October 23, 2014

Neutralize that seethe

The penchant for affogato is as natural as my taste for the bittersweet symphony in things. You can’t cheat on the espresso flavour as you can with sachets of instant brew and you can definitely not skimp on vanilla beans for this treat. As strong flavored as it might be, if done right, life is made alright again–even for that tiny window of time.

The year is ending and the retrospective mood is setting in. To right the wrongs or to progress with a chip on the shoulder? If life is about picking up the pieces then who’s to see what’s charging ahead? I’ve so many oxymoronic questions and I really do want to pick at brains and answers over affogatos.

October 21, 2014

Sequence that dance

From Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl:

For several years, I had been bored. Not a whining, restless child’s boredom (although I was not above that) but a dense, blanketing malaise. It seemed to me that there was nothing new to be discovered ever again. Our society was utterly, ruinously derivative (although the word derivative as a criticism is itself derivative). We were the first human beings who would never see anything for the first time. We stare at the wonders of the world, dull-eyed, underwhelmed. Mona Lisa, the Pyramids, the Empire State Building. Jungle animals on attack, ancient icebergs collapsing, volcanoes erupting. I can’t recall a single amazing thing I have seen firsthand that I didn’t immediately reference to a movie or TV show. A fucking commercial. You know the awful singsong of the blasé: Seeeen it. I’ve literally seen it all, and the worst thing, the thing that makes me want to blow my brains out, is: The secondhand experience is always better. The image is crisper, the view is keener, the camera angle and the soundtrack manipulate my emotions in a way reality can’t anymore. I don’t know that we are actually human at this point, those of us who are like most of us, who grew up with TV and movies and now the Internet. If we are betrayed, we know the words to say; when a loved one dies, we know the words to say. If we want to play the stud or the smart-ass or the fool, we know the words to say. We are all working from the same dog-eared script.

It’s a very difficult era in which to be a person, just a real, actual person, instead of a collection of personality traits selected from an endless Automat of characters.

And if all of us are play-acting, there can be no such thing as a soul mate, because we don’t have genuine souls.

It had gotten to the point where it seemed like nothing matters, because I’m not a real person and neither is anyone else.

I would have done anything to feel real again.

I’ve been taking forever to complete this read, not because it’s bad or complex, but simply because I’m running on borrowed time. These days, I lose myself to the work pile, fall off during text conversations, trip over words and lay off social plans in a fervent bid to scale the expectations imposed. I’m dancing to my own tune again.

This book, James Bay playlist and flaming jäger bombs could not be more timely.

October 20, 2014

That’s the thing…

…you’re right beside but so distant at the same time.

What can I do to make you see that my thoughts are mine and my time is yours?

October 19, 2014

Crack the stable doors

You can live forever in one place and never wonder what’s on the other side. That’s because you’re contented with the now.

I wish I can say the same.

October 6, 2014

“What are you doing on the other side?”

We’ve been through this, countless of times–people leave and some just never throw anchors. It’s almost like we want them to fling themselves into free fall and land on their two feet, right next to us. We wish so much against gravity, chance and everything in between.

I want to believe that memories are beautiful yet disastrous creatures that you allow to reside in your head. You let the funny ones in. You handcuff yourself to a bad one yet play squash all day together. And you definitely side eye the ugly ones that make you cringe at the mere whiff of spirits. As sterile as we try to retain these memories, perspective and hope come in like a fog.

Hope. Is it akin to holding a helium filled balloon? Or letting it go and waiting to see what happens?

September 20, 2014

Stereophonic relevancy

We’ve toasted enough to reckless weekends and lost Parisian nights. We might have carved one too many keepsakes out of soap and etched hipster symbols on that phony stone in the Japanese gardens. How many hours can we steal from the world and live in this bell jar of a virtual high-speed chase? We try to marry our idiosyncrasies for a good hour before the party crumbles, inevitably, every time. That’s the problem when someone right/wrong comes through the doors at the right time; you’d try to make it right.

Oh, red herring.

September 18, 2014

Some Kind of Impetus

I’m hard wired to thrive on narrow beams and tread around babbling brooks. I get uneasy around still waters and plateaus. Like a tide that creates a current, I want to carry you in my thoughts and cradle in patting knowledge. We don’t have to sync; we just need momentum.

Perhaps it’s oversight, but we can relish the eclipsed truth that the moon is on our side. I can gravitate to the other side where there is warmth in the cavernous shadows. Maybe one day this enigma can defy and define the darkness behind the stars and find some sort of gratuitous solace.

They say, any port in a storm. But I need you to interpret the flashing green we see not to be the emergency exit on hyperdrive.

As I do.

August 17, 2014

Liberty is the possibility of isolation

A liberdade é a possibilidade do isolamento.

I was introduced to Fernando Pessoa’s works at a fairly odd time during my college year. I was in between semesters, in transition after a summer back home, and definitely in search for direction and a career path. I’ve always found myself rocking back and forth on leaving or staying in the States then. I digress. Distractions aside, I found myself spending time in between classes to read The Book of Disquiet and lose myself to questions and philosophies. I wasn’t searching for answers in particular. But there’s this void you desperately want to fill and you don’t know how else except with words.

I’d woken up early, and I took a long time getting ready to exist.

I don’t usually watch a film thrice or read a book twice, but I found myself leafing through his works to gain some stable footing when life rattles and blurs perspective. What better to save me from myself.

I want to wake up to quotes I can brood on, lyrics I can sing (in my head) to, words I can be empowered by… It’s difficult when there so many routines to go through before you even have time for yourself. Words for a tired soul is as pointless as it is mindless. This rat race will consume us whole. So sometimes we have to lean on songs that drive home or words that warms you enough to sleep easy till the next light.

**
I’ve seen an image like you somewhere in my daydreams and some part of me knows that I’ll recognize it when I see you face to face. You’re quite the open-ended joy I didn’t plan for. Sure, I’m building castles in the air, but for the first time, there isn’t any collateral damage or façade to upkeep. Let’s just be.

August 11, 2014

Metronome

I don’t know about you, but songs with “somewhere” in the lyrics are an instant draw. Perhaps it is that realm of uncertainty–closer to hope than misdirection–that ignites me from wood to white.

Somewhere we can both be right/Somewhere where imagination grazes in the half-light
(Brett Bixby – Fireside)

But nothing hits home like Keane’s Somewhere Only We Know. Richard Hughes (drummer) aptly explains it:

We’ve been asked whether “Somewhere Only We Know” is about a specific place, and Tim has been saying that, for him, or us as individuals, it might be about a geographical space, or a feeling; it can mean something individual to each person, and they can interpret it to a memory of theirs… It’s perhaps more of a theme rather than a specific message… Feelings that may be universal, without necessarily being totally specific to us, or a place, or a time…

Somewhere Only We Know – mv

Lately, I’m feeling like a bird of passage. I’m drumming to a beat, but there seems to be no haste or slack. Somewhere really cuts it. If there’s no port, then why the hell am I cruising for? My patience for the extrinsic is wearing thin. I’m going to dive head first into the abyss for an anchor and hopefully come to the surface and greet the green light, vis-à-vis.

August 10, 2014

“I write emotional algebra.”

I’m entrapped by the litter of good reads around me. The hour-long escapade to my favourite nook has been my saving grace from the horrible run of events this July. I thought I would be hallowed out from work; scraped dry and too defeated to lean on any understanding. I was pretty sure I would “contract” logophobia after this stint. Funny how I found myself steering back to a thirst for literature and debates. I want to be provoked by reason and awakened by schools of thought. I quaffed enough for a weekend, but I want something substantial to last the week and all the waking moments in between.

Do you know what I would answer to someone who asked me for a description of myself, in a hurry? This:

?? !!

For indeed my life is a perpetual question mark–my thirst for books, my observations of people, all tend to satisfy a great, overwhelming desire to know, to understand, to find an answer to a million questions. And gradually the answers are revealed, many things are explained, and above all, many things are given names and described, and my restlessness is subdued. Then I become an exclamatory person, clapping my hands to the immense surprises the world holds for me, and falling from one ecstasy into another. I have the habit of peeping and prying and listening and seeking–passionate curiosity and expectation. But I have also the habit of being surprised, the habit of being filled with wonder and satisfaction each time I stumble on some wondrous thing. The first habit could make me a philosopher or a cynic or perhaps a humorist. But the other habit destroys all the delicate foundations, and I find each day that I am still…only a Woman!
– Anaïs Nin

***
There’s a inherent danger in believing–or investing trust. I’m quick to be engulfed by profound thought and simple truths. In that same vein, I flip with disregard in tangent to fallacies and less structured arguments.

I admit I am quick to judge. I would think it developed as a hazard of my previous job, or as a shell of too many dumb/drunk conversations. I marooned myself to a lofty rung, and the view isn’t too bad from here. I am not entitled anything, and even less expected to reciprocate. This dome does sound like a self-fulfilling prophesy, but I sleep easy to it.

I sleep easier to this detachment than the circuits of your mind.

The concrete conversations with you make me question answers that I was contented with. You make me dizzy with choices and you make hovering between ideas–and not actually having to have an answer to everything–appealing. As unsettling as it may be, I’m grounded by the tennis game action of provoking and resounding. While you dislodged my faithless stance in people, you’ve also weighed my mind with your quips. Perhaps when we ever do lay the cards on the table, we’ll be the makeshift vanguard of judicious conversations and pseudo wins.

We need mimosas for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Then, we need more meals in a day for more excused crutches.

July 2, 2014

Kaleidoscope

I took a minute to lie between the covers and hear the silence of a Wednesday night. Thirty minutes later, I’m still stretched on my back and waiting for a comet to dazzle the bleakness of nights.

Work is work; I enjoy it enough to wake up at 8 promptly, and I loathe it in equal amounts when I take home the shoulder knots, pounding headache and checklists.

These days I take to the books to find solace since I spend 3/4 of my work hours in conversation. Therapy in words is unlike a familiar tune you hum along to. I’ve made good homes of the reading nook and crannies, as well as punctuating the seemingly endlessness with a night cap. To swirl in the comfort of my favourite words and rhyme is to fall asleep to the stars.
*
And we forget the moon somehow. Without its own light, the moon pales to a backdrop of light speckles and sparkles. It leans solitarily on the knowledge of slumber when the world moves madly on. Yet it doesn’t quit on being a beacon in the murky waters. It doesn’t leave to love another. It turns to the cold so you’ll have more.

And if we can sleep soundly in the crescents of the valley tonight, maybe, just maybe, the moon doesn’t have to take flight.
*
I’m a deadbeat sweetheart beat. I can’t shine when in your parameters. I want to just be. So let’s lead parallel paths and let me be someone else’s moon tonight.

May 2, 2014

Gush

Every so often, you become a different person when your environment changes. It’s not akin to shedding new skin in light of a new affair, but more of a metamorphosis and revelation of sort.

This progressive change stems from a chest of fears that you want to bury so deep. Unearthing it would mean to face your demons, that’s why you keep your heart close. (Proximity and figuratively. Ha) But when you don’t have to fight your battles alone anymore, this struggling episode means you’re living to a certain expectation. Essentially, you’re no longer a driftwood.

Fractions of the waking hours: There are lazy mornings, contented afternoons, happy evenings and therapeutic nights. The anticipation of conversation, laughs, affirmation, discussion, learning from and about each other is truly a driving reminder of being truly blessed in uncountable measures.

With a supportive nucleus of friends and family, it is easier to take leaps of faith. For that, I’m confused at times if reality is pulling a prank with all the pieces falling in place. I worry too much. Some say I worry as though it’s my job. But sometimes I think I need to let loose on the reins of precise planning and calculated emotions. As much as a crime scene triggers a OCD clean fiend, I’m troubled by still waters. Go figure.

April 22, 2014

Do you know where I can get me some momentum

fireside has been a song I go to when work starts to pile up or when I’m at a loss of what to feel next.

I’m a planner and I find it hard to not plan out the routines or itinerary of the day. Right down to “what I have to think about tomorrow” is often quoted scribbled in on messy post-it’s. I want to shift gears and take a breather. Take me away where I can watch movies without worries or laugh until it hurts. I want to lay on my back and watch the world go by, even if it’s only for an hour.

February 21, 2014

Strangers with Memories

The best moment (for us) to be anything but friends was the minute after the introductions and niceties. We could have gambled our insecurities and weariness from chasing an elusive idea and pursue a free form relationship instead.

We understood that the past can only haunt if the fear of it exists. Yet we fall into the creeks and waited for something to happen when nothing else could happen to wreck it at all. In the silence of time, it was a lot of doing and undoing, saying and not meaning, leaning and not fully understanding… It knitted into a tangled mess coiled for little success. Yet we cradled hope in the crevices of our soul and pray it withstands the elements and impossibilities, year after year. It came crashing as friends become strangers with memories and nothing more.

There’s only so much passion one can possess at a time.

December 22, 2013

Defeating Demons

I’m not sure if it’s the annual eggnog-poisoning or the Christmas carols on repeat, but I get retrospective around this time of the year.

2013 has one upped 2012 in several ways. From graduation to travels and self identity, I’ve come a long way from the serene days in January.

Recounting the year through photo stream, I ushered in the New Year in LA, skipped around California, danced in the streets of Chicago, weaseled through the belly of New York, woke up in the Botanical Gardens of District of Columbia, slept in Seoul Incheon airport, skipped around the shoppes of Hong Kong and lived the best weeks in Singapore. All while attempting to find myself.

I am truly blessed to have also make new friendships and fortify relationships. I’ve loved in a different light this year. Being more vocal about affection has made my life much easier.

I’ve always been more affectionate to those I truly care about, but explicitly vocalizing my feelings was a struggle throughout these years. There’s always the fear of not being loved back in the same measure. I learn my best and worst habits from my mom. :/ but I do think I’ve scaled considerable distances to confront affection and affirm my best girls in the way I know how…

Sure, drama still follow me like bees to honey. But I think my changing priorities have been a dual distraction and coping mechanism, in the most healthy way.

Finding community at work and at church are one of the few changes that I’m enjoying. I see myself making meaningful relationships and being vulnerable to some friends–a leap I’m willing to try because of the growing faith I have in the people that matter.

I’m most thankful for the gift of conversations and friends this season. Fear has been my biggest excuse and crutch, but perhaps 2014 will be fighting my own worst demons and an adventure for the books.

There and back again, perhaps.

November 10, 2013

I love you. Isn’t that enough?

As your words pale into the clouds of grey, it leaves a bitter taste and a crease between the brows. I don’t know how we arrive at this pit of angry words and sullen faces.

They say a committed relationship isn’t for you; a commitment is for the other person. Point taken.

Yet when we tear away the social expectations, we stare at the skeletons of our secrets–past and present–veiled by a foil of future demands. So then we question the vapid promises and lofty ambitions. We stripe down to the bare answers of circumstances. Then we ponder why the self-reproach and why the complications.

After denial and guilt–and sometimes, anger–we walk away. Because it is easier to take flight, we leave the dust of consequences swirling on barren trust. Now I see you through these iridescent lenses and I want to detach myself from where I am to be where you are. I will fight for you, but I won’t contest for you.

October 3, 2013

Happy Birthday

I remember it was your birthday this time two years ago when we were in the elevator, just us. We were always surrounded by people throughout the semesters and that was the only time, albeit brief, where we were not under scrutiny or hope. It felt like the longest elevator ride before it started with a “hi”. I thought it was a great friendship story to tell when I left the elevator that day. And it is.

I can’t remember the chronological order of the series of events after, but I don’t want to recall anything else. I’m just thankful manipulation was not on the cards. You’re not quite the douche in oversized sweaters and letters.

Happy Birthday. Stay warm.

September 24, 2013

Luck of the Draw

This morning, I woke up undaunted. Although I resigned from my editorial job, I am much refreshed by the sounds of the morning rain and the idea of a good breakfast. I think this is a good lesson learnt early in the “career” path, so to speak. It is akin to playing the Game of Life and landing on defaulted salary (if there is one) and unemployment in two consecutive moves. I don’t know to deem it as unlucky, luck of the draw, or any term you sleep easy to when you’re down on your luck. But now, I feel liberated. I think the job market isn’t as drastic as it is out there, especially when you just keep trying. Let’s hope to score some interviews and complete my freelance projects before mid-October.

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