I don’t remember much of what my world was like through the eyes of a child.
Perhaps the relentless passage of time is to blame; perhaps I didn’t know better to cherish those moments. I don’t know.
Most of my memories feel like snippets from a book i can barely recall. And they come to me as and when they please, as if I’d unburdened myself of pages of my memories, attached them to a kite and accidentally set it free.
Just turned 21 a few days ago. Not sure what that really means, but like it or not, those years will continue to pile themselves on me. Better get used to it. *Sighs*
My birthday is one of those moments when I really appreciate the beauty of social media. Who wouldn’t? Well wishes from primary school classmates I’d forgotten, from acquaintances I’d crossed paths with in my travels and of course, from people I see every day and take for granted.
Those torn pages are fluttering down all around me. Snippets of memories. I snatch at what I can. Faces. Laughter. Tears. Overwhelming emotions. I don’t remember what we did together or what we talked about, but I remember that we shared those happy, carefree moments — in between the long-drawn boredom of classes and the constant stress of exams.
A new year. A new class. A new school. Then came army. And work. Now it’s time for university. Too many new friends, too little time spent together.
Whirlwinds of changin’ faces;
They come, they go — anything but stay
Alone in the tempest,
Struggling to keep from being swept away
I know not what to feel,
To miss the old or embrace the new
So I dedicate this to everyone who was ever a part of my life. Thank you. For everything.
photo credits: http://tshirtspotlight.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/whirlwind-of-ideas.jpg
Suburbs in the fading light
As the day winds to a close, I take in the sights and sounds from a 15 storey high balcony of a HDB flat.
As if on cue, the school bus arrives and the air is filled with the joyful laughter of carefree kids playing catch. As the last child skips off the bus the familiar jingle of bells draws a small crowd of eager children clutching the dollar saved up in the day for that ice cream treat they’ve been waiting impatiently for.
The sounds of an enthusiastic game of street soccer can be faintly heard. Or is it coming from that basketball game a few blocks down? I strain to hear but the drone of rush hour traffic drowns them out before I can be sure.
In the fading light, I spy a pair of mynahs strutting on the roof of the opposite block, their black and white feathers striking a stark contrast with the last vestiges of the golden hues of a fading sunset. One mimics the other in an almost childish fashion that is so cute I rush to grab a photograph. Alas, I am too late. Both hop off the edge and nosedive in the blink of an eye. They abruptly crash into each other midair in a playful tangle of beaks and feathers, spiraling dangerously towards the ground as I stare transfixed. At the last possible moment, both flare their wings and peel apart, leaving behind a few feathers fluttering harmlessly to the ground. A few beats of their wings later they are each flying off into the sunset in different directions, leaving behind nothing but a few loose feathers. And those are the only remnants of that moment of closeness they had shared.
Life is transient; moments of happiness even more so. The rambunctious children disperse with nightfall. The ice cream man rides quietly away into the night. Rush hour traffic eventually eases as well but the game of street soccer or basketball or whatever it was is no more.
What we choose to do with those special moments is entirely up to us. We can lament their transience. We can worry obsessively about how long they are going to last. Or we can live in the present and enjoy the beauty of the moment and leave the rest of our insecurities to after. Just like being brave is not being fearless, being happy is not being worry free.
It’s true, what they say. The higher you climb, the harder you fall. If you’re on cloud nine, don’t expect a soft landing when it ends abruptly. But that simply means we have to treasure those strokes of serendipity all the more.
Everyone has insecurities. Enjoying life despite them — that’s happiness.