A fresh start.

young adult old soul writing magic realism escapril
Prompts by Escapril

I awake some days to already stale mornings, like coffee left out from the night before and smoke breaks in inadequately ventilated spaces.

The pounding headache from 2 a.m. insomnia clawing at the scar on my brow, burning retinas, millisecond blackouts, unsteady feet and foul moods — I carry over the acrid taste of yesterday and days before as though some thick paste of regret I can neither scrape off my tongue nor swallow past.

I stumble through the day, hiding from the sun and thoughts that blare an unforgiving light, the kind that exposes all the things you want to conceal. Setting out, I already know that all I want to do is be back home already and wallow, sleep it out until the next day.

Yeah, some days you know in advance it’s going to be a bad one. Still, I think it’s okay to allow yourself that sometimes. Time to wallow, to indulge in some of the pain and ache. Not always in a rush to fix things or to look on the bright side, to not let the day go to waste, to turn the day around. It’s a process, it takes time.

That’s why I think it’s important to let yourself acknowledge the bad parts too. It’s important to complain and wallow sometimes. After all, you cannot hope to heal when you don’t know where it hurts and why.


Note : A little while back, I found out about this month-long poetry/prose/flash fiction challenge called Escapril, and which proposes the most wonderful prompts. Now, it is unlikely that I will be able to do a prompt a day. But you can look forward to reading some posts inspired by these writing prompts(I already have my eye on a few of them lol). Today’s post quite coincidentally matches the first day theme and boy am I glad for it. Anyway, you can find out more about Escapril on their Instagram page!

 

Burning.

young adult old soul writing magic realism art
Art by : Levitann

At least once in your life, do something truly great. Something greater than you.

This thought came to disrupt my concentration, like a grain of sand in a well-oiled machine.I had been typing away an article about new tile collections (not as boring as it sounds) when it happened. So ensconced I was in my seat, in my thoughts and combination of words that it did not seem possible that this had come from me.

Yet left and right, everyone was as sucked into their own screens as I was.

It dawned on me then what caused it. All the generous amount of time I had been spending slowly, intentionally was reaping its fruits : creativity, disruption.

Doing “nothing” and being alone lets the mind wander. Instead of only exposing the mind to others’ ideas, you let the ones from your own sprout. They grow in silence until, one day out of the blue, their tender leaves tickle your clouds of thoughts and startle you awake.

“For even one time in your life,” some part of my brain pressed on, “see how far you can go for no other reason than to just know. Journey all the way to your last limit and discover, uncover new and old things about you. Push your small clay body to its earthly limits, show the universe what you’re made of. Don’t you want to experience even once the feeling of being the ultimate form you can be? What’s the point of being given a life if once at least, you don’t live it above and beyond the average? Set out to conquer yourself, to overcome the version of you that you are now!”

Be better, burn, burn in the pursuit of a nameless truth. Burn from passion, and do not ever satisfy yourself with the safety of a lukewarm life.

Honouring Time.

Young adult old soul magic realism writing anna macht art
Art by Anna Macht

I’m sorry.

I apologise for all the minutes I laid to waste, all the hours I let slip through my fingers. I apologise for all the days I ignored adventure’s call, when I chose fear over living and let precious youth waste away. I apologise for all the days I stayed in—not to sink in the warm comforts of home, not to enjoy restful solitude, but to lose myself in a nameless void that leaves me with burning eyes and the sinking feeling that I have done nothing for myself. Like I’ve done nothing with the time that, everyday, is loaned to me.

I’m sorry for not going to cafés alone for fear of judgement, for not spontaneously slipping into old, cobbled roads when I wanted to because I let myself be afraid of what could be out there.

Most of all, I apologise for all the people I never met because I did not reach out. I couldn’t bring myself to speak past the lump in my throat, past the bad experiences that make it hard to talk to people. I apologise for all the wonderful lives I’m not living. I’m sorry for not picking up the phone, for not dialling up that number. I’m sorry for not taking up that scholarship offer.

Truly I apologise for all the time I did not honour. I apologise for all the times I believed fear was more important than life, not realising that life is only passing and fear is its death sentence.

I now believe that you stop living when you let fear take over. When you would rather exist in safety than take one step out of bounds. I’ve done that. For years, I let all manners of fear rule my life. Well, guess what? I’ve traversed to the other side of fear. I’ve been through some of my deepest, darkest fears and still I live.

I can hide all I want. The worst will still happen. The day will come when fear barges in through my door, shatters all my walls. And I will not hide.

Joie de vivre and other little treasures.

young-adult-old-soul-writing-magic-realism-manka-kasha
Art by : Manka Kasha

I was going through old boxes of memories and melancholy a little while back.

I am still decluttering, you see, trying to find my way to peaceful minimalism. The great fun in those dusty cardboard boxes is finding little treasures from back in the day and reminiscing, travelling to a glorified past for the afternoon. Sometimes you find objects you had all but forgotten about wasting away under layers of dust, even though you used them all the time back then and they are now infused with your energy.

I found the oddest thing there.

Nestled in between old Maths copybooks (why is that even there? Definitely going in the trash) and a sky blue hand band I wore just about everyday when I was 16, was this feeling. Not the melancholy that gently moves my heart, but something more profound, more ancient.

A feeling I was born with.

A feeling that I lost somewhere along the way, probably during a rainy day when I was growing up. As I contemplated all the darkness I was going to have to face alone, it must have slipped from me.

Joie de vivre.

The joy of living.

It is small, exultant, consistent. Like a heartbeat, like a child eager to see the world.

I sincerely did not wake up that day thinking that this would happen. Actually, joie de vivre had become an impossibility somehow. That kind of constant ‘happiness’ belonged only to childhood and children, in my mind. Like milk teeth that fall out and never come back, instead replaced by stronger, more resistant ones, I thought ‘happiness’ had been forever replaced by fleeting joy.

That’s probably messed up, but I thought the highest the happiness-metre could go was “content”— overjoyed, exultant, well, that’s new.

But it is this observation that did it :  “I sincerely did not wake up that day thinking that this would happen.”. There I was that ordinary afternoon, sat on the floor, surrounded by boxes and memories when this thought awoke something deeply ingrained in me. What other wonderful, foreign thing could there be to look forward to tomorrow? What comes next? I can’t wait to find out! 

Yeah. Holy crap.

I cannot believe this. Even though I’ve been having a string of mostly miserable days, this is also what I get to feel, on-and-off. It’s not constant yet, but it’s there.

That’s new. Well actually, it’s really not.

H o l y  c r a p . 

I’m freaking out a little.


Note : I actually like how this one turned out! And I am still freaking out lol.

Listening to :

An old friend.

Young Adult Old Soul Writing Magic Realism
Art by Lamiaa Ameen

Athens glanced at her and found she was smiling serenely at the setting sun.

But there was something else in her gaze too: a kind of wisdom, a gentle sadness. She looked at the sun the way you would an old friend who was going somewhere you could not follow. It was a bittersweet emotion and she embraced it wholeheartedly; unafraid to open her arms to the underlying suffering, welcoming the sadness as she did all the sweetness.

He inhaled deeply the scent of the sea. Then with little hesitation bid farewell to the dying sun. And he felt, for one split second, that he understood.

Though he could not put it into words if he tried, for one fraction of that moment in time, light coursed through his pained body, illuminating every single crack, every hidden part of him he had forgotten about…and he understood. He saw himself truly, as he was.

The feeling filled him to the brim, overflowing from his eyes. He could not explain what it was he understood, but he knew that he did and would counter anyone’s logical arguments —including his own— because he knew. Because nothing could feel truer than what he was feeling; he had never been so certain of anything in all his life. He had accepted the truth of life, had timidly embraced the duality of good and bad, and the truth had opened to him. Because he had opened to it.

And how he understood. Everything, all of it, nothing at all. He understood all there was and all there was not as one breath-taking, ever-expanding, nameless entity.

Yes, he understood it all, a breathy voice whispered to him. He understood the world, the moon, the sun, the stars, the gateway to the universe in his own body !

Yet, when he turned to look at her he understood one truth only : that he did not understand her.

26.07.2015 00:51


Note : Guess who’s been digging up old journals? Yup. This is from the most complete piece of fiction I’ve written in my life so far, all hand-written on a notebook, spanning about 52 pages and still incomplete. They were my first real characters too! I spent so much time looking for the names and didn’t even get to a point in the story where I could introduce hers lol. I am so fond of this, however much it may not have aged well.

Self care.

Young Adult Old Soul Writing Magic Realism Yao Yao Ma Van As
Art by : Yao Yao Ma Van As

What a beautiful Saturday it has been. All slow and liberating, the kind of simple thing that takes a huge weight off your chest, like going on a stroll for fresh air. I feel like I have turned into a cloud, that if I were a colour I would probably be peach, and if I were to be anyone I could be, I would really much rather be me.

It is the first time though that this kind of weightlessness has not felt like drifting. There is something so strong in me: the feeling of being grounded. It is not like before, when weightlessness made me feel like a kite that had broken its string. Now, I am more like a flag wound about a mast, enjoying the freshness of the breeze. Or like a boat, moored to the docks, rocking from side-to-side with the tide.

I am so grounded, so at peace with all that I am.

I am conscious of my issues and challenges, all the flaws I must work on, all the regrets and anxieties I have accumulated. But not now. Not as I cut my overgrown nails with care, not as I exfoliate my skin with some divine, peach-scented, pebbly scrub. Not as I scrape the toxic fumes of city life from my lungs, or as I apply some sea-coloured gel (All Tea Tree Oil and Witch Hazel) to the darkened bumps on my face.

My troubles will wait.

They will not be going away anytime soon, so what is the hurry to worry about them? Will that change anything?

I’ve decided to not worry about things I cannot change anymore.

What does worry even do anyway? It takes away time and peace of mind and gives nothing but anxiety in return.

I will not worry about things I cannot change.

So here I am, enjoying a casual Saturday with myself, rediscovering my own thoughts, remembering my own little life fondly. I haven’t done this in a long time:

Indulging.

I don’t like the word. I don’t like that I don’t like it.

But for a moment, that moment of…of self care feels like greeting an old friend again after a long time. There’s a lot to catch up on, but at the same time you talk about non-big-life-events-or-changes for much longer than necessary. You have a conversation for pleasure, because you can. There is no practical purpose to the talking. It is not a means to an end. It is an end in and of itself. I am talking to you not because I have something in particular to say, but because I want to talk to you. What we talk about is secondary, so long as I am talking to, with you.

And so I had conversations with myself, had my conscious brain meet my imagination again. Peacefully, Saturday went by.


Note: Hi, I hope all of you have been doing well ! That is all, that’s the note 😂 Sending you all good vibes! ^^

A greenhouse in the city. (2/2)

“I find myself stilling and leaning towards the light, too, yearning to feel its warmth nourish my blemished skin, caress my closed eyelids and slide down the panes of my upturned, trusting (vulnerable, so vulnerable) face.”

heik
Art by : Heikala

The city takes me to her tenderest places, where trees are still saplings and their foliage bursts like foam into the air, trapping errant bits of sunlight in their nooks.

Did you know that even a city as busy as mine could hold peace and light within its midst ? That it could be one part teeming thoroughfares, the cacophony of a thousand lives and one part silence, reflection ? The city provides a sanctuary from herself; a place that is pure and untouched, like a greenhouse where young and diseased plants may grow. Where they can be cured of the smog tainting their leaves, the carbon monoxide stuck to their waxy surface.

I find myself stilling and leaning towards the light, too, yearning to feel its warmth nourish my blemished skin, caress my closed eyelids and slide down the panes of my upturned, trusting (vulnerable, so vulnerable) face. I want to feel young again and pure. To cleanse myself of these deep-rooted impurities : self-deprecation, insecurities, absorbed toxicity. I want to uproot these baobabs of fear that have crawled under my skin, their roots tightening around my feebly-beating heart, feeding off of it. Underneath all that crap, my heart is still young, tender, tender like it was 10 years ago. There is innocence left somewhere in it. And dreams for days on end.

This is how life feels like a movie again.

Flowing with otherworldly gentleness, a crystal-clear stream flows under the overarching roots of a centenarian tree, carrying its yellowed leaves. All the sounds of the city (the honking, shouting and engine roars) slow and fade, submerged in that singular stream, seeming so far away… All you hear, marvellously, is the sound of the water running by. But it’s not really running, you know ? It glides by, or strolls. Its flow is leisurely, unhurried ; it knows exactly where it needs to be and how to get there, so there is no rush, no anxiety, no what-if-I-don’t-make-its and no fear of missing out.

It just is —something I struggle to do everyday of my life.

Like this though, the blood inside my body stops rushing, gushing, hurrying and instead blissfully, oh-so blissfully flows with the stream. Somewhere in the distance, someone has hit the rewind button or played with the speed settings because my whole being slows and settles with that small body of water, running strolling its course. No longer am I swimming against the currents, gasping through the throngs of people and the weight of their unfulfilled dreams. I just flow with the water, somewhere in the city.

Somewhere in my beautiful city.


Listening to :