All These Lights

“Then, a fragment of the universe that was rekindled many years ago today, a star that found home in between the ribs of a frail, crying body.”

hajinbae
Gif by: Hajin Bae

Today was born a day of lights.

First the sun that stretched and stretched on its tippy toes, waiting to be picked up by the stratosphere and held up high. I swear I heard, at least once, giggles coming from the sky.

Then, a fragment of the universe that was rekindled many years ago today, a star that found home in between the ribs of a frail, crying body.

There were the fairy lights from the neighbours’, blinking owlishly in the night like new-born stars. Then, the green glare of two projectors, that, for one out-of-body moment, made me feel like I was Gatsby, looking across the water, gazing at that green light intently, captivated by it even with a whole firmament alight before me.

Then later still, in the cool, blue night air, city lights. Blurry and soft, so unlike the harshness of the suburbs by day. And so very still, yet so alive. It was…good to see the world look so small, to be disentangled from the city. And it’s good, just good in so many ways, to be somewhere with soft lights that you know will shine through the night.

And then, the most brilliant of all. The light in my mother’s eyes as she congratulates me on yet another trip around the sun.

Finally, the light that burns on shyly, hidden in my chest.


Note: This is Day 28 of my little NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. Where’s Day 27 you ask? I’m still editing it >.< It’s proving to be one of the tougher things to write, but I am not giving up. Day 27 will be posted, tomorrow probably. Meanwhile, you can check out some of the entries from the days before, like this one from Day 25.

A Spritz of Colour

“It smelled of that clean scent of softener, like something fruity was floating in the atmosphere, or like perfume delicately spritzed in the air.”

LilyPadula
Art by: Lily Padula

I usually get asked if I’m dressed for a funeral several times each month. But even though I would never wear any of them, I still like bold colours very much. Today, I just wanted to savour all the nuances and tints and undertones the world had to offer.

I was feeling blue, for reasons. Then I went to pick up the clothes that had been drying on the line. It was windy and the white linen billowed gently. The shirts and sheets and cotton pajamas were startling against the blueness of the cloudless sky, so soft they could almost have replaced the actual cumulus. It smelled of that clean scent of softener, like something fruity was floating in the atmosphere, or like perfume had been delicately spritzed in the air. Something you definitely want to get lungfuls of. Something that makes you want to bury your nose in a soft t-shirt and inhale until your chest is so full it cannot expand anymore.

And then there was yellow, too. A roof painted a warm sunflower yellow.  The kind of colour that is cheery but not annoying, comforting but not cheesy.

Beyond that was a canopy painted in a gradient of greens. The tenderer leaves oscillating between yellow and green, the older ones a deep emerald. Yet all swayed gracefully with the wind, back and forth, back and forth.

At that moment, life felt so vivid.

But some of the blueness lingered still. And the black of my shirt still clung to my skin.

But there is one thing I learned from my parents, something they never intended to teach. Troubles are not the end of the world; there can still be joy in times of sorrow. However big your worries are, there is always time for a smile. This moment of happiness you have now, it will come to pass. But the trouble will linger. So be happy when you can, because the same happiness doesn’t come by twice.

I had troubles, but so what?

I still took the white sheets from the line and hid under them, making a minimalist pillow fort. I wrapped them around me and deeply inhaled the scent of cleanliness. I was all dressed in white then, like a happy ghost in the middle of the afternoon. The sun was soothing against the sheets, its warmth causing the fruity scent to bloom and then explode like fireworks in the air.

There was no rainbow. But there was maybe,possibly…a certain florescence of colour within.


Note: This is Day 21 (Week 3!!!) of my little NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge đŸ™‚Â 

Too Big For The Ocean

“You no longer know the ocean. You do not remember running after airplanes taking off by the sea. Bare feet burning on the asphalt, laughing as we sped up, believing we would also take flight if we went fast enough. “

artbypuuung
Art by: Puuung

Years ago, on that sweltering summer day, we ran into the sparkling ocean, shrieking and splashing and living. Today though, I’m drawing starfish and seashells on the corner of a letter that will never reach you. Even so, I’m writing to you about how the ocean calls your name. How I wish every seashell I put to my ear would echo the sound of your laughs. I wish the ocean we shared before didn’t have to be the one thing to separate us now.

But do you remember what summer was like here?

The sun heating our faces, turning our shoulders red. The shaved ice coloured pink, green, yellow and blue that would melt on the stick, dripping down our hands. The wind filtering through the locks of our hair stiff from dried salt. The cold water we would drink straight from the coconut, heavy in our small arms. Do you remember that even then we held hands? Back when we knew nothing about the world, and it seemed the most natural thing to do?

Do you remember? But they tell me you’re trying to forget.  I can’t bear to ask because I’m always hoping I’ll hear the sound of your feet on the sand, sloshing against the welcoming waves. Always imagining you will return to the ocean and dare call it home. But home is no longer the space between our intertwined hands. Home is now an apartment building squeezed in between two others, right? Home is a grey flat lost in the metropolis, a shrub of greenery peeking out of a tiny, stuffed balcony.

There’s no point, right?

You no longer know the ocean. You do not remember running after airplanes taking off by the sea. Bare feet burning on the asphalt, laughing as we sped up, believing we would also take flight if we went fast enough. No, the city is yours now. This little village by the sea is nothing to you. Only a dot on the world map. A bit of green drowned in all the blue. You’ve outgrown the ocean, I guess. So I can only understand that if you’re big enough now to cross it, the only reason you are not here yet is because you don’t want to be.

I finish off the seashells with a golden pen. And the rest is muscle memory. Fold the letter in the envelope. Push it in the back of the drawer. Place it on top of the stack. Try to forget.

 


Note: This is Day 18 of my NaNoWriMo Writing Challenge. You can find the entry for Day 17 here.

Summertime Freedom

“‘Important’ does not mean what it used to mean anymore. Now, smiling is important. Unstoppable laughter is important. Comparing the size of our hands, marveling at the length of our hair or how sun-kissed and sandy-toed we are is important. Or perhaps none of it is and that is what is delightful…”

Pho3
The most wonderful thing about this photo? No filter.

I am living to the rhythm of lazy days, long days that stretch and stretch along the horizon line. Warm days lost on the world, bereft of meaning and yet ridiculously indispensable.

But really, what could be more important than watching algae swish to-and-fro with the tide? Or finding out just how long I can hold my breath?  To be honest, I am vaguely aware of some ‘important’ matter I am meant to overthink about—something, something about finding out what to do with the rest of my life. Yeah, that. The waves shrug off the thought though, they send it rolling far away from the shoreline and deep into dark blue waters.

‘Important’ does not mean what it used to mean anymore. Now, smiling is important. Unstoppable laughter is important. Comparing the size of our hands, marveling at the length of our hair or how sun-kissed and sandy-toed we are is important. Or perhaps none of it is and that is what is delightful. Everything is optional; I am free from consequences, free even from the restraints my dark thoughts set around my heart.

You know, maybe the sound of freedom is not the sound of the sea after all, but rather the sound of this heart going: “Lub-dub, lub-dub, lub-dub” so calm and unbothered that it sounds vaguely, vaguely like: “Free-dom, free-dom, free-dom”.