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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

Author

maria

Vignette: Make-believes

I want to ask you to leave. To desert this open field that I am in before the flowers grow and wilt. But I can’t. I choose not to. Because deep within the chambers of this heart, a part of me begs for you to stay.
I want to believe that ours is like the coffee – bittersweet. That we can laugh and scream at each other but we will always end up cuddling under the night sky. You, tracing the stars. I, smiling at the moon.
I want to believe that we can sing our differences away and find common ground in love. That we can dance, barefoot, amid the prickly grass. My head on your shoulder, your arms round my waist.

I want to believe. I want to. I want.

Tonight I Can Write (The Saddest Lines) by Pablo Neruda

Featured poems and spoken word poetry

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.

Write, for example, ‘The night is starry and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.’

The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.

Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.

She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.

Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.

To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.

What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.

This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.

The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.

Another’s. She will be another’s. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.

I no longer love her, that’s certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.

Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.

Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.


Sharing this poem from Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who died on this day in 1973. Neruda is known for writing pieces that are tender and melancholic, explicit and romantic, surreal and political. While there are controversies that surround this man, he is unquestionably one of the best literary gifts the world has ever had.

There is no easy way to get to you, is it?

And yet again I let you slip between the gaps of my fingers. I always pride myself for having words as my sword and my shield but you — you always manage to disarm me. My lips are forged into a pair of frustration and denial; my tongue tied like a knot.

“I’m okay, I don’t care”, chants the unsung hero in my sleep. Another night of deep sighs. Another night of uttering the words I will never get to say. There is no easy way to get to you, is it? I was always a step behind your smile. Too close but not close enough. Now I’m a step behind the aisle. And you… you will always be the wind I fail to catch with these hands.

six one eight

i have watched too many sunsets in silence
silhouettes intensify against a blue-and-ocher sky
to this day, i still look for you in its changing color
my palms still grasp for the galaxy of dust suspended in the air

i call for the gods whose names taste strange in my mouth
my throat still refuses to abandon all yearning
would the heavens know of ways to letting you go?
tell me, how long do heartbreaks last?

out there, a child laughs,
a dog barks, and every lamp post in the streets is lit
august slips away in slow motion, and here i am
trying to write a good story before the dusk collects past’s due

what would the universe take this time?
for i only have this poem to offer or my life.

Book Review: The Devil and Miss Prym by Paulo Coelho

Genre: Fiction/Religion/Philosophy
Copy: Paperback
Rating: 🌕🌕🌕🌕🌖

Short Synopsis: A stranger arrives at the remote village of Viscos, carrying with him a backpack containing a notebook and eleven gold bars. He comes searching for the answer to a question that torments him: Are human beings, in essence, good or evil? In welcoming the mysterious foreigner, the whole village becomes an accomplice to his sophisticated plot, which will forever mark their lives.

A novel of temptation by the internationally bestselling author Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym is a thought-provoking parable of a community devoured by greed, cowardice, and fear—as it struggles with the choice between good and evil. 

Five reasons to read the book:

1) The questions it asks. Are human beings inherently good or evil? Why do we give in to temptations? How far can we go for it? What is more important: the life of one innocent or the prosperity of many? Does the end justify the means? Reading each page of The Devil and Miss Prym is like solving a series of trolley dilemma. Coelho, in a carefully crafted fiction, throws ethical and moral questions at you that leave plenty of room for nuances and introspection.

2) Chantal Prym is all of us. Chantal is not a likeable character; she has her faults and weaknesses just as she has goodness and strengths. We’ve all been through the same struggle where our morals, ego, and what we think we deserve clash. That is why it is easy to BE her in the story.

3) It’s good without being preachy. It doesn’t pit good and evil but instead, shows the correlation between man, and good and evil. The Devil and Miss Prym reminds us of our free will and the consequences that come with it. Everything is matter of choice, big or small.

4) The time frame. As with the two other books in the trilogy, And on the Seventh Day, this story chronicles a week in the life of Chantal. I like how I can be “in the moment” without thinking much about the characters’ past or future.

5) Coelho’s trademark prose and mysticism. While not everyone is into his kind of writing, I enjoyed every page of this book.

Highlighted Quotes: 

“Whenever you want to achieve something, keep your eyes open, concentrate and make sure you know exactly what it is you want. No one can hit their target with their eyes closed.”

“People want to change everything and, at the same time, want it all to remain the same.”

“So you see, Good and Evil have the same face; it all depends on when they cross the path of each individual human being.”

“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready.”

“Victories and defeats form part of everyone’s life – everyone, that is, except cowards, as you call them, because they never lose or win.”

Final Thoughts: 

Truth is, I had more questions than answers after reading this book. Though this is not the first time for I felt the same with Veronika Decides to Die and By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept. But I like how Coelho continues to give me more reasons to be interested at life and living.

Here’s a snippet from a note I wrote when I first read The Devil and Miss Prym in 2012:

Every day is a struggle between good and evil — not one person is completely noble or totally wicked. We encounter questions and situations that put us in a crossroad between right and wrong. At most times, the hardest part is weighing things right. The things that we do, the words that we say, and the thoughts that we contemplate rely on how we deal with the overlapping dos and don’ts. In the end, the decision is ours on which is which…

Because just as what Paulo Coelho said,
“It was all a matter of control. And Choice.
Nothing more, nothing less.”


Posting this long-overdue review in celebration of Paulo Coelho’s 74th birthday today. Feliz cumpleaños, Sr. Coelho. Que tengas una larga vida y nos hagas muchos libros. ❤

 

Book Talk: How do you beat reading slump?

I have not read for a while now. One of my bookmarks is stuck on page 60 of Atwood’s Alias Grace; the other is on page 12 of Ikigai.

I could not keep up.

My mind is in disarray. There’s a live wire inside of me that carries alternating concern and indifference. If I switch between the two, I’d short circuit either way.

A funny metaphor, I know. And probably erroneous too, but who would pay much attention to such mistake when the world has had enough of it?

How are you?
Are you living well?
I hope so…

This is me on my third try at getting back to life. It Cornwell’s From Potter’s Field this time.

Lament of the Dead

I have always known I’d die this way—
Hands reaching for what’s left of the sunset
Wilted and dried
Like a sunburnt flower left in a barren land

Sadness almost feels like a second skin now
Purple bruises scatter from unbidden words
They pierce, they hurt
Reminding me of the borrowed prose I never get to return to the world

They say our entire life flashes before our eyes on our deathbed
But I saw a person instead—
Dimples and heavy brows,
A portrait of the carefree man I met at Bo’s

Something pokes from inside my darkened rib
Was it regret? Guilt? Or something else?
More, more
I need more time, Charon

Let me immortalize this man with words
Soak my pen in desperation, desire and dread
I have always known I’d die this way—
But why must it have to be today?

My hands reach for the last of the sunset
I cry for borrowed prose I never get to return to the world

Quick Notes: Contemporary YAs that once made my young heart flutter

Last night, for the first time after a long while, I opened my Goodreads account. How time flies… This is where I used to keep a real-time update on my reading progress before.

Now, it remains a quiet place of dusty virtual bookshelves.

In my boredom, I found delight in skimming my old posts — especially reading my thoughts on contemporary YAs. It brought me back to the time when I was most hopeless romantic. Still is (though a little older now). I’m grateful for these books for filling the gap in my lack of experience on love and heartaches. For inspiring some of my poems and short stories. For making my young hear flutter.

Hence, I’ve decided to share them here in WordPress. Perhaps, some people here needs a little extra cheese or a quick read. Hope this helps.

  1. The Awaken series by Katie Kackvisnky – A dystopia rather than a love story. This is how I would describe the Awaken series. It is set in 2060, a not-so-distant future, where human interaction is almost nonexistent due to the fact that everything can be done online. Kids attend digital school, friends and families get together virtually, shopping are done by the touch of a keypad, etc. These are imagined scenes that are slowly turning into reality in today’s world. A must-read in this digital era.
⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Life should be a risk. It’s more than a straight line that you can see clearly from one point to the other. It dips and curves and you never know what’s around the bend sometimes until you get there. That scares a lot of people. But that’s the beauty of it.” ―Awaken

Continue reading “Quick Notes: Contemporary YAs that once made my young heart flutter”

Quick Notes: Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Genre: Realistic Fiction/Philosophy/Mental Health
Copy: Paperback
Rating: 🌕🌕🌕🌖

“Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.”

This line from Mitch Albom’s Tuesdays with Morrie perfectly summarizes Veronika Decides to Die for me.

Inspired by events from Coelho’s past life, this book tells the story of Veronika — a 24-year-old woman who seems to have everything anyone could ever ask for. Nonetheless, she feels dissatisfied and makes a decision to end her life. She lives and survives and finds herself in a mental asylum where her life completely change.

I finished Veronika Decides to Die last week but it took me a while to wrap my emotions around it. Not sure if it’s the timing, since I was going through another anxiety phase when I was reading it; or because I haven’t considered suicide yet; or because Veronika’s troubles hit very close to home.

Life and death are the central themes of the story, as are madness and conformity.

This book will make you ponder on the consequences of living a repressed life, one that conforms to the norms set by society or that is bounded by one’s own limiting beliefs. It will have you thinking about the days when you feel like Veronika (tired of your prosaic life), or Zedka (unable to keep your emotions at ease), or Mari (too afraid so you choose to escape the real world), or Eduard (constrained by other people’s demand and pressure). It will make you question your authenticity — and insanity.

What would I do if death comes sooner than I expected? Truth is, I don’t know. But just as Vilette is a “safe place” for these people to express themselves, I’d say poetry is my own. Perhaps through these poems, I’d get to figure out myself and life.

Overall, this novel left me more questions than realizations (which is a good thing). Looking forward to finding the answers as I live my numbered days. 😀

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