Sitting on the rocks looking at the red crabs chewing away on the moss as the sea mist settled on my face, I turned to the graphite covered sketchpad in my hands. I realised I was in love with the city for the first time. A thousand memories weaved into a single sketch of a rocky beach with a destroyed pier. Moments pass; that’s all they ever do. And every single infinitesimal fleeting moment of my life passed by- pregnant with memories that would leave my eyes moist for decades to come.
There was a small inquisitive crowd was starting to gather and I figured it was time for change. With one final look at the ocean swell, I hopped away onto the promenade- my mind on what was next. Metaphysics manages to elude me. And yet I keep coming back to it. I suppose that is just how things work. And our search for answers never ends, or does it? Between all the elusion and delusion that is our life, there is just one thing that is constant- change. Fundamental, undeniable change…
I haven’t ever really chosen the places I want to be at. I have never sat looking out of the window dreaming about being at some particular place some day. I have a plan- yes. But I am not naive enough to believe I could beat destiny. It can be scary, especially to someone with a finicky set of ideas about what he expects out of life. And in all its’ contradictory glory, life offers a compromise for uncertainty- spontaneity. Fortunately, I would settle for that.
It wasn’t much later that I was boarding my bus, leaving behind my old life- unsure of what awaited me; looking back at the memories I never realised I was creating. Each lap at the pool pushing myself forward despite the lack of breath, despite the subtle smell of chlorine in the water, despite the dark clouds starting to bellow overhead; each time I woke up before everyone else and ran across the city for my martial arts class, and ran back to college even faster through the streets, over the footbridge, cautiously across the road, up the stairs; each time I’d sit down with my pencils and stare endlessly into the blank sheets until something started to happen; every time I gave myself a chance at something new- someone good.
Inside my mind’s an explosion,
Time is frozen in its’ blurry motion.
A blinding white of countless pictures;
Each of a memory- priceless…
Of lessons learnt and hardships faced;
Of the time I spent while being amazed,
By life and what it came packed with,
Of playgrounds, classes, constructs…
And what I learnt outside of them.
Of earth and water and space,
And of being engulfed…
Cruising along the East Coast road, we pass by countless beaches with golden sand and sparkling water. As we pass by the beautiful little secluded bay, I realise that this present is now a part of my past; a fragment that I’d probably come back to visit in the future. I see the swell building up behind me. There is a chaotic silence accompanied by a heightened sense of awareness. I close my eyes as I realise I’m coming home- not just geographically.
I go back to that blue Peugeot in ’93. I barely knew what school was. I knew when I looked up though that that was where home was. Up in the air. I have been chasing it ever since; through folded origami paper or last pages doodles during the chemistry classes. It’s been one of the few constants in an ever changing life that’s undefined at best. And despite what I have to leave behind for the third time, I smile; looking forward to what is ahead.
It is definite.
I am not home yet. But I know I am headed there. And there are memories waiting to be made; to light me up, to help me grow into something I love.