Things Left Unsaid

That trip to South Korea. I forgot to talk about it here. The truth is, I have been thinking about what to write about Korea. But I have nothing. I hate to repeat what others have said before and words seem to fail me these days. So I thought maybe I should just let all the photos I took in Korea do all the talking for me.

Don’t get me wrong. The trip was not awful in any way. It was a trip of a lifetime for me. I had been thinking about doing it for years. But now that it’s done, I just don’t really know how to sum it all up in words. For some reason, looking back to that trip I can’t feel any connection to it. It’s like I am looking back into someone else’s memory. It just doesn’t feel like it’s my memory anymore.

Family and friends talk about my trip with a sense of wonder. Like it’s something that has earned me some kind of bragging rights. Every time I hear them talking in envy… I would feel lost. I have no idea why I can’t make myself feel the same kind of excitement about the trip.

In a weird way, what Galgut wrote in one of his books kind of explain the state of disconnection that I seem to feel about my trip to Korea… He said, a journey is a gesture inscribed in space, it vanishes even as it’s made. You go from one place to another place, and on to somewhere else again, and already behind you there is no trace that you’re ever there. The roads you went down yesterday are full of different people now, none of them knows who you are. In the room you slept in last night a stranger lies in the bed. Dust covers over your footprints, the marks of your fingers are wiped off the door, from the floor and table the bits and pieces of evidence that you might have dropped are swept up and thrown away and they never come back again. The very air closes behind you like water and soon your presence, which felt so weighty and permanent, has completely gone. Things happen once only and are never repeated, never return. Except in memory.(pg. 146. In a Strange Room, Damon Galgut) Somehow, I feel that… when it’s all over, the sense of wonder and excitement that connect me to that very moment… vanishes, just like that. I don’t know why do I feel this way. I just do.

Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room

Damon Galgut's In a Strange Room

So what else have I been doing lately apart from writing some weird disconnected stories in this journal?

These past few days have been hard on me. I can’t focus on anything. So I lose myself in thoughts of travelling to another country again. I took a long painful hike with Damon and Reiner in Africa. After that, I was in Malawi and Tanzania and for a brief awkward moment, I was in Switzerland to see Jerome and Alice.

This is what I do when I want to escape the living. I bury myself in great books and go travelling around the world inside my head. It’s weird but in these made up journeys inside my head; in these fictionalized characters and stories… I find a deep sense of connection that I cannot find anywhere else in my life.

That is the saddest thing I know about myself.

Mirrors Sometimes Lie

Begin writing exercise…

When she found him, she knew he was the one. Looking at him was like looking at her own reflection. He was just like her and she was just like him. It was amazing how much they resemble one another.

Hello. She said. Hello. He said. They even said it the same way, with a slightly pitchy “Hell” followed by a long friendly “oooo”. He smiled and she smiled. They both have dimples on their cheeks. His was shallower on his left cheek. Hers was shallower on her right cheek. Like I said… it was as if she was looking at her own reflection in a mirror.

He was the one she wanted to be with. She was the one he wanted to be with. To cut a long story short, the rest was history.

They bought a home near the sea because she loved the ocean and he loved the color blue. She loved arts and he loved music. He played the piano and she danced. When they got tired of playing and dancing, they’d cuddle in bed with a book. She would read and he would listen. And every day they would wake up looking at each other’s faces and they would marvel at how much they resemble one another. Hello, she would say and Hello, would be his answer and they would smile at how much their hellos sound alike. Theirs was like a union made in heaven.

Then, some time around the third year of their marriage they started to enjoy quiet evenings. No music and dancing. No book readings. No painting. Just quiet evenings. It was around that time when they started having conversations with each other. Long conversations, unlike those they ever had before. Those conversations openned up new worlds for the two of them. Suddenly, there were new things to be learned about each other. The newness of these knowledge about one another was intriguing like assembling pieces of a puzzle… one story at a time.

For years they continue to have these conversations. But as the years go by their conversation became shorter and shorter. One day, around eight years after their first hello… they just stopped talking altogether. It was not because they were tired nor was it because they ran out of things to say to each other. It was something else entirely. It was fear. It was a fear so great that they could not find the courage to look at each other in the eyes and talk anymore.

Somehow, the more they talked they more they found out how different they really were. The deeper their conversations go, the more they realized how much they’ve changed since that fateful day when they first found each other.

In the end, they refrain from talking because they fear that the more they talk the more they reveal how dangerously unlike one another they were. At times their silence was almost deafening but it was a necessary silence. One that they must maintain at all cost.

Every morning they would make themselves busy in the kitchen, trying to avoid each other’s glances. He would read the headlines out loud and she would listen and I would be sitting there just looking at them. Sometimes when they realized that I was there they would stopped whatever they were doing and look at me. Hello, she would say and Hello, he would say too… and I would smile back as brightly as I can and hope that in my face, they would see themselves… and remember how much they used to resemble one another.

End writing exercise…

In the black Spring it burns…

If you take someone’s thoughts and feelings away, bit by bit, consistently, then they have nothing left, except some gritty, gnawing, shitty little instinct, down there, somewhere, worming around the gut, but so far down… so hidden, it’s impossible to find. Imagine if you will, a worldwide conspiracy to deny the existence of the colour yellow. And whenever you saw yellow, they told you no it isn’t yellow, what the fuck’s yellow? Eventually, whenever you saw yellow, you would say: that isn’t yellow, course it isn’t, blue or green or purple, or…. you’d say it, yes it is, it’s yellow and become increasingly hysterical, and then go quite berserk.

- David Edgar, Mary Barnes

I am telling you. This is not the color purple. Nor is it the color blue or yellow or pink or muddy brown. This is an eggplant. An angry eggplant trapped in a stainless steel pipe world.

I am telling you… what you see here is not disappointment or sadness or me going totally insane. This is the color black. And these are the words of disappointment and sadness and every little thing in between.

But BLACK is just a word. Don’t read too much into it.

This is not a proper post.

These past months had been chaos with all the planning, the traveling and the rushing to get things done at work just so I could hop on the next plane to travel again. I don’t know what possessed me to plan travel trips to other countries with only one month space in between trips… but I know now that I am never going to pull the same stunt ever again. I just don’t know if I could live through all that stress again.

Just few weeks ago, I was considering to leave the job for good. Not because I hate the job but because I hate the pressure that comes with it. I am doing stuff that is well above my pay grade and the fact that these stuff is keeping me from doing my real job is really starting to piss me off.

But I digress for now.

Right now. To keep myself from falling apart… I accept this as it is. I have good faith in Allah and knows that he has good plans for me. Even if that plans probably means that I have to deal fluctuating blood pressure… so be it. Do you hear me God? I am being a good person. But just so I be clear… if somewhere along this line of being overworked and under-appreciated; I die of high blood pressure and end up in Hell… my boss better be in the same hell hole too!