Sentimentality Hour: A girl walks into Forest Cafe…

Every now and then she enters, often only exposing a bashful nose and quiet eyes through the crevices of her winter gear. Slipping in deliberately unnoticed, she takes a seat in the corner that detaches herself from the communal nature of the cafe.

She looked so familiar to me, like a face I had seen somewhere else in another life. But then again, there are so many people like this, content to stay planted on the walls in a space where they prefer to observe rather than participate. Those same faces whose features only sharpen in familiarity and philosophical conversation, translating how their hearts and thoughts work in tandem to face the perils of living an average life…whose generic beauty is sculpted uniquely through the context in which you meet.

Still, she comes in and talks to no one, always ordering the same meal, as she summons into her hands a small paperback novel. Her eyes determinedly stay focused on the page, even though the pace of this place is spellbinding in its ability to distract. I am one of these victims, feeling rather rude most of the time when I sit inside, never being able to maintain eye contact with someone for too long despite the intimacy of the conversation. Most of the chairs point outwards and the walls are composed mostly of large panels of glass that make the outside world look more like an obscure reality show. If your back is facing these giant screens of mimicry, you will find yourself turning your head every now and then to see why the person you’re talking to seems to be unable to pay absolute attention to what you’re discussing.

On one such occasion, on a busy evening, she had to sit in the middle area that attracted the most friendly conversation between strangers. I was eager to quell a curiosity and went up to her.

“Have we met before?”

“I don’t think so.”

She had nothing more to say to me, but I wasn’t satisfied with such a curt reply.

“I’m sorry, I just thought I had seen you before.”

“Ah you know, this is Edinburgh. I’m sure you have seen me before somewhere.”

I knew better than to intrude on a private moment, even if it was in solitude.

What piqued my interest the most was the fact that she would enter such a loud and social environment to entertain this introverted nature. Perhaps it was her version of social interaction, watching all these lonely creatures congregate in this crazy melting pot of artists, alcoholics, lost souls and hungry people.

How ironic it was that we mostly stared outwards when we were here.

Link

Sentimentality Hour: Here Comes A Thought (Steven Universe)

Lovely song from Steven Universe about trust and working together with someone. 

Take a moment to think of just
Flexibility, love, and trust
Take a moment to think of just
Flexibility, love, and trust

Here comes a thought
That might alarm you
What someone said and how it harmed you
Something you did that failed to be charming
Things that you said are suddenly swarming

And, oh, you’re losing sight, you’re losing touch
All these little things seem to matter so much
That they confuse you
That I might lose you

Take a moment, remind yourself
To take a moment and find yourself
Take a moment and ask yourself
If this is how we fall apart

But it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not
It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay
You’ve got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear
I’m here, I’m here, I’m here

Here comes a thought
That might alarm me
What someone said and how it harmed me
Something I did that failed to be charming
Things that I said are suddenly swarming

And, oh, I’m losing sight, I’m losing touch
All these little things seem to matter so much
That they confuse me
That I might lose me

Take a moment, remind yourself
To take a moment and find yourself
Take a moment and ask yourself
If this is how we fall apart

But it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not, but it’s not
It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay
I’ve got nothing, got nothing, got nothing, got nothing to fear
I’m here, I’m here, I’m here

And it was just a thought, just a thought, just a thought, just a thought, just a thought
It’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay, it’s okay
We can watch, we can watch, we can watch, we can watch them go by
From here, from here, from here

Take a moment to think of just
Flexibility, love, and trust
Take a moment to think of just
Flexibility, love, and trust

 

好好好 - A poem to my mother [CH]/[EN]

I love you mamma.

我長大想像媽媽
她每次都叫「拉拉」

「你要對自己好好
記得這個最重要」

「不要隨便恨別人
要愛朋友與家人」

「不要隨便亂花錢
不要吃太多泡麵」

「要記得打給爸爸
要記得好好唸書」

「傷心的話要說」
可不要太囉唆」

「我辛苦把你養大
因為我以前害怕
你們會像我一樣
為難吃苦得長大」

「現在你們真“lucky”啊!
你看媽媽的臉就知道
我有呢麼的驕傲
你們的命多美妙。」

所以呢,
我這生命 一定要好好的活
都靠我媽 我才能好好的過
對我們的愛 她給我們太多。

可以一樣的話
我沒別的追求。

[EN]

When I grow up
I want to be like my mamma.

Everytime, she would say, “Sarya-

You have to treat yourself good
As great as someone smart would,

Do not randomly hate others.
Care for your family and lovers.

Do not waste too much money
Don’t eat instant noodles only.

Remember to call your father
Keep your skills up in order

Be open about sadness
But don’t subject into crassness.

I worked hard to bring you up
Because I used to be afraid
That you would be raised like me,
Struggling and jaded

Now, you guys are so lucky!
Just look at my face to know
How proud I am that
Your lives are blessed.”

For this reason,
I will live this life to the fullest it can be.
For my mother,
I will live it properly
For the amount of love she gives us
Is ridiculous…

And if I could do the same,
It’d be sufficient.

Sentimentality Hour: Words

Whatever I write down and attempt to express, I know one thing: These are not my words.

They have been borrowed from my ancestors and my predecessors; those alike who feel far too much for their own liking, putting pragmatisms on a lower priority. I know I’ll say clichés and relatable things, which are time after time reiterated the same but of a different calibre. But my intention is not to be original. It is to make whomever I write about feel as special as I truly feel they are to my heart and soul. Words mean little unless they evoke personal feeling; they mean a plethora of things to someone that they are written about. This is why when one writes something, their words are monumentally significant to them, to their muses, for someone took the effort to pour themselves onto paper to share with the world how they were inspired by something. Should someone relate to them, then, all the better.

I write merely to feel more connected to the strange place that is the world, and it shall be the only reality that I can know. I want to belong to the waves of humanity that fuel my blood and run through my veins, encouraging my heart to beat and see what life will bring to me.

It is nice to be validated, so that one does not feel alone, just as it is equally nice to be commended for the skill possessed to do so adequately. What is the best, is to see this appreciation returned in some shape of form, for we are all artists of sentiment, able to fashion beautiful gestures.

I don’t expect to be remembered in the world where billions of lives are in the same plane of importance, each valuable and worthy of commemoration. All I want is for you to listen, and hope that the fundamental emotion of universality interacts with you the way the words of a friend do. Just like how the narrative of a novel resounds in your mind, and the presence of its pages makes you feel more at peace.

I hope you take the daily rituals of conversation and stand behind them, keeping the significance of words as powerful as all the great poets and authors do. For as of late, I know the letters that are strung together can be as hollow as a well that someone expects to have water, yet when they lower their pail down, thirsty for sincerity, can be met with nothing but an emptiness that inhibits sorrow. There was no malicious intent, but merely a passive neglect that was not realised. What a shame it is that such actions still damage, and the hurt usually surfaces as self-loathing, for it is far easier to hate yourself than to hate others. Literacy is common, so the art of literature and the craft of linguistic communication has become cheap, thrown around like a paper ball whose loss is not the least bit influential. I will not say that I do not fault in the way that I condemn, for it is difficult to keep up idealistic visions of how one thinks people should act. But I will promise that I am trying.

I cannot say the same for anyone else.

Favourite Poem of the Day: I Wrote A Good Omelet by Nikki Giovanni

I wrote a good omelet…and ate
a hot poem… after loving you
Buttoned my car…and drove my
coat home…in the rain…
after loving you
I goed on red…and stopped on
green…floating somewhere in between…
being here and being there…
after loving you
I rolled my bed…turned down
my hair…slightly
confused but…I don’t care…
Laid out my teeth…and gargled my
gown…then I stood
…and laid me down…
To sleep…
after loving you

Sentimentality Hour: A Rant on Expectations

I apologise first for my Grumpusness. 

When one thinks of the word “expectation”, it is usually accompanied by “disappointment”, for it has always been the case: you only set yourself up for disappointment if you expect anything.

It is a time where “living in the moment” is idealised. Feeling the natural flow of things is now a novelty that few are able to truly embrace if they find themselves in an urban setting. Perhaps we are settling for mediocrity as a source of contentment, for the randomness of life has never been more apparent with the technology introduced in the 21st century.

From this I merely mean that the potential for weird shit to happen is now tripled, because we have access to people in a thousand different ways. Coincidence has never been more apparent, and planning has never been more effective. But I find that amongst the individuals I spend time with, there is an importance to not expect anything, which I find utterly absurd.

As human beings, are we not prone to have a vision of what the outcomes of a situation are like? Should we not hold standards to the kind of conduct we want around us? I have never demanded outrageous things from anyone, but I suppose I am also naive in the way that I want the goodness of people to prove to me that humanity is, at least, redemptive, or that you know yourself enough to identify what you want and crave. Yet I find people afraid to live in the past and the future, even though reflection in these times are what make for meaning in my life. Why else is there such an importance to learn about history or innovation? The present is merely a brief second of living until it joins the multitude of happenstance that will be amongst distorted memories. Everything is a reaction, so why should we hold such importance to such an idea?

I grow weary of these people, who say that they “live in the moment.” If you truly lived in the moment, there would be no strategies. You would bounce around the walls of life as randomly as a pinball. You wouldn’t follow a schedule, and you’re probably somewhat privileged for not having to think things through. Frugality is a strategy that has to be employed by some people. You think ahead for the future of your own wellbeing and that of your family’s. I suppose to enjoy something for “the moment” would be not recognising that you’re having a “moment” to begin with. For that “moment” is defined after some thought. Surely, thinking “ah man I’m loving this moment” isn’t very “momenty” for someone to admit. Those “moments” without having been expressed or recorded, will be lost in the vague apparitions that eventually become romanticised or partly forgotten.

It is true that people regret not appreciating their time because they lived too much in planning, but this is not to say that one should disregard it. Are you scared of the future? The future is fearless if you have direction and expectation. Sure, the possibility of those plans to fall through have everything to do with the circumstance you arrive in, but shouldn’t having “thought things through” bring some security. The true fear that people associate with the future is the fear of failure. You can also expect that things will not turn out the way you want them to, but I hardly think that’s justification to not expect anything at all.

Shouldn’t we feel that we deserve some kind of decent treatment as fellow human beings? Does it not make one sad to know that we live in a time where not expecting anything is the best way to approach a situation? Why are we all meant to let each other down? Why are we surprised by kind gestures and grateful for an ounce of positivity? Should we completely disregard our human nature which automatically makes expectations?

I expect there will be no answer to this, for to think about expectations would not be “living in the moment,” and I remain eternally frustrated about the topic.

Sentimentality Hour: Musings on the Metro

Shall I create an excuse
To talk to you?
Beautiful stranger.

Your colourful jumper precipitates
A colourful personality.

You jumped out at me
In my attention
Which was sorely bemused by the state of affairs
I wonder to what extent
You know that I care,
And that I am watching you fetter.

And then,
You’re gone!

For my courage was daunted
By the expectation
To keep to myself

You were gone before I had the chance to even make an opportunity
To feign myself stupid
To ask a question:
This question was crafted for your ears alone
Though it sounds guileless, this fact is unknown.

Should the answer solicit further interest
I would have been ready to plunge myself into darkness
And you would have no idea
That I was thinking
This much
For you.