Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fairy Tales

We turned and left without our usual goodbyes. Not even a parting glance, or an endearing smile.

A hasty farewell, an abrupt parting. A sad ending, perhaps, to what was a wonderful fairy tale.

"See you," she said, in a dull, monotonous voice, as she headed for the tram.

"Yea...see you," I reciprocated, in an equally empty and languid tone. A sharp turn to the left on the sidewalk.

And I was on my way back home. No parting glances. No endearing smiles. No turning back.

"I'm really sorry about today...," I said in a text message to her later on, "...but I guess not all stories have happy endings."

"That's OK, I guess it's better that way."

"Yea, perhaps..."

A choice that had to be made. A step that had to be taken.

Perhaps, it was never meant to be in the first place. Perhaps, it would have been better if we had never met. Perhaps, it was time to let go.

Of all things. The sweet laughter, the delightful memories, the florid smiles, the colourful times, the wonderful journey.

That night in the Docklands under the moonlight, facing the magnificent waterfront.

Pounded by the cold, chilly winds. Shivering and writhing out in the open air on a winter night.

Yet, there was something warm and delightful about her presence. We popped the cork and poured some sparkling wine into our glasses. A toast to one year of friendship.

Sipping the wine, savouring its flavour. A delightful tinge in the mouth.

"You know, I really do like you, I really do. But I know that I am not prepared for a relationship. But no matter what, you will always be a really special friend to me."

"Do you like me?"

"Yes, I do."

"Do you think I like you?"

I was taken aback by her question. "Umm...maybe?"

"Yes, I do."

"So, what do you think of our relationship now?"

"What do you think?"

"I really do like you, but I guess I'm not ready for it. And I believe that going for it now would not be the best thing for the both of us."

"Don't get me wrong. I really do enjoy being with you. But right now, I'm more concerned about seeing you grow in your walk with God and I don't want our relationship to be a hindrance to the things that God has called you to do."

"Then I'll wait. Do what you think is best..."


Looking back. Did we really like each other? Does it even matter now?

Were those words lies? Empty syllables from a well rehearsed skit, excerpts from a fantasy story that was never meant to come true.

Perhaps it was all never meant to be.

But surely, it can't end here! There has to be more. I really do care about her. I really do treasure her.

A faint glimmer of light in the distance. A small gentle voice whispering in my heart.

"I know you're annoyed. I'm really sorry for today. I guess these things do happen, and perhaps we shouldn't make too big a deal out of it. I really do treasure our friendship."

Her reply startled me.

"What are you apologising for? By the way, what colour do you like?"

I could not withhold a smile. With laughter in my heart, thinking to myself, "What in the world is this crazy girl thinking?!"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Distant Voice

Feeling lost in this space, in this time

The slow creep of languor and fatigue

Seeping insidiously into the heart

Displacing life, dispelling certainty

The deafening drones of endless tirades

Of the same mechanical routines

Churning and spinning round and round

Like the synchrony of clockwork

The unnerving hustles and bustles

Of never-ending work

Formless, empty and dark

Devoid of meaning, deficient in purpose 

The irony of life, the paradox of the self

Gnaws away at the core of the soul

Gently erasing all rhyme and reason

Steadily effacing all traces of sanity

This unwilling union of body and mind

Tugs and pulls, wrestles and contends

The two seeming so distant from each other

Yet, so intricately linked, in an uneasy truce

The mind desires freedom 

In its world unfettered by rules and laws

Yet the body sees reality

Governed by finiteness, ruled by uncertainty

A battle of idealism and reality

Of the boundless against the bound

Fleeting glimpses of love and hope pitted

Against the stone cold gaze of a cynical world

Freshness drained and desiccated

Creativity stifled and stolen

Dreams mangled and macerated

Hopes pilfered and pillaged 

The dullness and dreariness settle in

The chimes of void and emptiness ring

In the monotony, silence sings

Its ceaseless tune of yearning and longing

Lone souls travelling and searching

Longing, hungering for purpose and meaning

Searching in a world

Fumbling for its own sense of direction

Everywhere they look, 

High and low, near and distant,

Everyone wallowing in their self pity and mockery

Constantly judging, always accusing

Individuals so bereft of passion for life

Communities so sapped of identity and belonging

Cities reaching ever farther and taller

Yet somehow drained of its human essence

Humanity climbing higher the stairs of heaven

Revelling in their grand achievements and intellect

Genetic manipulation, at one time, cloning, the next

Artificial intelligence and war machines to add to the lot 

Shoot for the stars as it may

It has neglected its poor and the oppressed

It has sidelined the needy and those at the bottom

It has rejected the core meaning of being human

Should we be surprised, then?

When another revolution is sparked and ignited

When wars erupt and terror reigns

When the social fabric as we know is torn and tattered

What calamity it would be

When mankind deteriorates to its final amnesia

Forgetting ever what it means to love

Never remembering grace, and faith, and hope

Perhaps this is what humanity needs

To awaken it from its deep slumber

When communities lie in desolate shambles

When cities are reduced to ashen rubble

Do we hear the distant voice?

Calling out, longing for our attention

Do we hear the distant voice?

Whispering gently in the chambers of our hearts

The voice calling out in the wilderness

Calling us back to life

To embrace the gift and miracle of every second

To treasure and value each breath we draw

The voice calling from our hearts

Calling us back to love

To extend grace and to receive forgiveness

To always preserve and protect

To love our neighbours, as we do ourselves

To love our enemies, as we do our brothers

To love our communities, as we do our families

To love our cities, as we do our homes

The voice calling from the earth

Calling us back to faith

The substance of things hoped for

And the evidence of things not seen

To believe in our heritage and belonging

To believe in our identity and purpose

To believe in our calling and destiny

To believe in our vision and mission

The voice calling from the heavens

Calling us back to hope

For the greater things that are yet to come

For the good promises that will be done

To hope for His Kingdom upon this earth

To hope that we will enter and dwell in the land

To hope that we will be fruitful and fill the earth

To hope that we will one day call this place home

That voice singing to us for all time

Its eternal melody of clarity and purpose

That voice singing to us one more time

Its enthralling tune of grace and life

That voice which breathes into us

Untainted freshness and boundless creativity

That voice which speaks into us

Unchained visions and unlimited dreams 

That voice calling us out

Out from darkness and into light

Out from emptiness into purpose

Out from formlessness into identity

That voice leading us back

Back to what it means to be human

Back to what it means to be free

Back to what it means to live free

That distant voice calling to us

In the midst of a parched and desiccated land

In the midst of a scorched and macerated earth

In the midst of a dry and pillaged world

That distant voice calling out to us

Yearning to break through to us

Through the unnerving hustles and bustles

Through the deafening drones of endless tirades

That distant voice calling to us

Restoring our souls, retracing our sanity

Stopping the relentless spin of clockwork

Displacing languor, dispelling fatigue

Feeling lost in this space, in this time

As a lone soul travelling and searching

In the silence, that distant voice sings

In the silence, the Creator speaks.