Friday, December 18, 2009

The Flickering Flame

Dear reader,
Please click here first and allow this song 
to wash over you as you read this, 
as I did when I wrote it:  I don't love you

When you go, 
Would you even turn to say,
I don't love you, 
Like I did,
 The familiar strains of a moving guitar melody and gut-wrenching vocals flow through my veins and  it empowers, saddens and invigorates.  What a paradox.  The finality of loss is brought into sharp relief by a renewed hope for the future.  The sheer unexpectedness of what tomorrow might bring... the opportunity to create a new outcome... burns like a candle in the darkened window of my heart.  Confidently it brightens and keeps the shadows at bay, but occasionally a slip, a twitch of a curtain, and a cold familiar draft threatens to extinguish the promise of the flame.

Well when you go, 
Don't ever think I'll make you try to stay,
And maybe when you get back,
I'll be off to find another way...

As my gaze fixes upon the cold blue heart of the flame, black and white images move across the theatre of my mind.  Irony.  It replays a scenario that resides in the grey areas of human frailty.  Flickering shadows play upon the features of a soulful face.  Large and red rimmed eyes swollen from hours of sobbing... and outstretched hands with fists closed tight from the strain of trying to keep all the emotions at bay... express more than words possibly could in explanation or justification of the events about to unfold. 

Sometimes I cry so hard from pleading,
So sick and tired of all the needless beating,
But baby when they knock you down and out,
It's where you oughta stay.

I wish I had the vocabulary, the insight, and the talent... to have relayed my thoughts and questions well enough to have been understood from the first instance, without them having become tarnished by the human condition.  At each and every moment when that flame guttered out, and I was left cold and alone with only those poignant questions to keep me company, the one person who might have understood and answered them... stood out on the street, mingling with the myriad, and faded beyond the darkened window.  And so the candle stood, dark... until with the light of the morning came the only reliable relief, and the view through the window wiped clean for another day and another play.

And after all this time that you still owe,
You're still a good-for-nothing I don't know,
So take your gloves and get out,
Better get out while you can...

Week after week, the scenes in front of that night-time window would replay with clockwork regularity.  And the recluse behind the window, the once-owner of that flame, grew to regard it all as a cruel and painful joke; a long distant memory of happier days.

Then with time and with nothing but the darkness to consider... the only sensible thing to do was move away from the view and maybe, find a way to rekindle the light.  Such effort did it take to grope for the matches, that I stumbled in the dark, and fell... far and hard.  And although there was pain, there was also endorphins and euphoria.  And for that I will always be grateful, for it suffused me once again with warmth, and the knowledge of things material and immaterial, that I knew I deserved.

So fix your eyes and get up,
better get up,
while you can...

Then finally, the matches were sought.  The candle was lit.  And the flame began burning anew... illuminating an altogether different scene.  One of endless possibilities and hope for tomorrow.  So upon the morrow, and the morrow after that....

I don't love you like I loved you yesterday...

... I will seek once more, that same person who once stood on the other side of the window, and hope to meet his eyes to recognise love of a different kind - a mutual understanding of a love that gives, rather than takes... and that makes us both better people than we were before.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Just us and Eric Benet

Here I sit in the dark, with the feeble moonlight barely penetrating the gloom of the living room. The light of my beloved mac is the only glow within, illuminating my drawn and exhausted visage, giving me the look of one haunted. Maybe I am.

Haunted by desires unfulfilled and memories of happier days. Yearning that things could have remained as they were and still hoping that the harshness of reality will take another step back and leave me in peace. In relative peace.

For escapism can no longer be a lasting release. If I am truthful to myself, it has not been for years. Once that barrier of denial was broken it meant that I have been forever forced to be in a state of duality... aware of more than I have been before, and making conscious choices because it has been the only way to be. Taking responsibility for all my actions.

Snatches of a sexy Eric Benet tune are filtering through to my consciousness as I type, and it makes me sad. It reminds me of the lies we tell ourselves to get through difficult days, in vain, hoping to emerge unscathed... only to fail.

A choice is looming on the horizon. A question mark hangs in the air. An answer, the only obvious answer, is slamming against my consciousness, reminding me of its presence. Annoying, unrelenting and unforgiving.

I am no longer clear about my reasons for resisting its presence. But my body is weak with exhaustion and my mental state overburdened by a fully charged day - the incredible high of being on the go now dragged into balance by a melancholy brought on by the weekly Friday 'triggers' that I have come to expect and dread, which I no longer have the strength to attempt to influence positive change upon.

But acknowledgment. Truly, it is out of my control... yet somewhere along the way, 'acceptance of the things I can't change' has come to equate 'things that I have failed to foresee.' When did I form that belief? And in an ironic twist, I hate that I did not see it rearing its ugly head.

But it's okay. I am okay, and everything will be fine. Tomorrow is another day and once sleep claims me, my troubles will fade away again like so much dew on a tropical morning. The sun rising with renewed vigour, as will I.

Until then though, it's just us... and Eric Benet.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

About Keeping Secrets

If there's anything I've learned lately, it's that life will throw the unexpected your way. I am grateful that I have learned to be better at going with the flow, taking those highs and lows like a pro... and dealing with the spills in due course.

In a conversation with someone close recently, I was advised to keep a specific thing about my life secret - even from, and even especially from, the one person in my life who is supposed to be closest to me. This, out of fear that it would come back later to bite me in the ass.

While I believe that everyone is entitled to privacy, I firmly believe that there are some experiences that need to be shared. I don't look to go out and advertise it - but neither am I ashamed of it. In fact I am almost proud of it most of the time - because it signifies strength and a set of unique lessons learned that I would not otherwise have had the opportunity to.

I am sure that the journey I've taken from that moment on has made me a better person - a warmer, more loving and more understanding person in the face of a lot of things.

My brother has often told me that I'm too soft. I am sure he often worries about me getting hurt because of my gentle nature which I tend to hide behind a wall of extroversion. I tried to toughen up, and I believe I have. I am more aware now that people can be horrendous beyond belief and do despicable things to one another. But I consciously refuse to stop believing the best of them, until proven otherwise... and maybe even then, there's hope.

I have tried starting out everything warily and with over-caution, but that just does not work for me. Life is too short for me to spend time not being me. I ended up making the wrong choices for myself - and living my life for other people.

Someone else told me that I tend to do things in a big way - that I make life changes drastically and with full force. I sensed a negative connotation there but I chose to take it as a simple statement of the way things are. I mean, I understand why that can be a bad thing, but I wonder if others understand why it can also a good thing. Making big changes has worked for me. The breakthroughs were big and I am grateful for every one of them.

Everything boils down to one man's meat being another man's char koay teow. Both just as good... but different.

If I were to be asked right now what my biggest fear is... I honestly would not know what to say (apart from 'snakes'!). I think it would be that at the end of the day, I will find myself alone in this world without the people I care about who have held up a mirror to my life and helped me define me.

Yes, that would be it. And while that is a fear that stemmed from childhood - which I believe will remain with me for the rest of my life - I also know that it isn't the truth. But please forgive me if sometimes, I forget.