Three Years


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


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.



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

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..

Why Just One?

by Kira auf der Heide

i was asked if i were to live anywhere in the world, where would it be? and if i were to go somewhere and take my favorite book with me, which book would it be?

and i didn’t have an answer.

silence cast a shadow over my mind. it was both pleasant and bewildering. how could i not know?

and then a voice whispered.

if i were to live anywhere in the world, i would be moving from one place to another. one year here, two years there. and if i were to bring only one of my array of favorite books, its title would change every few months. i can’t just choose one place from a whole earth of breathtaking places and unimaginable opportunities. and i can’t choose one book from this earth’s entire time of trails of consciousness and imagination. i just can’t limit myself.

Mornings in Seefeld


i’ve been waking up early; opening my eyes to a field of sleek grass, couples playing golf; showering in sweet cold water, putting my nikes on and slipping out the door to the freshest air my lungs have ever breathed; the joy of the present moment makes my feet feel giddy, and so i let them speed up to a jog; cold air, warm air, i can’t decide because i’m too occupied with how pure it feels; i find myself in roads between houses and hotels, the smell of breakfast toast and coffee invades my nose and stimulates my senses; i’m fueled by a craving for bread that sends me running faster, looking forward to breakfast; i go to the supermarket and let my hands pick up what my body craves without any judgment or apprehension — i choose to be a child that’s too alive and careless to think about labels and ingredients; i walk all the way back to the hotel, put my craving on a plate, sit in front of the huge balcony window, and enjoy myself just like i used to when i was seven; too invigorated to stay inside, i grab my novel and notebook and walk to my favorite café, order an americano, and start writing.



Learning a Language

Chelsie Kumar

with learning a new language comes the fear of getting into a chat with a local and getting stuck with not knowing how to translate your thoughts into that language. also, when you have a line repeating itself in your mind that you know could end up as a really good poem yet your grammar feels nonexistent and your attempt ends up nonsensical and incomprehensible.

those two things, in addition to reading and finding no sense in most words of a sentence, are surely frustrating. but what i have found to outweigh this frustration is seeing the effect of your constant exposure to this language actually making you more fluent and confident. you find your mind popping up with the right word when you need it, and your familiarity with other words helping you understand new ones.

that’s what i love about the process of learning a language. you discover yourself from a new light, and you see the world through the perspective of the culture whose language your mind can think in now.

Countless Possibilities

by Jakkaiser

i see fate for myself in so many things.. so many fleeting moments.. in a coffee shop.. a barista.. between the pages of a book.. a writer.. in a road trip vintage van.. a traveler.. in a mountain cabin in the midst of a land of grass.. a soloist.. in a couple kissing on the escalator.. in love.. in a glass house filled with sunlight and plants.. a creative living a simple, inspired life.. in a small bookstore.. living off fleeting strangers in search of depth and meaning through books.. in a camera.. a person chasing beauty and capturing the Earth and its inhabitants at their best and worst..

i see myself in everything and everyone.. it’s difficult to explain.. it’s like a scent of perfume.. a sniff and you’re in love.. this feeling of grasping that possibility of destiny is as brief and profound as that moment..


by Greg Ponthus

there’s a strange silence that comes with shock. you’re not thinking, but you’re not not thinking either. you’re not okay with what’s happening, yet this confusion is wordless. the emotions are unnamable, the thoughts are inaudible. it’s like you’re in an ocean, snuggled between the moments of a wave before and after it crashes. you become that wave, unaware of yourself as you crash. you become the voice of the water, not hearing yourself as others can’t help noticing you. you attract their attention, yet you don’t realize it and nor do you care about their eyes. you exist between existence and nonexistence. you are in silence. but not the pleasant kind, because it’s merged with chaos.


by Alex Stoddard

there’s a cloud of sadness sailing in the sky of my heart, obscuring the sun of my soul. i’m lost in a sea of idle desires that mean nothing to me as me, not the me that’s in the world. my mind is infatuated with ideas that are too silly and destructive for the sake of my contentment. it clutched onto a desire and turned it into an obsession. i have completely lost myself in the yearning that i’ve never once allowed myself to actually look at my life and see that i had a good part of what i wanted. until i lost it. or didn’t. i don’t even know anymore. i’m so fucking stuck. it’s like my rationality cannot cooperate with what my eyes are telling me. i feel and think and see that i am both what i want and what i don’t have. it’s not a mixture — more like a co-existence of the two opposites. it’s tiring. you never know what’s real. you look for clues in what people say to you or the way they treat you, but you don’t believe what they think of you, especially their compliments. you doubt it all because you don’t even know your own truth. one day you’re okay, you see that you have a wonderful life, and one day you’re just deflated. it keeps changing up from good days to bad days to good days to bad days as months pass and then years pass and you realize just how much you’ve changed, what you’ve gained and what you’ve lost along the way. and you’re struck with something else now. nostalgia. wishing to be back there because it looks better than right here even though you know it wasn’t really any better at all.