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“Black Pond” – Nayana Nair

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As I climb,
my steps remembered the shoes I once had
the ones that didn’t hurt so much
and how hands of mine that hacked through them
just to become my own person,
some sort of grown-up.
I climbed over the yellow soft dress
and the light that it caught
just to get this, this body that looks held together
but is not
(this body knows only how to fall apart),
just to get few more shadows that ruin my beautiful wrist
with their persistent passion.
They claw through me, to see how I am made,
how I look and speak once I break.
A stranger once left me at the bottom of a black pond
and called it love just so that I won’t cry
and in return I called him my love
just for few breaths, just for my life.
I climbed over the right to mean the word “love” thereafter
and the dream of knowing a heart other than mine.
I breathe as if I have sinned
yet I walk like I am happiness and determination in flesh.
I cling to all the bitter bits of this world
as if they would ultimately save me.
I climb over, get over, and forget
so easily, so bitterly
that each feeling of mine is just a shade
of resentment.

“Eventual Fall” – Nayana Nair

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She just laughed and said
“you are not really intelligent,
you know that right?”
as she packed her bag,
making space for her only notebook, with difficulty.
I wonder if she really needs all those the things.
She is not a careful person,
I know that because her list of priorities is horizontal-
everything is important, everything is equally dispensable.
I hear a song breaking at the bottom of her lungs,
when she talks of the new thing that she will love forever
when I know she won’t.

She lets me know for my own good “geniuses are not made by effort,
love doesn’t happen by hard work,
quit swimming and struggling when you are on land.”
She takes me by hand, teaching me how to walk,
teaching me her pace.
Her pace unsettles me. She gives cruel names
to my innocent actions as she smiles.
She smiles at me while I wait for my forever to end.
And only because I hate myself
for not wanting to love her sometimes
I smile back.

I wonder how far my determination can take us.
As she finally boards the train home, after missing out on a few,
she says “stop struggling, when i am with you,
i know your heart, even when you don’t.
it hurts to see you like this,
things will eventually fall in their place.”
I wonder if she is pushing herself, within the limits of who she is,
to save something of us, to save something of me.
I wonder how she can love me, if she knows how petty my heart is.
And because I do not know the answers to her,
I wait for us to fall into the places.
I think of her and find it easier, this wait.

“hope is a bird with nine lives and slow deaths” – Nayana Nair

Now that we are an year apart.
Now that everyone has been talking about
new beginnings and second chances,
I let myself be myself,
let myself be swayed
at the hope, at the thought of the ONE.

But being myself
also means to be keep my heart broken.
It means to leave every crowded room
to find the corridors where I can be finally alone
with the mistakes I am about to make.

I hold someone who could have been you but is not.
I cry the same tears that once made you pity me.
I jot down a name and a number
and a weakness, a need
where I could fit myself into.

And as I lay in bed
I feel something sad and beautiful in my heart-
an end that I am creating for myself.
This is how love has always been for me,
so I let it be and smile
as I kiss another stranger
who won’t be able to save me from anything.

“Fossil” – Nayana Nair

Drop by drop the wax fills
the bucket of broken butterflies.

I am falling into another sleep,
into another death that is warm,
that embraces me like no lover ever has.

I feel the pain in my wings, and unlike other days
I try to think that this will never pass.
That I will remain like this, with a bit of pain always there
in my shoulder blades, under my ribs, aching for a memory that floats
above my body, above my existence.

Someone holds my hand and I let them.
I was always afraid of living and dying alone.
I guess there are many like me.

Years from now they will find us
and probably write stories
about how we loved each other even in death.
As they look at our almost ruined and almost saved faces
they won’t know how we died heartbroken,
how we held onto each other
but never dared to look at each other
or ask the names we had started to hate.
How our skins melted into each other only because
we had nowhere else to be.
That even as light broke free from our eyes
we didn’t want to look like failure.

“Sandstorm” – Nayana Nair

The sandstorm is just another setting
for this story to continue.
There are no trees in our desert
that could be broken.
There are only lights that learn to flicker,
there is only skin that knows what this wind carries,
there are only roads that will drown.

With half closed eyes you walk out
to search for what you have left behind.
With half closed door I wait for you to return.
I find another quote in another book
foretelling the loveless life that will continue henceforth.
Another book, another friend I must burn
for speaking the truth, for wanting my best.

I am destined to die on the night of a full moon
without a reason, without a witness,
with a piece of broken mirror becoming a new part of my body-
another prophesy that I wish you had not gifted me.

Three fairies sleep in our bed,
who do not yet know the violence of your broken heart.
I hope you get what you cry for,
I hope you forget our names,
I hope this storm saves us from every moon, every sky.
I hope this storm saves us from you.

“The Scale of 1 to 10 (part 4)” – Nayana Nair

I have been collecting books on building sandcastles from the the remains of things humans leave behind. This is all I have ever read – how and where to find the stones called history, how to grind them so fine that they can forget themselves.
In my hands they become another extra leg of the ever wobbling chair that already looks like a monster, the miniature castle no one can live in, the gigantic dinosaur that won’t get the chance to destroy this world, the skyless blue that will keep dripping from the ceilings as long as people want to see the rain that won’t ruin the glow of their skin.

 "People burn lamps of clarified butter
  I've ignited the lamp of my heart.
  People swear on their faithfulness
  I've eaten the poison of separation.
  People lose their heart in love.
  People lose their heart in love.
  I've also lost myself.
  But still me getting extinguished
  Was liked by my beloved"
  -"Luttna", Cocktail
 "Giving and receiving scars is part of being human
  And I don’t think I was really scared of that.
  I clashed against things like I was going to break
  And I don’t think I was really scared of that."
  -"Green Nocturne", Nell
 "sometimes the roof of feeling leaks,
  we remember old thirst,
  but new clouds dance and rain,
  they kiss the forehead with chains of drops..
  it's the time to get soaked,
  a new weather is standing nearby,
  it's a small, but big thing.."
  -"Dhoop Ke Makaan Sa", Break Ke Baad
 "I guess that I
  I just thought maybe we could find new ways to fall apart"
  -"We are young", Fun.

I love to hold exhibitions where people can look at something beautiful enough to make them cry and not even realizing that they are looking at something they never wanted to see again, that they are looking at themselves the way they never wanted to.
They might not understand this, but I do.
The “unnecessary” that is so easy to cast away is the only thing that their heart wants. That is the only happiness that feels like happiness.

 "We imagined the future we saw together 
  on top of that high hill where a blue wind was blowing.
  We launched a big paper airplane which flew anywhere, 
  carried by the wind.
  You laughed loudly as you saw my distant look.
  Your hat was blown off by a gust of wind, so I ran to catch it"
  -"Control Tower", Galileo Galilei
 "The headlight that shines into my heart
  has become completely clean.
  All of your memories fade out.
  Inside the storm, my heart is green light"
  -"Eraser", Taeyeon
 "Cuz I taste you in every shot that I take down
  But I feel so hollow"
  -"Here Come The Regrets", Epik High

No one is innocent, no one is blameless.
Helpless they may be, ignorant more so.
But all who seek reality and stability have killed someone or something that was too weak to protect itself. That is how we become good enough, deserving, suitable to live in this world.
The ones who suffer grow up eventually. But they grow less and less each day.
So knowing this, how I am I supposed to hate these murderers? How can I not save all they burn as they cry?

 "Fear takes a hold of me and my heart grows heavy.
  And a sigh comes out of my mouth again.
  Time made me into an adult,
  but I don’t think it made me strong.
  Time made me into an adult
  but it made me that much more of a fool"
  -"Green nocturne", Nell
 "I am still the same person I was before
  I am here, the same person I was from before, but
  An overgrown lie is trying to swallow me whole"
  -"Lie", Jimin (BTS)
 "Here comes the rain
  So many scars never fade
  This is the price of war
  And we've paid with time"
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Today is a winding road that's taking me to places 
  that I didn't want to go
  Today in the blink of an eye
  I'm holding on to something and I do not know why.
  I tried"
  -"Thunder", Boys like Girls

So when they start hearing voices, when they feel that none of their masks fit their faces filled with fear- they come to me.
As they wait reading magazines filled with faces, bodies, lives, circumstances that are better than theirs, I sculpt a lie for them.
I call it a lie, because that is easy to accept, easy to display in their living room. Unlike truth, seeing it or showing it does not involve damage estimation.
This is how I make a scratch on the face of reality even when my hands are tied. This is the only happy ending I can give them, the only happy ending they can accept.

 "This field is lined with the brave
  Souls in relief
  We'll fight fight till there's nothing left to say
  (Whatever it takes)
  Fight fight till your fears, they go away"
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Yeah I'm walking on a tightrope
  I'm wrapped up in vines
  I think we'll make it out
  But you just gotta give me time
  Strike me down with lightning
  Let me feel you in my veins
  I wanna let you know how much I feel your pain"
  -"Thunder", Boys like Girls
 "So if by the time the bar closes
  And you feel like falling down
  I'll carry you home"
  -"We are young", Fun.

No one is innocent, no one is blameless.
But they are weak. We are weak.
I need to save them. So they can save me somehow.
In their tears, I see the tears that I have not learnt to shed.

 "Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough
  Just a second we're not broken just bent, 
  and we can learn to love again"
  -"Just Give me a Reason", Pink
 "We fight, fight till we see another day.
  Whatever it takes."
  -"Fight the Night", One Ok Rock
 "Carry me home tonight"
  -"We are young", Fun.

“Sense of Urgency” – Nayana Nair

Today I realized
what to call all that I have been reading for so long.
A person I didn’t mean to overhear called it ‘a sense of urgency’-
the desire to save this world as soon as possible.

It seems the enemies are too many.
I saw many names in the list of these enemies
that I silently agreed with-
pollution, dictatorship, bullying,
monetization of education, competing in a rigged world,
oppression of lives and loves of minority, hate crimes,…

I scoffed at some:
the collapse of society in the hands of socially withdrawn,
collapse of economy in the hands of those who want and do less,
the unfeeling and unapologetic generation that seems to love depression,
women whose learning and thinking too much only breaks families,…

“this is the cause worth dying for”-
I suddenly became afraid of that feeling.

As I read all the absurd causes I couldn’t agree with.
As I read and became exasperated at the words of those
who were convinced that they knew better
even as they killed and killed and killed
and got addicted to seeing blood dissolving in oceans.
I realized
how dangerous this feeling could be.

“this is what to means to change the world.
to change the world
is to walk over everything I don’t want to see”
My sense of urgency hated me for thinking this.
It recited every quote about silence of good men.
But all I could now see was the line that I must not cross,
the words I must not say, the knife that I must never hold-
no matter the cause.

“Glow in dark” – Nayana Nair

it was once possible
to be a parrot who was a doctor
who sang in a choir of angels
who saved the world from villains
with ridiculously evil funny names.

it was easy to speak of wants-
a pair of shoes with lights
and a glow in dark radium cello tape
and an army uniform and cream rolls
and a tiara with anything that shines
and the cards i don’t know how to play
and…

once i used to be simple.
i left my sleep
to live like the guy
who runs for hundred years
to rescue the princess.
waiting to reach
a blurry 8-bit princess
that never shows up at any castle
of my world
was not a source of
disappointment (or depression) then.

“i don’t react well to kindness” – Nayana Nair

the river behind me
is filled with regret
of swallowing the sun
that she once claimed to love.
she is like me,
so i thought she’d understand.

but she holds my hands,
refuses to give me up
when i try to find out
how much I can be filled.
she fears my temperament
and the dangerous things
i incessantly wish for.

i want to tell her
that my heart is too heavy,
that her kindness is only causing me pain,
that bleeding a bit won’t kill me,
that words won’t save me.
that her embrace would only become
my next hope, my next wound.

“today’s forecast” – Nayana Nair

today’s forecast
told me about rain
that might turn to snow
which might turn to pain in my knees,
it might turn into wishing for summer
(summer is always you lying on couch tired
cursing gods for seasons you hate),
it might move my hands towards the pills
that rarely save anyone needing saving
(i really don’t trust pills
if you are not the one handing them to me).
today’s forecast tells me i should stay in,
stay away from stepping out of myself,
that in my world only minefields of you are remaining.

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