The one who loves more.

young adult old soul magic realism writing
Art by: ohgigue

After the separation, I remember writing (very embarrassingly) that I felt home-less. I felt like I had been kicked out into the cold, into the loneliness of life, unprepared. It always happens to other people, doesn’t it? It happens because they are somehow at fault. If you do everything like you’re supposed to, you have nothing to fear.

But it’s not true.

One day, you have love in you. You share a bond with someone else that nothing could begin to explain. One day, it’s for life. The next, it isn’t anymore. And it never will be again. You find yourself having to grasp with the cold realities of the present while relearning what the truth is now. The truth that somehow, today is vastly different from yesterday and yesterday will never happen again.

I’ve journeyed a bit since then, into the cold. I stumbled upon warmth, watching as feeling seeped back into my frosty fingers, leaving behind a dark red blush.

And now, I’ve returned. To the house I had been thrown from. It is exactly as it was when I left. No wind has passed by, no leaflet has been nudged out of place. The only difference now it that it is abandoned. But when has an abandoned house been this full?

This house that was left in a hurry, left alone for the vines of Time to overtake, it still holds so many things. So many objects still hanging on the wall, so many tottering stacks of photos and drawers crammed to overflowing with mementos. There are playlists and poems, brochures for things we said we’d do together. On the desk, the half-written letter I could never finish in time lays undisturbed. Through the lens of memory, I can see myself writing it even now, stuck in mid-air — an action caught in time, frozen under its glaciers.

Every room harbours a lifetime of memories. Nothing is meaningless. There are plenty of senseless things, yes, but they all have meaning.

How can such a full house feel so empty?

I wish she had taken some things with her. I wish she’d packed some memories with her in a box labeled with her name and had driven off. But why do I have to be the one left with all of these? The burden of memories is always left to the one who loves more.

I ask myself why I am even here. To torture myself even more? To grow cold in a house engulfed in an eternal winter? Have I come to burn it down, to forget?

“Thank you.”

That is what I’ve come to say.

“Thank you for keeping me warm, for protecting me against the cold. Thank you for your time with me.”

I cannot live in this house anymore. I cannot visit it for long. But I’m happy it was there, once upon a time.


Note: So, friendships hurt huh

Listening to:

 

The wind chime.

Writing magic realism young adult old soul
Art by: @hello_dongwon

These days, when I’m silent and staring off into space, I think a lot about you. Not other worlds nor imagined sanctuaries. Just you.

In the blur between my dreams and reality, symbolism says that you are a wind chime.

Delicate, with a kind of beauty only something so obviously fragile can have. I approach you timidly, fearing that I may step on the wind’s path and break the spell that is keeping the very atmosphere on edge. Yours is a song the universe has waited a long time to hear again, so even the birds hold their breath. The clouds do not move for fear of casting a shadow and depriving the world of the sight of afternoon sunlight dancing off your stained glass.

Summer’s breath carries the ocean spray, freedom flies with the winds. Honeyed light mingles with music, and the world sighs : “At last.”. The universe sinks into your melodies, finds itself in the tinkling of glass in a little seashell house by the cove.

A feeling of undeserved privilege washes over me. But when life gives you music, you dance.

Yes, you are a wind chime of a person. You turn the wind into song, the light into elusive patterns beating to your rhythm.

But when you break, you cut all those around you with your angry shards. Distantly, it dawns on me then that you are just glass, like I am just clay, in the end. You are straying fragments picked up from the ocean floor, as I am scattered remains of a star — both of us longing to be whole. You are like me, earthly, normal.

It was foolish of me to see in you more than there was. Or maybe it wasn’t. But it’s hard to think straight with glass shards in my hand and the silent accusation ringing traitorously in my head: “I should never have trusted you.”

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.

Breakup songs.

“Because if it hurts, you have to heal it and the healing hurts worst of all.”

I am learning to listen to my unconscious mind and self. And all it wants to listen to right now is breakup songs. When my conscious mind slips in transit somewhere beyond the scenery, my fingers all-too naturally reach for the melancholy songs, the blue shelves of lonesome piano music and scratchy records, featuring voices hoarse and grainy from withheld tears.

I can remember the good old days //  when you and me used to hide away

I wake up to these and an emptiness when I reach my stop, like something has been clawed from me. As though someone had amused themselves to a claw machine game in my chest and had come out victorious, against all odds.

‘But don’t you know claw machines are rigged?’, some part of me accuses, ‘you only win if they let you.’

So who’d you let win? Who’d you let in?

We don’t, we don’t need to talk about this now // Yeah we’ve been down that road before

All day, this feeling follows me, all blue and shadowy. It trails behind my laughter and cuts my smiles short; it pulls a greyness from inside of me and makes me wear it like a truth. Like a sweater in the summer, it is, on its own, a statement piece : something that lets everyone know how I feel.

But I am perfectly alright. And it’s not a breakup! It’s not.

…not really.

I mean, it’s not a breakup if the other person was a friend.

…right?

It’s not, it’s not. It can’t be. It shouldn’t be.

But it is, isn’t it?

And that’s what hurts most, what you run away from : the absurdity. How it should never have happened at all, never could or would have but it still did. Against all odds.

The crowds in my heart they’ve been calling out your name, but it just don’t feel the same

So it’s easier to deny, to make yourself think that needing to wear a sweater in the summer is nothing, least of all a sign of an inner ailment. Because if it hurts, you have to heal it and the healing hurts worst of all.

You were a moment in life that comes and goes // A riddle, a rhyme that no one knows // A change of a heart, a twist of fate // Couldn’t fix it, it’s too late

Then comes the violent hatred most people don’t move on from, like an infection that festers and remains uncleaned all through life. But I can’t do that, can I? I am still young, and I will not deprive myself of others just because of you. You’ve had your time and you’ve had your piece and I suppose I have, too.

I guess it’s over, yeah we’re done 

And so it is that I’ve been listening and listening and listening to these songs. All the while cleaning out the fragments of you that are left over, like picking out bits of gravel from a skinned knee. It will scar, yes. And it might hurt, little phantom aches or very specific pain when it rains or when I watch a movie that reminds me of you.

But it’s okay. Somehow, I can say that it is. I will be alright.


Note: This is Day 8 of my NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. 4 days behind schedule, still trying to catch up! Find my entry for Day 7 here.

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 :

Lost Frequencies

elesq.jpg
Art by: Elesq

In the heart and solitude of the desert where echoes of nothingness sink into the dunes, my weary hand turns the radio button and catches onto something that is not the static. A thread of Fate, a wave from the Universe. For no reason at all, the radio tunes in to the frequency of you. Your voice, like an old record, scratches first and then promptly fills the space between morning and night. It reaches miles across the desert, floating around like lost words from an old language. Something that, idly, the now-rousing desert recognises. Something it allows.

Yet, I think, there is no greater meaning to this connection. Joy is a mere season of life. It comes, it goes. There is no need to question it. Neither this, nor sorrow nor solitude, either. Each must happen. Each must succeed the other. But like the winter brings frost, all other seasons bring change.

And so, for a while, your voice makes the desert flowers grow. It teases out the small animals from hiding. For a while, the birds fly back to the heart of an all-encompassing nowhere, bringing back news of the port and trade and the people who left. The static and loneliness are only mirrors now of what they used to be. For a while, the desert is anchored to the Earth, and not just a piece of land floating ever further away from it. It is grounded to the world by your voice that, in all fleeting irony, is carried over by the atmosphere and a random, snaking wire of Fate. And so it is that in the essence of the season, all else is forgotten. Everyday becomes a ritual of turning the button to the frequency your voice lives in.

108.3

And just like that, your voice fills the void.

Until one day, your voice turns loud and your words clash with mine. For a long time since you first spoke, the radio emits silence. Not static either, but smooth, cold silence. The next day, as I turn the radio on, the static is back.

108.3

Static. Static. Static.

You did arrive because of exceptional showers, because of a bored, sneaky thread of Fate that was let loose. No, it was never meant to be, let alone last.

Yet I call out your name in the desert, beg the birds to tell me where you are. But you’re just a lost frequency now. A season in time I can never get back to.


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Note: I actually came up with the idea/keyword of ‘Lost Frequencies’ almost a year back. I couldn’t do the idea justice at the time, so I just jotted it down. I actually might redo this later though, I’m not entirely satisfied with it >.< But if I don’t post this now, I never will, so…

Getting Cold

 

cold
Photo by: Unknown

There is a scent of vanilla floating in the cold, damp night.

And a warmth like a fireplace beckoning me over. One by one, everyone is pulled out of their rooms like moths to a flame.

If the kitchen was warm before, it is much warmer now with all these bodies so close together.

Without warning, the stove is on and the smells of tea and hot chocolate are suffusing the air. If it was almost uncomfortably warm before, the kitchen is now sweltering. Nevertheless, hot mugs are being passed around. Chatter is lighting the small kitchen up.
And the cake that brought everyone here in the first place is being sliced, the delicate fumes wafting in the air.

And as I take all this in: these content faces, the gentle laughs, the simple happiness of it, all I can think is how long until this all ends?

If the kitchen was sweltering before, it is much colder now.


Note: Day 12 of my NaNoWriMo writing challenge

Take a photo

punzieella
Gif by: Punzie Ella

I wonder if I could take photographs of moods, of feelings, what they would look like?

The other day, in the bus with you, when truthfully, we cared more about the scenery flashing by than the destination, I wonder if it would be this soft pink, all washed out and fuzzy and nebulous. There would be a wave of heat in there too, for when we held hands and it was already so hot that summer day. I would hang it on a wall, name it something silly and pretentious like “This is as close as I ever came to happiness”.

Because moments like these don’t really need to have a name. They don’t need a place and date and time. I don’t even remember what day of the week it was. But I can close my eyes and see the soft pink of that day and be there, wherever there was, all over again. And I can feel exactly what I felt when we went by and the sun was setting, and I didn’t even look at you, I didn’t even hear the breaths you would take. All I knew of you was the warmth of your hand, and that was enough.