Tag Archives: writing

Sad Lines (#19)

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I have been working 11 hours a day – and 3 weekends in a row. Next week I go on to emergency/ after-hours whereby I am expected to be on the floor from 10pm – 8am within the small animal hospital, or 4pm – 8am if I am on an equine shift. To say I am exhausted is an understatement. I have been fore-going sleep in order to maintain my social life as much as I am able. Last friday night some friends from church and I handed out dinner to the homeless on the streets then caught up over ice cream. And despite having to work in the morning over the weekend, I spent my afternoons reading at the beach and having wine and cheese and learning about sailing from some new friends. I am absolutely exhausted, and I probably look just as terrible. But things will be ok – I will take them as they come.

I haven’t really had time to read for leisure very much, or to write. So here are some sad lines from literature that touched my heart – even though I am not particularly sad at the moment. I think that whilst sadness shouldn’t be romanticised and placed on a pedestal, it is something that must be acknowledged and embraced. There are few emotions that we will feel as often, as deeply or as tangibly in this life, so surely learning to embrace it like an old friend would make our journey on this little blue dot just that much more meaningful.

“Tonight I can write the saddest lines. I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”
– Pablo Neruda
“She vanished without a trace, swept away by the flow of time and it’s flood of people”
– Haruki Murakami
“It’s strange. I felt less lonely when I didn’t know you.”
– Jean Paul Sartre
“Time was passing like a hand waving from a train I wanted to be on. I hope you never have to think about anything as much as I think about you.”
– Jonathan Safran Foer
“We’re each of us alone, to be sure. What can you do but hold your hand out in the dark?”
– Ursula K. Le Guin
“Your only problem, perhaps, is that you scream without letting yourself cry.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
“I didn’t leave because I stopped loving you, I left because the longer I stayed the less I loved myself.” – Rupi Kaur
“I hid my deepest feelings so well I forgot where I placed them.” – Amy Tan

People often say that the saddest word is “almost”: the notion of things that might have been; of opportunities missed and words unsaid: of regret. But there are so many ways in which “almost” is happy: “He almost did not survive the night”, “I almost decided not to go to the party where I met you”, “I almost lost the courage to call.”

I therefore think the saddest phrase is “It should have been you”. It is heartbreaking no matter which context I put it in. Whether walking down the aisle with the wrong man, or a mother grieving the loss of the son she cared more for.

Jolyn

Push-ups In The Air (#15)

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A friend and I recently went to an event called “Fanfic, Love and Embarrassment” hosted by the Literary Youth Festival. We really didn’t know what to expect going into it, and as it turned out, it consisted of about a dozen people (who all seemed very well acquainted with each other) in a cosy room in an old house right smack in the heart of the city. This building plays host to weekly poetry clubs, art sessions and writing workshops – it was brick and mortar devoted to cultivating art and literature in the youth of today. With wild abandon people read aloud highly-sexualised fan-fiction they wrote about themselves, poetry that stemmed from frustrated minds and broken hearts, and embarrassing song lyrics from when they were teenagers forcing every word to rhyme.

Whilst it was a public event, it seemed all attendees were part of an exclusive writing club we were not privy to. It made me feel incredibly uncomfortable and self-conscious: as if I were intruding in a stranger’s home or eavesdropping on a private conversation. The people there were truly memorable characters, they each had an aura of individuality – they were published authors, up-and-coming musicians, award-winning poets and aspiring artists. For the first time ever the words “Doctor” and “Surgeon” sat a bit weirdly on my tongue; for the first time ever they felt displaced in the company of others. I felt like I was trespassing into an alternative I did not choose.

The feeling of awkwardness quickly passed. It’s hard to feel awkward when people are pouring their hearts out in front of you. There was so much honesty and raw emotion. I found myself truly feeling for these nameless strangers I do not know.

I’ve been trying to look up the work of some of those who had volunteered to read their poems out, but have had little luck. In particular one stood out to me, she talked about being on a flight to California and watching a man doing push-ups on the aisle of plane who upon noticing his audience, said to her: “Don’t worry, I’m not pushing the plane down”. She realised then that sadness within life is like gravity, it is ever constant. It does not exist within us, but we exist within it – we learn to live within it’s rules, and do push-ups in the air.

I still don’t fully understand it, but it somehow struck a chord in me. And amongst these faceless people, I felt for the first time in a long time, even if only but for a fleeting moment, un-alone.

I wish I had the courage to stand in front of strangers and showcase all of my love and embarrassment. I think that is ultimately what writing has always been about, to make others feel something, a fraction of what you are feeling, or something completely out of your own capacity. I promised myself that I will be braver one day.

I am glad that I wandered into the messy, sticky  hearts of strangers that night. It reminded me that everyone is fighting their own battle, and of the insurmountable strength of the human spirit to persevere through the throes of pain, depression and loneliness. Of impregnable minds and the human ability to somehow.. survive.

We are all just doing push-ups in the air. 

Jolyn

The Tide & the Sea

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The Tide & the Sea

If you were the shore and I the sea,
Again and again I would kiss your feet,
As long as the moon held steady in the sky.

If you were a storm and I a sailor,
I would have welcomed you into my lungs.

And convinced myself that to drown-
Is to be complete.

Moon and Sun both applaud
As Earth once again twirls for them-

Like puppets on a string,
We fall victim to the time-worn lull.
Mapped out by many before us- and for all to come after.

Down through the blue we descend;
Rusty anchors settling on each world’s end.

No one is coming.
Do what you can; to;
stay alive.

Jol

Jolynvincible

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Dear reader,

I do not write for you. You should know that I write because it helps me to sort out the wars within my head. It is never intended for an audience; I only ever write for me. Don’t scrutinise my words; do not try and psychoanalyse my character. I am not defined by what I ramble on about on this page. In fact, if you met me on the streets you would not recognise my voice. This is where I pen down my darkest thoughts- my worries and my fears. The things that make me wildly happy as well as the stones to my heel. This is where I can say the things I don’t talk about. It has been this way for ten years. The only reason this page is not privatised is because I want to feel a sense of accountability- I think that writing helps me, and knowing that there are strangers out there reading this helps me to help myself. And perhaps, just perhaps, something I write about could likewise impact a stranger out there. Don’t take that away from me. If you know me personally, do not discuss my blog with others that similarly care about me. You may remark about it, or bring up things of interest. But do not circulate it to discuss my mental and emotional well-being. Do not use this page against me. If you care for me, grant me my privacy. If you worry about me, ask me how I am doing- I am always honest, I never lie. If ever there were another reason I publicly journal, it is because I think that anyone who cares enough about me to find out about my life deserves my full honesty. This is my one outlet to be whatever I need to be- to let out the things I am feeling. If you asked any of my friends, they will tell you that I am quite exceptional at putting up a strong front. But this is the one place I can come to to not be strong; this is where I don’t have to be okay. Do not take that away from me. Do not force me to put passwords on my posts or to change my URL. Do not make me feel like I have to monitor the things I write about, do not make me feel like I cannot be a fully honest about my feeling on a page of my own creation- and one that I have been depositing into since I was 12 years of age. Do not make me feel like everything I write will be scrutinised by a watchful eye. Do not take away that freedom of mine.

If you care for me, respect me and respect my wishes.

Do not take this away from me.

Jolyn