Fragments

Pine needles adorned with pearls of rain, forest green, thick milky skies.

I hear melodies in the hum of appliances. Cymbals in rattling pipes, scales in soaring airplanes.

Auburn leaves gently sweeping through the air in slow motion. Like the littlest petals. Bon Iver, maybe Bootstraps cooing. I am watching something unfold: a God-given moment.

“I love music that makes you look up at the sky”.

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The depths of indifference

I wrote this last summer:

In fact I am happy to be going back to LA. I have found a window to sit under. Tea whenever. I can leave the campus at three am and walk into the city if I wanted to. I do meet people randomly all the time. There’s no good time to date? I disagree. There is a time called not now. When I’m not happy enough myself, not whole enough independently to let anyone in. I don’t want to depend on another person to make myself sane, or have my feelings so wrapped around this person that I don’t know who I am. I have boundaries, I am an individual. And this will not change with a man.

My thoughts on relationships have stayed the same. With the additional: I only want a man who can help me serve God better. I love love love to see growth- both in myself and in others. Probably why I like reading and blogging so much. I see that I’ve only grown more in love with Los Angeles… Even then, I was a little indifferent about the city itself. I’ve learned that indifference is something I cannot stand. It stops me from writing and being creative. I’d pick depressed over indifferent any day- unless indifference is a symptom (#defeated). I just hate going out for dim sum with my grandmother and my aunt, unwilling to smile or even clear my throat. There is nothing to say. I might as well not be here. I have no feeling towards these human beings. I don’t even look up when my helper speaks to me or hands me a plate of scrambled eggs. “Thanks”, I say as I scroll through Daily Mail. The one saving grace is the intense jealousy I feel inspecting every documentation of Tom Hiddleston and Taylor’s romance. It must be a ploy. But Tom is too good a person to play the media like that.

I’m writing about indifference because, in spite of learning not to base my self-worth on the certainty afforded by achievements, part of me is still obsessed with pinning down favourite somethings. I rejoice over little discoveries that confirm that yes, I can be moved. Yessss, I am not a waste of space! I feel like a failure if I don’t know myself enough to come up with an answer to “what are your favourite artists?” It mostly-always throws me into an identity crisis. But here’s something: it’s okay to enjoy the feel of songs rather than their content. That can be equally as important and profound. I appreciate what sounds can do! Let your memories perform.
I don’t need to have a favourite artist or a go-to song. I listen to songs that suit the mood; it must fit the vibe of this real-time movie. I just don’t know why I find this so uncomfortable to come to terms with! As long as I find my stability in Jesus, I don’t need any other favourites to mark me as an individual. He is my constant.

What we like so much is someone who is authentically happy with themselves. The best thing is to be confident in what you believe in, to stand tall knowing that you are living out your principles regardless of what people think or say. To not have to fake anything. To be honestly radiant, without even trying. The antidote to my indifference, I initially thought, was to change the scenery. Maybe, go out into the city and drink more coffee. See a friend I really like. But I’ve come to my senses: the change begins INSIDE my head and heart. It’s all about perspective. Because the minute my family left for Canada and I said goodbye to my helper as she prepared for Indonesia, I remembered all the reasons why I loved them. The way my dad kisses my forehead, how my mum praises me for home exercises, how my helper always goes above and beyond in her generosity and thoughtfulness. How my sister makes me laugh and how she always looks at me with admiration and fondness. I am always surrounded by such love. Indifference melts away when I remember.

Before my time

We’re sitting in your car listening to old school rap and it’s so upbeat you could call it Camp. For  a second you switch channels to make your point; hip hop today is grimy, droning, dirty. I’m imagining the scene as you describe it: middle school kids sweating until dawn. Everyone’s gone out to buy new shoes for the occasion but it’s so dark they can’t be seen. That’s not the point. It’s all about the music. The groove.

Remember the times when we grew up in community? I wish I did.

Shorts

“The moon is like a lemon wedge”, she said.
And I told myself it was beautiful and that I was going to write it down.
We ran with the lemon-wedged moon.

– – – – –

What if she never saw herself as an artist?
Would I be the artist for recognizing her art? I’m taking the truth and I am framing it.

– – – – –

We don’t create, we translate. We just don’t remember when or where we had once felt the same way. All of you poets and creators! We are the same! You describe what is in me.

– – – – –

My story is the most outrageous. Until I hear yours.

– – – – –

We are moments colliding. You remind me of all these other good things.

– – – – –

The music is an animal. A moving mass that has possessed me.
A language. We have diffused into each other.

– – – – –

INVASION:
Thought is a polluter. Please, can you get out of my head.

Heavenly

It starts with the head roll. Sliding, like my joints are unhinged. Oil, drip, glide, repeat, repeat. I climb with the music; the pulse is in me. My heart is dancing and I can’t feel the soles of my feet.

“I like to pretend I’m making the music, if that makes sense.” Our fingers are tapping imaginary drums, we’re waving our hands like we are drawing, milking the music from the air and I think: don’t we all? We see beautiful things and think: I wish I created this. I wish I made this. Where can I praise the creator? The one who made this possible. I thank God for ears that spin waves into a tapestry of colour.

We’re staring up at the rippling lights, as if they’re breaking the surface of the sea we’re immersed in. And our arms are a colony of weeds pulled in the current, magnetic. I’m drowning- in the best way. It’s good to drown in something you love, to escape your petty self, your petty worries. How people see you, whether or not they like you, it all doesn’t matter in an atmosphere of appreciation and you’re with people you want to smile with. Ah, if only others could feel what you’re feeling. But it’s incredible because they do. We are all of one mind, so similar in place. Synchronised, sharing, feeding.

We get a glimpse of heaven. A pathetic imitation by comparison but such an intensity of high in this life. A congregation of people who are in the midst of loving. The joy of loving.

I’d like to dance to this.

Transcendent

Meditation is not only about embracing stillness. It’s about absorbing the moment and being mindful of present sensations, like being aware of the interminent ticks of the clock and the snoring of my sister, the weight of my chin on my hand, the soft pillow beneath my crossed knee.
—–

2005. My ‘second birthday’- when I made the official decision to commit myself to Jesus Christ. My family surrounded me and my aunt even bought a cake to commemorate this new life. As I watched the candles wink and envelop me in warmth, I thought to myself: this is unreal. Like a picture.
—–

Euphoria. A dopamine/ endorphin rush. I’m on a high, with just enough alcohol in my blood. But Red Bull is most likely the culprit. There are certain moments when I say to myself: I will remember this. It’s the mental snapshot that I take. The boys are coming over to us, pushing through people with their necks strained above moving heads. I squeeze your arm and say “they’re coming now.” And suddenly we don’t care. We dance. We DANCE. And I get this feeling that I don’t want to forget. We’re illuminated in blue, weightless, smiling with our teeth and shaking our heads at each other. This is my meditation.
—–

We have an exam on Monday… So wanna go out tonight? I’m half-joking, kind of contemplating it. I’m trying to seduce her with the idea and she hates me for it. “You’re just trying to make me say that I want to go and then you’re going to say that you’re just joking”. But we do go. She has her maths lesson and when we arrive it’s already 12:45. Straight to T I think (our new homebase). No Antoine tonight- although someone does look a lot like him. We get a few drinks (some free) and go to all these fun places. Then we push onto the platform. The lights are slicing through consciousness, we’re hogging the airconditioned corner, and it’s the same feeling as the one previously described. So happy. Elevated. Would die happy in that moment.

It’s a beautiful morning. The sun hasn’t taken over the sky yet, but it’s not grey. The sky is blue and purple-ish. The clouds hang dark and we’d have found the moon if we tried. Remember these streets, the padding of our feet along the middle of empty roads. We buy 7/11 food like we haven’t eaten for days and talk about the last time we did this. Could it top that time? On par. Top night.
—–

Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re listening to Jesse Mccartney and David Archuleta. We’re bringing back the babes of the last decade, so of course we’re listening to Shayne Ward. We’re shouting the lyrics to ‘Breathless’: if we had babies they would look like you, in flat tones and bursts of laughter. We’re flinging our arms wildly and smothering ourselves in sound.
—–

Even though we have an exam tomorrow we’re buying marshmallows and cookie dough. We want to make s’mores. The chocolate digesetives look deformed and we’re poisioning ourselves with gas-burned marshmallows but the crunch followed by the sweet lava is so worth it.

SO PERFECT I LOVE MY LIFE.
To remember.

Contented

My fingers brush the keys as I enter into some sort of reverie. It must be ‘flow’. The lyrics spring to mind and drip like honey, the rhymes coincidental, the cadences perfected. The melody forms and unforms, clenches and releases, wispy and translucent before finally settling into a shape with grooves and colour. It interlocks with the resonating chords and pedaled notes the way puzzle pieces nuzzle against each other. I tumble into the next chord progression and like ink in water the sound moves. I am drifting in a current and nothing else matters besides what I’m doing. On the page in front of me are scribbles that completely disregard the horizontal writing lines and are letters that only I can read and understand.

I feel so content and at peace when I compose songs, for it grants me momentary relief from everything else. It is my distraction. I sit at the piano and hours dissipate. I missed dinner today because I was playing and I didn’t mind. I was in the midst of writing my third song. And now I feel calm. Rested. Satisfied. And eager for the next session.