New Life

The pool had a shiver when the breeze touched the surface,
The same scene, you walk past every day.
There used to be concerns about the hazy colour of the tiles underneath the pool.
Trust has the blink moment, where upon momentary blindness under water, you thought the sneak is twining around you.

Here comes the manifest,
Where the tickling fear seemed as innocent as the cat sniffing by and not giving a damn.
Where the bully who devoured you, has smashed the door that prisoned you too many times and the handle was getting rusty.
Where on the edge of the explosion, you let go of the little girl sobbing, and simultaneously, the hidden side of you has finally stepped out and picked your weapon.
It’s go time.
The shiver after she sobbed, as if the percussion on the soul, for a second, you were spilled all over around you in pieces. The big bang happened in that second, then in one inhalation, you took all those pieces back.
The universe has reconstituted in you.

You take that element of pain and torture as the central piece,
Does it mean, we, being our own torturer would make the world the opposite of what it is now?
Does it mean, acknowledging the quality of life is rife with suffering is the only way out?
Does it mean, the pain need to be transformed into the anchoring power within, that reaches, and restores the balance of where we come from?

That girl does not care.
We walked out of the room and wiped clean the tears.
Even if that is true, we have prepared the battle ground and from now on, we would be sharpening the thrusting sword and rhyme with the fearless drums beating deep down.

One day as usual,
We decided to go to the pool,
We jumped into it instead.
The fear got suspended in the air and heaven knows how marvellous it felt.
To rip through the curtain of the fear and put it along side with the courage,
Hello, new life.
We smiled in the ripples.

~Carol Shi

How the stars look like (Saturn and Jupiter)

Somehow, I cannot neglect the doubt that is it too good to be real.

Creeping into my dream,
We whispered under the blanket as if having home-made porridge in grandma’s house.
Luke-warm bodies settled.
The illusion of the closeness did not put the dream to rest that easy,
Brewing and waiting.
You were suddenly triggered,
The guardian of the netherworld has realized with a splash of lighting,
Breach of the contract, unforgivable betrayal.
Nails has become the machete, prepared and inches away to enter my chest,
Crumbled pale paper, your face has become.
The unbearable terror, and I was prisoned onto the bed.
I woke myself up.

The truth is,
The following day, no matter what kind of deviant activities we have curiously took on.
There is not one bizarre container, to which I shall find to pour your love.
In a land of silent passion and prevailing revenge.
Arrows were aimed and on action once receiving the instruction from the cruel dictator.
From the blackhole of your unforgiving ancient tenderness.
Only to deprive the last bit of connections with us.
No man’s land is made.
I had to wake up.
The blackhole twisted the remaining hope into a devastating hurricane,
Being one dot at last, which I dare not to look back again.

Jupiter served love and lust in a silver plate,
The plate you never seem to remember the texture or the reflection of yourself.
It was expanding, yet we forgot to ask,
Does it come with the light or the night.

Saturn will show up, at a later point of time.
To shatter the foggy glasses and the ambiguous light in the room.
You will feel suppression, you will feel there is no way to hide, you will be forced to reckon the metrics of the monster you were facing.
And that turns out, unexpectedly, to be the only mercy of the night.

~Carol Shi

How the stars look like (The beauty, the beast and the thief)

The giant has finally walked out from the wars he initiated.
He went back to the village and has never felt so empty.
Looking deep into the well, reaching his hand and cannot help but trembling.
The peace feels surreal, there is one high pitched noise in his head, the damn cuckoo clock still works in the dusty bars on the opposite of the road.

Stripping off in the stillness of a quiet alley,
Putting down the worn-out guards.
The soft part of the bed still feels the same, as if all the violence has vanished into the remote side of the solar system, becoming the countless dust dispersed into the irrelevant history.

He is now in a different war, he thinks.
The lavish background almost fooled him, taken it as the victory party he should have deserved.
The silky scarf went over his head as if in the serene deep seas, the black silhouette manta ray, in his way, revealed the texture of love to him.
Survival instinct seems redundant, what is left to do is immersion.
Beauty were scattered,
Mirrors everywhere,
In the harmonious lukewarm day.

Language was not the necessary tool to be utilised,
No urgency for a point to be made or a territory to be defended.
Every being lives naturally, morals are replaced by balance, righteousness are replaced by sensational excitement.
He has stopped wondering where he is in, intrigue triumphs the untrusting insecurities.
He came forward.

Woke up in the smell of burnt sour dough.
He started to question whether the invincible vitality is the force that constitute the trapping, yet in last night, a careless mistake was made.
God’s will could be carried out by a restless thief with certain unreliability, huh.

Villagers have returned from the safe shelter,
He went back to the iron shop.

One day, a girl, wearing a bit greyed-out purple dress, put a tiny flower on his threshold.
The second time, he stopped that girl before she ran away again.
She turned around,
The face, along with the sunset light shining through the edges of it,
Reminds him of that dream, now standing in front of him.
He came forward.

(In the above context, beast refers to Mars; beauty refers to Venus; thief refers to Mercury. In ancient Greek mythology, Venus married to Mars)

~Carol Shi

The Regular

Coffee cup before him, and slanting sun
The sounds seem muted, perhaps only by how deep he is
In thought.
There is nothing but stillness, and the gentle touch of sensations
Warmth of the sun, cool of the fan,
Taste of bitter coffee and sweet fruit,
The nearby musical clink of shifting crockery.
And in the midst of this, tempest thoughts want to destroy the peace
A storm of his own making, interfering, and forcibly turning his head
To look.
Trying to pull him with it, the pit that has no bottom
The cry that has no silence.
The vision can become real at any time, it says.
He almost wishes it would, to end the suspense.
Ah there, that is the brink of the pit.
The solid ground is here, the cup warm
In his hand.
The moment his as well.
Then a voice behind, no one he could know,
Comes from the kitchen, a few words, normal, cheerful.
There is still so much to do, and such a great work it is, for
It has let him wrestle a demon, briefly over his coffee,
And emerge, tired from the battle,
Planting his umbrella like a spear on the ground as he rises.
He pays his bill and smiles good bye.
A cloud scuds across the light and drops a little rain,
But that is a small matter.
It is time to go.

~R.B.

How the stars look like (the Sun and the moon)

The ritual singing from the Norupo,
The song you like that feels like the holy voice from the hell,
Making you perceive the rhyme and the sensation embedded in the resentment of the tone.
You were finally shown that what the Sun guides you may put you against the world,
The dark side of the moon may be where your cocoon is.

The world is still young to appreciate the roses that only absorb the light,
And nobody can see the light been shadowed by the roses lead to the frequent spasm within.
Yet that flower devil queen does not know submission is an option.
Nature did not give her the tenderness she can digest, so she has responded the same way she has been nourished.
The thorn has been triggered the first bud upon experiencing the first burn from the light,
It has accompanied her ever since.

People passing by,
The dark queen was cursed by the swift cut left on them.
The dress of grand night is not for the obvious eyes.
And eventually, the thorn has outgrown and traumatized the adjacent plants,
Thus she has nowhere to hide but to burn into ashes in a harsh summer.
And finally, she laughs in the sizzling reincarnation, along with the wind spreading her echoing pain.

The white roses, being the first ones to catch the sad news, with their smooth stem.
Being the ones spoiled by the Sun,
They have not idea how a life of being covering with the skin thickened by pain was able to get by.
She weeps and decided to tattoo the sacrifice and volunteered to mourn forever more.
Devoting her blessed life to comfort all the passing,
Sleeping on the cold tomb soundly, with all the loving memory she can contain,
With the thorns acquired from the dark queen.
The pain from the past life can ultimately rest in peace.
And all the roses have vowed to write the story into their new skin, the thorns.

Lies told by the Sun are exposed,
The passion jumping with the self-identified ideal pursue does not always come in hand with a feasible prospect.
We still don’t know how to adjust to the outside.
Yet we will no longer hesitate to visit the dark side of the moon, where nurtured us.

~Carol Shi

Happily ever after instead

It does not require much to have a glimpse of those earlier moments, in which, as happy and jumpy as a puppy I was.
Until this day, I am still attached to the teddy bear. In the moment I hug him, like the moment I rushed home to find my rabbit buddy.
But the first welcome gang was my mum, wearing the yellow fluffy hoody, standing inside the green door, and clapping for my return (as requested by me).
You can mark my return by the loud repetition of my mum’s name in the staircases. It was me exerting myself to scare away the fear or whatever was hiding in the dark.
Those days were not difficult to get by even with the life -impacting test coming.
Because just like every school night, I could come to an ending with a victory-like welcome party, I also expected that at one point of time, I would see the last of it.
Getting by was frugal when you know when it would fold up.
That was the major lifestyle change I felt when I took on my first job, suddenly life has become less clear and people live on weeks, and nobody can tell you when the next graduation is coming.

How do we ever plan out the rest of the life when we are suddenly given the full autonomy,
In the beginning, survival is the symbol of independence.
But when crawling back into bed, warming the back of the teddy bear, does not erase the fear of being shadowed by the insane mundanity.
You do not want to admit that the freedom you have sought, the only hope that have been keeping you from cold, boils down to getting by only.
Nothing has changed,
Not until you build your own path, instead of walking the ones existed.

Maybe the happy ending is that I can be the same happy and jumpy when going home from work,
And what cheers me, is no longer associated with pushing the fear aside to embrace the comfort and love standing at the door-side.
There will be no destination required in order to keep me going.
Because I will not need any.
I will not need any if I can build a reality that destination is forgotten most of the time, yet I can feel I have been to all kinds of destinations in one day, in a lot of days.
Then eventually, happy ending can be deemed as officially overrated.
And teddy bear and I, we live happily ever after instead.

~Carol Shi

The process of venting

Voice fails to hide its tracks when there is an explosion.

Started on Thursday afternoon,
Laughter has suddenly become loud from the diaphragm, not from the throat.
The subject was not that hilarious,
But there was an urge to make it tremble through the door.
A random mumbling of complaint, has lost its original sanity. It’s the volume that gave it away.
You don’t understand that why there is the urgency, which associate with you working until you say goodnight to work.
You don’t understand that why we don’t deserve a balanced day.
You know that deep down, we are working for someone’s greed.
And most of the time, that someone is not us.

Stability is such a trap,
Many would tell you security means everything,
The bases of everything, said with their greasy faces, the material smile.
But the distinction between you and them are,
You are not afraid to die.
Thus the trap has nothing to offer you but a salve-like suffering.

On those moments of edges,
What visited you are the wishes to keep walking on an unknown road until you are not yourself anymore.
The curiosity that what will happen if you suddenly jump onto the road as if playing a prank on that uncle holding the scythe.
But the choices of ending suffering aren’t what we do.
You call that a deep dive and we are not to give up yet.

You saw an open grass field with no one around.
Upon landing the island, you feel secured by the wildness of one piece of green mirroring to the big blue one.
You yell like as if bloody murder.
You have heard your despair out in the open, you just need to disperse it and evaporate from your chest until you are exhausted.

We took the same way back.
We went back to our places.
We carry on until it automatically falls off.

~Carol Shi

Psychology Resource Library

This page contains links to external resources and some of our own content. All is free to use, but copyright remains the property of the respective creators.

Videos

Slides

Web Resources

Beck Institute

Glasser Institute Choice Theory

Albert Ellis ’12 irrational beliefs

Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Psychology Tools

Big5 Personality Test

5 Love Languages

Apology Language Quiz

Categories of Distorted Automatic Thoughts

Book List

Coming soon!

Carol and the Elderly Lady

(I question the necessity of celebrations for the generally accepted ones that requires my obligations)

I remembered it was in my grandma’s yard about 15 years ago.
I buried a blue bird.

On the day of lunar eclipse in June 2020,
I saw a bird being ran over on the road.
I could not move further.
So I took the bird aside by the wings,
Which are the only parts still intact.
And I mumbled that,
Please be careful in your next life and go ahead.

I always wonder, why the formality of a funeral comes natural to me than others.
Graduation I have always been late for or chose not to attend.
Birthday, people’s congratulations I don’t know how to react.
Wedding rings, it seems that it shines the glow of a rare promise.
But does it, in some level, serve the same function of a dog’s piss,
To mark territory.

We have been clingy to some dates that we see differently than any other days.
Birthday, anniversary, new year, national day.
Meanings are made on each kind of changes,
Thus to dance for, to celebrate for, to lit fireworks for.
Milestones, though consist of our gratitude, but reflect the tiny wishes of ours, which are only to be shown mercy for.
So I don’t like the image of being immersing in those generally accepted moments, which only mirrors our temporary hopefulness and pretend to put a ending somewhere.

It was the school-organized museum trip puzzles me initially.
The painting, depending on different perspectives, that shows the woman in different age.
And all I could see was the elderly lady.

So I have, on my twenties, decided for my last few years.
To work as a cleaner in a temple.
And the funeral has to be in carnival style, which deserves itself as to be the one and ultimate celebration.

But I promise you,
Life will not be added one more ounce of dullness because of my angel as such.
Because it is hardly those dates that make us laugh, weep or feeling alive.
And we are even more free and honest to be wild and laugh the guts out to the things and people we truly feel about it.

So, the elderly lady,
Let’s party Carol’s style!

~Carol Shi

Shades of Sago Lane

Long ago in a paper house,
With a paper trishaw parked out front,
Lived a tiny woman, the colour of orchids
With a back like a camel.
She cooked very well,
But still when the hawker passed by below
She would drop down her basket and buy some more.
Not for her son or her daughter, for
She had none, but for the young man
Who came from the war, coughing
The colour of henna upon his hands.
The clock ticked away, above his bed,
Night and day, the hours bled away.
She shook her head at that.
For his sake, because he was brave,
She made her slow way
To the temple, each day, to light
Her strand of smoke.

~R.B.