"reeled in" | © artreture #collage #art #books #love
Wrote. Doodled.. Suikoden 2’d.
Today was a good day. Positive vibes, synergize!
Let our hands do the talking
Anonymous said: Hi Janine! How are you? Hope you're doing well! You're still beautiful. :)
Oh hello. Leave a name behind, please. Let’s be friends. And thank you. :-) Hope you are doing well at your end too. x
The snow storms were unforgiving each time around. Being frostbitten was no longer a casualty. What they would leave behind were battle scars I was going to be proud of. Every time I would inform people that I was "heading up", I was bombarded with messages to not go incase something happened. I still braved Mount Everest every year anyway.
Considered as one of the most dangerous places to climb, Mount Everest was, ironically, named after George Everest who never got to its peak. In a remote region away from the technologies of the world that left things impaired, the Nepalese pride themselves for their Sagarmatha. Also known as Chomolungma by the Tibetans, meaning “mother goddess of the world.” A number of people fail the conquest to stroke the crowning glory of the highest mountain in the world. But not even the deaths can waver me from climbing up.
The weather and obstacles along the way are clearly not for man to encounter. The unpleasantness of witnessing corpses that once hoped their fires could power through the cold were now merely remnants of that bravery. Frozen limbs can be unearthed from the snow when trying to retrieve a dropped item. But it was just like sifting through dinosaur bones. It was right then and there where they were meant to perish, in the presence of the madness that drove them to test the prowess of the mountain.
Days of wind, cold and rock tested me. I was physically capable and very determined to make this my fifth claim of overcoming the mother goddess’ tests. Every step I took made me feel stronger and the farther I got away from the earth, it was a testament to my would-be victory.
After a week of climbing, sweating and shivering, I felt like I owned a piece of time for a while and everything became still. I looked over the mass of rock and snow I went through. It seemed like infinite proportions but it was not impossible to conquer. I planted my flag next to the ones of those who have been here before me.
I sat there for a while and took in the reality - Only a handful of the earth’s population can muster to climb these heights and witness the world from up here. I looked inside my soul and knew that the places with the least amount of people were where I felt my best. I always looked forward to that time of the year when it was time, once again, to leave everything behind. And to embark on a journey that always felt different every time.
I took a photograph of Fiona out of my pocket and looked at it for a while. It was time to bid her farewell and to let go of the frost that has homed itself within me for years. I watched the photograph leave my open palm and disappear in the white mist.
"It’s just you and me again, old friend," I said to the white, titanic cloud that was all around me. I patted the snow again and knew a snow storm was coming. I didn’t want to leave. I have nothing and nobody to go back to, as I have always done every year. This isolated pile of rock was a companion I looked forward to conversing with every year. I can feel myself weep for the remains of the good thoughts that I forced to carry with me during my conquests through the years. As I grow older, the warmth of being human slowly leaves me. I soon realized that it is within the ice and rock where I find solace and peace.
I decided to head for cover, hoping the snow storm wouldn’t be as extreme. Climbing down Mount Everest would make my heart sink as I descend to the grounds where I feel less great. I blew a kiss to the wind and bid Chomolungma goodbye. I promised her I would come back.
With all the strength I can muster for next year, I’m looking forward to traveling home to her again.
I felt a thirst from within even after chugging down two bottles of water. There were still droplets above my upper lip. I took a walk today and noticed that the flowers from a park I usually bypassed bent towards my shadow. I stood there for a while. I watched the freshly cut grass bed the foundation of these delicate, hued creatures that had enough vigour to remain as they are. Summer breathed all its energy around with one last hurrah as the sun was about to set. Steam trailed the corners of my spectacles as I tried to examine the jolly petals that caught my attention. I suddenly felt a little grateful about this little distraction. It was hot but I ignored it. The flowers felt like tongues whispering to the little beast inside me. They told it to resolve in slumber and the rest will be taken care of. I closed my eyes and breathed in scent of the petals. The delicate perfume tickled my nose and a smile broke on my lips. I continued walking to where I was headed and instead turned around. I ditched going to my meeting. It was the weekend and I felt my bones grow heavier as sleep slowly eluded me because of work. Not even three mugs of coffee could shake my cells to wake up. I headed back to the park and nested myself on a bench that was cozily set up under the shade of a nice, large tree. I looked at the sky. The clouds seemed to have shared a conversation with the flowers. The sun descended and the evening breeze made its entrance, whistling at the back of my neck. I was kissed by the sun today and sung to by the moon and stars. Today was a good day.
Where have you been? The rounds of her eyes were dark from lack of sleep. Her lips trembled when I repeated my question. Where have you been? She turned around and lit a cigarette. I saw her blow smoke into the air like the amateur that she was. Flesh almost left her bones and her limbs sagged like tired pieces of branches dying to shake itself off from the tree. I asked her for the last time. Where have you been? She turned around and faced me wordlessly. She took another drag of her cigarette and blew smoke towards the window. I saw a mark on her neck. A kiss mark. My vision was turning crimson. I was about to advance towards her, fighting every urge to pull all that hair from her head. But she beat me to it and lifted a battered cake piece to my face. A melted candle with barely a wick stood pitifully on its middle. I turn 22 today, she said. Her cigarette lent its fire to the candle. A bright flame in the shape of a tear danced to the wind from the window. She giggled and clapped her hands, forgetting that her cigarette was in between her fingers. It fell to the floor and burnt a hole on the carpet. She picked it back up and rested it in between her lips. It’s my birthday, Shelly, she croaked. I was in a place where you wouldn’t let me be. Happy. She turned her back on me again and sat on the windowsill. Looking at her, I knew it was helpless. You cannot prevent love. Even more so when it’s forbidden.
The sound of a trolley crashing into a large plant display distracted me from listening to Frank Sinatra. As I took off my headphones, all eyes were on an European family. The mother was shaking her finger in the air, reprimanding her middle child for not minding where she was pushing the luggage trolley. Her other two children were engrossed in their father’s newly-purchased souvenir. I looked around and saw that the crowd at the lounge only grew in a span of an hour.
There was a food court on the next level up while I was below it. Kiosks were spread across the floor, selling novelty items to luxury products that would entice the jet-lagged or excited traveler. People had their passports and tickets on one hand while the other either pulled a wheeled hand-carry behind them or wrapped up Duty-Free bags.
I couldn’t grasp what I thought about the smell of airports. I liked how you could never smell anything like it anywhere. At the same time, I despised how it made my stomach tighten, resulting in flatulence. The same goes for airplanes. The winds won’t let me catch a break. I love airplane food but visits to the lavatory were never pleasant.
I enjoyed loitering around the airport lounge. My flight was still three hours away but people-watching is a great start to what would be a very boring flight. 30 minutes ago, I witnessed a man in his 40s jam a soda vending machine and realized he didn’t put any coin in. The pin that is on the collar of my coat was given to me by an Indian boy in exchange for my singing him a song on my ukulele. A Greek family handed me a chicken wrap that was specially made with herbs and spices only available in Santorini. It was the best chicken wrap I’ve ever had. I think I saw stars for a moment there.
In all its noise and commotion, I find peace in standing in the middle of it all and witnessing thousands of things happen at the same time. The hands of the clock must be trembling at this part of the country. With Frank Sinatra making every movement beat in time to its tune, it felt like a musical number.
To some, the airport was a portal to getting home to their warm beds and in the familiar arms of loved ones. For others, the airport was an escape from settling for a single destination, finding solace in always being on the move. I’m still figuring out at which end I’m gravitating toward. Meanwhile, it’s all about soaking all this in like a sponge.
Be still, dear child
Pray not to the unknown
Lie onto the salt of the sea
She knew him like the storms -
His thick clouds blurred her vision
She closed her eyes tight
What is it really like to live, to exist? I woke up with an aching body that craved for more sleep. My mind was thirsty for something I’ve lost. I skipped work and didn’t regret the hours spent on segregating books and applying paint and brush on paper. I fingered the texture of the paper when it was still damp with paint. I lit three scented candles and placed them on the dresser. I closed my eyes and imagined laying on strawberry fields. Even as I took in the lazy hours that smiled at me, there were flashes of paperwork, a scary being and my two hands reaching out to the skies. I found myself on the floor, swimming in clutters of my mother’s files. I stumbled upon dozens of doodles that I’ve done through the years. A familiar ache appeared on my cheeks. I touched the ends of my mouth and found a smile. Pasting a few of the doodles on my wall, I lit up the lantern lights and took in the beautiful rebirth of what was once my world. Pencil, pen and paper made up the portal that took me away from the mess of things. Somehow, I’ve forgotten that I possess poetry in my wrists. They craved to spill their dreams on any surface, as if it was its sole purpose. I glanced at my phone, thankful that nobody was looking for me. For once in what seemed like millions of weeks, I was alone. And I was happy. Reclining on the sofa and embracing the cold sheets, I glanced up at the wall. There were posters, small canvasses and photographs of the ones I hold dear. Glancing back at my study, I was finally greeted by old friends. Books that were once my only excuse to exit human contact continue to be my free ticket to a place unknown to anyone. I blew a kiss their way. I closed my eyes again and time-traveled to how my lungs ached when they breathed. There were flashes of tears, blurry street lights and an exhausted reflection in the mirror. I took a deep breath. I embraced the muteness of the world that is nothing but music to my ears. I’m glad I took a step back today.
been missing my old self and hobbies until it became unhealthy. I long for a break but the little things are enough to bring back colour to the wilted
Anonymous said: So far, the teddy story is my favorite among all you have written! It made me tearful in the end. I would love to see you one day! Cheers!! :)
Thank you! :-)