Lotus in Gold

Hello Friends,

I’m happy to let you know of a friend, Melissa De Silva, who has found her calling in art. I was fortunate enough to be a witness to her journey of transformation and discovery.

Here’s a painting by her, which is on sale. If you know of people who may find joy in owning this piece, please forward this post to them.

I invited Melissa to share more about her painting.


This work for me represents our collective human journey through life. For all of us, it is a
transformative journey that may start out in a dark and murky place but ends in
a space of light, brightness and purity.

I created the lotus from gold and silver foil shapes and hand smeared black paint over some of the petals. To the ancient Egyptians, the lotus was a symbol of rebirth.  In the evening, it closes and slips underwater but in the morning, it opens, rising resplendent above the water in glory. In Buddhist symbolism, because the lotus emerges from muck and corruption through purifying water into the sunlight, it’s a metaphor for the transformation of human beings as they make their way towards enlightenment. To me, that the lotus has emerged from the water (although a little muddy!) indicates that
despite our scars and bruises, our ultimate triumph will be the strength and radiance of our human spirit.

I chose to do the lotus in gold as a symbol of flexibility on our spiritual path. In a sort of
alchemic process, we assimilate life experiences and allow them to refine and
shape us.

The golden square suspended above for me, represents existence, or the divine. It is always with us, shining its light on us and guiding us to the true path of love, joy and
fulfillment that we are all created for.

In many ways, this work represents my own transformative journey, starting out as a rather clueless human being and taking heaps of wrong turns along the way, but
(slowly!) I am learning every day to listen to the compass of my heart and my
inner wisdom to guide me along way.


Melissa blogs at Finding The Lotus.



Picture Books Went Walking…

My little children’s books collection went walking and came back from visiting a specialist clinic and a restaurant in Singapore. Am grateful to Dr Tan Chi Chiu from Gastroenterology and Medicine International at Gleneagles Hospital and Mr Tan Kian Teong of Cornerstone Restaurant.

Here are some of the comments people left in the books.

The books continue to move, delight and provoke thought among adults. I sometimes bring them to gatherings or lend them to people.

Related: Picture Books for Adults

Before I die…

As the last two months of my experiment approach, priorities become clearer. One priority is to be at peace with myself and the life I have lived before I die.

How would you end this sentence?

Before I die……

It’s a question Candy Chang has enabled many to answer in public spaces.

She has other brilliant projects involving the use of public space. I love many of them, especially Sidewalk Psychiatry and Career Path.

Credit for all photos: Civic Center

Prisoner Art

The Yellow Ribbon Project is an initiative to give ex-offenders a second chance. I attended their community art exhibition this year and was very moved by the art pieces made by inmates.  The art pieces continue to be on sale  so if you’d like to buy something that represents deep hope for someone, this could be it. If as a community we do what we can to support them, they have a higher chance of breaking out of the cycle of crime…

It could also be a meaningful gift to someone you know who likes a certain piece and the idea behind Yellow Ribbon.

My favourite
We help reduce the chances of inter-generational crime when we support prisoners who have turned over a new leaf. No, there are no guarantees they have changed. Sometimes it helps others when we take a chance...just like we would like to be given a second chance if we have made a terrible mistake...



 ~ The word art “adoption” is used but it just means sale.

~ The money from the art pieces goes to the Yellow Ribbon fund. I was told that the artists have been paid for the work.

~ Till 27th December 2010, the person handling enquiries on this will be Mr Prem who can be reached at premchand_shahri[at]score.gov.sg or 62142832. After that, please contact Mr Choo Soon Ann at 62142815 or email him at choo_soon_ann[at]score.gov.sg.