I’m currently in the middle of reading Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I’ve actually watched the movie before reading the book, but the book in itself is another experience altogether. There’s nothing like words to pluck the heartstrings. I’ve suddenly stumble upon this paragraph, which I think is quite inspiring.
Here’s a funny little story.
I bought one souvenir during my trip to Ilocos. ONE souvenir. Among the dozens of shirts, woven wallets, and sun hats, I bought this white windmill. It’s really just a miniature of the Bangui Windmills.
A couple of months ago, tragedy struck. Coincidentally, there was day during that time when the huge stack of books in my room suddenly fell down, taking the windmill along with it.
When I finally recovered the windmill from the rubble (of books), one of the blades had broken off. I suppose at that time, I considered this as another bad omen, another thing that’s wrong. The symbol of my wonderful trip to Ilocos was broken, never to rotate again. What a metaphor for life.
I didn’t throw the blade away, I just left it alone. After a few weeks, I suddenly had a notion to just stick the blade where it was supposed to be (what the heck, right?). Luckily, the blade stayed on the turbine without any kind of adhesive.
I kept forgetting to buy glue or something, but a couple of days later, I turned on a fan and the windmill began to rotate. And rotate. And rotate. Really fast.
The blade never fell off! Until now, the windmill rotates every time I turn on the fan, and still without adhesive!
I know this is a little eetie-beetie thing. But I hope it means something. I don’t know, maybe hope? Or maybe when life seems so utterly dismal, there just might be a chance that it will run again, one way or another.
I really have no idea, but my spirits lift a little whenever I see the windmill turning.
I found this in an antique shop in Ilocos. There were several of them, side-by-side, all equally dusty. I was looking for teacups, the dainty, Victorian-kind (I wasn’t going to buy one, they just reminded me of some of my favorite books) and tadah! There it was, lying in a cup. I suppose this is more Victorian than Mad Hatter, but never mind.
Gled ditt hjerte.
It took me more than ten minutes of googling (gasp!) to find the closest translation. Apparently this is Norwegian and the first thing that Google told me was that it means “slipped your heart.”
Is it me, or does that not sound right?
Would someone really engrave that in a necklace?
Then, I found another one: “Enjoy your heart.”
Now, I think I like the other one better. I mean, the first one could just easily mean, “your heart slipped” or “your heart fell,” which I can easily connect with, “I fell in love.” And since I’m a hopeless romantic, I rather like that sentiment.
The second one just makes me think of eating hearts, which is… kind of gross.
But hey, if you’re Norwegian, maybe you can help me out.
Anyway, just like the teacups, I didn’t buy the necklace. I left it just the way I found it, and just the way I photographed it. Looking at it now, a dozen stories come to mind. I guess that’s the beauty of going to antique shops, every item has a story.
I supposed it once belonged to a girl. Obviously, someone loved her. They do say that material things don’t mean anything but sometimes they do. I would like to think that this one does. It’s a testament of something. Something that not everybody has.
I wonder what happened to that girl. How come this necklace is gathering dust in here? Does this speak of a lost love or a timeless one? Forgotten or remembered?
Well, I suppose that’s Life for you. Past, present, and future. You never really know.
This will probably be one of the best summers I will ever have.
And one of the worst.
Or just the worst, really.
After all, emotional turmoil and gut-wrenching sadness trumps summers spent on the couch.
The irony isn’t lost on me. Everything’s ironic these days. Still, the five days I’ve spent in Ilocos will always be fondly remembered. This was a bright spot amidst the crumbling ruins of my year.
I saw history and culture. I pranced around cobbled streets that belonged to a bygone era. I screamed my lungs off from riding down sand dunes. Most of all, I felt like I was always surrounded by colors.
This lifted my heart a bit. And even if melancholia tried to creep in now and then, the colors made it go away.
I wish I could have bottled up those colors, so that I can immerse myself in them from time to time. Oh well, the best I could do was take some photographs. Although it’s not really the same, they still do something for me.
Anyway, here’s a few that I personally took (during the times I could take the camera away from the tour guide).
Sometimes, it feels like the tears will never stop. They just keep pouring and pouring. The whispers I try to muffle keep escaping and I’m half-terrified that someone outside my room will hear. A locked door is useless against the sounds sadness makes.
Time is suspended. All that matters is my tiny space on the floor, its hardness comfier than the bed’s.
My eyes are burning but it’s nothing compared to the pain I feel in my chest. I want the pain to stop but at the same time I glory in it.
I need to feel the pain. I need to absorb it and hold it close. I don’t know why, but it’s important that I do.
Everything will be okay. I know this. But I think okay is a long, long, way off.
Written On January 14, 2014, 8:22pm
Well, this is depressing.
Where am I, where am I? I think the audience is asking.
I’m alone in a coffee shop with my laptop, waiting for my buy one, take one coffee. Oh wait, here it is.
I am alone. Hopefully, in an hour, I won’t be.
Normally I would probably be angry and just go home. Or probably not. Apparently, I’m a waiter. Not the kind that just served my drinks. The one that always waits.
It started six years ago. Or maybe even before that. Maybe I’ve been waiting all my life. A cliché, I know. Let’s ask the obvious question, then: for what?
I really have no idea. Hey, maybe that’s what, I’m waiting for an answer. What am I waiting for? The meaning of life? Starlights? Magic?
How about the very obvious, Love?
Nah, I have that.
That’s why I’m in this coffee shop.
I have a penchant for getting lost. Literally.
Even as a child, I would always get lost in supermarkets and department stores. My parents would hold on to me but I’d end up disappearing anyway.
These days, even with the use of technology, I always end up not where I should be. I do blame the inaccuracy of map-makers more than my own bad luck, though. Yes, Zomato and Google Maps, that’s you!
Once, someone pointed my habit out to me. In my usual defensive self, I blurted out that it was better to be lost, you see more that way.
I didn’t mean to, but hoo-ha! I stumbled upon something profound!
When I thought about it, I realized that it was true. You do get to see more when you’re lost. You see the things that you never expected, the stuff that you didn’t really read or research about. You get to be surprised and intrigued. Most of all, you get to see more of not only the people you’re with, but of yourself as well.
You could find strengths and weaknesses that you never really knew you had. You can even discover if some weaknesses have faded and if some strengths have evolved.
There’s always something more to see, so getting lost isn’t so bad.