Tranquility

We were searching for ourselves in the darkness beyond the night

We found each other and lit a fire keeping the other warm

 

Over time we realised, we have become warm ourselves

Just in the tranquility of late night hours

 

In our true and honest form

And we saw

Fragility

The night brings horrors; I feel torn inside

But I woke up to the light, and saw me

 

Raw, pure, in fragility

The kind of fragility that makes everything more beautiful and worth protecting

The kind of power that does not need to be proven

 

Innate, all-encompassing, and serene

Transcendence

I am having one of those moments like I did last year, asking myself if I want to stay a little longer…

I know sentimentality has become my forte; it’s hard to go back to the cold having become accustomed to the warmth. It seems like I have made it a habit to go to places and accidentally meet people I can really connect with. Sometimes I wish I can take them with me, and very occasionally, I think about if I should stay.

When she said I have a beautiful soul, it’s like I was finally seen for who I am and was accepted. When he spontaneously started to do things because he felt that was what I desired, I felt that words weren’t needed to express what I want. It’s the form of connection that is transcendent.

There was nothing romantic about any of this – except for the lifestyle perhaps. It was just a new form of friendship. All I cherished was that midnight conversation over a bottle of cognac with two people I felt most understood by, and whom I cared for in return. The kind of honest conversation, with no games, no interest, no reason. It just happened.

I wonder how many more of this I have to go through, if I should just choose a place and settle down. But I love my adventures. The variation of life is what makes life interesting. I wonder how long it will take before I’ll get bored otherwise. Building relationships is what I am good at. Maintaining it was never easy.

Gone with the Wind

There are places we’ve been

There are people we’ve met

There are happinesses we’ve felt

 

Cherished and experienced

Seen and forgotten

Felt and remembered

 

We still leave it behind

at the end

 

Gone with the wind

 

Heart

Went into the world in search of my heart

My heart has never spoken to me more since

 

Tried to protect her in vain

But she is so much stronger than I had thought

 

She’ll give the abundance of warmth she carries

Effortlessly, without hesitation

 

Even now, she says to me

That’s not what we really want in life

We want more

We deserve more

We can give ourselves more

 

Don’t settle for anything less

Life is too short to live a mediocre life just because we are afraid at times

 

We can do better

And we will

Or we die while living

Passenger

At the height of my game

That’s when I met you

I didn’t even know how I lost it

 

When I felt most like me

He saw me

I don’t even know what to do

Such a good man but not whom I am looking for

I can only try not to do anything to confuse or to hurt him

Pretending not to see what others had told me

 

I guess the rest is history

I wouldn’t even know where to begin

So let bygones be forgotten

As time passes

 

It is inconsequential after all

Like this too will become

Soon

Grandfather

The thing about living in another country is that I can be in denial

Because I’m used to not having you in my daily life

Until I walk into the emptiness of your room

And I break

Grandmother

My Grandmother called me when I got home. She’s the only one who can call me by my childhood nickname without annoying me these days. She and my Grandfather. But he’s no longer here.

She called me with a voice vividly, and reminded me of a story, of how she was at her deathbed when I was born, and because I looked at her with my curious wide eyes, she gained more energy and survived. Apparently, that’s why she used to call me “Her Savior.”

She broke her hips a few years ago, and had to walk with supportive instruments. But whenever I came home, she starts to jump around with those instruments. I used to laugh and ask if she learnt to fly while I was away.

In the car to her house, my aunt told us that my Grandmother has been showing a very bad temper. My mom and I both started laughing unstoppably.

I asked my aunt in disbelief: “Grandmother has a bad temper?” Because she’s always so nice to me. In my opinion, she doesn’t even stand up for herself in situations where I would have, which is why I would do that in my subtle way (and sometimes less subtle when that called for it), especially after Grandfather died. To make sure that no one would forget to take good care of her and to take her wishes into consideration when making important and time-limited decisions affecting her daily life. My mother said: “Grandmother always had a bad temper, she was just too ill to show it.” “Oh,” I said, still struggling to believe, “so that’s where you got your temper from.” I laughed at my mother, who didn’t reply.

The women in our family are all quite something, starting from my Great Grandmother, whom I had the pleasure of meeting when I was very little. I always thought my Grandmother was the softest, with a difficult Mother-in-Law and a daughter who is the apple of her husband’s eye – though my mother too has become softer over the years. After my Grandfather died, we asked Grandmother what she would like to do with his room and the formal picture used at the ceremony. She asked me what I would like to do with them. I think because I was the closest to my Grandfather. I told my Grandmother that it is her decision how she would like to live in her house. She said to my Mother that she doesn’t know and asked my Mother what to do, who also didn’t know. That’s when I realised, they never had to make such decisions before. So I gave my suggestions as I am probably the most used to making decisions from our three generations.

This time I saw my Grandmother regaining her spirit by seeing me. I know that she feels closer to my Grandfather when she sees me, because I had lived with them every time when I visited. Especially during one summer, after I went to Beijing to study Chinese, when I visited them at the end of my trip. I would practice writing Chinese every evening, when I had the most meaningful conversations with my Grandfather, who would take notes on what he had learnt that day. He told me he would write down the things he learnt each day before going to sleep, and that day he learnt the difference between two characters that looked similar but are not.

After Grandfather died, Grandmother was consoling me while I came to console her. She would be more optimistic to me than to my older cousin, probably trying to give me strength, like I was trying to give her comfort. This time I said hi to my Grandmother, before going to my Grandfather’s room. I saw his picture on the wall, when I noticed his absence. So I sat down on his chair – the chair he would read his newspaper in, the chair he would fall asleep in, the chair my Grandmother protected because she said I would be upset if they would throw it away – and cried.