#25 Reshuffling

existing, quilting, soy-sprouts & procrastination

Hey you, you’re seeing this because you subscribed to letters from marn, a weekly email like I would write to a friend. I usually share what I’ve learnt over the week, sometimes about textile art, sometimes, just living. See my work on noisybeak.com and on instagram @noisybeak.

No new beakie


Nope, didn’t begin, didn’t complete any.

I used to think that every day has to be a contribution, to my life, or his or hers or for all mankind, ha. I felt hollow when I let time slip away from measurable opportunities.

I’m still learning, but now, I remind myself frequently enough—I’m not who I am because of what I do, what I can give, or even what I’m called. I am because I exist.

All week, I was attending to other urgent matters that immediately surround me. If I didn’t, I may cease to exist for myself.


If we had seasons in Singapore, I would have seen the leaves fall, flowers bloom, and met a shark at a beach. That’s how long I’ve let a problem creep. There has been an ongoing disturbance where I live.

Since Tuesday I’ve spent all my non-sleeping hours researching, calling and writing to one authority after another for help. And writing means organising means reliving what I didn’t want to think about. But I did.

All week I felt like my my head has been stuffed with sand, added water, and made mud. While my husband’s remedy is a shoot-shoot-bang-bang-TV-marathon, I ripped up old clothes.

I sat on the floor and tried to make sense of the motley crew of fabric. I sewed 2 pieces together, then 3, then 4. The 4 became 1. I cut the 1 down the middle and made 2, then 4. Trim the odds and ends, sew all the bits together, and make them 1, then 2, and 4, then 1 again.

I was reshuffling. The puzzle became big and small and big and small like a breathing lung.

This activity is more commonly known as quilting. 

The big one quickly outgrows the biggest floor space I have.

I could only work on one part at a time, blind to the future. I could do some math but didn’t. Instead I cling to the uncertainty.

I keep cutting and sewing not knowing if I’ll have enough of what I need. But really though… how would I know what I need until I do? I keep moving with visibility of an arm’s length, trusting that it will eventually come together

Most beakies fit snuggly into my grip. I don’t hold a quilt, a quilt holds me.


The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James

I needed something to get away to. And this book did just that, though it’s not actually a place I’d want to be physically transported to. Thrillers have never been my favourite. They trick me into flipping the pages and than leave me cold. Sundown, on the other hand, is a story with a chilly atmosphere, but finishes warm.


Though disbanded, I still listen to Moloko a lot. They have been on repeat everyday this week. The album I am not a Doctor caught my attention more than the others. 

The opening track Flipside goes:

We have ways to make you understand / We demand you let us in / Under your skin

And, Pretty Bridges goes:

All my bridges burn / All my pretty bridges burn / Each one in their turn / All my pretty bridges burn / Burn, pretty bridges burn


Absurd Planet is an animal documentary with zany narration. It’s my detox pill, it washes the day away, one a day, after food, before bed.


Simplest and most bang for the time this week is Soy Sprouts prepared in a way similar to a Korean side dish. 

Blanch Sprouts in salted water for 3 minutes, drain and squeeze dry-ish. Then, add minced garlic, chilli powder, fresh red chilli, sliced spring onions, sesame, sesame oil, soy sauce, coconut sugar, a dash of rice vinegar. Mixed and savour the crunch. 

Opse. Didn’t realise the ingredient list is so long.

The doing is much easier than this overcrowding of alphabets suggests, much like most things we procrastinate. I ate it with brown rice and choi sim, and kidney bean willow mushroom soup—the sprouts. I should try that with procrastination too, might just go down easier.

Beakies for adoption

Tortoise Victoria (left), Tortoise Gabe (right) & Tortie cat Ember are waiting for adoption in the online shop.

To do what I do, stitch beakies, write stories, and even to send out this letter week after week, I need your support. You can help me by adopting, sharing, or click the little heart here. Please know that I may never have met you in real life, I really appreciate you being with me here, in this little corner of the wide web world.

Starving and making me some sprouts, marn.