Monday, June 09, 2014

Run

It's in their flaws, that you truly see a person for who they are.

It's the parts of them the rest of the world doesn't get to see. The parts of them they hide, knowing nobody will like what they see should they be unveiled to the world.

Appearances are deceiving.

You don't know me.

You don't know who I really am.

You can't tell my public face apart from my private self.

You don't know me.

And perhaps you never will.

So what do you do?

You run.

From things. To things.

When that's all you've ever done in your life.

Run.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Hiding: A Poem

It's a mask I wear
A truth I hide
It's a word unspoken
A look concealed.

It's the smile I wear
The laugh I fake
It's the doubt cast aside
The sorrow in silence.

It's where I go
Where fear lies
It's where I succumb
Where catharsis awaits.

It's to the dawn
To reluctant beginnings
It's to the end
To the new world order.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Tabula Rasa

Blank. Simple. New. Clean. Bright. Malleable. Changeable.

The greatest asset a single living entity can hold. Yet also, the greatest danger.

The possibilities are infinite.

But once a path has been chosen, there can be no turning back.

We all start out as tabulae rasae: wide-eyed, innocent, full of hope and endless potential as we arrive screaming and helpless into the world.

But then, worlds collide; values, beliefs, words and actions clash and intermingle, sometimes with supreme success; other times with horrifying, harrowing consequences.

We scream and cheer with joy, giddy with the good luck that fate bestowed upon us. And we gasp, cry out, turn and run as we witness the horror of the failed courtship that morphs before our very eyes into a dance with death.

Two paths that couldn't be more divergent.

Like a parasite that invades a host, the corruption that corrodes your conscience slowly but surely eats you alive, gradually and exponentially building to a fatal crescendo where choices, fate and destiny brutally collide, with a violence that shatters the worlds of those that hold you near and dear.

You wish you could undo all the damage that's been done. You wish there was a way, way back.

You wish you could wipe the slate clean, and start over.

But you can't.

It's broken. Forever.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

I Have a Rendezvous with Death

By Alan Seeger

1917

I have a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Home

We all seek it, but few of us ever find it.

Where is it? For a few, or perhaps many of us, does it even exist? What is it, really?

Where we are, or where we want to go? Where we stay, or where we left? A lifetime left behind, or the memories to come?

But what if, you've never stayed in one place long enough to ever call it home?

You're moved and shaken by circumstances not of your own doing, uprooted just as you're finding your feet, your place, your way in the microcosm of your surrounds.

You feel no sense of loyalty to any one place. You're a drifter, so to speak.

When people ask where you're from, you don't know how to respond.

You never loved the place you left. Yet you simply couldn't like where you arrived. So you look to different shores, but wonder if you'll find what you're looking for.

Then again, how can you find what you're looking for, when you don't know what it is that you're looking for?

When you've never experienced it? When you've never known it?

The one constant in an ever-changing world. A comfort found nowhere else. An asylum in times of crisis. A strength amidst fragility. A warmth in the cold. A light in the darkness.

A place you belong.

But where?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Hello darkness, my old friend

It's been a while.

Good to be back.

In other news:

LA and San Diego, here I come.

27/07 - 19/12



Sunday, March 31, 2013

Ulysses

By Alfred, Lord Tennyson

1842

It little profits that an idle king,
By this still hearth, among these barren crags,
Matched with an aged wife, I mete and dole
Unequal laws unto a savage race,
That hoard, and sleep, and feed, and know not me.
I cannot rest from travel; I will drink
life to the lees. All times I have enjoyed
Greatly, have suffered greatly, both with those
that loved me, and alone; on shore, and when
Through scudding drifts the rainy Hyades
Vexed the dim sea. I am become a name;
For always roaming with a hungry heart
Much have I seen and known---cities of men
And manners, climates, councils, governments,
Myself not least, but honored of them all;
And drunk delight of battle with my peers,
Far on the ringing plains of windy Troy.
I am part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untraveled world whose margin fades
Forever and forever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end.
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
As though to breathe were life! Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains; but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this gray spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought


This is my son, my own Telemachus,
To whom I leave the scepter and the isle--
Well-loved of me, discerning to fulfill
This labor, by slow prudence to make mild
A rugged people, and through soft degrees
Subdue them to the useful and the good.
Most blameless is he, centered in the sphere
Of common duties, decent not to fail
In offices of tenderness, and pay
Meet adoration to my household gods,
When I am gone. He works his work, I mine.


There lies the port; the vessel puffs her sail;
There gloom the dark, broad seas. My mariners,
Souls that have toiled, and wrought, and thought with me--
That ever with a frolic welcome took
The thunder and the sunshine, and opposed
Free hearts, free foreheads--you and I are old;
Old age hath yet his honor and his toil.
Death closes all; but something ere the end,
Some work of noble note, may yet be done,
Not unbecoming men that strove with gods.
The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks;
The long day wanes; the slow moon climbs; the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends.
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
the sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be that we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Though much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven, that which we are, we are;

One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Comfort in pain

When you're so used to it, it's all you know.

You crave it. You can't live without it.

It's all you want. It's all you need.

Life seemingly has no purpose without it.

You hurt, you bleed, you scream, just to feel alive.

What's the point of living, then, if you can't feel alive? When it isn't pervading nearly every aspect of your existence?

It marks phases in your life. Periods when it was all you felt. When it was all your lived for. When it was all that kept you going.

Sometimes it burns like a dull, persistent ache in the background, other times like the hottest fires of hell.

But you like it.

You like the pain.

The hurt. The scars. The flashbacks. The raw emotions. The full weight of the invisible, silent turmoil as it comes crashing down on your consciousness.

You take it all in, soaking it up like there's no tomorrow.

Happiness feels like something's missing. "This is the real deal," you tell yourself.

"It hurts. So bad. But I like it."

It's comfort. In pain.

And you wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A Steady Rain: A Poem

A steady rain
Controlled melancholy
Which no-one deigns
But weathers bravely.

The rhythm beats
The sensation stings
Cold becomes heat
As the heavy nails cling.

The footsteps prod
The judgement wears on
It is but a façade
That they had all drawn.

Grace under the glare
Of an incessant doubt
Respite lies somewhere
In the far-off drought.

A steady rain
Who's to blame?
As resolve was slain
It was ne'er the same.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Faith, after

You feel this inescapable sense of loss, of knowing they're not around any longer, and that you're never going to see them again for as long as you live. You're never going to be able to hear their laugh, feel their touch, breathe their scent, share those priceless moments of unspoken understanding and closeness. All you have left is a memory of their fleeting existence in the world, and in your life.

But you comfort yourself, and you tell yourself, it's not permanent; you're going to see them again, in the next life.

But others ask: but how do you know? How can you know?

Faith, I suppose.

It must be faith.

A silent, blind hope; a knowing peace of mind; an intuitive understanding that they are on the other side, waiting for you to join them. You haven't forgotten them, and they haven't forgotten you. "It's been too long," they say, "but here you are, at last, at the end of your road in one life, just as I was at mine all those decades back."

You let go.

You'll see them again. You know you will.

The thought soothes you immeasurably.

The power of faith. In the face of death.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Roles

We all play different roles in our relationships with the people whose paths we cross and impact. It's what those roles are that define the very fibres of our beings.

We can choose to be the best of friends, or mortal enemies. Mere acquaintances, or faithful lovers. Blood-bound allies, or unforgivable traitors. Whatever it is, our decisions about the roles we choose to play speak volumes about us as individuals.

Who do you want to be? What do you want to be? But most of all, why are you willing to be who you are, in relation to someone else? And how far are you willing to go to fulfil those roles?

Is it something we see in others, that shapes our relationships with them? Is that why we choose to stay, when we could so easily leave? Is it because we see ourselves becoming better people, because of their mere presence in our lives? Or is it because they love us, fear us, scare us, challenge us, anger us, make us want to cry, scream and shout at the top of our lungs because of what they mean to us, and what we mean to them?

In short, it's the apex of insanity.

But it's something we can't live without.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The fray

Where you drift to. Where you linger. Where you stay.

Until you're called back from it.

The fray.

You're brought back from the brink. Jerked back to the reality which you had all but pushed away into the recesses of your mind. Content with the imaginations of your illusory mind, it wasn't until that moment, that you were pulled back to the here and now.

The startling truth hit. Reality came back, unrelenting as ever.

It never went away. It was always there.

Lurking in the background, silently festering in the dark, as your imagination took centre stage.

But what pulled you back, from the fray?

A change. A revelation. A truth.

Unexpected. Heartbreaking. Frightening.

The answer scares you.

And you don't know if you can face it.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Games we play

Life's a game. It's just a question of who holds all the aces.

The upper hand. We all seek to gain it in whatever endeavours we undertake. For whoever wields control wields power over his or her adversaries. One word, one decision, and your fate is sealed, your destiny determined.

It's funny how we think that we're in control, when really, it's not our call to make. It's not up to us. It almost always never is.

As much as we like to think that we're in charge of our own fates and destinies, that we make all our own decisions, there are some things in life that are just out of our hands. And for most, if not all of us, it's more than we like, or are comfortable with.

We play the game, but we don't make the rules. Sometimes we're the players, sometimes the pawns. Sometimes we win, sometimes we lose. It's all out of our hands.

So what do we do, then? What can we do?

I guess we trust.

Trust the process. Trust the path that's been laid out for us, not by us. Trust that everything will turn out alright.

Trust that no matter what, we'll be okay.

Because the game of life leaves no dice unrolled.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Okay

"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me."

Remember that.

You're safe, where you are.

Nothing can touch you.

Nothing can make you betray yourself.

No matter what happens, it's okay.

You're okay.

You're gonna be okay.

Because you're strong enough. Brave enough.

To do what you have to. To do what you know is right.

Because you can. And you will.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Broken

You go down the path you swore you'd never take.

A momentary lapse in judgement.

You ask yourself, "Why?"

But you can only answer, "Because I was lost in the moment."

You lose control. When you swore you never, ever would.

You become the very thing you fight.

You don't know what to do now. Because you didn't know what you were doing then. Because there's nothing you can do now.

It eats at you. It haunts you. It makes you question everything.

"Why did I let myself do that?"

"Why did I let that happen?"

"How could I have let myself go?"

"I did it before. Why couldn't I do it again? In fact, why didn't I?"

"It was stupid. How could I have been so stupid?"

"Why, why, WHY?"

But the ultimate question is, "What now?"

But you don't know. And you don't think you ever will.

You break down inside.

Can you turn back? Or have you reached the point of no return?

When you fail yourself. When you let yourself down.

And you swore it'll be the last thing you ever do.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Aftershock

Crisis. What comes after?

The shock. Aftershock.

The fallout from the unravelling of the world and life as you know it. When the impact starts to set in and spread its effects like a virus. When it sets off a chain reaction of events that come crashing down like an unstoppable tsunami, mercilessly destroying all in its path.

You move into damage control, trying to right the wrongs before it's too late. Desperate times call for desperate measures. You do things you'd never imagined yourself doing. You go down the path you'd sworn you'd never take, and there's no turning back. You're forced to come clean with the lies and secrets. But can they handle the truth? That's something else completely.

The collateral damage spreads. Like a shockwave that ripples through the earth, pummelling everything to dust. Everyone and everything is affected. It's taken on a life of its own. It's out of control.

You can run, but you can't hide. It'll come back for you sooner or later. Like a living, breathing entity looking for vengeance. There's no escape. There's no respite. There will be no rest until you're dead and buried six feet under.

Aftershock. One wrong move, and everything falls apart.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The road less travelled, once more

I can't stay here.

I have to get out of here.

I look around me, I know and I tell myself: I have to leave.

If I'm to make anything of myself. If I'm to make anything of my life.

I don't have a choice. There's nothing for me here.

I have nothing to lose.

I've done it once. And I can do it again.

I can't look back. I can't turn back.

If I don't leave, I'll never know. And I can't let that happen.

I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying.

I have to leave.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Memento mori

Remember you will die.

We don't live forever. Our time on Earth will eventually come to an end. It's an obvious fact, but one that's easily forgotten and taken for granted as we go through the daily motions of our lives, only striving to get through the drudgery of each day in the futile hope that some respite will come the next.

Countless days of grey, punctuated with fleeting moments of happiness. We waver from wishing things would last forever, to wishing they would just end right then and there, or perhaps had never happened at all.

But things never happen as we want them to. The things that bring us joy are ripped from us at the moment when we least expect or want it, and those that darken our days seemingly invite themselves into our lives without warning or reason.

In those moments, mortality seems like such far-off issue that isn't worth thinking about.

It's what makes us human; it's one of the defining parameters of our existence that stays with us always, blending into the background either like a malignant shadow or a benign presence, depending on your individual view of death as something to be either feared like the plague, or embraced as part of the natural order of things, no matter the circumstances surrounding your leaving the material world.

Perhaps the decisions we make and the actions we undertake everyday are all subconsciously influenced by our awareness of our own mortality; that one day, we will all die.

"I still have so much more in life that I want to achieve. What's death like? Just thinking about it is scary."

"Bring it on. I'm not scared. We'll all die anyway."

The two schools of thought that surround the idea of death. The very fact that life itself is defined by death.

But, what if we could live forever? What if, by some scientific or medical marvel, we could be immortal?

If offered the choice, would we take it?

We could watch civilisation and society evolve before our very eyes, and watch as all our hopes, dreams and fears for the future either come true or dissipate into thin air. If our loved ones also chose the path of immortality, we would be with them forever. "Till death do us part" would no longer matter; getting sick of one another would do you part.

What would be the meaning in our lives then, if we lived forever? We would have no purpose to fulfil before our time is up, because it never will be. Those of us who believe in fate and the deterministic forces that shape each and every one of our lives without our knowledge would start to question why we were even born into this world, if it was to be that we would ultimately choose the path of immortality. We would have true free will, in every sense of the words, as time and age are no object. But at what price?

Come what may, bring on my death day.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

You

"It is very difficult to know people ... For men and women are not only themselves; they are also the region in which they are born, the city apartment or the farm in which they learnt to walk, the games they played as children, the old wives' tales they overheard, the food they ate, the schools they attended, the sports they followed, the poets they read, and the God they believed in. It is all these things that have made them what they are, and these are the things that you can't come to know by hearsay, you can only know them if you have lived them."
- W. Somerset Maugham, The Razor's Edge, 1943

We are who we are, there's no question about that. But ultimately who we are is the total sum of our experiences throughout life as we have lived it so far. We are the place we grew up in; the values and beliefs we were taught by our elders; the things we learnt at school, both in and out of the classroom; the friends we've made and lost; the loves we've found and let go, and so on and so forth. All these things are as individual as we are. We cannot judge someone based on these experiences without having gone through them ourselves, in that exact same moment in time as and when they experienced it.

We could try to relate our experiences in a conversation to someone else who wasn't there at that time, only for them to say that they have no clue what we're talking about, or that they cannot imagine what it must've been like to be in our shoes, and so cannot empathise, no matter how hard they may try. It's like a war veteran recounting his/her wartime experiences to their grandchildren; as much as the younger generation might be moved, fascinated and horrified, they will never truly be able to properly understand the soul-destroying reality of the battlefield and the trauma of its aftershocks. All simply because they were never there at that time, and never experienced it like their grandparents did.

Who we are is something that's so familiar like the back of our hands, yet so profoundly inexplicable and unexplainable, like the very mysteries of our souls. There's something about being you, being the very person, the very individual you are, existing on this planet, that makes you so similar, yet different to everyone else around you.

You're one of the 7 billion-plus people living on this planet. You may be just one, and only one insignificant human being, but you're still a part of it all. You're still a part of...everything.

But what makes you different, is your own experience of life, something that's so individual and personalised, you could say it fits like a favourite pair of old blue jeans. It's something that defines our existence in this world and shapes us all, no matter who we are, what we've been through and what we've done or will ever do. It's something we know, but struggle to understand. It's something that knows no bounds, yet is constrained by the limits we set for ourselves.

But what makes it so special, is that it's something others will never know, and will never understand.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Of

Of idealism and cynicism
Of passion and restraint
Of calm and rage

Of music and noise
Of solitude and company
Of peace and chaos

Of fear and bravery
Of strength and weakness
Of hope and despair

Of surety and confusion
Of faith and disbelief
Of acceptance and denial

Of love and hate
Of all or nothing
Of life, and death

Monday, March 19, 2012

When nightmares become reality

The thoughts that occupy your mind during the day, play out in your dreams by night. And when you wake up, they all but consume you, from the inside out.

They make you question everything. Your motives. Your feelings. But most of all, your sanity.

You have a lot of time to yourself to think, so you do. And you can't help it. They slip into your conscious mind ever so slightly, without you even noticing, before bursting forth seemingly out of nowhere and startling you as they flood your waking thoughts. The more you think about them, the worse it gets. But worst of all, you can't make them go away.

Your thoughts become dreams, and your dreams haunt your reality.

It's a living nightmare.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Judgement

"They've always told you to be yourself; they never said they wouldn't judge you for it."

Judgement. We're all guilty of it.

We question and critically judge the decisions of others; why are you like that, why do you/don't you do this or that, etc. We urge the outsiders to conform, to do what everyone else does, even though they're not entirely comfortable with it, or don't even understand it.

That's when they start to think that perhaps there's something wrong with them, or perhaps the world's gone mad and they've just stayed sane all this while. They don't necessarily hate themselves or the decisions and choices they make; they just hate the fact that the world is flying in the face of everything they believe in, for demanding from them what they cannot bring themselves to do or give.

They know they're different. They accept that. But what they can't accept is the ridicule that comes with being unlike the others. They never said they hated the norms and practices of the world; they believe that everyone should be able make their own choices and decisions. But they hate how those choices and decisions are seemingly forced upon them, in a blatant attempt at conformity and to simply make them "do what everyone else does".

They just want to make it all go away. They may not agree with what everyone else is doing, but they respect it nevertheless. They accept their differences and are proud of them, but it's hard when everyone else disagrees and incessantly forces them to conform to things they know will only cause them harm.

But all they're really looking for, is some semblance of sanity in a world gone mad.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inhibitions

Ever heard the saying "A drunk man's words are a sober man's thoughts"?

It's an interesting notion; alcohol lowers our inhibitions, making us say things we either longed to say but didn't have the courage to, or things that were best locked away securely within the confines of our mind.

The things we were always afraid to say, come spilling forth from our vocal cords the moment we ingest more alcohol than we ought to have. The barriers of our mind that hold our dark, secretive thoughts back are broken down by the drug, as we blurt out our deepest, innermost thoughts about anyone and anything, and perhaps most embarrassingly, to the people who least want (or need) to hear them.

But why do we hold back? Why do we not do or say things that we've longed to? Why do we keep them closed off in our hearts, unwilling to get them off our chests?

Is it because we're scared? Of rejection? Of tears and sadness? Of anger? Of misunderstanding?

The moment we feel like doing or saying the things that we've been dying to, we censor ourselves. "Don't do it, you'll regret it," we tell ourselves. We refuse to seize the opportunity that presents itself right then and there, for fear of the ramifications if the other party doesn't reciprocate, or takes it the wrong way.

That is, until alcohol gets added into the equation. What happens from then on becomes out of the control of your normally level-headed, sober mind.

But when the drug wears off, we try to apologise, to explain and clarify things. "I was drunk, I wasn't thinking straight, I didn't mean it, I'm sorry," we say to the affected party. All is forgiven, they say "It's okay, don't worry about it", and everyone moves on, although a lingering, embarrassing memory still remains.

In the end, though, who are you to believe? Are a drunk man's words really his sober thoughts, or is it merely the alcohol talking?

I don't have the answer to that. But when it comes to inhibitions and holding back things you're dying to say or do, I'm sure you know the saying: those who matter don't mind, and those who mind don't matter.

In other words, go for it. :)

Friday, March 09, 2012

Redemption

We've all done wrong in life. We all feel guilt, shame and regret for things that we wish we hadn't done. If only we could turn back time, we'd gladly take it all back so that we wouldn't have to live with the memories which haunt our waking hours over and over, time and time again.

But we can't do that. The closest thing, perhaps, is that elusive thing called redemption.

We try to right the wrongs of the past, and do everything in our power to make peace with it. We won't rest until we hear the words "I forgive you."

But it's so hard, because ultimately, in chasing redemption we must undertake that which most of us are reluctant to: sacrifice.

Our reputation. Our dignity. Our material possessions. Our dreams and aspirations. Our family, friends and loved ones. Our life.

All so that we can leave this world seemingly a saint, with all wrongs righted, all mistakes forgiven and all rivalries rested.

But would many of us go to such lengths, so that we may die knowing we had redeemed ourselves, only because most of our life was spent selfishly pursuing our own interests at the expense of others?

Redemption doesn't come easy. And neither does what it takes to achieve it.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A life in shadows

What do you do, when you spend your life hiding?

When you remain the background, not craving the spotlight, and simply fade out of peoples' consciousness?

The shadows. Where you go relatively unnoticed, in peace and solitude, in isolation and quiet.

People stop caring about you. They stop knowing that you exist. You drop out of their lives slowly but surely, as the world moves on and so do they, unwilling to stop to look into the dark corners where the faint glimmer of light shines.

Where it goes unnoticed, slowly but surely fading and dimming away into the eventual point of no return.

In a world that craves and prizes the spotlight, the shadows are demonised.

Few stop to look, and many of those who do turn away in contempt. Others seek to cure you, as if you were inflicted with some disease, and try to force you into the light.

But the ones who do look, and decide to explore, have only just stepped into a world unlike the one they inhabit. An alternate universe, almost. One where the possibilities are infinite, where you are only limited by your imagination and where the answers you've been seeking your entire life will be found. Where you can be fearless. Where you can be unsuffocated by the spotlight of the real world. Where you can be free.

The shadows. A world where, in the darkness, you're a light that shines ever more brightly.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Resistance

"In the wrong environment, under the wrong influences, even people with the greatest integrity can make the wrong decisions."
- David Brailsford, CBE, Foreword to Racing Through the Dark: The fall and rise of David Millar, May 2011

For how long can you resist something?

When you're living in a world that goes against everything you believe in, how long will it be before those influences and temptations begin to chip away at your willpower, your mental armour?

How long will it take for you to finally give in, to accept and partake in the harsh, brutal reality of the world you live in?

How long, before you break?

A person's integrity can be their greatest asset in their resistance, but like everything else, it can only last for so long.

Many people like to think that they're untouchable, that nothing and no-one can change them or force them to compromise themselves.

The reality is, it's only so long before they fall.

Just like everyone else.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

She is...

This one's adapted from a song. :)

"She walks through the city
No one recognises her face
They don't want her pity
No one ever mentions her name
She's carried the broken
But their scars have no name in her heart
'Cause she walks in forgiveness
She'll shine like a light in the dark

She'll always remember
The days when they welcomed her here
They know if they need her
She made a promise to always be here

When they are weak, she will always be strong
Though they don't know it, they're never alone
No matter how many times they may leave
It's never hopeless, 'cause she still believes"


So what, or who, is "she"?

If you know the song, you'll know the answer. :P

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Disillusioned

Ever get that feeling where you just feel that there's something inherently wrong with the world?

That humanity is in a state of decay and decline, slowly crumbling down, or gradually building up to an implosion?

That you don't know your place in the world?

That you're going nowhere?

That, somehow, you don't deserve what you have?

That you were meant for more, and you wish for more, but you're somehow stuck in a rut you can't get out of?

That you wish you could just run away, abandon modern civilisation as it is, to live a simple life free of the worries, complications and excesses of the modern world?

That you want to change the world for the better, but the traps of bureaucracy, greed and a lack of fame, influence and money stymie any efforts you might make, leaving you completely helpless?

I feel as though it's my job, as a human being like any other, to leave the world in a better place than when I was born into it.

If I died tomorrow, knowing I did something to make the world a better place, knowing that I changed someone's life for the better, however small those changes may be, I'll be happy.

I'll die knowing I did good.

That's all I ask for. Nothing more.

Monday, December 05, 2011

The mindset of champions

Unflinching. Unrelenting. Uncompromising. Unforgiving. Unstoppable.

Those are all words that could be used to describe a champion of any sort, whether in sport, academia or any other field of interest.

They are known for being hard to work with. They are demanding. They don't compromise. They refuse to be second-best. They choose work over play. They pay attention to and fuss over every single, minute detail, for fear that one little slip-up would destroy all their chances of winning. They have sky-high standards, not just for themselves but for others around them; and they chastise those who fail to meet their standards of excellence. In other words, they drive everyone else around them insane.

But what if those qualities of a champion, are exactly what are needed to survive in this harsh, cruel world?

I realise many don't aspire to be champions, and even fewer become ones. Many people are simply content with getting on with their lives as normal, not pushing themselves if they don't have to. They don't set out to achieve extraordinary things, or redefine rules, or break records, or change the world. They just want to lead normal, simple and unassuming lives.

But for champions, they crave more. They crave the thrill and the glory of winning. The satisfaction of having beaten everyone else to the top spot to claim the ultimate prize, whatever that may be. The knowledge that they've made their mark on the world. That they've gone where few have gone before. They came, they saw and they conquered. End of story.

The reality is simple logic; if you don't set out to win, you lose. If you don't go out of your way to beat everyone else to the top, you're beaten. You're defeated, crushed, demoralised. That's the sad, unpleasant truth of the world, and one that we all must face at some point in our lives.

To champions, winning isn't everything; it's the only thing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hereafter: A Poem

Hereafter

The Gates of Heaven read
"The saints live, the sinners bleed"
Be among the latter, and
Eternal damnation awaits thee.

Before the armoured angels, the wounded soldier stands,
Neither a saint, nor a sinner,
But a human being like any other,
In strength and fragility, love and despair.

They speak, "You are not worthy of this kingdom hereafter,
You have killed, slaughtered, burned,
Every man, woman and child against you,
Have you no shame, soldier of war, harbinger of evil?"

His face serene, he simply appeals,
"Judge me not by my deeds on the battlefield,
But by the life I have lived
Before my time here, after."

The angels recompose, and scrutinise him
A broken man, his light dim,
With nothing left to lose,
But still filled with virtues.

"Your heart is true, your spirit gallant,
Your soul is tender, your will valiant,
You have always done what is right,
But should that be a respite?"

"That I cannot judge,
I do what I must,
For I am only a human,
Flawed like all others, and at the end of my time."

"But you had a choice,
Man has the gift of free will,
Or was the prospect of battle too much of a thrill,
One that simply had to be fulfilled?"

"That is a lie!
For my country I died,
A noble cause with flaws,
For it flouted heaven's laws."

A long pause, before they move,
"Alas, God and man cannot be reconciled,
Eternal life beyond, or damnation below,
In this hereafter, the will of God you shall follow."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Escape

If I could have superpowers, I'd have the ability to fly at the speed of light, to breath in space and to breath underwater.

Imagine it: I could fly up into the pillows of clouds and into the cold blackness of space, swim to the dark depths of Challenger Deep, and simply escape from life and all reality on the surface.

I could traverse the galaxies at the speed of light, perhaps finding new life and proving once and for all what I've always believed - that we're not alone in the universe. I could explore the nebulas, the newborn and dying stars, dozens of planets, fly to the very edge of space, and perhaps even come across a black hole, though of course I'd be smart enough not to go anywhere near it. And the cold, dark emptiness of space provides perfect solitude; I could stay there forever, gazing at the stars, and picking which one to explore before blasting off at lightspeed for it. Or I could simply fly to the moon, sit on its dusty surface on the top of one of its many craters, and stare across at Earth as it drifts in and out of daylight and nighttime, over and over again, gazing at its daily motions and that of humanity's as well. A dream come true, indeed.

Or I could explore all of the oceans, and discover secrets unknown to mankind. The lost city of Atlantis, perhaps, if Plato was really telling the truth; all its secrets and treasures in all their glory and perhaps even its people who are cut off from all contact with the surface world. Or lifeforms completely unimaginable to man residing in dark, unexplored depths. I could get close to and touch the most magnificent lifeforms, ones which few if any men have laid eyes or hands on. Perhaps if some schools of fish, whales or turtles were migrating, I could hitch a ride with them, letting them take me wherever they're going. And how could I forget the thrill and adventure of coming into contact with some of the most spectacular and dangerous sea creatures known to man, like the great white shark; imagine the adrenaline rush of seeing one, then swimming away at top speed if they should think I'm food and chase after me. And besides, sometimes the company of animals beats that of humans; perhaps a little swim with some blue whales, dolphins or whale sharks. We don't have to talk; just a little company together would be perfect. :) Oh, and how could I forget Challenger Deep? The deepest, darkest point on Earth, that only a few submersibles have ever explored. The unbelievable quiet and darkness of it, once again perfect solitude.

Or I could simply fly up into the clouds, and lie there staring up at the blue sky as it melds into the atmosphere separating the Earth from space. I could then travel to anywhere in the world I want to, visiting all the places and seeing all the sights I've longed to see my whole life. And I'd never get lost, either; I'd simply fly up into space and back down home whenever I like.

Oh, the possibilities. I couldn't ask for anything more, really. But if only I weren't a normal human being. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Insignificant humanity

























"From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here, that's home, that's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam."
- Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space


That's all of humanity and its history on less than a pixel of an image, captured from 6 billion kilometres away by Voyager 1.

On that "Pale Blue Dot", as that picture has come to be known as, against the vastness and blackness of space.

If you think about it, we're all...insignificant. All our wars, troubles, joys, despairs...on that tiny, almost unnoticeable blue dot seemingly in the middle of nowhere.

All of seem to think that we're important, that we're special, that we matter.

The "Pale Blue Dot" shows us that we aren't. Not one tiny bit.

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I'd give...

What I'd give to be here...

















Beachy Head and Lighthouse, East Sussex, England









Grimstad, Norway












Keswick, Cumbria, England















Glenridding, Cumbria, England





















Lake Mapourika, New Zealand










Florence, Italy

Friday, November 18, 2011

Life

Life is overrated.

Not one day goes by, when I don't question my existence on this Earth.

I didn't ask to be born.

I wasn't screaming from the dark depths of some invisible space to be born into the world.

I haven't been given the gift of life. I've been given the burden of it.

The burden of having to live at least another 60 years.

The burden of having to go through all that life has to offer. The truly worthwhile moments of which happen to be out of my reach. While its dark, unforgiving, cruel aspects are so very near, I could reach out and touch them. And all would be lost.

What am I doing here? I'm just taking up air and space on this Earth.

Life. I never asked for it.

"Nobody said that life would be easy. They just promised it'd be worth it."

Bullshit.

It's not worth it.

It's not all that it's cracked up to be.

Now I just have to wait till the day I die, for it all to finally be over.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Have a little faith

Faith.

You're not supposed to understand it. You just have it.

People question why I keep so much faith in you.

It's because I dare to believe. I dare to hope.

I dare to believe that you can achieve much more than you think you're capable of.

I dare to hope that everything will work out in the end.

But most of all, I dare to believe in you when you don't believe in yourself.

Remember: Have a little faith.

Not necessarily in a higher power, but in yourself.

You may let yourself down, but you'll never let me down.

Because I'm right here behind you. Always.

Don't you ever forget that.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cruel memory

I hate my memory. I really do.

I remember things I don't want to, or even need to for that matter.

Every little shameful, embarrassing, humiliating moment.

Guilt. Regret. Denial. Doubt. Worthlessness. Distance.

Every single feeling of it.

I remember them all.

Even worse, I can't seem to remember the things I need to most.

Important things. Like schoolwork.

Unless schoolwork starts to destroy me from the inside out, eating and chipping away at my mental defenses, I may never be able to remember everything that I need to.

Because, memories may fade. But scars last forever.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Goodbye, Steve Jobs

"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
- Apple Inc.

"Think Different." That was your company's motto.

R.I.P. Steve Jobs. I may not be a huge Apple fanatic (the only Apple product I own is an iPad 2), but neverthess, I recognise that the mark you left behind was indelible. You changed the way technology worked, you changed the way we looked at it and used it, and through that, you changed the way we lived our lives. In short, you changed the world.

I'll never look at my iPad the same way again. It'll be a stark reminder of what the world has gained, but lost as well.

Once again, R.I.P. Steve Jobs. You will be sorely missed.


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Nothing: A Poem

Nothing

There is nothing you can say or do
To make me change my mind
I need to be free from these ties that bind
Go away! I don't want to see you ever again
Lest I be trapped once more in this ghastly den.

There is nothing you can say or do
To turn the clock back
The time has come, and this will soon be but a flashback
Secretive and rich, a little scary
You were ever the mystery.

There is nothing you can say or do
For the hour has passed, it is too late now.
These transgressions, I cannot allow
Enamoured in your grasp, consumed by your power
It wasn't long before I was torn asunder.

There is nothing you can say or do
For tonight I take my leave
No longer do I believe
The deceit in your voice, the lies in your eyes
Alas, now I say my goodbyes.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Another idea

"No..."

"Oh yes."

"Who are you? What have you done to her?"

"Nothing. She and I are one and the same. Always have been, always will be."

"Then...then what are you?"

"I'm the evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind. The demons of your unconscious come alive."

"No...this can't be happening."

"Oh, but it is. And I've been waiting for this day to come."

"No, you can't be real."

"Oh, but I am. I'm as real as it gets."

"But...how is it possible?"

"You created me. I am a part of you, your mind, heart, and soul."

"No, no, no. This is all a lie. If you're part of my mind, and I created you, then I can just as easily destroy you."

"You may have created me in your mind, but I am very, very real. I'm a living entity in my own right. And there is nothing you can do to stop me."

"No, get away from me. You're not real, you can't be. You're only in my mind."

"But I'm real enough to finish you off. You're mine!"