Beginning to arrive

 

 

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When doubt arrives at my house with his suitcases, I know trouble is brewing. He is not an easy guest to host. Sometimes I survive him by reading poetry. Lines of sentences on a page, a word here catching a word there, can be grounding to a soul steeped in never ending suppositions. Poetry gathers all the pieces of me that life strews allover the place, bringing me closer to myself in those times when the only thing I need is healing. It pulls all the parts of me together. It makes my heart start beating again and slowly I can recognise my limbs, my face, my lips, my voice. There is nothing more nourishing to my soul than words that fit. Words chiselled to hold me tight; to make magic inside of me.

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34: Lessons from losing my hair

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I once was a girl, small and fragile. On the days we went to town, my mom would hold my hand so tightly, pulling me close, protecting me. I would sit on the bus with my curious big, brown eyes taking in everything. I would watch big people and dream about how and when I was going to be like them- a self written in the stars, bulletproof and perfect. Read More

Don’t hold me too tight

 

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Photo credit: Jo Chin

I thought I was doing the best thing for her.

I was wrapping my arms around her like it was all I was born to do. But she wriggled in my arms, restless and troubled.

Don’t hold me too tight all the time, she said.

I was offended. How could she say that to me? My own life resisting all the effort I went to to direct it in the path I wanted it to go. I took my arms away, determined to give up, determined to not care anymore about jobs, people, life paths, writing plans and schedules, timetables and goals. I had had it. Everything I did for my life seemed to come back empty-handed. It made no dent in the larger scheme of things. There were no earthquakes or explosions in all the purpose and intention I exhaled out into the world. This is how I saw it. So I refused to be comforted, not because I didn’t crave comfort…and assurance but because my heart shrivelled up inside of me and wanted nothing to do with all of it.  And I was at a loss. Have you ever been 33 going on 34? Have you ever lived with your all yet have nothing to show for it? Read More

Filling up

 

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Dear Girl with the big, wide eyes,

Once upon a time I thought I had so much to give. The way my heart used to swell up, so round and full had me convinced of that. There was always so much in there, pressing against the edges desperate for release. It became essential, the pouring out of myself, like breathing.

What do people need? I asked myself. People need love, and so love is what I gave. I stopped time and emptied pockets in order to lay hold of the last shreds of love in any given instance so it could be packaged and given away to a soul that needed it. Read More

Humans and love

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I want to write about love. The urge sits in my chest like the ground presses into the earth. Heavy, strong and pulling down as though it was meant to be. I get saturated with words that catch pieces of love, grabbing them from the air, here a little there a little as if greedy for something more concrete and shaped. But the picture of love emerges only as the pieces come together, only as experience arrives at my door. Love makes sense the more the pieces fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.

But how can we talk about love without talking about pain? Read More

Mirror mirror on the wall

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There was something about caressing the spines of the books that charged my heart back to life. It felt a lot like bolts of electricity travelling from the tips of my fingers, up my arm and into the parts of my being I hadn’t felt for a very long time. There was nothing strange about it. I love bookstores. I love being caved in by shelves of books upon books, worlds contained in characters and prose. I love the smell. I don’t even have to touch anything for it to hold onto me. It comes to settle on my skin simply because I’m there. Read More

And then celebration showed up

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This post was meant for the 31st of March. That day was my birthday. But a lot happened on the day that these words found themselves bruised and bleeding on a page. They found their way to the bottom of the pile, the dusty and grungy bit of neglect. I picked them up last night and felt a sense of sorrow at lost moments and opportunities. How do we redeem the time? How do I redeem the time?

Here goes… Read More

Imagining lives

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Walking home in the sunshine, she dragged her feet. It was too lyrical to rush through, the sun, the moment. Her feet stuck to the ground resisting the pull of gravity. The earth beneath was bold and beautiful, demanding stillness in everything that lay atop of it. Read More

The farmer and his morning stillness

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I gave Malaysia a second chance.

This time it was far away from the hustle and bustle of concrete cities. It was far away from the boring eyes of faces contorted into question marks, and the discomfort of jostling crowds. I was not in a hotel room on the 37th floor wishing for the ground to open up and swallow me alive.

This time around there was no darkness. There were no eyes soaked in tears, and no unravelling that left me cradling myself on the dirty carpet. Read More