Fly Away With Me

An article I came across on the internet. Pretty good story and good insights too.

“A little bird was soaring happily in the sky as she took in the sights of
nature. Suddenly, a few stones struck her on her left wing. It came from a mischievous boy who thought it would be a good idea to hit the bird. She suffered some cuts and bruises to her left wing and couldn’t fly properly after that.

The little bird had no choice but to make for the ground and land in order to ease the pain. She landed with little grace, for the pain affected her ability to make a smooth touch down. She seemed to be in anguish and couldn’t really stand up straight.

Along came another little boy, who was talking a leisure stroll along the path where the bird landed. He saw that the bird was injured, and was determined to aid the bird as much as he could. He took the bird into his tender arms and tended to its wound with his handkerchief. With much care and affection, the bird was well rested and thus was able to fly again. The bird flew away, and made for the skies once more.

Now while the bird was able to fly again, its flight would be impeded for the rest of her days because the impact shattered something within her wing and the pain, while greatly reduced, would stick with her for all the flight time she would have left.

She remembers the boy who stoned her, but she flew off from the boy who tended to her with little more than a moment of thankfulness. After she could fly again, she made off for higher grounds and left the boy by himself without any further signs or showings of friendship. Did the boy mind? No. He was glad to have helped the bird, and continued on his stroll with a smile on his face, knowing he was of good use and help today.

The problem with some of us these days is that we remember deeply those who have hurt us, and not so deeply those who have loved us. Memories of the people who shattered us and caused our world to crash are deeply etched in the mind, yet it is not so easy to recall specific memories of special persons who pulled us up and out of the pits and picked up the pieces for us.

If I may venture a guess, I think it is because we blame others for our downfalls and misery, but we take credit for ourselves when we succeed or get back on our feet. We lament how this person brought us to our knees, wrecked our lives; yet we forget the significant person who turned things around for us, tried his/her best to plaster (excuse the pun) a smile on our faces with optimism and positive suggestion/influence etc.

As with the bird in the story above, she remembers deeply and painfully the boy who threw the stones at her and injured her left wing. Indeed, while the second boy couldn’t fully heal her wing, he at least made things better for her with whatever he could; if anything, he could have just walked away and not cared at all. For the bird and for some of us, some individuals are just interim measures to get us back on our feet and it is indeed cruel to just walk away after we have regained our footing.

So yes, let us remember to be grateful to those who have helped us regain our sense of direction and sense of self, those that enable us to find our bearings again. We owe it to them to erase whatever pain or damage that was previously inflicted, and to make what is to come better.

Perhaps my story isn’t complete: maybe the bird does remember the second boy fondly, and it is possible that she could be waiting for the right time to repay this deed of kindness and love.”

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To Write, Imperfectly

I’ve been wondering why I haven’t been writing prose or stories on my blog or anywhere else online for quite awhile now, and the answer does seem to be eluding me.

Do I not have the writing prowess to churn out decent work on specific topics? 

Do I not want to share my opinion on issues so as to avoid scrutiny or discussions?

I don’t think it’s either of the above. I suspect it’s because I’ve gotten tired of looking at my own thoughts and opinions beyond the place where they are most comfortable in, which is in my head, naturally. To see these thoughts translate into words on a page or a virtual space, it seems like an imperfect expression of all the massive mental workings that is going on within the tiny physical confines of the brain (and not mind, because who can quantify the mind, physically or otherwise?).

An article, a prose, while they do essentially capture a certain aspect of your thoughts, are limited and committed merely to how you craft them. Once you commit them into ink or print, they create an impression of you and your thoughts that may or may not be true; the words give the author a personality, and vice versa. It may reveal a part of who you intrinsically are, or it may misportray it regrettably.

And we haven’t gotten to the emotional bit of writing yet, a domain that is arguably distinct from the cognitive process itself. Words at best can only give a faint reflection of the raw emotions that arise in a person at any given point of time. Since it is already itself a mammoth of a task for a person to accurately pinpoint to himself how he is feeling at any one moment (without even determining the reason for the emotion), how much more difficult would it be to express them in words to impress upon others these emotions? 

This is exactly why brilliant writers are always so celebrated by the world. They have the ability to capture, even if imperfectly, the raw essence of emotions and parts of the human spirit, as well as convert sophisticated trains of thoughts into understandable language. They make us more comprehensible to ourselves. 

To be able to write is a gift, and indeed one that is often powerful and influential.  Looking back at the above paragraphs I’ve written, I realise that perhaps I am not that weary of watching my thoughts play out on a piece of paper or space anymore. I think the physical manifestation of thoughts in the form of words is beautiful (though at the same time essentially imperfection), and perhaps it is this inadequacy that is touching and perfect at the same time. It reveals the sophistication of the human mind, and the dynamism of everything around us.

Will I start writing more again? Most likely.

All Those Years Ago

(I’m back with the romanticization of military life, and here is a tale of two sergeants. I added a little twist to the story just for the thrill of it and I think the form of this one gives it both a soothing yet incomplete edge, which is a bonus feature to reflect the ironic nature of the tale itself. It is short and abrupt, which creates a stinging impression. Hope you enjoy it, and I shall be back for more exciting tales soon!)

He asked if you’ve loved someone deep to the depth of the ocean before,
You said yes you have and that you’ve never loved anyone more;

You said to him that you are looking at him now and you smile carelessly,
He leaned in and gave you a kiss on the cheek and fell asleep with a warmth in his heart;

What he knew not was:

You saw but a pale reflection in him of his best friend,
The one true love of your life which was the only love which you lost

All those years ago.

You Know Not Yet

(This is in response to some of the things I’ve been seeing recently, things which I don’t feel too easy about. I think people should stop being so judgemental and just, live and let live.)

Holier than thou – that’s what you guys think you are
While you go around passing judgements on people
As well as gossip and spread all kinds of rumours
Based falsely upon your feeble personal opinions;

You speak of individuals with unkind words and speech
Choosing to pick out and magnify all the flaws in them
Seeking to create bad impressions and reputations
For nothing but to satisfy your uncompassionate natures;

Is it not prudent to keep silent when there is nothing good to be spoken?
Is it not unwise to pick out the speck in others with a beam in yours?
Are not those who judge here merely seeking to be judged there?

As if your opinions were even remotely right to begin with:
What gives you the right to be superior to the next so as to criticize?

You know not yet the stories of those whom you’ve spoken against:
You know not yet the power that they wield.

Story of Remembrance

Tonight I take a little walk
Down memory lane with my soles
To little hideouts hardly explored and alleys
Hardly ever visited even though just around the corner;

I take them down to the age old dinosaur park
Which Rosa calls by it’s official name Fu Shan Garden
But to us kids who grew up around that area we know
That the dinosaurs in the garden come alive when the adults look away;

I see people sitting on benches sharing a drink
Exchanging little secrets in the shade and just talking
About the day and of days that are to come
Smiling as they wind down in the cool evening breeze;

With every step I take I feel them wearing down:
My soles are getting worn out and jaded by
The countless hours of walking and running
That they appear almost to be losing their grip and bearing;

I take a little slip and lose my balance for a moment:
Not enough to fall but just enough for me to realize
That it is about time that I stop relying on these old soles of mine
And take a step forward to move on to other things out there;

The soles and soul need a renewal every now and then
But it doesn’t mean we forget the things we had
Which brought us so far and gave us so much
To see us to where we stand proudly today;

This is the story of remembrance.

N, Just Wishful Thinking

(A short post in N’s diary)

You walk into the room and you look around to see who’s in class,
If you were looking to see if I was there – well our eyes met in a light glance, 
You found a seat and sat down beside someone we both didn’t know,
I watch you take your notes out and put on your spectacles while I brush through my hair;

You did not really look in my direction during the lesson while the teacher taught,
That I was aware because I frequently looked in your direction as I pretended deep in thought, 
And yet twice from my corner I caught you stealing a glance from the corner of your eyes, 
Were you trying to see what I was doing or was it nothing but a cursory survey around the class? 

I told you she was my good friend but I think you suspect more than that,
And every time you look at me or talk to me you think of me that afternoon holding her hand, 
So much so that you avoid interactions with me so your affections won’t be so clear,
Do you not feel the conflict and the pain inside you that torments me over here? 

Maybe you don’t even care – it’s all just wishful thinking on my part, 
O why must Cupid’s arrow shoot straight through my heart like a dart?