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i can't wait for you to paint me

Wednesday, 30 July 2008 by ranon

it's amazing what three days at a camp with fellow army scholars can do to one's perception of life now, and life to come.

i've never met so many like minded and dedicated officers congregating together and interacting with each other. meeting the senior commanders and generals was one thing, but looking at my peers and those who wear the same rank as i do, it was extremely inspiring and humbling knowing that there are people out there who share the same passion and sentiments. and in the span of three days and two nights, we had endless conversations that surfaced issues that were always on our minds. a platform had developed between us to share issues that worried us on one hand, but at the same time, share our experiences. i've always thought that i was passionate about my job and about what i do, but then i meet these other people who are equally, if not more passionate about their jobs too. there was an infantry officer who has a strong personal belief in sending our troops to hot zones in iraq and afghanistan, even if it meant fighting a war that wasn't ours. and the basis of such a stand is that with that combat experience, we as officers have a leverage when it comes to commanding and leading our men, that we know first hand what it means to be caught in the crossfire. meeting officers like him who believe so firmly in the importance of ground command and experience was indeed humbling. so yes, this variety of people i have met has made the whole experience so much more inspiring, knowing that there are like-minded people who share my passion and are inspired by the same things as i am. and despite being from different formations and different years, we are somehow bound by the same force that has pushed us to where we are now, a force that has fashioned our actions and thoughts.

we had a dialogue session with a retired general and he started off with saying that even till his retirement, his passion and love for the army has never ceased. the army like he stressed, is a profession and not a career. it is a profession of arms and passion is an integral component that needs to sustain the spirit of an officer in the armed forces. and often, you have skeptics who tell you that passion cannot feed you, that it does not put rice on the table. essentially, it's an imbued spirit that guides you towards this profession. it's a dedication and commitment not only towards nation building, but to the moulding of a character and spirit in the next generation. it's not very much unlike a teacher in that respect, but at the same time, there's this obligation to the defence of our country. at the end of the day, it's the passion that drives this sense of civic duty. the question now is to ask what is going to sustain this passion. and i guess having this network of friends who share a common vision and similar passion will make it easier to talk about it as the years go by, to motivate and remind yourself of how you started out. and that's what most regular officers forget or lose sight of along the way. either that, or they simply started off with the wrong mindset. the armed forces is the only national institution entrusted with the core responsibility of nation building and every participant of the organisation plays a part, it all depends on the level of commitment each person decides to put in to achieve the orgnaisational needs.

the army's wide spectrum of operations include operations other than war, humanitarian relief being one of them. we had the opportunity to engage the general who commanded and coordinated the whole military relief effort to banda aceh following the boxing day tsunami. listening to the one man who singlehandedly managed the three services in an unprecedented operation in singapore's history to help rebuild meulaboh, and it was amazing to say the least. you come to see that there is a myriad of possibilities this organisation has to offer beyond operations we have so often stereotyped it with. it is pretty reaffirming seeing what we are capable of, and the possibilities one can reach in this organisation.

so yes. my passion lies in this organisation now. but there were talks about what we're gonna do after the 4/6 years of our bond. alot depends on those years that follow our studies. and it's not a given that we will leave. undeniably, my interests lie further abroad and we're talking about international organisations like the UN, regional organisations like ASEAN, and humanitarian aid organisations. but like we were discussing over the last three days, the uncertainty pushes us to make contingency plans even as early as now. but that does not mean a lack in the commitment to my job because till the last day, i will put in all i that i have. staying on in the army after the 6 years is definitely a possibility. but at the same time, there are things i want to pursue eventually in life - to live life the way i want to, to try things that i did not dare to, to live life without the inhibitions that have locked me in.

and that's the impossibility you see with us, because of my commitment and the future that i'm bounded to. and if only you could see me for what i am now, and what we could achieve now. let the future come at us with all the fury it has because we'll never know what may come, and the strongest will believe and confront this force with steadfast hope and strength, not alone, but side by side. it always boils down to this doesn't it? because as much as my mind did not stray to you the last few days, retrospectively, seeing how i have grown makes me realise that i'll never have the uninhibited unhappiness we had before. and i'll never be able to find it because i am undeserving.

i drag my feet around

Friday, 25 July 2008 by ranon

i saw the flip flops on your feet.

16 kilometres is a long way to run and my legs feel like they're gonna give way soon.

singfest next week. cambodia 2 weeks after if all goes well. back in the uk in 7 weeks.

bye chew. i'll see you in a year. i'll be good, and so will you :)

i dreamt of you today

Wednesday, 23 July 2008 by ranon

and yes i did just that within the span of an hour long nap i dreamt i was next to you and we were fooling around and i was poking you at your sides we were laughing and you were attempting to tickle me and then you grabbed my hand you said to me we were touching each other like we were together then you looked me in the eye and asked me if i would like it and i said yes. you held it and never let go

i thought of the showers today.

and the ginger curls.

and perhaps all i need is a word from you. just one word to end this drought of silence that has lasted three weeks.

hope is an indulgence.

do you see what i see

Monday, 21 July 2008 by ranon

in the solace of solitude and in the midst of the rain, the mind brings itself back to memories that you've been trying so hard to shove back under the carpet in the last three weeks. the mind's now flashed with the walk from whitefields to westwood. the grass, the water the trees. the cars and the little pathway next to university house. there was always this anticipation and excitement of knowing what was to come at the end of that little journey. it was you, and like a little child, i held on to my ipod and walked with my face in the wind knowing that a face as warm as yours would be there to take the chill away. there's no such walk now, and no such face to yearn for. i sneak peaks at your facebook profile like a relentless stalker. and it's as if all i want now is to be part of your life again, like i was back then. i wish this holiday was like easter, because it gave me something to look forward to everyday.

pushing the mind further back, there was a time when i said i wasn't ready, and you were disappointed. and so was i. and then there was this walk under the trees, near the lake, near a bridge, and i told you how the crowns of trees fascinated me, and how amazing it was that the night sky finds its way to peek at us through the canopy even as we took shade under it, attempting to hide from the steely gaze of the night. and in that moment, we were fearless. we knew what we wanted. and we did what we thought we weren't ready for. we were fearless.

and then this tenacity went away and you went away and i was left here all alone.



and perhaps all this longing and pain is a knee-jerk response to a loss so sudden and so unwilling, that one may never truly recover from it. time and distance cannot do its work because the heart is stubbornly unwilling and unfaithful. in the end, it's all about faith. a faith as strong as the belief i had in you and us, to believe that time and distance will steal the pain away, so suddenly and so silently you barely notice.

the song rattles my heart as strongly as it did in yours. and i know why now.


Sunday, 13 July 2008 by ranon

happy days like today do not go by unnoticed, and unrecorded. hancock turned out better than expected because when two people who are made for each other get too close, their love becomes destructive and it kills them. the whole notion of distance and love needs to be deliberated in another setting when the mind's not clouded with shisha and sleep. singapore's skyline's prettier these days and walking along the bay with the esplanade in the background and the singapore river close at hand is completed with one thing - a camera in the hands of fat, but ironically, narcissistic cam whores.

and the need for reiteration - my morals are perfectly intact mind you. ha

yes my mind still drifted back to you oh so occasionally. and all i want is to hear from you soon. one word will suffice.

bang bang

Saturday, 12 July 2008 by ranon

and so someone asked me today if i've fallen from heaven, and yes i have. i said yes, it's like when you're asleep and you dream you're falling and you jolt yourself awake. just like that, at a snap of your fingers and you're back in reality. i have fallen from heaven. many times. this time might be the hardest, but hardness and pain is relative. it was painful a month ago, it's painful now. maybe not as much, but just as deep, like a stab wound with the knife removed because the cut's there, the gash's there and nothing's in place to stopper the flow, nor is there a tourniquet to cut off the blood supply to where it hurts most. so now all that is left to do is wait for it to bleed out and clot and seal itself back.

so yes i've fallen from heaven, a jolt so hard, so sudden and so out of the blue, so undeserving, so uncalled for and so impossible, it's hard to not want to fight your way back up the ladder towards the light. there's the self-doubt and the self-depreciation to overcome, but the greatest obstacle up the rungs would still be the externalities that you have no control over. an individual and a mind.

jason mraz sums it all up again in the same song, and that explains why i'll be brought to my knees when i see him perform on 3 august.

Well open up your mind and see like me
Open up your plans and damn you're free
Look into your heart and you'll find love love love
Listen to the music of the moment people dance and sing
We're just one big family.
It's your God-forsaken right to be loved love loved love love

So I won't hesitate no more, no more
It cannot wait I'm sure
There's no need to complicate
Our time is short
This is our fate, I'm yours

cambodia beckons in august as i seek enlightenment amidst the wisdom of the wise, and ruined.

grey sky morning

Friday, 11 July 2008 by ranon

and summer's supposed to hold our hands and sail us through this period of time of forgetting and getting grip. i'm yours by jason mraz came on the radio again last night and my mind blanked out because the last memory i had of this song was replaying it over and over again on my laptop in the library study room with annie and mie and i kept humming and daydreaming and smiling because i was that happy and that contented. it was that same day that i ventured from costies to your place after dinner, bearing a chocolate cake in hand because you were stressing out over your exams. it was the next day that things came to an end.

but i'm moving on, even if it means throwing myself into work as i did last year and allowing it to consume my very last breath. and it may mean late nights in the office and taking on extra work and duties to keep me away from thoughts about you, but that should sufficiently curb excessive thoughts and fantasies - dreams that you've told me to abandon for the better of us.

and then this song came on the radio today and i just smiled. a song from a long time ago for now.

But it's not so bad
You're only the best I ever had
You don't need me back
You're just the best I ever had

And it may take some time to
Patch me up inside
But I can't take it so I
Run away and hide
And I may find in time that
You were always right
You're always right

i'd rather find in time, together, that you were always right


Monday, 7 July 2008 by ranon

and it feels like deja vu when the cycle repeats itself, where work becomes an emotional replacement and numbs it all. it's the total selfless devotion to something when almost all is lost and you know somewhere along the way, everything else will go away. so you put it all in hoping all that was left behind, remains behind and the only way to go is forward. and forward is all we can look to, even if there's a small part of me that says it's not right at all. but it worked out fine the last time and it technically should this time round.

mind freak

Friday, 4 July 2008 by ranon

summer's ticking away. i'm back in camp with very little hair and quite a lot of enthusiasm and energy. you're being pushed off the edge of my mind inch by inch, but at the same time i'm still reeling you in with the littlest of faith and foolish hoping. but as undeserving as i am, as incapable as i am of asking for anything more than i should, i still remain deliriously optimistic. yet, i know that there are lines to draw now, and we can only hope that by the end of summer, we'll have the answers we want and need. a good long break's what we need now, after what was a deceptively happy and promising 3 months.

i'm already loving summer.