Last year there's a book out in HK called Preoccupations: Things Artists Do Anyway, a collection of texts and photos by artists about their obsessions and pursuits when they're not creating art. A friend forwarded me the call for submission. I was tempted to send something, but soon realized that 1. in HK, the term 'artists' generally refers to painters, designers, photographers and the like, and does not include writers; 2. there're no endeavors that I regularly engaged in other than writing.
In the last year I've picked up a few things, starting with swimming long distance on breezy summer nights. There came the moment when I believed I should do what I wanted to do and what made me happy. After literature - which I consider my vocation/occupation - my biggest passion in life has always been music:
Guess what's that reflection on my piano?
Random clothes on the bed - I live in a studio apartment.
Most of my friends know I played piano briefly when I was a child. After I gave it up in a rather traumatic manner, I often thought about it, though not with pangs of jealousy or pain. Years went by and I had all kinds of excuses/reasons: I'd never be good at it and I should focus on writing; it's too expensive a hobby.
Two days before my birthday in April, I sat down to play in a music shop. Now I have a piano at home (purchased after lengthy and meticulous research), play daily, and will take lessons from my a very good teacher. And now I can tell you - first-hand - that nothing else matters in life when you're playing music.
The same goes for Tango. Thanks to my two excellent teachers, Candy and Anita, and a group of wonderful classmates, I've gone from stumbling every step to dancing light in the last six months.
At our studio we do the traditional Argentina style. I, for one, am fed up with people saying Tango looks 'so cool/sexy/sensual/intriguing', their mind stuck in some movie or popular media representations. Rather than preaching it, I'll just say Tango is sophistication. It's about leading/following the momentum and connection between two bodies and minds. Think fluidity and precisions of movements. The emotions and energy of the music.
On a different note: one thing I'd like to try - when there're the resources - is tennis. Growing up in HK, I was a soccer fan like most others thanks to British influence. Tennis was much less popular then, and it seemed like a boring sport: two players running from left to right, and a yellow ball bouncing back and forth in a match that lasted forever.
My misconception totally changed in 2005, when a friend got me to watch one of the early matches between Federer and Nadal. Since then I've had a soft spot for Nadal. Talented, tough and gracious, even after his shockingly upset loss to Robin Soderling at this year's French Open.
Here's Nadal who says his loss in the bid to a fifth consecutive, record breaking French Open title was 'not a tragedy'. That he accepts defeat with calm--as he does with victory--and he congratulates Soderling for his win.
I certainly hope Nadal will refine his game and come back in top form at Wimbledon. One thing is for sure: if Nadal ever plays in HK I'd be one of the first to rush to the stadium.