This tropical little town of where my father was born and raised , has me taking cold showers and wearing cotton shirts all year round. It’s December and I wake up to the sun streaming through and a skin that is drenched. But it’s always sweet smelling , our house. My mother’s carefully planted flowers , fragrant and blooming like no other sits right outside my balcony, with the occasional breeze comes the sweet scents of the morning. I enjoy waking up to this, in my heart I know I would always be a creature of the city, but it helps me enjoy these moments more and keep them close to my heart. This earth, this wetness, my mother’s flowers on my father’s land. This is where I write from today. Today, after what feels like an eternity of not being able to find something to say, I have nothing spectacular but, sipping my muddy espresso, watching the hibiscus flowers bathe itself in the early morning dew, I can’t help myself.
When I entered my twenties with a heavy and beaten heart, I had thought to myself that I would never experience pain greater than this, pain of love is the greatest, I had declared. I was convinced romantic love, was the worst kind of tragedy to happen to a woman like me. Ofcourse I was wrong, there are worse things to happen to a woman like me, love was just one of them.
As I turned 21, I was in more pain than I could’ve imagined, and it was nothing romantic, which troubled me even more. “How was I to ever survive or fight something that had no romance” I asked myself mid-sobbing , “I don’t know anything outside of it, don’t you know I have been raised this way, I am all heart and no brain”. I spent a lot of my time romanticizing what was being thrown at me, ofcourse what I realised is that you cannot romanticise your own failures , at least I couldn’t. I was forced to face my failure, inadequacy, creative and artistic blocks with a straight head and it broke my heart like no other lover. I had lived 21 years convinced my romance is my art and my talent and my self. And then it no longer was. Everything I had learned, everything I knew of the world ceased to exist. All the colours I recognized and knew of the world and carried from my childhood no longer existed. It was all black and white and grey. Without it, I no longer recognized joy, or even sadness or love, couldn’t remember the child I used to be or the heart I used to have.
No one ever talks about how truly lonely these days of growing up are, or youth is. My mother if she was reading would tell me I am being a child, that true loneliness of a woman is when her children grow up, your husband is aloof, and you no longer feel that you are part of the life you help created. But I think loneliness is a different world to each, and none of it can be equated or quantified. For me loneliness has been something that I have always been familiar with, but I thought when my heart was breaking, I would reach out to someone , or someone I loved would reach out to me. I wasn’t brave enough for either. I didn’t know how I would explain how everything in the world , every passing moment , pressed up against my heart and would leave its impression like on wet clay, and how my heart pressed against my ribs from the inside from the enormity of everything I felt, how I prayed for it to be taken away. But people would look at you and envy your childlike optimism , your eyes full of dreams and tell you that you are the luckiest little thing to have your whole life infront of you , yet to be made and lived. How do you feel lucky when all your life you’ve seen in colours and then you don’t , and this world you are stepping into no longer excites you , that without colours you no longer recognize your family, your friends, your art, your dreams and even yourself. How do I tell them I’m scared and I’m lonely in this. Like the first time your parents lost you in an amusement park or a crowded place, and everything you walked past amused and gleaming holding your father’s hands had suddenly become unrecognizable, scary and monstrous. The world had gone from light to dark in the split of a second you let go of your father’s hand and it would stay that way until you saw his familiar face again, and from the corner of your vision, light seeps through and the world would be ordinary again.
I spend my days looking for that familiar light or warmth of something I recognize from the world I knew. I spend my time reading old poetry and journals , waiting around in the corner of my memories, hoping something will hold my hand and make my world light filled and ordinary again.
Journal; When Romance Doesn’t Save You by Thamanna Razak