I am not a soul.

“No, we are not souls, you remind me. Not merely that. We are souls with bodies; we wound up having both our feet on the ground and our heads in the clouds. “

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Art by Soey Milk

I often stress the superiority of the inside versus the outside. Of the mental versus the physical, the intangible sketched against the tangible.

I get swept away by the idea of ideas and boast about existing on a higher level— a dimension that is transcendent of bodies made of clay, dismissive of the ritual physicalities of life.

“I am more! I am more!”, goes my cry to the Void, “I am a soul anchored to this earth by a body heavy enough that I cannot drift away to the place that calls to me (this place somewhere between the stars). I am more—more than what you see me to be.”  

But I am wrong.

I am not a soul.

And you prove that to me without even a word.

Because there are days when I do not need the sharpness of your wit, the complexity of your stance on Divinity or your knowledge of the stars and the ocean and all else that lies in between.  It is those days when my head aches from the weight of my own thoughts and I cannot talk—for Lord’s sake, some days I can’t even be.

Those days, as much as my meaningless ego loathes to admit, I need the warmth that gathers within your palms. I need the sound of your heart thumping in my ears, the rise and fall of your chest against mine. And your fingers that draw patterns and tangles into my hair, your voice that cracks sometimes, imperfect and warm when you hum a little something under your breath.

I am not a soul.

In those moments, I am glad that there is this body. These bodies, both yours and mine and all the ones that have loved us til this day.

No, we are not souls, you remind me. Not merely that. We are souls with bodies; we wound up having both our feet on the ground and our heads in the clouds.

Ah, but when these days are past and Life is back to this lie that we can ‘normal’, I will argue otherwise. I will insist that our bodies – yours at the very least- are guided by an inner gentleness, a kind of ‘light from within’.

And that is who we are.

 

Fear The Shallow Waters

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Art by: Ana Santos

You know, one of the greatest fears people have is that of depths. The depths of the sea, the depths of a deadly fall, the depths of despair.

But I, I am afraid of shallowness.

I drown in shallow waters, in the recesses of my own mind. Like a fish in a tank, I long for the ocean. I long for depth and breadth and dimensions that are limitless. I do not want to be self-contained, I want to bleed colours into the ocean and scatter golden scales wherever I go. I want to turn myself inside out and wear my darknesses and lights like a shirt I’d been wearing wrong my whole life.

I want to dive and jump and sink and get lost. I don’t mind dying if it means I get to live before I do.

But shallow living?

It is only one kind of death followed by another. First, the soul. Then, the body.

But when the soul is dead, what is there left but an empty box? A meat-coated skeleton, a hollow vessel that only echoes back what you throw at it?

Yes. I, I am afraid of shallowness. I fear blandness. I fear not darkness nor light, but this dull grey in-between, this murky puddle that is everyday life.

More Than Your Numbers

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Photograph by: Kyle Thompson

I don’t want to see you as the sum of the numbers that make up your life.

The likes on your selfies, the number of followers you have on Instagram,
how many girls you’ve kissed
or the number of times you’ve held a cigarette between your lips.

I want to know you for all the parts of you that don’t make sense,
for the mess of thoughts you are before the ink bleeds from your pen.
I want to hear all the things you hide
when your friends ask you if everything’s alright.

I want to touch that mark on your skin you got
one day when you thought you weren’t enough.
I want to feel the words she tattooed on your wayward heart
before she upped and left you in parts.

I don’t want you to strut your stats
(5o likes for a photo of your feet in blue waters)
and think that I care for your numbers.
I don’t care; I’ve never been good at maths.

No, I want to see that beautiful mess of a soul,
and lose myself in all the mysteries it holds.

The real 5 a.m.

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Illustration Source

But now, my 5 a.m’s are not what I imagined them to be.
The mornings are cold and spiritless.
I wake up to the sight of four greying white walls
and to the feeling of a growing loneliness in my stomach.
I look around me, peer into the window,
but everyone is sleeping, and the world is cold, almost dead.
I would have liked to start a glowing fire,
to wake the world up to the sounds of hot breakfast and happiness.

But you can’t do that.

People will tell you to shut up. They have their 8 hours to catch up on.
They have a boss who will be on their backs.
I walk around aimlessly then, looking at the grey skies above.
My soul feels just like that.
Not thundering, not angry.
Just cold and grey.
Like an abandoned summer house which,over time,
gathers dust under which are buried years and years of happiness.

But the soul yearns; it is not dead. It can never be.
It calls for something similar to it,
emits a cry in the distance,
trying to reach the other soul up at 5 a.m.
But only silence reigns. The lonely kind.
Not today, I sigh.
And I close my eyes to another  5 a.m that is not what it should be.