Weekends come with a happy punctuality, and inevitably make me draw up ambitious plans to get out and about; to see a bit more of the city I am living in; and to come up with some wonderful ideas for a nice, long blog post. This one was no different, as I made plans to take part in the activities at the car-free Sundays in Singapore (where they shut down vehicular traffic on streets, and transform it into a public space for people to walk, cycle, and play). Having reached there at eight, I walked around for a bit, occasionally glaring up at the already-bright sun, taking in the crowd, trying to get started on some ‘urban sketches’ that capture all the activities there.
But grand plans have a way of falling apart. After spending an hour on some sketches, I simply had to accept that they were, well, rather ugly, and that I would much rather bury them somewhere than put them up. I’ve always felt that one of the important, but horribly difficult thing about trying to write, draw or do anything with art is learning to recognize when your work is crap, accepting it and moving on. Easier said than done though, as I spent another half an hour trying to ‘improve’ my sketches.
But pretty soon I gave up, and wandered around a little more, ending up under the trees in a park nearby where I sat near a fountain, listening to the radio. At some point, as I was generally musing about how difficult it is to create art, I was reminded about one of my earliest posts on this blog. It was a poem of sorts, that I wrote all the way back in 2012:
for the sense of touch;
the bent back,
the ticking clock,
to bring it to life;
and something is born,
my bundle of joy.
And somehow, thinking about it gave me the peace of mind to start and complete another sketch, one that I wouldn’t be embarrassed about showing the world. I suppose even grand plans also have a habit of turning out OK in the end.
– At the Tan Kim Seng Fountain, Esplanade Park, Singapore.