at first glance – i saw my father holding me in his hands. i was three or four years old at that time. i had a toothache from eating too many candies, which of course my father had warned me. yet, when i was crying in my bed, my father rushed in to hold me up and gave me his warmth without a word of blaming me to cause that pain-in-the-tooth. he was just holding me until i calmed down and fell asleep. and ever since, i always remember to brush my teeth before sleeping until it becomes a must ritual – when if i don’t do it, i will not have a good sleep. even when i go to camp in the sea or up in the mountain, two things i never forget to bring; a toothbrush and a toothpaste.

at second glance – i saw myself crying in my bed. i was sixteen, the first heart-break. it almost felt like i would not be able to recover, and i would not be able to look at men the same way ever again. and now i am here, breathing and alive, after recovering from empty promises, from false hopes, from misguided truths, from betrayals.

at third glance – i saw my mother begging me to come home. i had been too far away – it almost felt like she only had one daughter. she would call me every time she misses my father. she would call me every time she feels threatened by death. she would call me every time she has the feeling that i am not okay – which oftentimes true.

at fourth glance – here. now. i am missing my father’s warmth. i am missing my mother’s comfort. i am missing being a child, only playing and playing, sometimes sleeping, sometimes studying. oh but i know i learned the most from playing, and not from sitting in the classroom where most of the time i fell asleep. my teachers were really good at telling bed-time stories, i guess.

my problem is i can never express my deepest feeling face to face without losing words in the middle of it. tears had guarded the gate in my throat, locking all the words that about to flow out. i always end up writing a letter, a postcard, a note – any other form than sound. these days, it seems as if my head would erupt, burn me into ash. thoughts creeping in from every corner, nagging me to look at them one by one, very carefully, to remember every single pain i have long endured – but not forgotten. i guess it will always be like this; on and off, up and down. and i will always be like this; a trampoline of emotions, bouncing and bouncing and bouncing. by the time it stops, my breath is harsh and fast. yet, i love every second of this living and loving and crying and laughing. sure, it is messy, but i will not choose any other way of living. it reminds me of my other side, and befriend her and be okay that i am both water and fire. i am both earth and air. i am both beneath and beyond.

it has always been a learning and re-learning process for me, all the time. yesterday i went to the beach to be alone with my mind, with my beating heart, with all that i am. as the sun went down in its own swift pace, and made sure its light warmed my face, i again re-learned to breathe properly. to take time to inhale, to take time to exhale. there is no point in rushing, i am learning again the importance of patience. wait, the waves rumbled. wait, the wind caressed my hair. wait, the birds flew high up in the sky. wait, the tamarind ray of sunshine welcomed the night. wait, i finally said it to myself. everything passes, just wait.

then i went back home only to find out the kitchen sink had at last give up its function. two men were trying to clean all the mess that came from the drainpipe; it must looked like a vomit from a gigantic creature – and i thank my timing for coming home without having to witness it. my room smelled weird, like someone had spread bleach all around. and it was slippery. and it was chaotic. and it was what it was, a room that needed to be fixed, a room that needed my attention, or so to say; a distraction. i was too exhausted to think how to arrange everything to the way they were, and so i chose to leave it that way for a while and decided to call A, because i could no longer bear her absence, and she can always find her way to remind me the good side of me – i always seem to forget from time to time. she sounds softer now, she sounds happy which warms my heart. at least someone that i love is happy, so it was not a bad day after all.

i always love the idea of strangers who became the most important persons in our life, who came out of nowhere, with the simplest conversation – yet continue on being a constant reminder in each other’s days. a family we choose, not out of blood, it’s more out of the stars aligning and shimmering from inside of each other’s pure self. i learned the most about honesty from these strangers who showed the best way to be is myself, the best way to do is what i love, and the best way to love is just to do it – not wishing, not planning.

at fifth glance – here. now. i am waiting. i am learning. i am being. i am existing. i am doing. i am breathing. i am, i am, i am.

R