Saturday, August 20, 2016

Retracing my voice | Make good art


A piece of oyster I consumed last Saturday has made me a little unwell right to this Saturday. But blaming an innocent oyster which had traveled all the way from Aussie is not fair is it? Our body reacts the way it wants to react, there's nothing much we can do, eh?

Anyhow, the point I am getting at is that when we are on the down side, we need a boost and our limbs would instinctively look for a boost - be it a mental boost or a spirit boost.

Thankfully, I accidentally came across Neil Gaiman's keynote address for a graduating class at the University of the Arts. This took place four years ago. I'm pretty sure that his frank words of advice to the class and everyone who listens to it today, is fresh and relevant, even forty years from now and beyond. He is a famous British writer. 

He articulated his advice in a relaxed, undiscriminating and unassuming manner. I liked that. He mentioned six advice altogether and the fourth one was: "I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you are out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful."

I am inclined towards anyone who encourages me to be human, that is to make mistakes. These people are real.

[I am no longer inclined towards people who outwardly appear as a religious authority but when they get to know a single and somewhat attractive lady like me, they show the other side of them. They say: "Shhh...let's get married. You are busy with your work, I am busy too, we just get married and meet once in a while!" I wonder if they would say something like that to a widow with half a dozen kids. When this person asked me my age, Oh I wish you were there to witness his reaction or rather frustration cos he thought I was in my 20s! Ahh, you may be a shaykh, but if you dare speak in such a manner, you are not speaking the language of faith!]   

Anyhow, coming back to Neil Gaiman and his advice. Gaiman said we should make good art when things aren't going well and we should make good art on good days too.

He said: "Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow and eventually time will take the sting away but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision...."

"The moment that you feel that just possibly you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."

"Leave the world more interesting for your being here."


Yes, this mental boost from author Neil Gaiman, has made me come to surface again, grab my Surface and retrace my voice. Hopefully, I will remain truthful and speak my language of faith.

And be wise because the world needs more wisdom. But since I cannot be wise all the time, I shall pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would. LOL. [This too is Neil Gaiman's advice!] 

The 31st of August is Malaysia's independence day. Pray we will remain free to speak our language of faith and remain free to speak our mind about anything that comes to mind and touches the heart.

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