That kind of love.

 

Young Adult Old Soul Magic Realism Writing
Art by : Sasha Ignatiadou

Have you ever started missing someone all of a sudden? Someone whose absence you have been used to, who has become a voice on the phone, a collection of distant memories or a set of highly specific things that remind you of them.

But then years down the line, something inside of you throbs out of the blue. You start missing them, missing, missing, like something’s just not right, like you’ve lost a limb or some crucial part of your life. Years of conditioning and being far from that person have lost all meaning. You just miss and life won’t go on as usual until you are fulfilled again, until everything falls back into place and the stray planet in your solar system realigns.

In that way, I really miss my sister.

She’s my eldest sister and quite honestly knows me better than I understand myself. She’s always been kind and caring and terribly proud of her siblings; the kind of big sister you find in movies. But now she lives terribly far away. I mean, if I ever missed her and decided to jump on a plane to get to where she lives, I would be travelling for about 2 days. I thought I’d gotten used to it, to her not being there most days, or months and eventually years.

But as I grow older, I value her more. And I add that love to my understanding of love as a whole. How naive it is to think that romantic love is somehow superior to all these other kinds of love. Or more powerful, more meaningful, more important — most important even.

I romanticise a lot of things, but not romantic love.

Romantic love is a facet of love, not the whole concept. I can think of so many other loves that have been as and even more important in my life. That’s also why I am not rushing into romance now, however wonderful the idea may be. Love will come, it will grow safely, steadily. Like a seed sprouting from the earth, it will lean toward the sun and with great care will unravel its colours, its leaves and flowers. Love will be slow and will take its time to grow roots, to progress naturally everyday.

Maybe I am boring for thinking that. Maybe I am boring because I don’t think romantic love is that special. But hey, I’m willing to run the risk of being boring if that means I get to be who I am.

Notes to myself : happiness.

Young Adult Old Soul Magic Realism Writer
Art by : Pascal Campion

At the very beginning of the year, stood on my rooftop and watching the fireworks explode from afar, I did not think I would be where I am today. Much of the year would pass as it had begun : with me staring far-off at something I would much rather have been a part of.

Hasn’t life mostly been this way, after all?

Slightly dreamy and all the more disappointing for it.

But Fate twists and turns, and takes its sweet time setting lives up. It’s funny how now that things are going in my favour, I think of Fate. Otherwise my thoughts are just a mumbo-jumbo of nihilist thoughts and awfully potent pessimism.

I mean, my “Why would life make me dream of things I can never have?” has turned into “Good things happen in life.” and even now, I don’t know which is right. If one is righter than the other, if both equally apply. But I am trying not to think too much though : if there is one thing I have learnt, it is that “happiness” (whatever it means) is precious and that one should give one’s full attention to it when it presents itself.

So, to myself I say :

Stop waiting for the other shoe to drop. Don’t wait for things to turn sour and then exclaim “Aha! I knew it!”. Maybe things turned sour because you weren’t paying them the right kind of attention. Besides, you know “happiness” doesn’t last, so savour it, every last bit of it like a juicy fruit you can’t get enough of, like a drink that makes you slurp so you can get the last drops of it.

Most of all, meet “happiness” half-way. I don’t think it likes to be met with mistrust and shifty eyes. Besides, even ephemeral “happiness” leaves lasting traces. Like scars, but the good kind.

 

A stretch of sweet eternity.

Magic realism writing blog young adult old soul
Gif by : Unknown

I want to live forever inside that moment and never have to say goodbye.

Living life inside a raindrop of a self-contained moment, sliding down a glass window past countless other raindrops — all these other moments being had by so many others. I never want any of it to end. Instead, I want to progress slowly, gently, because that is the only way I can reach the endless places I want to be. Journeys change the destination, I believe. Running and taking a stroll to someplace make for an entirely different experience. How much of what is around us do we miss when we run, how many times is the preamble lost on us, fast-paced and erratic as we are.

The places lacking Time, devoid of it — that is where I’ve always yearned to go. These places where it feels like the world is suspended inside another dimension, like a raindrop that is just about to fall but never does, frozen in mid-air.

Eternal

That is how these moments feel. Even as they last mere seconds, barely even minutes. It feels like Life has stretched the rules of Time to accommodate this one moment, to give me this one lingering thing : a taste of eternity in a life so ephemeral.

But all raindrops fall, all moments end in puddles on the floor.

It is a long time though before we reach the end of all things.

That is what I thought as I sat in an ever-transiting bus, head laid to rest against the glass pane, night-sky hair fluttering out of the window between two glinting metal bars.

In all sweet irony, this could look like a prison. As though I were trapped in movement, in transit, in travel and liberation would be to return home, to fall into the arms of the routine waiting for me at the bus station.

I would find myself trapped in routine and travel both if I was not careful. If I did not try to find the beauty in them, to not see them as prisons. Outside of my head though, there are forces greater than my will, my perception. Forces that reroute my trains of thoughts in one single movement.

For instance, the setting sun is pouring in my eyes, as though the sky had tipped and was emptying our universe’s largest star in my irises. Bit by bit, my dark-set eyes are absorbing the light from the sun, drinking it one ray at a time until ultimately, there is nothing left to take and the sky is left in darkness.

But we are not there yet, not yet home, not yet in darkness.

Light is flowing where Time is not, and I am floating a little ways above Earth, one or two parallel worlds away from real life. And ah, what a wonderful place to be : living inside a stretch of Eternity, like a raindrop perpetually about to fall. Falling, falling, falling gently; falling like night on the city.

 

A greenhouse in the city. (1/2)

“You have to duck a little if you want to daydream too, at least if you don’t want your iridescent bubbles to get caught in the stark black powerlines.”

plantyyyyyyy

Art by : Unknown Artist

I watched most of my teens go by, like a bad movie that made me cringe too much.

Now, in my 20s, life is a movie where someone else is endlessly playing with the controls, fast-forwarding through the boring weekday bits : the content-adding drudgery, the repetitive daydreaming of similar scenarios, the nameless longing. Fast-forwarding through the week, I am propelled into the weekend, a rocketship strapped to my back, flying effortlessly past Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays.

The dates on the calendar pass me in a blur, tiny and unrecognisable, like houses when you’re up high on a mountain or on a plane. Did we just pass this neighbourhood ? I could ask. I go ’round and ’round the same weeks, a wave of fresh amnesia hitting as I round the corner of yet another Monday. Then I stumble with burning feet into the weekend, pulse still racing, my body gearing for that fast-forward, that breakneck pace.

I am gushing unspent energy all over the place, pacing with a fury. All my energy brings me out into the city, my city. This brouhaha of smoke clouds and business, where all roads begin and all roads end, where so many paths intersect that you have to be careful not to get your feet all tangled up in other people’s overlapping lives. You have to duck a little if you want to daydream too, at least if you don’t want your iridescent bubbles to get caught in the stark black powerlines. It’s like Icarus’ conundrum : go too low and you will never take off, get too high and you will burn down.

My city, my old city welcomes me like a daughter, like she welcomes the thousands, millions that came to her at all times of days and nights —like a lighthouse during a storm, she is a refuge to many a soul lost at sea.

My footsteps echo through her alleyways the same as they’ve been doing for so many years now. Slowly, she drinks  in my restlessness, the fury seeping through my feet to her very heart, where she no doubt redistributes it to the other high-strung people in her purview.

The city takes me to her tenderest places, where trees are still saplings and…


 

Blue-hued and blurry

eq
Art by : Elliana Esquivel

I’ve got the blues, got the blues, got the blues.

No matter how many times I say it,no matter how many times I try to expel these blue feelings with my breath, they simply won’t be forced out, and I am left blue-hued and blurry. It is as though my body has gone up in fumes, like I was walking down the street and a stray witch’s spell hit me right in the chest, turning me into blue smoke.

And what’s left to do when you’re smoke but to wander and disperse? To dissolve into particles in the thin night air—to never be whole again. Endlessly scattered, like the foam of the sea when it crashes onto black volcanic rocks.

My mind is all sorts of foggy now, so I am staying in and waiting for clearer skies.

People.

“I’ve been clay in each of their hands, every one of them giving their own twists and turns to the unfinished piece. “

kat
Art by : Katherin Honesta

I don’t write much about other people, I realise.

My writing, much like my internal discourse, is a constant stream of “Me, myself and I”—which I don’t think is unusual or alarming. As human beings, we find ourselves to be an endless source of interest.

Most of the time though, I fail to acknowledge that I am a product of my encounters with other people. That befriending them, engaging with them has changed me into the person I am today. I’ve been clay in each of their hands, every one of them giving their own twists and turns to the unfinished piece. For the good and the bad. I mean, sometimes you take a walk down the street and people put a dent in you. They elbow you and push you, and it’s infuriating not to have that kind of control over yourself. You could, though. Harden, toughen up in the scorching sun and let yourself become cold so that no one will be able to change who you are. So you can elbow back anyone who elbows you. But then, you also shatter that much more easily, and it’s much harder to build yourself back up.

And isn’t that why it’s so essential to be surrounded by well-meaning people? To let them, their kindness and willingness, shape the parts of you you can’t really reach? Let the gentle heat between their palms reach you, soothe and put back in shape the parts that were squashed and dented. That’s something else that happens when you toughen up, you don’t feel a lot of warmth anymore. It doesn’t reach you; it doesn’t stay because you don’t let it.

This is why I I choose to be an endless work in the making. Not simply because I am in perpetual discovery of myself, but because there are always other people out there, softening the edges, roughening them, turning me into some other version of me. I am changing but I am also always myself. I mean, it doesn’t change what I am made of, just how I present myself. People dull or accentuate parts of you. That’s their power.

Mine is…everything else. I can change what I am made of.

So if my friends bring out the laughter in my sadness, deep down it is only I who can decide to change that sadness into something else.

In conclusion, I am not all myself, not all mine despite how I wish to be. But perhaps that’s for the better. Sometimes you lose control or you are simply not wise enough to see more than one end. Friends and family help with that, endlessly.


Note: This is Day 7 of my NaNoWriMo writing challenge ! Slowly but surely catching up 🙂

Listening to :

Some advice to myself

typewriter
Gif by : Unknown

Reflecting on my failures in writing, there is one thing that I understand I have been doing wrong. And that is to cry out for ideas, attempting to pull complex stories out of thin air. That’s the whole problem : stories like these are not rooted in anything. They are just streams of words preceding each other, rushing to make a point, to pool into the ocean. They have little authentic meaning and instead look like a patchwork of ideas, not all yours.

Instead, what I should have been doing is to be quiet, and let the ideas rouse from where they are buried. There is plenty to go around on the inside : 20 or so odd years of submerged reflections, of things learned consciously and unconsciously, of lessons tangible or not, of people met and loved and left.

That is how you call upon your inner self, you stay silent and instead of planting other seeds—let the ones that are already buried deep in your ribs sprout up. In so doing, you let yourself speak and understand why you are the way you are. And when these stories emerge, you need to prune them, water them, de-weed, make sure they don’t grow sideways. You need to take care of the stories that spring from such depths; you never know how great they will grow. As unruly as they are though, as much as they leave you exposed, these stories have roots, so they have meaning.

They are irrigated by the blood flowing in your veins—these stories are yours. Not a tale could be told that resembles it, even if they both speak of the same themes, because what is yours is yours. They are your stories, straight from your gut.


Note : This is Day 3 of my NaNoWriMo writing challenge. Here are the entries for Day 1 and Day 2.