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Now we stand strong

This poem will always hit close to home. It might not be one of my best works, others might not even call it poetry- but the story is transcendent.

I might be on a roll with writing again, I’m not too sure. I finally managed to channel my sentiments through this piece; it definitely might not be one of my best work, but it is one of the rawest pieces.

Maybe, just maybe
This is what it is supposed to be
to channel the core of your existence
for the sake of someone, too precious
Poetry that glows in second sight
Binds us through the years of light

And now, for every ounce you’ve poured out,
it baffles me still
The way our tale seemed to almost
unravel, in a catastrophic mess.
That night.

Bitter tendrils hurled themselves towards a frame of fragility,
I had spent months chiseling with diamonds and gold
But that too, eroded.
The harshness spiraled through the ghastly din
and there I felt trembling,
Quivering
That drew back its fangs
Piercing glares that bore into my soul
Brandishing blades
Into the heart that pounded for me
It hurt

The walls that you built to protect me
These 17 years of toiling
The silence that screamed into the noise
For the first time
I didn’t tremble alone
And I couldn’t allow you to, either.

I knew what I couldn’t deny
So I spoke that which I knew
There has never been a barricade between us,
And i know that there never will be
Because your presence is transcendent
As with every bit that you’ve lavished on me.

Maybe its time to tear down those walls
Victory never stood with the other
And now, we bear the brunt
Gaping wounds that will continue to bleed,
for as long as it seems sound
but
Beings with second sight can, too
Be peacemakers
We might abandon our vessels,
Now we stand strong.

18 December 2021

Draft:

  • Help me seek solace in the cacophony and the deafening chortle
  • Hypocrisy and cirrhosis
  • Othello’s protagonist
  • Spotify playlists – a love language, music taste and escapsim
  • Revenge bedtime
  • Something to fight for
  • Diluted ambition – not my concoction
  • I have to unlearn and relearn “home”
  • The n-th narrative on homesickness
  • Cold brew
  • Homilies that invite you to ponder: death
  • The milestones we coded in /%!#^&!!!!!
  • Don’t grow up without me
  • Mirage (western edition)
  • Littered with pretense, how do we reconcile

////
So.. I’ve generated a list after several sips of my left over cold brew. I’ve taken too much of a hiatus from writing now, so my skills (or lack there of) have essentially stagnanated. In between attempts to upskill, burrying myself in novels, and “catching up with friends” (hello social norms) and bringing the number of spotify playlists I have closer to 50, I’d like to go back to writing. RN: Head full, swarmed with thoughts in convolution. Please send me prompts,

Love letter to God

To the reason I’m well, alive and 23- thank you for being here for me, watching over me- as I trawled through homesickness, saddness, loneliness, euphoria, contentment, relief and every emotion I’ve embraced this year- when I remembered and forgot to give thanks- when I allowed panic and negativity to overwhelm me, when I internalized everything that challenged the act of freely surrendering and trusting in you wholeheartedly, thank you for being around Daddy God. Thank you for being my constant, the listening year, the shepard, the friend and the Father. Thank you for your grace, and for love, even as I am so unworthy. I owe everything to you, the growth, the cathartic moments, the release, and every day I’ve lived. I love u.

– Alexandra

Peace be with you too

Imagine having to normalize hope-killing conversations,
Imagine being so confronted till you finally realise the reason(s) you’re here, alive, well and breathing
Might not really be you.
But the people you cling on so tightly to.
Those who aren’t even here with you.

Imagine the euphoria on realizing you are truly not alone and you are so greatly loved from miles away, from up above, and from vastness. By Him.

Imagine the utter frustration at political forces completely out of your control,
As if the blood of  anti-conformity didn’t already surge through your veins.

You are ensnared in 10 feet of cellophane,
Your toes turn blue, your fingers are numb-
Your throat burns

Imagine having to meet snide remarks and their prideful gazes, with your downcast ones,

Meet repugnance with vulnerability,
Meet neglect with desperation,
Meet silence with- silence-
They do not even look at you anymore.
Did they really ever?

You’re a rhinestone, but there are so many more
You’re a healthcare statistic, but without a dollar sign
You’re an investment, but nothing but one among plenty.

Imagine feeling hopeless and having tears well up in your eyes
Again and again,
When all you want is to hold and be with them again.
Imagine living in a season of tears and volatility,

Now imagine 2 entire years of that.

They could never, they would never.

Now, imagine that being someone else’s reality.

Do YOU really have anymore to gain?

Something that isn’t spoken about enough

Something that isn’t spoken about often enough: the kind of heartbreak from not being able to meet family for 2 years due to varying circumstances- it has turned into something that has become so greatly normalized/that I used to normalize as a coping mechanism- but there comes a point where this too, begins to take a toll on you. It is almost as if you begin to lose every ounce of independence within your body and strong pillars morph into threads barely clinging onto each other by the fibre.

Stagnant

Homesickness is  making lists of fun to dos w your friends and family,
Silent sobbing to even the most mood neutral spotify playlist while trying to mug for deadlines that detail the coming days-
The incessant chiding to suck it up to learn (read: for the 5 figures screaming privilege), so you press on and avert the gazes of people who have earned this spot more than you have,
Of summer lists turned bucket lists that get pushed back for days, months, and years-
Cussing aimlessly at ‘people’ who have and will never truly be able to transmute your pleas-
Even if we were to start a riot, (read: cause a ruckus)
It is unlearning “See you soon” and substituting “how are you” with “I love and miss you so much” –
Re-using the same pictures for birthday dedications for 3 years straight- the alternative would have been shakey screenshots,
You haven’t had the chance to watch the lines weave age behind thickened glass rims,
Or to watch the edges of your study table back home chip away slowly,
And to watch familiarity slip away- even familiarity has grown a little older,
The she-devil whispers,”the grass is always greener on the other side”,
Dumb bitch doesn’t know the full idiom, obviously.
But I water the grass even where it’s withered and dried up,
Praying that it will somehow bloom into the full springs-
Of what I want to remember.
That, and what better times had to offer.
Thank you Ms Rona.
Before the departure gates witness sobbing, and more sobbing- “well”-
Is “soon” the conviction we internalize to scare loneliness off, albeit very very ephemerally?
“Soon” is the anthem we subsume  regret and longing under, but “soon” is the invited ghoul stalking childlike innocence on halloween,
It is the fear that realises itself,
Of anticipation poisoned by circumstances, and futility,
Of hope – diminished.
我想回家。

My nightmares are my Fever Dreams

My nightmares are my fever dreams,
I try to sleep them off quickly.
The seeds I sow to forget- transform my liver into a foul weeping mess, my oesophagus morphs into a bleeding hazard. (Now, am I any different from the fiend I condemn so vehemently?)

I embrace the delirium I’ve orchestrated,
And summon it to consume me
So that I abandon every nightmare about you ever getting into an accident,
and you disappearing before I get to see you again,
and you losing your memory, 
Remembering that I’m turning 23 this year,
and the year after, and the year after,
and the year after, and the one after.
Please remember?

About having my last memory of me saying ‘I love you’, 
As one mixed with the scent of your cigar, tainted by the air of Changi airport’s departure hall,
burried in a hazy memory I struggle to retrieve.
I nuzzle a tear streaked cheek into your chest.

This is not about temporal elusive happiness
– painless and sweet,
Or the dances we’ve choreographed to alternative ballads, in my 6 year old spotify playlist.
Remember when we knew how to ebb in synchrony?
When I return, would you have forgotten?

I don’t feel guilt or gratification.
I don’t feel the weight of insecurity.
I don’t feel, at all, really.
Anything apart from the selfish animosity that tugs abruptly, when I have barely anything to give.

The pestilence that stalks with the sole purpose of reeling me in-
The contrapunctal is ominous, and foreign.
This one bleeds into the stale cracks beneath our feet and seals in a saga of sleep paralysis.
I just have to sleep them away, quickly.

Homesick in a different country

I have mulled over this for a bit, I have been wanting to do up a post on methods for coping with homesickness- but this doesn’t quite seem to be as much in line with the realities and what I have experienced over the past 4 years + of living abroad.

I don’t usually write unless I absolutely have to, and the alternative is probably far less healthy.

I don’t have an alternative way of another way to describe the past 1.5 years away from home apart from it basically being a nightmare of homesickness. The last time I encountered something this similar must have been in Exeter, in 2018, where I’d wake up at 7am and allow the homesickness to kick in for an hour, despite the social supports I’ve had.


After which, I’d go off to uni for my Psych lectures as if nothing were amiss really.


The one thing that helped to alleviate all of this was surprisingly the minor disruptions in my life- that being, making a request to fly home from 25-29 Sept in 2018 for my interview to Adelaide Medicine. I got to see my parents in less than 2 weeks from being in the UK. It has been exactly 3 years now. A good 1 year and 7 months since I’ve been at home.

Last night, I dreamt that I drove up to Gambier to meet my family after 2 years (we won’t even question how in the heck I got there in one piece, alone, but I did- now thinking back, I think Gambier being the location might carry more weight than it being a case of me meeting my blood related family). I visit them and they are on a little cottage (the kind from little house on the prairie), I feel a sense of relieve and at that point, that seems like the best moment of my life.

I ask them why they haven’t chosen Adina (our go to hotel) instead, and they say that they’re completely filled, they are not on the priority list and they can’t stay for too long now, only a couple of hours till they have to be back home. I am crushed, that was barely an hour after having not seen them for close to 2 years and it made no sense. They said they wished they could take me with them but they weren’t sure how that might work. They had a cab, booked and all ready to go- and thet arranged for a separete shuttle to ferry me back to Adelaide. Things got a bit fuzzy right up till that point.

Who summoned my nightmares and the unbearable homesickness? It is almost as if everything is coming full circle now.  We can only hope that with a moment that bears such an uncanny resemblance to the mess (storm before the calm essentially) that happened in 2017, that there are better things ahead. But really, who knows?

I just want nothing more than to be back home. I wish I had a day to count down to.
Isn’t it funny how when you open your eyes, everything disappears?

This morning, i woke up well rested in a cozy bed, nuzzle into my memory foam pillow, but the touch that met my skin burned, and it was ice cold.

It did not hold me and keep me safe like it used to; essentially, mockery at my struggle to adapt despite having lived away from home since September of 2017. Honestly, homesickness doesn’t always get better. The one thing that really set things apart before, was always having a date to look forward to but now, it all just seems so blatantly up in the air.

How long to go till we are back in each other’s embrace? Months? Years? There are more pressing issues that the tiny things we trifle ourselves with in this day and age, clearly.

The subconcious is a powerful space, it conjures up whatever it wants, as it pleases.

** so I was meant to express in the form of a more creative fashion but low and behold, my creative juices faltered a little and I was in a rush bc it’s OSCE prep season😪 so I’ll draft something in the meantime.

Talitha kum

Note: A more theologically centred reflection

In the midst of listening to the online mass for this week- more specifically, the one where God said Talitha kum to raise the child from the dead- I appreiated the pertinent reminder during the homily to draw a distinction between disastorous events of the natural world, death, mortality and the notion that God is for the redefinition of mortality and the creation of a ,”new heaven and new earth”. (As I type this I am plagued by the fear that what I am writing might be a misinterpretation of that which is meant to be conveyed in the bible- it has also been a while since I have written in this space, or at all, really) The people within this gospel in particular, make it so much more real and relatable- I used to subconsciously liken the girl whom God addressed with ‘Talitha Kum’ to myself (lol I know) and I used to seek solace in this, with an endearing sense of hope- also, in hope that I may be made privy to everything I have turned a blind eye to in this lifetime.

I recently decided to take a friend up on her invitation to this bible study group, led by missionairies, because it had been quite sometime since I’d said yes to growth in the religious sense- and this is something I’ve come to recognize over the past month I suppose. I was grateful for the safe space to learn but I also felt very confronted by it (TBC)- this, I’m not sure in a positive or a negative sense.


*Disclaimer: It does feel odd typing this out now because I have articulated this to several close counterparts in the past week as opposed to writing it in my android notes as I used to- this is a separate discussion for another time- I’m not sure if it has something to do with me having branched out – and having become just a little more.. extroverted (?) I’d like to think. Thanks to several pals who shall remain annonymus (and whom I don’t even think.. know about the existence of this) I feel like I’m adjusting more than I ever have to Adelaide in the past 3 years, in some sense. What a pity honestly, but I wil embrace all of it for now. It makes the idea of having to depart from here for pursue what I agreed to previously even more challenging and slightly upsetting- but change truly has been my only constant, and growth (I hope).

This month has definitely been a month of growth in the most astounding yet humbling of ways, maybe some regression here and there- but getting to meet people, listen to their stories and just being more mindful and aware due to …. well… circumstances that cannot be laid out here, has felt so so good. I am learing to appreciate medicine a little more for what it is as well (lol took me long enough huh) I think. A couple of days ago, someone said to me,”

*This post feels very incomplete, I feel like I should document my thoughts a little more, or well… write a little more in general.

*Power nap sleep paralysis and dream series: Yesterday, my sleep paralysis was in the form of an elephant charging at me from the bend behind shibui to where I stay. I think I felt afraid, but it was oddly decontextualized. Today’s power nap dream/sleep paralysis (??) not quite sure how to characterize this one- I recall being at a theme park, and looking down (aerial view) at the top of a carouselle and ferris wheel, and then one of those skyscraper-superman-drop-rides. This one was against a deep blue sky, starless and cloudless (maybe I wasn’t high up enough), and I was flying as if I had somewhere in mind but I wasn’t afraid or in a hurry. It was bizarre but peaceful at the same time, I woke up just as I was about you fly above some other structure (??) – but it also did not feel like I dream/nightmare so I’m not sure- does that count as sleep paralysis?

June- it has been a month replete with discussion on religion, science, faith, relationships, tolerance and acceptance – a lot of huge ideas that are typically cast in distinct dichotomies, existing to almost oppose, or at least, at 2 different ends of any spectrum imaginable. It has been humbling, really. I’d like to say that I have been offered clarity through epiphanies, but that might be a bit of an overstretch. I am slowly learning to come to terms with being satisfied that there has been a safe space for an exchange of ideas – something that I have definitely taken for granted. I am learning to unlearn the discomfort and temporal annoyance that used to manifest when I was greedy for an epiphany after every exchange. It is okay to just be, sometimes.

Prompt #1

Prompt credit: From the gem who inspires me with her admirable writing flair and shared love for spoken word, mangos and obscure animals.

I shut my eyes and try, one more time. And then it hits me, dreams fade but their absence is so loud, glaring almost. Like the nightmares which send shivers down the spine of my alter ego.

I cling onto my mirage, wrap every ounce of my being around every second- trying to explode it before internalizing it (you have to, or you might never feel it. you want to feel it. And properly. Or, don’t. Like you always do.)

Ma don’t- shh- I am trying to think. I always pray for another day, to wrap myself in the pages that will promise me finality, where you cannot. I press the pen into my pulps of my fingers till it leaves a mark, till the callouses break and bleeds into the page, seeping deeper than my fountain pen. See?

Finality. Fox trot to tango. My writing is an exploding battery, it combusts, spontaneously. And then it sits. It never rolls. So I sit with it and through it, then hum a little. Maybe your voice will whisper into the cracks tonight- whipping my dream into the nightmare I spent weeks running from.

I scribble the last hanging thought down and shove it into the binder- as far back as it can go. I try to settle but my gaze fleets before reluctantly resting on the hands which have painstakenly unpicked every hem that held my heart – unmeshed every knot, applied a flame to every vessel and ruffled the brittle ends. Every attempt to pick at the brain culminated in multiple stabs at the heart- prying amidst tangled fibres, slowly nibbling at the edges of aeteries like a cannibal. How. Diabolical.

Yesterday, a sinister black letter rested in my trembling hands- another interrogation, another seal to the doubt, and another strike against a very familoar noun.

Trust, or lack there of, sears my skin a gentle pink. I pull back – sheer horror. Your expression reflects mine,just a little more twisted.

Fear- rises first, then burrows in a familiar space I thought I had sealed. I breathe, I feel my head thromb- acetone. Ah shit. I fumble around a little more. Where the fuck is my insulin?

I can barely make this out but your hands seem torched with the smog from a deed in the book I never actually witnessed. My lips have been scorched red by the ones that threatened to twirl around me, press themselves onto me and then keep me alive long enough to feel the crystals graze my skin and the frost bites, gently spill into the cracks.

I am the projection of your fears, I am the birthmark of shame you scramble to cover in obnoxious foundation, I am the fermented liquid you tilt to your lips, the burn you quell with another burn- the ammonia that bathes your brian. Still, you rest your cheek against my palm , nuzzling into my sleeve? Have we guzzled enough of this stale broken record?

I guess I’ll break the disc now. Truly, dreams fade but their absence is so loud, glaring almost. Like the nightmares which sent shivers down the spine of my alter ego, and tonight, down mine too.