Restless musings

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Restless musings
No calm of thought
Body – distraught
Endless callings…
Out!
They have no form
Yet –

Music echoes
Down on my cheeks
Melody flows
As my heart speaks
Out
Into the storm
Wet

The waves rushing
To the calm shore
Of my longing
To express more…
Still,
They have no form
Yet.

Restlessness… Agitation… Unrest… Continuous movement of the mind… musing… calm… quiet… meditation…

I cannot pacify the raving storm of my thoughts, and yet, I am collected and content. Old convictions come to be re-placed and re-shaped…Newer ones develop. The ideas will not stop rushing, and gushing, but they are not ready to take form… That is where the anxiety lies – ideas, like golden birds, are waiting to take flight…

Tough Questions: breathe and find direction

     Yesterday evening, when I opened my WordPress reader, I saw that the Discover challenge offered by the The Daily Post this week was “Tough Questions.” I immediately felt drawn to the idea, as I have been asking myself a lot of these tough questions lately. I tackled a few in my last blog entry, The Culture of Love?  But there are still many more inside, some ransacking my mind, others fluttering peacefully there, some still waiting for a reply after many, many years of thought and consideration: what is love? what is happiness? what is truth? and beauty? why should people hurt? why is there so much suffering in the world? how can I help this world be a better place? and what is a better place? how do I become a better person? and what is a good person to begin with? why are people mean to each other? am I enough? am I good? why are we here? will I love and be loved in return? how can I assuage the pains of others? how does anyone do it? is there such a thing as fate? is magic real? why are war and hatred the answer to so many of the world’s problems or complexities? why don’t governments do more to improve the lives of their people? and what about climate change? what is the difference between perception and reality? how do you ever reach the slightest understanding of reality when your own world is determined by what you perceive and when it is so difficult to feel the perception of others? when others won’t open up so you can reach this level of comfort and intimacy that should serve both parties? are we alone in the universe? what is the best way to teach school kids? is curing all diseases actually the right thing to do? where is the mystery? why so many screens?

I could go on, and on, and on with questions about the past, and the future, about people, about ideas, about myself too, and my friends and family… the people I have loved, the way they hurt themselves and others in the process, the way I do that too, sometimes. It is really frustrating to know that I cannot have a definite answer to any one of these questions. But perhaps one way to carry on, and stand the burden of the mystery is to take a deep breath and figure out where you want to go from now on.

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Breathing deeply calms the mind and eases the heart
Vision becomes clearer, newer – you can connect
With the world.
Others; sorrows, struggles – you must never forget
I ask myself, what can I do? What is my part
In this world?
Choosing it, chasing it, finding it, a fresh start
Direction, connection, reflection – I protect
This vision.

I hope you all have a wonderful day 💛⭐️

Sacha

Careful

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My every word feels like a pin
Stuck in and out of your skin

I know I have to be
Careful
I do not want to be
Hurtful –

But how can I prevent the hurt
If you turn all my love to dirt?

I always have to be
Tactful –
I’m just tired to be
Thoughtful –

When you fumble through my heart
Try and tear it down, and apart

How can I ever show
I am caring?
How can I still be sure
I am feeling?

If you destroy the foundations I laid
And the wreaths that I have made

To lace your life to mine, and to heal
All of the wounds that you conceal.

I really tried to be
Careful –
But it has come to be
Painful –

To resist the waves of your silence
To fight your storms of defiance

I am starting to feel
Hopeless –
But I guess you could not
Care less.

 

My eyes are tired.

Today, as I scrolled down my WordPress reader, I saw a post by aYoKa called “Pretend.” It reminded me how often we are asked to make believe we are fine or upset on a daily basis…. So I wrote this little poem and painted a little, just to commit my emotions to paper without pretending. 

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Oh Mother! How I have tried
To give and never ask
That anything be given back,

But tonight, my eyes are tired.

Would it not be sweet
To cease upon the night
Would it not be right
To finally retreat?

Because I feel my lids are tired.

And all my dreams are uninspired
My limbs are numb,
My lips too dumb
To even cry:

Dear Mother, how I have tried…

WORDS

In The Walls Do Not Fall, poetess Hilda Doolittle wrote:

“remember, O Sword,
you are the younger brother, the latter-born,

your Triumph, however exultant,
must one day be over,

in the beginning
was the Word.

 

     Words… Words stronger than war, fiercer than swords…

     Hilda Doolittle wrote Trilogy during World War II, as she and her lover Bryher witnessed the horrors of the Blitz from their London house. For the poet, writer and woman of letters she was, words must have represented an escape from the brutality of war, but also a weapon to fight it. They were a way to recreate what the war had broken – souls, buildings, lives, hopes… In Trilogy, past and present become united; perspectives on what it is to be a woman are transformed; the book reveals the organic, syncretic nature of creation and the positive power of words.

     I agree. Think only of the worlds that come to life page after full page of writing, the beauty of sounds and letters as you read them, the magic of poetry and prose and the softness, comfort and hope they can bring. But then, there is the other side of words.

Unrequited

    Words… Words that hurt, purposely, unwillingly, strongly, fiercely…
    This is why I am posting a painting rather than a poem today. Not because I have stopped writing or loving words, but because I wanted a break from them, which might seem extremely strange, or perhaps even inconsistent, considering how much I have actually written for this post already (word count: 250 words).
     I wish my words never caused any pain – I wish words never felt like the food people feed the belligerent, manipulative, destructive monsters that live inside us and sometimes – a little too often, maybe – take hold of us. I am dreaming of a world where words are not used to make unalterable doctrines that fill people’s hearts with fear, hatred and blind idolatry. And that’s why I am posting a painting along with words… because I wish sometimes people, including me, could simply just see.

On Kindness

November kindness

     The original title to this piece, which is part of a monthly series I started last September, is November Kindness. The painting is a reflection on – as its title suggests – warm-heartedness and how the simplest, most basic gestures can be the most valuable sources of well-being and altruism.

      As a child, I was a fairy tale, manga and Disney enthusiast and to be honest, I must admit that I still am. Of course, fairy tales, and more particularly their Disney adaptations, have been criticised in recent years for the gender stereotypes they impose on children, even though such films as Rapunzel and Frozen have been applauded for proposing somewhat stronger, more independent female figures than Cinderella or Snow White did. The change seems only natural – the position of women in society has evolved since the 1930’s and 1950’s although there remains much to fight for and against. However, when I watched Disney films and read fairy tales as a little girl, what was sparked in me was not a desire to become a princess married to a prince (I did wish to be a princess, but only because, let’s be clear, being a princess is pretty awesome and dreamy and that meant I could have helped people in need and given my family all they had ever wanted – plus marvellous dresses). No, what I remember from watching and reading these tales is that you should always be kind, courageous, passionate, patient, adventurous and aspire to justice, knowledge and freedom while following your dreams.

      As a young woman, I still value what I learnt from tales and from, let’s not forget them, An American Tail and All Dogs Go to Heaven, but the one thing I cannot fathom is how often I am criticised for being kind or compassionate. Some people have called me weak, submissive, passive or straight out stupid. I have met with incomprehension and frustration – resentment even, and been charged with being manipulative or controlling, which has made me truly question my behaviour. Was I really a sum of the things I was reproached with being, or were people mirroring their own issues on me because they could not take my kindness? Answering this question would be, of course, near impossible – there are too many shades and uncertainties. But I started reflecting on the meaning of kindness.

        I recently stumbled upon Brain Pickings, a little gem of a site which describes itself as a “free weekly interestingness digest,” and interesting it surely is! Among the many articles proposed online is one entitled “How Kindness Became Our Hidden Pleasure.” It offers a reflection on psychoanalyst Adam Phillips and historian Barbara Taylor’s On Kindness. As I have not read the book, I cannot provide my own interpretation, but the quotations Maria Popova chose to insert in her article are very insightful. One in particular struck me as representative of the way kindness has come to be considered:

“Kindness — that is, the ability to bear the vulnerability of others, and therefore of oneself — has become a sign of weakness (except of course among saintly people, in whom it is a sign of their exceptionality)… All compassion is self-pity, D. H. Lawrence remarked, and this usefully formulates the widespread modern suspicion of kindness: that it is either a higher form of selfishness (the kind that is morally triumphant and secretly exploitative) or the lowest form of weakness (kindness is the way the weak control the strong, the kind are only kind because they haven’t got the guts to be anything else).”

       This pretty much sums it all up and no further explanation is needed here, but if kindness is so strongly rejected for fear of being deemed too weak or manipulative, of showing vulnerability and of letting people in even as you reach out to them, can you really claim that open-heartedness is a sign of weakness? It appears, rather, like the greatest of strengths since remaining compassionate and generous no matter what demands more self-control, altruism and sympathy than caring only for your own interests does, especially in a world so centred on individualism. It is about accepting that people may hurt you and try to use you but refusing to give up on kindness. It is about building a solid core of confidence for yourself so that you can recognise yourself in another without being forced into a social mould that shapes you into thinking that warmth is futile. Being nasty, however, is easy – it may spur momentary feelings of guilt, but superficially, it is more comforting since meanness, distance or cynicism build a sort of protective fence around you that protects you from the pain deep, intimate bonds may cause. But in so doing, it also deprives you of the indescribable joy of knowing that bond, the relief of giving without expecting, or the simple pleasure of sheltering a kitten from the rain.

“Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now”
– Jack Kerouac

My Monthly Memories

     A few days ago, Basant She invited me to participate in a blogging event that she’s organising monthly called My Monthly Memories. You can check her entry for February: it’s very colourful, warm and full of loving thoughts.

My Monthly Memories

      Receiving the invitation made me really happy, but I had to ask myself: “what could I possibly write about?” So I quite obviously read the description Basant She wrote: “This event will consist of posts written about your overall month. You could write about something that has greatly affected you as a person, what you’ve learned from an experience, a goal you had set for the month, anything you want! You can get as creative as you want with it! The event is all about you and what you want to share monthly with your audience and for the future, yourself.”

      Well… February has always been one of my favourite months – it’s been synonymous with new beginnings and revival for as far as I can remember, even though most people simply associate it with cold weather, Valentine’s Day and sometimes Pancake Day as well (that I surely do!). The month of February has been no different this year!

     At the end of October, I started feeling very sick – I could not go to school for two months, and when I could finally return in early January, I was still feeling exhausted. I lost close to 13 kilos (about 28 lbs, and no, this is not an eating disorder aha) in the course of three months and even though I can’t say I am unhappy with my weight now, I have to get used to my new, slim body. It feels a little strange – eerie even – not recognizing your own reflection in the mirror, going into shops reaching for a US size 10 and ending up with a size 6 or 4, if not less, or realising you are amongst the most petite girls in the room when you used to be the chubby one.

     It was not until February that I began to recover, both physically and mentally, and I have to admit that opening this blog was a great part of the recovery process. Being able to express my thoughts, share my poetry and art is really soothing – the time I spend writing posts is a time when I disconnect from school and daily concerns completely. I believe I could compare it to giving my soul a warm bath, but that’s maybe a little weird, hehe. I was afraid I would write a post or two and then just give it up altogether, but I’m actually proud with how consistent I have been so far. In parallel, I bought myself a brand new notebook I am currently using to journal and prepare my dissertation proposal. I keep it with me at all times so that I can write or draw whenever I feel the urge to.

     Another wonderful memory from February was being offered brand new watercolour brushes for my birthday to complete the set of quality paints and paper my parents gave me as a present for Christmas. Painting transports me into another world; it compensates for my inability to speak when I am overwhelmed with emotion or ideas; it burns inside of me like the brightest star in my thought-galaxy, which is what I tried to capture in this piece.

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     I hope February is only the first of a series of wonderful months. I have chosen to let the light in and although some days will be easier than others, I want to strive because:

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi