What’s in a life?

young adult old soul magic realism slow living
Art by: 9jedit

Life has been dutifully ignoring me, I realise.

In the years I have lived, I have experienced no unbelievable events, have not had the significant encounters I believed so fervently would happen and that everyone else seems to have experienced by now. It has been an ordinary life, with no fabulous stories to tell, no surreal moments with which to impress others in conversation.

So when others tell stories about jobs that lasted only 3 days, about the talented, famous people they have met, what they have witnessed of private matters exploding into the public space, the places they have been — well, I can only listen. Listen and pretend I’m just the same, that I, too, have lived so thoroughly when, in reality, life stretches thin over all my years. I have more time to show than life to tell. Perhaps that is where my regrets lie, truly: to have had Time but not life.

You see, I have no stories to tell but the stories I have made up myself. At first, that’s all writing was: an imitation of life. Then it became an interpretation, a wish, a dream.

But it’s not unheard of, my story as a girl with no stories. It’s not hard for life to forget you when you live in such a remote place, a little city lost in the world map, struggling in the shadow of the world’s grandeur. Life has other places to be and is happy to leave after the years of wonder have passed. I think it happened in the last summer of my childhood. I was picking flowers in the large, labyrinthine gardens of the early years. Somewhere beneath a shower of golden light, amidst overflowing vines, chenille plants and bougainvillea bushes, I was humming a tune, contemplating my thoughts and star-speckled reveries. I was jumping from one star to the next, boarding another cloud of oracular thoughts, wandering the infinity of the world. That is when life left, I think. When I was too busy living to consider life.

I don’t think life meant to not return. Life just got caught up in things, in other people’s childhoods. It was just busy happening to other people.

Meanwhile, I grew up silently in those gardens, watching the years go by. I experienced the first isolating nightfall in those gardens that had never known the night before. It had always been early morning there and the day had never progressed beyond the evening. Time went on flowing. Every time I came on the brink of something profound and magical, every time I stood on the precipice of change, I fell back instead into my sameness, the same existence I had been growing into all my years.

By then, I had started hiding from life. I avoided it, fearing what it had become, what it had done to others. Besides, hadn’t I grown to love the existential loneliness I had made my own? An extension of myself, this loneliness spread and conquered the garden of the early years, until nothing of what it once was remained.

But maybe, maybe, maybe this is what life was meant to be for me. Just because I’ve never met someone famous or witnessed an ugly domestic scene in public doesn’t mean I haven’t lived. How much life was hiding there in those quiet moments?  My life may not have been punctuated with moments like fireworks, but maybe it was more like a network of small lights glowing persistently underground — something I cannot possibly single out to explain. Maybe life doesn’t have to be spectacular to be beautiful.

Listening to:


Young Adult Old Soul Magic Realism Writing Luceferous
Art by : Luceferous

It is one of those Saturdays, quiet and warm and reflective. The smell of clean sheets rises in the air, mixed with the comforting scent of the summer breeze. Everything is soft, soft around me. Soft pillows, soft smells, soft memories.

My eyes are lost somewhere in the stream of light cascading through the window, following the ascension of dust particles in the atmosphere. Time melts around me, the barriers between past and present and future turn blurry, until they are but a point in the distance.

“You know, one day you’ll want children of your own…”

“Or maybe I won’t. Maybe I’ll never be ready to have children, no matter how much I love them.”

I stared into the silence. Our outlooks were too different, our self-evident truths too disparate and we seemed only then to have come to that realisation.

“What’ll you do then?”

“Travel…I don’t know.” The answer, though truthful, felt lacking, missing a crucial part.

I was younger then, still unsure of countless things.

My gaze has not wavered from the open window. The sunlight must be warm and comforting.

I want to reach out and hold this light in my hands. Another part of me wants to cup it and…and let it grow.

I understand. Actually, I think I’ve known all along. There is a desire in all of us to nurture a life that is not our own. Children. But also pets, plants, art, projects. I believe we have this innate need to care for things, for people. We need it to survive, to feel needed and important. Caring for someone else gives meaning to life; it gives purpose to sacrifice. It is a reassuring thought : we may fade away, the day may come when we no longer have time to spend, but some part of us will always persist in someone, something else.

So yes, I want to cup that light and help it grow.

Right now, I also want to lean into it and close my eyes, letting my skin soak in all the wisdom of this ordinary-looking moment.

Oh simple saturdays, small saturdays and your great-life-realisations, I’ve missed you.

Astronaut helmets.


Young Adult Old Soul Magic Realism Writing
Art by : Roberta Ferreira

This weekend, find me at home, teetering over the edges of my own universe, immersed in tasks I do with love. Find me pouring all my skill in the very tip of my finger, in the slice-thin pointiness of a size 0 paintbrush, where I will be painting both daisies and pokemon alike on the cream paper of birthday cards.

Well actually, this weekend I do not plan to be found at all. I will lose myself instead in all the worlds I have been born into : my worlds of rainy days I long for, of carefree summer days, childhood scents, a hidden world of vulnerability…And all through this cosmos, these interlinked planets and blinking constellations, music will play, soft and tender, with words that ring true or beautiful and harmonies that make my own heartstrings vibrate.

Yes, this weekend I am in immersion, astronaut helmet and all. I won’t be answering the phone, because I’ll be making even more long-distance calls…Yeah, this weekend you won’t find me at all. Not on this planet, not in this world. My body will be somewhere in a cozy room, but my soul will be out there, longing for more.

Listening to :

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:


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! ^^


” I would rather be here than be alone.” (and what a statement that is, what a thing to feel when you yourself are so usually enmeshed in solitude, wrapped around it like a wedding band around a ring finger).

Art by : ceruleanwax

Weeks of familial effusion, of knitting together days quietly (and not-so-quietly) spent occupying space together have passed. And with them the careless brushes, touches you do not need to think twice about, affection that needs no explanation. It has been weeks of others becoming extensions of myself, of feeling that : “I would rather be here than be alone.” (and what a statement that is, what a thing to feel when you yourself are so usually enmeshed in solitude, wrapped around it like a wedding band around a ring finger). Somewhere, the barriers of ‘you’ and ‘me’ and ‘them’ have melted a bit, like chocolate on a hot day and have left us with intersecting spaces called ‘us’.

This feeling, it is that of blood that is finally around its own, it is like an ocean that has found its own rhythm, like strangers that have found others like them. It is the reality of living in an inner circle only we know, of calendars marked by the days of our personal achievements and ridiculous little happenings in our lives (That time N. got engaged, and Aunt M. started her own business, that day when B., aged 3, demanded the softest of cakes, in french).

Family is warm, warm, warm, where the rest of life is sometimes cool and works in seasons. Family is just one person, sometimes. Or, in some cases, a whole fleet of people who don’t look like you or share the same gene pool. But family is not always easy. Family is also work. And a slew of other little or big issues.

But even this richness, this ambient, suffusing warmth can leave one feeling a bit hot, needing some air. Needing to be on one’s own.

And so now the 2 a.m. conversations in the semi-darkness of a living room have faded. The alternate reality of 3 a.m. teapots, pastries and chips have flown away in an aircraft, held in suspension in the skies waiting for a next time. Now that I have made my peace with the goodbyes that I have said, now that I can swallow the feeling of missing someone, can process the flashes of memories, I must tend to the gardens of thoughts inside my head. They have overflown and overgrown, have tumbled over the precipice, the mouth of the chalice. Now I must groom a garden angry at being left alone, at not being kept in shape and style.

Carefully, I must pluck thoughts and and go through each of them with the patience of one who has spent an eternity learning botany, and the quirks and ways of all flowers and plants. I must give them all attention and nourishment, sunlight and beautiful words. Feed them meaning and purpose and things worth living for.

I must find myself again, a little, in the seasons of life, in the way the leaf drifts, alone, from the (family) tree.

Note : Here, explained, the reason behind the sporadic posting lately. Thank you for your patience ❤

Listening to :


Alone, beautifully.

“There are no rules, you know at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday? All the rules are elsewhere. In office buildings and schools ; in pages of binding, binded contracts. “

Art by: Anato Finnstark

Have you ever wondered what life was like in an unoccupied space? What happens in a space left bare, with no one to witness what happens there? Do you realise, I asked myself, that everyday, all around this gigantic world, right now, there are millions of places like this, where wonderful, unknown things are happening, that no one will ever have knowledge of?

Today, I came back home early. I passed by the stone church with the rose roof, and the small, blink-and-you’ll-miss-it park facing it. I passed by much before the first cars leaving work started filling the streets with smoke and haste and an air of impatience. Much before people started rushing. Much before Time mattered. There are no rules, you know at 10:30 a.m. on a Friday? All the rules are elsewhere. In office buildings and schools ; in pages of binding, binded contracts. But outside of that, Life just flows. Undisturbed, hushed, covered as though a scene from within a snowglobe (and I a symbolic human figure). And there it was, that liminal space. There was that opening, that silver of time during which the small park detached itself from earth, from reality a little. At the same time I stood in awe, an old man cycled past, half dozing on his rusty bicycle. It was so quiet you could hear the sound of his tires pressing against the asphalt, and crackling a little on stray bits of gravel.

In the park, a kaleidoscope* of small, pale yellow butterflies was fluttering by a low flower bush. The wind blew gently, a little foreign, carrying some unknown scent. I thought to myself that if I hadn’t caught that moment, it would have slipped forever into ignorance and nothing would have come of it.

There is beauty in being alone in places and moments like these. There is power, yes, in witnessing all these things that would otherwise never have made it into the human consciousness. But at its core is humility, reverence. People often say that ‘this and this place gives a whole other view at night’, but places are whole other places too without people. Places are whole other worlds when you are alone. When you get to witness, all on your own, the way a tree loses its petal-like leaves, fluttering gently in colored heaps by its roots. It is like a lullaby for the eyes. For something deeper, even. It satiates you for that moment, completely. Fills all your needs and wants to the brim with contentment. With gratitude, with “Thank you for letting me witness this moment.”.

It stirs something in you, carries you away for a little while.

And for much longer every time you think of it.

It is a memory, yes, but also an endless journey.


Listening to :


* YES, a group of butterflies can actually be called a kaleidoscope. How beautiful is this. Unreal, I tell you.

Also, this :


I get so swept up writing about the time I got swept up that words like ‘flutterblies’ happen…That being said, ‘butterfly’ is actually an anagram of ‘flutter by’ soooo…


An Introvert’s Sunday Reverie

“…lingering in between the sheets just a while longer, drinking in that sweet warmth, the last remains of starry dreams still clinging to your lashes.”

Art by : Yaoyao Ma Van As

I don’t want to be famous.

Although I think everyone —at some point in their lives at least— has wanted to be, I don’t think I want to, now. A while back, I decided that I sank perfectly well into anonymity. That no amount of fame or glamour could ever bring me as much joy and peace as the kind of Sunday I’ve had today.

Waking up a little later than usual, and lingering in between the sheets just a while longer, drinking in that sweet warmth, the last remains of starry dreams still clinging to your lashes. Then waking up not out of obligation: not because of the time it is or the things that need to be done that day, but simply because you are ready.

And then you walk around the house idly for a while, chuckling as you take in the look of your bedhead, and smiling because it doesn’t matter, because you like it, somehow: that tangled wilderness that bears proof of all the past night’s half-forgotten dreams.

And then humming, doing weird dances while nobody’s looking, while nobody knows. Right there, in the quiet warmth of a house no one would think twice about. Still, you go about in a sleep-induced haze, zoning out as you prepare breakfast, taking 10 minutes to pour some milk and cereal and not knowing where all that time went, not caring about it. Because it’s not lost time. It does not feel like a waste. It is part of taking care of yourself. Besides, you always manage to emerge from these inattentive spells with a song on your breath or an old memory replaying in your mind.

And then you watch something nice, or you draw. You write, you read, you paint, you make music.

Quietly, introvertedly.

You try one of those homemade face masks, and somewhere in the middle of looking for refined sugar, realise that there is nothing more important than this, in this very moment. You find that amidst all the layers of self-doubt and self-hate that you wear all week long, you actually like yourself. You’re pretty fun to be with, really.

And then as the day passes and afternoon comes, you take a nap, because you can. You stare at the ceiling, thinking up improbable scenarios and laughing quietly. You think about odd things, about all the other things that must be happening around the world at that exact same time. You think about your friend in Italy and the other who’s…well you’re not exactly sure where. And there’s no envy there either, just wonder.

Either way, there’s not much that could move you at that point. There’s not much that could take away that sweet, quiet anonymity.

So no, no fame for me. No, thank you.

I just want to be that quiet neighbour who sings really loud sometimes, and who spends her afternoons surrounded by overgrown plants on her balcony, watching as distant airplanes weave through the clouds, and drinking peach iced tea while wondering when it would be a good time to fly a kite again.

A Collection of Microcosms

Art by: Julian Callos

I am collecting worlds.

Rolling them lazily around the spaces between my fingers, like marbles instead of the microcosms that they are. With a nonchalance that betrays ennui. And an ennui that hides authentic interest— layers, walls, one step away from the truth, always.

With these, I can make it rain even on the driest of days. I can turn life around, stop the orchestra and make it perform my own arrangement. All this when I am tucked away, away, in a small room. Inside a marble-sized world.

So which world will it be today?

A world of rainy days? A world of the upside down? A world of prairies and hills? A world of rooftops, of only the colour blue, of dawns and dusks, a world of too many moons and not enough stars, a world of lace and umbrellas, a world inside a snow globe, on the back of a postcard? Oh but what of the worlds of never-ending roads, or the ones of bookstores and libraries?

Drastically different though they are, they are all alike in one way: there’s never anyone in them.

I collect worlds. But never people.

People are messy. People mix colours you’ve tried hard to keep apart. They ruin skylines and solitude. People wreck your worlds.

But there, in these worlds, where nothing exists but itinerant thoughts, the slightest sound from the outside is a deafening roar.

So the only solution to escape is to go further inside, to lose yourself deeper and deeper into the streaks and striations of these marble-sized planets.


Listening to:

Undeclared Wealth

“How do I show you all the experiences I carry with me, all these burrows of treasured memories? All this undeclared wealth that I have amassed with every wrinkle, every laugh line?”

Art by: Evijark

How do I explain what it is that is inside me? How can I convey to you the wonder I feel from days that have long since passed? How do I tell you about the scent of hot bread on the way to school? About how we used to stuff it in our pockets, about how warm it was against your leg? How do I make you feel the warmth of the summer of 2004, when I climbed on the roof for the first time and I flirted with the edges of danger and freedom, when I dreamed of sprouting wings?  That summer when I knew little of sadness and too much of shared meals and laughter and beautiful sunsets? How do I show you all the experiences I carry with me, all these burrows of treasured memories? All this undeclared wealth that I have amassed with every wrinkle, every laugh line?

I wish I could touch you or just look into your eyes and show you the light that shines within. To let you know that though my smile is sad, my spirit is at ease. But my tongue slips, and I manage to turn even the magical into the ordinary. There is not a thing that leaves my mouth that is not underwhelming.

There is so much of me that I cannot explain, so much that is lost in gestures and sounds and made-up words.

I cannot invite you to my world. I am lost within it and cannot find the way that leads to it—I do not even know the way out. But I can only hope, from here on out, that you will keep searching for it with me.