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.

A Little Bit of Nothing

Artwork by: ask_the_dust

One day, we will wake up to long-evaporated oceans and fallen stars.

We will awake to a capsized Earth, shipwrecked onto some faraway planet overcome with bushes upon bushes of prickly roses. One day, all distances will shorten, all limits will be senseless.

We will meet in the kind of quiet that follows only destruction. Freed from everything we’d ever owned, every unnecessary thing we’d ever been. In a world shuddering out its last breaths, dying and inchoate all at once —because what is the death of one thing if not the beginning of another life?— we will tread long-evaporated oceans and flooded-out deserts, we will meet in the middle of all the things that don’t make sense. All the  never-should-have-beens and impossibilities. We will pick out sea glass from the drowned out deserts, showered in falling leaves from the uprooted forests.

In a land without law or meaning, we’ll have ourselves a little bit of nothing. (Nothing to differentiate, nothing to be, nothing to lose).

Listening to:

Slumberous Psychedelia

Photograph by Matt Molloy from the ‘Smeared Sky’ series, each photo a timelapse combination of 100-200 others.

I feel like I’ve sat on a chair and have been spinning around for light-years. And nothing I see is willing to settle. Everything still appears in duplicates and colours that don’t exist. The world now, is a juxtaposition of 10,000 others right before it. The lights of 10,000 dawns and dusks, all painted in one stroke. And I am constantly grabbing at old versions of what it means to be alive. My shaking hand comes back empty but for a mound of dust and dying light.

My head has been spinning on itself, too and has been orbiting the moon, pushed by the gusts of Saturn. I just have to close my eyes and my body floats, weightless, as though it has never known gravity, never wondered what it felt like to be grounded. My body does not feel like my own.  My hands are too weak-willed, too loose, too free to be mine to command. My body is like a kite without a string—going wherever the wind wills. So it’s not mine anymore. Was it ever? Was there ever a moment when that kite was bound, when all these thoughts made sense, when they were arranged in order? Did they ever not orbit around my head like moons in utter chaos? And I am left now to pluck them, in disarray, attempting to string them into not-gibberish. But the sentences don’t make sense. Nothing does.

For a moment there, I feel like I am the sun. With all these thoughts-turned-planets and their moons circling me, each at their own rhythm, each at separate stages of their journey. Too much, too much.

But grabbing at other planets did not work. So I am now peeling back the layers of this world to reach a substantial core, something unmistakably material, but my hands are weak. They, too, are the juxtaposed reflections of 10,000 years of being. So holding onto some form of sanity, because that’s really what this is about, is proving to feel like trying to contain water in a fishing net. Or trying to catch smoke with the spaces between your fingers.

This night has turned into a search for grounding, for anchoring. But the Earth itself is dissolving into cotton balls and I am floating away with its remains.




Note: How to become high: be in that stage between sleep-deprivation and developing an actual sleep pattern.

A Collection of Microcosms

Art by: Julian Callos

I am collecting worlds.

Rolling them lazily around the spaces between my fingers, like marbles instead of the microcosms that they are. With a nonchalance that betrays ennui. And an ennui that hides authentic interest— layers, walls, one step away from the truth, always.

With these, I can make it rain even on the driest of days. I can turn life around, stop the orchestra and make it perform my own arrangement. All this when I am tucked away, away, in a small room. Inside a marble-sized world.

So which world will it be today?

A world of rainy days? A world of the upside down? A world of prairies and hills? A world of rooftops, of only the colour blue, of dawns and dusks, a world of too many moons and not enough stars, a world of lace and umbrellas, a world inside a snow globe, on the back of a postcard? Oh but what of the worlds of never-ending roads, or the ones of bookstores and libraries?

Drastically different though they are, they are all alike in one way: there’s never anyone in them.

I collect worlds. But never people.

People are messy. People mix colours you’ve tried hard to keep apart. They ruin skylines and solitude. People wreck your worlds.

But there, in these worlds, where nothing exists but itinerant thoughts, the slightest sound from the outside is a deafening roar.

So the only solution to escape is to go further inside, to lose yourself deeper and deeper into the streaks and striations of these marble-sized planets.


Listening to:

A World Away From The World

Photo by: Masashi Wakui

I went jogging in the evening to eventually go up my trusty, 10-minutes-away-from- home hill. But the same streets I have walked for give-or-take 20 years now, the same faces I have watched the baby fat melt from, the same eyes that I have seen growing weary, seem so alien to me. Like I don’t quite know what I’m recognising.

The reason —and it’s a futile one—: I am wearing workout clothes.

Isn’t it funny how sometimes, the littlest things are enough to set us apart? In a sea of grey, a red string —however thin it may be—will always stand out. With just that, I am foreign.

I am going away, too. Spiritually at least, far, far away from the mindset sat on the heads of most of these people. I feel as though, if I were to stumble into someone, that I would just walk right through them. Like we were in alternate universes not meant to meet, sharing the same space on different planes of existence. I feel like that explains my clumsiness. I’m constantly going up a road you’re only meant to get down from and bumping shoulders with invisible people from other worlds.

I feel as though, in their universe, that quiet little green space has stopped existing. Or it never did. It wasn’t that big of a hill to begin with. But it was never about that. It only ever mattered that it was there, like its existence proved a point. That we weren’t simply city people. That there was more to us than deadlines and schedules and social status.

As I jog away, I wonder what their world is like. A world of neon signs and chit-chat, waiting for the clock to reach 5 pm, date night and TGIFs every week.

A world that is, most days, also mine.

No matter how much I tell myself that it’s different for me. Because I’m aware. Because I’m dreaming of some other place. Because I could be something, something. I could outgrow this tiny, cozy place.

Yeah, but life isn’t lived on intention alone.

That world unraveling before me is mine; there is no doubt.

But just not now, it isn’t.

Just not now.


Note: My body can’t seem to comprehend that it doesn’t have to write anymore now. At least not everyday. It seems all I’ve done this weekend is jot down half-born ideas. Also, I am planning on making some changes to the blog. Refine the category area and re-define barely-there publishing schedules. And haha, I’ve gotten used to writing these little notes at the end of posts. Another habit to shake off, I suppose.

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.”

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 🙂 


“Childhood…I would have let myself become sad a long time ago if you hadn’t been here. I would have lost my way, I would have lost you and I would have lost me.”

Burning Man Festival Alexander Milov Vitaliy Deynega
Sculpture by: Alexander Milov • Photograph by: Vitaliy Deynega

“Wait! Wait for me! Where are you going?” cried the little one, running up to the vanishing silhouette. 

“Why are you going so fast? Don’t—don’t leave me…You said we’d always be together!”

“Where I’m going,” said the taller one, stopping to kneel besides the other, “you can’t follow. I need to go alone.”

“But you have to take me with you! You have to! You said it that if we weren’t together then, then it doesn’t mean anything. If I’m not with you, you’ll let yourself become sad.” whimpered the child.

“Childhood,” murmured the other, a melancholic smile tugging at their mouth and one hand ruffling the child’s hair, “I would have let myself become sad a long time ago if you hadn’t been there. I would have lost my way, I would have lost you and I would have lost me.” The older one’s voice was now watery, tremulous. “And not having you, I will surely get a little lost, but I’m doing it for you. I can’t bring you this time around. They don’t like children where I’m going. They’ll hurt you. But I’ll always remember you.

I am here because of you, you know? If there’s no you, there’s no me. I’ll come back for you, I promise.”

Break my heart, please.

“I need you to do me a favour
and break my heart please.
I am stepping out into this world,
and I need to know how it feels…”

Art by: Chiara Bautista

I need you to do me a favour
and break my heart please.
I am stepping out into this world,
and I need to know how it feels
to bring down these well-built walls,
to be soft, tender, vulnerable,
naked yet not hiding,
to give someone the power
to crush you and then watch
as they do.

Because the world breeds heartbreak
and I need to know.
I would rather step in broken
than go whole and well,
hopeful and wanting
only to return a shell
of dashed hopes and disenchantment.