Quality over quantity.
Quality over quantity.
It was not the dazzling show of virtuosity, or the lightning-speed passages which captivated my physically tired self on a Friday evening.
It was the second movement of Mendelssohn’s First Piano Concerto which had me feeling most moved, most emotionally engaged, and most present.
It was when I heard and saw the notes from the piano emerge – featherlight tones, their sound ringing out to reach the deepest recesses of the concert hall. They carried with them emotion, multitudes of subtlety within their frequencies. And I felt my inner world move with them, sighing with them, feeling more anchored with them than with the booming bass and dazzling melodies of the opening movement.
And I found myself thinking about how rare it has become for our world to appreciate and embrace such tenderness. Which is probably why we need music (and art) like that to remind us. To remind us of the beauty and necessity of tenderness.
What can we do to cherish more of such tenderness?
What can we do so that being soft-spoken and non-assertive are not seen as negative, weak traits, but part of a larger, beautiful and accepted self?
Perhaps, as with most changes we want to see, it’d have to begin with ourselves.
From Death in The Book Thief.
Because humans, and the being human, may always a conundrum that even the powerful Death cannot figure out.
Having been in this new job environment for a little more than half a year, I realise that being a wallflower does have its perks.
Sure, I miss the joy of having close friendships at work, the kind I used to enjoy in the earlier years of working and in teaching. But ever since the job switch, I’ve also realised the joys and conveniences of being a wallflower – the lack of social obligations, the freedom to come and go pretty much however and whenever I choose. The joys of more quiet time, more efficiency with less chit chat. It also makes me feel more “anonymous”, even though I know I’m not. We still talk, we still collaborate, we still rant when we need to and I still have people I trust enough to go to with my work-related problems. We just stop there, that’s all. And at the end of the day I find it easier to “go home” – both physically and emotionally. Which think is important for my well-being.
Maybe there are people out there who need to have close friends where they work to feel that they belong, or to feel part of a community, in order to enjoy their job. I think I’ve learnt that I don’t necessarily need that, and it’d do me good to not feel the pressure to live up to that norm.
All’s good with this wallflower:)
I recently started incorporating Morning Pages into my morning routine, moving some other stuff around so that I do not have to wake up earlier than I already do (Hint: When I tell people how early I get up, their next question is usually an incredulous ‘what do you DO?!’).
All in a bid to give the mind some space, to examine, to reflect, to introspect, to know myself better.
All for a better state of being in this world which can sometimes feel really hard to be in.
Along a row of old and refurbished shophouses along Amoy Street, this one stood out with a sign:
and a stairway up…
Into another world altogether…