November. Specks of dust and water

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November mornings.
When the sun-kissed floating water particles
dance their way towards the familiar bathroom mirror,
fervently tap dancing, languorously waltzing, comradely folk dancing,
fogging up the glass
While the unrelenting slanting sunrays piercing through the bathroom window
knight me,
So that a whole new reflection can emerge
when the autumnal air carries away the last speck of water.
Sense of self ever in the making.

November days.
When the sun-kissed floating dust particles
join the whirlwind whisking up amber sycamore leaves,
spiralling incessantly.
Cosmic insignificance and evanescence weaving a cautionary reminder
that knights are meant to serve and protect their own,
and that I better uphold my anointed knighthood
before my time is up,
before the pilgrim wind carries the last speck of dust away into infinity.
Self-acceptance ever in the making.

November nights.
When I look to the cloudless marine-blue sky and am reminded
that I am
but a speck of stardust in the horizonless cosmic ocean.

– Patricia

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Laugh lines. Or: How life has been treating me

I’ve been treating myself kindly.
My laugh lines used to be paths carved along the sides of my mouth
by the anxiety-ridden moments when I was so uncomfortable
that I felt the need to force a polite or subservient smile
or worse,
a laughter.
Now,
They’re carefree sculptures debossed on my imperfect skin,
forever engraved on my flawed face,
digging themselves deeper and deeper
each time I seize a new opportunity to laugh wholeheartedly,
Be it on the Thursday mornings when I would be sitting in the kitchen,
doing the dishes while mom starts cooking for the day
and my sister pokes fun at our negative formative childhood memories,
gaining some sense of closure,
Or on the drive back home following another awkward family function,
when all five of us vent our anger,
turning the unbearable helplessness into comforting togetherness.
My laugh lines speak of memorable mundane moments
which I choose to seize
every chance I get.

I’ve been treating myself kindly.
My stretchmarks used to be shameful lines
reminding me I grew up too fast for my own good,
pointing out how much I hated the transformations my teen body was going through,
shameful reminders that I was less than pretty—
or so my low self-esteem would assuredly point out
each chance it got,
Be it my 8th grade graduation when I didn’t want to show my legs out of shame,
Or the seaside trips when I would imagine burning gazes
passing an irrevocable sentence.
Now,
They’re pale engravings
pointing out my bumpy self-love journey
and how I came to realise
they are by far
the least interesting thing about me.
My stretchmarks speak of painfully self-conscious moments
evolving into freeing self-acceptance.

I’ve been treating myself kindly.
Life has been too unbearable to go on dreading looking in the mirror
at my bare body,
and picking at each unforgivable flaw.
Turns out, forgiveness is mine to give
And I will do so
Unapologetically.

– Patricia