Writing to heal?

I wonder if writing ever makes you heal faster. The feelings etched beneath your skin get inked on paper in the attempt of getting it off your chest.

Writing forces you to remember all the memories that flow in, like as if the floodgates have just been opened.

Writing makes you compartmentalise the happy memories from the sad and bitter ones. It gives you the option, or rather liberty, to either focus on the good or the bad.

Writing makes the first kiss all the more real as if the taste of it still lingers on your fingertips.

It makes you remember the time your heart skipped a beat as if it were running with the aid of a pacemaker and he was the master.

Everyone writes lyrically about the beauty of love when in love. After all, they say “at the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.” But when love turns painful, one tries to disguise it.

So beneath these naked words, lie painful memories that torment like a demon.

The power of words to heal the soul.

I have over almost a thousand favourite quotes/lines. No, I’m not exaggerating! From the books I read to the blogs I follow to song lyrics that get stuck in my head, anything that tugs a chord in my heart gets shared immediately via twitter (blame the convenience of social media if you think I’m tweeting excessively). Every now and then, especially while I’m commuting, I like to read my tweets to be inspired by those words and find strength to live life. The moment in time that has long passed, but never fails to slip my mind as I re-read my own words.

Despite all, there is a particular quote that I never have to put the effort to remember. It always comes to my mind when I’m stuck or when I’m questioning love and life at large.

“I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.” – Mother Teresa

This will help us get by.

Dealing with death.

Please be warned this is gonna be a heavy post. I may or may not make sense in many areas or at all. But, this is just how I see it – death. 

I count myself lucky that my closest of kin i.e. grandparents, uncles, aunts and parents are all physically around with me. I haven’t lost a close friend due to death yet. But, I’ve been affected when I hear about the sudden passing of familiar faces. The faces you saw frequently, some occasionally. Yet you never would have thought, that would have been the last interaction. When such a thing happens, I begin to wonder why things had to play out such? Why were they caught in that situation, in that moment? Why hadn’t it been someone else in that place in time? Why did they do something out of the norm? Were they destined to die? Or, was it just a matter of bad luck?

When my distant uncle passed on 4.5 years ago, I was amidst school commitments. I didn’t know how to react when I heard the news as I was wrapping up the event I had organised. I couldn’t remember when I saw him last. When I last heard his laugh. But, I wished him well for he was in a better place. He was a religious man. He was a grandfather to many. A happy man who had lived life. His passing felt natural, justified.

My cousin passed on in an accident, mishap when she was a few months shy of turning 12. I was in my secondary school at that time. Around 15 years old. We didn’t grow up together and saw each other during family gatherings probably once a year, hence were not close. I wasn’t deeply affected by her death. I was sad, for she passed away at such a young age when she had a whole life ahead of her. I felt sad for her parents, her two older siblings who doted on her being the last child of the family. I wondered why she had to climb onto her stool to grab her favourite dress when she had already changed into something else after coming out of her shower. Did she want to surprise her dad who was returning home after a business trip for Father’s Day? Why did her mother enter the shower just after her daughter came out? Would this have happened if her mum had showered before her daughter went in?

Time is said to heal wounds. But, does it? When it’s not just hurt but loss. The loss of a life. The loss of your loved one. The unexplainable amount of pain you feel in every bone of yours. When sometimes even tears fail to pour the pain in your heart out. Some deal with death by turning to religion. They seek peace and comfort in the guidance He shows. Does it really work? Some try to busy themselves with things, in the hope of occupying themselves so that their mind doesn’t wonder off. Some turn to alcohol to numb the pain. Some continue mentioning their loved one’s name in dinner conversations to feel his/her presence surround them. To feel as if they never left you and that they’re just on a really long vacation in the Caribbean. Some get inked and do a lot of other things to feel physical pain. Some seek other forms of love in the attempt of replacing their loved one. I would think that fails, doesn’t it?

I deal with death by being silent, cause I really think words fail in such moments. Even words like we are all here for you feels like it amounts to nothing although offered with a heart full of love and comfort. There is nothing to be said or done cause all you’re left with are questions when a death hits you so suddenly. You wonder why you took life for granted although you knew very life is short. You knew better than that, despite the cliche-ness of the phrase. All the grievances you had harboured, the anger, the ego all pales when something larger than life hits. All that runs through you are wishes. To have one last time with your loved one. One last conversation. One last touch. One last laugh.

I still offer my words of comfort to someone who is dealing with death. Physical presence by being there for someone works wonders most of the times. But, I’m not sure if I would like these reciprocated when I’m on the receiving end.

You eventually heal. Or, get somewhat close to that. But it takes a long while. A really long while to get there. To find strength beneath all the pain. To continue living life to make your loved one(s) proud. But how do you get there?

How do you deal with death?

Chronic Dissatisfaction.

source

Chronic Dissatisfaction, a term María Elena played by Penelope Cruz diagnoses Cristina to have in  the movie, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, as she is always dissatisfied with what she has, at present. She is always restless and aches for something new to happen in her life. It’s like she’s searching for something she doesn’t know what it even is. To label, let alone describe.

Have you ever found yourself in this position? I constantly do.

Vicky made me wonder about the harsh possibility of wanting/dreaming about something your whole life, that it eventually might end up as something you don’t quite want. In her case, it was a person, a life, a marriage she was about to set foot into. Sometimes, I think that the very reason for this paralysis of indecision to hit us when we need to make a decision is because, we have an abundance of choices before us.

In chapter 2 (Marriage & Expectation) of Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage, Elizabeth Gilbert says,

“When you have only one path set before you, you can generally feel confident that it was the correct path to have taken.”

Yes, I love this author, this book, this freaking chapter if you haven’t already deduced.

It’s the constant predicament we go through and the constant questioning of whether “this is really what we want” that inhibits us from making a decision in the first place.  Simply put, the paralysis of indecision.

“Vicky returned home to have her grand wedding to Doug. To the house they finally planned to settle in. And to lead the life she envisioned for herself, before that summer in Barcelona. Cristina continued searching… certain only, of what she didn’t want.”

I just finished a book by Sarah Dessen, The truth about forever.

“That was thing. You just never knew. Forever was so many different things. It was always changing, it was what everything was really all about. But there was only one truth about forever that really mattered, and that was this: it was happening.”

It reminded me, yet again, of the picturesque future, Utopia that we make up in our minds is all fictional. What we really have, is now. We don’t need labels for every aspect of our lives, we just to need live and let live. The forever, love claims to be about, might not be case. Forever begins from now, this moment. And this moment, is what counts. Not the happily ever after that might or might not be. As Priya Basil says in The Obscure Logic Of  The Heart,

“I don’t see a point of deferring happiness for some future promise of salvation.”

Going back to the film, it did great in capturing both the love and hate in the complex relationship(s) played by all four characters – María, Cristina, Vicky and Juan. Also, if you aren’t already in love with Barcelona, this film will help you lose yourself in the beautiful Gaudi architecture. And lastly, Woody Allen. Every of his film needs a watch. Enuff’ said.

So go catch this! It’s a very light-hearted movie about love, relationships and its complexities.

“Our love will last forever. It’s forever but it just doesn’t work. That’s why it will always be romantic because it cannot be complete.”

Words.

It’s one of those things that people say, you can’t move on until you let go of the past. Letting go is the easy part, it’s the moving on that’s painful. So sometimes we fight it, try and keep things the same. Things can’t stay the same though. At some point, you just have to let go. Move on. Because no matter how painful it is, it’s the only way we grow.

– Meredith Grey, Grey’s Anatomy

Season 8, Episode 20 (The Girl With No Name)