Storming


There’s a delicious storm outside.

the sky is red
the rain falls in torrents
and the wind comes in gusts against the window panes.

if only storms at this hour meant

you could stay up to watch them
forehead pressed against cool glass
untamed rivulets separated from your fingertips by centimeters

when that becomes temptation too much
perhaps even go outside for the full taste
being in the heart of magnificence
feeling pelting drops of water on your skin and in your hair and eyes
getting soaked and chilled to the bone

and not go to work tomorrow.

Instead, I shut my windows tight
so that nothing gets wet.
close my curtains
so I can’t see the lightning.
The thunder is muffled and far away.

and be thankful, I suppose, I can shut out the storm
turn out the lights
snuggle under the covers
warm, dry and oblivious in my modern cave
and try to go to sleep.

Perspective and Reality


Sometimes

it feels like three steps forward two steps back
or perhaps the other way around.

Sometimes

it feels just impossible.
totally impossible.
utterly and truly impossible.

Sometimes

it feels like standing on a spot
you think you’re moving
the scenery’s changing
but in fact you’re just spinning round.

Sometimes

amazingly delightful
overwhelming unbearable

Sometimes

you really have to wonder
if reality is out there
or if it is only
in our
heads.

Life as a Series of Distractions


We hear, without listening.
Speak, without talking.
Interaction, without connection.

Life can be so depressing sometimes, with its bleak realities.
Perhaps that’s why we need to partake in other things
to distract ourselves from the drudgery?

Then life becomes one big game of distraction, to pass the time?

I can’t buy that.

Bored, restless, frustration and dissatisfied.
How do I find and achieve my reality?

For something I’d listen with all my heart to.
For words that aren’t hollow and empty.
For a connection, oh that elusive connection.

With another person, with myself, with the world, with life.

A life worth living.

A Bubble Floating Through Emptiness


To reality hop.
Can I hop through different realities, please?
I really don’t want to be here.

Be in an anime, or a movie, a fantasy world. To come and go and leave and as you please.
Put me under, into the dream world, go down the rabbit hole, escape.

When I think about you, the world flips inside out and nothing makes sense. I want to run away.
In to psychedelic colours, grunge textures and linkin park songs. I lose touch with reality– this can’t be real, what is real? This is not my reality, I reject it. I don’t want to be here.

There must be somewhere else I can go. How can this be all there is? How can this be my life? It’s not mine, I reject it. I want to go back to there– that felt real, that’s where I want to be. No, that’s where I am. Who closed the door, the door to narnia, to nivarna, to bliss, to home? Why am I stuck in this place, in this shell, in this meaninglessness, in this emptiness?

I feel no attachment to this world, this realm, this reality– it’s not reality. No attachment, no bond, no relation, no investment. It’s not so much that I don’t want to be here as how much I want to be somewhere else– I’m lost. There’s a taste of reality, a taste of home– no, Home– a taste of heaven, I remember. I’ve been there before. Why did it go, where did it go? Who stole my keys and shut me out, threw me out?

How do I get back to reality?
How do I get back home?

Must I stay here, in this prison without walls, bidding my time, and waiting, hoping hopelessly that one day I will escape, one day I will be home again, and reality will be real?

Which is the reality? Is the reality I crave but a dream, a drug, an escapist’s delusion? Am I binded and intoxicated by a dreamy haze? How can things be so contrary– why does my definition of reality differ from yours, is reality relative?

Seeing you, meeting you turns my world (what world?) topsy turvey.

I don’t understand that, but I don’t understand anything.

I am a bubble, floating through emptiness, waiting desperately to

pop.

What if money didn’t matter?


How would you really enjoy spending your life?

If you say that getting the money is the most important thing… you’ll be doing things you don’t like doing, in order to go on living, that is, to go on doing things you don’t like doing. Which is stupid!

Better to have a short life that is full of what you like doing than a long life spent in a miserable way.

I really like this video.

Really like it.

And yet real life isn’t that simple, is it. These chase-your-dreams sentiments all paint a one-sided, black-and-white picture; if you’re not chasing your dreams,  you’ve betrayed yourself and succumbed to society’s expectation.

Of course that’s part of the story. Too often we’re too afraid to do what we’d really love because we’re afraid of, or have been convinced by, what society says to us.  Too often we erect unnecessary barriers.

But that’s just part of the story. Here’s the other part: we make personal sacrifices for the things we think are worth it. We make personal sacrifices in our life choices for the people around us.

Sure, I can spend my life riding horses or writing poems and that would make me happy. But riding horses or writing poems may not give me the money to buy a laptop or internet access or books or music or a camera or a motorbike or the luxury of travelling overseas.  And all those are things that would make me happy too.

More importantly. Riding horses or writing poems may not give me the money to… help pay for my sister’s education. Help take care of my parents in their old age. Pay for my parents’ medical fees. Riding horses or writing poems may not give me the money to… support my partner, buy my own home, start a family and give my children the best upbringing I can. And these are the things that, if I can’t do, would make me really upset with myself and take away all the pleasure from riding horses or writing poems. It’s difficult to enjoy even the thing you enjoy most if you’re worrying about where your next meal is going to come from, or worse, your loved ones’ next meal. Or whether your mum is going to live another few years or not, because you can’t afford treatment. Money may not be the most important, but it sure can buy a lot, including security and a peace of mind.

So make the call; where along the spectrum are you willing to stand, how much sacrifice are you willing to make? Opportunity costs between your day to day personal dreams and enjoyment and the other things that money can buy. Just make sure you’re not sacrificing the wrong things for the things that aren’t worth it.

If money didn’t matter?
Wildlife photographer, please. 

When was the last time you took the time to watch the changing clouds?


Sometimes
The things left un-said
Clang louder than the things that are.

But it’s okay.

I promise to take some time to watch the changing clouds.
I promise to come back and comb the library.
I promise to take a stroll down the beach.

I promise to touch as many of those millions of point of light as I can.
Touch, touch, touch. And paint my picture, an explosion of fireworks.

Can you see what I see?

Not.


Reality seeps
through my fingers.
I am
not.

One foot, then another
moving but going nowhere.
Unseeing eyes
unsmiling smiles.
Pumping blood
without a heartbeat.

They’ve turned from
a misplaced reality
into fading memories
ashen grey and almost-but-can’t
forgotten

Reality was taken
but was not replaced.
I am
not.

Pretend till it’s true


Sometimes you can only to do much. Sometimes, you can only bring yourself up to such a point. Then you have no choice but to cover up that last distance by pretending. You know: smoke your way through; just wing it; make do the best you can; put on your game face. Pretend you know what you’re doing. Pretend that everything is fine, is great! Act confident, act happy, even though you’re not. And soon enough, even you’ll start buying it. Tell people “I’m fine!” enough times, act the part of ‘fine’ enough times and it’ll become a habit, a ritual. You’ll forget you were ‘pretending’. That’s when you realize that you’re no longer pretending.

Did you know that when you force yourself to smile, your mood improves?

Sometimes, lies can become truth and reality. Sometimes, you have to change from the outside in…

 

Oranges are not the only fruit


Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a novel by Jeanette Winterson published in 1985, which she subsequently adapted into a three-part BBC television drama. It is a bildungsroman about a lesbian girl who grows up in an English Pentecostal community.

I plan to read the book, but in the meantime, I found the TV series on youtube, so I watched that first. It’s a great show, give it a watch if you have the time. On youtube it’s uploaded as 6 parts of about 7 minutes for each of the 3 episode. There’s a part missing though, so if you can access the video via other means, maybe you could try that too. For example, I’ve just realized that the esplanade library carries the video cassettes! …not sure how I would watch video cassettes though haha, maybe the esplanade has a multimedia room you can use. Nonetheless, the missing part didn’t make the show any less enjoyable to watch.

Some thoughts:

It made me think, once again, about how flexible the human mind is.
I mean, how easily we can twist words to mean what we want them to mean. How words can mean anything.  How easily we can delude ourselves, how easily we can truly believe what is not true. How easily we can think, with all our heart, that we’re doing the right thing.

Can you blame the mother in the show, as unpleasant as she is? Can you fault her for treating the main character, Jess, in that way? It may not be your idea of love (it may be, in fact, your idea of hate) but I do think she does love Jess, and every horrible thing she did, she thought it was for the best. No, she knew it was for the best.

This is how humans are. We can operate separate from the ‘truth’. It doesn’t matter so much what is out there as what we think is out there, how we perceive what is out there.

And that’s the problem I have with ‘faith’. Knowing how susceptible we are to such thinking, to being able to have unwavering belief in your own thoughts, positions and actions, shouldn’t we be guarding against such thinking rather than encouraging it? Guarding against ‘having faith’?

Because isn’t such type of thinking the essence of faith?

To have complete trust in something. To believe in god without evidence. To… just believe. Just have faith. With all your heart.

People are capable of being blind enough as it is. Don’t tie blindfolds over your eyes and tell me that’s a GOOD thing. The more blindfolds you tie, the more you trust without EVIDENCE or PROOF, the better and more PREFERABLE that is? Seriously?
—-
The show had me crying. Because the worst thing was… knowing that this isn’t merely fiction. Knowing that this isn’t merely history. Knowing that this isn’t merely abstract ideas, or something happening far away.

This is real. This is now. This is here. This is me, and those are my friends.

Please don’t pretend that the church’s position has ‘progressed’, that your position has progressed and is better and more reasonable than historical positions. Does it really matter what words you use? Whether you call it a ‘demon in you’ or an ‘illness’ or a  ‘disorder’ or a ‘result of the fallen world’ or an ‘abomination’ or even just simply a ‘sin’?

You change the words, but the final meaning is the same. The church’s idea of ‘progress’ is ‘accepting’ new evidence but without letting it change the bottom line. So you have to change your interpretation a little. That’s not a problem. As long as you keep the bottom line the same.

I don’t remember if I’ve said it out loud on this blog yet, but… my girlfriend of three years broke up with me–yes, you guessed it– for religious reasons. You could say this blog is born from that incident.

During that break-up period, she showed me two different cases from two different Christian books she was reading– about homosexuals having had demons successfully cast out of them.

…how do you think that makes me feel? To know that the person you love thinks that the only reason why you love her and why she loves you is because of a demon?

…so when we enjoyed each others’ company, simply sitting on a bench enjoying the breeze and talking; a demon at work?
…so when we celebrated anniversaries or valentine’s days, exchanging heartfelt gifts; a demon pulling the strings?
…when we went out for dinner; a demon ordering dessert?
…when we said ‘I love you’ countless times, cheered each other on through tests, exams and school work, listened to each others’ problems and worries… all through a demon’s mouth and ears?

I understand a little more now why people can be so cruel, why the mother in the show can behave so hard-heartedly towards her daughter. That’s not her daughter, it’s a demon. The devil’s limb, as she says.

How people could have burnt women at the stake: they’re not women, they’re witches. The cries you hear aren’t the cries of a women in pain, they are the cries of evil knowing it has lost the battle. When someone cries and screams while having a demon cast out, that’s the sound of the demon, in pain.

What does ‘demon’ even mean, anyway? The idea of ‘ALL GOOD’ and ‘ALL BAD’ is really an incoherent one to me. It can’t exist in more than the abstract. If this thing you call a ‘demon’ can feel pain, shouldn’t we have compassion for it too?

I can’t wait to read the book.

Limbo


this feeling
like floating
only half living
only half there.

you’re sleeping
while waking
and speaking
and laughing
but don’t truly care

going through
the motions
a shell on autopilot
a lifeless puppet on strings
muscle memory,
probably.

just waiting
while floating
and drifting
and dreaming
semi-conscious and unaware.

waiting
and waiting
and waiting
and waiting
for reality
to seep
back
in.

Written 24th January 2012