“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
― Marcus Aurelius,
“What makes us human is not our mind but our heart,
not our ability to think but our ability to love.”
— Henry Nouwen
There is this place not too far away from here that I once wrote about. It’s where trees form a canopy above humans and the sun fight to shine through. It’s a secret place I always retreat to — sometimes with my diary — whenever I feel the need to reconnect with the soft touch of Earth and the calming scents of unplucked blooms. I would lie down, hidden, submerged among tall grass, and I’d stare at the way the leaves far above me dance with every blow of the breeze.
I had a pocket of time to spare yesterday, so I went back to this place again, and I called you.
“The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.”
― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
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Remember my little LJIL (Little Joys In Life) series from a while back? A loooong while back. It was a series of monthly posts about little joys (you don’t say…. hahaha) I was thankful for in my very human, very perfectly imperfect life. What started out as something that I wanted to use to remember things that once made me happy, became something that got me fired up to wake up every morning… it almost became a game for me: Let’s see how many things I can find to be thankful for today!
I loved it with all my heart, but then one day my heart became clouded by what subsequently went on to grip my soul for the next year or two… or three, actually. It never eased its hold on me, not even for a split second to let me breathe. I drowned. Anxiety and depression consumed me whole. Wholer than whole. And I soon forgot what it felt like to have light flow through me. All I felt was the complete absence of anything that brought me joy, let alone life.
But I’m okay now. 🙂 And, as I begin to see life through rose-tinted lenses again, I have begun to find moments that warrant gratefulness, more so every day. So much so that I’ve decided to keep tabs on them again. New season, new beginnings, new me, … new name — welcome to the very first issue of MISTY, aka. Moments I Said Thank You.
There was one particular conversation I had with Miriam about hearing God that stuck with me. She was sharing about a time she heard God, except, she added, it wasn’t hearing hearing, it was more hearing feeling, or something like that.
I was confused — what does hear-feeling mean? what does such an experience feel (or sound?) like? how do I know it isn’t just the voice in my head? — and perhaps even to say how ‘confused’ I was would be an understatement to how all over the place, muddled, and befuddled I felt.
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Two weeks on, after an adventure that began with a tearful goodbye and a long hug with my parents at Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, and ended with a smile under the blue sheets of the Stuart Room in Rothsay, I finally get it… this ‘hear-feeling’ thing, among so much more. God, I heard You.
Do you sometimes live vicariously through the words of others?
I do. I love poetry because of exactly that. I love how it gifts me with the ability to understand other souls better. I love how it lets me cruise through time and space by inhaling described scents, hearing described sounds, tasting described gastronomical experiences, feeling described touch, and seeing described scenes of a world other than my own. I love how it colours my world, … how it makes my world seem ripe with possibilities because I read about such possibilities unfolding in the worlds of others. I love how it speaks for me, taking the feelings — the ones I can’t find the words for — right out of my heart. I love how it speaks to me in an inaudible fashion. I love how my conversation with poetry don’t make a single squeak. All I hear is my heartbeat, and, if I’m lucky, the calming whoosh of the ocean breeze.
Introducing to you one of my many poetry loves, here are excerpts from the stroke of genius that is ‘Love Her Wild’ by Atticus.
(Written within the first waking hour, left unfiltered, left true to the dream, left as it is despite it having been written in my confused state)
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‘You #1’, ‘you #2’, and ‘you #3’ are three real people in my real life, and they now exist in my dream life/ world as well. Dream versions are slightly different versions of the real selves, perhaps an exaggeration of how I see/ feel about them in real life now…? I don’t know, this was weird. Very weird. SO weird I just had to write it down.
Some mornings, I glance out of my window and see balloons flying in the sky. There was once I was facetiming a friend when the balloons flew past, and he squealed (almost shrieked!) and told me of this quote that he once read in Song of Solomon, “You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.” We laughed at the sudden hilarity of the situation, but soon quietened as we let the truth of the quote sink in. We do have to give up ‘weighted shit’ to ascend to new heights, both figuratively and, I guess, literally too.