Slips of Yellowed Memories
Cleaning or rearranging my bookshelves doesn't feel like a chore to me because of many things, and one of them is a potential trip down memory lane. In my post about last week's general cleaning, I mentioned how I kept on flicking through the books to find my favorite passages when I was supposed to just dust them off. The quotes and scenes I revisited did bring me a few fond memories I had while reading them the first time, but I also came upon several post-its and creased papers inserted between the pages...little things that took me back to my wilderness years. Here is one of them:
It’s a doodle I made about four years ago, when I and a college friend were talking about…our feelings. Our frustrations and failures and secrets and ambitions and wishes. Everything. We were in a library when we had this ‘open-up’ session, so we had to keep our voices down. What we lacked in decibels, we made up for in the hurricane of inked words: those were our screams that we wanted the world to hear. That time, the only ears that would heed us were the flat surface of paper and each other’s hearts.
The whole thing sounds a tad too dramatic, right? I just found the need to put it out here—I know there would always be a point in your lives when it seems like no one is listening to you. Spilling all your thoughts onto your journal may sometimes help, but there’s nothing like a friend who’s there by your side, sharing your pain and assuring you that everything will be alright. :)
Scattering a Fistful of Hopes
Recently—more specifically after reading Jandy Nelson’s The Sky is Everywhere—I went back to my high school hobby of penning poems and slipping them through random books in libraries. I saw how the habit helped the character Lennie in immortalizing her memories with her dead sister as well as lessening the grief. I’m not exactly grieving right now, but in high school, I’ve always thought that scattering fragments of myself could help me lighten the weight of these held-in ideas I’ve always wanted to tell someone but couldn’t. The only difference of my little hobby now from its preceding version is that I write not only to ‘unburden’ myself, but also to encourage other people to think positive. For example:
On one fold of a tissue paper—
“Fear is a savage beast that resides in your heart.
It feeds on all the doubts and lies and tears and pain you harbor inside, fattening itself so that one day, it may destroy you completely.”
On the next fold—
“Don’t hold on to its poisoned fangs; look up and see how tomorrow arrives as it tints the sky a lovely hue. You are the only one who can banish the monster inside you. Bandage your wounds; move on. Trust yourself.”
That’s originally from my oneword account, by the way. :)
The re-commencement of the poem-slipping encore took place in secondhand bookshops, but I eventually moved on to wedging them between jeepney seats, rails on waiting sheds, and park benches. Sometimes I just scribble simple two-liners (“SMILE! It can give someone a pocketful of hope—that’s more important that a pocketful of coins.”). Sometimes I even throw in a little doodle. Surprisingly, tissues are my main medium. Those things are practically everywhere—on fastfood restaurants, MRT and LRT food stalls, and in restrooms (why, yes, I did it in restrooms too! Dorks will always be dorks). Other times, I just rip off pages from my spiral notebooks.
It just feels great. I can hide beneath the semi-transparent veil of poetry while spilling my heart. And, when people read them, I can get them inspired too. Hopefully.