There is only me and this Truth I’ve been rubbing shoulders with. It’s been keeping me company, engaging me in conversation — a faithful little light. I don’t know it and yet it feels altogether familiar, like Polaris, the North star: almost swallowed by distance, and yet also home. How can you feel so close to something that is so far away?
A hush falls on the room and I would say that in that moment I grow silent, but rather, it is in silence that I grow. Like leaves leaning towards light, my consciousness reaches for the stars, my inner self grabs for the many secrets the Universe keeps.
Reveal yourself to me, I ask.
Tell me who you are because I suspect that if you do, I’ll know who I am, too.
Note: Just me writing weird, semi-sensical things again 😂 But hey, self-expression.
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.
“And scents, they have this unique ability to bring us back, to elicit images from our minds that had long been forgotten.”
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.
“It happens at twilight, always.
That moment when Death and Life finally crash into each other and Death, demanding as it is, states that it will take her soul.”
It happens at twilight, always.
That moment when Death and Life finally crash into each other and Death, demanding as it is, states that it will take her soul.
“No!” protests Life sharply, “You have taken so many already, just today too, you have spread so much agony.”
“No, I will be the guardian of her soul.” Life says tenderly, “She is lost and tired and I shall make her whole.”
“And you?” seethes Death, “How many have you brought into this world today? How many souls have you sowed for me to reap?”
“No, she is tired and would rather not awake. I will take her soul and give her rest.” Death murmurs, and behind his hard gaze lies, for one moment, something soft.
“You cannot take her!” Life chirps furiously, “There is so much that she can do! So much she will be for others! You cannot remove her from—from fulfilling the truth of her own existence!” Life advances, comes in between her sleeping body and Death.
“What kind of truth is worth this much pain?! What kind of—of happiness is worth it?!” Death roars, and for one split second, something in Life’s brilliant gaze wavers.
Death approaches her but Life stands as a barricade between them. Yet, with a gentle shove, Life is quietly standing on the sides, watching as Death’s firm hands sift through her hair, her fitful dreams.
“Release her, give her back to me. She did not know pain when she was with me, before you took her away.” Death accuses.
“Nor did she know happiness at your side! She did not even know herself!” cries Life viciously, yet not making any move to push Death away from the innocence of her sleeping face.
Ignoring Life, Death recalls:
“She was weightless with me. She knew nothing: no darkness, no pain, no sadness, no anxiety, no hunger. She floated like mist, and went about existing in the purest form, in the most neutral way. She was a star, luminescent, such beautiful energy…
“And now!” Death sneers, spinning to face Life in a flash of fury, face now ugly and contorted in rage.
“Now look what you’ve made of her! You have marred her! Sullied her!” Death accuses.
“What should I have done then?!” Life cries “Leave her to you until the ends of Time, and never let her truth unravel? Never let her see the very light she is made out of?
“But you’ve never known that, have you?” Life silently accuses, something cold gleaming in usually warm eyes, “You’ve never seen her when she laughs or cries, when she sits there, grateful for another day. You’ve never seen her ties with Fate, never, never—”
Death is quiet, thinking of those things he cannot understand, and a certain frustration gains him then.
“But I know them and know she would rather be made to laugh in earnest again.” Life looks at Death, pleading.
“Let her, let her,” Life begs, chirpy voice now even more high-pitched as tears threaten to spill. “You will take her anyway, and I will never again look upon her.” says Life, although there is no bitterness in that voice; Life has long since accepted that it will always hurt, that Life will always lose over those most cherished souls to Death.
It is all too quietly that Life speaks: “Let her, for her sake and mine, if you care for that life half as much as I do, let her live.”
Something flashes in Death’s light eyes at the sight of her, at Life’s words. There is inner turmoil boiling in Death’s eyes, and for a moment, Death is at war with his own self. His selfish desire to have her at his side again, but the need to protect that life that had existed so purely before… And her truth, her happiness, her ties with Destiny he knew nothing of, except that it made for more luminous souls, souls that lasted into the universe.
Finally, Death huffs in resignation, clicking his tongue at Life in annoyance.
“Fool. I care for that life more than you do; I was there when it formed.” Death sends a final, longing glance at her, not trusting himself to touch her, lest he glanced again through those nightmares, and decided to take her away.
Ruffling Life’s light-coloured hair, Death turns his back with whispered words.
Without wanting to get ahead of myself, I think that all the best things are.
Love, warmth, inspiration, contentment and that sense of inner peace deep inside of you. All the things we feel are invisible, even the things we think we see. Like midnights and 2 a.m.s that make the world seem larger and more infinite than it is—they are feelings and not merely moments.
Then there’s the wind, and even beauty. I do not need to see something for it to be beautiful. So long as I can feel it, not with my hands, but with this old, eternal truth that twists inside of me, it can be as beautiful as a million colours. It is why as I wander to the heart of Nature, I feel as much of an urge to let my eyes roam everywhere and drink up the scenery as I feel the urge to let my eyes close, and to let my truth speak to Nature’s truth instead. You know, a little boy once said that one can only see rightly with the heart, that what is essential is invisible to the eye, and I very much wish to believe that.
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.
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.
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 🙂
“Back then, the summer, happiness —they were the truth of that time. Now, we live another truth. A different one, but the truth all the same. And being true, I have decided, will always mean more than being happy. “
Thinking back to the honeyed days of old, they say to me:
“Take me back to the place of a thousand summers. The palace made of moulding planks held in the branches of a tree. Can we go back to when we were young and beautiful? When we did not wonder our worth, when we were pristine and whole. When we hadn’t yet learnt that without wanting to, we could plant arrows in each other’s backs? Let’s return to safety, to not arguing about whether happiness exists or not, because back then it did. Let’s go back to a time when we don’t have to wish it was another time. Let’s go back. Back to when time didn’t exist, did not even matter.”
I can’t. And now, I’m not sure I want to.
Back then, the summer, happiness —they were the truth of that time. Now, we live another truth. A different one, but the truth all the same. And being true, I have decided, will always mean more than being happy. Remember, back then we’d ask our parents for their share of cake, knowing they would give it to us out of love, but also knowing they really wanted it, too. It made us happy, that extra piece of cake. But I wouldn’t do the same now. The happiness of children and the happiness of what we are now—it is different. Part of that happiness is ignorance. Besides, there are things you can value more than happiness. And I am happy to live in a world, as a version of me, where I have learned that.
We can always return, you know. To the summer, to the swings. But I would rather go somewhere else. Somewhere we’ve never been before. And there we may come upon a string of Fate that leads us to where we are meant to be. But I do not want to linger back. To revisit an old happiness and decide to stay there, as though it were reality. True happiness does not exist in lies. It is an illusion. A reflection in the water that is disfigured at the slightest ripple.
I realise, too, that back then, we relentlessly relied on other people to make our happiness. We clung to their backs and added to their burdens. Burdens they made light, truly. But I don’t want that happiness now. I don’t want to rely on other people’s hard work for me to be happy. I think it’s time we gave back. Time to become the people who made us happy. You see, the world would be a much better place, if only we took turns in giving what we usually receive. If only we do not take all of the summer for us. With happiness as with many other things, one never loses in sharing.
Note: On this note, happy (belated?) new year! I hope you have all had a wonderful time during the holidays. And thank you for sticking with me all this time. You can look forward to some new things this year (Hint: more series types of writing coming your way…aaand some other stuff 😀 )