Has to be about 2010. It is still January, I hope it’s not too late for me to reflect. *smile* it’s never too late to reflect. You don’t need the beach, hills or holiday getaway to reflect, actually, in the midst of gun shooting battlefield of our maddening life, it’s even more pertinent to reflect. (pertinent, shit, vocab from essay writing is leaking out in my everyday speech and blog. Resistance to academia is futile. The dominant institution dominates. Stupid pun :P)
The highlight of 2010 for me would be the HerStory Films Project, which started in the end of 2009. Like all new projects, we learn to crawl, stumble, walk, stumble and I think we managed a little skip in the end, thanks to the team’s dedication. Will we do it again? We might, if someone out there is keen to fund us. I didn’t see this project to the end, some people said I bailed. I wrote that feeling the pang of guilt. I left to study. For those who knew me, leaving to study was also an escape. I happen to escape just as the project reaches crunch time, I guess the blame is partly justified and the guilt, deserving. I lost a dear friend doing this project. But why get sentimental eh? Well, sentimentality is what blogs are built on. When we’re old with white hair, we might meet up for a cup of tea and laugh about this, I stashed this thought in my small fantasy closet. When near death, we have no time for petty wars or earth shattering squabbles; at least, that’s what I think. Youth make us arrogant, gives us an illusion of choice, like ingesting hallucinogens, it is addictive. Capitalists and advertisers (redundant word, they are actually the same) know this, would you like the phone with exactly the same function in green, blue, red or chips on the side?
I walk in the street, the sun is shining. I can see the ocean. It is a beautiful day. Gloomy weathers make you appreciate the sun. Being far from home made you realised you have a home. The world is my oyster and I intend to have it raw with a slice of lemon, but home is where (get ready to gag) the heart is (built, broken, mended most). Sentimentality strikes 2. Hey, first blog of the year, be kind.
The land in my heart was nurtured lovingly by a few people in 2010. I’m toying with the idea of listing down the farmers, like the folks at Oscars, listing down names of people they owe the metal piece to. I don’t know what yet will grow from this piece of land, hopefully something sustainable, sweet and filling. Rice. We’re running out of rice in Malaysia. Imagining you and me, my dear friends, in straw hats and muddy boots. We can play water with the water buffaloes, catch cat fish and make tuak. When the sun sets, we’ll smoke leaves and play scrabble.
So why did I escape, when I often think of running back to you now. Life in KL was suffocating, I felt like the horror movies where I’m trap in a room and the water keep rising. The water rises gradually, throughout the years, quitting the full time job was a temporary stopgap, but the water continues to pour in again after a while. The struggle for justice and equality is long and strenuous but I wasn’t at it alone. The struggle for artistic expression is precarious and rare but it has given me much pleasures. Financial ability is the price of the stopgap which I couldn’t afford. Choice is a middle class privilege. And mine was, to move back to my parents’ (an admittance of defeat that tore at my kiasu cina pride, bizarre remnants of diasporas’ values ) or get a grant to study far far away.
2010 sept, I left for the far far away grass. It is very green. It must be because of the cooler climate. It has been getting colder since, there is a chill in the bones that I think is now permanent, I don’t quite recall what warm means. It is hardest to get out of hot shower. First few months were hard, like the stone beach they have here. You can’t sink your feet in the warm sand and feel safe. The stones are cold and hard, you have to wear shoes when walking on it. I called you, whining the hardness, then you say, wear shoes, it’s only a year, you can take them off when you come back to the sandy beaches. You know, we don’t get stony beaches here, how curious, enjoy. A year goes by pretty fast, and you might find that wearing shoes can be as nice as wearing slippers. Anyway, your slippers will always be here, I’ll make sure of that.
I’m sitting on the stone beach, watching the birds doing their dance at sunset, in my shoes that are not so new anymore. I’m enjoying it. I say a little thank you to all of you. I’m bringing back some stones, you’re right, it’s quite adorable once you see it up close.
*cue nina simone’s it’s a new dawn*
Sentimentality strikes 3. I’m off the pitch.