706pm. It’s always that time of the day that he appears. However much we try to take note of his arrival, we’ll always end up being distracted just at that moment. We’ve had a ceiling light blow, even though it was a LED bulb. A mug I was clearing from a table suddenly cracked all over but still held its shape – but I could feel it crumbling if I pressed too hard. It took us all 10 minutes of held breaths before the cup reached a garbage bin safely. And then we realised it was already past 706pm, and he was standing at the counter, waiting quietly and patiently for us.
Not even a smirk detected.
I want to cry.
I don’t know why.
It makes me feel so childish.
I’m weak like this,
I try to squeeze,
My fists and force it down.
Awareness dawns for the little seed as it sits in its cocoon. It doesn’t know it’s a seed. It just knows it has life, and it stretches as far as its pod allows. I want to grow, it says and feels and thinks. I want to grow. And so it stretches, and pulls and pushes, and wriggles but nothing happens. Wait, says the cocoon, the skein that wraps tightly around the seed. Wait, and see.
The seed ignores the skein. It wriggles. It pushes. It is life, and it is full of life. Life can’t wait for a skein’s wisdom.
I was carried down to Singapore when I was two years old. I don’t remember a thing, of course. But imagine a mom of four, bringing all four kids in tow, of which one can barely toddle around, to a foreign land, settling all their school stuff, all their needs, preparing to cook for them, preparing to teach and educate them, in a world where information was hard to get. New school standards. Uniforms. Rules and regulations. Thankfully Singapore culture and Malaysian culture isn’t all that different.
Opening my eyes again,
Looking at the world,
Trying hard to make sense of it,
Hanging by a thread.
The skyship creaked gently as it made its way across the evening sky. Above the clouds, it was as if it was floating in the midst of a white ocean, with only a gentle breeze to accompany its passage. Wooden propellors spun lazily, while a large sail did most of the work pushing the ship along, as the sun blazed in the west, doing its best to heat up the world before it would be hidden for another night. A couple of cloth covered wings creaked as they flapped gently and rhythmically on either side of the ship, keeping it aloft.
He bent over to tie his shoelaces, before straightening up, looking again into the little arched and tree-lined entryway into the forest.
He’d just moved to Canada from his hometown in Europe. He’d gotten a new job and would start in a couple of days. As it was, he’d already gone in to meet his new colleagues, and everything was exciting and good.
It jarred him that there was just this little imperfection.
So here I hang, dangling by a thin rope over a sea of lava, while a horde of screaming monkeys chatters on the edge of the cliff from which I dangle, with a few of them trying to apply the heat of a flickering candle to the rope that holds me bound. Sitting at one end of the cliff, is Edgar the Barbarian, who continues to turn the skull he holds in his hand, seemingly still trying to make sense of life, the universe and everything in it, as he was hours before, staring emptily at the skull. I’m trying to make known to him my personal views about life and how short it can be as you’re cooking over lava, but I’m severely hampered by the ropes that tie my hands, and the gag in my mouth.
Wait. Let me back up.
The little boy walks into the room and plomps down on to the beanbag next to his dad, who’s working on his laptop. He beats the beanbag and huffs a couple of times, and when that doesn’t work, he sprawls open like a sea star, and stares at his dad, willing him to give him a glance.
It seems to work. Dad, with a sigh, snaps his laptop lid shut and looks at the boy. “Yes?” Just a hint of resignation, and a hint of forbearance. The boy ignores all that though. It’s his prerogative to command the full attention of a parent after all.
Have you ever seen a sakura tree blossom? If you haven’t, it’s a beautiful view, scented subtly by the delicate perfume given off by the sakura flower. This is most famous in Japan, of course, and is a reason for tourists to swarm to Japan just for that season, to catch a glimpse of the trees cloaked in swatches of pink.
But have you heard of the sakura fairy?