A Way of Looking at a Swan

Wear this poem,
like a heart on your sleeve!
I, too, wear it as a token of affection and gratitude
to let the world know
that I love.

To love you is to walk in love,
a promise of unfailing double beauty.
At cockcrow and twilight
I tiptoe along the lake
like a lunatic.

An obsession seems an infatuation
romanticised to impress,
but we both know
I need you.

Oh, you enchantment!
Where do you hide?
Was ours a summer fling never to hold?

I search high and low, but in vain.
Your silence overwhelms,
for you came trumpeting
in spring.

Forget the grace,
beauty is not hard to find
but the air you breathe and release
for my sustenance.

Show me true love
to break a hardened soul;
a devotee demands a commitment.

In broad daylight,
you strut self-assured,
unapologetic for your crimes
and all come to a halt—

Beauty presses upon my heart
and I bring the matter to open court,
for ours is a requited love.
On my sleeve,
I wear my heart.

Two swans on the lake

ps: Yesterday, August 26th, was Finland’s Nature Day. Since the swan is the country’s national bird, and my muse of sorts, I thought it fitting to close summer by shining a spotlight on this majestic bird.

Happy Sunday! Hope you enjoy what is left of summer. ♥

When Rest is a Requirement

Your body is your best guide. It constantly tells you, in the form of pain or sensations, what’s working for you and what’s not.” — Hina Hashmi

The world will never stop spinning, and so is the rat race that is our modern life. Because the cheese keeps moving. Just to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with constant learning, adapting, or having the latest shiny thing. But it’s the emphasis on must have or should do in order to be always ahead of the game that is problematic. Whose game is it, anyway?

Hence, it’s up to us to say that’s it for the day. I’m taking a break, I’ll continue tomorrow. Easier said than done, I know. Rewards from our hard work are sweeter than honey. But there’s a price for everything, especially for chasing the rainbow. And rest becomes a requirement not a reward.

On illness

Illness is not a favourite topic. Some don’t want to talk about it. Others don’t want to hear about it. We tend to lean more towards cheerful stories; we want to be entertained. Because hey, life is hard for everyone!

But to be ill is human. So, I’ll go ahead and talk about my illness, for the benefit of anyone in a similar situation. To say you are not alone. Also, I hope to reduce the stigma (fatphobia) surroundings gallstones and self-judgement about things I could have done better to avoid losing my gallbladder.

For me, ill health became the price of chasing the rainbow. My body has been signalling a problem for a while. But I ignored the whispers. Then it took to shouting. And I said, “Wait a bit, let me just finish this project.” By the time I was ready to listen, it had completely shut down.

Image of a ‘Get Well Soon’ card

I’m now a member of the “gallbladder-less club.” But I can’t even begin to tell you how relieved I am the ordeal with gallstones is over. Though death from gallstones is said to be uncommon, each gallbladder attack felt like my exit, this past spring. Because I’ve never experienced such severe pain before. It literally took my breath away, at times.

It turns out I’m not dying just yet. It’s been a week now since surgery. I’m feeling much better; the body is healing well. But the mind still plays tricks; I’m still afraid of food, as if it’s going to bite me back. I guess, achieving freedom from micromanaging my diet will take longer than the fading of physical scars.

Thanks to all who provided comfort, cat videos (despite the physio’s warning that laughing will hurt for a while) and holding my hand throughout. 🙂

On the allure of reading as a form of rest

Any avid reader will agree that reading as a form of rest and relaxation is a timeless sentiment. No matter how much information we consume online, we always return to a good book. Immersing oneself in a good book offers a vital reprieve for our attention.

I can’t do any physical or strenuous activities, at the moment. My body has forced me to make reading a regular part of my relaxation ritual, again. I’m glad of it. The tranquil nature of reading and the sense of calm are happiness, right now! Anyway, I share some of my reads on beauty, in the upcoming newsletter.

On other news and book releases I’m excited about

1) In Search of Salve: Memoir of a Sex Addict by K.E. Garland

As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, Kathy writes with such unflinching honesty and on delicate subjects. But she won’t leave you raw and bleeding, rather with an important to learn. She is truly inspirational.

I feel privileged and honoured to have received an advance copy. And I’m saying it again, this is a book you want as one of your autumn reads. The release is in September. But you can pre-order your copy now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Bookshop.org.

*Book cover image courtesy of the author

2) The Horror Collection: Monster Edition by KJK Publishing

I’m also looking forward to a short prequel to an unpublished novel by one of my favourite horror writers, Christina Bergling.

It’s part of the collection mentioned above. And as she states, hers is a deeply personal bit of body horror about hair loss.

*Book cover image courtesy of Christina Bergling.

If you’re not familiar with alopecia, learn a bit about it from Christina’s experience, My Alopecia Blog.

OK, that’s a lot to digest. But I’ll leave you with this question. If you were paid to rest, how much would you charge?

Take a break and savor the season you’re in!

A Way of Looking at Summer

i. Ahh, summer—what would you have me say of you?

ii. I emptied myself the darkness of three years to feel à gogo that is my laughter.

iii. But what of a strange bird mocking songs of a nightingale, when play was promised!

iv. June is a month of happiness, for the in-laws gave me their son.

v. A celebration.

vi. I had my eyes set on “The Land of the Muses” where everyone is born a poet. To chisel words not for posterity, but as evidence of being alive.

vii. Alas, overtorture is overtourism!

viii. For I carry precious gems, amulets of protection that zap any remnant of energy.

ix. Gallstones.

x. “Play without action is only an intention,” says the entertainment brochure I leaf through while sitting in a Pendolino train.

xi. A way of looking at summer—when your body is on a riot—slow yourself down.

xii. Rest—

xiii. Then get up and play.

A throwback photo of the Birthday Boy and Yours Truly, while interrailing around Europe.

It’s officially summer in my part of the world, good people! And my summer wish list is simple: rest and play. How about you? What are you up to or what kind of summer activities help you strike a perfect balance between rest and play? Please do share! 🙂

Happy Summer or whatever season you are in! <3