Passing Youth Under an Ancient Sun

I don’t remember how long it’s been since I wrote, mostly because it’s been so chaotic behind my eyelids. It takes hours after waking for my thoughts to stop revolving. So this post would take some serious understanding and love from your part.

It had been a long summer night, the sky was almost the colour you want your favourite nights to be, but it was one of those nights that even without stars, there was no darkness. The sky would turn into the darkest of blue but you could sense it, you could almost feel the light of something bigger out there behind the screen of the vast night sky, almost hiding, almost greedy, almost selfish. And it was in those moments , my heart remembered the most, a sudden slip of time, a skip of beat and the old rugged truth of human pain unwraps almost like an old wound. It had been like waking up from your falling dream, whimpering , suddenly feeling like gravity forgot to hold you. These are my most nights, waiting for the answers , wondering what the questions are, feeling like I’m lost under centuries of sadness. How many cigarettes until I find the beginning of this, how many lives. When it’s almost dawn I wonder if I’d been wrong about the world, has the sky been lying , had the truth been here all along. Maybe we’re watching a sun that died ancient years ago but it took the rays so long to reach the earth but we refuse the truth they brought, the remnants of a dead sun. We’re all aimlessly stuck in the light of long ago, happy to believe we’re present and living and loving in our times. Our love unfulfilled and our lives light years distant from our souls. Could it be the reason to all our aching? ”Be alive!” , they said. ”You’re so young” , they tell you. But are we really?

It’s always a warm afternoon, I come back from my campus  in a bus full of people, some my friends and some I know names of. Every day, the commute would have me thinking of soft and lovely things, the mountain road, and endless sight of blue hills running along the edge of an orange sky. The distance blur and humble the sight, so that the whole valley look like a piece of sun itself. As the bus turns a curve and emerge from the thickness of the foliage, the orange sunlight filters through the window and fills the space with so much soft and warmth. There’s a moment though, a moment of a stillness, so quiet, so timeless and void, that it has every single person  look out the window in awe, maybe wondering about a lost memory , maybe aching for something they don’t remember, maybe just enjoying the warmth of the sunlight on their skin. But I know for a thing that these moments are rare and unapologetically human. That in these moments there is nothing that isn’t real or raw. That it’s all been forgiven, your fears, your doubts, your dark and the sins. It might not be the answer but I feel an unbelievable sense of life, that time is moving and kind, it’s ours. And the ”alive” our generation has been waiting for might be around the corner.

Holy Paintings of Women and Other Art

It’s a Sunday afternoon, the dirty walls of my small studio apartment are being turned holy by sunlight, the chipped paint patches sighing as they are soothed into believing they’re beautiful even if they are coming apart, tape glue left overs collecting dust like trophies because loneliness can be blinding I suppose, even the dull curtains seem to enjoy this balmy afternoon, swaying , unashamed in their delight for summer. You don’t have to be pretty to be holy they’re trying to tell me, yawning, stretching, slowly peeling off, revealing things to me as they are. But the mirror on the wall, wears a hurtful smile, you can’t be holy because you are pretty, it’s telling me, you can’t be holy because you wear your hair long just like how your mother likes it, like God can only love you in your locks till your waist and grace on your hips. I’m lying on my stomach on the floor, tresses sticking to my skin on the back and some making it to the floor. At work, my boss asks me if I want to be a designer or married and I’m still wondering about where that question stems from , wondering about his mother and how she must have raised him. An empty pizza box lies next to me, a cigarette butt made to die on it, a piece of paper with poetry on it. “Do you want to be a designer or married? ” Outside, the heat is settling, tree branches are flailing, sun rays are the deepest of golden, the tips of my hair looks like fire in their beam and I feel like I’m in a painting. Probably a painting done by a man, he’d name it “the brave woman”. Because the woman in the painting, oh she left home, travelled thousands of miles away, she chose art even when her mother’s face was disappointed, her father’s heart beat a little faster, added a wrinkle or two on his forehead, to do what she loved, for strength, for skill, to finally, finally find herself in the same seat as the men next to her, and most importantly to fail and to be able to choose again. How brave, how fearless but ” Do you want to be a designer or married?” She probably can’t answer that , because he didn’t paint her a fucking mouth.

what separates us from animals

So here’s the truth, I’ve been forgetful . It’s drizzling outside the window, almost as quiet as breathing and in these moments of calm, I forgot how painful living has become until I read that yet another city was attacked, as airports and metros blow up, as innocent lives are taken  and wounded in the name of wrong place to be, I remember how far back this war goes. I remember how shamefully Muslims will have to defend themselves before they can hold out a helping hand or offer their condolences. Terror is so hard to understand, what it demands of us and how much it takes from us each time. I’m thinking about those moments before the bombs went off, was it raining like it’s raining where I am? was it gentle , did someone look at the sky and sigh because the world seemed like such a warm place to be? did the same thoughts cross the minds of those who planted it? did they stop for a while and marvel or maybe their eyes softened at the sight of a child and it reminded them of theirs? I don’t know. It must be so hard to understand because we are humans, we are taught that we are inherently kind , we invented words like humane to remind us of our tenderness and here we are far from what we wanted to be. It’s easy to look at this and say it’s only a bunch of people , they’re the mad ones. It’s easy to believe we, as compassionate beings haven’t failed. But the truth is, it’s frustrating to know what human beings are capable of doing to one another. That at some point in time, our hearts and minds could betray us of our kindness and gentleness if we aren’t careful enough. It’s tragic and scary at the same time.
In these times of racism, rapes, terrorist attacks, wars, Donald Trumps and a long list of crimes committed for no reason other than causing pain and terror, it’s easy to forget our place and our purpose. And it’s okay for you to do whatever it takes to find that place and reassure your humanness whichever small way possible. Maybe it’s sharing a post on facebook or tweeting your grievances or heck changing your profile picture , nobody can take that small part of you that needs to know you still care , that you are still warm and soft and aching , even if you never imagined it would come to this. And it’s okay for you to take a leap and help bigger , open your heart for all those people walking the earth who can’t. Grow the kindness everyone has forgotten about and remind everyone of it. It’s okay , It’s okay to feel as long as you do because that’s the closest thing we have left from our humanity.

“What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.
—  David Levithan, Love Is the Higher Law

My prayers and thoughts with Brussels and Turkey and every other nation and its citizens who have been victims of terrorism .

without you

Everywhere, everyone talks like they know I broke your heart. In my lecture they talk about kitchens and how they’re essentially meant for two. That’s my heart wrapping around you for the day, how I’m supposed to sit on our counter and trace your spine with my toes while you cook over the other. The long summer days, you’d open all the windows of our home while I complain about the heat, I eat pomegranate seeds and kiss you with that mouth. The music and sunlight, the sound of us laughing , our sticky bodies, our eyes on each other. The days when heat gets to my head, I’m furious and bickering about everything and you’re joking about having to move to Antarctica. We’ll fight like little children, I’ll drive you crazy and we’ll make love reckless. Another day I’m at a restaurant alone, the waiter asks if anybody will ever join me and I stare outside the window for so long, aching at all the places you should be and the waiter doesn’t come back. I think I’d have my feet up on your lap under the table while we talk about our days, I’d wipe the crumbs off your chin, ”pay the bill tomorrow” ”collect that parcel will you” ”we need to get our light fixed in the bathroom” ”here , I wrote a letter to you while I was at work” . We are childish in our longings, always touching after a long day apart. When I realise I’m small without you for the first time, I’m in a crowded bus, I find it so hard to breathe and I wish for you. How terrifying is that, the entire world shrinking into a smaller one, all that space of you emptying, growing a new heart of without. We tested our fate with our ‘ours’ yeah? Didn’t tremble when throwing ‘we’ like it has been all along. Now the whole of universe is taking its entire time to show me how reckless I’ve been with loving you.

3am coffee and omelette

You’d be surprised how much of my writing is done while travelling. It doesn’t matter how long or short it is, there’s something about constant moving and changing of scenes that move me to write.
I’m reading Jack Karouac’s On The Road, while I don’t find his way of writing very appealing, the  life of Dean Moriarty keeps me hooked. The glorious recklessness, stupid ignorance of youth and the hurting that comes after is too much of a mirror to so many of our lives. I’m moving slowly and steady with the book, I’m tired but mostly too nervous to finish a book , look up and find nothing to look at.
I wake up early mornings and in this small part of the world, February is slowly letting go of the bone digging cold. My journal is being filled with quotes instead of my own words and somehow everything feels like it’s leaving. I dream about large waves and an island but there’re no colours. All of the world had turned into black, white and grey. Sometimes at night the wholeness of the disappointment that I’ve been visits me. Tell me things I already know, I say yes yes oh honey I know, but I’m sorry. I’m almost always reaching out for love but really I just want to crawl into tiniest spaces of lonely and be there.
I drink coffee at 3 am , try to perfect my omelettes and keep my lights off. Loss tastes different every time we experience it doesn’t it? I realise how empty twenty years old can be I realise how incomplete humans can be, how our mouths really cannot find words for our feelings and how many things get lost between our organs. I have so many things to say but I open my mouth and hear my own silence. It’s 5 am and I learn that the space between two people have a voice. That your heart can love merciless and sometimes it feels a lot like God is dismantling you in parts.
It’s 8 am, I realise it’s important to try and forget who you are and the life you want is running backwards.

what I did with our love

It’s always winter where I am, and even God knows the honest truth about longing for love. My days are full of yearning and I miss you like a little child. I wake up every morning, brew coffee and sit in the early rays measuring the distance between us. I pull our memories from fallen leaves and collect them until I can’t without shaky hands. I grow sadder with each passing afternoon, and most nights I lie awake feeling every mile between knot another vein in my heart. I tug at the ground, hold the earth tight and try to pull myself closer to you like a desperate toddler. The earth wants my arms, my hands, it wants to hold the sky and feel the blue skin of its lover. Here, I say, here’s my touch, here are my fingertips to soothe your ancient longing. The earth shrinks itself for me, swallows continents for our love. I walk a little closer and the ocean drowns me in its wrath. I say please I’m in love. The ocean cries to me in its salt-water tears about its heart and the breaking it does for the moon. I leave my eyes to the ocean and swim through the calm blind while the ocean sees its lover for the first time than just feeling its pull over light years. I abandon my lungs and its breathing in the forests for their dying love for animals. I shed my skin for the desert and my bones for the roads. I wish away every inch of world between us and I’m at your doorstep. I can knock on the door and find you beautiful and breathing , find your breathe on my neck and your hand in mine. You open the door, I say “Hello, look at me, I love you and here, here’s my heart for you.” but you look right through my bodiless soul. Please, I say, I missed you and I gave the universe all of me to be here. You close the door with sunken eyes. I’ve become everything you’ll never see, every ocean’s pull you feel, every ray of moonlight that kisses your babymoth eyelashes, all that air that will touch your lungs. Hello, I love you , I’m sorry for what I’ve done to our love. I’m sorry you’ll spend lifetimes searching for it.

 

the girls we aren’t

Today during one of my lectures, a guy said girls are wicked. And my heart
jumped like it’s been called an old childhood name. Wicked, they always
said. Girls, candy floss and their twisted heads. I will swear I’m not one of
them. I will swear I have changed, please I will swear. Oh honey,
I swear too much for a girl. Fuck that. Let me tell you about nasty girls
and their dirty tales.
I see them in the corridors of somebody else’s life, red eyes and warming
their cheeks with salt water. I see them running with bruised knees and
hickeys on their necks, running with hands in their hair pulling out the
poison at the end of their roots. I see them in the mirror of a best friend’s
bedroom, hissing at you who won’t forgive them for leaving, for shedding
the strawberry skin you gave her. That girl, I swear she’s one of them .
At restaurants, pulling out her red lipstick, brushing the velvet of her
honey skin against married men. Later in the alley, bare shoulders and alone,
watching him reverse his car out of there, his love out of her,  picking out the
seeds of a forbidden fruit from her teeth, wicked girl. I see them at dance floors,
and quiet corners of a blurred party, their heads hanging low, tired and unwanted,
short dresses and cigarettes, mumbling words like home and mama, words that
never leave their mouths when they’re sober. I take the same bus with them, borrow
their scarves that feels more like a rope, wicked girls, soaked in sadness, hanging
themselves to dry and toes reaching out to the ground. I meet them at parks, flowers
and vines on their summer dresses, their picnic baskets carefully packed
with regret and solitude, lost love and missing husbands. Wicked women, cheeks
pressed against the glass house with too many souls stuffed inside. wicked women
breaking homes for oxygen. I watch them waiting, dripping blood from their wrists
 in bars, in homes, in parks and in hospitals.
Darling, wicked girls, you see them everywhere, doing dirty crimes, screaming nasty
things, mostly to themselves. Wicked girls, bleaching their own throat,
scratching at their skin, pouring gasoline on themselves and holding out the matchstick
to the world. I sit in class with these girls , jump at the word wicked, look at
each other in horror and realise the world has found us and has lit us to flames.