Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Go Away! And Save Me.

Why is it that when I connect with one the other wrestles away?
What is this curious see-saw connection you both share?

When you're happy, the other's sad.
When you're trigger-happy. The other is glad. Maniacally so.

When you wallow, she flies.
When you whoop with laughter, she dies inside.

If I extend a hand or a call to say hello to you
She cowers away spitting and hissing.

And when you and I fall out over a simple matter,
She rejoices, in ways big and small.

What is this thread that tugs and connects you both?
Can we snap it and free you two?

So I might be free of both of you.

- MA (2012)

Monday, August 06, 2012

No Turns In Sight

I'm not sure where we go from here
It seems as if the turns have passed.

The road now stretches - an endless ribbon
As our sources of conversation run out fast.

I partially turn by head away
As a gear shifts within our minds
I watch bleak and lush lanscapes hurtle past.

There's no more music in this patch of empty
No more whirlwind dervish dance.

We take turns to shut our eyes
And in pity we seek recourse from each other. 

The road stretches out before us. 
No turns in sight. Not one. 

- MA (2012)

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Now that the TV's lost it's shine...

Today was an Olympic sit in. We watched as sportsmen and women from across the globe competed for a medal while chowing down on bad Chinese takeout and lolling around on the couch in our night clothes.

At 7:00 p.m. I looked up and realised the day had passed us by. Well, in this case passed me by, because my husband wasn't even aware of anything else but the screen. He's glued to the Badminton Doubles finals - China and Japan are fighting it out - as I sit at my computer listening to the incessent cheers and the 'thunk' of the shuttlecock rallies.

I never thought I'd reach a point where I'd tire of watching TV. We deliberately didn't sign up for good cable and settled with a basic TV package because our TV series and movie lists are handpicked, paid downloads which we diligently watch after work almost everyday.

The unthinkable has happened. I actually walked away from the TV today in favour of another screen. The computer. It's a shinier, prettier and way more advanced from what I've got at work, and toying around with this while surfing my usual sites is almost...

With TV losing its lustre (I'll admit it won't completely fade from my list of interests) I'm now tasked with finding something to pursue. The predominant themes - health and hobby. Have I ever mentioned that I don't have a proper hobby?

I have an on-off relationship with fitness, and while I've tried the usual suspects, the good thing is I've learnt what kind of exercise suits my countenance. It has everything to do with individual fitness - so no group classes or pacing partners for me. Stretches, Pilates, Yoga, Swimming - that sort of thing, y'know?

As for hobby...well, I'm yet to stumble upon something that can hold my all too fleeting attention. I get bored easily, and I'm not sure why. Sometimes, there really isn't any rational explanation for how and why I switch off. I'm still trying to figure it out.

I tried stamp collecting when I was little and I had a decent collection going. In fact, that book is a pretty impressive compendium - it's now stuck at my parents house in a box somewhere. Not of my own accord, my mom has a problem with hoarding and letting childhood memories go. The more physical manifestations of her children's pursuits, the more rabidly possessive she gets. I do not and dare not call rightful dibs.

Maybe that's why I've never wanted to pursue a hobby full time!

Jokes aside though, its that mid-life crisis phase - I'm beginning to think it could be the precipitating factor for my increased awareness of not having something to focus on or be proud of. Anyway, enough of that. I'm already going to kick start health this week, so that's the positive.

Could any one suggest a decent enough hobby for a 30 something woman to pursue? Something I could enjoy without too much investment into hobby sundries. Comments, if any, are most appreciated.

Post Script: This post began a loooong time ago. Like when the 2012 Olympics was headline grabbing news. No, really...! The spirit of the post however, if I may say so, is still timely (it is for me, anyway!), because health is now my hobby, and I've revived my voracious reading. 

Thursday, August 02, 2012


I was split open emotionally at work last evening. I was ploughing through reams of research and expert feedback on a trending topic in economics and finance and I was 4 hours past my deadline. I kept staring at the screen as the panic slow and steady shot up my spine and lodged in my brain. I slammed the desk, wrung my hands and clasped them into a tight ball. Hot tears welled up behind my eyelids squeezed shut, smarting from frustration. 

After muttering an incoherent rant, I shot up from my chair and walked away with my phone securely in my hand, head down staring at the screen pretending to message someone. I hit the side stairwell and climbed up to the top floor where no one goes and sat down on the topmost stair. Emerging from a frigid interior, I note in relief that the air up here is warmer. 

For half an hour, I did nothing but take deep measured breaths to steady my raw nerves. I then stared at the wall for another fifteen, until my mind relented and left me alone to recover. 

All in a day's work for me as writer. I'm wondering if more seasoned writers ever feel this way. When I read established writers' online or in print, I envy how well their story flows, how effortless their language constructs and how succinct their points are in writing; yet when they communicate so much more is conveyed through a single sentence. 

Don't get me wrong, my research, ground work and ability to chase known and unknown sources are spot on. In fact, I'll go as far as to say that I'm pretty good. I'm not very good with compliments and I've never really given myself credit where it's due - but this I will admit, because honestly, its a skill I worked hard to hone. 

But I digress. It's the constructing that I peak and trough with. The troughs, oh, how they smart! How do I explain the sheer agony of having all the information I need but not being able to draw out its essence in superbly fashioned paragraphs. 

On some days, its perfect. Literally. I see sentences map out in front of me even before I type them. Each one linking beautifully to the next until the perfect finish. On a day like that, the high trumps all else. You almost feel like you could accomplish anything, and still have time for a long drive afterward. 

I want that feeling everyday. Everyday! To be able to put a story together in the syntax and flourish of those writers whose words I greedily devour. At times I loathe my vocabulary and on occasion I marvel at the way my turn of phrase, quick wit and clever puns. I smile indulgently when I pack a punch. It's so addictive. 

Yet that next hit can be a torturous lover, who scorns you for fun and remains hidden deliberately, playing silly games as you thrash about in the dark playing in protest but playing - pitifully - anyway. 

I question myself as a writer everyday. For above me so many do better and below me so many have unbridled passion. It isn't uncommon to feel like a pretender even when in your heart you've swum oceans, and sacrificed equilibrium to dance with words.

I hold court, she says. So easily, flippantly even. Almost jealous. Good people can be too. I don't grudge her subtle mocking, for I can see there are aspects of me she'd rather have herself. Funnily enough, her stature is hard won, but not natural. She knows this. Yet, I will not belittle what she has accomplished. 

I have a talent, this much I know. An unwieldy power that I'm able to grasp when it lies sleeping with one eye open. When it awakes it's cyclonic temperament puts me in tailspin. My stubborn and gutsy countenance forbids that I let go even when it thrashes wildly. It's at this moment I look around me in despair, hoping against hope that a godsend force helps me tame it - this power - this talent. I wish to master it. 

It lets me guide it under false pretext. Why can't we be friends? Is it the place, the time, the space, the air conditioning? 

How do I smoke the peace pipe with you? Won't you sit awhile and talk? Won't you have a hot beverage with me? Won't you let me in?

It's time.