Coming Home

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by Victorien Amelin

i don’t know who i am. i don’t know what i want. i can’t tell if my desires are real. i can’t even distinguish the chatter of my mind from the whispers of my soul. it’s the end of the year, and i feel like a part of me is being chipped away. i’m losing something. or maybe i’m subconsciously giving it away. i know that change is good, and evolving is wonderful, but the thing is that i’m not sure if that’s what’s actually happening to me. my hands are itching to grab a pen and write. but something’s holding me back. i’m afraid. i’m afraid of the moment when my flow of consciousness comes to a halt and there are no more words to write. and the funny thing is that i have somewhat been in that state of writelessness for the majority of the year. i’ve forced myself to carry on with a certain writing project that’s taken the joy and spontaneity of writing out of my soul. i haven’t woken up in the middle of the night with a poem bubbling to vapor into words for many many nights. i haven’t been in that timeless realm of pouring words and creating worlds in what feels like forever. words feel far away from me. i’ve somehow betrayed them by making myself stick to them in a particular manner to continue the project i’ve set for myself. and i can’t stop writing for it until the last day of the year or else i would have failed. i would have failed myself, my own promise, and i would have set myself up to the curse of incompletion for all the projects i will take on in my life. i need to finish it to show myself that i can. i need to finish it to tell the universe that i am a woman of her word. i need to finish it to have evidence in my mind that i finish what i start. it’s disrupting my usual flow of writing, and i know that whatever i’m writing isn’t authentic and creative as what i usually write is. but at this point, i am doomed to reaching the destination rather than enjoying the journey. i’m aware of how miserable and counterproductive that is, but i am learning. i’ve learned to set my goals realistically. i’ve learned to never again put myself in a system that forces me to write in a specific way every day of an entire year. it’s draining. it’s burdensome. and that just cuts the delicate thread of inspiration and leaves me breathless and lost. i’ve learned to see writing as being rather than doing — as something i am rather than something i do. and i think that all this suffering and frustration of the past months was worth it for me to arrive at this marvelous insight.

A Series of Seasons

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by Nathan Dumlao

i’m starting to understand that life composes itself in the form of a series of seasons. you go through phases in which your personality portrays attributes and behaviors and beliefs and emotions which ultimately aim to expand your soul and fulfill its earthly purpose with the lessons you come out with. some seasons are harder and darker, while others are smoother and carry winds of serenity and peace — and only the wise of us can combine both, maintaining the innate and ceaseless peace of their spirit as they tackle the unpleasant circumstances in their outer world that are but reflections of their inner subconscious workings. i think that there’s no such thing as a mistake, no such thing as time wasted, and definitely no such thing as a bad person. we are made up of dualities and we have the innate ability to embody the exact opposite of what we are at the moment. by that i mean that one cannot value the magic of joyfulness without knowing the misery of sadness; that one cannot display genuine kindness and compassion without having witnessed or been an embodiment of anger and cruelty even in the smallest scale like a loss of temper or a slip of the tongue; and that one cannot possibly have a presence of peace and serenity and an attitude of equanimity without having been through the kind of deep suffering that seals itself with immortal divine wisdom.

in essence, we play the role of a canvas; we are the sky whose blueness is exposed by the light of sun, and whose darkness is revealed by the absence of it. our bodies are the vehicle through which our soul manifests itself; and our lives are the screen on which the movie of our minds is constantly playing — all to fulfill the sole purpose of soul expansion through a human experience.

The Recovery Phase

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by Shadman Sakib

i am in the recovery phase.

i fell and shattered and took a turn to a decision that elicited more fear in me than peace, and that smelled more of wrongness than rightness, and that felt too early than in the best possible time. the decision was to drop out of university at the age of eighteen, before even finishing my first year, and with no guaranteed plan for my coming days, let alone my years.

at the exact middle of the week, i faced the reality that having no purpose in life and nothing to fill my mornings with was not the way i wanted to spend my days, so i put the gear on reverse and spurred back to the decision-making district. i accepted the fact that even if i struggled through the coming three years, it would be more peaceful than suffering through purposelessness and floating in the sickening skies of uncertainty. the path of university has a guaranteed end to it, while the latter is plagued with foggy nothingness and fear. lots of fear. so i took the decision to carry on with my studies.

now it’s the end of the week and my mind is up in the sky, testing the cloud of the state i would currently be in had i remained in the same state of mind as i’d been in during the start of the week, and feeling utter relief and gratitude for lounging in the fluffy cloud of having done the right thing. hence, i refer to this as the recovery stage; i’m here, in the better position, but i can’t stop thinking about the mistake i would have made and the position i would be in at the moment had i carried on with it.

Three Years

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Pinterest

1096 days later. three years ago today, on the 4th of October of 2015, was a Sunday with a stark, pale, sorrowfully silent sunrise. amidst the hazy white hospital walls, my eyes fell on the clock at 6:31 — the numbers that haunted me for months and years that felt more like an eternity with every stretching second. on this damned day 1096 sunrises and sunsets ago, you left this earth and left us bereaved, broken, and without the hope of ever being whole and complete again. it’s not your fault — that i know. it’s not anyone’s fault — that, too, i know. but i’m not going to deny ever feeling seething rage at God, at myself, at life itself. there was no way to reason with this damned cycle of life in which a creature is nearing its death with every breath. it’s this unstoppable cycle that strikes with overwhelming shock rather than acceptance since it’s been happening for millennia that i just simply couldn’t accept. us humans can never get used to pain that comes with shock. we only make our homes in its aftermath — but the first strike, the first pang of indescribable pain.. that stays foreign and keeps striking with every thought, every breath.

still to this day, my eyes lifelessly freeze in place and my mind shrinks into itself and bleeds and my skin loses its color every time i’m suddenly struck with the reality that you’re not in one of the rooms of this house, that you’re not breathing the oxygen i’m inhaling in this earth. it’s even worse when i see someone that reminds me of you; a girl with pure pale skin, skinny arms and a translucently innocent face. desperate tears roll down my cheeks, but i don’t really feel them because my whole body loses sensation at the shock that i’m living again for the umpteenth time since you’ve been gone.

The Novel-Writing Experience

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i have never experienced anything similar to the experience of writing a novel — the ceaseless trance of creating a world of people and events. as the writer, i am entirely consumed by this world that i’ve created. it occupies the majority of my thoughts. i imagine it’s very much like falling in love; it’s the beloved that you go to sleep and wake up thinking about. new ideas and ventures, new characters and more details about the existing ones and ways to rewrite the currently occurring events are constantly filling my mind. the process is exactly like a map being drawn, and it’s only colored and detailed when put into words. this manifestation came unexpectedly and took me by surprise. it was the art that came out of the pain i was feeling when i started it. it’s only been two weeks, but the wound is already mending and feels more inclined to healing than getting infected.

if this isn’t magic (it sure is), and if it isn’t the light at the end of this little tunnel of mine (i know it is), then i’d love to live longer and experience more magic and lights at the ends of tunnels if they come close or possibly even exceed the wonder of what i’m experiencing right now.

Split

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i want to cry. it feels like a mountain of pain is building up inside of me. my eyes well up with tears, but as soon as i blink they disappear. nothing falls. there’s no door to release this angst. i feel the muscles of my face tensing, i feel how my teeth are gritting, i feel the grief that’s all over my face — hell i even feel it in the way i’m walking. i’m listening to the same two songs on repeat. i feel a strong urge to talk to someone. but i have none. it’s only me, my pathetic words that no one will ever read, and nature. i just take myself on walks. i’ve been walking more than i’ve been sitting, and i’ve been alone more than i’ve been with company. i’m not okay. far from it.

there’s this strange thing that’s happening inside me though. a co-existence of opposite forces. pain and gratitude. anger and compassion. fear and love. burning rage and calming surrender. the pain speaks, it invades my body with its sensations, and then gratitude speaks and its light permeates my body. i sense both a blankness and a sparkle in my stare, both lifelessness and vibrance in my skin.

i’m both happy and sad. both angry and understanding. both lonely and whole. i don’t know what to do, and i don’t know who to share myself with. i just walk and then sit on a bench and write and then walk again and sit again. i keep going in circles, and my head doesn’t even get dizzy. i just keep going, keep experiencing opposites and extremes. i feel like i’m drowning and flying simultaneously.

i don’t know what to do. i don’t know what to do. i have no one but myself. no one but my goddamned self.


{this piece was written in july during summer vacation. i wish i can walk around in nature every time i feel sad.}

Midnight Confessions

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by Andrei Lazarev

i admit i am obsessively preoccupied with worldly things that don’t matter to my true Self at all. things that my soul would be happy and free with or without. things that are only a barrier to my peace because my mind chooses to make them so. i admit that i prefer seeing myself in a place different to the one i’m currently in. i distract myself from my distressing emotions by watching or reading fictional people’s lives. i take from myself more than i give her. i punish her more than i nourish her. i tire her more than i let her rest. and i’m guilty. i’m guilty of not only doing those destructive things, but also for not saving myself in that first moment i realized i was going down an unhealthy path.

it’s unfair to point out my mind’s problems without also addressing my soul’s peace. i am both in stress and at peace. sometimes the peace outgrows the stress, and sometimes i’m plagued by the opposite. this is to say that i am not solely identified with my mind or my soul, but with both of them intricately. i am both a hurricane and a blow of wind, a tsunami and a harmonious wave, a thunderstorm and a drop of rain.

this is very vague and ambiguous. maybe one day when i’m healed from this turmoil i’ll be able to address what would be then my past issues with more clarity and objectivity..