Of Celebrating


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Some days in the year I thoroughly enjoy – like today, Valentine’s day. Not for the reasons you’d consider though.

Like pretty much everything else in the world of today, this is yet another of life’s aspects that people choose to be divisive over instead of accepting and kind. As if on cue, the two (or is it more this year?) sides are set up. Drum roll. Let the show begin!

The romantics. Ever since reading Alain De Botton’s work, I’ve decided against being continuing to be a romantic by definition. De Botton surfaces truths about how the current romantic idea of love came to be and how it has in fact led to unhappiness rather than the never-ending bliss it promises. In one of the author’s interviews, with Paul Holdengraber, here referenced in a Literary Hub post:

On the false promise of Romantic love, he says: “Love as we’ve come to know it, from its 18th- and 19th-century heritage, is as a kind of leisured activity that takes place on summer evenings where people are able to go for long walks, admire the sea, the cliffs, the underside of the clouds… But we have a hard time marrying that up with what we sometimes call, in a bad mood, “reality.” Many relationships founder on the contrast.” And then to complete the circle, on the deceiving concept of the one and only soulmate: “The notion that someone can understand you without you having taught them who you are is… catastrophic.”

These are the single-minded romantics who ‘fight’ for their right to celebrate Valentine’s day with pomp. The ones who insist they need to make the grand gesture, even if sometimes a smaller, simpler gesture might be more impactful and more appreciated by the person you’re supposed to be putting in the effort for. Let the hearts and sparkles flow! And for the rest of the population, good luck with going out to dinner tonight if you don’t have a reservation!

Then there are the cynics, the battered souls who’ve reached a level of bitterness and whose trust in others is so raggedy, it means not only can’t they enjoy this particular day, they probably can’t give into the joy of any celebration. The hate abounds, the reasons for the reactions more obvious than the authors of the criticism would care to admit.

Not to say these are the only two attitudes towards this particularly love-infused holiday (whether authentic or lackluster), but the extremes are always something to behold.

In my eyes, this day is just like any other. The good things in life deserve to be celebrated whether big or small, no matter if the day is Monday or on a weekend, Christmas or Summer Solstice. To celebrate even a small moment of joy means to commit it to memory for the dreary hours that are sure to come sooner or later. You see, the human brain is programmed in an evolutionary sense to better recall the negatives and to gloss over the positives. That’s how so many of us end up discarding the idea that life is meant to be in any way happy or worse even, that they themselves deserve any form of happiness or peace of mind.

The very thought breaks my heart, so on this day I have one wish for everyone: celebrate the joyful moments, the quietly serene ones and the high-octane, brightly shining ones alike; not just today, but every time they are offered to you. Celebrate a person or a relationship not because some made up social convention says you should, but because they deserve it (and so do you).

Photo by olivia calypso on Unsplash

Of When There's Nothing Left To Burn


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Fire starter - 
her fires do not burn,
they scorch the lands of souls not ready for her
hope-fueled flames.

The road to Hell is paved
with good intentions.
The one to Heaven gets built
on self-awareness.
Customary masks melt away
to quicksilver quicker
than her wit;
lies so old, with roots piercing so deep in
your mind they now resemble truth 
more than truth itself - 
dried up and turned to desert sand.

Her fires burn furiously,
her embers still warm in your hands
ten million minutes away from her.
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Of Those Little Chunks You Give Away


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I keep giving my books away.

Giving away chunks of my soul doesn’t feel sufficiently consequential anymore under today’s alignment of stars. To add, the stockpile of books can be easily topped up via online order. I’m starting to intuit the quantity of heart one can put into a situation or an interpersonal dynamic might be subject to depletion though.

Yes, I keep giving them away because words are these immaterial, yet big creatures that can alter lives, either tear down realities or build up hope. Books for when the right words fancy a good game of hide-and-seek, so you need to rely on others’ craftsmanship, and pray to a divinity you don’t believe in that they do your thoughts justice. Books for the cowardly moments when you wish you had the courage to lose your inhibitions and let your heart speak instead of your reason.

The words of a quiet girl fill the air in the room suddenly and without warning, turning it into breaths of anticipation and magic. In the silences between confessions, she reaches into depths known by her alone, to forge the perfect utterance of self.

Books for the crazy dreams dreamt; for the shameless words not spoken, not dared because of their power beyond belief. Books for what can never be, but you still wish it could.

Photo by Lacie Slezak on Unsplash

Of The Treachery Of Appropriateness


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If 2019 was anything, it was the year I saw rejection’s many faces and witnessed what it can turn people into.

In a universe where you get to choose, would you rather:

A. be let down gently before openly professing your feelings to the subject of your affections?


B. have the chance to speak your heart and mind as the adult that you are, even if that will mean temporary awkwardness and a bout of embarrassment?

We learn to stifle our hearts from childhood. The I miss you‘s. The I like you‘s. The You hurt me‘s. The I’m sorry‘s. The I love you‘s.

It’s always that what if that makes us recoil from the possibility that what we desire is what will be instead of the shame we’re so afraid of experiencing in the spotlight of society’s glare.

To be prim and proper. To say the exact right thing, so as not to offend anybody’s sensibilities, like walking a tightrope between the highest skyscrapers in the world. To do only what is appropriate – but who decides what the category includes this year or this month? Why not instead to be honest and kind, daring and considerate, ambitious and giving? To be a person instead of a set of standards.

Have you ever found yourself liking someone so deeply and so suddenly that you’re on the verge of freaking out? Take a breath now, there’s nobody around to hear the answer, so say their name out loud for the Universe to hear it. Oh, and by the way, fuck appropriate and also fuck prim and proper.

Photo by who?du!nelson on Unsplash

Of Time Lost and Found


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These days between Christmas and the New Year, time is lost and found again. Then again. The pull of the past and the treacherous illusion of the what may come are equally poisonous to the present moment. Time flows forwards and backwards, in waves of memories and wishes that may yet come true or may not.

Around this time of year, I keep returning to a line that Kurt Vonnegut penned: “I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.” Almost as a mantra, it reminds me of the wholesome goodness of the now even as the routines, the let-downs and the doubts do their damnedest to creep in the folds of my mind. Go on, I dare you!

It’s the things that didn’t work out, not matter how hard you fought for them, the connections that fell flat right when you were convinced they would turn into eye-catching fireworks. Travelling the same road, it’s the friends who’ve stuck by even at your most bitter, your ugliest, it’s the family who love you in spite of distance and silence. It takes time and the sometimes stinging lessons of difficult experiences to understand it should be joy we’re chasing after, not perpetual happiness.

The past is immutable and the future will catch up with you before you’ve had the chance to blink. That never-ending happiness is a trick of smoke and mirrors and we’d be wiser to forget about it before we get lost in a maze of our distorted reflections. There is joy in the now if only you allow it to breach your defenses.

This year, I’m wishing everyone a quiet and joyful Christmas.

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

Of Jade Coloured Kisses


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How do people fall in love anymore now that we don’t allow ourselves to get close to each other?

A litany of emotions get mistaken for love – infatuation, deep attraction, obsession, fear of being lonely – to our confusion and frustration. Love is something else entirely, yet we manage to turn all of the above (and more) into cases of mistaken identity which we also refuse to start investigating, thus losing hope of eventually cracking them.

One loves love, but one knows better by now. Being a jaded teenager much later in life, falling will need to be a conscious decision instead of a hormone-infused evolutionary trick.

These days, being emotionally guarded is worn as a badge of honor by men and women alike. As if admitting that the past’s bruises are still visible across your heart and mind is enough to justify keeping your distance. As if having been hurt justifies acting like you don’t care when in fact you do. As if saying ‘I’m damaged‘ justifies emotionally manipulative acts and abrasive words. Truly admirable would be to have the courage to face those demons that are causing your emotions to twist in shapes unrecognizable not only to the one in front of you, but to yourself as well.

How can one fall when one is too paralyzed with fear to take the leap? How does one fall in love anymore, when one is too cautious to trip, let alone fall? Those comfy sneakers keep you much to steady on your feet, my dear.

Photo by Bruce Christianson on Unsplash

The Memory Of Last Night


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From a heart fallen in love
to one fallen into despair
the distance is as inconsequential
as the breadth of a hair,
the way back as magical
as waking into a purple dream.

A fool's
(or God's)
errand -
the daunting sift
through memory's tangles:

arms brushing.
the most uncomfortable chairs.
wine glasses still half full,
wine bottle half empty already.
fewer centimeters between your bodies
than five minutes ago.
a kiss so deep -
both breathless from anticipation.

In the morning
the fever's broken,
but the purple haze lingers sweetly.
Photo by Dominik Scythe on Unsplash

Of Finding What Was Never Lost


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“The thing you are most
afraid to write

Write that.”

― Nayyirah Waheed, Salt

What I’ve been most afraid of my entire life has to be the potential of my feelings – their transformation into grandiose monuments dedicated to the (yet again) potential I was seeing in others, to the infinite possibilities that a future moment holds up until the point it materializes into the now, not the tomorrow or the month after; lately, also their potential to almost instantaneously blink out of existence should the wrong chord be pressed in an uncomfortable or unskilled manner.

What I’m most afraid of is the mark that people’s words and gestures (or lack thereof ) are constantly leaving on my heart – the scar tissue growing thick, its shape growing unrecognizable to that of a heart just learning what love is, growing numb to touch.

What I’m most afraid of is that the words I’ll be too afraid to utter will drown me. Is it giving too little or too much of oneself that one should fear most?

Perspective is something you gain by stepping back. By creating space between yourself and the thing or being that is generating that whirlwind of emotions making you dizzy and unable to think straight. By allowing distance to dim sensations that once burnt your skin in anticipation. Yet…

Photo by Marcos Rivas on Unsplash

I’d never believed in muses, until I discovered mine in the most unexpected of places and most unlikely of people. Remaining blissfully unaware of this status I’ve bestowed on them, they manage to challenge me time after time in ways I’d be avoiding like some sort of modern plague were it not for them. Whether philosophizing or through silences imbued in meanings for me to discover, my muse is there to remind me that pain and disappointment have their purpose; it’s for me to find the precise balance between allowing them to overwhelm me and running away from what frightens me. They don’t call them growing pains for nothing.

Portrait Of The Perfect Man


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Can you be
childish and playful
like the spring wind?

Can you be
steady and reliable
like the slow flowing river?

Can you listen
to my silence
when I'm stubbornly quiet?

Can you tell
my blushing is because
you're standing so close,
your breath in sync with mine?

(your perfume gliding onto my clothes, my skin, my fantasies;
five centimeters apart, but electricity running between us)

Do you know
you make me shy,
make me want to hide my glances?

(but you know full well, my dear,
that I'm the strongest
I'll save the Universe)
Photo by Joakim Honkasalo on Unsplash

Passed On


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The Matriarch's wisdom 
never reached me.
They butchered her golden words
and threw them to the pigs -
wisdom turned to steaks
on which they feasted
in the long, cold, wine-drenched nights.

They cut her down.
Too soft.
Too harsh.
Too little.
Too much for their egos to accept.
They cut her down to pieces
until she was small enough
not to scare them.

The Matriarch's wisdom
lives on
in my unwillingness to yield
my own words
to feed animals meant for steaks.
Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash