all, isn’t that strange? A year is so very short, and so very long at the same time. This year, nobody else will ever know the fullness of effort you threw into everything you did. But I know. So I will tell you with these flowers fresh and blooming on the table. I love the days and nights you spent in the library writing your endless papers, and the mornings you commuted to teach with an extra-large tea and determination. I love the collection you birthed in the open library of your practicum, and the tulip garden soaked in rain that you still remember clearly. I also thank the dandelions in their yellow and white moments, for the words they gave you. I love the excitement spilling into three weeks of travelling and unspeakable joy. It will always be unspeakable, marvellous …