How I’ve Learned To Hear God

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“I don’t know how to hear God,” I used to exclaim.

There was one particular conversation I had with Miriam about hearing God that stuck with me. She was sharing about a time she heard God, except, she added, it wasn’t hearing hearing, it was more hearing feeling, or something like that.

I was confused — what does hear-feeling mean? what does such an experience feel (or sound?) like? how do I know it isn’t just the voice in my head? — and perhaps even to say how ‘confused’ I was would be an understatement to how all over the place, muddled, and befuddled I felt.

– – – – – – –

Two weeks on, after an adventure that began with a tearful goodbye and a long hug with my parents at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, and ended with a smile under the blue sheets of the Stuart Room in Rothsay, I finally get it… this ‘hear-feeling’ thing, among so much more. God, I heard You.


Like Pearls Slipping Off A String; Pt. I


It’s the end of the second week of Semester 2 as I’m typing at the moment (05.08.2017, 13:54), and I’m still in the midst of watching parts of me and people around me fall into place for this new semester. I could liken this process to a game of Tetris — cautious, hesitant, but progressing nonetheless.

Timestamp of this very moment:

  • I showed Shu Lin the sky out of my window and she showed me hers — I realised through the short video she sent me that we were listening to the same song at the same time: ‘Feel So Close’ by Calvin Harris, aka. my favourite song in the whole entire world. She’s a friend for life for sure. She told me she’d let me read ‘This Modern Love’ by Will Darbyshire one day, and I felt a flower bloom in my heart.
  • There’s a cloud that I’ve been trailing across the width of my window, and I promise it looks like an octopus. A really cute one.
  • I looked to my left and I see ‘OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!’ by Dr. Seuss that Rhiannon Tambini-Mcgee gifted to me before she left last semester. I reached for it, closed my eyes, opened the book and the first thing I read:

“Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.”

I’ve got a room that I have every reason to be thankful for this semester, and I still pinch myself whenever I wake up to a world where the ceiling is high, the floorspace is generous, and the air is still and tinged with lavender and lemongrass. I’d turn my head to the left and I’d see purple, like an amethyst crystal, only more magnificent and alive as it transitions from lilac to violet, violet to salmon-pink, salmon-pink to yellow, and yellow to the grand finale: a blinding, empyrean white as the sun’s rays fully stretch across the heavens to tell us she has fully risen.


You know, things are great at the moment, but have You heard of ‘nostalgic preferences’? It is a belief or perception that our past experiences are better than the same kinds of experiences we have today.

‘But was the past really better, or is this perception a trick that our minds play on us? New research at Carnegie Mellon University finds that the workings of memory seem to filter our view of the past with rose-colored glasses, biasing what we remember in ways that profoundly impact how we evaluate the past in comparison to the present.’

I have a strong inkling that it’s exactly this ‘nostalgic preferences’ that’s been directing my dreaming patterns — You know, that funny part of the night when our brain shows us what we’ve been yearning for/ worried about, or is simply random (and incomprehensible), depicting a scene of a lush meadow filled with hopping quokkas — towards reliving the recent past back home. It was sweet, simple, and… like pearls slipping off a string.

“After all,” Anne had said to Marilla once, “I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”
― L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Avonlea


Wrapping Up Semester One, Heading Home


On the very last day in Melbourne, Ormond requested for all of us to move out by 11am, so I dutifully did, at 10.59am (haha), with the help of the ever-kind Taku who helped me lug one of the two large bags I intended to leave in one of Ormond’s trunk rooms (thank You, Taku, You were my hero that morning – I guess Your name ‘TakuHIRO’ is pretty fitting). It wasn’t long before I was en route to the airport, with the sun in my face, my heart beating excitedly in my chest, and my passport loosely held in my hands. I was at peace with the way everything concluded this semester. I was warm and thankful.

All good things come to an end, unfortunately.
All bad things come to an end, fortunately.


Week 2: 05.03. – 11.03.2017


Vlog embedded all the way below! xx >


“All of these together and none of these alone.”
(Credit: Leach and Moon, 1998: 268)

I found that it very much related to what Leonardo da Vinci famously said about how ‘everything connects to everything else’. We are all connected to everything else and everything else is connected to us. Our past, present and future are all merged into one dot we call now. We live in a world of duality but our purpose is to find opposites, connect them and create oneness. Our passion should be using the illusion of separateness to create new wholes.


What is 家?


< Scroll all the way down for the cheeky vlog I put together. >

Home is a smell — Mum’s skin when I hug her, petrichor (the fresh, earthy smell of rain), wafts of Asian stir-fry emanating from my neighbour’s kitchen.

Home is a feeling — the way my slightly worn out part-cotton-part-linen duvet touches my skin, embracing whoever I meet, the familiar — sometimes dreadful — combination of unapologetic heat and humidity on my skin.

Home is a sound — the clapping of thunder, Dad’s soft snoring that does everything but lull me to sleep, the croaking frogs when it rains and the chirping crickets when it doesn’t.

Home is a taste — fresh coconut flesh and coconut water that don’t quite taste the same when it’s cold outside, the truckloads of childhood memories that come flowing back whenever I eat wajik (I used to have these all the time), and hot pink pitaya blended into a coconut vanilla chia pudding.

Home is orientation — knowing which aisles to head to in grocery marts, finding my bed in the dark, unexpectedly (or rather, expectedly — Singapore is that small) bumping into a friend wherever I go.

Just as love is love is love, home is home is home.


A Surprise I’ll Never Forget


< Vlog embedded all the way below! >

I turned 21 on the 26th day of the 1st month of the year 2017.

So this is what it feels like — to be surprised speechless :’) (how did You all keep mum about this for so long?), to be loved for reasons I myself can’t fathom, to know that a ‘family’ is not limited to blood relations. All of You — my favouritest of favouritest humans (some aren’t featured here!) — make my heart feel like it’s Summer — the wafts-of-roses, touches-of-warmth, soft-green-grass kind of Summer. I don’t know who I would be without friends like You. Thank You for letting me be myself and accepting me as I am, for saying the right words when I needed to hear them most, and for making the time to be with me (if not physically, at least in heart and spirit) as I celebrate another completed journey around the sun. It truly is an honour, a privilege to be at the receiving end of a love as special and kind as this.