“Life itself, every moment of it, every drop of it, here, this instant, now, in the sun, in Regent’s Park, was enough.” — Peter (Mrs Dalloway)
“she kept coming back and back like a sleeper jolting against him in a railway carriage; which was not being in love, of course; it was thinking of her, criticising her, starting again, after thirty years, trying to explain her.” — Peter (Mrs Dalloway)
Whenever I plug in my earphones — on the car, on the subway, on the treadmill, on a stroll, whenever — I’m instantly transported to another place, another era, I become a visitor of my own past, a spectator, sometimes a griever mourning for the bygone days.
Innocence — Avril Lavigne
Waking up, I see that everything is okay
The first time in my life, and now it’s so great
Slowing down, I look around, and I am so amazed
I think about the little things that make life great
I wouldn’t change a thing about it
This is the best feeling
A throwback song to when I took my first steps into the realm of sports — my first track meet and my first game of table tennis. A breach of innocence, I suppose, as the title of the song suggests, a boundary, a line that has prevented me from trying new things, a line that’s reinforced the ludicrous belief that as a girl, I should be more demure, I shouldn’t be out there, in the sun sweating, running, panting. I lost my innocence, but not in that sense of the word. Rather, I lost my fair skin and my “femininity” in the most restricted sense of the word. What have I gained instead? I couldn’t be happier. I gained a nice glowing tan, one that I preferred so much more to the sickly pale skin that screamed of insipidity. Deep down, I knew that I had worked hard for what I wanted to achieve on the field when the gun goes off and having tan skin (because of hours of training under the blisteringly hot sun) doesn’t diminish my femininity, instead, it strengthens my identity as a strong and determined girl on her way to womanhood. This song reminds me not to let social expectations hinder my interests, to continually challenge the boundaries and stay true to my passions.
Let It Go — James Bay
I realise that as I grow, my musical taste mature and I gravitate towards songs with an urban touch to it. The calm twanging of a Gibson electric soothes my bristling soul. It’s a song fitting for when I’m on the move, in transit. It’s a song that makes even that hottest day cooling and breezy, a song that somehow harks me back to the same landscape of a rainy winter evening on a nondescript street in London every single time I listen to it.
So come on, let it go
Just let it be
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me?
Everything that’s broke
Leave it to the breeze
Why don’t you be you
And I’ll be me?
And I’ll be me
Bay sings like someone who’s been hurt before. His voice is gilded with a poignant and melancholic edge to it and when he sings and strains his voice with the all the passion in his heart and memory at the climax of the song, the lyrics and its sentiments permeate my entire being and my suffering is no longer a solitary affair. I found sympathy in his songs, I found solace and comfort during an emotionally turbulent and uncertain period. The imagery of rain that Bay evokes in me with his voice is probably more reflective of my inner state than his. He might have been singing about a love lost, a love that he fell out of, but the sotto voce rings of countless attempts to rationalise with a difficult reality with the gradual regression of optimism and patience.
It’s a Friday, the end of a hectic week, the metaphorical comma in the middle of a college semester.
That Friday night, we sat on the cusp of spring break, brimming with the hope of more moments spent together, of more memories of each other.
But you had to leave. You had to leave so early in the week and return just before the madness begins. I couldn’t help but think the universe had conspired against us. But loving you would mean wishing the best for you, to support you in the things you love, even if it means distance, even if it means time away from each other, or two longing hearts across the continents.
It was a quiet night. Most people were out — clubbing, waiting for their flight at the airport or hanging out downtown. We sat on the stone bench next to each other, leaving a small gap between us, as if to signal caution and respect for each other’s space, evidently the signs of a couple still in the infant stages of love. We talked, I whined a lot, sighed at the speed at which time has past, sighed at how quickly were growing up, at how in a blink of any eye we’ll soon be finding jobs, tossed into the ocean that is adulthood. I looked up at the ocean of stars above us, the sky a deep mysterious blue with overtones of black. The chilly wind flirted with my hair and caressed my skin, making me yearn for some warmth. I shot you a cursory glance hoping that I didn’t get caught in the act. Oh how I yearn for your embrace on such a breezy spring night. I just couldn’t find the words to say it nor the courage to lift my arms. You seemed deep in thought, your kind eyes afixed on something afar, oblivious to the tempest of emotions stirring within me nor my desire to hold you close and never let you go.
As I’m writing this, you’re on your way to the airport. I write with a reminiscing and slightly melancholic heart, clinging on to the memory of your hug, a hug that has been so long overdue but one that spoke most directly to me. In that instant when my head collided with your chest, I heard you beat the rhythm of promise, of love.
I was sulking about how he didn’t put the rubber figurine I gave him out on display on his shelf.
“Does it mean so little to you?
Are you ashamed of it?”
“I just didn’t want it to get dusty.”
You told me that I reminded you of Gudetama as you fished out 3 pairs of bright yellow socks from your drawer.
Oh no. Worried thoughts whipped up a tempest in my mind — a clash of frenzy and confusion.
What have I done to give you the impression that I am just a lazy egg with such a pessimistic, worse, nihilistic worldview. An egg that seems to have nothing better to do in his life and just laments and moans about every triviality. Am i that fragile, am i that weak?
I searched your curious expression for a clue, for a glint of hope that it wasn’t anything that I was thinking of.
A satisfying smile spreads like the white of a fresh egg across a pan.
It reminds me of you. Yellow, fat and cute.”