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.

365 double 2 on loop

Our 365 double 2 playlist,
An earworm to be kept on loop.

Our melody was the soundtrack of the coldest days bathed in the softest winters.
Even dark rainy days felt warmer with you around –
Into puddles bathed in moonlight;
Driving into sunsets, dancing into mornings, beating sunrises, weaving pieces of our stories together in parking lots-
You made me fall in love with nature,
I’d taken for granted before,
And then you taught me to look far because the roads would straighten out for me if I just steered straight- quite literally,
You taught me to trust – keep my eyes on the road
You made me privy to humanity-
And you are, humanity-
Dewdrops waltzing to the broken harmonies
Woven so intricately.

If we rushed them, we knew
The vinyl might break-
So we didn’t.

Our record has been severed by 3.5 years- but that is okay.
The typewriter is running out of ribbon- but that is okay.
An empty cartridge will not be a dust collector
We peer into it-
One last drop, one last run,
We can still write
I run my hand over the dusty keyboard.

Tip the ink to the page. The writing might not flow as fast, the pages might be filled with more ,”I miss you”s than “see you later”s- but still.

There is comfort in the incessant tapping and fresh black ink- every memory to be distilled and retold.

We will not end this novel  for as long as the breath still dances in our lungs.
The vinyl is creaking and slowing-
The music is fading,

“For Good” – so play this one
Promise to keep it on loop in your mind.
Even if we don’t, the recesses of our minds will always remember
– for us.

quarter year

We traded glass shards,
That morphed into a chrysallis.
Nestled in the warmth of our solitude and solidarity,
Independence and solitude were foreign entities together
But now, it is just,
Independence- alone.

Peel back the layers,
Unravel the edges
We are the thinnest threads intertwined-
Cotton whisps folded around each other.

But, like an old branch left to sow its own seeds,
Maybe, growth is a measure of our hearts beating in synchrony.
Loud enough to rattle the empty hallways once we say goodbye-
Praying fervently that we will be remembered.

Chambers, and hollowed out- after,
We’ve held our insides, long enough,
To lay them bear before each other.
They cannot steal the years that have been well spent.

Clasp the edges and press them in gently,
Gold against silver,
Please, hold us together.
Soften us to ash,
Soft enough to slip through our fingers.

Like the butterfly that was meant to leave tomorrow,
But has been cupped in a tar stained hand. And instructed , ‘Breathe. You will feel better.’

New sensations billow into her lungs.
She draws in a slow breath,
Staring, wide and teary eyed-
And the film of old negatives

12.31am

12:28 AM 16.OCT.2020

Happy Friday, I guess. I am losing track of the dates. The digits in the corner of my laptop scare me a little more than shelf life of the milk in my fridge. This, and the cacti on my desk that seems to be hankering for both my attention and maybe someone who might probably not have allowed it to shrink to half its size, albeit unintentionally. It has been a good night- rushing from home to dinner and then back, for work, has simulated an uncanny JC experience. Somewhat nostalgic, and bitter sweet. The evening’s laughter and shenanigans have restored my plunging energy meter- I am grateful for sporadic, “heart full” conversations, good vibes and some of the best company (plus good book and really good music recommendations from friends- it is truly a moment to celebrate when you find friends who appreciate the same artists as you?? Especially when it comes to relatively underrated artists, within these social circles at least. It forges something tangible? Some of you who read this might know what I mean) 😌

Also, chrystanthemum tempura should NOT be a thing ): Sounds better than it tastes HA (Chrysanthemum- this is the first time I’m actually visualizing the term – Chry- San- THE- Mum hmm)

Author recommendation for the week: AUDRE LORDE WHAT. A. QUEEN. But seriously, please check out her work.

Driftwood in a tempest

I have spent many an hour trawling through the trove of archives of pandora’s boxes on multiple social media platforms. If there is anything I have taken away from it, apart from the glaring ,”You are 5 to 11 years too late”, it would be this. Reminiscing without closure can be poisonous. Reminiscing – while knowing still, that there will be “follow up”s and “see you again”, NOT vocalized for the sheer sake of it- are empowering and less energy sapping. This probably stems from the quiet assurance you get, in knowing that you have the time and space to channel these social plesantaries, into hopeful plans. I acknowledge that I am probably largely to fault for the giant craters of “social group standstills” that I have, admittedly, very subconsciously created- in the name of passiveness, lack of initiative and the externalization of an individual’s worth to me, for the non-familial relations forged between 2009 to 2013. On the off chance that any of my old friends chance upon this, hello! (TLDR: This has been a potent reminder to show the people who filled my days with happiness how much they mean to me, once we have ventured onto separate career/educational/interest paths with limited time and now, space, between us. Which is unfortunate and upsetting. Not a fan of excuses- so it remains questionable if these are reasons to cast doubt of)

I have reason to believe that the way in which I tumbled off the face of several social media accounts (ig, twitter mainly) during pivotal points in sustaining friendships, might have played a part seeing as most of my groups did not really converse on “group chats”. There was a lot of accidentally bumping into people in school or “sms-es”.

Now, this begs the question,” would the 5 to 11 year time lapse render it *too late* for a reunion?”. At this point, the answer bubbles and frolicks within the crater – that is the sputtering social life- I’ve created. It’s almost empty. But there might not be an answer. I have filled many of my days with the relationships from 2014 and beyond, almost instinctively. I wonder what fitting in the other 7 to 8 social groups would have been like. I wish I had. Really.

Yet, the vast majority of the social groups I used to feel at home with, have ostensibly, redefined themselves into a new normal over the past few years. Understandably, and I am genuinely happy for them. ‘

There haven’t been any boisterous, unnecessarily frightening brawls or vehement disagreements, or fall outs. Perhaps, the former would have been more of a basis to reconnect and reunite, in a twisted sense, or not. There weren’t many ,”sorry I cannot make it”s to even vocalize. I hardly initiated either.

(Seeing as I picked an alternate route after 16 and then again, twice, after primary school school- leaving significantly fewer convenient opportunities to sustain my friendships, like the rest of my friends who went to the same school. Admittedly, I should have known to double up the effort. Here, the onus is on me to shoulder the blame as well.)

Here, it was more of an almost sinister, yet gentle, drift that quietly but earnestly edged me towards entirely new, different social groups/energies ,and away from the ones I used to cherish. Fond memories never faded, though, but they came to a bit of a standstill.

Funny how it seems to have taken something as simple as the mention of a couple of animes, while reminiscing, a little bit of revisiting live journal and, blogger (this used to be a thing back in the teenage days- also, holy shit I am 21) for this to hit me. Hard.

I would be telling a blatant lie if I said that I didn’t miss the company of these friends. I do. I miss the (pretty) decently wholesome child/teenagehoods we enjoyed- back when our only form of “bickering” was whether we created a marry sues character, or if an element of fiction seemed too far fetched, even for fiction.

I am overseas now, (international borders and all- hello 2020) I am actually going to be on this end for heaven knows how long, right now. Reuniting and reproaching some of these old pals did cross my mind a couple of times.

I mulled over the purpose/my drive for an event like this and up till now, I don’t have an answer. Would reuniting serve feed into some compulsive obligatory yearning to “catch up” with friends and hopefully relive the good times- acknowledging that things might have changed– or, all expectations factored in, do I hope for something in the form of ,”closure” and, if all goes well, “continuity”, or is would meet ups quench my pure child-like- (ew child-like? you’re 21) yearning to simply have the friends I miss and treasure (of which I vocalized a little too late) back in my life? (Damn you, passiveness!)

We have gone years without being as present each other’s lives at this point. Social media acquaintances count less, right? I thought so. The absence of active WhatsApp groups and avenues for meet ups (different schools, and countries and schedules) – to my knowledge at least- prompted me down a slightly different track.

What about the one on one friendships, then? Well, what about them? I never actively yearned for something like that to the same degree before, but now I embrace them madly. As the chinese would say,” 真的是活该”.

I guess, after finals, possibly. I have always been the quiet, introverted one in my previous social groups so this might seem fairly out of character for me but Exeter, Adelaide and JC have altered me. (To be fair, all of this is introspection- the entity that has been denounced for being both inaccurate and non-falsifiable, right?)

Meanwhile, I might have to silence the pieces of history that have chosen now of all times, to dance in my mind- and on loop, to the same sickening waltz- for a while. Perhaps, some of these are to be better off stowed away back in the boxes- personal closure, without continuity? Still a foreign concept to me. Really and truly. Also, comparison is still a vile fluid– it has taken me this long to remind myself about this again. What is new. I am grateful though, for the constants in my life up till now. So so grateful. (And hello if you see this, I miss you!)

(*Disclaimer though, @ the one to two gems whom I’ve grown up with and who still read this- its been what, 11 years? Or something. Thank you for you.)

All right its 10.10am now and I have to catch a bus in about half an hour for a research meet. I have been so unproductive- having taken way too much time to mull over this since last Friday but- its 14 october and finals start on the 7th of November. As one of my v precious friends would say, RIPGG.COM.SG. Well. This has been cathartic. I should start my morning off with a brain dump- maybe a less lengthy one– but it seems therapeutic enough.

Ok ciao! Have a good weeke ahead! Friday is right round the corner!

Flightless bird

Its that season where we get a little bit restless, unfocused and the hunger pangs for new artforms (or new variations of nostalgic-safe space- art forms like poetry, plays and novels.. even fanfic..) kick in. Also, fancy being back here after a good 2 years. I ditched blogger for tumblr and then for this but now I think I might be toggling between all of them. Somewhat.

What its like inside these streams of (un)consciousness

Maybe and what if and i could have and i think and its a possibility and all these riddles create a sense of tentativeness devoid of potentially without words of finality coupled with decleratives and imperatives and completely devoid of the sense of certainty that will silent my doubts and fill the gaps created by relentless questioning and endless bouts of futile probing with a solid promises and stability that i yearn for so so fervently 

Sand, Soil and a sprinkle of fertilizer

“But wait, what if she hasn’t left us”

“Honey, I’m sorry. I know you’re upset but we can’t keep her dead carcass here. That’s not right at all.” 

The pulsating vibrant blue case from a couple of days ago lay still. But I swear I heard her breathing. It was a little too still; so silent that her breathing began to resemble the hushed tones of the air around us.

“She might start moving again”

“But-”

“Mama! You don’t know for sure. Just one day more?”

“Let her go, Angelica. It has been an hour. ”

“She might be playing dead! And you’ll wake her up”

“Now you’re just being ridiculous! Let go and hand it over to me will you?”

Now I might never know if she’ll ever return to earth the way Mama promised she would. Her soul might get sucked into another abyss,lose its way, find itself in the vastness of the cold, tyrannical waters. What if she wakes up to find herself,  in the teeth of an Orca? But its so dark, so frightening and so quiet beneath us, that there was almost no way of knowing for sure- if she’d make it out alive.

“There, little one. I’ve prayed that you’ll find your wait out of this sand bed, somehow. Stay safe for me, all right?” Gently tucking her into her hospital bed made out of soil, stand and fertilizer, that Mama promised would bring her back to life. Somehow.

“We’ll dig the soil in a year. If we manage to find her, it means she’s dead for good. If we don’t, that means she has been rekindled. And she will find her way back to us, for sure.”


That was the only beacon of hope i had. Even if it meant that i was clinging onto false hope. 

 //a piece inspired by the death of my shrimp. RIP Pluto.

Why have we conformed // Welcome to the new age?

Buzzing belonged to dynamos in remote controlled cars
Beeping belonged to microwaves, when hot pockets were ready
Strings and ropes meant for  “jumprope” at half past two
Pocket sized boxes housed gum balls and spiders
Scissors were reserved for magical creations
Glass bottles protected notes to be set adrift
Then they broadened our horizons
Someone spoke to impressionable minds

 

*Edit: This post/poem is still incomplete.

Note: (TBC in a separate post)Inspired by the sensationalism of self harm on social media (often tumblr, Instagram and occasionally, twitter) despite the existing regulatory measures established (i.e. the ban imposed on ‘triggering’ posts in support of self harm/triggering images and content). When ‘activism’ and efforts to channel ‘well-intention(ed) support’ are somehow transmuted into negative activism- the acceptance of ‘self harm’- the tables have to be turned. It has to stop.