STARTING OVER

“You’re right”, I stammer.

I should have known better

Been wiser.

The shame swells my head

I am a dissapointment, a joke

“But don’t worry, everyone makes mistakes”

A seed of hope is planted.

I’ll try again. I’ll start over.

Connect the Dots

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ICE, WATER, STEAM

Every single human being, from the day they are born, is always searching for a sense of identity. Always asking the question, ‘Who am I?’ It is why we care about our birth dates, our parents, our siblings, our ethnicity, our ancestry. We feel like they have clues that point to who we are as individuals; our likes and dislikes, our hobbies, our gifts and talents, our behavioural tendencies and sometimes even the reason we exist at all.

Yet even after knowing all these things, we still look for ourselves, so to speak. We try to figure out what unique characteristic we have that makes us different from all the other people walking this earth. We have a constant inner struggle. We want to fit in and stand out at the same time. We are all very complex and layered people. We cannot be defined by one personality trait even though we are always trying to put ourselves and others in a labelled box based on what we think we know about them.

I have come to learn that we are always learning new things about ourselves and we are always changing, sometimes for the better and sometimes for worse. We react differently to experiences in life and because of this we cannot claim to be a certain way and put a fullstop.

I have come to learn that what I know about people is what they choose to show or share with me. I cannot authoritatively say I fully know someone, not even my family members. Not even my closest friends. I am glad that someone knows all my complexities, all my different states, my deepest thoughts and fears. It’s only because of Him that I have come to appreciate both myself and others and I have found peace in my continued quest to knowing who I am and what part I play by merely existing.

I love my different states of being!

Ice, Water, Steam

JUNK

Your words come out, right, pretty and proper

Sensible, clever and sure sounding

I swallow them like a sweet cup of my mother’s tea

You so cleverly make me manipulate myself

‘Okay’ I say, because its all that I know to say,

It is right, pretty and proper

‘I will help you, but this is the last time.’

Next time I will say, ‘NO!’

Because it is sensible, clever and sure sounding

Next time my junk comes first

After all, I am stronger than I think.

Aren’t I?

FATHER

It has been fourteen years and six months since we last saw him. I find myself staring at old photographs strewn all over the house in various forms. Albums, frames and random pictures. It is a little awkward because I don’t want to be found staring at the man in the picture who we will never see again. We momentarily forget about him as we go about the business of living our lives, eating breakfast, going to school, looking for jobs, growing up, learning to live without him.

Yet every so often, he comes back. His books that have his name written on them in fading ink, the shoes he wore the day he took you for your first swim, the chair he sat on when you had the flu and lovingly carried you till you fell asleep, the book he bought you where you wrote your first words, the last picture you took hanging on the chimney wall in a huge golden frame, from where he quietly smiles at you. He comes back through these things. These mundane objects that seem to have hidden pieces of him. Sometimes its as though if I stare at them enough, if I use them enough, if I treasure them enough, just maybe he’ll really come back. In the flesh.

But even as I think this, I know he is not returning. The journey he took does not give us the privilege of calling him back when we so please. It is of no return. Maybe when our day finally comes we will join him. For now we will remember the moments we spent with him through these quiet mundane objects.

Books, shoes, chairs and photographs.

God be with you till we meet again.