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:

 

A piece of the Universe.

young-adult-old-soul-magic-realism-writing
Art by : Michelle Theodore

“Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”

This is something Sufi poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi once said. Or wrote, I’m not sure. I just happened upon it one day, like an ancient gold coin glinting in a modern world.

Unconsciously, I have always held the notion that old civilisations were wise. Through their connections with the earth, the spiritual, the travellers of the world, they must have had such knowledge of their own selves. What they lacked in physical comforts, they made up for with the richness of their spirits. This is all, of course, unfounded assumptions, general impressions. In reality, it is more likely that I view them so much as “civilisations” or “peoples” that it does not occur to think of them as individuals. To see them as more than the most illustrious of their people.

Even now, I find it hard to believe that Rumi wrote this for someone of his time, to remedy issues had by people he knew. No, instead, as all marvellous writing ever has, it makes me feel as though it has been written for me. As though it were the solution to all my highly specific, 21st century problems. It fills in all my worries, like molten gold poured over the cracks of my consciousness. It smooths over every wrinkle of thought, each crease of worry.

I cannot believe sometimes that I received it, to speak crudely, for free. Who would give you an old gold coin to begin with? The world doesn’t work like that.

And yet here I have it, a gold coin glinting in my hand. Sometimes I consider my own views on Fate and reflect with deep gratitude that perhaps this is a piece of the universe that was sent to me. Maybe these words made it through the ages and civilisations, crossing borders, surviving modernity and translation to reach me, their meaning unscathed.

My fingers absent-mindedly turn this piece of gold over, mulling, considering, tracing over its engravings. I’m waiting, waiting without knowing how this gold coin will decide my fate once I set it free.

 

 

 

Not all fires burn.

young-adult-old-soul-magic-realism-cadmiumyellowdeep
Art by : @cadmiumyellowdeep

The nights are growing cold here, and I’m using old memories to kindle a little warmth.

Just enough to feel my fingertips, to not let my heart freeze over.

There was a time when I would have lit a blazing fire, enough to outlast the wintry winds, the night shivers. There was a me who would have fed off of the warmth of another time, who would have nurtured back to life the smouldering remains of dying fires.

But you see, I am not this me anymore. I am brave enough now to venture into the cold, to let the chill crawl up my bare arms and invigorate me.

Now, if I want warmth, I have just enough spirit to reach for it, trusting that it will not burn.

(Because that’s the thing about memories, isn’t it? They warm without burning. But you can never tell what it will be with the present, you can only experience the full shock of it when it happens.)


 

But Gone Before Them (2/2)

pilar-zeta-from-falling-in-love-with-the-dark-side-of-the-universe-2011
Art by: Pilar Zeta

And then we parted.

There was no choice. We had to. Being thrown to Earth, it stripped us of knowledge. I was just a word. And there was no reason to think I was once part of a greater thing, dare I say, a sentence. Let alone an entire universe. Even now, it is blurry. A sound I hear far, far away, the way light seems unreachable when you are deep beneath the ground.

That became all that was left of you: an echo that might not exist. But I feel you somewhere still. I know this because I am whole, and yet I feel an emptiness. The say the heart is an organ quite like the stomach, you know. It stretches to fit your hunger and whatever you put into it. But some hearts, I’ve seen, only know how to grow bigger. They never seem to know what to do with the empty space left behind. They do not know how to shrink, have never learnt to. And it is in this place that you live.

And ah, have I mentioned: we may never meet.

But I will always know. I don’t remember much. Not your face, not your voice, your eyes. Everything has been stripped from my knowledge. Save for the most important bit: you exist. And lately, I’ve been thinking.

I have a theory.

You might have split, travelling to Earth.

You might exist in more than one body, in a way. What I’m trying to say is that there might be pieces of you left in many people. Knowing you, it was probably intentional. You have always been a fool, with too little brains and too much heart. You saw how the others were struggling. And you gave them a part of yourself. And again, until there was more of you in other people than there was in you.

It makes sense. The emptiness makes sense, too. I’m talking to versions of you, pieces. Never the whole thing at once. I am a whole and you a fractured mess. And yet one I love dearly. You exist in every person I love. And the world might tell me that soulmates come in pairs, but I find you, every so often,when life is kind, in people with warm eyes and goofy laughs. People who have picked up on your little habit of teaching me things.

If you were a word before, then now you have dispersed into letters. Letters that I keep finding in people Life sends my way. Right now, I am trying to rearrange them so I can know your name. So that, finally, I can know what my own means, too.


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Note: When conceptualising the idea of a calling, of the emptiness of not having found it (yet), I do not usually make that calling a person. It’s usually something like a book or a passion as yet undiscovered. But I wanted to try my hand at the opposite for a change. So there it is, my take on ‘soulmates’. I don’t write a whole lot about romantic love either. So this attempt is also me trying to do that. In the hopes it wasn’t cheesy >.< 

Born With the Stars (1/2)

pilar-zeta-from-falling-in-love-with-the-dark-side-of-the-universe-2011
Art by: Pilar Zeta

I know I knew your soul from way before.

When you lay inert in the Universe, hanging like a star in the milky way, and life had not yet been breathed into you. I have a feeling we were close by. That we were born together, from the same breath. Or first it was you, and then me. You saw the world before I did. You couldn’t believe it. You couldn’t comprehend that you couldn’t believe it. Because a moment before, you were nothing. And then all at once you burst into existence. You didn’t exist and then, just like that, you did. You beheld the universe, everything, when moments before you had never seen.

And then I was born. My eyes new, and you knew then that you wanted to teach the world to me. What little you knew of it was mountains to my still flat consciousness. You taught me all the things I did not know, showed me stars and silence. We held hands as we explored the universe, like children but also like souls that had long been conserved in the same patch of sky. If life were a sentence, then you would be the word that came right before me. Your whole existence gave meaning to mine. And mine to yours. And one meant little without the other.

And then we parted.

 

Dodging Arrows…(1/2)

ceruleanwax
Art by ceruleanwax

That night, I let a part of me slip, and in so doing, also gave it to you. But you were too young to understand.

Too naive, too afraid. You understood that this was new, different. But you didn’t have the courage to hold the truth between your hands, like a bird with a broken wing. That kind of courage hadn’t been born in you yet.

I gave you a part of me, and you didn’t know what to do with it. It wasn’t the usual piece of ‘wisdom’ or healing. It was something I collected not from my experiences, not from having existed this long, but from somewhere riskier: myself. And I think that’s what scared you off. Not what I could have done, but what it meant for you now. It was the idea that I could be something you were uncomfortable with. Something you would have to be strong to even hear about. You were young and you didn’t want to venture in it, because some part of you knew that life wouldn’t be the same after. That your image of me would be changed forever, and so would you be. And we would never get back what we had then, the golden days.

And you didn’t want to give that up.

You were somewhere on the cusp of awareness, nearing truth. Faltering in the bliss of ignorance, about to have the rug pulled from under your feet. But you stayed the hand of Life, and the rug remained. You were too young to have the world taken from you. Yes, that’s what it was.

But I showed you a part of me that you didn’t want to see. An unwanted truth. A darkness you wished wasn’t there so you wouldn’t have to deal with it. Awkwardly, I held out my hand, and you pretended you were looking somewhere else.

I gave you a part of me that you were too young to understand. I gave you a part of me I was too young to have, anyway.

No, it wasn’t you.

It’s not you; the fault lies with me. Unable to hide my own intensity.* 

I was the one firing truths, but it felt as though you were the one with the bow in your hands.

You know, that day, I was selfish for offering. It slipped past my lips unwittingly, that much is true. But I ask myself sometimes, if there wasn’t some part of me that had planned it all, in the end.


Note: * This line is from this song:

…And Receiving Them (2/2)

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Art by: ceruleanwax

At the breaking of dawn, you could not take it anymore. Could not start even another day with the burdens of the past. So as the sun awoke and its first beams caressed the scenery, your tears fell, and your truths bled all over the kitchen counter. The good, the bad, the vulnerably honest, the dark, the nonsensical, the raw, the accidentally poetic. And you looked at me then, as if you had placed your beating heart in my palm. You waited to see what I would do with it. I could crush it, without even saying a word. But what does one say when exposed to the very thing all people learn to hide from others, from themselves? What does one say in the face of others’ soul-deep pain?

All you need sometimes is an “Okay”.

You don’t need an: “Oh… I’m sure it’ll turn out fine in the end.”. There’s something that’s often…dismissive about these ready-made phrases. Like, here, take these formalities. No, sometimes, I find you don’t need many words. Just a singular, sincere one. You just need an “Okay”—strong, steady, sure.

Because any other words will fall flat.

“You’re suffering, but move on.” Isn’t that what it means sometimes? “You’re suffering and I can’t sit with you while you do.” or “Your pain is a burden.”

We want people to be happy not because we love them, but because we can’t handle them when they’re sad. It’s hard to love a sad person, because loving means a whole other thing when someone’s not happy. Loving means wiping away tears not knowing if and when they will subside. Loving means looking behind the mask and risking yourself in the cracks and dents of their soul. Loving means facing uncomfortable truths and not looking away. It means looking so far into their fears, you start facing your own. Sometimes, it is to find the courage to do for them, what you could never do for you.

That’s why you need an “Okay”. You need an “Okay” that says: “We will not move on. We will sit down and feel this together. You might still be sad at the end of this. You might never be the same person again. But at least you’ll be you. At least you won’t be hiding. You won’t endure because you think that’s what will make others happy. You won’t feel guilty about being in pain. You won’t feel like you have to face it all by yourself. You will learn, that pain does not have to turn into suffering.”

All in one “Okay”. An “Okay” that sees you, that understands. That will stay with you for longer than an entire speech would.


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Note: The year’s first series! (Is it still a series if it’s only 2 parts?🤔) But, to my defence, this was going to be 3 parts. Until the idea for the last part just slipped out of my brain and wandered into the great, wild world without looking back. 😒 Oh, well. I still hope you enjoyed it 🙂