A parcel arrived today.

I have decided this is my first Christmas gift. It was everything i prayed about. And more.

It is true God can use anything He wishes to demonstrate His love for us.

This parcel had been on its way for probably more than a month. So much that I had forgotten if the contents. This is not an ordinary 包裹. It contains the thoughts and well-wishes of a dear friend and former student. Someone who always reminded me of a little flame that once didn’t dare to believe it was lit.

She has recently won an internet singing competition and chosen to be mentored under Jack from Singapore’s longest-lasting acoustic duo Jack & Rai. Of course my heart leapt across oceans from China to Singapore. :) Watching her in many ways is like reading the mirror from a while ago. Like myself when i was in my teens, awkwardly quiet and mysteriously invisible in groups. She wasn’t outstanding in terms of skills in a group singing class, but she had a very unforgettable tone, and a sort of stillness when she sang that was very calming, and strangely confident and unassuming despite her quiet awkward exterior. Barely out of school at that time, and then years later i met up with her, discovering that she had a few other artistic abilities in the visual department. She wanted to try a musical career. I wanted to encourage her but i also knew as my own teachers and mentors had thrown me that heavy wet blanket, i had to be transparent with the path in front of her. It is not impossible, and it is not difficult if your heart is set right. So many i’ve seen have given up, got lost, or just don’t know where they are.

A friend gave up her singing career for the lucrative path of an investment officer and is doing great. But she was really awesome, great sense of rhythm, a natural performer, and a very sweet tone to her voice that is unforgettable. Why, i asked? If she loved it? Her answer was so to the point it stunned me for the moment. It’s a career that’s always about ‘Me’. The self. And how you need to boost your popularity. And all of that, may or may not be someone’s cuppa. Above all, that’s how many people get lost. They start off loving that first note they sang or right. Then they forgot. Other things took over, they stopped trying. They try to build a following, but whatever they are following wasn’t what she or he started off to do.

It is a constant reminder for everyone. It perhaps is easier for me since i started off with a rather invisible background. And if you are reading this, then you know, i continue to stay low. But even then, like the self-declared introvert that is Adele, i fight everyday the often conflicting determinants of a successful music career.

So I shared it with my student-friend. I also encouraged her to write tunes. She had 1 or 2 songs at the time, and inertia can be a real demon at times. But everyone just needs a thumbs-up sometimes. And she was great. She came back with a full song. I worked with her on it just refining rhyme or non-rhyme, and meter work. She’s a natural. I say so not because she had made all the right decisions, but that she always sought to make better ones. So unlike a few of the students I had the pleasure of coaching who have an easier more skilful headstart, she kept growing leaps and bounds. And all this while, quietly in her heart just believing in a little spark.

I received her parcel. And read the label on its ‘contents description’ section. It contained everything lovely, except for ‘chicken rice sauce’ – it made me light up and laugh. What a wonderful girl. Her heart is so pure. Bless you K, bless your heart and may He guide your path in His wisdom. Your honesty is inspiring. Looking forward to your new tunes, and praying on your first resident gig. :)

My first Christmas gift 2015

My first Christmas gift 2015

Perhaps being in a foreign land, not having the access to FB as often as i used to, gave me the opportunity and the environment to say how i really feel without offending anyone, treading on anyone’s toes. The world has enough conflict, let’s just say a prayer here, and bless someone out there needing more than a ‘like’.

Categories: China, Uncategorized