On Being a Sentimental Writer

I’m such a sentimental writer.

It’s a fact that I’ve been casually aware of since High School - I didn’t care about it much. I was a stubborn teen, and being angst-ridden, dramatic and verbose kind of came with the territory. 

After reading my old Livejournal (from 2007-2008!) and then writing my previous post, I’ve come to realize that I actually haven’t shaken the sap out of my writing. 

Yeah, I’m a sap; I also have a tendency to ramble on and on. It’s time to seriously discipline myself. Restraint is as much a part of writing as is honesty, and I want to be completely in control of that, if I want to fancy myself a good communicator. 

When I posted on facebook that reading my old LJ “felt like having an awkward conversation with a stranger who knows everything about you,” my friend Jia shared this piece by Maria Popova. It’s on Joan Didion’s thoughts on keeping a notebook, and it’s a really good read.

The impulse to write things down is a peculiarly compulsive one, inexplicable to those who do not share it, useful only accidentally, only secondarily, in the way that any compulsion tries to justify itself.

The point of my keeping a notebook has never been, nor is it now, to have an accurate factual record of what I have been doing or thinking. That would be a different impulse entirely, an instinct for reality which I sometimes envy but do not possess.”

So there. This post actually has no real purpose other than to record this thought in time, on my being such a sentimental. I’ve no idea if I actually have a resolution for this in mind, or how to end it, even.


Samhain Prayer

The last leaf has now fallen,
The trees have all let go;
The colder winds are blowing,
Life’s great ebb and flow.

The seasons are now changing,
The days are fading fast;
The wheel of fate is turning,
The present is now past.

So now it’s time to say
our bittersweet goodbyes
To our winged memories
As they fly into the skies.

And though the year is ending,
there’s still time to renew:
tomorrow’s ready to be filled
with love that’s right and true.

Haven’t written anything rhyming since… I don’t know when. High school? In University as a requirement? The first four lines just randomly popped in my head on my cab ride home tonight.

I’ve been thinking about Samhain — how it’s the festival that marks the transition from autumn to winter; the official end of the summer seasons. Change. 

People say they’re ready for change, but nobody really is ready for it. But such is the way of life. Whether we believe that we are ready or not, it will happen. All we are left to do is embrace it the best way our bodies and souls can. 

Happy Halloween! May the ghosts of our pasts transcend into becoming true spirit guides for our futures, and not remain phantoms that haunt us shackled with unfinished business.

Words on the Operating Table, Session I

I like to dissect words,
to see their vulnerable anatomies
cracked open, meanings
flowing freely between letters.

For example,
Forgive, and Forget:

A quick analyses will bring us
to the observation that
the former requires a piece of us
offered freely to someone else,
literally, it is
for giving;

and the latter, an act
of taking something for ourselves:
carefully coined
for getting.

I may be too invested in watching Hannibal. This sort of came about while watching an episode. Weirdo alert!

Weather Systems

When storms rage outside my window,
I am terrified to close my eyes.

It makes it impossible to discern if
the loud howls and the beating
on the roof are from the angry wind and rain,
the spiteful haunting of a wandering ghost,

or my own blood rushing through my heart a-pounding.

Steadfast and resolute; grateful and accepting.

Postulating on Posture and Falling Teeth

Day 3 of this insufferable stiff neck and back ache.

Since I was a kid, I’ve been scolded for my bad posture. Back hunched over in shyness, there was a brief period in High School when I had to wear a support under my uniform that would pull my shoulders back, force my chest out and fake my proper posture, but it hurt, so I didn’t wear it for long. One of my good friends Patrick would always tug my shoulders from behind when we see each other, just to remind me to stand tall. 

Though I’ve learned to stand taller now, and I’m not as shy as I used to be, sometimes I still find myself shrugging my shoulders as I walk, or hunching over when I sit. 

Muscle memory is hard to overwrite, I guess.

I’m not entirely sure if it’s related, but I get stiff, painful neck and back muscles at times. They’re not that common to warrant a trip to the doctor; I figured it’s normal to wake up with sore muscles when you sleep the way I do (like a madman at times, tossing and turning in my slumber,) coupled with my posture.

Three days ago I woke up with a sore upper back. I figured it was from sleeping in an odd position, so I thought it’d go away. But the next night, it just worsened. I took ibuprofen periodically, applied muscle ache patches and slept without pillows, and it’s helped, but I still couldn’t turn to the left or right without having to turn my whole upper body. 

This morning I woke up from a dream. In it, I was paralyzed - maybe because of my back problems - and I was crying, because my left front tooth had fallen off for no reason.

Some say it’s an omen, but it’s a usual dream I have when things are changing around me, or when I am stressed; ever since I got braces, I would usually dream about my teeth falling when I’m on the cusp of a life-change. Perhaps it’s my subconscious interpreting the changes as a death of my old self?

I bit my pillow immediately upon waking up (they say that’s the way to counter the omen - it won’t hurt to follow it.) I lay on my bed, my back still throbbing sore, and my toothless image still fresh in my mind. What if this is all psychosomatic? If I purposefully take a placebo, will it cure it?

I’ve been thinking a lot. Too much, in fact. But lately I’ve learned quite a lot about myself because of it, how my quiet prayers to the universe have shifted from please make this happen, to please just grant me the strength to make the most of what happens. 

Perhaps this paralyzing ache, this image of teeth falling, are just the aftermath of force, I thought. Much like the pain that comes after lifting something heavy, your body aches after you let go of the weight.

Maybe I’ve finally let go of whatever weight I’ve been carrying. Maybe I’ve stopped steering towards the wrong direction, paddling against the wrong current - and my body was feeling it as real as my mind. 

The funny thing is, the aches are keeping me from slouching. I can’t look down, and have to pull my shoulders back so as not to feel the pain. Right now, all I can comfortably do is to stand tall, with my head slightly held high. Ironic. And very symbolic.

Hope is where the heart is.

Be wary of words:

They hold too much power,
or none at all.

The scent was all too familiar:

Damp soil exhaling
an inescapable stench
you cannot ignore.

The rains have come, and summer
is slipping away.