Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Special Surprise That Never Was

I am actually writing this in advance.

Today is 20th April 2017. It has been about a month since THAT happened.

Today, I learnt some important lessons while preparing a surprise for my husband for our 13th wedding Anniversary....

On 7th June 2017, we would have been a couple for 15 years. Seems just like yesterday that I was lying down on his lap at a picnic at Changi Park and agreeing to be his girlfriend:)

I remembered that when I just got together with Max, me.. who cannot cook, cannot bake... cannot do much.. wanted to make something for him. I think it was our one mth anniversary present. I went to Annie Godma's house (she always say giving my son to her as godson is payment for this good deed done) to bake cookies for Max. Even Annie's mother still remembers this!:)

Fast forward to almost 15 years later... we are kind of in a turning point of our relationship as husband as wife. I dunno how my husband feels about it as he is always cool about things and according to him, I just have to do this... and he do that... and then we just "see how it goes lor"...

But for me, it is a make or break time of my life. It was THE rude awakening my teacher, Chuck, warned me about. It was devastating but also kind of relief and at the same time because I became aware about some things about me and as a result, no longer have to be tied down by it...

Maybe it is because I always have a soft spot for drama or maybe it is my worrisome nature.... so maybe what happened is really something very small like what Max says it is. But to me, it was big and for the past month, I have spent alot of time thinking about my life and about our relationship.

So one time when I was thinking about our relationship, I was asking myself, "What can I do for Max to show him that I love him? How can I help Max feel loved again?" And I had this idea to make him something.

Max is always talking about asking our friend, Grace, to make us a new set of cups for our new house. Whenever we go over for party, he will always request to use her home made cups (she does pottery and has been doing so for a number of years and even had her works exhibited once)

So I contacted Grace and asked if she could teach me how to make a pair of cups for Max as our anniversary present. A pair instead of just one because of how a PAIR in Chinese tradition means like being together till the end of time... and a pair so I could enjoy together with him lah:)

Being the generous soul she is, she said OK on the spot and then we made arrangements to meet up.

To be honest, I did not know what to expect. I had never done any pottery work my entire life. I am kind of a hands on person but not exactly the most patient. And most importantly, there were so many uncertainties going on at that time that I did not even know whether in the end, I will get a chance to give this to Max at that given time with the intended significance.

But I made a date to do it and did.

It was not that difficult really.... Grace chose an easier method for me and her friend to make a container and my first try resulted in THIS...

My second try, I was faster... but then I felt I made something that was not as good because I still did not get the smaller details and how they work in the production of the pottery piece...

Anyway, my second piece looks like this...

I find the second piece is not so nice as it is a little flatter with less detail and a little fatter cup... not a nice size..... But guess what, being fat has its advantages... this second cup is the one tat survived cracks... ;)

 Last two made by me..

Then of course the master help me shaved off the extras... and make a nice bottom...

Sadly though, Grace told me the next day that one of my cups had cracked upon drying... so I made yet another date to go to her house to remake the cup.

The cup that cracked... was the first one that I made.. the one that I liked better. And the irony is this... the cup that cracked... I made thinking of Max. And yet when Grace was trying to keep track of which cup is who... she engraved our names at the bottom and put my name instead on that cup. That cup that cracked in the end...Though I made it while thinking of Max... It was me who cracked... Kind of like the lesson I was meant to learn I guess:)

Anyway, I visited Grace again to make a new cup.

Strangely, this time round... maybe because I was left alone to slowly explore, maybe because I had less on my mind as things are seemingly more positive after I was touched by some angels, I actually made a better cup than I did previously and finally sort of got some of the finer techniques of making the cup.

But leh, because I had a bad experience of a cracked cup, as I made, I keep thinking whether I will do it right.. whether it will crack.. And then I realized that thinking that way is no help and  just have to heck it and just do what I can and pray for the best...

And that is the first lesson I learnt... that life is not always unicorns and rainbows and sometimes things go wrong. If you keep holding on to the past and wonder if it will go wrong again, it is not helpful for your progress at all.

This is the surviving cup I made the first time.. I think after it shrink a little.. it did not look too bad at all!:)

Here are photos of my second REMAKE CUP...

 Love, love love...

 Actually this design is alot more complicated and made the cup more flimsy. There was alot of mending to be done because of this...

Kind of done.. need to even out the slants...

After  I finished remaking my card, Grace told me the cracked card can be cracked into small pieces and recycled... and she said to me, "Break it up... no attachments..."

 My cracked cup...

And so I did... And I guess, this is lesson number two.. that life is like tat... the imperfect cracked pots you made in your life... hey, those can actually be recycled to build better things in future given now you have this learning experience behind you... and so there is no real need to be attached to it... Cos life is like tat... you fail, you break it up and redo.. just like building lego.

Updates on 29th May 2017

Anyway, my cups were fired  and one of them.. the one I remade during the second session with complicated design still had a tiny hairline crack in it. Grace says likely it will survive glazing and going into the oven again and will still be good for what I made it for. And if it doesn't, I guess maybe it is just heaven's sign.

I wouldnt know though how they will turn out as Grace will be going overseas and the glazing thingy will be done in her absence... I will only be able to pick it up though at the end of the month. So leh.. akan datang..

Update on 1 June 2017. Max asked for a divorce. I agreed.

Update on 6 June 2017. I spent today having dinner with my sister. Thankful to the many friends who offered to dinner with me as they know today is my special day and that it will likely be a tough day. Guess in the end, no chance to gift this gift out...Maybe still will give him as a birthday present. HOpefully it will glaze well:)

 Updates: As you can see, they turned out pretty sweet.

But I don't think I will give them out ever. Unless we get a chance to be together again. Haven't thought of what to do with them. Maybe I will use them for drinking tea, water and Good Boy Apple Juice... LOL

Updates on 1 Jan 2018: Collected them liao.. but dunno wat to do with them yet..

Maybe grow some potted plants or wat lah. I don't really fancy using them or giving them away. I am thankful to Grace for showing the way.. as they were therapeutic for me to make. Now many months later, I finally collected them and while I look at them with a teeny tinge of sadness still, I guess they also stand for me finally making something of my life.. for me:)

And I make an imaginary toast on the first day of this new year to myself with these cups that are filled with top notch whisky... hahaha...... Here's to a different and a even better and more amazing life ahead! Jia you, Peng Yuanru! You can do it!

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