MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “talent”

Culinary art

https://tallypress.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/malaysia-top-10-cooking-classes.jpgEating is a necessity, but cooking is an art”, and like any profession, hobby or job even, no-one is born great at it, you learn by doing.

Jonathan wanted to be a chef since he saw his grandmother use a whisk to prepare his favourite cookie dough. Until his early teenage years, he never really questioned where this sublimely tasting mixture came from. But once he saw how it was prepared, he wanted to learn the secret so he could “always have abundance”. That’s the problem with us humans: we always want more.

He slowly found that cooking relaxed and calmed him. It was a mindful act that produced something worthwhile in the end, and he loved the compliments he received for the end produce.

He discovered that he could make his food as healthy, as sweet, as spicy, as exotic and as imaginative as he liked. Because in his kitchen, he was in charge. What was most exciting about it all, is that, sometimes, even food had an image, a memory, a story to associate with it. And that was one additional thing that brought people together.

Jonathan became a chef. And he realised that the secret ingredient to every recipe, just like in life, was to do whatever you did with love and passion.

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The art of writing

writing2If there is an elegance in knowing how to speak, there is a charm in knowing how to write. In being able to express the thoughts that swivel in your mind, into words, phrases, sentences. Giving them meaning to paint an image to the outsider, enabling him/her to witness with their own eyes a fraction of your very being.
Being able to write is a gift, a talent, a skill.

In an age when we are constantly busy with something, and never have enough time for anything, possessing good writing skills is a trait few truly have. For, from a very young age, we are taught that reading and writing are intrinsically linked. They are two skills that you learn simultaneously. Today, we spend most of our precious daily time skim reading texts of all sorts. We have no time to waste. If the first few sentences do not grip your interest immediately, the text is not deemed worthy of your attention. So being a good writer becomes all the more important. You need to invite the reader in, to arouse their attention, raise an issue of common interest to them, welcome them into your stream of words, and grasp them so tightly that they would want to stay along for the entire ride. And if you are exceptionally good, you will leave them with an afterthought, having awakened inside of them their spirit of curiosity, of questioning, of bewilderment for the very world we live in. It is true that nowadays we speed read all the more, but that does not necessarily mean we should also skim write.

Think about the books you read. There are some that you can literally not put down. Not even when you feel your bladder so full it is pressing against your stomach, and you’re dancing around on your seat, trying to finish one more line, one more sentence, one more page, before you have to race to the bathroom like a mouse on fire. But there are others that actually put you to sleep after just one or two pages. It might not necessarily be just the plot at fault. It is the way the plot is written. The descriptions, the narrative, the tone. It is no wonder, therefore, that the best books you read – those that remain with you long after – are the ones in which the flow of words can reach deep into your soul, caress every atom of your being, and so thoroughly describe every emotion you feel to the extent that you experience a hair-raising chill down your spine. The most memorable texts are indeed the ones that so vividly describe exactly what they make you feel. The ones that help you embark on a rollercoaster of emotions, of racing heartbeats, and of sighs of relief.

Knowing how to write is more than a dexterity. It is an art. And like many others, everyone claims to know how to do it. But few truly do it well.

Also part of Daily Prompt: On the Edge

Everyone’s a postman

postman-segway-22647375They are only a handful of academics that truly inspire you. The others just put you to sleep. Why do academics always think that talking endlessly is a sign of knowledge? And this incessant numbering of everything they say? It’s like a journalist trying to write a news report and using bullet points. It’s simply…silly!

It would be so much more effective to say a few things to the point that could stay with you even after that speech or address or lecture. Talking for 30 minutes straight will drive people insane-out-of-their-minds, and no-one will ever pay attention after the first five minutes, or will they even remember what on earth it was you were talking about, five seconds after that speech. Heck, they won’t even remember the speaker’s name. And the cheering when s/he’s done is only because everyone’s glad they stepped off the podium.

It’s frightening actually how everyone thinks of themselves as a speaker, just as everyone considers themselves a writer this day and age. Yet, these are both things that take skill and a little bit of talent. If everyone could do it, then the good ones who excel at them would be no more special than the postman delivering your letters (no offense to the postman).

N.B. Written during a very boring 40-minute speech for the presentation of a book which I could have actually read in the meantime

Freedom in a pen

pen-writingDifferent people have different things they’re good at. Different talents or ‘gifts’. Some are good at sports, at computers, or at telling jokes. Others draw, sing or paint. I write. Why? Because having a pen in my hand, a notebook on my lap and scribbling away feels natural. Because staring at a blank page on a screen long enough is bound to be followed by a few endless minutes of furious typing. Because the ideas in my head, to me, seem to be rushing out effortlessly onto the page. Because writing is my “thing”. It’s what I think I do best and most importantly, it’s what I enjoy.

So when and how do you know when you’ve found the one thing you want to do? How did I know, for example, that I wanted to write? When (early on) I read an article and was so mesmerised by how simple yet eloquent it appeared. At how it was so beautifully written yet it seemed so humble and elegant at the same time. When something causes your awe you know it is definitely worth it. And because in reading that article I felt the magic that I would want my readers to experience through my writing.

I write because I have something to say. And just like some people speak (even if often too much and without saying anything), I write. There is a deep and overwhelming sense of satisfaction when you know that people are reading your work and talking about it. Gratification coming without the cold sweat running down your spine and those numerous wide-open eyes staring at you and your every move. Plus, it gives you a chance at a second glance – a re-read and an edit. To add and subtract phrases or words. It offers you an opportunity to be as close as possible to perfect. To the best you can be.

For me writing entails a freedom that can hardly be found anywhere else. It allows you to pour out your soul, your ideas and your thoughts. Shamelessly, unabashed and unafraid. Writing gives you a voice even if you think you don’t have one. And if done well, through your writing you can persuade even a stubborn disbeliever into admitting or accepting your point of view, even if they do not agree with it. After all, it’s all in the expression.

So sometimes, the pen is indeed mightier than the sword (or any weapon or tool for that matter!). For in the end, characters, personalities, places and dreams are created by the pen and sometimes even lived as a result of it.  Through writing there is so much more to gain than to lose. And as long as your heart is guiding your hand, you will never be short of ideas. Writing is after all a passion. One that you feel, you live, and, you can share.

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Express Yourself!

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