I chanced upon this book at my neighbourhood library while searching for resources for my 14 year old. Being the only “arts management” book on the shelf, I borrowed it without much thought. However once I started reading, things began to fall in place. The people who dreamed/envisioned/created policies and places during the period that Singapore’s art scene was touted to be the “Renaissance City” actually had a direct impact on me.
Before Spotify and YouTube Music, I used to spend quite a fair bit of money purchasing CDs. Being quite a movie buff too, each time a particular soundtrack caught my attention, I would head out to Music Power House (MPH) or to Gramaphone to buy the OST of that movie. I always appreciated how the composer scored the movie or how/why a particular song was selected for that particular scene. The Soundtrack drives the movie and sometimes the importance of it is overlooked. As such, the next time you watch a movie, do pay attention to the soundtrack and experience how it carries you along on an emotional journey.
Being reliant on technology has sometimes led me to be scared of forgetting information. The mobile phone has become our second brain to store to-do list, birthdays, and mobile numbers. But with the mass of information in the world, are we able to retain everything? Thankfully, it is possible and can be fun at the same time. Reading Memory Craft by Lynne Kelly has allowed me to perceive memory training in an engaging way, rather than the traditional repetitive method. So who said remembering is boring? Well, that’s what I used to think.
Initially, this book was a reading material for a university class, but it wasn’t like any other textbooks. It was a coffee table-esque book with interesting copy and graphics. I loved this book for the bold illustrations and for the message it sends. The main message for this book is to “ACT NOW” because we are always procrastinating or waiting for the perfect time to do something (or at least, I am) and here’s the thing, there is never a good time.
“To market, to market to buy a fat pig,
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig”
I have a love-hate relationship with wet markets….the chunks of bloody raw meat, an ear here and a tail there coupled with raw fish smell and the wet floor is really not very appealing. However, one can’t deny that somehow the meat tastes sweeter, the vegetables crunchier and the fruits fresher. But what I really enjoy about wet markets is that I get to become a “Toa Payoh Auntie”. Eavesdropping on other people’s conversations while waiting in line to buy my pork, taking in the array of colours from the fruit stores or peeking into other people’s plastic baskets and asking them where they got it from. And I am always fascinated by how the butcher effortlessly switches from Cantonese to Mandarin to English and then back to Cantonese again all while chopping up his pork orders. The cacophony of sounds and promise of fresh food brings me back once in a while as these are experiences one can’t find in an air conditioned supermarket.
Go visit one now!
As I transitioned into this “new life” – The CB Life – I started to feel the need to create new habits for myself. Like everyone else, we needed to find something new to do, read more, start cooking, exercise daily. But the difficulty was sticking to it. I would write these goals down but never managed to keep these habits consistent.
Coincidentally, I stumbled upon this book titled Atomic Habits by James Clear and one statement that stuck in my head was that “habits are a reflection of your identity”. This changed my perspectives on seeing habits. Instead of looking at them as checkboxes, I saw them as beliefs that enforces my identity.
Self-care is something I wanted to keep in mind for 2020, and I chanced upon this book one random visit to Kinokuniya.
“Love for imperfect things” – How to accept yourself in a world starving for perfection. It is related to me because as a dancer/performer/creator I was also so hard on myself to be “perfect” or to be more creative. That limited my ability to express myself or enjoy what I do. And so reading this book allowed me to understand, accept and be okay with the things I create and I started to appreciate myself a little bit more.