All posts by abbylatif

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House #7

So there’s this thing that is going around Twitter on choosing your dead author quarantine house. I haven’t done any MCO postings here but I wanted to imagine this House #7 that I suggested:

House #7
Khalil Gibran
Jalaluddin Rumi
Pablo Neruda
Rabindranath Tagore
Cairil Anwar

For days of quarantine, after we have our own spaces of thoughts and rituals, we convene in the verandah.

Cairil, lighting his kretek and handing me over a stick.

I can see Gibran with his pipe, Rumi holding a glass of wine that he saluted with Neruda, and Tagore slowly sipping his chai.

We would start talking about love. The madmen in Gibran and Cairil gets a bit extreme in their intepretation but what I enjoy most is when everyone calms down as Tagore broke all arguments singing his praises of love. Fair enough. We needed entertainment and a fight over the word love is not one of it.

Neruda gets distracted easily when there’s a brush of wind or a leaf flying onto the verandah. It’s the little things that he relates to the most.

I am amazed at Rumi as he stood up during Tagore’s singing and starts twirling around, dervishly. Cairil smirked in his judgemental boyish ala James Dean face. Of course he wouldn’t be alone if Kerouac is around, but this House can only fit the six of us.

I was the only girl but with these guys, gender don’t matter. Age don’t matter. Our thoughts run fluidly out of our brains through our vocal chords – being it in melody or just pure stiff sound of verbal expression.

For days and days, we ask questions to each other and share our sides of the answers. We agreed to disagree. Whenever things get heated up, the space between us were filled with a creative energy that makes us dance, love and sing.

We drink a lot of wine, and smoke a lot of cigarettes.

We share our loaves of bread, and the food we make during our isolation from each other.

It felt like an artist residency that we didn’t have to produce a work of collaboration, but what is most important is that we shared our space, our thoughts, our food, our drinks, our time, to make our own work a tiny bit better than it already has been.

Have a better April ahead

So apparently MCO has turned me into a vain selfie-bitch. But it’s okay, you guys will not be seeing me in person for another 14 days so I know you be needing some of this Abby lovin’.

Anyway, I do wake up every morning and dress to go to work, even sprayed perfume before I clock in my work desk at 8:45am how I would do on a normal pre-lockdown working days. Nope; I don’t have a partner to please. Do it for yourself, do it for your own motivation. Ada yang suka busuk-busuk masuk kerja. Wherever work is, I want to represent the best of myself when it comes to mencari rezeki and do what I like to do.

You do you. No need to jump the gun at others. I don’t need no posters telling me how to be, and if there are any posters, I rather read and make my own. You don’t have to conform. You lead by example. Walk the Talk.

Be good and kind.

You Can’t Heal What You Don’t Let Yourself Feel

Please allow yourself to feel emotions in its entirety to be able to understand and control it. A lot of people avoid and disregard feelings, especially grief.

A lot of our anxiety attacks comes from surpressed feelings and disregarded issues that we keep avoiding. Fears, financials, grief, sadness, loneliness – we either pretend these are not material issues and we surpress it with substances and denials. And we laugh at those who feels too much, or paid too much attention to these feelings. Ego is mistaken for strength.

While you have more time to yourself during this MCO, revisit those part of yourselves, those feelings you often abandon, those mistakes you never acknowledge, those pain you never get to feel. Understand it, learn from it, allow yourself to go through it. So you can heal, and grow.

Master your own emotions. Before you tell people how to master theirs.

Beaming Sunshine

Morning!

Do whatever you can to keep positively sound. Even if it involves acts of vanity with multiple selfies. I’m just doing it because the world need not be deprived of my cute smiles.

MCO brings out the confidence in you. Except I haven’t started my Tik Tok exploration yet. Kasi chance to the youngsters. Nanti I buat terbaik, kesian plak diaorang kena sidelined. Hahaha.

Syukur Hari Jumaat

Morning!

Staying at home, working from home, dealing with attachment issues, dealing with over-communication, the secret desire to sell our children, having to face family 24/7, being confined alone away from loved ones, missing everyone, not having an income or business due to closure and retrenchment, paycuts, feeling lonely, starting to feel sick, missing past loves, and many many more.

These are the feelings most of us have at this point of time. It’s easy to see what we don’t have than what we do have. And what do we actually have at this point? Negative Covid-19.

I’ll try to reach out when I can. And thanks to those who have kept me company (especially on my random IG Live sessions) and checking in on me. While everyone is dealing with this at their own pace and with their own ways, let’s spare the judgement and have empathy.

Gratitude and Appreciation – for yourself. Thank yourself. Smile at your heart. Take care of it. Don’t give up now, you’ve come too far and have been so strong through worse times. Be good to yourself. And wash your hands. And make sure you poo poo. And wash your hands after that.

Happy International Women’s Day! #IWD2020

“Truth be told, I am neither a woman leader of the Malayan Communist Party, nor a reowned woman leader. I am merely a woman warrior who fought the British for the independence of her homeland and emancipation of women.” – Shamsiah Fakeh

While I applaud the strength and determination many have marching on the streets and joining voices in solidarity for better and equal treatmnt for women and girls out there today, I am confined to celebrating it with just being with my family. Took my dad (and the rest of the family) to Gerak Budaya and while I was flipping through the pages of this memoir, Abah came close to me and picked up the same book for him to buy.

I always believe in understanding how the women before me fight for all the conveniences I have today, it’s very important to know and to care. And for myself, I rather be in the position of making change happen instead of just demanding it from people I know who wouldn’t care. I want to find out how to win through the system, or at least support those along that path.

While we shout for rights, remember to always walk the talk. Fundamental remains – be kind, don’t discriminate and never allow dishonesty in however you live your life – with that, good energy will support your wish for the universe.

Selamat Hari Wanita Sedunia. Let me finish this book today and share with you what I learn from Shamsiah Fakeh’s life in my stories later on.

A day at the Pier

I remember this particular day sometime in March 2015 in Seattle.

It was our day off during the 4 days we were there. I bravely walked around the Seattle pier alone – I use the word brave because I seriously walked about 2-3 kms from my hotel, discovering new paths and alleys, not fearing the risks that my brain might left out, just embracing the solitary traveler that I am. I went to Seattle Aquarium, bought a disposable film camera, and explored the pier, took a ride on the ferris wheel (even a ride at the merry-go-round like a kid) and also bought myself a cruise ticket.

I was 33 years old, it was my second time in the States, my third city after San Francisco and Washington D.C. I was there, selected by the U.S. embassy for a fully funded 21-day exchange leadership programme.

I can’t afford to travel when I was younger, my parents don’t have that kind of luxury for us. All of my travels in my 30s have been for work, thankfully funded under work. I enjoy every single trip because it’s a blessing – every single moment is precious because it’s a gifted luxury that the universe awarded me with after countless sleepless nights of trying to prove my worth (I was never an intelligent student for scholarships anyway). I never complained about how much I had to work – I enjoy exploring my potentials and pushing my limits. And I get these traveling experiences as my presents.

Counting days until I purchase my next solo adventure. To be honest – I am a very good traveling companion to myself.

You’ve got it half licked

“If at eighty you’re not a cripple or an invalid, if you have your health, if you still enjoy a good walk, a good meal (with all the trimmings), if you can sleep without first taking a pill, if birds and flowers, mountains and sea still inspire you, you are a most fortunate individual and you should get down on your knees morning and night and thank the good Lord for his savin’ and keepin’ power. If you are young in years but already weary in spirit, already on the way to becoming an automaton, it may do you good to say to your boss – under your breath, of course – “Fuck you, Jack! You don’t own me!” … If you can fall in love again and again, if you can forgive your parents for the crime of bringing you into the world, if you are content to get nowhere, just take each day as it comes, if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical, man you’ve got it half licked.” – Henry Miller

I have seen a lot of young people feeling lazy and giving up on life and then I see and read these words written by 80-year-old Henry Miller and I found a new way of looking at things.

The past year have been tough on me. I had to witness the person I have loved more than myself erased every single memory and feelings for me and that broke me more than the surgery or any other physical pain. I learned to accept everything and the universe have been having my back every single time.

I am grateful for every day that I get to wake up and be a better person. I am grateful that I have grown to appreciate and love my feelings and emotions in its entirety. I am still learning to overcome grduges and ill-feelings while thinking on understanding people and their actions.

And I know that I love you, always and forever.

A Vegan Day

Today’s adventure includes exploring the life of a vegan and to end it, we ate our vegan lootings from the pasar malam underneath some umbrellas at a bench somewhere in a residential area while shifting our containers to avoid the dripping rainwater.

Love, at the purest of it, is to be able to be yourself in full honesty. Unmasked, with no one and nothing to impress. In parting, we tried to top each other’s gratitude, for each other.

I wish for you to be able to spend days and moments like these, with those who would truly accept and appreciate your soul, your heart, and your smiles.

I’m glad I get to live the life I’d always imagine I write. I love you, always and forever.

Dancing with the Arts

Yesterday I watched 2 shows – Woman on Man on Men and Impermanence. I’m trying to alternate my weekends between my creative arts excursions and being a solitary hermit.

In #WOMOM, Sue Danza’s Pendatang Pampers is a very interesting narrative on people’s reaction and response to each other and also how they interpret and comprehend it for themselves; while Ken’s Wet Room expressed personal emotions through graceful and vulnerable movements but also in characters. Not sure if my one-liner take on both is the most apt description but thing is, please see it for yourself! 2 shows today (Sunday 19th Jan) at 3:30pm and 8:30pm at The klPac! Tickets are RM 75 or RM65 on concessions – try to inquire with the choreographers or klpac.

And then I went to watch the restaging of Impermanence, one of Snei-Tiga’s mixed media multidisciplinary collaborative performance arts series. Suffice to say that I was totally mindblown! Justin Lee’s amazing euphoric projections and creative direction; I can feel every single movement that Tess Pang made and at one point when she climbed onto the rock searching, I wanted for her to see me, brilliant brilliant live music by Yoong How Thong, Kent Lee’s and Douglas Hys’s dance debut and of course amazing lighting works by Loke Soh Kim. One last show tonight at Kongsi KL, please do catch it! Tickets at RM 50 at entry.

Raise awareness of the Arts. And please spend some money for experiential artsy excursions than spending it in the malls.