2014: You Were a Beautiful Storm; a playlist

An important year-ender tradition – a playlist to sum up my year.

2014, you were ridiculous, and this music helped me roll with your punches. You were far from what I expected, but absolutely amazing nonetheless. A beautiful, stormy year were you.

Songs are in no particular order. And yes, I’m a little upset that I had to put a Pitbull song into the mix.

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Prayer in C – Robin Schulz Radio Edit – Lily Wood and The Prick

Give Me Faith – Elevation Worship

Gospel – The National

Girls Chase Boys – Ingrid Michaelson

Wild Wild Love – Pitbull

Here with Me – Susie Suh

Baby Don’t Lie – Gwen Stefani

How Long Will I Love You – Ellie Goulding

Neon Love – Claire

Another Story – The Head And The Heart

Let Your Hair Down – Magic!

A Long Time Ago – First Aid Kit

Bones – Dustin Tebbutt

Magic – Coldplay

I’ve Told You Now – Sam Smith

Good to Me – Audrey Assad

Maps – Maroon 5

Mercy – Phil Wickham

For My Help – Hayden Calnin

Geronimo – Sheppard

My Silver Lining – First Aid Kit

One Day Like This – Elbow

Stacks – Bon Iver

I Had This Thing – Royksopp

“Imperfection is part of life: It’s where the poetry and humor hide.” -Dorte Mandrup-Poulsen

 

The playlist is also on Spotify and YouTube: “Speak Soon: 2014 in Review”

And here are links to my year ender playlists from 2013 and 2012. 

Mid-Year Moment of Gratitude

Happy July 1st! Where did the first half of the year go?

Here are a few things I am thankful for today, the midpoint of 2014.

1. Work.

Whenever I am tired and feeling overworked, I try to remember how difficult it is for too many others to find a livelihood. I am blessed to have two jobs that are stable, safe, challenging, and engaging. I continue to love what I do.

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2. Ideas.

I feel the love of God when He plants a seed of an idea in my mind, and allows me to discover it. These are ideas for things to do – whether personal, professional or in between – Buhay Makulay activities, independent projects, creative initiatives, process improvement, troubleshooting, an interesting perspective, ways to mentor my staff, new ways to approach the classes I teach, or new adventures to go on. These are all gifts from above.

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3. Hope after the storm.

In the wake of devastating SuperTyphoon in November last year, and in celebration of the 8th year of the annual Fairs – we’ve taken our Buhay Makulay Children’s Fair on the road. The children and their communities continue to teach me about hope.

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4. Travel

Because of the #3, I’ve been able to travel the Philippines a bit more this year than most years. We’ve played with children from Capiz, Cebu and Leyte. Hopefully Iloilo and Negros in the coming months too. And I finally made my return to Singapore to visit my older sister – a plan six years in the making.

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5. Art

#3 has allowed me to do some community art. But in the past few months, I’ve been craving personal art-making time. I cannot always fit it into my schedule, but since reading a beautiful novel about Claude Monet, going on a painting afternoon, purchasing a sturdy & easy-to-carry sketchbook while in Singapore – I’ve picked up my drawing pen again and vowed to restore art to its rightful place in my life. I also want to start dancing again – and by dancing I mean, not Zumba..

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My pen portrait from a couple Sundays ago.

 

 

Speak soon,

T

 

Happy 2014!

“People with a meagre soul always try to make others feel small too, and the stranger, who could probably conceal his on the head of a pin, gave me his most disdainful look.”

-from The Prisoner of Heaven, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

I read Zafón’s book on Christmas day (I highly recommend it!) and this was the one passage I will never forget. Haven’t we all come across such a soul? A person that just wanted to put you down and make you feel unimportant, invisible or incapable of measuring up?

Well, enough of that.

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A special installation piece by yours truly, from Buhay Makulay’s LIKHA exhibit. Medium: Japanese paper collage on glass jars by our children and volunteers & found objects.

Something tells me that 2014 is going to be a breakthrough year. In all the adventures that lie ahead, may this year be one of uplifting others and building up one another.

May our souls be generous, and hopefully larger than a head of a pin. So large that ego, hatred, or jealousy have no room. Let the light of others shine. And if given the opportunity, be the one that holds them up for all to see.