Stream of Unconsciousness
I am staring at my coffee cup. Life is Diving in Heart First, it says. But what does it mean? Is it not just a troupe of words, forced to put on an acrobat show for its readers so they can feel good about having to spend cups of coffee everyday worth, in the end, half their monthly salary. So they can hold on to those somewhat uplifting words on their coffee cups as they walk to their offices. While they are in reality just grabbing their coffee cups. So hard they nearly crush them. And then put them on their tables, a foreground to their Polaroid photos with friends, cute Ghibli figurines, and a colourful calendar where day offs and holidays are decorated with bright Sharpies on many patterned washi tapes.
I have dodged many balls (of several kinds) that life threw at me. Pretty close shave most of them were. This is not me humble bragging; on the contrary, I am aware more are coming still. There is fog now ahead; it tires me to put my guard up all the time. And wordplay does not do me anything.
I believe I have come to the point where coffee is just coffee. When I want a cuppa, I just want a cuppa. In a sterile white paper cup. Or in a clear glass cup. Nothing more. Nothing less.
But last night my husband found a piece of paper in our seven-year-old daughter's wallet. We unfolded the letter to find her handwritten words,
in our hands.
I don't have any bestfriend on school
My friends is playing a game that I can't
I once play it but I get confused
My tummy is a bit sick when there's a test
I think I gonna fail on the math test
On the art test I forgot to brought crayons
Well on the bright side art is last
I just finish my science test it's a tinsy tiny a little bit hard
On the bright side it's olny tinsy tiny hard right
And one more hour it's a break
I just want to be at home
but i'm the olny child even thought i want sister or brother*
On the bright side.
Where has it gone now, my child?
It pained me to imagine her sitting behind the desk in her classroom, most of her classmates still finishing the exercise their teacher gave them, while she had finished it and decided to use the time to write down her confusion. She had seen a glimpse of the wor(l)d, as both the sword and the bitten apple.
I slipped into a stream leading to a yet seen waterfall. I tried to keep my head up on the surface. But the current carried me anyway. Hands with slender fingers kept pulling on my feet. It was tiring to fight everything. But this battle has chosen me.
Everyday words, chit chats, intellectually and emotionally crafted, useless, jagged, stuttering, screaming, tender, fleeting, forgotten, stupid, nonsensical words.
(Too loud, too many.
To choose our own battle.
For a child. In all of us.)
Enlightening as they are blinding.
*These three paragraphs are taken verbatim from my daughter Jaemanis’ originally one-page long letter, including the misspellings and grammatical errors, with her permission.