My pen glides across the paper smoothly, endless lines, stanza by stanza. Prose by prose. Black, magnificent ink flows across the page, like a river, my thoughts exposed, for all the world to see. Uninhibited, unfiltered, raw, poignant. But my hands are in pain, terrible pain as the strain of writing takes a toll on my weather-worn hands. Can’t you see? It is crying out in agony, lashing out in pain. These hands, they have journeyed through storms and vast seas with me. These hands, they dance on the piano effortlessly. But, now, they are tired. They are very tired of trudging on, just like me.
It is World Mental Health Day. For some, it is just an ordinary day, for others, it is a day of celebration; for commemoration. For some, it signifies a new beginning, a new start. For others, it is a day to thank their family members and caregivers and friends who stood by their side. For some, they feel fortunate, for they thought they would never live past 24, or 30, or whatever the arbitrary number is. World Mental Health Day brings new promises, new hopes, new dreams. The past is washed away by those who won the fight against their inner demons. There are people still fighting arduous battles. War-hardened veterans come along to support them, to make sure they last through the night and emerge triumphantly. They say sanity is a blessing, and recovery is a journey. I couldn’t agree more. It is easy to take your sanity for granted if you have not experienced what it is like to hallucinate and see in technicolour, or see things others do not see. The devastating and hopeless feelings of desperation at 3 a.m. You would not understand. Life is what you make of it: good or bad, happy or sad. You take the good with the bad and hope that the good outnumber the bad. Let us not take our sanity for granted, because it is a very precious resource. Self-care is very important, and let us take time out from the stresses of life.
A small faded grey wisp,
Of a moth desperately clinging on.
To the stained windowpane for dearest life,
While the sun’s glaring rays wear it down.
The engine roars like an urban jungle cat,
Edgily jerking forward, bit by bit.
Increased speed equals terror,
For frail wisps rarely survive long.
Flags flapping against heavy gusts of wind,
As if one was struggling to breathe underwater.
Desperately blowing noisy bubbles,
To avoid a drowning doom through flailing.
Heavy limbs gazing as weary eyes glazed,
Till surroundings from the surface above
Became but haze from a mad, flurry daze.
The storm brewed and raged on and on, with lightning flashes across the sky. Torrents of rain poured from the vast and infinite sky, incessantly and endlessly. The sound of thunder struck fear into the bravest of hearts. It seemed like we would not make it through the night. But the rain slowly subsided, the skies turned brighter, from Prussian blue, to cerulean blue, and then baby blue. The clouds did not look as threatening as before. Where previously they were various shades of imposing angry grey, now they were white like cotton candy in the sky. Rays of sunlight emanated from the sun. Bands of red, orange, blue and green emerged from the clear, azure sky; the ornate colours of the rainbow. Drops of dew dripped from green leaves. As i take a sip, it is so refreshingly cool. Flowers, dressed in their pink and yellow clothes, dance to the invisible beat of the distant drum. The storm is over, the skies are clear. We made it through another day. There is a rainbow after the storm after all.
It is hard to be grateful in times when everything does not seem to go right, and the waves of turbulence are crashing over you. Sometimes life seems so bleak and you feel aimless, like a piece of driftwood floating in the sea. I try to count my blessings, such as the fact that I am safe and sound. That I am not incarcerated or held captive, and I can go wherever my heart takes me. I know that I am in my final lap of completing my degree, and that is something to be happy about. My father is paying for my university fees, and although the purse strings have to be tightened, he dutifully pays for it every semester. I feel glad that I passed my harrowing piano exam, as I was shaking and trembling through it. Although I may not know what jobs are suitable for me after I graduate, I believe there is a vast array of opportunities waiting for those who are hungry for knowledge and to learn. I am thankful for having clean water and sanitation, and to be able to sleep in comfortable quarters every night.