“Now it is a strange thing, but things that are good to have and days that are good to spend are soon told about, and not much to listen to; while things that are uncomfortable, palpitating, and even gruesome, may make a good tale, and take a deal of telling anyway.”

J.R.R Tolkien, The Hobbit

Here I am, back again, with that air of change that accompanies one who has travelled, and in whose luggage lies yet more of that alluring foreignness — ready to dye an old world in unheard of colours, to disperse alien scents in an atmosphere of familiarity.

But it would be a lie to say I am back. As I’ve discovered, I’m simply not the person I used to be. Along the way, I left my shell in search of a bigger one. I’ve always been so fond of hermit crabs; curious little introverts of nature pursuing growth.

How can I say where I’ve been, what I’ve done? I have left too much undocumented, let too many landscapes of feelings go unrecorded. I have resented myself for this, but there was simply no need. This was what I set myself up for. I wished upon newly born stars and pushed myself out of the door, out of myself — my objections and perfectionism and self-loathing — and I walked and walked until someone said: “Would you like to go on an adventure?”

And I did. I did.

I am still on one.

And like all good travellers, I travel light. So I am no longer my old self. I have shed the parts of me that weighed me down, that did not serve my purpose. And even when I try, I find it impossible to return to myself without undoing the growth of this past year. So even now when I am closest to who I was, when I am writing again, I still reach out to the past, but my hand comes back empty.

I must admit, I am a little homesick for myself.

I miss my old shell, cozy and warm as it was.

But even so, cruelly, I must move on, past the growing pains.

Bittersweet as it feels, I must reach for myself in the future, instead.

Note: I hope you are all doing wonderfully 🤍 Yet again, I may have caught Covid. This would be the 4th time, and I would accept my fate if I was living it up and partying every weekend, but I’ve barely gone out in the past 2 months 😭😂 Oh well!

A falling star came to me.

There will be a time to let go.
This is what happens
when you catch a falling star.
So I draw you closer to me
and hold on a little tighter.
The end is too near, too soon.
But a miracle it is,
to catch a falling star at all!
Forever is too far away —
a distant idea, obscured by Fate.
Let them dream of tomorrow,
I have now.

At the peak of night, I draw you close.
A warm, fluttering light,
My affection bounces about,
alive and well, exultant.

At the peak of night, I draw you close.
I commit to memory the way you feel,
the way I feel.
I let go of Fate and
sink deeply into the now
I cut ties with all
and float in the infinity of this
— this self-contained moment,
encased in glass.

The sun will be up soon
your light will melt into
the light of a new day.

I draw you close tonight,
because tomorrow you return.
Tomorrow you join the sky
you came to me from.
Tomorrow you remind me
that while moments last forever,
people are only ever loaned to us.

I kiss you and give you back.
Melt. Become the sun.
Become a star.

Note: I am no poetess, but this came to me. So now it’s also coming to you, because. Hope you’re doing beautifully!

Write it right.

When my inner world is in disquiet, I like to come back to pieces I’ve written, to that moment of calm, of revolutionary stillness when my thoughts align with my words — and some clock somewhere in me is set right and sighs in relief to be finally, finally in tune with itself.

I don’t love writing.

I love words. I am fascinated by creativity.

But writing?

I don’t love writing.

It’s part of my nature, that’s all.

Writing, for me, is survival. I am driven by a need to set the world right, to give back to things the real shape of them. I write to right a crooked reality. I write with an obsessive need to correct and say: “No! This is how it is, this! The sunlight isn’t random, it isn’t something you can ignore. It’s there, a caress, a kiss in a troubled world.”

Writing is like the need to drink water: do I love needing water? No, no.

But do I need it all the same? Yes. Yes, I would die without it.

Note: Please excuse the extreme paragraphing. I’ve been writing for LinkedIn way too much. I hope you are doing wonderfully ❤

Who are you?

Collage by: Unknown

I am a mess-maker.

A hobby-hopper. A pull-every-crayon-outer, a faded enthusiast, a leave-behind-a-trail-of-passions-gone-colder. I am an interest-plucker, an endless well of curiosity.

I am light, reflected and magnified, travelling from the cosmos to forest and hillside and to that particular corner of a kitchen somewhere, sometime in the afternoon.

I am perfume that spreads through the air. I am here and there, in this moment and the next and the one before. I am a blade of grass waving to the sky, a raven remembering a face, a raindrop falling on someone’s shoulder. I am scattered, everywhere all at once. I am gone, as short-lived as I am intense. I am an imprint, a scar you can’t forget, a vertiginous sensation you cannot describe, a feeling you will never feel again.

I am a falling star that you forget as soon as the morning comes.

I am an old song that clings to your skin, a childhood memory you will remember at a crossroad in your life. I am someone you’ve never met before, but who you’ve known for millennia. I am the last of my kind — a quiet extinction. I am a disappearance no one notices, but which leaves the world changed, silent.

I am a softness you did not know existed. I am a warmth you thought you would not find again. I am the last kite you ever flew; the last time you saw your primary school friends. I am the embrace you never wanted to leave; that one love you kept hidden. I am a calm sea, a deserted beach on a weekday. I am a truth you’ve lost to the years.

I am a morning that comes when you don’t want it to.

I am a dawn after the darkest night.

I am the solemn words of a person of faith. I am a piece of Fate. A common flower that grows on the side of the path you walk everyday. I am the plastic bag flying in the wind. The new poster superimposed on layers of old paper and glue. I am too many sensations, I am nothingness.

I am a chance, a breath.

I am one spark of light, millions of years ago.

Note: This very conveniently started out as me documenting how much of a mess I can be and then the right song played and it ended up being about something else. As always, sending my warmest thoughts your way!


It’s late at night and the warmth of summer is slowly creeping in, settling in between the comforting layers of downy blankets, clinging to the back of my neck, lightly dampening the roots of my hair. My ample shirt has slipped off my shoulder somewhere between innumerable hours ago and now, and my eyes close each time a breeze floats in, rustling the curtains and breathing coolness over my exposed flesh.

I am breaking my own heart over the beauty of the exquisite, tasting the salt of tears that fall for the sake of beauty. They taste different from tears of exhaustion, are sweeter than those of bitter sorrow.

Far away or not far at all from this anchor of time and place, ‘I’ lay floating… My shoulders and ankles, my toes and eyelashes, my hands and the destiny carved into them have all dissolved into light, on this night when I have breached eternity. Floating around are old, old love songs that lap at this reinvention of me in gentle waves. When I sink into them, limbless, the sound is distorted, faraway, with a grainy quality. The words and voices of long-gone lovers echo, traveling through time and epochs, timeless in their longing and devotion; their beauty carries an eternal truth, so deep it blooms into an ache over me. I wish to feel this forever — the pain of too much beauty, this unending story of lovers colliding and melding into each other, utterly lost in themselves, in moments that feel too much like infinity that they fall into the certainty that the world is an abstract concept, that the Universe has set them apart… Inexorably, though they do not believe it possible, they are torn apart, screaming — unceremoniously snatched in whichever direction Destiny wills. Never again will they meet but all life long they will carry the wound, until the very end they will wish it had been otherwise.

This is where I am tonight: wandering the wispy prayers of lovers who no longer belong to each other, who no longer belong to this world. Are they, I wonder, somewhere so close to where I find myself, reunited finally in the cosmos, swaying among the stars and into infinity?

When light breaks, hearts heal.

Note: Now, I am not the greatest romance writer there ever was. I’m not even halfway decent at it, but these songs. These songs I have listened to!! There is just something about old love songs and the energy that flows from them… It inspires even people like me who have no idea how to write about love. It took several tries to actually get even close to the feeling, the mood I was absorbed into. But all things considered, I’m happy with how this turned out.

Quotes of the Day:

Don’t write love poems; avoid those forms that are too facile and ordinary: they are the hardest to work with, and it takes a great, fully ripened power to create something individual where good, even glorious, traditions exist in abundance. So rescue yourself from these general themes and write about what your everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, the thoughts that pass through your mind and your belief in some kind of beauty.

Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven? And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?”

Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Listening to (among others):

Interstices of time.

Art by: Eleni Debo

09 May 2019

In the interstices of time, the forgotten minutes of the day, I sneak in a few reflections on my phone. In a corner of one greying office, imagination blooms. It takes over my desk, growing like vines of voluminous flowers all about; every curling vine can be traced back to me, back to my pen where the words flourish and new worlds are born.

But that is all in my head.

In reality, it would be too conspicuous to even draw out a sheath of paper or my white notebook. So I quickly jot down a few thoughts, passing musings like clouds in my head that are inexorably moving away…


It’s not quite the same experience though. There’s traditional writing: balancing a pen between my fingers, a notebook laid out before me, anticipating the gush of words, the opening of new otherworlds. Then there’s this, a rectangular black device with a keyboard already filled with letters, where penstrokes give way to tap tap taps on a writing app. It’s useful and practical. Simple, as it should be.

It’s different, though.

It’s less intimidating, for one. Nowadays, my brain stutters before a blank page, feels the weight of expectations before pen touches paper. There have been times when I’ve opened my journal, poised to write and empty my heart out, only to close it moments later, pages still blank, the pen discarded.

Here though, as with anything related to smartphones, there is a sense of urgency (I’m already stealing time away from my work as it is), to pin the slippery idea down asap. The inclination to delve deep stays away. Sometimes it is just the beginning of an idea that makes it to the app. I type it down, and wait for the idea, a sapling, to grow until I can transplant it in my notebook.

And yet, I am so grateful for it. So grateful that thanks to technology, there is no season to writing. No predetermined creative hours. The door to imagination is open at all times of day and night. Even in the business park where I work, the smartphone and writing app lend me this inconspicuousness, making me look like just another head in the crowd.

In the very end…

Tonight, the twilit sky made it look like it was the end of the world.

An eerie orange lit up what should have been an inky blackness, revealing the hidden lives and habits of night. All I could think about was that letter Franz Kafka wrote to his Milena… “Ah, if only the world were ending tomorrow, we could help each other very much.”

It seems unfair that we should suffer when we have so little time, and so little control over it. There are days when I think that all the laws of this world are very stupid. Petty. If the world were ending today, no one would care about international borders and marine territory. No one would be paying for the right to exist, to own a legal identity. It’s all illusory. Yet these rules rein us in every day. We live our limited time within established frameworks because of them. If you ask me, claiming ownership of well, anything, is a lie we tell ourselves. We own nothing, and everything is loaned to us.

What if we all stopped the pretense and gave in?

I am weary of all these constructs that stop us from reaching ourselves. I am weary of the world telling me I am not beautiful, and of all its other attempts to divert my attention to lesser things. Oh, what if we realised that we own nothing? That we control so very little. When will we understand that we lose ourselves to want, to fear of loss? Property, riches, love…it is all sand passing through our hands.

What if life did not have to start at 60? What if we could live freely at all ages — and not just for faraway retirement days that we may never reach? What risk it is, to postpone living.

Ah, if only the world were ending tomorrow, we could help each other very much.

Quote of the day:

“…when the lands, the seas, the archipelagos had not yet been enclosed within their borders, when men were free and cruel like the birds of the sea, and when the legends still seemed open to the infinite…”

J.M.G. Le Clézio, Voyage à Rodrigues

Note: Am I writing this because it’s going to take even more bureaucracy for me to get my driver’s license? Or because these (somewhat sensible) laws inhibit my dreams of leaving it all behind to become a baker/perfumer/rich-aunt-in-movies-who-travels-the-world-but-is-based-in-Iceland? Who knows.

Where we belong.

Suspended in what Banana Yoshimoto calls the ‘cosmic darkness’.

Humans cannot be let free to roam. We cannot be untethered. The image I have in mind is that of an astronaut drifting in space. Free, by all means, of all bonds. But she is left alone to wonder, to gaze upon the cosmos, to reach the ends of time and space, and ultimately to surrender.

That is how I feel now: adrift in loneliness, unbound by responsibilities or impositions. I stare into space, conjure a bit of it wherever I go. It’s deep and dark, like the bottom of the ocean, where I’m walking. I wish there was a lamp in my hand, one of the old ones fueled by oil. Something heavy to weigh me down and help me feel the comforting Earth beneath my feet. To bring me back.

Who knew there was a balance in this too? That too much freedom is a curse, and we were all meant to belong somewhere.

Cut off a kite string and it is lost, forever. Pull it too tight and it never fulfills its purpose. To fly, while being planted in the ground. To be a tree, rooted solidly in place, but with flowers that dance with the breeze.

Note: A few years back, someone on this blog kindly shared some book/author recommendations. Among them was Banana Yoshimoto, who I started reading just a few days ago. “Kitchen” was the exact book I needed at the time to make sense of myself. Totally recommend it.


Art by: Lallymacbeth

Smell is the most underrated sense.

There is something visceral about it, like a bullet of feeling shot straight to your core. Sight and hearing, even touch have deceived me before, subjected to the powers of anxiety or to the wishes of an overworked imagination. We see what we want to see, hear what we want to hear — but I’ve never been able to manufacture a smell.

A few weeks ago, my body crashed on the sofa, the weight of the day’s work heavy on my back, the coldness of night a sting on my face. I’m afraid it was not a pretty sight, that it somehow felt worse than it looked. I was snuffed out, like a flame, and only smoke remained.

It was the new bottle of shower gel that did it.

The gold-speckled label said the smell was of wild honey and vanilla yoghurt, a tender, rich scent that emanated from a pool of caramel-coloured product. There was something almost custardy about it, like a freshly-baked, spiced cake — courtesy of the vanilla yoghurt, no doubt. It was generous, a little bit like a caring hand that won’t stop giving. The scent only expanded from here on out, clinging to softened skin, floating in indulgent wafts, lending all its delicate sweetness to the atmosphere.

The smell filled my nostrils, and I could tell my brain was writing a new memory with every element of this scent, attaching words like “healing”, “soothing” and “home” for my future self. Its scent was sweet without being overwhelming, subtly feminine. The kind of femininity that need not express itself in garish pinks or heavy makeup, insecure should it ever be mistaken for anything else. I have never been able to identify with these overwhelmingly feminine scents and things. I mean, I own dresses and makeup and occasionally find pleasure in them. But for the most part, I do not care to ascribe to them. I shrug my way out of such categorisation, slipping past the uniformising eye of society; a true convention-shirker. In my attempt to disentangle myself from these expectations though, I also mounted a rebellion against femininity, spiting every aspect of it indiscriminately. Now, I have grown less tense, and my world has opened to ideas old and new. So, sweetness it is. Gentleness, without a hint of aversion to femininity.

Enveloped in steam, the smell of wild honey and vanilla yoghurt hung around me, hiding even in the crooks of flushed collarbones.

Next came the glass pots and vials, sprays, pastes, scrubs, serums and creams collected as part of a growing addiction to skincare. Swirling in a vial was a blend of essential oils, marked with a peeling label that read “Scalp oil”. It gave off a distinctly medicinal and herbaceous smell, strong to the point of pungency — but it was what I needed to tether the scattered clouds of my soul, to piece myself together around this scent. I was grounded by it, to it.

The knowledge that it was all natural offered great comfort, and I luxuriated in the idea that healing had begun.

April 2021

Listening to:

A kinder sentiment.

Art by: Kyutae Lee

Trigger warning: death ideation.

Odd and contradictory as it may be — in moments of joy and beauty, I have often found myself thinking I could die then and there. There are other times when I have wished against all reason that the moment would never end, that I be allowed to spend the rest of my mortal years in it. But inexplicably, there has also been this.

It usually happens when I am at the right distance from everything: the people in my life, my daily routine, the names I respond to and all my attachments to this world. No longer am I the name on my identity card, the colour of my eyes or even the madness of my hair. No longer am I a girl in the bus, a vision or a tangible thing. My soul instead flies like a kite into the boundless skies, and the string keeps tugging, pulling, unraveling from the spool, like a scarf endlessly lost to the wind, dancing an infinite dance.

In these moments when I am so far away that all I know are the brushstrokes of clouds, I become the feeling I am experiencing: the blueness of the sky, the golden quality of sunlight, the faint rustling of leaves… I melt and become a mere mirror of experience and sensation, an echo-room for the beauty of the world.

I’ve often mistaken this feeling as a desire for death — a longing to stop existing beyond this point, having achieved the purest form of existence.

But it is not that, the Truth in me supplies. It is a kinder, softer sentiment, a freer one.

Yes, I echo, gentle and honest like a tired child.

I do not want to die. I want, instead, to dissolve into the sky and become the material of clouds. I want to be taken apart, memory by memory, and come undone like a tangle of threads until my soul is free to join the ether.

Like foam to the sea. Dust to Dust. A breeze in the infinite sky. That is my soul, a grand mystery solved, a stuffy room now breathing with light.

It was never about dying, it was always an unbecoming, a journey back home. But there are no words for that in the common language. The closest approximation has always been ‘death‘, but it is not that.

My soul is this feeling of light. Light in both ways: weightless and honeyed, like that one spot of light that falls on your desk one afternoon and in which particles of dust or matter rise, rise, rise as if called to some greater purpose.

I do not want to die. I want to be this, I’ve caught myself thinking.

Quote of the day:

“You swallowed everything, like distance.
Like the sea, like time. In you everything sank!”

— Pablo Neruda, A Song of Despair