The Magic Box

Did you feel that?

… It happened again.

I don’t quite know how to describe it. They say it has a name. I don’t know what it is.

I felt it as I looked on the monitor. I have been staring at it for a long time in my dark pitch black of a room. It is filled with lots of things. Things, I personally created. Some great, some not-so great, some I adore, some I feel disgusted with, some I wonder how it came to be.

My gaze is still affix on the box. In some ways, it is a magical box.  It emits a huge beam of light and beautiful images. Some people would argue it is the devil sucking you in and ever so slowly killing you inside without your knowledge. The others, say that it is like paradise. Everything in once desires can truly be granted. A world were everything is in a click of a button.

Yes, truly those people were both right. For an artist like me, it is a dream come true. The box has become a helper to my needs. Instead of paper, pencil, easels and paint, I can all do it in this magical creature. Anything that I need, it answers my prayers like for example inspirations. Lot, and lots of them are found every minute, every hour and every day.

It has been my constant little friend, this enchanting little box. I’ve found friends in the same community as mine, artists like me who can understand perfectly well my doubts, fears and joys. We get together, with the use of my little friend, the box. We show within ourselves our worries, triumphs and most of all our works.

However, every creature has it’s flaws. This creature, has one too. You see, even though I have attain my so called friends, this creature of a magical box doesn’t let me see them. Yes, I’ve seen them, but in the form of an image. You can say I have never interacted with them physically. And so here I am, back in the pain numbing sensation.

I’ve been staring at the box, the light beam has been consuming my eyes for a long time yet I don’t feel the pain on them. I feel it on my chest. It is burning like a fire ready cook meat. My eyes cringe but not because of the light beam but because the burning sensation has been consuming my heart for so long.

What is this? I want it to go away!

Then for a small amount of time, my senses are back. Slowly, I can see clearly what my eyes were staring at. It wasn’t the box itself. I was looking beyond it and the light beam. It was an image. And boy, was I drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

I wondered. ‘Why do I feel this burning sensation? This monstrous feeling inside me when I see this magnificent image? This beautifully painted picturesque of a painting. WHY?’

Ugh! There it is again. Now it is becoming unbearable. It has eventually reach a point in my chest so devastatingly painful my brain shouts of pure agony. I want it out of my way.

And there it was… below the beautiful painting. It was quite small, you see. Didn’t notice at first glance.

Or did I? And I just didn’t want to remember. Did not want the horrible truth.

It was a name. A lovely name actually. And indeed said that to her.

I typed. “You’ve got a lovely name, Alana. Do you know it means beautiful?”

“No, but thank you.” She replied back in an instant.

I formed a smile.

But what has that got to do with this aching and unbearable sensation. It just got worse when I saw her name. I do not understand and so I suddenly closed the image. Hoping the feeling will go away.

I slowly breathed, to calm myself down. Then I looked up.

It was a painting. Not just any painting, a current painting I am working on. My eyes cringed at the sight of it. It was horrible. Just utterly displeasing to the eyes, my eyes. I suddenly felt the pain jolting right back in my chest.

It was more painful than before. My eyes suddenly watered and tears came down in an instant.

I want this feeling…this unbearable feeling to go away.

‘Juuhh…” I muttered something. It was a faint sound but I knew I was saying something.

“Juuuh…loou” My mouth kept stuttering. The pain in my chest was overpowering my voice.

At that moment, it went completely dark. My poor lit room didn’t help. Sometimes, the poor little box cease it’s beam of a light and rests for a bit especially when I am not using it.

I turned my head to the box and there in some ways I saw myself…staring back at me. I didn’t know why I could see my self so clear in this darkness. I guess, my eyes adjusted so fast that I can see transparently.

I was panting hard, my hand clutched on my chest. I can clearly see how much I was clutching it so tightly. My vision slowly came above. My mouth slightly opened trying to get air as much as I can. I can perfectly hear my hard breathing. Then I saw my eyes and I saw my whole self.

‘Jealousy’ My mouth uttered. It was faint, just like a whisper. But in this dense dark place I call my room, I can perfectly hear it.

And soon the tears turned to long streams of water…pouring in just like a waterfall. But it wasn’t any kind of waterfall, it wasn’t beautiful, it was destructive and aggressive.

The hand that was clutching my shirt suddenly shifted on my face. I placed it right in front of my tightly sealed eyes. I kept it there, hoping to hide my shame, my being, my self. I was so embarrassed, guilty and sorry for myself.

Alana’s work was magnificent and lovely. I was proud of her, I was really happy but why? Why, this hideous feeling? Why do I feel Jealously creeping and actually infesting my very being? Why? Why?

I loathed myself. But equally felt sorry for myself. I hated myself because not only I felt this hideous feeling but I was angry I couldn’t produce and create something as beautiful as Alana’s work. It was just horrible! An ugliness I will never learn to love and accept.

More than anything, I want to get pass this. I want this feelings to go away because it’s wrong. It was terribly wrong! I shouldn’t have those feelings. To be a great artist one must not feel this. One must be strong to survive!

I shouldn’t be jealous, I shouldn’t compare myself to my dear friend, Alana. She is a sweet and talented woman. I am different from her. Yet, here I am feeling these annoying and pestering feelings. I know in the end what is right but why do I have to go through this agony! WHY?!?! The tears came running down my tired eyes and my breathing became rapid.

“Bear it.” A voice inside my head replied. “Bear it my dear child.”

My breathing became slow.

“Because the only way you’d understand what you know, is through going through it.”

Slowly, the aching stopped, my eyes couldn’t drop one more tear, my nose was ready to blow the sniffles away, my hands wiped away my tears and left a huge crease on my shirt.

The voice inside my head was right, I know very well I shouldn’t compare my self to dear Alana. I know I am not her. I know my skills aren’t yet up to par but with perseverance I can, I know, I know, I know. However, I have to feel these, to understand what I must do, why I must know these things. I must endure and pass these challenge to be a better artist…to be a stronger artist! That is what makes a great artist.

It is easy to say, we must rise up after we fall. But I think it is important to learn and understand why we must fall and not only to look forward to the ending. There is a saying ‘It is not the destination we must remember but the journey’. Okay maybe not the exact words but you do get the idea.

And so, I finally lit up the tiny box and looked once more in Alana’s work. I smiled and was glad the horrible feeling was gone. I immediately put the image aside and went back to my painting.

Yes, it was utterly displeasing to the eye but I can make it better. I can create something amazing. I shall persevere and work hard to attain a great skill and create an amazing work.

So, you see… we will never know if the little box is a devil or a door to paradise. It actually depends on the person. For me, it is neither but I can assure you it is a companion you must have.

That was a tad bit long, sorry about that. Just was in the moment there. 😛 Hehe BTW, it’s a story just to clarify with a part of me included. I have no friend called Alana, but I did experience this…millions of times as an artist. Well, budding artist…I am not quite the artist I hope to be yet. So much to learn, so much to understand, so much to be put into practice.

But I am learning everyday. It is amazing how much an artist can gain. Not only new skills but things that aren’t easy to obtain and are not tangible. Well aside from creativity like patient and perseverance. 

I do not know if other artists out there have experienced this. Maybe you guys haven’t and found this extremely odd. Though, if ever someone has experience this and stumbled upon my blog, here is a comforting note, ‘you are not alone’. 🙂 You’ll make it through! Just keep working hard! 🙂 I know there is that doubt and questions inside your head like “Ya, I keep working hard but when will it end? When will I know I should stop digging and finally find the sweet treasure I’ve been working hard for?” Well, just keep being busy drawing, painting, practicing and you would be surprise you have dug the treasure out. 🙂 

It’s weird saying this because I am not one of those artist who found success yet, like having my own gallery, working in the company I dream about, sold so many painting or work, have a fan base who loves my work and follows me and more. I am just like you, trying to get in in the industry of my dreams. But I confidently say these comforting words because I too am experiencing this. We are artists, who feel the same way. We should help and comfort each other. 🙂 

So, do not forget this! 😀 We can do this! 🙂 And for those people who just stumbled upon, thank you for reading and even reaching to this part 🙂 I know it may be a bit of a drag…too long to read but I appreciate you reading until this bit. You might not be an artist, but I hope I’ve sparked something within you. 🙂 Maybe in some ways you are struggling, don’t give up. Hang in there! 


Encounters with the Unnoticed: Libby and Frank


On a cold night, I found her …lying down there…alone. She could have been placed in a standing position, placed in a corner or even better a proper cupboard like any broom should be but she was just there. I didn’t know how to put it, it was like she was ignored to the point no one cared she was there. She had no use at all.  It was heartbreaking.


Are you alright?” I slowly came towards her.

“Oh, good evening.” She said hesitantly and politely. “Yes, mam. I am quite alright. You have nothing to worry about, mam.”

I looked at her, unsure what to do. It’s like I want to do something but I didn’t know what it is.

“It’s just that…”

“Alone, mam?”

“Well…?” I said uncertainly.

“Lonely, mam? No worries, Frank’s here to keep me company. He always has.”


And that’s when I noticed an orange trash bin.

“Hello there, mam.  A good evening to you.”

“Hello, Frank. A good evening to you too.” I gave a small nod.

“Don’t worry of Libby here. She is quite a talker despite how she looks.” He gave a snigger.

“HEY! That isn’t nice of you to speak of.” That was the first time I heard Libby talk informally and comfortably.

“Well, I only speak the truth.”

“Truth that hurts people’s feelings, it’s what you should say!” She retorted.

This gave me a laugh. And in that instant, I saw that Libby had some purpose. In some ways, she found another way to be useful. I gave a warm smile despite the continues freezing wind engulfing Sham Shui Po.

And as I drifted away, I could still hear them banter like there is no tomorrow.

How an unlikely couple. But I couldn’t help give a hearty smile.

Encounters with the Unnoticed: Mr. Patrick Peggsworth

ImageI’ve been standing and waiting for my train. This does not happen often…this long wait.

And so I grew impatient. Suddenly I kept fidgeting and out of nowhere I looked up. That’s when I noticed him.

“Hello!” He said. “It’s awfully nice someone has noticed me. Usually, these people only look at the ground or the tiny and flat boxes they always bring.”

“Oh, I see. I’m sorry that seems quite rude. Well from all of us, we are all sorry.”

“It’s quite alright, dear. What can I say, I am a fellow who’s overlooked. By the way the name is Peggsworth, Patrick Peggsworth.”

“Hi! Nice to meet you, Mr. Peggsworth.”

“Nooo! Call me Patrick.”

“Well then, it’s nice to me, Patrick.” Despite the tube in front of his mouth, he gave a delighted beam.

It was quite a pleasant chat. I didn’t even notice the train was in front of me until the doors opened.

We said our goodbyes. He gave another smile. Yet…it seemed quite different from the first one. The smile…it bothered me for some reason. It intrigued and haunted me for the rest of the trip. Then it hit me, that smile wasn’t just any kind of some… it was a lonely smile.

It dawned on me. No one will ever look up at Mr. Peggsworth… or I mean, Patrick ever again. Even I…most probably won’t ever remember to look up and just give a simple “hello!” or “how you doing, Patrick?” Because we are all consumed by our busy lives that we can’t even stop to appreciate the little things.

And yes, including the tiny, flat box we always bring and have our hands on, as said by the sweet old Mr. Patrick Peggsworth.