The Empty Space Between Us: From Here to Then

[I enrolled myself in this online writing course a year ago.
A 15-day workshop accessible for one year.
A challenge in nature of Writing True.
And I got stuck in Day 4. But I am not anymore]

Day 4 of 15 – Slow Travel and Mindful Wandering #15DaysofWritingTrue
“Sit, observe, and take notes for 30 minutes.
When you are done, you may take a break or go home.
When you are ready to write, study the notes you’ve made
And see what you can extract out of it.”

I remember sitting and observing people and trees and grasses.
Feeling the wind as it touches the layers of my skin,
Passing through and through my pores.
In half an hour or so, I was done. I went home.
But I wasn’t ready to write.
I took a break, roughly a year break.

And now I feel at home again.

Secured and feeling safe amidst all the uncertainties hanging.
Entranced by the tracks of sounds exploding in the sky.
Rained upon by the blesssings and hardships falling.
All else, fleeting.

I know I have been away for such a long time.
An unprecedented, but a necessary space.
For chasing the growth, and building the longing..
Of valuing more the morphing of a half to a whole.
And here it is, the writing, welcoming me still in open arms.
It waited without me having to ask. Warm and patient and kind.
A true love I’m undeserving to receive but receiving it anyway.

Circling back my ties with writing and feeling and loving..
An electric tingling all over my body covers me as I recall my mental notes
Of that day I wandered for the sake of wandering.
An orgasm manifesting to its own pleasurable ways.
My hairs standing to the idea of me getting back with pens and papers,
It greeting me like we met for the first time.
Curious and excited to experience me in a whole new level.
Ever so intimate making up for the time spent away from each other.

It was around May 2017..
The pieces I saw were random and not all of them made sense.
It was prismatic and bound to dissolve with light and time.
I mean, how can an ice wrapper ever reached the top branches of that high tree?
I wonder if it’s still there.
Or how this old guy placed himself on a bench next to mine and had his mind wander as well?
I wonder if he sits there often.
Or how these two young ladies cling and kiss under the broad daylight like there’s no one watching?
I wonder if they are as bold and courageous today.

I can narrate all the snippets within those 30 minutes of wandering.
But here’s a thought demanding for my attention, striking me with intensity I cannot ignore.
I am realizing now, as I write, that I haven’t sat, observed, and took notes for just half an hour.
It took me roughly a year..
To wander,
And to be home again.

Grateful of my metamorphosis, I am ever more bedazzled by the ones external to me.
Especially those that had and is still affecting me in ways they do.
From here to then, a friend got married to the love of her life,
And now carrying a life in her womb.
From here to then, a friend launched his shirt brand
And had just flown to New Zealand for his next adulting adventures.
From here to then, a lover has transformed into a trusted friend,
And now embarking into a big investment in life.
From here to then, a friend has learned to trust again,
And now rooting in his guts the future he wants to build for himself.
From here to then, I had loved and lost,
And now I have loved again.

This empty space between me
Then and now
I wondered through it.
And it was magical.
It is for us to fill, for us to use,
For us to experience,
And for us to make it worthwhile.
Not everything made and is making sense.
And it is magical.




In the context of growth, character development, and filling empty spaces, let me share what I wrote for the Day 2 of #15DaysofWritingTrue..

I remember the first times.
And as I am remembering the reason why I picked this photo, it is eliciting a number of unexplained mixture of good feelings.
I know exactly why I chose this, but to dwell on that meaning gives an entirely different taste to it.

My eyes are swelling, but it does not give justice to how my heart feels.
I remember the first times, always. And this one extends to more first times than I expected.

I was flying to Myanmar from Thailand that day.
A two-week immersive traveling to Burmese sunrises and sunsets, to weird yellow natural sunblocks, to dusty roads, to skirted men.
This was my first solobackpacking, which started from Vietnam to Cambodia to Thailand then to Myanmar.
But at the end of this trip, I was meeting again the very first friend I made in my adventure.

Second day of backpacking, I met this Italian guy. Became facebook friends and unintentionally kept in touch with each other.
Second to the last day of backpacking, which happened to be my birthday as well, we met again.
He was telling me in a very detailed manner how he is admiring my photography works.
And I was there, sitting in front of him, staring at him in awe, as his words travel to me.
It feels infinite and true and ecstatically overwhelming how he fills my heart with fire.

I must have had stared at him for too long for he snapped me out with words out of the context.
I did not have the words to fill the silence at the moment and I may not have had thanked him the way I wanted to.
I am so bad at receiving compliments that I may need a training for that.

But really, all I wanted to say is that, he has given me a reason to love.
That moment was so elating it has embedded in the deepest of my bones and soul.

It was a reason for me to love myself a bit more, to be kinder a bit more.
It was a reason for me to admire my works a bit more, to be bolder a bit more.
It was a reason for me to love how I dream for my dreams, to be candor a bit more.

Today, I have come to a full circle.
To a realization that I have raised my self-love to a level a bit higher than yesterday.
To love one’s self, every good and bad, every dream and failures, every victors and aspirations.

All photos are taken by the writer unless otherwise stated

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