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DoodleScribbles

Scribblings and scrawls of a hopeless romantic soul

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The Witching Hour

It’s 3 am.

I wake up to the monotonous sound of the fan. An unpleasant feeling starts to claw its way out of my chest and I begin to understand why they call this time of the day ‘the witching hour’.

Perhaps because here, in the quiet, we get to sit side by side with the unknown. That feeling of being sad, anxious, drained and lost for no apparent reason. Or maybe we simply just can’t pinpoint.

Many times I have put my heart out only to end up more dejected. You see, when you have all the reasons to be happy, people think you can’t feel otherwise. When you do, they ask you why. As if I am not as equally frustrated finding out the reason myself.

Somebody once told me that perhaps I’m being ungrateful. I have caring friends and family. A stable job. A pile of books. A passion in writing and exploring the outdoors. I have found love and life. So why would I not be okay?

I look to my left hoping that the bare wall knows the answer. It does not. An hour has passed yet there is still a clamor in my head. I want to go out for a long walk. But I fear they might burn me like they did to witches.

Carousels

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All my life I’ve suffered from motion sickness. Take me on a car or bus ride and I’d know right then what’s bound to happen. Once, on a van ride home, I tried to withstand it. A few kilometers passed and I started feeling weird as if the butterflies in my stomach wanted to break free. My throat went dry and the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. I thought I’d make it to ten but I was already throwing up at five. Experts said motion sickness is caused by mixed signals sent by our inner ears and our eyes to our brain. Well whatever it is, curse it.

There is a reason why I love long walks and hate the rides. But carousels are an exemption. For ours was a carousel ride. Your love took this heart round and round and round. You sent my butterflies flying in an uneasy state. My inner ears and eyes were sending mixed signals to my brain. My ears — they heard my scream and told my brain this needs to stop. My eyes — they’re drawn to you and told my brain it is time that needs to stop. Unable to comprehend, the air left my lungs gasping. One, two, three. I started counting. But then you held my hands and I lost count of the numbers. The world stopped turning and the hour hands paused.

I love the carousel but I also want it to end. I want us to go north to see the beaches, south to hike the mountains. I want a destination not just a merry-go-round. I want commitment not just falling in and out of love. But if you ask me on a carousel ride, I’d still take it. I’d withstand motion sickness until you decide to make this a journey instead of running round and round.
MS


Facebook reminded me that I wrote this piece two years ago this day. In 2017, I attended the two-day Cebu Literary Festival x Komiket event. Back then, my world was only limited to the four corners of my room or the pages of my books. It was a crucial year of existential crisis, all bottled up for so long. I struggled to find purpose and failed. It felt like I was functioning on auto pilot every single day and the only thing that would separate me from a robot would probably be poetry. Reading through my old poems, I could see how I was in a chaotic emotional mess. A hopeless romantic. An anxious human being trying to recreate her world through words. This piece is just one of those. I wrote it while listening to spoken word artists performing in front of me. In my mind I wanted to take the stage and express. In my heart, I just knew I can’t.

PLOT TWIST: Fast forward to 2018, I found myself onstage stuttering to the words of Pasabta Ko Palihug, a spoken word in my local dialect. Time flies! 😀

Snippet: Another ‘what if’

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What if love is not just about falling? We romanticize so much this act of tripping, slipping, losing control and crashing into another person that we forget that love isn’t always a downward act. It is should not be qualified as sacrificial to the point of self-destruct. Because you see, the beauty of love is not only seen in our collapse, but in how it builds the best version of ourselves. It’s not just about what we give up but how we lift our person up.

“I’ll take care of myself for you and you’ll take care of yourself for me.”

Isn’t that a beautiful thing?

 


I was skimming through my unpublished posts when I came across this draft. A while ago, I had a conversation with a friend on whether or not we should quantify love by the amount of material, time, attention, effort, and sacrifice we give and receive. We had opposing opinions on the matter but it made me reflect a thing or two about relationships. This is one of those what ifs.

My Universe in Verse

According to current thinking, the observable universe is about 93 billion light years in diameter. I am no astronomy expert and the likes of Edwin Hubble would probably disagree when I say that there was a time when the universe molded itself into the right shape to fit just two people.

That day we hiked the trail to the peak expecting to find the place crowded with campers. But it was uncommonly empty. Right then my selfish side wished that no one would ever come. Coelho must have known that when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. Because no one did arrive. We had the billion-star accommodation all for ourselves.

I’ve always wondered what they meant when they said that the universe is infinite. Were they referring to the cosmic wonders from without or to those from within? That night we measured trajectories — not of falling comets but of falling hearts. At daybreak, I caught a momentary silhouette backlit by the rising sun. My sunset man. And what astronomers have not observed is this: sometimes all the mysteries of the universe is found in someone’s hand.

the wide universe
seized to be scientific—
poetic, it was

MS

 

 


In response to dVerse’s Haibun Monday: The Picnic hosted by Gina who challenges to share some picnic themed poems.

Here’s one of my favorite memories with one of my favorite people. The title is inspired by The Universe in Versean annual celebration of science through poetry hosted by Maria Popova at Pioneer Works and The Academy of American Poets

Head over here to join the prompt!

dverse

Worry Not

ours was forged by something greater than hands intertwined. remember how time has showed us how small this world is? from poetry, paperbacks, and people, we found each other on the same path. it took years but what is meant to be will always find its way, so they say. so i need you not to worry.

when i find myself
alone beneath the cerulean sky
i will walk without a sigh, carrying thoughts
of mountains, coffee, and your smile

when you find yourself
waking on a midnight as i drift away
in sleep, a deep slumber that you can’t reach
those are dreams of you i’m chasing

when both time and zones
seem to divide and pull us apart
i promise you we’ll get through it
we will navigate the world of adults

ours isn’t perfect and we haven’t figured everything out yet. but we will— piece by piece, day by day, night by night. we will learn and grow together… and separately. because what is meant to be will always find its way. and the universe is on our side.MS

Solitudine

“Make yourself happy—
not to validate people but
because you simply want to.”

I hope you learn to enjoy the company of yourself first. To not cringe at the thought of being alone. To have the best days of your life in solitary walks. In sunrises and silence. Moonlit nights or perhaps lazy afternoons.

I’m not talking about the I’m-fine-being-alone-I’d-rather-be-by-myself kind of solitude either. I heard you countless of times. Still, I keep seeing that sad look in your eyes. That feigned smile.

Solitude is beautiful and you need not degrade it. It is a choice, not a defense mechanism. So go on and do what you’ve been itching to do. Make yourself happy — not to validate people but because you simply want to. Gain so much that by the time solitude leaves you at bay, you have a lot to give away. To them. To him. To her.
MS

 

 

 

Over and over. Again and again.

At some point in this lifetime, your life will turn upside down. You knees will wobble in chasing your dreams. Your fingers will tremble holding on to hope. Frustration will try to claw out of your throat as fear strangles you by the neck. Your heart will break— terribly. Crushed and trampled on by circumstances or people. You will see life from a shattered mirror and trust me when I say that you will seek the comfort of oblivion.

I have been there.

I turned to silence and locked myself away from the awful world. Noise has also been my recourse to shut the voices screaming in my head. I gave myself an escape only to find I was building a cage. It was empty even when I was in it.

Coelho once wrote that life has a way of testing a person’s will: either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once. I hope when you reach this point in your lifetime, you take a time to breathe. To take a step back. It’s okay to not know all the answers. It’s okay to swim in the ocean of confusion. It’s okay to fall. So take all the time you need to get those knees back up. Those hands ready to grip. And that heart? Remember that it is everything broken and glued back together.

Over and over. Again and again.

What if you didn’t cheat?

What if you didn’t cheat?

I’m sorry, but I can’t find a metaphor for you to get around this thought so I just have to ask it straight to your face.

What if you didn’t cheat?

You would be playing the guitar under the moonlit sky as I sing Daniel Caesar’s Best Part for the seventh time. Your fingers would hurt from strumming and probably your eardrums too from listening. But you would just laugh it out. You always do.

Like when I stepped on your toes while trying to reach a book from the top shelf. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I had no idea who the bearded guy was but I heard reading his book would make one look smarter. So I bought it. And you laughed.

But this is not a night for laughing. This is a night for asking how could a man who loves coffee forgets his mate? How could an ‘I love you’ sound like another woman’s name. How could emptiness sit between two people, with each passing second leaving a stab in the back straight to the heart?

There goes your metaphor.

It’s funny how I can liken cheating to so many things. A scenery gone wrong. Failing an open book test. Salt in a sugar jar. A crime with no punishment.

If only one of them would make the pain a little bearable.

What if you didn’t cheat? I probably wouldn’t have to worry on who I’d be: the girl who walks away or the girl who stays?

MS

You! Yes, you.

You! Yes, you.

You who are probably wearing a little black dress or a loose shirt and skinny jeans or your grandmother’s overalls.

Yes, you.

I want you to know that you can spit them now. Your hatred, your frustration, your anger. You are not a refugee from the past. You are here, now – breathing, living.

When you happen to pass a dark alley and you hear the whistle of lust, it’s okay to fight your might. Do not allow that man to define you in fragments. Skin, neck, legs, breasts and thighs— as if you are a piece of meat that can be pulled apart. I will join you in particicution for we are more than the gates of heaven that opens in one thrust. We are capable of giving them hell.

But, remember, you are also free to take flight. It is not your fault to tremble and feel your body shake. When the outside world and your mind are in equal darkness, it’s okay to cry. This world is cruel and respect is nothing but an amputated speech. I understand your distrust.

I’ve heard it too, passed on to me in soundless words with their lips hardly moving. Yes, they do not touch us but their eyes take off our clothes faster than their hands do. They claim respect but they reduce our worth to the size of an hourglass, a number, a measurement, a color. A rape joke with a disclaimer “do not take it personal”.

You! Yes, you.

Spit it out, that acrid taste of misogyny and sexism. Be angry and be frustrated because this is not what you deserve. Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.

MS


This one’s inspired by Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, a harrowing story chronicling women’s struggle and survival set in a strict patriarchal society. The book is more that just a dystopian classic, it’s a warning to a not-so-distant future.

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