november, vii.

I still struggle with the same thing: staying still.

I’m obsessed with the notion of home. Belonging somewhere or anywhere. Because London, Rome, and Zagreb feel like a home just the same. Even though, something about the cities in the north such as Brussels, Amsterdam or Hamburg that doesn’t feel just quite right. It was a strange thing to realize but there it was. Screaming at me.

I crave islands and the sound waves crashing on the shore. Naturally, I’m in the heart of Europe.

The concept of time. Light and minutes passing. Disappearing but not moving. Like a black hole, turning the matter of my thoughts into nothing. The art of not being anywhere in particular.

Keeping my mind in one place. In order to heal, I needed to shift my habits instead of opinions. To stay still, I need to learn how to read one book at a time. Not six of them. To make tea and not to leave it abandoned to cool completely. To focus on colors and consistency.

I am trying to work on my morning flow. Learning how to breathe not only deep but with my entire being. To feel the oxygen expanding through my veins. In and out. Sometimes I have to stop walking on the street and force myself to inhale. The knot won’t go away; the mist in my head is thick.

To let myself sleep when my body needs it. Not to be overbearing. To call back the missed calls. To finish things. To take care of myself. Inside out. To be there.

To experience the minutes of days. To run a bath in the evening and be still.

To wake up alone and think nothing of it. I spend so much of my time imaging a different life, I forget to live.

The first coffee of the day. My roots in a single object. An entire history of a country preserved in a morning ritual. This is who I am. I haven’t forgotten.

paradise circus

Monday morning. I need to keep my mind still. Otherwise, everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

I start my day with a cezve of coffee. I opened a new package of the coffee I brought from home last month. Strong smell of the ground beans. Life-affirming. I wait patiently for the coffee to bubble to the surface. I taught myself to be mindful when turning off the stove. That way I don’t question myself later.

On the way work, the tram door opens at a stop and the smell of freshly baked goods from a bakery enters our carriage. It makes me miss home.

I lit a mint candle last night while practicing an evening flow. Breathing has been difficult lately. On a bad day, my head feels like a storm of lightning bolts.

I returned to Luther. For the accent, for Elba, for the London gloom, for the shades of grey and brown with a shock of the red bus passing through. For the colors.

And you know what that’s like… other people’s lives seem so much better than ours. More interesting, more attractive, more alive. The way he sees it, they got something that he needs so, he’s just going to take it from them. No, he’s never going to stop, he’s just going to keep doing it and doing it because he’ll never get back whatever he’s lost. None of us ever do.

november, iii.

Vienna, 2017.

There’s a file titled 2011.pdf nestled deep in folders structured /writing/2010-2015/2011/. A hundred and fifty pages of Wan Chai chronicles. I opened it up recently; I was shocked by its contents. By who I was then. By the amount of alcohol consumed on a daily basis. I was mean, spiteful, and full of hatred. Lost.

Maybe you are right. I have changed.

The sinking feeling that comes with thinking about Hong Kong and everything that no longer is. Do I still enjoy sabotaging myself? She was right then. She is right now.

I have come a long way.

My energy is disrupted this week. There is a knot in my stomach. My skin is scratchy. My solar plexus chakra is out of balance. I am certain I found another strand of grey hair this morning.

I put water to boil in the evenings; slowly check the boxes of tea arranged by color. Mint and green tea. Again.

I find myself longing for a fireplace. It’s the impending winter. It’s the fact that you won’t leave me alone no matter how much I try. But then — I don’t want to be left alone.

I carry the weight of our history every day and navigate the vastness of the ocean that is my life without you.*

We didn’t know any better back then. What’s the excuse we should use now?

Four birthday parties this weekend.