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“Virtual Image” – Nayana Nair

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the image in mirror is never formed

I copied this slowly
from my friend’s notes,
reading too much into it.

I moved my hands
over the new definition of real.

I traced the lines, the dull path of light
as faithfully as I could
but the solid blue lines of ink touch the glass
and are broken cleanly by the laws of reflection, every time.

Only I am left in this world of real stuff
tracing back the path
that only their changed selves could have taken.

But what difference does that make?
People who have changed
do they even want those old dreams?

Probably not, for all I see are points abandoned,
in the world of unpublished fiction
surrounded by crosses of dotted lines,
like the ones that are meant to be torn slowly.

the image in mirror is never formed

But it is there, in front of me.
By some miracle they exist
even when they don’t.

Doesn’t that count as real?

The emptiness in me
and in it your face.

Doesn’t that count as real?

“and one day i stopped without wanting to” – Nayana Nair

i am a girl who reads too much between lines, especially yours.
and your words, they were cold
but they were warmer than the pages they were written on.
and since i wanted to love you
i tried to see your world as one big adventure
even when my heart was filled with fear.
i tried to do things that might make you happy,
to say the words that might put you at ease.
though i suffered greatly,
being with you made up for everything,
or so i thought.
but in the hope to be loved
i bent a little too much
forgot where to stop,
i went overboard with the idea of sacrifices and promises
and forgot to look at the blood and life i had lost.

one day he would grow up,
one day he would realize,
one day his love for me, would actually feel like love
“-
were the words i lived by.
but isn’t it pathetic
that even when i have no use for these words,
even my soul is more sore than alone,
at night when i count the pieces of me,
and the numbers just won’t add up,
the thing that i am most sad about is that
i was so easy to love
and yet you couldn’t
.

“What I Remember (18)” – Nayana Nair

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the increasing count of the words
that i have forbidden myself to speak.

today’s sadness is brought upon
by the particularly sad song
that i have chosen to listen.

today’s sadness is partially due to the strangers with sweet eyes,
partially due to my angels with weak hearts,
and also the fact that i must love (and have loved) everything wrong
without causing pain to anyone but myself.

i must write without baring myself.
i must write to never let myself forget what i can’t speak.

do not write this, do not be mean, do not be ungrateful
do not blame, no names, no dates, do not put anyone’s weakness on show

all such favors that i must do
for the sake of my perpetrators and my protectors.

i must act like a better person, even when i am not
in my fingers i am told to hold
everyone’s shame and everyone’s guilt,
and find my freedom in that.

today’s sadness is a breather,
the rare moment i allow myself to see
how messed up all this is,
before i turn off the light
only to stumble through life again.

“What I Remember (15)” – Nayana Nair

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I think of the clothes that are too tight or too loose for me,
of my skin that doesn’t like me the way it used to.
How the mirrors in my home are hidden
by the growing towers of books.
I wonder what this says about me?
I think of the fear that I feel when I am alone,
the fear that I feel when I walk into happiness.
I think of the kinds of fear that fill my heart.
I count them for a long time
but nothing happens when I finish counting.
I wonder if knowing myself
is really the first step to solving my life.
Do I want anything to be solved?
I count the people that who no longer speak to me
and half way through I remember
that it was me who had thrown them away first.
Silence is my weapon, not theirs.
I realize I need to always hold a grudge against someone
to live with strength.
I wonder when this strength became so important to me.
I wonder when this love that felt like a lemonade in summer
actually became a commercialized product
with an expiry date stamped on it
before it even reaches our hands.
I think of my skin by which I am stuck to a world like this.
I wonder why I pretend to be better than this world by saying such stuff?
Why am I so into acting all deep and philosophical?
I wonder why I love to call myself broken even though I hate to be seen so?
Don’t misunderstand me.
I do not want answers.
Answers are painful and pointless,
answers are a tasteless end
to the struggle that otherwise makes my heart bleed colors.

“Childhood Photo” – Nayana Nair

i do not want to be a child
who thinks that the world is this window
where i wait for you to return.
but i am.

and you are also the one
who has promised to never return.
but you have made many promises
and you have broken so many of it.
i guess i am counting on you
to stay true to who you are
and break another one.

i have done well on all my exams.
i have cleaned my room.
i have eaten all the greens.
you will be able to love me now.

they say you found love late
and the ones in love never return
to the loveless families
they want to forget.
have we been forgotten?
are we your embarrassing childhood photo?

mother cries a lot these days
and so i can’t cry anymore.
i can’t cry anymore
and i hate you for taking away my tears.

“Short lived season of comfort” – Nayana Nair

Any seat that I was comfortable occupying
was always unbearably cold.
People were right when they said
that something was not right with me.
For my flesh wanted to become fresh snow,
my bones the lone tree
under which sat my soul-
a child learning to count
the years of cold and whiteness,
an innocent, forgetful, and aging brain
living in a world
with no song, no spring, no rain,
to remind of all that is lost.

“Frail Sheep” – Nayana Nair

I kept typing
and just when I thought
this is it,
this is what I want to say,
140 characters were over,
the day had ended,
you had closed your eyes,
and turned your face to other side.

I told myself-
‘tomorrow,
tomorrow i will tell you everything,
tomorrow we will be happy.
you may not love me again
after i say all i need to say,
but we will be happy,
even if it’s on our own’.

I repeated this to myself
as if i knew anything about your happiness.
I repeated this
as if I was counting sheep-
sheep that have grown frail
living on nothing but my words.

As another dark dream came to find me,
I prayed that
tomorrow
may I forget all the words
that can set things right.
I’m afraid till the end
I won’t change.
I keep hoping
that we keep walking together
in this rain of sadness and hurt.

“Keep me inside” – Nayana Nair

I can help you count everything you have.
These objects have no meaning to me
but I know something about life
even if I don’t know everything.
I know that your hands
will stop shaking
only if they keep counting,
only when you have confirmed
that you have not become poorer
that you were a minute ago.
I know that you don’t enjoy being like this,
even though people say you are weird on purpose.
I know that you have stars on your ceiling,
only because the ones in the sky
have abandoned you too many times.

***

So I will not tell you
how to live your life.
I will not force
the disease of my heart
into yours, in the name of cure.
Build walls all you want,
but keep me inside them with you.

“Make this one mistake” – Nayana Nair

I want to love you with the sincerity that I don’t have.
I want to want you desperately, even when I am fed up with you.
I want to look at you as if you are my everything
even when I know that you are not.

The only thing that stops me
from being the love that I dreamed of being
are my own shortcomings.
I am not patient.
I am not true to my words.
I do not hold an endless sea of love in me,
if anything
you might only find misdirected anger,
petty grudges and resentment in my heart.
I am too sensitive, not in a good or sweet way,
but in an irritating intolerant way.
I am someone who wants all sweet things
but have only bitterness to give back.
In my spare time
I make list of what I lack
not to improve
but so that I have ready excuses when I need them
and I only need them with you.
I need them so I can stay selfish,
so that I can continue to be by your side
and not fall apart with shame.

I know you deserve the world
but let my greed win for once,
for this life
close your eyes on everything I do wrong.
My love may not be great or even good enough
but I love you
even when my love for you and want for you
makes me the worst person in my own eyes.
That must count for something.
Make this one mistake for my sake,
let me have you for this life.

“Future You Saw” – Nayana Nair

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You say, “There are two of me and two of you
and if we are trying to be precise in the count of us
I think there are many me and many you.”
Does it even matter, to think about
all the people we were just for a day?
To complain about a love that didn’t fade
but changed from one thing to another.
To complain that it changed
even when it found a way to survive somehow.
When it is trying so hard,
when it has stayed so long
do you really want to sit here
and count the ways
in which it is not what you thought it would be,
that it is somehow lacking
and breaking your heart.
I cannot hear you count again
all future you saw in me,
to be reminded
of all the things I hoped from you.
I cannot stand here and look through the real us
that we have, that has sustained
all our disappointment,
that is better than what we want.

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