And so we watch and so we learn/With eyes wide for our dreams to yearn

Posts tagged ‘me’

Love’s Labours

Falling in love is like a bicycle
Always so easy to feel the thrill, exhilarated
Rushing down those hills when you start off again
It’s a dream and an idea, a warm jacket that feels like a hug
So easy to put on, wrap around, lose yourself in

It’s never the same, each time,
But there are patterns – the familiar swoop of your internal organs
As they leap to catch your heart
Beating so fast in preparation for takeoff
But they’re always too late – you’ve gone and fallen again…
Whoops

I’ve been falling in love since I was in kindergarten
All I remember then, was of that boy with such a special smile
Now, it’s something so natural I’ve taught myself contingency procedures
Not just in theory, but the patterns and behaviours needed
Just to get off this rollercoaster…relatively unscathed

It’s never easy, though
The universe is still ruled by physics;
Once momentum is achieved, to halt is to…hurt
That’s the beauty of polyamory, demiromance, bisexuality
You can love, healthily love, so many
Balance yourself, tightrope underfoot
Between the spidersilk threads holding you in stead
Crisscrossing your heartstrings, support in case one snaps

That worked, most of the time
Not with you though
You were the warm blanket I always wanted to wrap myself up in
The texture just right, between soft and strong
I was never afraid I’d lose you
It never crossed my mind that we wouldn’t have…something

Funny, how our dancing act goes
Combined, we perform as easy as breathing
Natural and powerful, our pH is perfect
But we’re not the only variables, not really
Although we did a damn good job of pretending, didn’t we?
It got to be that I could rarely sleep without burying myself in the security of your affection

Oh, the illusions we build, art thou marvelous
We danced so perfectly we forgot where we were
Or at least, I did, for some time
Dreams are so easy to fall into
Once I trusted you fully, I didn’t want to stop falling
But, as gravity dictates, we must
It wasn’t flying – there was that thud of reality
That hit, eventually; forcing you to pick yourself up
Jarred, scarred, but not regretful
Never regretful, for having lived, having loved you
Known you, shown you, as you showed me
The stars
Constellations that linked my joy with your smiles, and our kisses…

I guess I can’t wear it as my lullaby each night, now
But your heavy coat of hugs and hope still lies in my closet, you know
Just in case destiny decides, and fate provides
Us with the chance, to try it on again
And maybe this time… it’ll fit just right

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In Which I Really Need To Make Travel Plans

There is not enough said
About longing for a new home
For the places you haven’t been to
For the worlds you haven’t known

There is not enough said
About yearning calls over the sea
Life you can so clearly imagine living
If you could only just be free

There is not enough said
When your town is the back of your hand
And you ache to find your other pieces
Buried with hearts in some other land

For when you know the feel of home
In a place every detail strange
There is joy to be found in unfamiliarity
And reassurance in change

And when you find new friends and love
In a world still foreign when you leave
You have to wonder; “Why the fuck did I go?”
“I need more time to live, to breathe;

“To find my rhythm in curiosity
With enough memories made to fill
What’s missing inside me – that exploration
And new discoveries I know surely will.”

For home is where the heart is,
And mine is big enough for the world to share
Now my problem isn’t finding all those places, though
But the monumental task getting there

Elemental Extremities

They say when you’ve reached
The farthest constellations of despair, just breathe.
They say when you’re stuck, improvise.
Get creative, do something new.
There I was, knowing every variation of new.
I thought I could understand it all, before this began.
Life made sense – it did!
I fit in the world.
Live it all now. Grow, change, explore.
The greatest achievements are the ones expected by no-one
I suppose by my rules, that makes us spectacular?
Except, by you
You play by a very different game.
Dedication and sacrifice, focus and discipline.
You knew where you belonged, where you were going.
Achieve, fight, thrive.
Stone when I was air,
Fire when I was water.
Work hard and plan, you say
Smile and laugh, just live, I say.
And I’d warn you, of your pride too proud
You’d chide me in return, my ideals to loud

Between a rock and a hard place
A roaring, clashing chaos, the ocean met land
Swirling water and unforgiving stone
We were always two worlds, fighting to coexist.
I puzzled over you, fought for you
Fought with you, in excess
Too much, hours of time
An avalanche and an onslaught
Clocks struggled to stabilise, as with the rising of the moon
The tides would turn,
The sea would rise to meet stone again
As new ground, old ground
And ever changing terrain was swept over

“Never healthy”, you said
“Don’t care”, I said
If opposites attract, then maybe we are the same?
Magnets of the same polarity
Drawn together inexplicably, pushed apart violently
Too close and yet not at all
Each bound to their tethers
Never truly meeting
Never truly parting
Alien textures of the other, explored with curious fingers
Of words, snatching what we can in each interaction
Taking and giving and sharing and baffling…

You are more than I ever imagined was possible to exist
And you are less tangible than any cloud to sweep my horizon.
I am too different to function in your world,
And you are too defiant to function in mine.
But I know, that one day
You will burn your name onto every stone on your path
That ever lead you, to greatness and power
Just as, in my own way,
I will seek to weather and round the edges of my paved journey of curiosity
Just a hop, skip and a jump away
Along softened stone, my feet will tread
A very different path to yours, this we have always known

So yet,
Even if we never speak again
Even if I never hear your voice, or shake your hand
I think maybe, just maybe
I’ve helped, to smooth out some of your edges
To soften your path, no matter where you go
Just as I know you have helped forge me
And
Your name will always be burnt, on the inside of my skull
Long after you have left my present and future
Each taking a piece of the other with them
Long after the ocean leaves the rocky shore.

New World, New Delhi

Messy, dirty, madness. Breathe.
Don’t breathe – cover your mouth, filter the fumes
Ancient carvings, airtel ads, cows and pigs roam wild 
Madness here, seeks to push you out
Who are you and why are you here?
What are you doing here, with your blue eyes and red hair
Every face questions you, follows you
Watch your back, watch your purse
But not always. Too much to see
Flashing by in the gap between flapping plastic
Three wheeled madness on unregulated roads
Too many cars, too many people
Each glimpse a question
A sewing machine being used on the sidewalk?
Rows of shiny kitchen utensils?
Piles of fruit, mysterious street food 
Unfamiliar letters painted along walls
Cricket in abandoned constructions…

You wonder at the people here.
At men wandering the streets – where are they going?
No footpaths or signs that make sense to your eyes
The girls here are mythical
Brightly coloured, draped in textures
Or exactly the same as immigrants back home
Here, you are the immigrant
Here, you are the strange one
In a world scarcely policed.
Too much to do
(Baksheesh ma’am? Chai panee please)

Humanity overflows here
Vultures selling services circle;
Hesitation? They swarm
You escape by the hands of a stranger
Kindness pushes between hands that reach out for what’s not bolted down
Tapping at your window when traffic halts
Weaving between shiny cars and men pulling carts
Pressed between sky scrapers and crumbling constructions
Life here fights, in each tangle of power lines
And the scrawny dogs who still droop with lactating teats

Order surrenders to chaos
Though not entirely, never entirely
You can feel the tide tugging, reaching to drag your feet out from under you
There are pockets though, dusted squares
Of organisation – frustration resulting in mediation
‘This inch of land is predictable!’
Proclaim the planners, the pedantic
While piles of dirt heap at roadsides
Remnants of plans forgotten 

Weeds do not exist here
The vegetation fights in armies, or not at all
Tangling and darkening undeveloped corners
Or sprawling between cement patchwork
Until you stumble across tranquility
Serenity in a room, a garden, a cafe
You almost forget what the car horns mean
Abstract notes become background ambience
Reminding you relentlessly of where you are
Reestablishing life’s motion here
Of hassle and noise and unmarked roadways

Until you stumble across beauty
Delicacy in a colour or shape or smile
Or the taste of hot chai first thing in the morning
Sweetness, like everything here, is potent
You lose track of the days and dates
Only feelings matter, only endeavours
Adventure subverts the ordinary
And turns the simplest of tasks Herculean
And the Herculean tasks reform unrecognisably
Because what else could to expect?
Within the dazzling, befuddling world
Between the drama and the dismal and the drastic
Fluctuating between gorgeous and grotesque
The capital of the country, the city of djinns
Here you are. Welcome

Travel: It Changes You

You know when people ask you how something has changed your life? And expect a nice, 100 word answer? Hehe, sometimes it isn’t so simple 😛
Because the thing that people don’t realize is,  is the fact that travelling has been one of the defining elements of my entire life. Literally, I had crossed 2 continents before I’d reached my second birthday. The first few years of a child’s life massively influences them in every way, studies have proven it. Babies imprint on people, things and places, whether they remember or not. My feelings towards a Russian refugee who helped my parents with me during the first 6 months of my life are inexplicably deep, tenderness to that only a handful of my blood family share. In the way some kids grew up in a city or rural town with their close family, I grew up with misadventures across Hong Kong and China, St Petersburg and Amsterdam, Turkey and Portugal.

Winter in Edinburg Scottish Highlands Loch Ness Edinburgh Castle

Kids start primary school with a few friends from the neighborhood, I began feeling foreign and strange, missing my best friend from Edinburgh. In the way the old folks have kick-knacks on shelves that “No, don’t touch that, it’s fragile” we have Zambian wooden carvings, Russian dolls, Indian drums and Moroccan cushions. It was much as part of our family as religion is to others’. Just as my family settled down, and Time in Oz > Time Overseas, and our world shrank to ours and the neighboring state and travelling became a distant dream, we took off for 2 months in Indonesia. My sister and I, who barely remembered more than lingering fragmented memories of Before, truly discovered budget travelling with a backpack. It completely opened our eyes, our conscious minds, to how wonderfully easy it all was, to catch a plane or a boat or a bus to wherever your finger landed on a map. Especially if you took the cheapest option and paid attention when the locals started haggling. Not only was this incredible adventure more economical, it was more real. We learnt the language and met people and went to the least-visited tourist sights. I think it had the most effect on my littlest sister, who was 3 the first time, 6 the second. We made sure to show her, when we flew over the coast of Darwin, to explain how we weren’t in Australia anymore, and she took to it all like a duck to water. Watching your country fade by, with the scuttle of clouds under sky more impossibly blue than you’ve ever seen before…it gives you a profound message of exactly how small the world really is, how easy it is to find your place in a brand new city with fragmented communication – smelling and hearing and seeing things more vividly than you thought possible. Your senses go into overdrive when you travel, you learn to drop ingrained expectations and habits, to adapt to new (or less) road rules, to manners and reactions in everyday interactions, to savor everything that is new, different or even slightly the same.

Kid by the Boats Lush Greenery at 70 km/h Classic Architecture in Bali
And this is doubly the case when one travels by oneself to the other side of the world. To be completely alone, and completely free, in a completely alien environment…it is one of the most incredible and indescribable life changing experiences. When everything, down to the weeds in the cracked pavement, the direction of traffic, the language on the tv’s, the clothes, the music, the buildings and the weather are utterly brand new, the metaphor of soaking things in on a wonderful family holiday is akin to playing in the rock pools and then being swept out to the ocean in a storm. You see so much, you don’t have time to absorb a fraction of what you’re hearing, everything that was your bedrock of support – lost at sea. It’s a psychological onslaught combined with an ecstatic sensory input. The textiles and aromas from crafts that are a blend of Incan and European worlds, ocean, sierra, rainforest and desert climates – waterfalls and glaciers that went thousands of meters in every direction.

Living with teenagers who only knew a tiny square of the universe, so small and yet so rich with heritage and history, showing clearly in their eyes and their blood. And then there were others, explorers like myself, who understood the joy of flight and the thrill of travel – and bonding with them, sharing our adventures with like-minded spirits, together from so many places in a moment of coincidence. It was 12 months of magic, 2012; a Balinese Christmas and a germanic Argentine Easter, India on the phone and Bolivia across the river, where I never stayed in the same place for more than 8 weeks solid, travelling from almost the Antarctic circle to within the tropic of Capricorn…and when I went home, my world shrank to a 50 km radius. Ire turned back to my secure family, friends who had never left the city and going to the beach 15 minutes away a special occasion.
Skyline of my beloved Cordoba The Igazu Falls. Sheer awe-inspiring magnificence. 300 year old remnants of spanish missionaries Buenos Aires at night Bariloche, in the foothills of the Andes Los Caballeros celebrating in the Intersection La Boca, Buenos Aires The Puerto Marino Glacier, in all it's icy glory Northern Markets in the Hills of Salta Guitarists that we were, in a cross-cultural group session

When you travel, you are bombarded by the majesty of the chaotic life on earth, until you learn to adjust your sails and navigate the winds of the universe. Your mind expands more, than you ever thought possible, to span oceans and languages and cultures – you see how much more there is to the world. How much more there is to living.

Restlessness

To run, to fly, far away
To seek it out, another day
To drop this idle stillness dead
To flee its ever growing dread
For I am not a tree of stone
I grow not roots, I only roam
Escaping darkness and the pain
Wash it away in foreign rain

I never know what cometh yet
Wide-eyed I watch, in a way forget
Living in the speedy life
Of things to come, avoiding strife
Avoiding bonds that break & bend
Attachments that hurt /you/ when they end
From it I run, seek fresher air 
It cannot hurt me if I don’t care

And so I dance in days to come
Escaping the terrible tedium
I daren’t reflect, for suffering
And tearing pain my heart tugging
Will drag me down to a level more
Mundane; feet on a dirty floor
Who could abide such stagnant air?
When whole worlds await out there?

Run forever and run some more
Never look back at what was before
Until the scars have faded to be
A little more than memory
The little box of regret will grow
What’s done is done, and on we go
To find a something new to face
To run from life, ‘cross time and space

Dreaming

It’s easy to forget, sometimes. My world, that is. The rooms around me feel so arbitrary, a safe house, a still point in time – a place of dormancy between journeys, where nothing truly remarkable happens. It is merely a space that can be relied on, for its simple existence. Home, the shell which holds us, a location of healing and preparing, of resting…and waiting.

Still ’round the corner there may wait/ A new road or secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by/ 
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run/ 
West of the Moon, East of the Sun

It’s easy to lose your sense of presence here, because how could you focus on the stillness when you know what is happening?
Babies are being born and old grandmothers are speaking fierce words to their loved ones – people are risking their lives to save those who cannot save themselves, young ones are learning, expanding their minds, dreamers are dreaming, adventurers are adventuring, people are dancing, writing music, poems, inventing and discovering, crossing uncharted rainforests, taking specimens from the floor of a volcano, looking for life on the bottom of the ocean – a million languages are being spoken, a thousand cultures are breathing…

I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again – cross the sky and seek out the Great Perhaps. One day I’m going to as free as a migratory african swallow, and I will see it all. One day I will cross the oceans, arrive at places I have only been able to dream of. One day I will shoulder everything I need to live, chase the setting sun and find new worlds. One day I will stand on top of a mountain, dance on foreign shores, look upon the face of the raw wilderness in the animal kingdom, sing exultantly under blue skies that stretch to every horizon. One day I will turn around, take a breath and say “Hello Danielle”. One day I will look on the emotive faces of those I have never known truly before. One day the future will be the present, and everything will fall into place. One day I will chase away the scattered cobwebs that stretch over my mind in the idleness of everyday life, and I shall know every inch of this beautiful, marvelous, impossible world.

But until then…I am 16 and bound to the life of school and suburbia. Until then, I study and I help my mother with chores. Until these days come, 16 months – 508 days must pass, in the sanctuary that holds me here, binds me to this small small pocket of the universe. It will be, it must be, one day I know what I will be. But for now…I am here.