Loneliness and solitude


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snow tumblr alone girl sad emo winter pale goth ice aestheticWhat an awful word L O N E L I N E S S is! An illness of one, the words ‘illness’ and ‘one’ literally in it, along with ‘lone’ and ‘ill’. The word is most potently representative of its meaning when written in upper case letters spaced far apart, as I saw it on television this morning. Ten letters equal in height, spelling out the bleakest emotional landscape of all. L O N E L I N E S S. ‘I am so lonely, I need somebody’: loneliness is the desire for company and warmth, a shivering stranger pining for that phantom hut in the snow, glowing hearth ‘neath thatched roof under starry sky, the hearth an earthly star to the crescent moon formed by a semicircle of friends conversing jovially in its fiery berth. What warmth; what company. But the word we are discussing here is one of coldness; it even looks cold to the eye. ‘i’ is almost in the middle of the word (L O N E L I N E S S), the smallest letter, taking the least space. I suppose existence becomes faint when one cannot put oneself in relation to others. If there is no-one to recognise you for who and what you are, how and why do you exist? There is no ‘u’ in loneliness. Loneliness is an illness of one.

S O L I T U D E, on the other hand, trumps soldier with attitude, the word S O L D I E R almost entirely in it. There is an ‘i’ and a ‘u’, an ‘ode’ and a ‘soul’: an ode to your soul. Unlike its pneumonic cousin above (L O N E L I N E S S), it is stoic and unwavering in appearance. It does not cry out for company. Instead, S O L I T U D E celebrates the strength and freedom wielded by a company of one. Even far apart and in upper case the letters look sturdy and well-defined, rooted in confidence. S O L I T U D E commands not attention but admiration, self-admiration: ‘I am my own person, large and full of multitudes’. It is the friend of quiet contemplation and artistic expression—one reads, paints, writes, composes best when alone. ‘I am a complete, wholesome soul all by myself, my existence needs no reassurance for I am sure of myself,’ the word announces, proud on a podium.

Solitude is a closed fist punching the air, loneliness is a limp hand begging to be held. I punch the air. I march to the beat of my own drums. To the steady beat of my heart I say to myself: ‘I am, I am, I am’.

Back again


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university tumblr academic studying vintage aesthetic

At first it felt as though my old self would simply resume: that I was on pause, would start again should I tap the forward triangle floating above my head. I visited old haunts, striding knowingly, fingers trailing dry sandstone walls and withered vines, broken Roman pillars (it is winter within and without): Continue reading

Elegy for Charlie


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You never liked that dry stuff,
Had a gnarled tooth one time,
Was always catching colds;
Had a dirty face, sneezed on me,
Left fur on my black trousers—
I never should have chided you
However lovingly I chided.
And now you’re gone,
Alley cat,
Gone I hope,
Where no mean bird
May reach your bowl.

To my love on Valentine’s Day


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Hair: blonde
Eyes: green
Height: 5”8’

Signed in your cursive hand,
Each letter a musical note
So soft and so lovely,
How befitting an ode.

But darling you’re black and white
And try as I might,
I can’t seem to get it right:

Blonde hair but how blonde?
Green eyes but what green?

5”8’ I can see in the mirror,
‘Kinda short for a fella,’ I’d say
If I didn’t already know ya;
We’d stand shoulder to shoulder, but
For you I’d make an exception:
A song by Leonard Cohen.

And to be perfectly practical,
I don’t have to stand on your books
To kiss you though that’d be cute—
Catch me if I fall, though maybe I would fall
Just to fall into you.
Then we’d both be on the floor,
I’d land on your chest,
Crease that three-piece suit,
Tousle your hair, loosen that tie,
Tease till finally you pin me down,
Messed-up hair falling in your eyes
Pale gold and baby emerald, diamond-bright.

Blonde but how blonde?
A darkish blonde I imagine, the prettiest kind Save for Marilyn’s.
Green but what green?
The clear bright green of a river at the height of summer I imagine, the kind doomed Lovers would like if I’m Wright.

You’d make a dashing actor Love,
Actually they cast those to play you and your characters:
Leo and Tom and Brad and Matt,
Million dollar men, young and beautiful,
Blessed with beauty and rage.

Hollywood’s love bloomed late,
Poor fate, you thought
Broke and broken, maybe long forgotten
—Never more false! Love,
You’re alive again, risen from the debt
They owe to you.
Your name, your books,
You’re Lazarus wearing Adonis’ face;
Boy, the shows and movies they make
You have to see to believe.

Your timeless quintet and more,
In jackets of turquoise I adore,
Crazy in love, j’adore
F. Scott Fitzgerald in elegant font,
Honestly I’ve never been so fond—

Oh! Tender was
Your heart till it fell apart,
Broken instrument I fancy
Mending into art!

Still art thou black and white,
Long ago departed from life.
Love thee true I do
Yet be thy wife
I never could—
All I can do is write.

Born romantic


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Processed with VSCO with f2 presetWhen I was younger I wrote a poem about tangerine dreams that filled the sky, and this one lemon tree atop a hill where lovers liked to meet. When I was younger still, but old enough to know, I filled several blank sheets back-to-back with an essay on the circle of life, having just watched The Lion King for the first time. When I was even younger, while walking in a mall with my family in Hong Kong, our humid stopover before reaching our new life Down Under, I lamented (rather melodramatically for a nine-year-old) Continue reading

Girl in blue: a 25-year journey through time and colour


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It was the opposite back then: I was always a pink girl. When I was the age girls are when all they want to do is become a princess, and so make up for their lack of birthright by dressing up thus, I wanted everything pink. Pink for my Barbies and me. Pink stickers, pink toys, pink hairbands and clothes. Of course, my complexion means that Continue reading

An afternoon’s worth


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light tumblr

Light is fading, and with it the sun’s warmth. The room—golden and glorious just then—seems bigger and impossibly empty without that radiant guest. Drenched of the life it bestowed upon them for that brief, sacred moment, what adorned the room now shrunk in size. They will swell again, in size and in beauty, Continue reading

One Direction who? Meet Harry Styles, solo rocker


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harry styles.jpgWe all know who he is—or do we? On the cover of his self-titled album Harry Styles is rather naked and definitely distressed: the singer bares his back to us in a pool of murky pink water, his downcast head inside cupped hands, a soaking wet study in vulnerability and penitence. The face, hair, and tattooed torso adored by millions across the globe are hidden almost with a trace of shame; the overall impression this image leaves is that of the star’s sensitivity as opposed to sexiness, Continue reading