singapore turns 58 today. it's where i was born and am based, currently. here's how i've been feeling about it recently (and visually), since i got back from portugal:
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although he was in his early 90s, it still feels like a loss to lose Mr Yap Boon Chuan — SG's historic national football coach (1966–1971), long-time PE teacher, and such a kind, gentle, and self-sacrifical man — who passed away on sunday night.
Zakaria Zainal and i interviewed him in 2012 for our chapbook 'Gila Bola', and revisiting his words earlier today still brought me a lot of strength. the passing of a generation, who, yes, are "pioneers", but would hate to be called that, would hate the attention and all that propagandistic fuss, is, of course, inevitable, but still to be mourned, i think. it's the eclipse of a more serious, more sustainable age of Singapore, where some individuals served and gave back, then faded by choice into the shadows because they had done their job. i visited him again in 2018, and despite his illnesses he was still a true gentleman — some things one never forgets.
thank you, Mr Yap, for all your service, and thanks Pa for introducing me to a bit of your world in the first place. vale Papa Yap; my deep condolences to his family and friends.
- Jan 15, 2022
- 1 min read
Updated: Feb 12, 2022
one thing i love about being in countries that celebrate both the Gregorian and Lunar New Years is that January feels like a reprieve, a languor, a freer purgatory of sorts—in between the years and cultures, in between time.
from speaking to friends, it seems like this January is not so. perhaps it’s #SORE or just something in the air, but i hope we can take some time to acknowledge that even in the before-times of the vexxing, most of us were already crazy and needed therapy but couldn’t afford it. i think there is a lot of unacknowledged trauma going around, exacerbated by the pandemic, for myself included.
this weekend, i hope you/me/we can take some time out to breathe. if it helps: as i walk i say the names of things i see (a trick my friend taught me to slow down my brain), and when i lie down for glorious naps (or the idea of them) i repeat to myself: life is a miracle. time is precious. be gracious, be kind, be grateful to yourself and other life forms.