Drain. The physical object. That little channel ushering its contents into the nether regions of our consciousness. The act of it. That actual movement, going, flowing, evacuating, emptying. And being drained. Emptied, while still alive, until there is no more. At which point does it translate into actuality? How long can the human soul endure? Continue reading


Another difficult morning. Waking up to overwhelming pain – physical and mental. My heart beating so fast it felt as if wanting to escape the confines of ribcage and skin. Dizziness and nausea. Lucy was there, her eyes told me she knew, and that was enough for me. She is not demonstrative in the way many other dogs are. Which is why I treasure her so dearly. She will not jump on me and lick my face to ‘comfort’ me. Instead, my Lucy Angel just lays there, touching but not intruding, gazing with a knowingness that seems to emanate from a different universe. Were it not for her, I would not get out of bed in that situation. And who have I to call for help? How many times can you call a friend to come to your aid? What constitutes a real emergency anyway?

Pain is a complex conundrum. For many people with chronic painful disabilities, pain is so much woven into the tapestry of daily life that they would need to be admitted into 24 hour care, finger on the buzzer or ear to the phone, summoning help from near and afar, if they approached their suffering in the same way as some ‘normal’ people do. For me, I may not be in as severe a situation as some other people I know, but I am nevertheless extremely grateful to have Lucy. No fuss, no effusive emotionality, no nagging, no unwanted ‘advice’ (try this or that herb / medication / exercise / filtered water etc), no expectation for social reciprocity (hello, I’ve dropped by to see how you are and cheer you up, so you should at least sit and chat with me for awhile) – just a silent witness who needs me to get up and get going.

I was listening with great empathic amusement the other evening, to my friend recounting his misadventures with a man he was dating. Continue reading


Everywhere I turn, humanity creeps up on me, sprinkling colourful fragments of devastation.

The shrapnel embed themselves inside my brain, littering my mindscape with stabs of pain.

Too many pretty words. Empty promises. Spurious platitudes.

Smiling selfies belying hollow echoes of fluctuating loyalty.

Prejudice railing against prejudice, stirring the cauldron of ignorance, bigotry and strife, spiked with toxic self-righteousness.

Twisted minds, tortured souls, chasing shadows, painting purgatory.

Run, run, run! But these humans they pursue me, running with nowhere to hide from artful homiletics condemning my peaceful inhumanity. Continue reading


Was it Schopenhauer who declared that music be the panacea for all humanity’s woes? I was never much a student of philosophy, but I vaguely remember someone said something to that effect.

He wasn’t far wrong.

To me, music includes the act of music making. There is a strength of meaning emanating from music making that does not carry blame, shame or superfluous melismatic moral high horsing that ‘educated’ humans are so predisposed towards. The best gift in my very fortunate box of many undeserving bestowals is music. Without music, I would have no ability to hear beyond tedious verbal diarrhoea, no understanding about true emancipation of soul and spirit, and no appreciation of things spiritual, distilled, ultra-refined, so abstract that it requires no philosophising in its enjoyment, things unspoken or unseen. I am not naturally predisposed towards lofty phlegmatics at all, my brain has little capability for that kind of thing. Trying to read two pages of Emannual Kant, or Goethe, brings on blurred vision and pounding headache. I am a lower-order thinker. I am sensorial. And music is a very cogent sensory dimension.

A relatively established artist I once knew remarked to me, with great disdain, that she couldn’t understand why musicians needed to spend hours and hours a day in the repetitive tedium of practising. She believed that “true talent’ did not need all that effort to reveal itself, and, to her, you either have it or you don’t, which is why she asserted that visual art is superior to music.

I wonder what Beethoven would think of her assertion? Or Bach? Or these wonderful musicians featured in this video here? Continue reading

Of Dogs and Spirituality

Of dogs and spirituality 2012 01 19 – a sad musing on a sleepless night.

Lucy loves churches. She would pull me towards the church doors each time we walk past. I let her sniff around when the doors are closed and nobody is inside. She can linger for a long time. Tonight, the church nearby was open. Someone was playing the piano, and there were people walking in and some going in and out and in again. Perhaps preparing for a service. Lucy walked up to the entrance, she strained at the leash, she wanted to go inside. We struggled for a good eight minutes, which seemed like an age to me.

She was insistent, and didn’t want to leave. The one thing that rang a deep chord in my memory about this situation was that nobody invited us inside. Nobody even smiled at us and stopped to chat. The religious folks were too busy going about their religious activities to bother with the odd figure of a lone woman tugging at her big black dog at the church entrance. Irony, isn’t it, because to go in and out of the church, they had to walk around my Lucy’s large body, which was planted like a rock right in front, in the middle of the thoroughfare.

What is it that draws Lucy to church? Why does she insist so vehemently on entering a confined and unknown space – built by humans for the supposed purpose of worshipping God, Creator of All Creatures, but where humans do not welcome all creatures apart from certain conforming humans? Is there something, or “someone,” residing inside that she sees and senses, which the humans frequenting the place do not seem to notice exists within? (If they did, would they not allow Lucy and her kind in, in fact, even welcome them, then? Doesn’t their Holy Bible say. “All creation worships Thee, Oh Lord?” – it does means ALL, doesn’t it????)

Is the spiritual a deep sonorous extension of the sensorial?

I have too many sad and horrific stories to tell about my skirmishes with organised religion. But that was about me. There is one markedly disgusting one about yet another dog who loved to sit in church, quietly, not a single sound, inside his pram, all zipped up and disturbing no one. After a few weeks of quietly enjoying church with mummy and daddy, this perfectly behaved pooch’s human parents were approached by the priest and told that other parishioners had complained about the presence of the dog, that nobody wanted to worship with a dog, so please do not bring the dog again. The disgusted couple left, never to return.

I am not an atheist. I believe in my ability for a spiritual existence. My problem is not with God. My problem is with the humans professing to know and love and worship God.

Abraham Lincoln once said, “I care not for a man’s religion if his dog or cat is not the better for it.” Amen to that. But who is listening? Most are not. They are too busy being pious.

What’s even more sad is that this church is one I used to respect, because of their liberal stance on homosexuality and their wonderful service to the homeless. I guess their Christian love just doesn’t extend to ALL God’s creatures after all.

My guess is that humans, in our search for superiority over all creatures, have left the sensorial behind, and robbed ourselves of the spiritual in the process. Perhaps we ought to turn back, and look at and learn from the ones among us we now deem as weak, disable, unwhole, the specially different humans who sense better but yet seem to care less or know less about mainstream humanity’s complex social structures of power mongering and manipulation of self and others – and yes, look also upon the animals, to find our original souls again, our purity of spirits, and indeed, to find GOD.

[P.S. I know that there are many churches in Europe that allow worshippers to bring along their dogs. But not in Singapore, and not here in Sydney, Australia – and probably all of Australia, which, although is far more dog friendly than Singapore, is still many centuries behind Europe’s Italy or France where being dog friendly is concerned. Another personal observation of mine is that Catholic churches tend to be more tolerant of dogs than Protestant congregations. Perhaps the example of St. Francis of Assisi is a valuable one for all church goers to follow?]