what? huh? oh dear…

May 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am sitting here writing when I really should be packing.

Maybe it’s the thousands of thoughts floating around that’s causing me to take a breather, or maybe… it’s simply because I’ve been on a roll since 7am this morning and haven’t had a moment’s break. I just felt I needed a little down time before I start on the bags.

*

So I woke up late on an event date.

Thankfully, Scooter Girl (who’s 5 months pregnant!) stood in for me while I made a mad dash down to the venue. The absolute horror of getting up late and realizing your clock’s hour hand is one number ahead of where it should be gave me the adrenaline fix I needed. The crash came once there was a lull in activity… I needed my caffeine fix.

During the lull, I chatted with the artists (which actually, is an essential part of the job) and made sure that everyone was doing well, life was good, they were well fed, happy… and then the performers streamed in for their rehearsals.

From then on, it was a hazy blur of activities.

But the hilarious bit came when the event needed a little reordering in the sequence of program and I had to do an emergency voice-over. Imagine runners on a track, passing the baton… except this time, it was a singular microphone, a 2-second leader on a video playback, my calm announcer tones (albeit racing heart alert due to yet another last minute script approval and change!) and then, a crazy run along the hallways to hand the microphone over to a singer.

‘But she’s not singing till the end of the show!’ DigiBoy said over coms.

‘No one told me!’ I replied, stifling my pants. I seriously need to start running again.

And once I got back into the room around 1pm, I finally opened up my oatmeal breakfast and began munching.

Then it was off to the video rooms to edit something for the next several hours, and an interview… and by the time the day ended, it was 8.30pm.

And there were no cabs.

‘Get a car. Wait. Get a license first.’ I grumbled to the Hubby, who just rolled his eyes at me while he mentally cursed the busy cab companies.

And that was it. A day’s worth completed.

(happy sigh)

*

Suitcase #1 – Mom’s food, clothes and other knick-knacks from her oh-I-don’t-need-much list.

Suitcase #2 – my stuff. Where did all the pre-packed toiletries go?!?!

Handbag #3 – gotta clear the rubbish first before I take it with me.

I’ll settle it tomorrow. I need to sleep. Problem is… I gotta leave the house in 4 hours time. Dammit. I don’t have time to sleep…

*

Japan, here I come.

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the song remains

May 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

I am at a sort-of crossroads now.

There was one thing I always wanted to do as a child – I wanted to sing. Of course, the voice I hear in my head is infinitely more beautiful than what I produce, but that doesn’t stop me from doing what I love… because I don’t do it for myself alone.

I don’t sing because it aligns me to a group of people I want to be with, although my listening choices might. And I most certainly don’t do it because I think I’m spectacularly good.

I sing because I see creation unfold as the melodies swirl forth.
I sing because my world take shape as the words I utter mould it’s existence.
I sing because it’s the only way of fully expressing my heart’s song.
I sing because I was first created with a song.

Over the past year, I found myself singing less, and as my silent moments ticked away and my song grew colder… I knew I had to return to it soon. But the lack of time negated both my desire and will. Which was why I’d been looking forward to doing it again, come July. However, three weeks ago, I was asked if I could put that desire on the back-burner again, to focus on my upcoming projects.

I couldn’t find it in myself to answer that request. Because I’m not sure how much longer I can last if I live through another’s song. I need to sing again. Sure, I can rebel against the request and do it anyway… but that means being unable to give my all to the craft.

Would I do it if it was sub-standard?

As an experiment, I started singing in the bedroom, in the bathroom, in the cab, along walkways and corridors, in the office, at the grocery store, in a cafe… and found such liberation in doing that simple deed. But I missed being with a group and singing with them. There’s something special when you sing in unity with others. It’s as if the differences in personalities, beliefs and character fade away. You are just one voice.

I don’t know if I can walk away from it again.

And if I do (because there’s no other way), I’m not sure how I’ll handle it.

*

When you reach the little house, the place your journey started, you will recognize it, although it will seem much smaller than you remember. Walk up the path, and through the garden gate you never saw before but once.

And then go home.
Or make a home.
And rest.

– Neil Gaiman

What’s written on my heart is plain to understand. I guess this is one time I’ll need to trust that the Author is the only One who can conclude this story. And as I’m faithful to what’s in my hands, the Author will be faithful to make what’s in my heart come to pass.

In the meantime, I’ll learn to call this new place home.

And rest.

*

A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.

– Maya Angelou

strong too long

May 5, 2011 § 2 Comments

red was the colour of your day
the undertones in your speech and the words that you said.
wet were the eyes that looked for an answer
biting hard on lips that tasted saltwater.
deep was the frown etched on your forehead
as you battled the pounding of your incessant ache.
quiet you were, as you sat in your place
while your soul exploded in your silenced day.

*

Dear little marionette,

Why were you so angry today? I watched you closely, as you sat huddled over in a corner, as if cradling your hurt. I reached out but your walls were too high. Did you hear me call your name?

No one knew what you were going through. No one, because… you didn’t utter a sound. Only your computer screen saw the real you, because each time someone asked you a question, you slipped behind a mask before turning around with the brightest, loveliest of smiles. It was terribly, achingly convincing.

You weren’t always such an actor.

Remember the time you were three, and life was too confusing to understand? You vented your frustrations with wild abandon, only to find yourself locked in a cupboard. They couldn’t handle you, so they put you behind doors where they didn’t need to deal with the tantrums. Is that why you now put yourself behind such thick walls? Is this your form of protection?

I would’ve admired your strength today, if you weren’t cutting yourself in the process.

But I’m glad you managed to gather enough sense to send a message out to a friend, asking for help. You didn’t need answers then… you just needed someone who would understand. Someone who wouldn’t judge you, but cared enough to let you be yourself. Those few minutes helped and when you stood up to meet your next appointment, you did it with such cheer, I nearly believed you were better.

Until I saw you between the moments.

You walked with the stride of a weary man, your face loosened into a frown.

And oh! How the tears fell when you thought no one was looking… but I was. And when you weren’t looking, I gathered the little saltwater droplets into my bottle. Every little tear that caressed your face before it hit the table, I found precious, I couldn’t let them dry up into nothingness. Because what you went through today, wasn’t nothing to me. No, it meant everything.

That was why I delayed you back in the office till everyone had left. I needed some time with you. Alone. Now weren’t you surprised when I turned up?

What are you doing here?‘ you hissed at me. ‘How dare you turn up?

I need you to understand…‘ I began. But you turned away.

I wanted to understand! I asked, but there were no answers. I cried but there was no comfort. I raged but there was no release. You’re too late.‘ You said, and I felt your pain.

I am never late’. I answered. ‘I was there before the pain entered. I was there in the cupboard with you, in the darkness, years ago. I was there alone, before you began to understand loneliness. I was abandoned before you were born. I am never late.’

You didn’t reply. But I saw you begin to cry again.
And this time, when I came over to sit by your side, you let me.
I entered your pain then as yours began to dissolve.

‘I know you don’t understand but is it enough if I do? Will you let me be the one to shoulder all that you’re going through?’ I asked you.

You reached out to hold my hand.

Will the day come when you realize how precious that one movement of yours meant to me? I don’t know… but I loved you all the more, when you were weak.

Because it was then that you allowed me to be your strength.

I will always be here. And I will never, ever, leave you.

With love,
The Dream Maker

*

JD Salinger once wrote, ‘She wasn’t doing anything I could see, except standing there leaning on the balcony railing, holding the universe together…’

I’ve been trying to be strong for too long. And the harder I try, the weaker I grow. I used to think that if I didn’t hold the universe together, no one else would, for me. So I held tighter to the strings, pulling things with just the right amount of tautness, careful not to disrupt the orbit of every demand, every responsibility, every role… until I couldn’t anymore.

But while the day was a tormenting one… at least, I have found a semblance of peace in the break down. Maybe my universe will fall apart, and maybe it won’t. But at least, I’m not alone.

[To Smiley: may you find your peace too, in being completely, entirely, unable to do everything. It is a beautiful letdown, when we can finally fall apart. And one day… we’ll have our wide open spaces.]

fragile resilience

May 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

‘It’s like anything else in life. It’s hard for a little while, then you get used to it, and eventually you just carry on with life as normal. The human heart is the most fragile and resilient of things.’

I smiled when I read that line in the email. It felt as though miles away, my friend still understood what I was going through. And I very much needed to read those words.

Especially since it feels as though the framework of support I’ve been dependent on for the past few years is slowly being dismantled, one by one. I was quite unaware of the way I dealt with the loss. I had been shoving my thoughts and feelings into the deep recesses of my mind. And with every day that passed, a new brick was laid upon the wall around my heart – a wall that was once demolished.

It was only when I began losing my cool at the smallest issues, when my emotional state grew rocky, and I saw how I refused to open up about it… that I realised I was beginning to shut people out.

‘No one would understand,’ I fumed alone.

And maybe… they wouldn’t. Not entirely, anyway.

But the email reminded me that I can, in the midst of so many upheavals, find my footing once again. I can find a new way to deal with old patterns. I can keep the walls away. I can refuse to be isolated. And maybe… I can find a new support system.

Everything’s gonna be okay.

And if not, I will be.

*

If I ascend into heaven, You are there.
If I make my bed in hell, You are there.
And even if I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea…
Even there, Your hand shall lead me.
And Your right hand…

…it holds me.

Where Am I?

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