4

Lost approximately 4 hours of my day today (how apt, lol) because I got stuck on my own balcony. I eventually made it back into the apartment but that entailed breaking the entire outer door handle (which is made of some sort of metal, not plastic) and working my fingers raw. I took a fifteen minute nap somewhere in the middle of my ordeal… wonder if any of the neighbours had the delight of catching that odd sight. 

Now I’m left with a broken door… but also a little bit more ability to laugh at myself. Hehe.  

2

Every time someone I love is sick I get to thinking about death.

Tam was down with a bad head cold yesterday and I spent most of the day making sure he stayed hydrated and had something to eat even if he was knocked out. As I massaged his head to help ease the pain, I thought about the fragility of the body laying in my lap. I’ve felt the strength of that very same body at the peak of health — as steady as an anchor and surging like the ocean’s deepest currents. In sickness, the body is as brittle as thin ice: unable to bear the slightest weight, uncertain of its entirety in every second.

Sickness scares me. A lot. We only have one body to live our lives with and once that is destroyed, so are we. It doesn’t take very much to destroy a human body either; we’re as fragile as it gets. All it takes is a virus caught on a plane. A slip on wet tile. Failing to get enough rest and eat right. And so: death. The natural consequence of a body destroyed by forces both natural and unnatural. It doesn’t matter — once you’re gone, you’re gone.

Does death scare me? Not when it comes to my own life. Death comes to all of us, in time. Whether he is waiting around the corner or biding his time leagues away, he will find me. That’s alright with me — and I think that for anyone to find peace in this life, one has to come to terms with that at some point. Death is what makes our finite lives beautiful, after all. You’ve heard that before I’m sure. But:

Every time someone I love is sick, I fear death. Every time death threatens to take someone from me, I fight and kick and scream inside, begging for time. Fear brings out the worst in us and fear of death in particular makes us selfish. But it’s something I think everyone touched by love can understand … love might transcend death and time, but having it here and now — in the form of an embrace or a kiss or fingers interlaced — makes one want to hold on to the physical manifestation of my loved one fiercely and yes, selfishly.

Bodies heal, thankfully, and the looming presence of death fades into an old familiarity when I see my loved one’s vitality returning. Death will come for every single one of us, one day. Every breath I take brings me closer to that and knowing that makes every breath special. But if I spent every breath I took actually thinking about that, I wouldn’t have time to enjoy kissing the love of my life, would I? So while I’m here, that’s what I’ll do.

1: Resolve

In 2017, I will be writing a post a day on this blog. The entries don’t necessarily have to be diary-like recaps of my day (although I will likely be doing that a lot just because) and they won’t always be lengthy or well-composed. The point is to get me writing; the point is to practice the craft.

Resolutions are cheesy and I’ve always believed that change happens whenever you want it to, but there is admittedly something about the new year that feels like a happy little nudge in the right direction (forward, most often). So why not take advantage of that, yeah?

Cheers to beginnings, sure, but also to the endings that teach us even as we move forward. Good riddance, 2016 — but more importantly: thank you.

Liberties

I’ve been home for just over a month now and I can tell you — it’s already happening. I’m feeling the conflict between the more liberal (Western) ideas I adopted and/or became accustomed to while living abroad and the hyper-conservatism of all things Philippine in culture, nature. Things here feel almost backwards; definitely stifling. Then again, wether I allow myself to be stifled or not is entirely up to me.

If I want to rock the boat and talk about contraceptives, no one is stopping me – technically. If I want to talk about my thoughts on marriage, religion, LGBTQ rights (i.e. human rights), and tattoos, no one is stopping me (for now, at least — with Duterte sitting as president, I don’t know how long my liberties will be protected for!).

So, maybe I will. Hopefully I will. I’m happy to be home. Being home does not come without its struggles, but I’m home … and being home is a liberty in itself. One that I wouldn’t trade for the world and would pay for with my life.

Thoughts On Home

Geez, where exactly does time run off to when it flies as quickly as that. Must be a pretty interesting place. As I was writing last Sunday’s Sunday Currently I was imagining that there would be at least one post in between that one and the next Sunday… then again, it’s me we’re talking about here. I’m not exactly the most prolific writer. Anyway. Won’t be bothering you lovely people with two Sunday Currentlies in a row, don’t worry.

Today I thought I would share an excerpt from an essay written by  someone who is not only prolific in her writing, but is also just damn good at her craft: Ursula Le Guin. I have a book of her talks and essays sitting by my bed because her words (no matter what she is talking about, I’ve found) comfort me. The book — which I cannot recommend strongly enough — is titled “The Wave In The Mind” and the particular piece this excerpt is coming from is called “The Operating Instructions” (as in: for life).

I have been thinking about conceptions of home and belonging for the last year, not only because I find myself far away from the place I consider home, but also because the subject matter I deal with in my studies has a lot to do with precisely that. I mean, I suppose in the humanities it almost always comes down to identity, wouldn’t you say? Hmm. In any case, I had never really come across a way of talking/thinking about home that is quite like this; Le Guin links it irrevocably with that intangible thing we call our imagination, which, in itself, might not be a novel link to make, but she takes that ungraspable conception of home-as-imagined, ties it in with community, and makes it feel as real as the ground beneath our feet (and again, to reiterate: without necessarily tying it down to physicality). Continue reading “Thoughts On Home”

The Sunday Currently 01

IMG_1440Another nice thing about starting up a new blog is that I get to start a new set of Sunday Currently posts. Yay! I first came across this type of post on Carina’s blog and it’s an original creation of another blogger called SiddaThornton. I quite like it because it reminds me of Friendster tags it’s an easy way to get me writing.

Reading: milk and honey by Rupi Kaur. I had seen some of her poems floating around online and when I spotted her book at Waterstones I thought it would be nice to experience her work in print (it does make a difference to me, especially for poetry). I am really enjoying it so far – her work is a lot more powerful as full collection than as individual pieces. Mostly because there are tons of “punchy” short ones. The longer prose poems can stand alone I think. rupi-kaur-3.png

One of the poems I see floating around often. See what I mean by it being punchy? It’s love/hate I think.

Writing: My dissertation. That’s all I’m going to say about that. Avoid the stress when possible, lol. Continue reading “The Sunday Currently 01”

I like

It’s Friday night. I’m at home. Beer in hand (most of it sitting in my belly at this point, tbqh). Overthinking life. Standard day in the life of me.

I like when things are quiet and I’m alone. I don’t want the TV buzzing in the background — I don’t even want any music on, no matter how soothing or unobtrusive it might be. I like hearing the little sounds that might otherwise go unnoticed, like the electrical hum of the refrigerator in the kitchen nearby or the wind whistling through a little crack in the window (that I constantly curse in winter — I do not like the cold). I like hearing the sounds that emanate from me: the bones in my neck creaking when I roll my head round for a stretch; the squeak in my throat that escapes when I realise (or don’t) that I’ve been holding my breath for too long.

Alone is always something I’ve liked. Quiet goes along with it. Even if: quiet and alone often means I get in my own way. I’ve known me all my life and I’ve sat with whoever that is in the quiet and alone countless times. But sometimes I still don’t know me at all. There’s a body in this chair that houses a mind and pulls in oxygen and lets out CO2 and it’s all run by this muscle called my heart – the heart that I think to myself has been through a lot but science tells me it’s really all in your brain. Feelings are in the mind. Mind, I don give a shit where it all comes from, the feelings are there and they’re real.

Everything is that much more real when it’s quiet. Maybe a little too real when I’m not alone. So we keep it this way. Me and the quiet, alone. Me, real, but not too much. I like liminal spaces. There, but not quite. Here, but not quite either. The first time I heard the word liminal I latched on and I loved it and I decided: this is where I’ll stay. With my beer and my quiet and alone.

I like that, says me.

Here and There

My mind is all over the place lately.

I’m leaving London (another way to put it: I’m going home) in just over a month’s time and there is just so much I have to do and process. I realise that processing things normally comes after doing things, but I have always been horrible at living in the moment and hence have been trying to analyse and dissect things as they happen. It’s a horrible habit and I’m aware that it’s happening right before my eyes, and yet I can’t seem to do anything to stop it.  Continue reading “Here and There”

Just Fucking Write Already

There was once a time in my life when, being younger (and more certain of myself as a direct consequence), I genuinely felt I could dare to call myself a writer. I wrote whatever the hell I wanted to because I knew what I wanted to say. Good writers always have something to say — which isn’t to say that I was a good writer, but at least I was writing.

I can’t remember the last time I churned out something I might call a “piece,” much less a finished, polished piece, or (least of all) a good one. What’s changed? I still have loads to say; possibly even more than I used to, in fact. The difference is that now, I’m not so sure anymore. I’m not sure I know enough to say anything at all. Racking up even just a few more years in life has drilled the old Aristotelian saying “the more you know, the more you don’t know” into me so hard that I am completely paralysed by it. I know I know nothing, so what gives me the right to write about anything at all?

Of course, I do know: every individual experience is worth sharing for the sole reason of its being unique. No one voice is like any other and bla bla bla. But there are also so many voices out there expressing similar things in what are arguably much better ways that I can’t help but doubt that the world might benefit from one more (absolutely uncertain) voice joining in the cacophony. It’s often difficult to convince myself of it, but I also know that yes: it can and it will. The world always needs more voices actively making themselves heard. The alternative is silence: deadening silence. Deadening because when there is silence where there should be noise we are deprived of sensation, of emotion, and, in the worst cases, of life itself.

Silence somehow slowly subsumed my life. Sounds a bit melodramatic, yes, but also just too bloody damn true. The number of drafts I have sitting unfinished and unpublished (both on WordPress and on actual paper) is just plain stupid– and all because I never really felt sure of what I had to say anymore. It seems so obvious as I say this to myself now, but who the hell ever said I had to be certain of myself before I could write? Having something to say and being certain of what you have to say are two entirely different things and somewhere along the way I forgot that it’s OK to write through that uncertainty — it’s OK to churn out pieces you might hate in the future; it’s ok to take stances that might alter in time.

It’s OK to let imperfect pieces out into the world. It’s OK to be wrong (but be willing to correct yourself when you realise it). The alternative is deadening silence — the alternative is nothing at all.

This is me essentially telling myself: Just fucking write already. Who ever heard of a writer who didn’t write?