Autumn leaves are born mid-air, between the whistling of the wind and onto the brown mass of earth. First, they clip off from their limbs, then rustle as they tumble down, and finally give a wee crunch of satisfaction as they join their fallen comrades. Autumn leaves drop in loose rhythm; they don’t attempt to match the chirps and buzzes of the forest.
I biked along the forest with these autumn leaves. It was late afternoon, early evening, and a beautiful temperature of cool. There was a grand desire for me to understand something by travelling through the forest, but how to flesh out a conclusion if the introduction hadn’t been agreed upon? I was being naive, I was being stubborn, I was being like every human who wanted to indulge in his or her own little world of uncertainty.
It is easy to live in the world within myself. My laws, my expectations. I may steer left towards the river bend if I choose. Or, I may simply continue on the path that will eventually lead to a right turn. Continue reading “Autumn Leaves”→
I was close to entitling this “4 Years Later, And I’m Still Here!”, but I thought the title would suggest that tending this blog has been a chore. Indeed, the opposite: it has been a wonderful responsibility. However, I recognize the reality in my almost-title, namely the fact that it is true that most of my initial blogging friends have long since left the community. I began this blog with a strong focus on book reviews, music, and bubbling thoughts. Four years later, I have shifted my focus to introspective narrations, poems, and a side of music; the refinement of my writing almost seems like a compensation for my growing relationship with ambiguity.
If you didn’t know, the past year I started a Youtube Channel called MindArt, where I post short videos where snippets of scenes are overlaid with a piece of music that reflect the tone of the storyline. I liked the channel’s name so much that on several occasions I have felt compelled to change this blog’s name to MindArt, but fell short in realizing it. Continue reading “4 Years Later, And Here I Am!”→
If I can boast the fact that I’ve been to more provinces in Canada than the average Canadian, it is largely thanks to the Canadian Chess Challenge. And of course, my brother, for being the chess player of the family. This year, our family packed our bags and drove for a half a day to the city of Regina, green scenery and bridges on glistening lake. Our fourth year and fourth city, succeeding Halifax (NS), Ottawa (ON) and hometown Winnipeg (MB).
Though each tournament has brought about new forms of experience, I know in my heart that this year is comparatively different than all the others. In my luggage, I’ve packed research books instead of novels, a calculator instead of my (now defunct) iPod. I’m even typing this on Saturday evening, with the last half-day of tournament still ahead of me, for I fear I will force my time on other priorities once I set foot home. All to say that these last two years, the balance of my life has tipped to the weight of academics, and this event could not emphasize it for myself any more.
As a writer, as a diarist, as a poet, and as an all-around feeder on nostalgia, I have always counted on experiences to last. I have always expected to experience moments that would define the course of my life, that would shift my perspective on appearance and images. But with each burst of emotion and late night revelation, I seem to be disappointing myself: there are scarcely lightbulb moments… mostly temporary dilations.
Social media makes it seem like our lives are shaped by a breathless series of defining moments. There is a raw, sentimental captions accompanied by a candid picture of an exact second. And at the moment, the feeling is true. The emotions are cursing through the veins, and the hand shakes with an anticipation for the reveal. But what has the memory become of in two weeks, in a month? Most likely just a nostalgic reminder of a humid summer night. But the caption and picture are still there, and so our Internet identity is gifted with a seemingly life-changing moment.
These past few months I’ve been absent and present, but mostly I’ve been living between the transitions.
It’s hard writing in between the transitions. Some things feel to personal, others feel too brief. All feel lightly fleeting. Poems are easier. I open up my notebook on nights when art surges in me, and the pen guides my way. Videos are even easier. Here, people are walking, there, is a painted alley. I click record on both.
But writing, you need to showcase a triumph or a defeat. To connect with the reader, you need to express your ideas, whether abstract or concrete, and then render them meaningful and substantial. There have been true and honest moments in my life these past few months, but they do not feel concrete in my memory. The only difference between them and all my other memories is that I’ve tried to hold on to them more. They might not even be pulling away, but I keep a tight grip on them because I worry about their loyalty. Continue reading “Months; Here and There”→
There are two nights this summer that I remember fondly, and deeply, and boldly.
The first night, I realized with a crying force that dreaded responsibilities are written in the laws of the universe. The second night, I experienced a dizzying happiness that resulted from tears and recent strangers whom I now shared a piece of my life with.
The first night should have made me a happier person. And it did, but only for that one night. Hereafter, I slid into a slump that I wish could be explained in a simple syllogism. You see, I’m the kind of person that worries about upcoming deadlines and tasks constantly. And I used to comfort myself by telling my mind that all would be better once I am able to complete my check-list. That night, on my bed, I smiled and laughed because I realized that I should give up on dreading because life will never stop giving me a reason to dread. It was a soft, incandescent lightbulb moment. So why did I disintegrate after the sun rose? I think sometimes when the mind suddenly knows it realizes that it knows so scarcely the voids of existing. Continue reading “Two Nights, One Summer”→
There is something miraculous about discovering the personality of your city. Suddenly, everything seems more lively, more vivid, more dark, more close. A breath is suddenly divided into its hopeful inspiration, and its nostalgic exhalation. People seem happier, people seem sadder. The tire skids resonate more, the sun glares more intensely. The city is alive, and suddenly you are too.
I started taking the public transit this past school year. Here’s the thing about buses in Winnipeg (and I’m sure in many other cities): they put the different levels of social-economic status into actual perspective. Taking a bus heading to the University of Manitoba is whole different experience than taking a bus heading northbound through Downtown. The latter’s dynamic is messy and crude, while the former’s dynamic is coordinated and sensible.
Maybe it’s the awfully designed sticky velvet seats, or the slight smell of chocked, dirty sweat, but people in buses are much easier to pity. They file in one by one, a few dressed impeccably well, a few a little delusional, and plop down in their respective seats. There are a lot of eyes focused on phone screens, some lost in their own dream, but all reflect on their life beyond the vicinity of the murky air that surrounds the rumbling vehicle.
The Exchange District
The Exchange District does not cover a lot of area, but it has big character. There’s a used book store that is so stuffed with books and cartoons and rotting paper that a tiny little flame would set the whole place in blazing flames in a matter of seconds. There’s a beautiful vinyl and CD store that screams “cultured hipster” (but that surprisingly does not have any classical music… shame). There is an absolutely brilliant craft shop that sells the most delicate and exquisite journals and notepads. There is poutine, shawarma, and an eccentric hot dog stand. It is an undisturbed little corner of a loud and hazy downtown that incites fresh perspectives and encourages you to just lay on the grass, breathe, and listen to the sky’s music. Continue reading “City & Culture”→