In light of the missing supermoon of 14/11: slightly haunting and vaguely wistful

Clair De Lune

Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair, 

Peopled with maskers delicate and dim, 

That play on lutes and dance and have an air 

Of being sad in their fantastic trim. 

The while they celebrate in minor strain 

Triumphant love, effective enterprise, 

They have an air of knowing all is vain,— 

And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise, 

The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone, 

That makes to dream the birds upon the tree, 

And in their polished basins of white stone 

The fountains tall to sob with ecstasy.

Original French

Votre âme est un paysage choisi 

Que vont charmant masques et bergamasques 

Jouant du luth et dansant et quasi 

Tristes sous leurs déguisements fantasques.

Tout en chantant sur le mode mineur 

L’amour vainqueur et la vie opportune 

Ils n’ont pas l’air de croire à leur bonheur 

Et leur chanson se mêle au clair de lune,

Au calme clair de lune triste et beau, 

Qui fait rêver les oiseaux dans les arbres 

Et sangloter d’extase les jets d’eau, 

Les grands jets d’eau sveltes parmi les marbres.

Fun fact: the above was inspiration for Debussy’s Suite bergamasque Clair de Lune! Learnt something separate from SLIC today 🙂


Week 13

I haven’t been thinking lately. A little back I remember very hurriedly noting down something small about tHalloween along the lines of:

“thalloween was great though now i have no time to reflect on in because i am screwed for my submissions!! managed to complete an essay under the table during scaring downtime hur hur”

which was really sad haha

In the relentless ebb of things one tends not to think. Thinking takes time! It entails staring into the distance and pondering. Sometimes I lie awake late at night, not thinking about very much at all. Nothing but wistful absorption in the emptiness of one’s mind. Which truthfully is quite a pleasure.

Wish I had plentitude time and peace of mind to wander and ponder, but I think the last I’ll have the luxury of such was post-As. I miss fondly long walks from Thompson with KH, trampling round the park connectors with SH/WY, even long solo cycles in the rosy glow of dawn.

Was at crossroads then – a period of deep confusion about where I was duty bound to head to (reason or passion!!). Following that was recess week which involved a brief period of rueful thinking. Now, I’m settled! Kind of, I think. Done and dusted. I try not to think too much about the choices I’ve made. The right thing to do too.

At MPS yesterday someone cried over a story involving an old granny, nearing death (wrong, to state this! usually unspoken!), and forlorn. Death makes me wonder about what constitutes living, and of what worth living presents. Are we still living if physically present, but mentally otherwise?

Old age scares me. Very much. I conversely exhibit slight proclivity to young children. They possess immense potential – young, malleable souls with a great way ahead of them (if society deems so). At the same time I am guilty of avoiding community projects involving the old. Selfish, I know. Those involve weighty thinking about lost opportunity, and slight regret I’ve accumulated over the years.

tldr: It was very relatable, and made me lapse into introspection. Yet contracts called, and my thoughts shuttered in a grey metal locker. Why bother?

The boys are reading loads during army time. I am jealous of this. Bought a bunch of books at UTown the other day (heart was full!! 5 classics for $20!), and joyo made a really apt comment that I’d never get down to reading the stuff I bought. Life pls stop galloping on it is windy and I am lost why I am writing in unnaturally short sentences

oh wait, short sentences signify the lack of thought – fragments of incoherence with no singular running thread,


time to study ha ha no time to think


Note to self: remember to be human, and not apathetic!!

In SLIC today Prof Tan related some personal anecdotes he had with human rights lawyer M Ravi. What a fascinating figure! It’s easy to lapse into passiveness despite being cognisant of issues we feel about. Hugely inspired and perplexed by his relentless will to fight for issues that should ideally be worthy causes!

As stated by KT: Ravi is running several arguments that we find interesting – for that reason he receives a lot of support and funding from QCs/local lawyers/academics. IMO he seems like a proxy that speaks for us issues we don’t broach for fear of public repercussion? I’m guilty of this too haha we are all hypocrites. (side note: I love lit and how I am constantly finding things that relate back to what AMS was about – the individual/society and idealism/reality)


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post-recess week short update

Saw this somewhere on my feed (thank you Joyo). Think it encapsulates exactly what I’ve been thinking about lately. JC was good. I was motivated – hopeful for greater days to come. Thought I’d find purpose in college, but progress has been lacklustre so far.

QOTD with Freeman and Gaby a few days back: “what I treasure society does not”

PS. I’ve recently been writing in shorter sentences – props to legal writing and Wydick haha damn u old English

the lesson of the moth

i was talking to a moth
the other evening
he was trying to break into
an electric light bulb
and fry himself on the wires

why do you fellows
pull this stunt i asked him
because it is the conventional
thing for moths or why
if that had been an uncovered
candle instead of an electric
light bulb you would
now be a small unsightly cinder
have you no sense

plenty of it he answered
but at times we get tired
of using it
we get bored with the routine
and crave beauty
and excitement
fire is beautiful
and we know that if we get
too close it will kill us
but what does that matter
it is better to be happy
for a moment
and be burned up with beauty
than to live a long time
and be bored all the while
so we wad all our life up
into one little roll
and then we shoot the roll
that is what life is for
it is better to be a part of beauty
for one instant and then cease to
exist than to exist forever
and never be a part of beauty
our attitude toward life
is come easy go easy
we are like human beings
used to be before they became
too civilized to enjoy themselves

and before i could argue him
out of his philosophy
he went and immolated himself
on a patent cigar lighter
i do not agree with him
myself i would rather have
half the happiness and twice
the longevity

but at the same time i wish
there was something i wanted
as badly as he wanted to fry himself

by Don Marquis


island building and international law

Massive Island-Building and International Law

for keepsakes 

So, I had a college interview today. It was fun, casual, and entertaining; the interviewer was cool and welcoming. I may or may not have done well. 

Largest takeaway of the day – Jiahui, slow down. I need to speak slowly, clearly, and deliberately. Not explode in a gush of words and sounds that stand inaccurate to my disposition. 

On that note:

I wrote this down somewhere else – but I’d like to have it in permanence here 

“today at MBS the sky was scarily huge and the sea was blue and wonderful; at Labrador the coastal hills smelt like how a sea salt lick should; at West Coast the robins were all fluttering along insipid wooden boats without a care. riding makes me feel strangely melancholic. like how reading murakami does. like we’re small and impermanent, and the world is a giant golem all amazing and ancient, then there goes insignificant Jiahui throttling along on her tiny little roadie”

It’s as if though life swept through in a grouchy hurricane – a sudden, intense feeling of being overwhelmed by just the very state of being. This was in passing mention yesterday. Life is wonderful and fascinating. I love living.