Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Dance Of Love

The music sets the tempo. Fast, slow. Happy, sad. Sultry, serious. Playful, grave. The dancers build on that music, and give shape to sound, and make the intangible tangible.

In a dance, one leads, another follows. Each role is as important as the other. The dance needs both to be involved, and for a span of time, they are committed.

The man takes the lead, and he takes upon himself the power that the woman willingly offers. He also takes on himself the responsibility of taking care of her for the length of the dance. He guides without hesitation, is clear without being pushy, and she follows. He adjusts to her nuances and shows her off, makes her look good. Looks out for her on the dance floor, keeps her safe. His job, is to make sure he communicates what he wants her to do. Clearly, without ambiguity. All without a single word said. He watches the room, watches her, the world fades. His attention is on the room. His attention is on her.

The woman follows, but she is not inferior or lower in status. She follows the lead because it is her choice, gives the power to the man, so she has more space to fully express herself. She lets herself be led, but in following the signals, throws in her own interpretation. She is free to throw herself into the dance, and express herself fully. She has the attention of everyone in the room, but her eyes are on one.

I was told by my first salsa instructor three important things in dance.

1. The job of the guy is to make her feel good, and look good.
2. Channel Antonio Bandares's confidence.
3. Men spend three times more time practicing than women.

I add a couple more rules.
4. Follow the music and be focused on the woman, and you'll naturally look good. 
5. Lead well.

The moves we learn in class is just more vocabulary. And this is the advice paraphrased from Bruce Lee. Ultimately, it is the expression of oneself through movement. It is the expression of oneself, totally and completely. That way, it is the process of continuing growth. Train, so that when you want it, it is there. The advice works, both for dance, as well as martial arts.

Everyone will cock up in dance. There are a million and one things that might happen. But screw it. The important thing, is to live for the moment. Enjoy the dance, laugh it off, and continue. There's always another song, another beat, and at the end of the day, what matters are not the moves, or how flawless or complex the moves are, but the way you make each other feel. 

Dance and relationships. It's not that different from each other, is it?

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Reminder

I am reminded of my sense of self yesterday. Today, I wake up to my favourite weather. Must be doing something right.

I am also reminded that obsession to the point of losing oneself is not good. That anything and everything that causes you to lose that which make you, you is not good. This does not mean that the thing is innately bad. Bad things and tragedy causes loss of self. Sometimes good things too. Awesome sex, the sense of belonging to a group so much so that your sense of self is subsumed (read Fight Club), relationships that start good, but later become overboard one way or another. That the world right now, is a precarious place for balance with so many place for distraction. It just means that one needs a stronger and deeper innate belief and identity.

I am reminded that a true relationship, is one where two individuals come together, and keep building each other up. And the relationship might be stronger than the sum of its parts, but it is still subjected to the limitations of the weakest link. And growth means constant exposure to the elements outside the relationship and change which is the only constant. And the two people who made the decision to commit choosing daily to stay together and support each other. And if one finds someone that he or she can say, "I commit to you." hold that person close. Because finding someone in a world where there are 6 billion, is a rare and beautiful thing.

On the subject of exposure to the outside elements, I believe that every couple needs time off from each other to do their own thing. It is a sure sign of dependence when you cannot find your own me-time anymore, and neediness when you don't even want your me-time. To that end, I propose a "break-up week" every once in a while. I shall elaborate further later.

It is easy to have one party with a strong personality not care and be selfish and maintain his sense of self, and the other going along and "going along with the flow" to the point whereby the latter's sense of self and self worth is defined by the former. For the strong one, there's no loss to him, and one more support crew that he doesn't really care about, is nice to have. For the weaker party, there is an addiction in the giving up of power and letting the other party control his/her decisions. With that loss of power, it also means that anything that goes wrong is the other party's fault. This sense of powerlessness and responsibility on one's own life, can actually be an escape. Escapes are good. Escapes that become addiction, bad.

It is much harder when two individual characters come together, and complement, support each other yet never lose their sense of self. It's like a couple dance. If you have seen June and Jackson dance together, you'll know what I mean. I looked through my blog and I realize, I never wrote about it! My goodness. What have I been doing? Article akan datang.

I apologize for the hiatus from myself and my self. I'm back. And I. Am. Awesome. *flicks hair* And yes, I suit up for the right occasion.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Come Out Awesome

It was an SMS conversation with a friend. But it was also a promise to myself.

There are several ways that things might turn out. One way or another. I'm gonna come out better, stronger, hotter, and awesomer. *flicks hair*

I rule.

Ancient Wisdom

I read somewhere that the ancient American Indians mastered the art of living for the moment and enjoying it.

In waiting, they savour the anticipation, and the emotion of waiting. While there is the anxiousness of a resolution and the eagerness of the end, they are aware of their feelings, and their surroundings, and they take pleasure in the emotion.

The end of the road is something to be treasured and it is true. But so is every step of the journey.

PS. Do not forget the REAL end of the road is death. That is the certainty. Now LIVE dammit!

Expectations In Relationships

Expectations in relationships. Why do we have them?
Do we really prize stability and the opportunity to stagnate so much?

As my uncle lie in hospital today, a particular point is forcefully brought home into my very thick skull.

Eventually, nothing in the world is sure. There are so many things that might happen that is out of our control.

Feelings, accidents, sickness, death. The future is one seething mass of potential and uncertainty. Anything can happen, and as Murphy's law will have it, shit happens 90% of the time. You just have to hope that the remaining 10% is worth it.

In an effort to preserve a semblance of stability and continuity, we force expectations onto our partners and attempt to fit the future we cannot control into a mould and and manifest it in a contract. Sometimes the contract is tacit, unwritten. Others, we put our names on it, and sign it with ink, as if the act will lend some kind of permanence against the enthropy and chaos of the future.

Don't get me wrong. If marriage is a manifestation of two people's deep and abiding desire and commitment to be together, I think we should celebrate it. As I get older, I find it harder and harder to find this thing called love, and to have two people truly commit the rest of their lives to something like that.

In fact, I think the probability is so small that one can only name such an improbable occurance fate and reinforce the possibility that there is a higher power which gives a shit. For those who have committed to each other, I admire you for doing something I cannot honestly say I can conceive, much less go through.

Then this brings me to the question of just what the hell do I want?

I want someone who is with me because she wants to be with me. Physically, mentally and emotionally.

Someone who talks to me because she enjoys talking to me and likes my company, who can listen and share her opinions without imposing, and I want to do the same for her.

While we care for the other's needs, we also indulge in our own desires.  We fuck, because we want to. Because we are hungry for each other or have needs to fulfill. It is not making love. It is satisfying a need. And we do it with each other because we prefer it. If it's tender and gentle, it is because we feel good doing it that way. If it is rough, hard, and dirty, it is also because that is how we like it.

Someone who accepts me for who I am. All the failings, mistakes and insecurities of the past, the idiosyncrasies of the present and the potential disappointments and celebrations of the future. Someone who is there with me, but does not force fit my path in life to hers, and vice versa.

Perhaps two people can be companions. Choosing to stay together because they want to. Not expecting more, because nobody knows what the future is. The insecurity of a non-traditional relationship without obligation then prevents the stagnation, because unfortunately for humans, it is only when the end is nigh, and obvious, do we really learn to treasure that which we have.

Then so be it. Let us enjoy the now, and never let us take each other for granted, or fit the other into an expectation of obligation. Just want, need, and the preferential satisfaction of being with each other at that instant.

After all, there is no future. There is only the ever present and moving now for us to savour.

Footnote: It was always a little disturbing to me when I was younger that this song does not neither mentions love, nor a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. I am starting to understand that perhaps that which has limited
my understanding is my own boxed perceptions and flawed understanding of relationships.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

No Regrets

Heard this song on Britain's got Talent sang by the plucky Janey Cutler. Came back, and found the lyrics after some searching. After all, it's not exactly a pop song. But what lyrics.

Here are the lyrics

No, no regrets
No, we will have no regrets
As you leave, I can say
Love was king, but for only a day

No, no regrets
No, let there be no regrets
Why explain
Why delay
Don't go away
Simply call it a day

Pleading moments we knew
I will set them apart
Ev'ry word, ev'ry sign
Will be burned in my heart
But no tears will be shed
There'll be no one to blame
Let it always be said
We attempted what came

No, no regrets
No, we will have no regrets
As you leave, I can say
Love was king, but for only a day

Life still goes on
Yes, even though love has gone
One last kiss
Shrug and sigh
No Regrets even though it's goodbye

Post Script: Apparently Janey Cutler didn't win. But my goodness, what an amazing way to celebrate a woman who lives the song that shot her to fame!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Now Where Is That Other Shoe?

A friend once told me, that relationships survive and thrive on two pillars, love and respect. Perhaps that is what appeals to both sides of the human equation. The logical and the emotional parts.

Most sales people would tell you that decisions are emotional. And logic exists to justify the emotion. In a relationship, that's particularly true. Why does one choose a particular person over another? Why him, or her and not another? It's this emotion, love. Inexplicable, illogical and honestly quite simple.

The traits that you admire about that person gives you logical reasons for you to find the person attractive. But to decide at the end of the day why? It's love. If that is gone, well, nothing you can say or do, can keep a person by your side.

The other pillar, respect. Once the decision is made, it's a matter of respect and understanding. Who that person is, what his character is like, and crafting a relationship that is more than the sum of its parts. In the words of my darling sis, "accepting the person for who he or she is, and then growing together." That's respect.

Lose one or the other, and you don't have a relationship. Me? There have been twice in my life the emotional component went away, and quite frankly I live with a background concern that it might happen again. But till then, even if it might be inevitable, one can only hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.

Monday, October 04, 2010

Regardless of Race, Language or Religion

I was headed for JKD today when I bumped into a friend of mine who told me about a run in with two Ang Mohs on the MRT that were drinking beer and smoking. Yup, IN the MRT.

They were rude, and when a lady told them to stub out the ciggies, they essentially told her to piss off cos they paid so much money to smoke in Singapore. Eventually, they got shoved off at the next stop.

My friend then told me how much she hated Ang Mohs then.

A few questions then come to mind.

Is bad behaviour limited to ang mohs in Singapore? We are not exactly pillars of grace and culture either, even in our own country are we? If there is one thing that transcends time, space and skin colour, it's asshole behaviour and arrogance. especially when drunk.

Is this how the people in other countries view the ungracious Singaporean? Especially when we flash our money ard and act all superior.

Are we guilty of racism as well?

And finally, on the topic of employment, no, I do not despise or condemn the "foreign talent" that come to Singapore to work, getting an expat package and all.

Nope, if there's anyone to blame, i blame 1. the companies that believe it necessary, 2. the circumstance that cause the companies that believe so, and 3. our own people that did not step up to the plate.

Because let's face it. a good number of us just aren't that good at communicting, nor are we gonna step out of our comfort zone to get better. And communication, is more than half the game in a business environment.

So when it comes to our pledge, if we wanna bitch at being prejudiced against, isn't it about time we did something about it ourselves rather than have the gahmen intervene?