April 18, 2014

then, of course, there is the sky

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image credit goes to hannah grogan. and here’s more.

I am envious of other people’s words. particularly in the seasons when I seem stuck, incorrigibly stuck in the daily routine that is life in hong kong. when the words are not coming easily to me, when I need to search for them. read through dictionaries of different tongues in hopes that a word or two will strike me with its beauty. or its ugliness. the deformity that sometimes language knows how to present. because words cause hurt and damage more often than they do any good. but it doesn’t happen. it doesn’t as often as I would like. because I am constantly disturbed, my mind wandering in places where it shouldn’t. an email beeps on the screen interrupting my flow of thoughts. after that it’s almost impossible to return to where I left of. where I attempted a beginning of a piece of work. I am a little bit like jamal wallace and I need my own sean o’connery to rescue me. if only it worked that way. (also, read this.)

the city is covered in milky layer of clouds that move across the plain of the sky with difficulty. low weather slows the city down; it appears smaller than it is. street hawkers crowd the corners and overpasses that have become synonymous with hong kong. I am craving things are that are difficult to have at this stage in our lives. he and I are like fighting warriors, in an uphill battle of the early twenties. the art of compromising and the science of conveying your message. knowing the worst and still loving. the art of living the life in synchronization. these are all of the unanswered questions; the everyday life.

I am dreaming of growing my own garden behind a house; a house with eight rooms and three bathrooms. with a mango and a banana tree on either side. a spacious area; miles and miles of open air in all directions. I would grow my own herbs and vegetables. bake my own bread and think up a weekly cake for no particular reason. I would master the perfect pot of semolina; cassava and okra, the staples I am finding myself unable to go one week without. I wouldn’t mind having a couple of chickens and a goat. I would drive a land rover, an old beat-up passed down generation after generation.

an open fire under the skies when the electricity gives up. I would write on a typewriter, with candles as my source of light. one of the bathrooms would be converted into a darkroom. I dream of an analog life. with sporadic connections, but pure and real connections with people around me. we would go on the hunt for the wildlife, without hunting. only watching in awe at the nature that spreads out before us. the vastness of space and its possibilities. an elephant, a giraffe, maybe a lion, if I am lucky.

I wanted too much to give him a taste of fireworks, of comfort created in understanding and soothing silences. I wanted too much to give him mornings of love-making and afternoons of sweet coffee and double chocolate cakes. to feel the aftertaste on our tongues as we exchange kisses and our lips meet over and over, just like the first time. I wanted too much of everything and I wanted it all at the same time. perhaps, one day, I will have everything I am yearning for.

the strength of wanting something you’d never had before is incomparable. and it means only one thing: that you must do something you’d never done before either.

post scriptum, I am reading rules of the wild again, which could explain a lot.

April 14, 2014

where you’ll find me now

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nearby, where the home is.

sunday morning; I’d awoken too early today. excruciating pain in the lower abdomen pushed me out of the bed. sweat dripped down my back, the uncomfortable feeling is unrivaled. I skipped my morning routine and retreated to bed after swallowing the last of panadols I managed to find. orange drapes bathed the bedroom in soft pink light and for once I felt calm. for a moment I considered the only day off for the week ruined by the physical discomfort, but then I realized; what could possibly be better than staying in bed longer, cozy, with the other half sleeping next to me in a soft slumber? sundays were made for this.

there were also made for realizations; that I miss proper seasons. the slow turns of winter becoming spring, the first sun rays in february that are not warm, but they make you feel warm inside. the happiness of seeing first signs of nature blossom back into health. I remember the plains and mountains around our old house, the bare skeletons of trees, waiting. but mostly, I realized that I miss space. spacious gardens and backyards, large living rooms and a proper kitchens with an oven and a dish-washing machine. I miss the vastness of sailing the seas and feeling the breeze, brushing your face.

the boy stirs in his sleep next to me. suddenly I cringe with pain and it wakes him up. for a split of a second, there is horror in his face, thinking something terrible is happening. I am okay, I say. we spoon and he holds me by the waist. but the discomfort won’t ease. I think of wrapping a hot water bottle in a towel, placing it against my stomach. adventurous plans for the day fade away, it is clear we will only stay in bed today. the weather is gorgeous outdoor and I feel guilty for not taking advantage of it. I slept through the day. he took care of me, we listened to our favorite music. I wanted to write, but I couldn’t find the focus. it eluded me entirely.

but I still collected the words in my mind, noting down invisible ideas. twitter and its 140 characters help me with this. some sentences are abstract and disconnected, but this is how I collect my thoughts. scrolling through my feed usually inspires me, because I find something, I remember something, I read a sentence that has the perfect potential of becoming a paragraph. just like tonight.

post scriptum; communist daughter of neutral milk hotel just came up and it surprised me that they have not released anything new since 1998.

April 12, 2014

life, lately

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red shoes / converse + vans
and I wear black pants a lot! these were taken days and weeks apart.

April 9, 2014

almost two in the morning

another quiet night at home. I spent the evening cleaning the floors, sorting through the wardrobe, separating items I wouldn’t be needing until next winter. I retreated from work early today, it had been a particularly bad day. some of it personal, some of it work related, but neither was new. I went for an injection shot to ease the itchiness and redness of the last few days, which made me absentmindedly elevated. in the morning, it still hadn’t worn off. from the beginning, tuesday felt like a second monday and I regretted coming out in the first place. the boy offered comfort and consolation in the form of my favorite take out noodles, scalp massage to ease the terrible migraine of the afternoon and a few episodes of body of proof. days such as today made me wish there was no tomorrow.

but there is tomorrow. it almost two in the morning, and I’m feeling the last bits of energy leaving me. quiet contemplation tonight. the time alone brings out the girl from about five years ago. I always almost forget about her. then she comes back. she reminds me of how to spend time alone. how to use the time effectively. when I am alone, things flow with ease. chores are done, words are written, laundry is sorted. with each passing day, I am becoming more aware of the path I am supposed to take. direction, in which I am supposed to head. I used to be afraid that we wouldn’t be on the same page.

turns out all I had to ask and give time to a conversation. I despise the negative effect that always brushes off on me, making me lose perspective. but I know deeply that I won’t ever give up. we’ve come too far and we’ll be going even farther. words do not amount to much, but they do matter.

April 8, 2014

inspiration & interestingness

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national geographic guide to democratic republic of the congo

I am in love with this online shop. 60 things you and I didn’t know about new york city. I really miss that place. and, new york city’s tap water has tiny shrimp in it! what people eat around the world. don’t put your tomatoes in the fridge! I’m learning how to read my shampoo bottle. air pollution killed seven million people in twentytwelve. how to get shit done. hugh jackman on three things you didn’t know about the congo. I’ve been struck with a horrible case of wanderlust. again. I am feeling increasingly boxed in and it annoys me. it’s almost as if I can’t breathe properly. I am in the middle of writing two separate articles and it’s the only thing keeping me afloat.

what does your day look like? this is a typical day of a single mother and farmer. reflection on 21. this resonated with me so much even though I am just barely two years further down the road. but then again it’s not that surprising, because it was really the year of twenty-one that forced me to grow up. expressive espresso is my newest favorite blog to read; beautifully written. new york times’ modern love columns are my favorite from the entire selection; his promise would not be denied blew me away. rwanda is all over the news this week and I am not unaffected. I have been reading the work of philip gourevitch; this letter from the archives stands out. I have also started his book we wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families. it is a difficult read, but a must for anyone interested in the history of the region.

news have also been full with the death of anja niedringhaus. it saddened me when first I read the news; I’ve been watching her work for a long time. but to turn from sad to inspirational: I will be making this banana ice cream and trying out fresh pea hummus. although I am not much of a nail polish person, I’d called up the closest dior store in hong kong to see whether they had nail glow in stock. the boy and I laughed heavily at this: white people and dreadlocks. and last but not least, I want this to be my birthday cake.

what’s been keeping you busy lately?

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