mindful mondays, thirty-one

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distillation of my october days.
crisp morning shadows / monochrome silhouette / sundown / street art & graffiti

I hold my breath and I cross the road carefully. his words keep ringing in my head, but I cannot hear the voice. just a screenshot of my phone. it is ridiculous, the communication habits of today’s society. yet I am perfectly comfortable with them. the past week has been uneventful. except for the little ones’ seventh and second birthday. we showed up together with some hello kitty paraphernalia. their happiness made it worth. the littlest one speaks now and calls for papa all the time, but is perfectly content not being in his arms at the same time. she’s losing her baby fat and walks faster than she has before. no more insecure stumbling around. she brushes her own dress neat when it’s out of place. a little lady. watching her made my heart smile. it was such an ordinary day, yet it wasn’t. we made a mistake later, when we crossed to harbor to join the masses, but I realized it too late. I sat through the ordeal and hoped it would finish soon. we hugged in consolation on the way back home; the worst part about misunderstanding, is that in your own reflection later you cannot figure out how you arrived at that point in the first place. because it stops making sense. it’s not right, but it’s okay.

I’m counting my days off and trying to make the most of it. I am still not entirely aware of the long to-do list in preparation, but it will come soon and then it’ll hit me like a ton of bricks. I am ready. mornings are the same. so are the afternoons and evenings. but I am terrified, because at this point, I still don’t realize how much I could miss everything. I am terrified of having regrets later. it’s a phantom feeling, because I cannot think of a single thing that would make me change my mind. confusion burns and turns worse, only because I don’t have any answers. this morning I realized that a moleskine notebook, that I bought in september last year in order to write my heart out, has only been filled in the first twenty pages or less. a couple of a years ago, I was capable of finishing the whole notebook in three months. everything is less now. I used to fill four pages a day with words, now I struggle with four handwritten lines. I used to go to starbucks twice a day, now it’s twice a month. two things that I thought would never change.

everything changes with time.

mindful mondays, thirty

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my entire world is a little bit sideways at the moment.

receiving a certain, particular text (after I have fully given up on ever receiving an answer), at three o’clock in the morning ensured two things; sleepless rest of the night and an absolutely horrendous monday. today has not been a good day. friday afternoon and the second escape to lantau island and our favorite spot in cheung sha beach seems like a dream. almost like it never happened. calmness and peace was replaced with chaos and stress of the daily life. I am exhausted. oblivion of late nights does not help anymore and perhaps it never did. I was just never able to completely see that; or see anything, for that matter, in a different light. my entire world bathes in gloom. one cannot possibly expect a dose of positive energy when they have none to give. and yet here I am, standing with my palms opened, waiting.

my to do list has escalated into an insane pile of pressing matters. holiday season is nearing with such speed and certainty, and so is my departure date. I seriously doubt there will be enough time for everything. it is a little paralyzing, yet so refreshing to think that one day I will leave hong kong. often I wake up in the middle of the night startled. it’s not so much about nightmares as it as about the overwhelming feeling. I am simply feeling overwhelmed by everything. there. it wasn’t so hard to admit that. I was so concerned about keeping my steely resolve. I believe that’s what he said at some point in the past and it stayed with me. of course, I didn’t believe it back then.

I didn’t believe a lot of things back then. but now that I have gotten myself sucked into the rabbit hole of addictive pointlessness, it’s even harder to see what it was like before. it’s always there – the need to make comparisons between now and then. I am going to stop here. I could really use another drunk afternoon with the filmmaker, perhaps he could stomp some sense into me. would you please?

post scriptum; speaking of stomp, they will never cease to amaze me.

the ocean & the sea & everything in between

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all images sourced from pinterest.

“We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch – we are going back from whence we came.” (J. F. Kennedy)

I quoted this before, and I will always continue to do so.

humans are creatures of habit. but, we are. I argue with myself a lot these days; pulling my own hair out and yelling at myself in furious disbelief. because there are so many things that I could do, but I am not doing them. the concrete jungle ignores me, and it suits me. the toughness of fighting your way through the crowds, or getting swallowed by the black-haired masses during lunch-time in the financial district. I don’t have a choice, but to be part of it. to wait in lines that go around the block, like a snake, with people impatiently, but mindlessly waiting as they scroll through their feeds of brainwashing information. to order the same item on the menu, day after day, because it’s easier. we are all swallowed and unable to take in any more. it’s always all the same; the faces, the stories, in and out. the end of the year is rolling in like a wave. and it will be gone as just as fast as it came. I am trying keep afloat. I am trying.

some of this helps:

+ morcheeba’s album head up high. morcheeba is a little bit of an emotional issue for me. they have followed me through the last eight years without a pause and will, perhaps, always remain as one of the most important bands in my life. among others. I await each of the new release with painful impatience. this year, no less.

+ visiting north korea is one of the newest additions to my traveling bucket list. it is mainly because of this post. I hadn’t really thought about it before. but these images and seeing how potentially easy it could be to visit the country, I became intrigued. definitely something to keep on my mind.

+ chili infused salt & perfect tacos & pumpkin smoothie & lavender iced coffee

+ I have ordered a new falling whistle. join us. get yours here. be a whistleblower for peace. there is no other cause I have been so loyal to as much as falling whistles. it’s a beautiful, strong concept and I believe it. conversations, sentences, words; not machetes, guns and mines.

+ favorite apps of this month: spottly of hong kong and yummly of california, USA. I am obsessed with searching for places around the world that I will visit one day, collecting images and favorite spots around the city. I am also trying to cook more lately and these apps help me with both.

+ bullet journaling. I never realized it, but this is pretty much how I keep my notes together and organized. it works. on a second thought, I should use my notebooks more often.

+ the russia left behind. an amazing feature from the new york times. incredible journaling and the kind of reporting that all journalists and writers should try to aspire to.

I hope your week is better than mine.

october in hong kong

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“If he’d read a different book by a different writer at just the right time in his life he’d have been a different man.”- Zoe on Luther.

october days are still warm, but cooler than the hottest summer months. the air slowly shifts into autumnal atmosphere and the year’s end feels much closer than it was just two weeks ago. I linger in bed for as long as I can. not even the idea of a perfectly sized mug of coffee can get me up on time these days. my head is filled with images of places around the world. places I haven’t been to, places that will only become reality one day. absentmindedly, I compiled the list a few days ago; returning to it now is such a burden. banaue rice terraces in the philippines; blue mountains in jamaica; lake tanganyika in congo; hvar island in croatia; kynsa elephant park in south africa; blue lagoon in iceland. the list goes on. my mind wanders.

over the weekend, encouraged by wanderlust and the need for a change of scenery, father and I headed out to cheung sha wan beach. located on one of the outlying islands of hong kong, it doesn’t feel like the city itself at all. a little escape, a delusion of pretending we are somewhere entirely else. we ordered late lunch, sipped cold beverages in the heat of the afternoon. south african chicken with baby spinach topped with pine nuts and sultanas. wine flowed and sun generously warmed my legs. my hair turned into gold and I felt at peace. I thought of nothing. we talked through the entire afternoon, watching people and feeling the sand beneath our toes. my feet sank into the sand with such ease; the thought of moving directly onto the beach crossed my mind more than once. but a different beach, perhaps. I swam parallel with the waves of the pacific ocean, which seemed much stronger than I remembered them. the energy of moment made me feel alive. nothing makes me feel the way the ocean can. I swam and dived deep into the waters, emerging every once in a while only to catch my breath. the sun was huge. the strongest shade of red; like the japanese flag. as it disappeared behind the mountains of lantau island, the entire bay bathed in pink glow of dusk. everything was beautiful and nothing hurt. or so I thought.

the only person I can blame on the current state of text purgatory is, really, myself only. I fell under the false impression that things could be solved this way. water under the bridge, no bad blood, no hard feelings. for a second, I thought it would be possible. incorrigible is incorrigible. I searched my brain for subtle references that I could turn to when my own words failed, but I missed the opportunity. I could have been a different person, if I hadn’t read white oleander. I completely believe that. I also believed in us. and now, all the things that are being said are making everything worse. but there’s no stopping. then again, what’s another year of silence?

october is not as sweet as I was hoping it would be.