Bells ringing. Seven pm. White churches on green hills. A light breeze through leaves. Trees standing still the way trees do, while the world spins through space. Honestly I try to avoid it.
I found a blood-red petal at the foot of my bed, and I judge it either to have flown in through the window on a stray gust of wind, or to have been laid carefully by your wandering ghost that’s still roaming these parts, or to be the simple sign of nascent love so new in existence it’s still too new for me to recognise.
Sometimes explanations are remarkable only in their limitations of explaining.
And sometimes a blood-red petal at the foot of the bed is just a blood-red petal at the foot of the bed.
And sometimes it’s the beginning or the end.
More than just a face amongst faces, I’ve come to know this face, and I’ve come to miss your precious heart. Dug deep into the sand, there’s no water for a hungry soul. As the sun sets I cannot keep the night from coming. And I turn my back away. Leaving the horizon to celebrate itself until it loses sight of its boundaries. And I miss your precious heart. Flowers in your hair tied to imagined memories, bells ringing in my ear. Bells ringing forever more. I miss this previous heart, until only there was mine. In trains going in the same direction. In trains going nowhere near. Clutch the broken edges of the picture. All fades. All erodes. Slowly. Clutch a notebook of reminiscences. And I miss your precious heart. It may be madness, but our souls won’t separate. Chained, we’re chained again. We put our hands forward, and we’re chained again. Blind in the future with the comforting weight of each other. You brought me a harp I couldn’t play. I bought you a house, but you couldn’t stay. Inhaling the love you lent me. Restless things on opposite sides. The dusk has a tendency to light little fires. The dawn comes consoling each morning. Mending our wounds with the dew. The sun rises, but the night isn’t over. The night is never over. And I miss your precious heart.
This is just
a quick update to
tell everyone that
I am OK
and I will keep on
being OK till
the end of time
that might be
Disappearing is an exquisite feeling,
drawing atom from atom,
the sky filling with parts that are no longer
Eyes peeking past,
I turn to look,
eyes peeking past
Asking into the room,
is this what ghosts feel like?
But even ghosts get noticed, dragging their sheets
Even undisciplined children get noticed,
dragging their feet,
the ground transforming misbehaviour into noise
But I wear silent lips,
speaking up for nothing,
only savouring your kiss
I wear silent lips,
as I disappear again,
my arms clutching the memory too tight
Your hair has grown too long
Been away for such a long time
Just can’t find the words
Lonesome fools build lonesome walls
To hide behind and cry behind
But I can’t hide
I’m hurting babe
But I can’t cry
Lay your love on me
Lay your love on me
(Mojave 3: “Sarah”) Summer has returned after its hiatus, and grassy knees are back in fashion, just like the light salad, the bike and the social life. I can only imagine how healthy I might be if it was summer all year round — if I was living in the tropical paradise that we Northerners always imagine.
Today’s topic, brought by the religious studies students coming from class, was Atlantis. The lost island with the lost civilization. Sunk into the Atlantic Ocean. I’m reminded how a place like Atlantis changes meaning from each new retelling of the story. How it was the antagonist state in Plato’s original telling of the tale, eventually to be out of favor with the deities and thus banished from the possibility of population. And how it was just a great fantasy place in Disney’s depiction, a place made for adventure, for research. A place of dreams and drama. That was my childhood understanding of Atlantis. And I suppose, even now, it’s the most predominant in my mind. When I hear anyone talk about Atlantis, I’m drawn into longing for expeditions to faraway places.
Places and symbols change their meaning by context and utterance: where, who, and why is something said. One of my favorite things about language is the bendy fabric that it’s made up of. Language is never too rigid, nor ever too loose, unless you’re in a situation where there’s no common tongue.
Language both has rules, and at the same time functions in an ever-changing landscape, making up the rules on the fly, which must be considered as there not being rules. We change them when we need to change them, or when we want to change them, on a whim.
I have a different language with each person I talk to. Some are highly reliant on abbreviations. Others are dependent on pronunciation. Some again are based on symbols, and some languages are pure poetry. Having been away from a certain conversation for an extended period of time doesn’t erode the common tongue that has been built.
I also enter into a specific language when writing here, although I’m prone to change it if I’ve been recently influenced by a different language that takes a strong hold on me. I’m forever prone to the fast-paced language of Jack Kerouac whenever I dive into one of his books, visibly ending up changing my own language, making it more swift, less abstract, being more to the point while at the same time accepting any digression that might show itself to me, as long as it’s communicated in the here and now, not ever letting the sentence die.
Speaking of Kerouac I’m reminded how language forms our thinking. How those digressions I run into after reading even just a few pages of him get me to think in a new pattern, where usually I can go into an almost paralyzed state of my thoughts whenever I hit a speed bump, when I’m under the influence of Kerouac I just write my way through it, spitting new sentences left and right, until suddenly I’m back on track again.
There should be a mandatory reading of Kerouac before those writing workshop assignments of speed writing. Speed writing is 900 % easier when drugged up on Jack.
But that’s another way of getting into a specific language, other than talking to people, reading a book by an author with a strong sense of his or her own language. I suppose this spills into the whole idea of “talking with the author” when you’re reading a book, as if we’re keeping a conversation with the writer of these words as we read along. Communication is always an action involving at least two parties. One to make an utterance, and one to perceive this utterance and understand it. Books are silent as long as no one’s reading them.
I miss some of the languages I’ve lost over the years. When bridges are burnt, all the good things burn with them as well. All the common secrets. All the shared understandings. All the language.
But it leaves traces, and sometimes I wonder how something from an old language reappears in a new one, showing up from either a sense of a like vibe, or because some trick of the mind brought it forth and it was accepted.
I guess it’s like that with most of our past. It’s hidden from view, until suddenly it comes back in tiny bursts. Like the fictive Atlantis, sunk to the bottom of the ocean, but nevertheless an ever popular place whenever it resurfaces, bringing together the new and the old, leading the memories from the childhood into an adult world of a more comprehensive understanding.
Okay, let’s try this old thing. Writing my way to the right words through first writing a bunch of the wrong ones here. I’m finding myself more than stuck with my thesis these days, and it’s quite easy for me to just blame this lack of progress on all kinds of circumstances around me. But I don’t want to do that, ’cause that’s what I do too often. I want to find a method of shutting all that down when I turn on my computer and tell myself that it’s time to write.
I’ve been quite prone to self-pity. Even more prone to just pure old procrastination. Watching a bird as I speak. Thinking it’s being more industrious than me, even just standing on a rooftop, fighting against the Eastern wind trying to blow it off the sharp edge of the tiles. Its tail constantly changing, its head shifting around, on the lookout for something.
Some days I find a loophole and a bunch of words come flowing through, and progress feels real. But the next day I feel like I’m back to square one, not even knowing how to write one more word. The thing is, I keep blaming the circumstances around me, when honestly I know I should just pull myself together.
Pull myself together for the thesis and for life.
I’m sorry I suddenly got so selfish with you earlier today. There’s no real excuse for that. Even the excuses I threw were just poor attempts at explanation. I care so much for you, and I get so ashamed when I act in a way that might signal otherwise. I care so much for you.
The bird has left the building. And my words are flowing. I’ll redirect my attention back to the thesis. I think I’ve said what I really needed to say now, even if it was short. Short is good.
Hard work is better.