Myanmar Memories at TEDxInyaLake

On my birthday, I received a note from a former supervisor and a mentor, in a Tyra-Bank style email as follows.  She had then just gotten the organizer license for TEDxInyaLake.

Your mission May, should you choose to accept it, is to be the Communications, editorial and marketing director of the inaugural TEDxInyaLake event.  In this mission, you lead the creation of a strong online presence of the event, including website content, a blog and social media, and promote the event to the public.

Your additional mission, should you choose to accept it, is to be a Curator as part of the curation team to set topics, select, invite and prepare speakers.

This email will self-destruct in five seconds.

Good luck, May.

A year later, here were are, with TEDxInyaLake videos, just edited and released over the weekend.

Continue reading

Negative Capability

…at once it struck me what quality went to form a Man of Achievement, especially in Literature, and which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is, when a man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason…

This ability to chill and shuffle along anxiety and doubt.

Certainly worked for the poet John Keats back in 1800s, but probably not a good idea to add this to our CVs today!  Skills:  Microsoft Office Suite, Negative Capability, Financial Modelling, …

Not that I can personally claim to add this skill to my daily repertoire.  John Keats’ “irritable reaching after fact and reason” sounds a lot like my bedtime routine, along with dashes of eye cream and night sleeping mask I slap onto my face.

Dear 2015, what a reckless, stressful year.  I need to calm the hell down.  Here is the perfect piece of David Olenick’s art to express my year-end crunch time feelings.

3cb3b816cb5ae84686069360409b554a

Anxietea

 

It’s Raining

The ominous sky this afternoon did not feel so great.

Not that there is any logical, scientific and rational link between today’s melancholic cityscape and anyone’s day.  Or the earthquake news in San Francisco or the deadly blast at Siam in Bangkok for that matter, but today is simply not the kind of day I can hope to expect any good news.

This drizzly weather reminds me of one of the many poems read, back when I had plenty time in Falam, Chin State.

With lots of life changes packed in a few weeks’ time, I sure do hope I can rely on the sensibility behind each step taken along the way, quite unlike a strut along feeble pavement coverings of Yangon – leading one straight into the city’s sewage – especially during monsoon months.

Pedastrians, beware.

Flimsy pavements of Yangon

It’s Raining in Love
Richard Brautigan, 1969 

I don’t know what it is,
but I distrust myself
when I start to like a girl
a lot.

It makes me nervous.
I don’t say the right things
or perhaps I start
to examine,
evaluate,
compute,
what I am saying.

If I say, “Do you think it’s going to rain?”
and she says, “I don’t know,”
I start thinking: Does she really like me?

In other words
I get a little creepy.

A friend of mine once said,
“It’s twenty times better to be friends
with someone
than it is to be in love with them.”

I think he’s right and besides,
it’s raining somewhere, programming flowers
and keeping snails happy.
That’s all taken care of.

BUT
if a girl likes me a lot
and starts getting real nervous
and suddenly begins asking me funny questions
and looks sad if I give the wrong answers
and she says things like,
“Do you think it’s going to rain?”
and I say, “It beats me,”
and she says, “Oh,”
and looks a little sad
at the clear blue California sky,
I think: Thank God, it’s you, baby, this time
instead of me.