Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sweet everythings


What is the sound of love

But sweet nothings

I whisper to myself


The sound of heartbreak

But your silence

When I say them.


When is the time right

To float on cloud nine


When it is time

To fall flat-faced on the ground.


It stings

To have a wrong fixed


To be set free

A pillow wet with tears.


What is heartbreak

But sweet everythings

I whisper in your ear


The sound of love

But my words pounding

Through your heart. 


Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Nostalgia, habit and that little culprit



Is it nostalgia,

Habit or that little culprit


The awakening 

Once more

The heart dropped

As if you were never gone


We ignore the signs

That tear us apart

Though history taught us

We are not enough


Love with you

In perpetuity, and never sure

I can without 

But I would rather not.


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Boys and big girls don't cry


I was sitting at my habitual spot at my favorite cafe earlier today, getting lost in words and listening to the perfect Billie Holiday; it was business as usual, this time pretty content with what I was creating when all of sudden, I had to make a face. Naturally, my third coffee of the day had gone cold. As I looked up to search for the waiter, I caught sight of the couple next to me, more precisely, I was lured by how this man embraced his partner who could not, at all, hold back her tears. Quite honestly, I wondered at which point people started to crowd the empty cafe I came into for I had definitely failed to notice how long this couple had been sitting next to me. I did not want to pry; but I could not help but hand her a clean tissue from my purse when I saw hers completely wet and curled up. Trying to force a little yet genuine smile, she thanked me politely and I put on back my earphones to give them -- even if it were just a sensation of privacy. They stayed for a while; my gaze and neighboring ones wandered to their table now and then, letting our curiosity be bigger than it should be. I dived back into work as best I could until, as I had missed them coming in, I did not mind their leaving either. In the end, I went home hoping that her tears, whatever the reason behind it, would dry quickly. 

Truth be told, I always thought it was uncalled for to cry in public. Not because you draw attention to yourself, though you inevitably will. Not because it is a sad sight, though it may appear to be one. And absolutely not because I have never done it -- because I have, too many times to count; and for this reason, I know exactly how it feels to be that woman crying in front of an unsolicited audience... and it makes me uneasy. Sure, we never know at which moment -- more exactly, which place -- those tears can burst out because a lot of times, discussions or feelings take that direction that was not planned. It is not so much that strangers get to see you at a most vulnerable state that is uncomfortable; but having people in the midst instead of letting your guard down behind closed doors has certainly a way to make a burden more real, if it were not already the case beforehand. No more hiding. No more pretending. And for a second, you are exposed. And that is a frightening state to be in. I never truly cared about what people thought; but when I did, as when such an episode occurred for instance, a sense of frustration completely took over. Then, I apologized for my tears, whatever the reason behind it, I always apologized: to my friend I was crying to, to my ex-boyfriend whom I gave my heart to, to a family member who tried to elevate my pain -- and although not necessarily directly, I felt apologetic towards strangers I will never meet again. As a matter of fact, I realize now that I feel awful each time -- whether there are witnesses or not. Ultimately, I reckon my apologies are to my not-so-strong self, foolish enough to let even one tear out. However, after the bittersweet incident of earlier today, I could not help but reevaluate -- why, actually? Today, I felt her pain. Today, I saw truth in those tears. And there was no shame. Not an ounce of it. In fact, it was even quite beautiful -- and refreshing -- to be so honest in such a public place. And like her partner consoling her today, like loved-ones consoling me when there was the need and like I have also consoled a few, all the time, we insist there is nothing to apologize for. The uncanny thing is, now looking back at those couple of occasions I was in her position, it is true that the many unknown faces still provided that pseudo-privacy that I deeply appreciated and in the best case, some even became sincerely empathic. As if strangers could suddenly be that friend, that boyfriend or that family member that understands your fragile state. Fact is, they do. Even then, why is there still a stigma about shedding tears? 

Reality is, we live in a world today where we are constantly forced to exhibit strength, even superhuman strength -- at work, at home, at social events, at the fitness studio, in relationships, in bed, in friendships, in meeting new ones -- truthfully, basically in every aspect of our lives. Like we wish for and cherish rock-hard abs, we care immensely for a rock-hard mental state where absolutely nothing can break us. We are creatures who feed on improvement and success so we are expected to have it together... And if we happen not to, we have to get it together fast. The pressure to excel is so prominent that there seems not to be neither time nor space for anything else. Nowadays, people even turn to social media to lay bare exactly how much of a strong - or weak -- person they are. How many of us receive daily reminders of how fierce we have to be? Even more so, how many of us condemn the random sob stories we pick up on our news feed - because we get the impression that they do not belong in the public eye? Of course there is a difference between exposing and overexposing your life story (which we can obviously do so easily in this day and age); but fact of the matter is that it stretches to the opposite extreme as well: the strain of perpetually being at the top of our game has become too overwhelming that we learn not to show anything at all. More importantly, we feel ashamed because any sign of weakness is, well, a weakness. It overshadows our abilities, crushes our ego, questions who we are. After, we fight never to reveal it - sadly, not even to our loved-ones, family or friends oftentimes. Is there really such a pressure in this society that we perceive moments and feelings of despair as failures? Perhaps it is Darwinism imbibed in our system that makes us tick this way but when we carefully think about it, it is a sad thought to believe we bask in this world where what also makes us human is literally, frowned upon. So we learn to hide, we learn to pretend, we fake it til we make it. 

The peculiar thing is, when we get to witness weakness right before our eyes like I did today, there is something quite sincere, utterly authentic... and incredibly beautiful about it. Tears do not lie; neither should we when we feel restless. We are so hard on ourselves when we ought not to be, even better, we should cut ourselves some serious slack. In a world where (over)confidence is praised, still, we do not always have to have it together. Many times, and many times over, we will not even have it together for quite a while. And it is perfectly fine to let that guard down -- especially when our inner circle or any other person gets to see that we have to shed a tear or a few. Crying does not belong behind closed doors nor does it belong in public places, it just belongs to all of us -- and we should not apologize for any reason. The right people, even strangers, will undertand and support. A strong state of mind will be rewarded, of course, but catering to the boy and girl suffering inside of us is an even more magnificent sign of inner strength. In the end, we are still strong, we are always confident -- no matter what is happening (or not) in our lives; but we should also allow ourselves to be human: mere beings who have to figure things out, who require (un)solicited help and advice or who will break down at some point in life. Nevertheless, if we are lucky enough, we do not have to go through it alone. 

Earlier this week at the American Music Awards, singer Selena Gomez delivered a powerful speech about her struggle with mental health issues. I was amazed -- not only because she was open about it; but because she showed such strength exposing that weaker side -- and there was not an ounce of shame, more than anything, it is exactly because of such honesty that makes her the powerful singer fans all love. Once more, this statement does not weigh down her confidence in any way; if anything, I even gained more respect for her after this sweet confession. She proved to be  a stunning package, broken times included indeed. And the same goes for all of us.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The poetry she cannot write


She lives the poetry she cannot write
Not her words,
A life that became hers.
She has written fiction,
Dreams and speculations;
Until all turned into a tale
She did not long to put on paper.

She writes the poetry she cannot live
Her words,
Gives life when it is not hers.
She has had desires,
Loss and tantrums;
Turned nightmares into tales
On any piece of paper.

She lives the poetry she cannot write
Not her words,
A love that finally became hers.
She has written fiction,
Heartache and expectations;
That embrace in her coffee place
He took away her pen.



Top of the world



How you deal with failure will define your success. 

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Forever and after


Today, I am saying yes
Today, I am saying I will
Today, All that I ever was
I am taking along with us.

I will bring home dessert
Even when you do not ask me
I will tell you the story
When you are not sharing it with me.

In the morning, I will continue talking
Even if you do not answer
Until you have had your coffee;
And in the evening, so tired,
You will hug me
While I am already sleeping.

It is not a lifetime I promise
But a routine we will cherish
It is not a lifetime I promise
But a routine we both wish

I will take your quirks and talents
I will embrace your light and darkness

Today I am saying yes
To the past, to now,
To our future, I vow.

I will not love you til the day I die
I will love you every day we live our lives.

Today we say we do
Today we say forever;
And I am yours,
Just the same, a little more each day,
Long after.


Friday, October 28, 2016

The art of saying goodbye


The year my family and I left Vienna was the first time I went through the beautiful yet somewhat agonizing process of 'farewell'. It may not have been the first time we moved away; in fact, this procedure had been a familiar friend since the day I was born, since as soon as my parents could take me out of the hospital, they packed our belongings from the pretty little town of Nyon to Geneva.
By 1999, I had called three countries and seven apartments home. Before, I was perhaps too young a child to fully comprehend the serious implications; but with puberty at its peek in the late 90's, with all that comes with it naturally, I became fully aware that I was not only packing bags; but memories. The best of friends I grew inseparable from over six years, my crush whom I reckoned to be the only one there will ever be, the great locations I hung out on a daily basis, all the reference points of my young life --  I was leaving it all behind. I was affected in the beginning - saddened and even furious to be subjected to it. Still, for a reason unbeknownst to me then, the best part of me remained incredibly calm face to this drastic turn of events; for not only did I accept change, I embraced it.

Sure, as the saying goes, it was not all roses. When I moved back to Switzerland into a new neighbourhood, the first months were difficult to adjust, as one can imagine it would be for a 14-year old. Unlike most people who live their whole life in one place i.e. who have the same bedroom simply decorated differently in accordance to age, who know their surroundings like the back of their hand and spend time with the same friends since kindergarten... I was the new kid who had to find - if not create - a nest again: it was quite a challenge indeed, but one that shaped my teenage self in every respect  - and continues to mold the core of my being til this very day. Point in fact, I have woven so many nests since then that now at the age of 31, my collection of goodbyes piled up to the extent that I practically do not know how to live without one. In this regard, it is not saying that people who do not have my upbringing do not understand the repercussions of creating, building oneself up and eventually mentally, wholeheartedly, really physically bid farwell; of course they do, especially in a globalized world such as ours today where going on an exchange, escaping to another city or even traveling the world has gradually turned into a standard, for the younger generation in particular. In this perspective then, one recognizes that this specific course of action makes a person start from zero again -- because it entails, as it was in my case many times over, a new town, a new culture, a new language, (a) new flat(s), new friends, new reference points. And I loved it every single time, the exhausting as much as the fun part of it, the tragedy and the excitement of it all, this constant instability. I am affected - saddened and even furious to be subjected to leave after at times. Still, for a reason I know all to well by now, the best part of me remains incredibly calm face to such a drastic turn of events; because I embrace this growth that only uncertainty can beget.

Each time, I had to go out of my way to find one. I had to reject the idea of a comforting past in order to welcome a yet-to-be steady present. I learned different languages in the hope and goal of meshing with the people and culture of that country. I never wanted to be one of those expatriates who is limited due to language barrier for instance. More than anything, I wished to be considered -- if not a local which, in fairness, was impossible to achieve - but at least feel like a glocal that fitted in. I worked hard for it and true to form, I am fairly certain that I managed to integrate myself in the places in which I resided. While some people frighten before such impermanence, such a force majeure; I am the first one to tell them not to reconsider a new beginning if the opportunity arises (even just once). Maybe it is habit that makes me reason this way; but to start afresh every couple of years has really taught me a valuable lesson -- a lesson I fathom only constant goodbyes can provide: the art of saying hello.

Undeniably, if farewells have been consistent throughout, as a result then, so have been the hellos. In time, it is certain that countless goodbyes did not necessarily involve departing from a place - but leaving a stage of one's life behind: the end of high school, the end of university, the end of a friendship, the end of a relationship, the end of a work contract -- not to mention the various more subtle sub-changes that occur in between. Of course, included are farewells we did not necessarily seek after and which were consequently forced upon us. In a way, whether one moves from one city to another like I did or not; in the end, are we not all authors of our lives who have, at some point, stared at a blank page cluelessly? Hello?

Without a hint of a doubt, change is not easy to endure. It never is in the beginning. Regardless of how much of an expert one is, regardless of endings that are needed or wanted, regardless of having a proper plan or not; withdrawal syndrome is an universal uneasiness. If routines do not keep us grounded; they certainly have the power to keep the cradle rocking to help us still sleep well at night. Truth of the matter is that we are creatures who unforgivably adore bathing in familiar waters. Accordingly, when something becomes unstable, we hold on so tightly to the safe grounds that are still left -- even if they just come in the form of memories. Thus, (re)adjustment is somewhat agonizing in the moment. It takes time. It takes courage. It demands guidance. It requires reassurance. A monster of an effort. Nevertheless, speaking from experience, I also discovered that it only always takes the time that it needs, the courage that it needs. Not less -- and definitely not more. Hello starts the second we reject the idea of a comforting (especially not so long ago) past to welcome a yet-to-be steady present. It continues with going out of our way to find one. And soon enough, the inner chameleon will work wonders. Because my goodbyes were so radical and still, I succeeded in starting anew without feeling any form of regret; then, I cannot repeat often enough that being thrown out from his/her comfort zone is the best -- if not the only way - to grow. To grow character. To grow attitude. To grow potential. To grow as a human being. When one puts his/her head and heart around that, all worries and doubts will simmer down. Indeed, hello is a precious miracle I grew to love with age; willing to experience over and over again. Whether the previous chapter spanned over fours months, four years or four decades; a beginning is the moment to reassess if one is truly satisfied -- happy, with one's life. It is also the moment to work on the routine that one desires and not just one to settle for. Moreover, it is the moment one realizes that there is always something new to learn, at any age, at any stage, in any wonderful or terrible circumstance the goodbye happened -- ultimately, nothing is written in stone except the past.

If I learned anything in this life, we are, first and foremost, products of our environment. Once more, in my situation, if I were to categorize my journey in chapters of the places I lived; I am conscious that who I was during the six years in Vienna to the person I was during my year in Oslo to the person I grew into in my nearly nine years in Zurich diverge in many ways because of the various nests I wove. It is given that one's personality does not ever completely alter; nonetheless, I did find out that who we are at a certain point can never be that person again. Never entirely. Stability slowly becomes a second skin and fundamentally, I evolve into who I am because I am easily molded by distinctive environments. I am a sponge to time, experiences, people and cultures - but once I have to leave it all behind, I also withdraw i.e. who I am from that environment. And as Azar Nafisi wrote so accurately: "you get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place. Like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way ever again." When restlessness prevails, one tends to look back. Nostalgia kicks in. One begins to idealize even bad times. A monster of a reflex. However, truth of the matter is that after a while, after one allowed him/herself to sincerely say goodbye i.e. tackle change as explained above; once hello settles in, readjusted to the new environment -- and perhaps it is inhuman to say this, but I no longer miss things; people, places and especially not who I was in that specific context. Not in absolute terms, at least. Not because I forget about them. Not because I leave them in the past where they belong. Not because I emerge as a brand new person. On the contrary, actually, I am the type never to forget anything - but I came to appreciate that every moment has led me to this very second: now.

Autumn is the season of mystery: bewildering, it plays with my head, it makes me question the very essence of change. Indeed, how captivating to witness a firework of colors come to life while being aware all along that things are just about to die. Perhaps we are truthfully at our liveliest, our most versatile before change sinks in. Facing yet another hello today, history taught me to only gather what I can hold valuable for the next step -- and that is only the best part of goodbyes: the love I experienced, friends who do not know the notion of time nor distance, skills I acquired and finally, my all-time favorite; the magic of a fleeting moment.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Same same but different



Lands and beliefs separate
But I know
We are watching the same sunset.
I catch the beginning
Colors waltzing
As the sun brushes against
The mountains;
Battling whether or not
I should send you
A message.

Yours is about to disappear
There is an order
In this mess of colors
Clashing into each other;
Dissipating fast
Behind the curtains of the sea
As far as the eyes can see;
Wondering if you will get
A message
From me.

We are thinking
The same thing
Guaranteed our longing will kill
The merit of this moment
When in fact, we alone
Want it tragic.
Hearts aligned 
Into the darkness;
Such fools in the process
To believe you and I are that different.


Wednesday, August 17, 2016

What happens when a writer is silenced



What happens
When you are silenced
Ideas fight
Thoughts escape
Words stranded --
A broken one
On the tip of the tongue.
Only an opinion counts --
Not your own
Others, others talk
And you listen
Others, others argue
And you stiffen
What happens
When you are silenced
You hear everything
Your voice, stolen
All the questions
You cannot answer
Directed to you
But they will do it for you.

Whatever I choose to say
It would not have come out right anyway
I will make it worse
I will make it better
The words stuck --
A broken one
On the tip of the tongue.

What happens
When a writer is silenced
It is the best thing that can happen
I will not say a word
Because you listen to your own.
Words are my forte
My weapon of love
Of mass destruction
I will let the truth
That words cannot translate
Speak for me instead.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

The rest of my days in one night



I met my future in the past
You kept me up all night;
Had I known
It will lead to now,
I would not have said goodbye.

I knew there was something there
Not meant for the long haul
Still went in to risk it all;
I swallowed my pride
You would become my life.

Oenomel, blending strength with sweetness
Many a time, farewell is a present;
You attract what you are
I thank you from afar;
For the rest of my days in that one night.





Thursday, May 12, 2016

Strangers and Lovers



What distance separates
After being this intimate
And holding tight
To the one out of sight.

A stranger under the covers
The soulmate out in the open
Lovers at bay
And lovers that will not stay.

That chatter of passerby
The friendly advice
One too many
One is enough.



Sunday, May 8, 2016

If not on paper



It works that way
I cannot write about someone
Unless I have felt a certain way
Unless there it is
The potential

I can no longer be without them.

I let time pass
Which I never do
Once I am inspired
I will write on the spot

Under any circumstance

On my brown skin with a marker
On the back of this flyer
Even on the magazine cover
That belongs to the hair parlor.

I think of you fondly
But my wont to write
Never comes out ardently
The paper still blank
Though I let months turn things around.

Writing is my sole indicator
If not on paper,
It will not last in time either.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Blank canvas



Blank canvas
I cleaned my brush
So do I need to know
About your past
And drag mine
Into this now?
Saturated colors
Some dark edges;
A focal point
Can we not paint on white
Start out right?


Blank canvas
Is not ours
I do not require
A new work of art,
Superimposed
Upon our past.

I take you
As you are
Along with each stroke of brush
You have crafted until now;

The anatomy of us
Overlaps with the portrait of our lives
I see the whole spectrum
Let us look at the big picture.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

I feel at home on the road



I feel at home on the road
After a few days
I already feel that I belong.
I mesh with the crowd
Even when I stand out,
I will observe from the corner
Then I will stand with you
At the centre.
It sinks in;
Your beauty
Your habits
I emerge richer
Because of our differences
In culture.

I am at home on the road
I bring my dreams and memories along.
A moment
Between you and me
A little piece of life
The cyan blue in my mosaic;
I will always understand
Though language is not even
A common ground.
I have gone this far
And still,
All is familiar;
Because at times, new friend
Home is a state of mind.




Wednesday, February 10, 2016

For glory


I am writing 
For glory

I am lighting
This cigarette
For I deserve it
I am having
This cigarette
Because I am 
No longer addicted

I am writing
For glory, my own 
For once
I am stoked

I am hardest
On myself
My greatest critic
Is always editing

A sweet moment
To be content
Enjoy, my friend,

Glory is also
Being able to praise oneself.







Boundaries



Sometimes, home is a state of mind.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Quote



May I borrow your line
Until I come up with mine
Your words handpicked
My intentions are solid;

I love her
But you say it better.

Allow me to inhale your thoughts
Exhale your sweetness in my voice
I will quote you
Until my own will do;

I love her
One day will be enough.




Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Secret


I ran to the top
About to roar;

I held back instead
That unsullied feeling
Before anything is ever said

Take a second,
My heart raced
Not often enough
We relish.

A triumph so sweet
Silence leaves my lips;
Our secret
l stayed speechless.

Once I unleash the words
They belong to the world.








Friday, January 8, 2016

Ectopic



I like things
That do not belong
Mislaid, lost
Dropped, thrown
How do they end up in my frame
How come I keep on noticing.

I am attracted to things
That do not quite seem to fit
Subtly ruining it;
A smudge, a note
A love
Unwritten in the stars.

A weakness
For displaced happiness
Somewhere I never intended;
Maybe,
My love,
I misplace my heart in the right spot.