Monday, September 22, 2014

Young

"I am jealous of you, young people. I am old, I am cranky. I haven't felt life in my bones for years. Old age takes you out in ways you never expected. Old age makes you blind to what you used to enjoy: To mere sunshine and lighting cigarettes in the alleyway trying to keep warm between classes. To Tom Odell and colourful cheesy piano, screaming to pop songs that you would sing along to. To feeling invincible enough to change ambitions every other week, depending on what mood you're in.

You long for security and control. You will never get there. Stay young. Stay as young as you can. Watch how lightfooted the young seem. Stay young while you can.

I am jealous of you.

Of waking up and feeling so lost, and yet feeling so secure in your lostness, feeling life gripping you like a deep song that sounds like it's been written in a dark hotel room that smells like disappointment and cold dreams."

He tells me. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reblogging Your Face

I keep reblogging your face. Hey Lindsey, will you take notice of me? I even played the song called Medicine by Daughter – and that bit where the drums come in, always makes me wince because it's too beautiful a sound to handle. Your face lights up my page, but you're not even real, are you? Your name's Alexa I am told. But tomorrow you're Nadja and then again I am chasing my own tail going round and round in circles, trying to be like Kazuo and Alexander.

Hey, give me a five minute window in your busy flambuoyant lives. Give me a little RT or a mention. I don't know what I would do with it, but I would feel really good for that five minutes that the joy will last.

And yeah, I promise to keep reblogging your face, and your heart as raw as the sun rising and defeating dark clouds, remnants of a rain long gone. 

India

You're proud of where you've come from, almost to a point of getting arrogant about your history and your traditions. Why would the fluttering tricolour in the wind fill you with pride and fervour?

I said, "Have you seen the sunrise glinting on the tea plantations on the way to Darjeeling? Have you seen the clouds wander across the face of the many nameless mountains on the North towards Ladakh? Have you ever heard the roar of waterfalls as you stand on a peak of a hill overlooking the cavernous valley somewhere outside Sohra? Have you dipped your hands into the backwaters of Kerala that reflect the coconut trees, and watched the shadows dance to the movement of the water? Have you wandered the narrow streets of Banaras and wonder if you would ever get out the maze alive, but at the same time feel the sense of immense freedom rising inside you?"

You're getting too ahead of yourself here.

"But answer me. Have you done any of these I mentioned above?"

No.

"Exactly."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

East

"What are we doing here at the gas station? Why are we filling the tank?"

The morning was just starting to light up. The lady at the counter at the gas station was barely awake. She grumpily handed East the cash change. He said to her, "Hey, thanks. Have a fantastic day, young woman."

I swear she said fuck off under her breath, but East wasn't looking. He had turned back towards me, walked to the car and was checking the back boot to ensure it was locked. He seemed in a resolute mood. What in the world is this guy up to?

"Hey man, what are we doing? Are we going somewhere?"

"Are we going somewhere? Mate, are we going somewhere..."

He got in the car and revved up the engine. And then he killed the engine again as I opened my mouth to complain. He turned to me, and I held back my words – I was going to say, Oi you nut case, whatever the hell you're up to, I want to know what I am doing!

He looked at me for a couple of seconds and then looked out at the road that laid out in front of us. The gas station seemed like the only habitation for miles and miles. No sign of life. No sign of movement, except the wind that brushed up a few strands of dust now and then. Even the lady at the counter had disappeared inside.

"We are going on a journey. You and I."

"A journey?"

"Yeah, a journey. A road trip."

"Ok, that's a start. That makes sense why you're filling up the gas tank." I replied slowly trying not to sound impatient and annoyed, "Are you going to tell me where we are going?"

"It will be a significant road. Your life will change. We will pass Wisconsin. We will drive past the majestic grand canyons. We will drop in and say hello to the folks of New Jersey. We will also drive up to Michigan, I have a few errands I want you to run along lake towns. We will then hop out of the country briskly to Montreal, and then drive back down to Georgia to watch the dry towns bleak in the noon sun. We will also check out the Rockies, man, have you seen the Rockies this time of the year? You'll love it."

"But I don't want to see Wisconsin. I don't want to see Wyoming. I don't want to go to Montreal. I don't even want to see the Rockies! What's in there for me? I want to go back home and sleep in my bed. To wake up and have coffee at the Berty's Cafe with my friends, and then do nothing all day, go to bed and wake up the next day to do it all again..."

"The sights of the mountains will forgive your sins. The open highways will chisel you. The cliffs you hang off will make you fight stronger. Your friends, your parties, your sports, your antics in this old town, they will always be there for you – or they won't be. You don't know. They don't matter. I've got things to show you... a bigger country. You can huddle up here and sit in a small town remorse and self pity – or the open road invites you."

"It's not like I have a choice, do I? I am here in your truck now. I don't know my way back. You've filled up the tank. Where can I run away to from here?"

"You do have a choice. You can jump out and stand on the highway and stick your thumb out and hitchhike your way back to your house. Or you can try and walk back. What you've left behind is just around the corner – it's never far. But I've brought you here because I want you to see that open landscape in front of you. I want you to hear the hills that are blue on the horizon call to you."

"Are we escaping life then? Is this escapism?"

"No we are not escaping life. We are diving headlong into life. If life is an ocean, we are diving headlong into the blue. If life is a highway, we are filling the tank up and revving up the engine to start on this roadtrip."

He looked away for a while. I looked away too. The blue hills far across the distance trembled slightly in the summer heat wave.

East asked me again, "Do you want to go?"

"Yes. I want to go."

Monday, September 1, 2014

Pearls

Pearls drop into my head. They sound simple and clear as they ring and trickle down the hollow of my head. In fact my head was not hollow. It had to be made hollow. It was filled with intestines – the insides of a human or something.

But these pearls drop. They dispel and melt the intestines inside my head. It's like when you drop a solvent into a glass of muddy water that makes the water become crystal clear. I can smell the fumes escaping. The stench of the dross that filled my head leaving me, running away in fear. 

I am not in Venice. I am not in London. I am not in Praha. I am not in Cairo. As much as I wish to be.

But I know discontent dwells, thrives and prospers in these cities. I know for all the love they make, all the songs they sing, all the wine they skull, all the sights you see, in Rome, New York, New Delhi, Wellington, Gold Coast... For all of these, discontent still reigns unchallenged and unconquered. 

Frank Sinatra, what do you mean you did it your way? What way? Your way? 

Venice's canals echo sounds of unhappy happiness. This city's streets sigh of lost dreams and lost fights – I walk the streets every night and it tries to smother me every time – lost dreams, dead corpses of hope they litter the roads lit by streetlights. 

How do I walk on the streets that no hope grows on, and find hope? 

Unless the pearls that dropped into my head, brought about by ravens, ravens that do the bidding of God, unless they take root and become a tree. Unless the pearls fall and dig that well from which a river will pour out. If anything, I may just have enough hope for myself to get by my seventy years of existence – or if you like, some bit of hope for the streets that are lit by orange streetlights where dead hopes lie like corpses, immobile and lifeless.

Spring – Awake

My friend, winter's over. Wake up, it's spring. Spring arrived this morning. While you slept, the greens came up – the shoots budded up – the music revived – the sun rose – the mists cleared. 

Wake up. Harsh has been the winter. The cold chill killed everything that needed to go.

It is a new day, wake up. Be hopeful. September is beautiful. You're new. 

Your disappointments lie dead at your doorstep. They took a while to die, but they eventually got invaded by the freezing winds from last night. Your broken hopes that lied cluttered at your porch have been cleared out, like broken pottery – I threw them into the lake beyond your house. Your wet blankets I have hung out on the backyard in the new spring sun to dry. 

Hum a tune, be awake, listen to the silence of spring, listen to the new world purring in the warmth.

Awake, my friend, spring is here.