Friday, May 31, 2013

Letters to self : Hearty Matters

Dear mind,

I know these days you’ve been listening to a host of voices. Each with their own opinion and persuasion. I know how inclined you are towards logic but before you act on those logical reasonings, listen to the beating insistence of this heart.

Remember that there is no such thing as the perfect partner, and that all succesful relationships were built on a foundation of understanding and trust. Trust that when you lay your soul bare, this other person will be willing to fill in the gaps and crevices of your inadequacies with the jagged pieces of his own.

Remember that it is always easier to lay blame at the door of another person but it takes courage to address your own shortcomings. Even if you’re not entirely to blame, remember the importance of fighting for the things you really want, because one fine day, you might need someone to fight for you.

When things get ugly, remember the beauty that sparked it all. Youthful arrogance might delude you into thinking the best of yourself, but don’t forget that moment, however fleeting when it meant everything for that someone to accept the worst of you before seeing the best in you. 

When the slopes get too slippery, and holding on hurts, remember that the last peak is always the steepest. When the going gets tough and you’d like nothing better than drowning your sorrows in cocktails and wasteful indulgence, remember that it takes a cocktail of tugging and letting go to make it work. And right before you light the last fire to start burning those bridges, remember why you built them in the first place.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Made to hurt

We live in selfish times. Just look around you. From the day you were born, your accolades and accomplishments adorn the walls around you. First baby tooth, first word, sport medals, competition trophies, certificates. Graduation pictures, wedding photos. We expect people to throw us lavish birthday parties, as if growing a year older is a great accomplishment.

There is no harm celebrating these things. After all, we worked hard at some of them. But it becomes so easy to slip and fall into the valley engulfed in walls of pride. We have been tuned to live in a culture where everything about us, revolves around us. Our pain is greater than that of our neighbour's. Our worries more burdensome, our burdens, heavier. Whilst we go around wailing about our trivial little disturbances, there are children who are starving, women getting abused, the elderly lonely, the sick dying. All around us, there are people in need of care. 

Are we so technologically advanced and so loftily educated that we've neglected the things that truly make us human ? Are we so afraid of being 'too committed' and the vague possibility of getting hurt if we draw too near to the fire of another's dilemma that we stop caring about the people who are REALLY HURTING

So feel free to not care about others, feel free to only care about yourself, but don't go around telling other people how stupid they are to invest their emotions in the people around them. Think of the time when you needed help, think of that one fleeting moment when you wished someone had bothered to pick up the phone and ask about you, and realize that all of life is made up of those moments. Realize that you could be that person to someone else. We were MADE to care. We were MADE to love. We were MADE to hurt. In those instances when we reach out and feel the lashing of another's pain, it is then that we are reminded of what we are all here for. The moment we try to shut these off, will be the moment we cease to become human. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013


A dish served in the darkness garnished with a smirk
The ring is set
Sweat glistens, a heart rapidly beating
Fists clenched, jaws tight

The opponent takes shape.
Eyes full of self-contempt
Muscles spasm to the rhythm of self-judgment
Movements fueled with self-doubt
A whisper, bated breaths
Each one an exchange of someone else’s opinion
The opponent stares back at the fighter
Without warning, lashes out
The fighter,
Oh how he falls

There is nothing more deafening
than the roar of silent denial
He tastes red in the tang of anger
The voices drown
Each one a label on his wounds
Through the blinding pain of self-loathing
The fighter lifts himself up
Recovery is slow
Realization a blur of broken connections
He enunciates 
“It’ll take more than that to keep me down”

Broken bones heal
Broken hearts mend
But broken spirits
Broken spirits do nothing but drift  

Clear as day now
The opponent who looks so much like himself
The opponent is nothing but a parasite to his own thoughts
The holder of his secrets and weaknesses
The gatekeeper of his insecurities
Life itself is hinged on one word
One choice

Friday, May 10, 2013

She sees the way only a mother can

A tiny beating heart yet unborn,
A body to nourish, a haven to shield
and He created a mother’s womb

Little limbs, unsteady first steps,
For the first time, she lets go of the tiny fists,
You flail, you fall, you turn around in dazed confusion
And she nods “ You’re doing great ! One step at a time now”
Picking yourself up after each stumble becomes your first lesson

Packed lunchbox in hand,
Crayons and pencils in a bag too big,
You cling tightly and scream don’t go
As she pries those little fingers off
She tells you about new friends and fun discoveries
But doesn’t tell you how those finger imprints seared her heart

Tear smudged face, bruised knuckles
“ They called me stupid”
Her heart breaks but she holds you close
And shows you that being brave has nothing to do with upraised fists and hurtful words

Gangly limbs right on the cusp of adulthood
A world crumbling at the edges of confusion
A broken heart and voices that cannot be drowned
In a blur of heartache you lash out an “ I loathe you “
And to closed doors and teenage mutiny she whispers “ I love you still “
Wise words spoken to mend that heart,
even if it means taking a piece of hers to fill the gaps

Bowties and gowns, lace-veiled dreams and hopes,
New rings to seal new vows,
She beams and holds the hand now larger than hers
Her heart screams “ Stay mine “ but she lets go
She sees the tiny beating heart, 
The unsteady steps,
Tear smudged face, bruised knuckles
Gangly limbs
Closed doors and broken hearts
Bowties and gown,
New rings to seal new vows,
She sees the way only a mother can


This is to the mothers
Who vex and nag, and worry and love dearly
This is to the fathers who sometimes become mothers
Brave lone navigators of the sticky path of fussy toddlers and teenage tantrums
This is to the eyes, hands and hearts that care,
not by blood, but because you know that love does not discriminate

Happy Mother’s Day