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:

A true sadness.

young adult old soul magic realism 9jedit writing
Art by: 9jedit

I have been looking into myself this past month.

After a few weeks of dedication to the task, I have come upon something a little troubling: a well of deep sadness. Not a deep well of sadness, either but very much a well of profound sadness.

It’s hard to admit that this is the result of decluttering my heart and clearing my mind.

But I should have known. I have reached here before, I have come across this precipice and turned my back to it, preferring a mellower life and sweet, honeysuckle days. But whatever I do, I ultimately return to it. Whatever paths I take in life, when it matters most, it is this silent force I encounter.

Should I continue running, turning from it ? Perhaps I can avoid it all my life?

Bu really, what else is there to do but accept it?

This sadness, it’s not fun. It’s not exciting and definitely not what I want. But it’s true. It’s authentic.

And so, it deeply characterises me. I’ve been writing about it, scratching its surface, knocking its door for a long time now. And I think it’s time. I have enough strength that now I can choose a true sadness over a distracting joy. I’ve reached a point now where I can accept whatever this sadness says about me.

I suspect it’s a lot of grief for the world, an idealist’s mourning of injustice. But perhaps there is regret too, resentment.

But I must go there. I must face myself, I must accept who I am, whoever that is. It is the only way, the true way.

I would be lying if I said I was unafraid, if I wasn’t clinging onto old joys, onto materialism and comforting clutter— all those things, really, that I turned to so I could avoid facing that sadness.

I am so scared of losing myself. It is so difficult to surrender, to let these waves of change carry me away —or worse yet—to let them wash over me, carrying away the parts of me they want, keeping the parts they want.

And yet,tremulous as my heart is, it feels right. My heart can stand up to this.

Every path has led to this. Every crossroads, every person I have met, every event and non-event, every stranger I have ever wondered about, every 2 a.m, every night I shivered on the balcony.

Every turn in life has led here. If I back out now, I lose myself again. I wander, no, I err again, uncertain to my core. I drown again in shallowness, chasing moments of infinity forever.

All I fear is touching an energy too raw for me to handle, of stumbling on an emotion too close to my heart.

But wells run deep, I tell myself. Their depths do not spring out of nowhere. It means that as long as I follow this sadness, I get closer to myself.

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! ^^

Lunch break thoughts.

Young Adult Old Soul Magic Realism
Art by : Miles Hyman

How long has it been since I’ve written just for the sake of writing? Not to make something beautiful, not to get better at it, but just to let go?

Writing for the blog, I always try to make a point (consciously or not). But I am now going to write pointlessly again. To write a lot, to not erase one single thing I am writing as I write it because I think one word would be better suited than the other. I’ve removed all the barriers between me and writing, between me and myself.  Between the me I present to the world, this façade and the me inside. Both are equally real but would not survive without the other.

I like having the liberty again to not make sense, to just conjure images that I like, that crop up in my head. I like writing and exploring my own unconscious desires, like just now I realise I really would like to visit a castle, to own a small island for solitary getaways and small adventures. I want to retreat more inside myself. Ironically that is the follow-up to my wanderlust. An acute sense of introspection, a desire to find within the things I witnessed outside. To point at a map and the feelings the location procured and finding it in myself.Like pointing at a star and then to its vestiges in myself.

Is it strange?

I don’t much care if it is.

I am writing for myself. In no way am I obliged to make any sense to anyone, not even myself. I write the way you test out a new pen: all scribbles and intelligible ink blots. And it’s a lot of fun. It’s freeing and word-vomit and nobody cares. Nobody should. How freeing to not have others’ opinions attached to something I do or write.

I love that I’ve found the door to this kind of writing again. It allows me to do what I’ve said I would this year: write the things that truly matter. So I don’t look back and wish I’d written this thing that is still on my mind. So I don’t look back and think that I can’t see myself in the things I have written or created. That’s also why I got the piercing : not to have regrets.

I’ve always had a little Rock’n’Roll in me. A little bit of an “I want to be different” kind of streak. A “rebel against the establishment” vibe even as I dutifully sat in a classroom made of neat rows and columns, even as I completed the picture, the perfect square. Something in me always cried “F the system.”.

So now, 20ish years later, as cliché as it sounds, the piercing is a way to go a little against the grain.

Like the rebel I am, I am listening to this 😂  :

Searching for daylight stars

” I myself am a journalism graduate with a fear of talking to strangers. There must be, out in this world, others. Colour-blind artists. Deaf musicians. Dyslexic writers. People who, everyday, deal with the two or three or four facets of their own natures.”

Art by : 9jedit

Sunday evening flows calm and golden, like riverwater over rocks. The streets are bare. The wind whistles a tune, if you strain your ear. Leaves rustle aloft, the soft shhh sound of waves crashing on a faraway beach.

Sundays have always been like this. Never noisy, always sweet and surreal in all of their quietness. Perhaps it is because sundays are for mass, for bells that toll with sharp punctuality, sometimes overlapping the solemn call of a muezzin. Sundays are days for reflection, quiet admiration.

Head in the clouds, as I am searching for daylight stars and my own version of the truth, my mind plucks at a thought like a harp string, sending vibrations flying all around, echoing off walls and then back.

What a beautiful day to stay indoors, it begins.

And yet my legs itch to turn back and follow the golden light to somewhere far away.

My heart and mind wish to stay, to bask in the quietude and serenity of the day, having reached a point and place mantled by a warmth that makes you not want to move. Instead, staying in place, watching the scenery change until tomorrow comes, inevitably.

My body and soul crave adventure, though. Want to sing old songs, teeter around, walk on brickwalls and explore under bridges, unraveling some of this old city’s mysteries.

How strange it is to be made of such contradictory forces. How wonderful, too. Half the time, I can never decide, though. To be home-loving and have a wanderer’s soul is not so easy, although I am sure there are much harder problems to deal with in life. Even so, I think about all the other people who live such contradictions. I myself am a journalism graduate with a fear of talking to strangers. There must be, out in this world, others. Colour-blind artists. Deaf musicians. Dyslexic writers. People who, everyday, deal with the two or three or four facets of their own natures.

” We can write stories about the journeys that we made.” *

There is always a place in my mind that plays music. And this, this is a song all about traveling the world, and trusting in the brand newness of everydays. And yet I am never sure if I want to write stories or make journeys. Still, perhaps one could argue that in doing either one, one ends up doing both.

Maybe it is not so impossible, after all.

There are some words that should naturally not belong together : flightless birds, inkless tattoos, strange familiarity. And yet they do. They fit together in a same sentence, and one does not negate the other. If seeds can take flight and then grow roots, the improbable, the ironic are perhaps merely oddities. Unusual yet possible.

If humans can live with good and evil inside of them, I think I can manage a heart and mind that are homebodies, and a body and soul always eager to set sail for the next adventure.

* Listening to :

Note : I had so much fun looking for art to pair up with today’s post. 9jedit’s work always leaves me speechless and in awe.

What the wild winds bring

“And scents, they have this unique ability to bring us back, to elicit images from our minds that had long been forgotten.”

Gif by : Stefanie Shank

A floating seed fell on my hand yesterday, carried over great distances by a zephyr, lifted through the atmosphere as though a dancer, all supple muscle and poised grace. Beautiful little thing it was too, the stem thin and elongated, the top softly spread out like an umbrella, or a ballerina’s tutu. It settled ever so gently on my sleeve, caught on a bit of string. So easy it would have been to dislodge it, but for all the times I had chased these floating seeds in my childhood to the ends of the scenery, the idea never even crossed my mind.

And so I kept it close, safe from the winds that had brought it to me. All day long, with a recovered sense of wonder, my finger absent-mindedly brushed against the feathery extremities, sending a feeble yet sharp scent of wildness darting in the air. And scents, they have this unique ability to bring us back, to elicit images from our minds that had long been forgotten.

I imagined fervent wishes whispered warmly in a bunched up bouquet of dandelions as the sun set, and a coldness settled in. A dress billowed in the wind, grass grazed tender calves, and a girl stood alone in an endless stretch of scenery.

I imagined that it must have been a long journey to here. That Nature, the Universe conspired to send me this floating seed and the message whispered urgently into it that spoke of a gentle loneliness. A message in a bottle, sent through the skies. And so, hills, meadows, trees and breeze together decided on the little seed’s fate : “You will go there, to her.” and sent it flying.

So, I keep close to my chest the things the wild winds bring. Sometimes it is voices, other times, this.

Who knows, that I was that girl on the hill, whispering feverishly for a friend. Who knows that this, this little floating seed is a message from myself, from lonely summers back, spent chasing floating seeds to make wishes. I cradle the seed as though it is a present.

And I say to myself, to that girl on the hill from summers back, that it will be alright. Wait for me, I say to her. You must not give up. Just wait for me.

I am glad to know that she did.

I have been having these vivid visions lately, tracing back to innocuous moments I had not understood before. Moments I could not grasp, as though two worlds had collided and I knew only of one, as a life unknown to me breathed all around. Sunsets, days at the beach, or afternoons spent muffled in a blanket, staring at the ceiling, at stars through the open window. How was I to know a piece of Fate was shrouding me then ? That an unchangeable thing was happening, that certain parts of my life were being set in stone. How was I to know, as I breathed quietly the air of gentle, lonely days ? But the air changed, and my skin turned inside out. I could feel it, that something was irrevocably different. Though what, I could never tell. Was not meant to understand.

I look back now, key in hand. The murmurs of the future that I could not comprehend  then finally reach me now. And it was never the words that mattered, but the feelings. Strong, bold feelings that leave you staggering. Feelings that ran deeper than any ocean, that had roots as far-reaching and as invisible as that of mountains. Feelings that are the truths that hold all of our beings together.

Do not give up. Wait for me. 

And even though what followed then were all of my darkest days, this feeling stayed, even if sometimes at the very edges of my fingertips, ready to slip into the void. But the truth is not the kind of thing that leaves so easily. I knew that truth, even when I seemingly didn’t. Even when I gave up, and continued giving up, and thought all of life was going to be just that : a series of abandons, I think part of me knew. Must have known to wait, to not give up. Whatever it was that held me back, made me lift my head up, I suspect it has a little something to do with voices of the past, and things the wild winds bring. I suspect it has to do with seeds from the past, coming into efflorescence in the present.

There are things we forget about that can only be woken up by triggers as unique as scents. There are things, truths, twisting, writhing inside of us, alive if sometimes to nobody but ourselves.


” 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…