#4 Silence vs music

Love, hands, lentils

It wasn't so long ago I could only create—or function, for that matter—with constant music in the background. Mostly electronic, my favourites are Moloko, Lamb and Portishead

I don't remember when things started to change. These days I wear earplugs when I draw, or sew, or even write this letter. I block input to my ears so I can hear what's on the other side—breathing, left brain censoring the right, or at times a spiral into what I imagine madness feels like. 

The difference between silence versus music is most distinct when sewing. Music transports me to another place, away from what's in front of me. I'd rather be at present holding a needle, feeling the thick of the layered fabric, and wonder if I should force the thread through or circumvent on the side, and double the row of stitches on the parallel. If distracted by music, or a thousand other things, if even for a split second, a needle very often draws blood. 

But that's not the reason why my hands are in pain. I touched an innocently looking pan on my induction cooker, and blistered the second knuckle of the left ring finger. Due to loss of dexterity, proceeded to stabbing my left thumb and then overcompensated with my right hand, resulting in an almost-but-not-yet sprained index and middle finger.

Work in progress

My fingers in the current condition, can't handle the ostrich body as it gets bigger. I've only managed to adjust the eyes so that I can hear it speak to me. The tweaking of the legs and feathers will require more refined control—more grip power and abrasion—I can't afford.

Instead, I'm connecting stamp sized scraps to form the ears of a hare I'm making.

Hare doesn’t like camera as much as Ostrich

My fascination with aquatic animals continues. Animals in water are so otherly. Even birds that fly live on land.

Anyway, what is this?

A whiny one, that I know. It's supposed to be a tortoise. I’ve also just realised I’ve assembled the cast for the Aesop fable—The hare and the tortoise. 

New born

Forgot to mention last week that I started on another little one from the water. It is a smaller version of a hammerhead I've made before. 

No matter how I tried, they look silly all the same. That's the impression I had while moving on underwater travelators when I visited the aquarium as a child—hammerheads stuck to the ceiling of glass tunnels. Couldn't stop laughing. Still do.


I have much time to read this week because I couldn't sew or cook as much. Stay with me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ is a short little book about what I presume I'll never have to go through. The depth of emotions expressed is however relatable. 

Long after I finished the book, my mind keeps revisiting a line—

“If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it's in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn't mean it's no longer love.” 

I've often wondered what is, and isn't. Does love look the same to everyone? Is it love if you don't  know it is. What is it, if love becomes symbol for marketing, not just for businesses, but for people too?

The bees by Laline Paull is a much lighter read compared to the previously mentioned. However, when I read "kindly recall that variation is not the same as deformity" I got hooked. Besides, I finally get to see what beautiful creatures bees are, via the author's prose, as I could not risk squirming at an image search. I'm kinda scared of all insects, I run away on hearing faintest buzz. My phone is never on vibrate.


With the hands that can’t do much, I'm kept alive by one-pot wonders. My favourite this week is a red lentils and himeijitake mushroom farfalloni pasta. Over time, I've experimented with different variations, with different pulses, and odd looking mushrooms. I like this week's best. It's creamy without being gooey, earthiness of mushrooms balanced and not overpowering. So, what made the difference is homemade black soy milk and himalayan pink salt. Other stuff that gets thrown into the pot includes the usual onion garlic nutritional yeast black salt.

That's all for this week, I'm writing as I would to a friend who ask me what's up. If there's anything else you think I should or should not be saying, please save me from further embarrassment by hitting reply. I answer my own emails. And, if you have friends who might like receiving this kinda thing, please hit share. I love listening and talking to different people, and keep my fingers crossed they feel the same about me.

Till next, marn.