Sentimentality Hour: Thank You

In my fear to categorise my friendships, I found myself surrounded in multiple forms of diverse and multicultural respect and affection. However foolish it may sound, I am always astonished at myself when I see how different people understand reality. It is so easy to forget that people do not perceive the world that you do. What key words they hear in conversations, what food catches their eye, what gestures elicit the strongest responses. What hurts their feelings and what makes them laugh until they are rolling around in the Chaplaincy floor, replacing the peaceful vibe with whimsy.

Despite having come to Edinburgh for a higher education in Business and Spanish, I can safely say that the places I have learned the most have been in kitchens and bedrooms, coffee shops and supermarkets, walking in the Meadows and into the streets of residential areas in misty rain and skin-piercing cold breezes. My best teachers have been all of the people I have had the pleasure to meet, no matter how brief, in this quaint and loving city in Scotland and all the other countries it lead me to.

 

I often notice how people easily consider this place “home”, and it makes perfect sense. University itself is a life-changing journey that forces us to be with people we would have never otherwise met, and therefore are given the opportunity to finally live a life without many kinds of constraints and pressure- whether that be parental, societal, cultural, political, we are gifted a time to grow in all directions. For those of us lucky and privileged enough to come from far away lands and still be able to feel a sense of belonging in an environment so completely and utterly opposite from the one from which we came, it is magical and phenomenal all at once. To meet such a fascinating and wonderful bunch of souls from all over the globe, who have granted me access into their minds and shared with me the workings of their thoughts, countries, and ideologies, I realise more and more that we are all somewhat the same and totally different. But the even more beautiful observation is to acknowledge these elements and yet be willing to make effort to get to know each other for the simple pleasure of kinship and kindness. To know that blood runs deep, but passion runs even deeper, evident in the bonds of love that we create in the people who we choose to surround us. That no matter who you are or where you come from, there is always a reason to keep an open-mind and an open-heart. Thank you for the love! THANK YOU FOR THE LOVE. Regardless of all the hardships and difficulties, the pain has never overshadowed the sweet bliss I have received.

 

I write this on my last night in this part of the world, uncertain of when I will return…at the end of what seems like a four-year long montage filled with all the classic tropes in those coming-of-age movies I never stop obsessing over. This is a period of my life that will be bursting with sentimentality so long as I have ability to string words together.

 

Edinburgh, you are my hearth. You are the location in which so many precious memories and aspirations were born. The friends that I have met here have become part of my globally roaming family, who will never be far from my thoughts no matter where I go. It will be impossible to stay away…and it’s too difficult to say goodbye…so I say instead:

“YAAAAAHHHRRIGHT PALLLL???”

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The Greatest

Are you my greatest love?
My love,
How can I know if you are?

How can I ascertain in the stars
That a latent kiss does not linger
On someone else’s lips

Despite the boundless skies
I am confined within your headspace

Yet I am happy to,
I am willing to,-
I sacrifice this
For your grace.

But how can I prove that you
Will not do as the other lovers do?

I anticipate the deception
As much as the pain
and gloom.

Or have I already had this love,
Have already lost
The best of the best?

These thoughts often plague my mind
With sadness and regret.

My love,
You have my trust now,
And I hope you do not let it die.

To leave me
Once again, on my knees
Pleading to god,
“Oh why?”

To take away my joy
With a block of text
In the blink of a shifty eye.

You are my greatest love
I want to say,
But I wonder
How many tears I will cry

When you go onwards
Having broken my soul,
Having said
our final goodbyes.

I do not mean to

​I do not mean to pry, my dear,
But soothe this bitter longing
For reasons I can justify
And muse the songs I’m dawning

I do not mean to cry, my dear
But choose your answers wisely.
For I am brittle in your gaze
And end the night in sighing

In mornings I’m abiding
So passions will start weaning
Which currently are beaming
As slight teardrops, they are streaming

I do not mean to lie, my dear
But how can I confess…
The topic of my mind is you-
Praying,
To love you less.

dinner

nascent beginnings
adjacent living
complacent sitting there,
imagining if you are eating dinner
and why i can’t be the spoon
or the napkin
watching over you-

why am i not
placed across you
surveying your face
every time you look down
for another bite of food-

no,
i cannot think like this
creepily drown myself
in obsessive thoughts like these.

ridiculous in their size and creed,
fantasising how
you feed yourself-

i have barely seen you exist.

but then i still concern for your
5-a-day
and whether you’ve had enough greens
today,
the way you take your coffee or tea
maybe two sugars or black,
or milky…

oh,
romantic child,

you are useless.

Let Me Coat Your Body

Let me coat your body, my love
Let me drink your tears.
Feel the physical strain.
Let me throw myself
in front of
projectile words
that cause you pain.

Let me attempt to vanquish
the demons that scold you.

Your sacrifice
will never be in vain.

Your willingness
is fair and bold.

As you dare to love me,
veins, tendrils, more visible,
Hopelessness more frequent
than I’ve witnessed
before.

Let me clutch at my chest,
Wedge out bodies together-
So your hurt can be mine
And my strength can be yours.

Giving Tree

I am the giving tree
You said…

But you don’t see
how much
You’ve given to me

So, who really…
is the Giving Tree?

You take my breath
and help me breathe

You cradle my head
with loving leaves

You branches hold mine
reaching up towards the sky
meeting heights never quite so excited…

Here rooted,
and I am delighted

We are united
in living
Giving
no misgivings,
forgiving this selflessness
so ridiculous

It’s worth the risk,
isn’t it?

So, let’s plant ourselves together
and go
where the sunset plays
and the calm wind blows,

swaying in sync
when night starts to sink

then I think I know
I’m no longer alone.

you

you
a tall container of emotional idiosyncrasies that no one would ever see unless they
talk to you
necessary to invite you to spew out your mental insecurities and reveal deepest secrets
excreting what exactly makes you
you
making sense of all that you choose to do
and why you smile at sad things

from these lenses of affection they are a changing shade of colour every time you tell me something
new
that exposes a novel part of your soul to me
making the solid colours swirl like the palettes of the galaxy
shining and twinkling in some parts
and pitch dark black in others

i feel like i have this
very prized telescope
being able to look into you
like this
that you have so hesitantly given me because you are afraid that
whoever knows your preferred method of taking tea
will also be able to hurt you

that whoever knows of your childhood fears and current guilts
will use this knowledge
to bring you harm

that whoever has such a peculiar interest in you
may be malicious indefinitely,
taking these precious details about you
to ridicule and reduce to stupid habits
most likely due to the fact that someone has harmed your heart
before

i have come to learn that those who i have loved
and who have hurt me
have never done so intentionally
and all had happened due to miscommunication
and a refusal to admit
and answer questions
that had difficult replies

talking honestly makes everything better
at least,
i believe
most of the time.

so while you hold yourself so rigid and afraid to open yourself up
horrified to see some spillage of some undesirable aspect
you should know that people are hardly ever judging you.
and if they are, that is more a reflection of themselves than you
since people are more prone to be ruthless to themselves rather than others
and that you deserve to be cherished and valued
than to be apprehensive of someone who wants to gift you nothing but
love and kindness
even if you cannot detect or refuse to admit it –

you
a lovely human who has so much to say
and so much to do
unable to access the courage to loosen up the grips of protective latches
or to be vulnerable and confident and strong on the surface
like how you say i am whenever i emerge.

i am these things because i draw strength from your quiet bravery
i am overtly terrified and shielded and overwhelmed
i am only able to admit this because i want you to listen and understand
that i understand
even if you don’t want to talk about it.

and that you are beautiful regardless.
and that you are loved by a lot of people.