My name is Josiah. This is an avenue for self-exploration, sorrow, and beauty.
in silent awe
I watched the tree shed its golden leaves,
reminiscent of a phoenix in the Arabian desert,
to be rejuvenated in a blaze in spring.
I marvel at the graceful passing of the seasons
the seamless transition
from summer blue to winter white
the numinous beauty of the natural world
I stand overwhelmed.
note to self:
don’t forget, can’t forget, never forget
to indulge your senses
to drink from the timeless beauty
the endless glow
Teju did not simply fall in love. He dove wholeheartedly into it. He stuffed his soft little heart into a canon and propelled it into the very core of love. He had always had a problem with the expression “fall in love”. It sounded too passive, as if love was something one simply stumbled onto, as if love was some trivial distraction, some “oh by the way” event in the course of a person’s life when, really, love had grabbed him by the neck and threatened to suffocate him even as his jugular vein pulsed madly beneath its tight, unrelenting fingers.
No. Teju did not simply fall in love. He dove into it, bathed in it, washed away his sins and sinned in it, before finally swimming back up to the surface for solemn breaths of fresh air.
Selfies are a form of self-love.
Snap on, brothers and sisters.
We sat in a café, west of Osgoode station. Brick walls, low hanging lights, smooth instrumentals pouring out the speakers, streetcars slithering across the street behind us like metal canoes on a concrete river.
She asked me, when you’re in your 30’s and you look back at this period of your life, this period where you’re trying to discover yourself, would you be satisfied with it?
I said, do people ever stop trying to discover themselves?
She said, yes. Sometimes people get too lazy to search for themselves. They stop looking for who they are and start focusing solely on what they want.
I said, I suppose you’re right. But what I mean is, will there ever be a time where a person will definitively arrive at the answer to the question of who they are? What sort of answer could possibly do that question justice?
She said, I don’t even know what I want. I’m about to start a new job and I’m involving myself in all these projects. But is that what I really want? I don’t even know where any of this will lead to. I’m just…
I stared at her. She smiled that wistful smile of hers, you know, the smile where she slightly lowers her head and tucks her hair behind her ears. The smile that is always accompanied by the words “I’m OK”. The smile that means the very opposite of what it tries so desperately to mean. The smile that always comes before the tears. I neither touched them nor tasted them but I knew they were warm and salty, respectively. They trickled majestically down her ivory coloured cheeks and in that moment I felt the human connection burning strong within me.
We make all kinds of connections with our fellow humans over the course of our lives. Some of them are less conventional, less amenable to description and definition, less likely to fit neatly into a label. These are the connections I thirst for. Endlessly.
Thank you so much, Karina :)) I have decided resolutely to love my blog and shower her with more attention. It feels nice to know there are at least a handful of people who read my words.
Each time I walk through the mall I feel a vague sense of emptiness, pressing down on me. I feel like a lost soul drifting indifferently along the shiny marble floors. I don’t know why I feel this way.
I miss here but I don’t think I belong here (September, 2014).
I recently revisited the university that I graduated from just this past summer. The school means a lot to me. It is the source of so many of my memories, thoughts, triumphs, and heartbreaks. And I know its secrets. I learnt all its hidden spots and mysterious rooms. I feel deeply connected to this place. But when I went back recently, it felt…different. Mixed in with all the nostalgia bubbling within me was an unmistakable feeling of distance. I felt distant from this space that I had come to love over the past 4 years. I felt detached, isolated, forgotten. What I mean is that this university was no longer my space. It was just a space. I felt like I was no longer part of it. I felt like a refugee, exiled from my own land. But who did the exiling? Was it the university that had changed to such a degree that I no longer felt a part of it? Or was it me whose inner world had shifted?
My close friend is the one that gave me the idea to document my feelings with a camera. I wanted the pictures to capture the curious amalgam of affection and detachment that I felt as I roamed through the hallways of my past.
The humdrum chatter and mumbling voices, the endless stream of bodies rushing towards ever closing doors, the partially forgotten faces that will later reappear in my inexplicable dreams, the exchanged glances, the furtive gazes signalling mutual but hopeless attraction, the brooding buskers blowing the blues through brass instruments, the waves of jazz music floating lazily in the air…
I love walking through the subway. It’s where I listen and observe and learn the ways of the world.
Thank you, beautiful human.
Happy birthday, Jude. I miss you. I know you don’t check my blog anymore - and that’s cool, I’ve barely posted - but I consider this a kind of silent message of love I’m sending to you. Have a wonderful day.
Also, happy birthday, mum. You mean so much to me. I know you don’t check my blog - and again it’s cool - but I think it’s cute that you bookmarked my URL. You want me to know you care. You’re a sweet, beautiful, powerful woman. And I love you.
I was thinking about that expression today. BFF: Best. Friends. Forever. Ooh la la. It’s that magic word again. Forever. That’s quite the promise to make to a person. You’re telling them that you will be there for them for the entirety of time, that your friendship would extend onto the vastness of infinity. But how far into the future can we see? I’m hardly aware of my plans for next week. So who am I to promise anyone that I would walk with them across the endless landscape of time?
In truth, I respect the word “forever”. I respect it out of fear and out of love. I love Forever because it represents determination and hope. Encapsulated within the expression “BFF” are both the hope of lifelong friendship and the determination required to realize that hope – which is nice. But I also fear Forever because it represents the bleak anonymity of the future. Where will I be in 10 years? I’ll be 31 and possibly married, maybe with kids. What about in 30 years? I’ll probably be in the thick of my career. My imaginary offspring will be receiving college education and I will be paying closer attention to my prostate. But what about in 60 years? The wrinkles on my face will be well-defined and Death, with her everlasting arms, will be approaching me for that final embrace. And so it goes. In 100 years I’ll be a vague memory in the minds of a few. In 150 years the feeble remnants of my identity will have dissolved into the earth from which I came. In 1000 years, new civilizations will have arisen. In a million years, who knows what will have become of our species? In a billion years, who knows what will have become of the earth?
How strange and wonderful it is to be a human being. How meaningless and meaningful it can also be to be a human being. When I focus on the objective facts of the universe, stretching back to the Big Bang, on to infinity and beyond, I become aware of how meaningless my 80 something years of life in this world truly are. But when I focus on my subjective experience of being alive, on my friendships (my “BFFs”), my love stories, my thoughts, and my desires, I realize how packed with meaning my life truly is. I often find myself teetering in that nebulous space between subjectivity and objectivity. And I’m cool with that.