the year is almost over, and i am still alone

november opened with a door of hope, closing abruptly. now i am again in limbo, unsure of what will happen, what will be. i write this today for my future-self, a written reminder of the patience, faith, and resilience you have learned and gathered for the past few months.

allow me to forget proper capitalisations and grammatical rules. there is no room for proofreading in this writing where i just want to pour my heart out. a ramble, some of you may say, an effort to spill the mess i feel, i may say.

since february, i have been alone, on my own, in a foreign country where tongues speak languages, to me, remain unknown. i last held my husband’s hands almost nine months ago. i last kissed the cheeks of my baby sister more than nine months ago. i have been sleeping on a queen-sized bed, half-filled, for over 200 days now.

to say that it was painful would be an understatement. there are moments when i look out, see cars moving as usual, a scene i may have memorised already. i know that the road outside is busiest around 6pm to 8pm. emptiest around 3am. i wonder where they are heading. home? office? to escape? or to come back to their comforting nests?

i may be alone in my cream-colored room, but i know this chasm is not something unique to me. i am fully aware that there are hundred thousands of families with now empty dining chairs, never will be filled. there are husbands and wives apart, managing their kids on their own. there are parents aching to hold their children again. there are some who are turning and tossing every night, wondering when they can get a job. wondering if there are some tucked penny on their holed pockets for tomorrow’s breakfast.

this year is heavy with grief, those i own and those everyone carry, and sometimes i do not know how to not mourn anymore.

positivity can be toxic when it has no empathy. but allow me to share with you how i find some light in this tunnel, no matter how faint.

this year, i learned that i can cook. i can fix some household issues, like a clogged drain, ant infestation, and more. i can build and screw a bookshelf. i can workout regularly, and i am strong enough to do burpees. i can get off of the bed and grasp the floating hope even if my pillows are wet with last night’s break down. i can allow myself to crumble, i can bend my knees and surrender, i can find comfort in reading Psalms. i can be alone and be with God, and feel enough.

while there is so much uncertainty, i hold and stand still with my request to God for the ending of this aloneness before this year ends. i do not know how and if covid cases are the evidences, i would say the odds are not in my favor. but like my life verse says, “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God…”

i will be still. i will surrender my fears. to Him who knows my name even before i was born.

with certainty, i know, years after, i will look back and would thank my present-self for choosing faith in the middle of this storm. for clinging to that one truth He has proven time and time again, that with Him, i am never alone.

11.09.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

on decaying days and pumpkin soup

Monsoon rain
welcomes you,
on my side of
the world.

I hope your
crimson hair
isn’t damp.
You can leave
your slippers out.

I made some
pumpkin soup,
well, this lockdown
taught me how
to cook. Perhaps,
aloneness teaches
humans better
than any book.

I saw some photos
of orange lanes,
your touch is
turning leaves
as gold as wild
wheat’s grain.

Look outside,
nothing much
changed in my
tropical space,
yet, I do feel
the slow decay
of days.

No, don’t ask
me how am I.
It’s a question
dreaded even
by birds flying by.
Just tell me if
2020 will be kinder,
before next year’s
crossover.

Just wash our
fears, October,
let this year’s
extended Halloween
be over.

10.01.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
For dVerse OpenLinkNight #276

10 best reads of 2020 (so far)

This week’s The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday is actually about “Books that Make Me Hungry (They could have food items on the cover, foods in the title, be about foodies or have food as a main plot point… they could be cookbooks or memoirs, etc.)”.

I checked my Goodreads account and figured that I would not be able to satisfy the prompt hence I took this turn. I will be featuring 10 of the best books I’ve read this year (so far!), instead. Please forgive me. 🙂

Just a quick story, back in January, I set my Goodreads Challenge 2020 to 24 books only. This is because in 2019 I was three books short of fulfilling my target reads for the year which is the same number. And then the pandemic happened which forced me to live alone as an expat in a foreign land for almost six months now.

I took refuge in reading so till date, 45 books have served as my company this year. And here are the most amazing so far:

The Remains of the Day

1. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Not a fan of classics but this one changed my mind. It is smooth and reflective and touching, all at the same time.

The Secret Life of Bees

2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I love how Sue Monk Kidd was able to bring depth to each of the character in this book, and incorporate the lovely bees in it.

Dream Work

3. Dream Work by Mary Oliver

If you are looking for quality poems, this book has them.

Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table

4. Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby

Have learned a lot about heart diseases and the lives that have been affected by such in this book. It is interesting to know the story and what is going inside the surgeon’s mind as well.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

5. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

I love how this provided me with the view of a life I was not aware of, the tea-pickers of ancient China. Tender and touching.

A Woman Is No Man

6. A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

This is a book all women of color should read. It is heartrending and powerful

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Suggested by my sister-in-law, this novel is a quick read because it will keep you on turning pages after pages because it is THAT intriguing.

Britt-Marie Was Here

8. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Backman is my new favorite author. Britt Marie has his signature humor, sarcasm, and softness.

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

9. Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou

Maya is Maya and her words will always be aflame with passion and hope.

Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family

10. Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by Mitch Albom

Leaving me in tears, as always, Mitch’s new non-fiction is a beautiful reminder of how parenthood can change one’s heart, and grief as well.

Have you read any of these books? What are your best reads of 2020 so far? Feel free to share in the comment box, with your TTT, too!

09.01.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos via The Artsy Reader and Goodreads
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Questions for my favorite authors

Among the several authors I admire, I have two who have never failed to stir something inside me whenever I read their work. They are Mitch Albom, author of Tuesdays with Morrie, and Maya Angelou, the poetess and writer behind I Know Why the Caged Birds Sings.

The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday this week allows us to ask questions to our favorite authors, either still here with us or not, so below are mine.

  1. Why do you or did you write?
  2. What time of the day do you usually write?
  3. Agatha Christie munched on apples while bathing to have plot ideas, do you have a way to call for your “muse”?
  4. Have you encountered writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
  5. Who among the characters you’ve written do you see yourself the most?
  6. What is the first novel or poem you’ve read?
  7. Who are your writing influences?
  8. What makes a powerful read?
  9. What is the most important lesson that you want to impart to your readers?
  10. How can a writer affect their readers as well as you do?

That would be all. Looking forward to reading your TTTs, too!

08.23.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos via The Artsy Reader and Google
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

A Look Back to Move Forward

blue wooden door

It’s almost two in the morning, I am supposed to be sleeping, probably paddling through the river of dreams this night has to offer. My eyes are sleepy, my body at less than 5% of mortal battery, still I get up, still I write.

The soul would never let this wee hours — when the road outside closed itself to the roars of the rubber tires; when even the nocturnal insects have stopped their midnight jam; when good nights were said, when the world is quiet — be wasted without spilling what’s inside it. Why?

Because today is my birthday.

The nanosecond gap in between two different years has never made me pause, reflect, and think. But my birthdays, oh they never fail.

So tonight, if you have reached this part, forgive my grammar and spelling mistakes, please bear with me as this soul speak out through the method it has always loved — writing.

Perhaps the restlessness roots from the milestones this new year has to offer for me. I am turning 27, and perhaps 2019 is my year of bravery.

This year I will move out not just from my the comfort of my house, but from the land and water territories of my motherland, The Philippines. This year, I will be doing a milestone which for others might be too soon, but for me, is it His time.

This year is the year of changes. Major ones. To say they are not scary is hypocrisy. When I have sometime to think and pause (which rarely happens nowadays), doubts creep in. Did I decide right? Can I really do it? Am I worth their trust? Did I dive too early?

Deep inside I still feel that what I am trying to do is bigger than who I am, greater than what I can, beyond what I used to do.

But that itself is the miracle of it all.

This year is the year of bravery where the old rooms of fears must be locked, securely and tightly, and the keys of them buried six feet deep.

There is no space for fear. There are a lot for faith.

And I write this to remember that yes, my old-self you were afraid. Yes, you probably will fail (both big time and small time). Yes, you probably might cry, get frustrated, reach that brink of giving up.

But you, you must remember that when you heard the first gong of this war, you already  declared bravery, you claimed declared faith.

This ocean might be too deep for someone who cannot even swim in a lake. But you are in a ship where the captain is He who made you.

“Fear not, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed. I am your God.”

Look back. But don’t forget to move forward.

Paired or Not

We are made with working pairs. Your right hand got your left. Your left ear got your right. Your right eye got your left. Your left lung got your right.

We work with built-in pairs. A scissor will never be a scissor, it should be scissors even when added with the phrase “a pair”. Trousers or some called jeans will never be a trouser nor a jean, for the right leg needs the left leg, always.

But we are from a single cell. We are run but one mind. We live with a uni-heart. We are made by one God.

In nights like this, when the clock struck past 12 midnight and you have no one but yourself, you will learn best:

with a pair, or without, your home, your only home, is nowhere but inside

you.

 

08.02.2018
©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

O v e r f l o w

In Psychology they say,
the glass will be half empty
or half full based on
how you see it,

on my way home
late last night,
I paused a minute
to look up
to the hundreds
of the stars I can see,
and the thousands more
I cannot see.

For some reasons
they reminded me
of the many things that stains
my heart with melancholy,
and the much more things
unknown to me
that should paint me happy.

So I choose
to start my journey
to discovering
each unchartered joys
life has hidden for me.

I’m sure the glass
will not only be full,
it
will
overflow.

02.25.2018
©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo by Yeshi Kangrang on Unsplash

Happy Monday, everybody! 🙂

Music Monday: Into The Deep

Your love is a flood and I’m
Caught in the current of Your living waters
It’s Your love, it’s Your love
Your presence is a flood
And I’m caught in the wonder
You have taken me over
You have won my heart

Citipointe Live, Into the Deep


Have a blessed week, beautiful souls!

I’ll be revealing a book news soon!

#IndianInsights No. 1

27540895_865572310282444_4725594702736058684_n

Hello, everyone! I’ve been out and about for some good reasons. Work. Life. Birthday. and. Travel. Before my birthday month ended, I embarked into a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. A solo trip to India, my first out-of-the-country alone! And I would like to share with you my learnings and realizations via #IndianInsights series. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this, guys!

#IndianInsights No. 1: Bring an open mind. Leave beliefs behind.

Whenever I mention my India trip, people will warn me about two things aside from rape: dirt and stink. The basis? Shared personal anecdotes and travel videos.

Dirt is fine. Manila isn’t as clean as Singapore. But stink is a different story. So I flew ready with Vicks inhaler and a little bottle of oil from my former bossy. Better be ready than sorry. 😁

The moment I got in the plane from Kuala Lumpur to Kolkata, I braced myself and started sniffing (which I’m so good at). They said the flight will be a nice introduction to India’s smell. Thankfully, there is none. Yet.

When my plane landed, when I came out of the airport, when I got in a taxi, when I entered the train which will take me from Kolkata to NJP, my sniffing was in full mode. My hand, ready to grab the oil anytime. To my surprise, a single drop wasn’t necessary.

Yes, Kolkata is not so clean, but it isn’t stinky as it is believed to be.

There is nothing wrong in coming ready. In believing stories. In researching about a new place. But I’ve learned an open mind is more than essential. You’ll never know how a country, a place, a human heart can surprise you.

Like how I thought I can only see a cherry blossom tree in Japan and in South Korea. Then I stumbled upon this lone Himalayan cherry blossom. (Some research says cherry blossoms are originally from the Himalayas. 😊)

What a beautiful surprise, isn’t it? 😊

Endings and Beginnings (2017 Edition)

Oh, what a rollercoaster you have been, 2017?

The leaves of this year’s calendar is all but gone. With Sara Bareilles “December” playing on my background, with the lyrics:

Distill a whole year down into a day
Act like we all start over with a pristine slate
But to get yourself a new life you’ve got to give the other one away
And I’m starting to believe in the power of a name
‘Cause it can’t be a mistake if I just call it change

let me try to write about this crazy year and what I hope for the next.

The text cursor keeps on blinking, my mind keeps on trying to find the beginning of this post. Where should I start?

So… January 2017 I turned 25 (which I kind of talked about in this poem). It is like 1/3-life-crisis as I remember asking myself, “What have you done? What have you finished? What have you created that you should be proud of?”

It’s a crazy state of asking questions no one can actually answer. So in the end of it all, I let it be. (I’ve been so good at letting things be this year. Not sure if that is good or bad though.)

After the milestone birthday, blog world has been silent while I pour all my energy on Instagram. The camaraderie of the poets there reminded me of how it was here on WordPress, when I was just getting acquainted with my poet-self. I remember being around the awesome group of poets who grew and learned with me. Until one by one they left.

Come May, I released my first poetry collection, Between My Bleeding Lines

BLEEDING LINES

It was exciting to see your words printed and published with a lovely cover by my dear Sarah Doughty. I have honestly no high hopes for this one, and true to “what you think will happen, happens”, it did not soar. Does it matter?

It will be a hypocrite answer to say, “No, book sales doesn’t matter.” Because it does. Who wouldn’t want to hit it big in the first try? Who wouldn’t want to be like Lang Leav and Rupi Kaur? Of course, I do. But I’ve got no expectations and maybe has so little faith. And it showed. It doesn’t make the journey of birthing a book a little less exciting and fulfilling, though. 🙂

Publishing is an uncharted sea I was able to try this year. While the reward isn’t as fruitful, the lessons I learned and the people that made the baby book possible are enough rewards for now. 🙂

In between the hullaballoo of the release and the consistent posting on Instagram, are work tasks which eventually lead me to another “first” of the year which happened last October! My first airplane ride, my first beach experience, and my first out-of-the-country travel trip! (Thailand! :D)

20171012_112933

And 2017 won’t let itself end without a bang as after I went to Thailand for a client’s event, a new job was waiting for me. I was accepted. Considering the family and not myself, I have to accept. Here we go. I have to dive into another uncharted sea.

In between these milestones, I have loved and I have lost. I have given a second chance, and right now, I think that battle is another war that I’ve lost. I want to believe that I’m a brave and not a coward soldier, who knows when to give up. ‘Cause I’m laying down my sword and my armour, it’s time to let people go.

Apologies for such a melancholic post, but believe me, I have a tired heart filled with hope. Like a badly wounded soldier, I’m dusting off my knees and cleaning my wounds.

I am ready for 2018 and the amazing ride it will bring. I am ready to swim the strange sea. I am ready to love and be loved again. I am ready to write and try and try again. I am not at my best position right now, but it doesn’t mean it won’t get better.

It is far better to start the year on bended knee, for that’s the best time to call to the mighty He. I know He will be with me.


HAPPY NEW YEAR, everybody!