URL change

Hi all! Just a quick note to let you know that I will be changing the address of my blog from “xinsweald.wordpress.com” to “xinsweald.wordpress.com” in the near future. Maybe on the 14th September or so on the off chance people need time to notice the impending change.


You know, it’s strange. 14-year-old me started up a blog on msnspaces as a kind of online diary for myself, and maybe a few of my friends who might be interested. Over the past eight years or so I’ve had all manner or friends and strangers visit this site (see my list of favourite search terms people have used to find their way here) and to my tremendous surprise, I actually have regular readers. Not just one, but more than one. I don’t know how many, maybe a dozen or more, but it’s really baffling that people want to read what I want to write. And to anyone reading this, thank you. Your companionship on this journey, even if yours is the silent kind, is welcome.


I recently made the decision to stop regularly going to my iaido class. My reasons are complex, but simply put, I felt that what I wanted was taking me away from that class and exploring other wonderful avenues in my life’s journey. For two years now, I have worn the crest, the mitsudomo, of my sword school on a chain around my neck. But as I move away from mugai, I do not feel right continuing to wear the necklace that marks me as a student because I have chosen to walk a different path for now. Perhaps some day I will don it again, but not today. I just wanted to take another moment to talk about the other necklaces I have, most of which I haven’t worn in the past two years because there was already one lace around my neck.

In 2008, Bethwyn gave me my first birthday present (asiding The Mastersword, which she chipped in for and is one of my happiest memories). It was a scattering of wonderful things, but among them is a clear quartz pendant on a black rope. It’s been chipped and glued together from when it snapped in half, but to me it is a special necklace for celebrating the joy of my relationship. Strangely, as I went to put on the mitsudomo, it snagged on this necklace.

In 2005, my dear ex-lover Ivy gave me a pendant just before I left Singapore for the second time. (Strangely, and perhaps sadly, I wrote very little about those weeks on my blog, which was used for a very different purpose than it is today.) For months, perhaps more, I had been looking for a yinyang necklace, which I had felt expressed a core part of who I was. I strove for balance in my life, a perfect equilibrium of white and black, good and evil. Being fifteen, I didn’t really find it, but I did wear the necklace an awful lot as a reminder to myself to be a good Taoist (and to lock in my qi, or something ridiculous like that). As I study Taoism, particularly through Taiji and the Tao Te Ching, I recognise its concepts as profound and important to my life. Curiously, this second necklace was looped around the mitsudomo when I tried to put it on.

Somewhat unrelated, I have a necklace that is only half of a set. It is the yang, and Bethwyn possesses the yin. For one of our early Valentine’s, perhaps second or third, we both independently came up with the idea of having matching halves of a yinyang necklace. I think it was shortly after watching Mulan 2 (a terrible film, by the way) that we both secretly plotted to get a set for the other. And on that Valentine’s Day, we exchanged presents and were astounded to find we had gotten each other the same thing, from the exact same store on ebay. We wore one set to pieces over a number of years, and then kept the second as a kind of spare.

There are other necklaces I don’t really wear; the mala beads for meditation, the rosary beads for prayer, and the cross from Kairos, the life-changing spiritual retreat I went on in high school. But each of these charms holds a special place in my heart, and it is… strange, but wonderful, to be able to wear any of them or none of them. My neck felt empty, devoid and naked at first, but now it feels rich in possibility.

Night everyone!


Oh Iwata-san, I love your gentle exploration, your genuine openness, your skillful communication and direction of interviewing and the warmth of your heart. And Eguchi-san, although this is the first time I’ve seen you, I love the twinkle in your eye, the honesty of your smile and your dream to make many people happy through Nintendo (leave luck to heaven!).


The road less travelled

I’m not too sure why, but I felt inexplicably angry and frustrated today. I felt like smashing things to vent my frustration and cause needless destruction, and doing awesome martial art tricks to feel good about myself and earn the impressed approval of strangers. That tells me I’m insecure about some part of who I am, and not figuring it out is driving me crazy, but I’m not going to try to force an answer.

Anyway, I did my best to calm down by sitting across from a zen garden and watching a duck watch me as I ate my lunch, but it didn’t seem to do anything. I had a few hours before I needed to be home, so I decided that there was no real reason why I shouldn’t take a few hours to walk home. It wasn’t the smartest idea, and I had no real reason to other than it’s something I’ve always wanted to do, but I set out anyway to begin the long walk home.

It wasn’t quite as wonderful as I imagined it would be. There were moments of intrigue, wondering about little things I hadn’t noticed (like why that girl in the pink top was also making the long trek from Manning Road to Albany Highway, who left half a fresh tomato on the sidewalk, and since when did Roe Highway manifest under the bridge I’ve always driven over?) and discovering unrecognisable houses, rivers and cliffs I’d never paid attention to when I sped past them. But there was also a certain amount of complainy-pain and exhaustion from the trek- my knee is currently suffering and my whole body is tired and aching. I had no idea walking could be difficult, but it’s been a long time since I’ve tried to walk any great distance, so I guess everyone has their limit.

It felt good to be part of the small demographic who don’t speed around in automobiles pumping out pollution, but I don’t think I’ll make it a regular thing. All in all, it took about 2.5 hours to walk the 11 kilometres. Normally it’s a 25 minute drive to uni, so it takes approximately six times longer to walk somewhere than to drive there. At least I will be grateful next time I get in the car. And at the very least, the walk took away my anger and replaced it with sweat and a confused sense of accomplishment. I think I need much more practice at walking mindfully, but I’m glad I got some in.

Hope you guys are going well, and your lives are not interspersed with unexplained rage! Peace and love to all.


I found a new word today. Deadpan. It’s an adjective that describes having a very careful pretense of calm detachment or seriousness, or displaying no emotion whatsoever. I am often deadpan when confronted with stressful situations or moments where I should be upset, because something in me tells me nothing good will come from being angry or crying, and it’s better to just accept things or do something about it.


I know I’m just procrastinating, but I felt like this is probably one of the defining words of my life, and it was important to acknowledge it. Better here than facebook.


One of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever received from uni came from my Anthropology 111 tutor, Anja Reid. She once said in class, with a mischievous smile, that for a clever person, reading the introduction is enough.
Thank you Anja. Your words have carried me through many an assignment.

Another day’s work

WIFE: So how was your day today dear?
LINK: It was shit. A fucking Like Like ate my shield again, causing me to run out of medicine and die towards the end of the temple. I had to roam around Hyrule field killing every monster I saw until I saved up 198 rupees before I could try again.
WIFE: Aw, honey… If only a fairy would heal more than three hearts…