I felt my cloud of moods starting to permeate through me again this morning after breakfast. I put up a stop sign, took a breath, remembering my sense of control and power from yesterday. When I am doing, moving, working on my ‘stuff ‘ I feel I have control, power and purpose. I am not living my life according to someone else’s plan. So I brushed that bed head out of my hair, put on makeup and earrings. I started doing – making the bed, getting lunch stuff ready to be made, thinking about moving back to Hong Kong. I fired off an email to my friend. Here’s his reply:

Hi Lily,

The expats living in Hong Kong are either have a quarter provided or receiving a substantial housing allowance. The apartments in Hong Kong is so expensive that no local people can afford to buy them any more.

An apartment in Hung Home where you had once lived before moving to Canada is worth two thousand Canadian dollars per square foot. 

K C 

I did the math for 500 square feet. A million dollars! I have to rethink that and make it living there for 2-3 winter months of the year. I could check out possible living spaces and costs. Maybe I could check out possible relatives. Too bad all my mother’s family is in NYC. Now I’m thinking about a couple months there! I am small requiring little space. I don’t eat that much. Anyways, it would be an engagement for my brain. I could work out my blue fog. That thought led me thinking of Henry Miller’s 11 Commandments for writing.

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to ‘Black Spring.’
  3. Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
  5. When you can’t create you can work.
  6. Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.

The advice could apply to life in general. Number 4 speaks loudly to me. Also 5. I’m working, keeping with the program. I’m cementing a little every day writing my posts, getting to know myself more. I’m exploring watercolours on little index cards, a new medium for me. I do see people and drink every evening. I have trouble with the pleasure but am trying. Here’s to sitting back with my tea and thinking about that million dollars.