Wednesday, 19 August 2020

Power Cuts

They have recommenced,

Forced to emerse ourselves in darkness

Sitting under starry skies,

Enjoying the Indian Ocean breeze.

I reminisce times, two decades ago,

When this was the norm 

Sitting in the dark,

Taking notes in the candlelight night. 

Or rolling on the cool tiled floor 

To keep the heat at bay. 

Power cuts, what memories they bring

A shared tale between my generation and the next. 

Thursday, 23 July 2020

My Cocoon Phase

Many drafts later, I seem to have something that I feel can be shared. 

I have recently started to think it's tragic that I appear to be miscommunicating quite a bit as someone who prides herself in being a communicator. Let me explain myself a little bit about what I mean. I should also probably say that these realisations I am referring to didn't occur overnight, and were in fact born out of months of work on myself (making a conscious decision to improve myself). 

During a conversation with one of my best friends, I realised that perhaps I need to re-evaluate how I express myself. This realisation occurred especially regarding more personal interactions, and not for formal interactions, like those at work or when engaging with unknown people. This made me think I clearly needed to up my personal communication skills! And this is perhaps one way to own up to the realisations my friend and I had during the conversation (apparently we have some similar issues :D) I guess I could say this conversation helped me really pin point what may cause miscommunication. 

No biggie, but we have childhood conditioning taking the first place. I think, as I become wiser in years (please don't burst my bubble) I realise there is so much childhood conditioning that takes place as we grow up. And I feel this is the reason why I am said to be a serious person or people tell me not to take things seriously. Let me explain, I feel like the circumstances I was raised in, the kind of people my parents are and the expectations society had of me, made into this serious person I am said to be. But in reality, this is not who I am, as at times, I am not doing what I want to do, or perhaps not in the way I want to. You might say tough luck I can't necessarily blame these circumstances; but what I do know is that my parents had certain expectations of me as an individual and also expected me to set an example for my brother. They also wanted me to shoulder certain responsibilities as the elder child and behave a certain way, as a 'girl'. Did I mention my parents were conservative and somewhat older than perhaps parents of others my age? Well, this is what is it, this upbringing is part of who I am and partly responsible for how I see the world and the circumstances before me. The lesson I am currently learning is to unlearn all these childhood limitations and conditioning and to lead a life that suits me, for the person I am. But, we know this will take sometime and a lot of soul searching on my part to let myself be who I am or want to be. 

The second realisation stems from the seriousness I mentioned above. And I think its also to do with my profession. I don't think I have mentioned it, but I do have a day job (that takes a lot of my time) that's besides writing poetry and prose. I am an academic and this profession likewise comes with a certain responsibility and seriousness as the future of many young people are in my hands. Again society has conditioned how a 'teacher' ought to be, and this conditioning in the Sri Lankan society makes me behave a certain way or have a serious outlook on life. The lesson here is to learn to relax and be the kind of person that suits the situation. I suppose its also understanding that just because society dictates that a teacher has to be responsible and set an example, there is no reason for me to not be able to unwind and enjoy life with my peers and students. 

Going down memory lane, I recall I have always had this habit of being curious and asking questions to satisfy this curiosity. It also partly stems from wanting to have a clearer picture of what I am experiencing or of something that is being explained to me. And I have come to appreciate this more as I teach as it helps me change the way I express myself to suit a larger audience, because I am aware that no two people understand or grasp something the same way. But the realisation was that this questioning could also be understood as being selfish; now this is not something I had thought about before. It's a fresh perspective. So much so that people can misunderstand my need to understand something better or clearer as me quesitoning their words or actions. It's quite unfortunate, as that's not the intention. And even more so as the intention is quite the opposite, i.e. to better relate and connect with the other person. So the lesson here is to seek information in such a way that doesn't hurt the other person, whilst also trying to grasp the bigger picture for myself.

The last point for this post is about accepting when I am wrong and being humble enough to admit it. I am by nature a stubborn person; something I seem to have learned from my parents who tend to be rather inflexible. But I have realised this isn't something to be proud about and over the last few months, I have tried to be more accommodating of others' views and even admiting when I am in the wrong. I must say this is quite refreshing and it is even calming on the body, as I am not carrying unnecessary emotional baggage. And I have learned how to genuinely apologise when in the wrong and accept that there are alternative perspectives to how I view things. 

This is why I feel like I am in a cocoon phase; unlearning past experiences and learning better ones in order to improve myself. I believe this will not only make me a better person but also a pleasant person. Fingers crossed to making it work. :) 

Monday, 20 July 2020

Hope: A New Lease of Life

Hope,
This is what I received
As I walked out the door.
For the first time in many years
I dared to look towards the future;
To hope for better days,
and a better life.
I wasn't merely existing.
I was going to live!
Hope,
I dared to believe in the future,
Dared to believe in the wonders of life
Of the many things that are to be explored. 
Hope,
I grinned from ear to ear
As I was given a new lease of life.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

Thirty-two floors above

I realised how insignificant life could be
As I watched you walk about, 
Yes you, the one with a full-blown ego. 

You think you are important. 
Ruining other people's lives, their dreams. 
You don't care, I thought, as I watched you walk by. 

I was watching the bus, yellow, with its tiny wheels rolling. 
Ready to take you to work or wherever you want to go. 

Thirty-two floors above,  seated here near the window, 
I felt I was almost touching the heavens. 
Yes, I was near the clouds. 

I wondered what your life would become,
As you flow through life, and what you would do, away from your suit. 
But I decided not to worry, as I was thirty-two floors above. 

- Robes of a Muse

Sunday, 3 May 2020

You lingered

I didn't ask for much.
That was the bitter truth.
I gave you my time,
I gave you my love. 
I didn't ask for much,
You see.

You lingered,
You still do in a way,
That peripherial manner
You dance around 
The boxing ring.
You lingered.

I see you,
Quite frequently, at that 
And stop myself feeling,
Walking down the memory lane.
As I am a witness to your beauty. 

  - Robes of a Muse