Wednesday, August 24, 2011

life's unmerry-go-round

Do you know how many histrionic posts I have saved in my blogger drafts?
A lot.
Generally, I sleep on them before posting so they never see the light of day.
I should have done that last night.
I could delete that post and pretend I never felt that way. But, on the other hand... maybe I shouldn't always be swallowing these roiling emotions and should be letting them out sometimes. I know I can err on the side of being overly buttoned-up.

I stayed up late last night submerging myself in this beautifully written book:

It eased my heart's pain a little.

I do feel better, but nothing has changed. My issues and fears (which have nothing to do with anyone but myself) are still there and I know it's just a matter of time before they bring me down again. I'm still lost, but now I'm lying on the floor of the maze and looking up at the sky. Its gentle billowing is keeping me stable for the present.

On another note, I've never updated my blog this many times in one week. Next thing you know, I'll be one of those people who updates their Facebook status every 10 minutes!

Not really. :P

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

(i'm not even sure what's wrong)

I am so lost right now.

(Surely I'm capable of being a better person than this?)

Ignore me: I just need to step out of my bones for a moment, and let my shell fall to the floor in a crumbled heap of skin and blood and the vapor of long-held hopes.

I can't try to be strong anymore, I can no longer offer balm to others when my soul is a diseased, shriveled thing.

But at the same time, I can't stop hoping I can help someone else, even if I can't help myself.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dear You

(A post via Heather.)

Dear You,
It always make me sad to think of our friendship which was cut off so suddenly. You were gone before I even knew you were going.
It was all out of your control, though. Which makes me feel better and at the same time worse.
I miss you; do you remember me?
I'm sure you do though this all happened two (or was it three?) years ago. It frustrates me that I can google your name and come up with your prestigious family tree, but have no way of contacting you. Probably ever again.
That's the beauty and sorrow of online friendships: they're like signaling with a lantern across a dark abyss and receiving a reply glimmering back at you. Then one day you signal in vain, the only reply is a continued darkness.
Maybe I'm just living in the past but kindred spirits are not a dime a dozen, you know. I miss our messages back and forth, our jokes, our intangible bonding.
Dare I wish for the impossible? I will! I hope our paths cross again someday.
(If I ever make it to France, don't be surprised if I come knocking on your door.)

Much love from your friend,

Now to pass it on - Jade, Kim, Shopgirl, and Ever, I ask you to write a letter to whoever about whatever. It must begin with "Dear you" and you can only use pronouns.
(And any other reader who would like to do this... do it, please! I know I always say that, but gosh... I always feel like I'm probably missing the person who really wanted to do it. Just let me be content in my paranoia, thank you! :P)

Funnily enough, a few days before this tag was passed on to me, I found an unfinished "Dear You" letter I had written a few months earlier. It got lost in a pile of papers (a typical fate!), so I finished it and decided I might as well post it now, along with the other letter.

Dear You,
Whenever I write, I always feel the need to address myself to you.
You, you! It's so ambiguous. You could be male or female. You could be my mother, you could be the dog next door.
Sometimes I'm not even sure who you are. You are my lover, you are my enemy. You are a sonnet, you are prose. You are sufficient; you will never be enough.
But you know... you always know. I can tell you those things I always wanted. Whoever you are, I need you. Because, in writing to you, I feel a little less lonely: you're reading along.
Thank you.

Ever and Ever,

{Painting is 'Woman Writing at a Table' by Thomas Pollock Anshutz.}

Thursday, August 11, 2011

And in the moonlight your hands were cold.

{Though both can stand alone, I thought I'd mention that this story is a sequel to a piece I wrote a while ago called "this is our house". When I first started writing this story, I didn't realize it was a sequel-of-sorts. But eventually I became aware of the fact that I was writing from the perspective of the same narrator, even though the two pieces of writing have two very different feels and little in common. Funnily enough, I wrote this story around its first sentence [and title]. The sentence was a random phrase I picked for the name of a playlist and I liked it so much that, after ruminating for quite a while, birthed a story from it.}

And in the moonlight your hands were cold.
Nothing felt so fragile and so strong as the bond of our hands.
I saw a familiar crowd of fears and dreams reflected in your dark, dark eyes. I couldn’t stop staring into these windows and looking at your midnight-coloured soul.
Your hold on my hands spoke of life, yet I look over your shoulder and know you’ve had ghosts too.
Still, I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want you. I want your cold hands to hold mine for... how long? Forever. That sounds about right.

The tower of silence stacked above our heads was toppled by footsteps walking down the stony path.
(hearts quickening, cheeks warming, sudden inches between us)

Now I make my way back to the house which continues to stand in hunched, withered obstinacy.
Ducking through the hallways where the ghosts meet, I find my thoughts have stayed with you though I’ve walked away.
I open the door to the library where the silt of wraith-words lingers on every surface. I whisper to the books, soothing them as I run my fingers lightly over their spines; searching, searching.
I locate the book I seek and smile: tonight it is not merely a book, it is a message. A message for you, a reply to your question.

There is a murmuring near the fireplace. I don’t even look over. Tis the ghosts. They have not lessened since your arrival but I forget about them more frequently.
I found a lonely, little ghost wandering in my room last week; it had a familiar face. What could I do but offer my bed? We shared our sleep that night. A phantom makes a quiet bedfellow at least.
I never minded their presence, like dusty cobwebs haunting the corner of every room. But now, you have sparked a flame in me, a desire to no longer sit holding the tattered quilt of what once was in my lap.

With timid footsteps and a yearning heart, I leave the book outside your door. I kiss its dilapidated, burgundy cover once, twice. Soft and staccato like eyelashes fluttering. (Even I am not quite sure why I did this. Sometimes doing silly, pointless things feels necessary.)

Later, I lie on my bed, wide awake and listen to the nocturnal medley of my family...
A cough.
A sleepy snort.
The creaking of a rocking chair.

At last, your tread on the stairs! Your feet walking the floor above me, your footsteps pattering up my spine.

Then, the quiet midnight void.

My eyes won’t close. They want to stare into the dark and think of cold hands and warm, dark eyes that promise “Life can breathe anew.”

I worry that you didn’t find my message. Or perhaps you didn’t understand the response the book was conveying. I chew over these sticky doubts for a while, wishing I could spit them out.

But! I hear quiet movement from upstairs, steps that come nearer.


A family member?

A ghost?

There’s a knock on my door. My heartbeat pounds at a speed it’s never reached before. I leap from my bed and open the door to reveal your tall, reassuring form. You almost look surprised for a moment, then you smile. I smile back; there is no need to speak.

I grab my suitcase which lies near the door and step out into the hall. Your cold hand joins my warm one and together we walk; down the hall, past the ghosts. Down the stairs, past the dull eyes of family portraits. We walk out of the house, I softly stomp my feet on the threshold to shake the house’s bony grip off my ankles.

I don’t even look back.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Millay Sonnet

Time does not bring relief; you all have lied
who told me that time would ease me of my pain!
I miss him in the weeping of the rain;
I want him in the shrinking of the tide;
the old snows melt from every mountainside;
and last year's leaves are smoke in every lane;
But last year's bitter loving must remain
heaped in my heart, and old thoughts abide.
There are a hundred places where I fear
to go--so with his memory they brim.
And entering with relief some quiet place
where never fell his boot or shone his face
I say "There is no memory of him here."
And so stand stricken, so remembering him.

{One of my favourite poems by one of my favourite poets, Edna St. Vincent Millay. The photograph is of her and was found on wikipedia.}