I’m trying to reconnect the pieces again. It might take 7 days. It might take a lifetime.
He told me to find light.
I spent my afternoon chasing light and shadows and silence.
5.19pm: I write this with one leg firmly buried in the soil that birthed me. When I first wrote this sentence, autocorrect changed soil to soul. Perhaps they are the same, soil and soul, (this has happened each time I have typed soil in this paragraph).
I write this with one leg firmly buried in the soil that birthed me and it feeds me the words. The light is good here.
There is an ant that is leaving kisses on the nape of my neck. It bites.
I imagine this is how it must feel loving you, both intimate, and painful.
5.30pm: I was trying to find the light that was resting on a patch of grass. Then I saw the tree lizard. It didn’t see me. It was so still.
We were mimicking each other’s stillness. I whipped out my pad to note the time. Looked up, it had vanished. All that is left is the movement of rustling leaves. A memory of its stillness.
5.42pm: Falling leaves. I feel like I am in a movie. In between the trees, there are two friends, sharing time with each other. It makes me miss my loves. Soon, I tell myself. Soon.
5.58pm: I’m walking back home. Someone is baking cookies in the neighborhood. It has been a while since I’ve baked anything.
6.01pm: A cold shower is a luxury for heated skin.
Taken in Singapore. 5.42pm.
It is important to know what we hold within us.
There are many languages resting on my tongue.
There is the language I was born into – the language that my mother passed from her tongue to mine. This is the language I rest in, the language that my mind goes home to when it needs comfort, when it seeks peace. Though stranger that I am to it, this language is my homecoming.
There is the language that my society fed me- this hard teacher of mine, society, this language that makes my flaccid tongue razor sharp, that cuts and slices and hurts and destroys and creates, yes, the language that tries to have a word for everything but in the magnitude of life, forgets to consider the smell of colours and the taste of feelings. This is my functional language, adequate, and yet, not quite.
Then there is the language of man and woman – this language that is the strangest of all, because there are hardly any words, only eyes, and touch, and the feeling of knowing, and unknowing, the silence of vulnerability and openness of skin , mouth, hands, the discovered parts of the human body and the undiscovered parts of the human soul. This, the language the earth speaks to the roots of a tree, the language of the colours of a bleeding sunset, the language in which lightning races across the sky. This is the language my life speaks.
Yes, indeed, there are many languages on my tongue.
I was really really angry. When I’m angry, I bleed.
Let’s talk about about bleeding.
There are days that you get through, completely content in the present. You smell the roses, you breathe the fresh air, you sit in front of your laptop at work and power through a hundred emails a day, you come home exhausted and ready to go to bed, but throughout all of this, you are in the present, quietly satisfied with life and all that it has to offer.
Then there are the days where you suddenly find a familiar stranger tapping you on your right shoulder, you turn in your dream, and you come face to face with the past. It looks at you and reminds you the reason why you still carry a scar on your breast; it pokes at a healing wound somewhere near your chest and reminds you that you still lug a house and a half of emotions that your daily mundanities usually distract you from.
You look at the past in your dream and you hear the truth that you never could face up to in real life: “He never really loved you, you did this to yourself, you really fell sick no matter how much you think it didn’t happen.”
You wake up with a house and a half of sorrow sitting like a rock where your heart is supposed to be; it is morning, and it is real.
You realise that you have the whole day to get through carrying this weight. You realise that you have a week of whole days, a month of whole days, a year of whole days to get through carrying this weight. In the face of this familiar stranger of sadness, you forget that you had just spent whole days blissfully content with your daily life.
This happened to me today.
This may happen to me tomorrow.
It sure as hell has happened to me many yesterdays ago.
Sometimes, we tend to give the past more importance than it deserves. The past is like a petulant child who is ready for bed, but refuses to sleep. Content in its place of rest, and yet, wanting to draw attention to itself. It will tug at your heart strings just as you tuck it in and switch off the bedroom lights, and demand for attention.
Sometimes, it will scream. It will speak in the voice of the lover you’ve lost and whose scent you still vaguely remember. It will colour in the bruises which are slowly fading and it will make you feel uglier than you are. It will pull you into its coffin and try to trap you into the dark, abject loneliness that you had just crawled out from, not too long ago.
It will come in your dreams.
(Because memories are where dreams go to die).
It will do all of these things. It will want to be acknowledged.
Acknowledge it, your past, and all of the resounding pain.
Look it in its eye, pat its head in acquiescence and say, “You, yes. I know you. I have you. I remember you. You taught me many things. Thank you.”
Like you would speak to the petulant child, tell it that its airtime is over, and it needs rest. Lay it down gently back to in its resting place and quietly kiss its forehead.
“Goodnight. It’s time for you to be silent now.”
Let your memories die in peace in your dreams.
The morning will dawn slowly, and you will awaken to find your heart a little lighter than yesterday.
It is indeed, a new day.