the comfort of routine

I realize that I have not been posting a lot lately. This is partly due to me being a bit lazy and the fact that life has taken on a bit of a routine, which can be a bit boring and comforting at times. I don't really have to think about what my days or weeks entail, but know the general outlook and plan. Maybe having a set routine is a sign of getting older and knowing what you want....

Anyways, here is what a normal week for me looks like.

Mondays and Thursdays, I consult.
Tuesdays and Fridays, I teach.

Wednesdays are my day off, so I learn. I go to classes to learn more PHP and oil painting. Brushing up on coding and getting back to my creative side to balance things out. My teachers are friends of mine. Its nice.

Saturdays, sometimes I will consult, otherwise I will work on lectures or random projects.

Sundays are chill: sleep in, read, paint, maybe frisbee, and hanging out at friends' places for game nights.

Weeknights sometimes I will try yoga, go out to dinners with friends if they are free, or just around the corner by myself. People always look at me weird when I go eat by myself. They are are not used to seeing it here I guess. I like it though, watching the scene of family, friends, and couples around me. People watching is fascinating, the interactions. Its harder to do with other people cause you feel this need to have a conversation, but when you are by yourself, that need isn't there. You can just watch.

Weekend evenings are for attending events: fashion shows, art openings, going dancing and checking out new DJs.

Simple routine, but keeps me busy and pretty content. I'm sure most of people have their own routines as well.

navigating loneliness

"Do you know what happens to babies when you leave them alone? They die...." uttered by a friend this morning as we headed to an orphanage that she works at.

My students are working on a multimedia project for her, creating an informational CD to be shown to potential volunteers, chronicaling the process for caring for these babies, some of which are handicapped and ill.

Its quite a humbling experience as you walk in and see literally dozens of babies. A couple of my students just didn't know what to do. They were afraid to hold them, touch them. There was this fear of the vunerable and fragile, I guess.

These babies are resilient though, that's why they are still here. How can you be afraid of babies? Its so easy to make them happy. Just a little touch and smile and their eyes light up. Even so, some are just not ready to reach out and make that connection. These children don't really have a choice about whether or not they are left alone.

Which is very different from adults. As we get older and become more self-reliant, in some of us, there is this preference to be alone and dwell in loneliness because its more productive somehow. I read an article this week on Charles Shultz, the creator of "Peanuts" and the man liked to be depressed, he clung to it.

But "He's an artist." That's always the explaination, isn't it. A brilliant artist is most likely a depressed artist. They draw creativity from their depression. Having been there once, I might just have to agree, depression is very productive creatively. But if depression is always a part of the equation of being a brilliant artist, I choose not to be. I guess I'm not hardcore, I don't live for my "Art", I live for my happiness.

What then are artists seeking to accomplish in their work? Is it understanding more? Communicating? Bridging a gap among different communities of people? Creating empathy? I attended an artist talk this evening and listened as these international artists spoke of their work. The majority of it was about finding their "identity", reaching out to their community to seek answers, or showing the beauty in the life of ordinary working people.

Yet as I left the event early and waited for my xe om driver, I looked back at the glass doors of the gallery. A crowd of local people had gathered outside, curious, peering in at the group of artists, yet afraid to go inside, feeling unwelcomed. One local women did go in to clean up a spill and was quickly asked to leave. Why couldn't she stay? What was oh-so-important that someone had to shoo her away?

As she stepped out, everyone around her asked, "What is it about?" "It looks like an important meeting." Although she only experienced just a glimpse of what was inside, she was somehow privileged, part of something that people on the outside weren't.

Sigh....Lofty talk about art for and about the people, yet the people that are being used/portrayed in some of the work do not feel welcomed enough to go in and see it? WTF? So what if they don't understand the language. One can still appreciate art and music without knowing the words.

Way to go, you're really connecting with the community now. If I was a smoker, I would have had a smoke then. What a long day its been. I am privileged and I am grateful, I will remember that.

Below is an article about Charles Schultz.
Passages: The Life and Times of Charles Schulz

spoken word

Was going through some of my archive DVD's and found an old video I took of Bao Phi at the APIA Spoken Word Summit in 2005. Check it out :)

Bao Phi Spoken Word from Tuyet Nguyen on Vimeo.