Thursday, January 30, 2014

When in Doubt, go Fishing.

Get squids for bait, it is a good place to start. Small fishes are ok too and shrimps, but if you are going just for a few hours two good size shrimps will hold you through.

Head on the end of the end of the rock wall at the Terengganu River mouth. Development has caused the river mouth to be narrowed down and talking to fishermen friends and my friend Mohd. Rafi, the retired Matitine personnel.  A man who spent a great number of years coast guarding the South China Sea coastline; the project will cause a disaster in the future. Bur for now it looks beautiful and the tourists will like it. 

Start casting, you will never know what will be tugging at the other end, big or small, common or expensive, it is out there and your luck. .

A young couple on a holiday trip won Rm50000 fish catching competition in Kuantan. They joined in after deciding to buy the rods and the works there and then, never did much fishig before and wham the wife hooked a large Sting Ray, the heaviest fish caught for the day! Among thousands of professional fishermen taking part what are the chance that this little housewife on their second honeymoon would snag a whopper!.

Getting snagged and loosing you hook, line and sinker is part of fishing.

Do not forget to admire the sunset while you are at it.

Capture a local smile if there is one for your subject.

Ikan Duri pun Ikan duri la.. Patience.

The whole truth about fishing is Patience.

And you almost got the big one that got away!

Being with Them.

Entertained by children

Trying to get her to smile.

Someone from the past.

Close to my sister.

Lunch at Rafi's

Meeting with the Boys.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Two days with my twin brother and his wife.

The tail of the monsoon season and the temperature is abnormally cooler at 17 degrees celcius and the wind is relatively less forceful . Sitting on the beach by my twin brother's house in Ru Rengeh, Kuala Terenggnau. No chance of taking a dip in the ocean this year as much as i miss it.

I was invited to sleep over which according to my sisters later is a historical event as is well known my twin and I rarely if ever see eye to eye. He is the 'successful one while I am the one who wasted his life chasing after the moon. But it is written as they say in the 'Loh Mahfuz' the book of life that we are born alongside each other but grew up farther than distance alone. I am happy to be the beggar and he the man of wealth.

We weave the woof and waffs of our lives each with his own style and design, but our ultimate goal is the same whatever it is that we endeavor it is for the Lord's Grace and Acceptance. Whether it be a rug or a Songket of gold and silver thread,  what  we weave is is who we are.
The 'Kain Songket' is perhaps the Queen of Malay traditional Handicraft. When patience and creativity join forces a powerful focused energy is released in the form of an art at its original best.  My sister in law is one such an artist whose works are testimony to hard and industrious effort towards harnessing what is the creative original essemce of Songket weaving and design. She has been recognized as a National Laureate for Creativity in the Arts..      

In my life I have tried as much as possible to make it as interesting and exciting as possible, so i weave it like a piece of art adding and taking away colors and making it all fits together at the end of the day. The Loom is the world around me and the threads are interrelationship I have with others .The experiences i have met with and the wisdom I have received. Humility has its color and so does compassion and love and there are colors to express warmth and coolness of being, or the flare Passion and the subdued nature of Faith.
As a weaver, my sister in law is senstitve towards the choice of her colors and this is perhaps the essence of what makes a Songket piece stands out among all traditional weaving such as Kimono and Kashmerre.

I am a Dream Weaver and my dreams sometimes do turn to nightmares. When I weave my dreams it is to serve a my blueprint into what is to become of my life in other words I weave my future in my mind, I let it be and ferment it in my subconscious and later when it is ripe and ready it will manifest itself, how, when and why I can never know, as it happens when it is least expected.

Song ket weaving is an art par excellence as it involves a tedious process from the design to the execution. The finished  product is worn by Kings and Ministers.

From silk threads to a masterpiece of an artwork, my sister in law better known as Habibah Songket was awarded the National Laureate for her creations. Her works and crafts hangs or is worn by dignitaries and adorns the walls of the National Gallery, and many homes of  the rich and famous.

This is a priceless piece of her attempt at Songket Painting. 

What is She Making?

Leg choppers as the Malays calls it 'Kueh Bahulu" potong kaki' because it is so sweet but the differenc is that theya re moist inside. Why are moist inside? Because she uses coconut husks to fired them and not ovens as ovens dries up the cake. So, she has a long line of customers every morning, day and night. They called leg choppers because of Diabetes which ends up with your legs chopped off. 

She sits on a gold mine of her own making the best in the traditional way.

I ate two right away!

No.19 - Batu Buruk Food Court.

The Lead Man, I would call my friend whom I call Izam at number 19 Cafe in Batu Buruk Food Court. Our friendship stretches back fifteen years or so in time. It was his house that we rented while living off Pantai Putri in Tok Jembal, Terengganu.

This was where i used to hung out when my family first moved to Kuala Terengganu and today youngsters from nearby colleges comes around to listen to my brother Izam speaks You name the subject and he can tear it to pieces and redo the whole thing again for you in a different manner. But his heart is at the right place by my account and so we have remained close friends over the years.

I let them browse through my past years journals while I talk with them about my way of doing things, of seeing things and hopefully it will add on to their knowledge.

They watched me work right there and then and hopefully it inspires them to do the same.
This is my 'Art on the Road', my Road Show, sharing myself as an artist with those who happens to be around me and usually things happens spontaneously with any preplanned ideas or arrangements made. A  right question is asked with the genuine interest to learn and the flood gates of knowledge and experiences opens; the sharing happens.
The body of and expensive guitar frame I was aked to do a design on, why not? Carpe Diem! Seaze the moment! Dance on Nataraja Dance on O Shiva! as the Hindus would call out to their Lords and deities; Perform! Act! Become!

Creation Iself.

Rich is as rich is.

What is the meaning of being successful in this life? You own it all? That you walk on the good side of The Lord? Or that you have the blessings of all those you come into contact with? I ask myself these questions and the answers still eludes me. Some have more than enough for them to live on while others bare makes it through the day.

I was living among those who could not afford to buy their children school uniforms not a month ago in Lintang or Belantik area, in Kedah and they work hard whose religious practices is unquestionable. They are poor but they were happy, as I felt it in them, so much so I hung around them for longer than I had planned to. Sometimes we ate salted fish with plain rice for dinner cause there was nothing else to eat or a few packets of MAGGI Mee shared among ourselves, but ti was delicious nonetheless.

When I look at my twin brother and how determined he is to make it happen at his cattle farm where from what I understand all is not too well what with his stock being stolen and the shortage of man power, I wonder if it is worth it all. I would much rather see him diving off the Pualu Redang or Kapas or swinging his clubs on the many golf courses, or having a good time in Indonesia somewhere; no, not raising cattle.

My twin is also a great painter but he does not pursue it, he has a handful number of fishing rods but he stopped going fishing, but instead he is tied to this farm fighting a loosing battle unless he can swing a major investment into upgrading the whole area  and hire a regular work force. Money!

Perhaps he too like me seeks the quiet and estranged life away from the hubbub of everyday existence. Perhaps in caring for his animals he finds peace within despite the theft and lacking.; here he is still the boss.

When I stand up close to him in the field i could feel the shortness of breath and the painful expression on his face, my brother has a heart problem. I would have told him if i could to let it go as it is not a good place to be if you get an attack and the only person around is the Indonesian maid who cannot drive. But i know better as my good intention will only recoil and hit me hard in the head, for telling him so. Who am I to tell my brother how to slow down when I myself is running on fumes. 

I had been a meat cutter at one time and boned an average of a hundred cattle a day at a meat packing  plant where I used to work in Green Bay, Wisconsin, US. and that was for 31/2 years. Don't look at me like I know diddly about cows and don't give me that look! I did not put you there! He did! Ha! Ha! that was how we got along, me and my twin! I was a thorn in his side and for this I can only say I am truly so sorry!

I wish my brother has a chance to meet and chat with the Major in Lintang. Perhaps look into turning this piece of land into another organic farm of some sort. For whatever good it does I am regretful that we never saw eye to eye throughout our lives; we are mirrors of each other, our lives are like the Cosmic Symbol of Ying and Yang, opposites yet one in essence. One thing we have in common though, we both like Pink Floyd's Wish You Were Here.. 

As we build cages for others we build our own cages.

You were not born a cattle waiting to be fed and later sold to be slaughtered.

Nor were you born to be to be kept in captivity with the rest of your kind.

You were not born as fishes swimming in a small and crowded pond living out your life without much meaning other than for decorative purposes and as food.

Or as ducks all dressed in white and marching towards you end.

Or a bird singing in an ivory cage till the you die.
You were born a beautiful human being capable of miracles.