Prose for you

It was quick. That brief moment instant, I don’t know how we actually got there. 
Or maybe I do. Perhaps, somewhat. It had been just you and I, you know, the usual goofing around, me cracking my brazen and unapologetic puns, you smiling in queer admiration; you going on and on about that funny thing that happened earlier on in the day, and me, laughing. We were quite content, I know as we usually are, sitting in our favourite swivel chairs, the grey plastic ones with wheels. One instant my attention was fleeting – from the reflection of the window-pane, to the light glazing through, to the patterns on your bedsheet, to all the little trinkets on your shelf which you are obsessed with, and to our dying laughter at your anecdote. Gareth had defended his ignorance in a way that could be interpreted in more than one way, and those specific other ways had made you all burst – slowly, then all at once. You had told that me about it twice now already, so you must find it very hilarious. That is you.

But I did not see what could have come next. 
In the dying laughter, our dying laughter, she pushed her swivel-chair towards me with a gentle push against the ground with her two feet, finding some fun in zooming on wheels like a child on a spaceship. There had been a considerable distance between her and I, which almost suddenly disappeared. But I wasn’t surprised then, since every time she lunged for my sides, the same kinds of things happened, and the distance just became rather negligible. We would end up in another tickle battle. I supposed this was what this would be, so I was somewhat bracing myself.

But you did not aim your fingers for my waist, to get me to laugh. My legs had been slightly open as I sat in the chair watching you, and everything was pretty accurate: your right knee sliding between my two knees, your left leg next to my right. I was rather taken aback, with this sandwiching of my and your legs. It all happened as I heard the sound of one of your chair legs hitting one of mine with a soft plastic click. And now we were sitting facing each other, and I didn’t move, just looking quite surprised and curious, then looking at you. It all sounds so weird now that I describe what you just did. It did not occur to me then.  

Then her left knee bobbed a little against mine, very slow, as she asked with a grin, “How about you?” It is as if the best adjective for you would be mischievous, but then again I do not know what it is that you want. Because at that moment I felt confused and somewhat nervous, trying to laugh it off, but I couldn’t, since she was right in front of me. Almost like I was seeing her for the first time. Have I always known you to be like this? The only queer thing is still the tickling, and I wonder why I’m pretty fine with it.

I hope you know that some things can be quite bone-tingling, I am not sure if the word ‘aroused’ is appropriate, or perhaps it is, in an emotional sense. You had me thinking crazy things because I received some wrong messages from you. I hope it’s not just my interpretation. We were even joking about this when you said, “Friends? Friends only?” and I replied, laughing – it is still our little pact, I hope. 

Oh, sometimes, I think it’s just you. You and the things you do tend to drive me to the edges. Really.

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Of Miracles and Science

Ever heard the term ‘miracle of (modern) science’? Truly, to many laymen this term is going to appear oxymoronic. We could use it to refer to some amazing, unimaginable breakthrough in our methods, or discoveries of new things. Many many times we can see such ‘miracles’ in the fields of medical science, where many people most desperately need a ‘miracle’ to happen. Lives are at stake, often, and time is often of the essence. 

But too many reject the notion of ‘miracle’, minus the science. We would all be familiar with those claims to what we know as miracles, whether historical or in the recent past.

Miracle: an extraordinary and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore attributed to a divine agency.

There we have the oxymoron/paradox. Most certainly it is technically incorrect to employ use of that phrase, then? But what of the validity of a miracle itself? My whole writing of this post is because of a recent discussion with some of my friends regarding a related topic, and one pertinent question was certainty. What does it take to be conclusive about the cause of a certain event or occurrence of change? I argue, there isn’t anything fitting that description. What we take in science to be the case is often a close-to-absolute certainty, rather than a definite knowledge. I keep thinking of Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle, though slightly unrelated. The point is, we actually employ scientific processes to arrive at a conclusion that is more often or not based on the ‘average’ of several trial experiments. This is ‘first grade science’ – that empirical evidence is the key determinant in proving/disproving a hypothesis.

Miracles – extraordinary, welcome, but not explicable by natural or scientific laws? The second insistence was that attributing the cause of such events to divinity because natural or scientific laws could not explain ‘at the moment‘ is indeed standing on the mountain of ignorance and declaring one sees the answer a distance away. But I think miracles, though seemingly outside the explanations of science, are not excluded from the boundaries of reason. What I mean is that not (all) people are mindless theists jumping on every chance to attribute ‘miracles’ to ‘God’ or divinity. I can see two ways reason seems to work:

  1. ‘One or the other’ – our world is a scientific one, governed by laws all around. Yet if something cannot be described or explained by science, surely it is either a competitor of science or above science. Millions would disagree with either possibility though. But this is the unprovable – that there is a causation outside of science. Refraining from elaboration, the simple answer that it is a possibility, because science can’t go into certain areas because it will never reach there. Put one way, some authors think of it as a cog or gear arguing about the existence of the machine. ‘Divinity’ is the acclaimed creator of ‘science’, it is said. 
  2. Over and over again. Correlation = causation? Well, it depends. If we examine the scientific method, you can change variable x various times, and each time the result is approximately y. Then we infer the causation of y by x. Similar? Then again, some theologians are bound to point out divinity is not a measurable force that always acts in a certain way – depends what kind of divinity you believe in. But still, for those who believe in unchangability, this is just the thing. What the x is varies – good deeds, praying, meditating, sacrifices – and the y is of course the miracle.

Hope you become more interested in this topic – it most certainly is a very dodgey, never-will-finish-fighting-about-this thing. Still makes good conversation though.

Emoticons III – :D

(part of my poem-provoking series ‘Emoticons’)

 

A burst! It was so queer,
It is always so queer, when you do it,
Because any laughter that comes from you
Is ever so silent. It is not the cackle or guffaw
But it is an expression that says it all. 
Is it just human, or are you capable
Of more kinds of smiles 
Than there are colours? 

You came up to me that day, 
Not saying anything first, but
The moment I saw the grin
A knowing grin lightening your cheeks,
I was curious at once. You had something to say.
Something hilarious, always.

We were walking along that wide street
You had that smile. Then you delivered your line
The one that is meant to pinch me,
To insult me, in the unmistakable way you always do.
You broke into a wide smile, waiting for my quick reaction – 
Leaping towards you, as you drew back,
Ready to zap at your sides,
Or fake-tackle you. You couldn’t help
But laugh.

The sun rose in a very nice way
That morning,
Our faces cast into 
A gleaming first dawn,
And you asked when I would take you
To see the sun. It was a tingling question,
That left both of us back in the serenity
Of the light, yet both with our own joy
At being together to see the sunrise.
The sun will rise in a very nice way
For you,
Every day.

Something like water

People change. With the
Skillful manipulation of time,
Quickly, tediously, 
Silently, slowly, 
People, like sheets of aluminum
Malleable, from 
Flat to crumpled, or back, 
It is not hard.
People, like changing clothes,
(There are people who rarely change, of course
But they eventually grow out),
A colourful glow of a wardrobe
Eyes speed-browsing through,
And in a masterful stroke
The outfit has transformed.
People, like words,
Like language, like this,
Shifting around, busying through
Linking up with new groups 
Brushing away from the old
A brand new sentence to break the dawn.
People, like water, 
Cold and immovable the first moment,
Warmed and broken down the next,
Vanquished in the heat of the moment,
Gone into a dense, not-so-thin air,
Crystallised into a trillion fragments and shards.
Raindrops, glaciers, snowflakes, and that
Puddle of water. Salted water, more like.
I never knew tears had some value above water
Until I tasted the snowflakes that fell 
As we tripped around falling, laughing last winter
Playing tag, out in the dying snow,
Until I tasted the glaciers, vast yet morose,
The very last venture we took, without words
Trudging trepidly with each step together,
Fighting to keep out the bitter of cold
Which we had not faced to this extent before.
Knowing, it would really be our last.
Until I tasted the raindrops
At first, streaming uncontrollably from 
your lost eyes, trying to find comfort in mine,
Then, something inside you jolted you,
A brutal shock of reality, that held back the
Unrelenting streams that I could feel every day,
That I could hear over the phone.
Even the phone gradually stopped ringing.
Now, I only taste water every time it rains,
Each time the flowers are drenched afresh with life,
Each time the ground is soaked with dew,
The rare glimpses of these scenes which I know
Do not fail to elicit pain stirred into your tear elixir,
Dripping from your heart’s chalice, 
From the storms in the unreachable sky that you now are.

 

A Little Link?

I throw things around in my head a lot, so that means I like to look at stuff and find patterns.

I have neither Instagram nor Twitter. I use mainly Facebook. However, I have many friends who do use those platforms, and I wanted to especially mention Instagram. I know there are many wonderful uses for it, like sharing really great photos or advocating worthy causes through visual media. However there is this fierce darkness with it, just like every other kind of social media. This heart of darkness, as I see it, is the Peer Factor.

Yeah, yeah. Peer pressure, teens, so on and so forth. The usual nonsense the child counsellors and parents and whatnot all rant about. Tons of research put into how to curb this mighty evil, if I might say so. The pressure for teens is ever so great to get onto social media platforms, and not just one only. As many as majority of their friends have is the given number. If they are all chatting and having fun on reddit, to be extreme, then why certainly this young person X must have an account there. To be left out is something harrowing and menacing that many actually do feel the need to eradicate. If this means getting into social media, then so be it. Or, more realistically, if it means fitting in with a certain ‘dress code’ or ‘expletive standard’ or lifestyle, then it shall be done. This reminds me of my Conform/Transform post. One main factor is the ‘power to change’. Have you got enough ‘swag’ (as they say), or rather, social potency to transform the standards to suit yours, or will you have to fit into the cookie cutter mould? 

Enough of that, because my main point wasn’t going back there. It was to expand the issue about boy-girl relationships into a more relevant Internet-savvy crowd and generation. The existing theorem is, if one’s peers are all hyped about the opposite sex (and taking steps of varying degrees, from booze parties to getting into a relationship), then peer pressure exerts this impressive force on the individual, which may result in action depending on resistance R (look at my previous post, I guess.) That’s how I would phrase it. We all know it too well. Now then, by treating this same ‘peers’ group as transferable onto a different medium – that is, an online social platform – it then follows that the peer force can act through the medium. How exactly is interesting.

So my original ‘link’ was that I observed the relationship between likelihood of some of my male friends getting a girlfriend, and their degree of participation in and number of social media platforms: truly it is a good case study if we treat such a pattern as evidence, rather than dispute it. One day maybe they will do research, or maybe they already have.

The reason pressure can still work in social media is because society and its norms is a very flexible, unpredictable fabric. If you send a transverse wave through it it can be thoroughly felt at the other side, assuming just enough force. Without a single doubt it is powerful. I have two main and possible mechanisms for its success as relating to the case study:

  1. Greater interactions. This is possibly the most obvious and basic. Increasing person-to-person virtual interactions through social media increases the influence of the force upon oneself. Of course this is the force in a very weak, individualised form (rather than a crashing tsunami). But with the dynamic connections one makes it is not surprising it is not just a few, but many many interactions an individual can make with others through social media.
  2. Passive observation and comparison. For Instagram, passive observation is expressed as looking through posts of people you follow. Perhaps on FB more likely to be posts, and Twitter obviously tweets. These are some of the thing a user ‘observes’ ‘passively’, since he may or may not actively respond to it. (apart from liking, or commenting (which is interacting)). Whereas interactions are more likely active, this field is a passive motor for peer pressure, prompting a pent-up series of comparisons between other’s state and one’s own state. Your friends A and B and C and…. have girlfriends or boyfriends, while you are Forever Alone. Sure, you will not be won over instantly, but considering a high C (again look at my previous post haha), it is highly likely your opinions of ‘relationships at such a young age’ are going to change. Normalised is the word. Active response is the final truimph of peer pressure.

There are many subsets to these mechanisms, which may deviate from ‘strictly active’ or ‘strictly passive’. That is the nature of the flexible fabric. Very sly it is, too. 

I have my own opinions on adolescent or even teenager relationships, but that is mine to keep. You can find your own, or more likely than not you already have. Regardless, I hope I have convinced you that there is an high likelihood of social media impacting (or having impacted) your opinions.

Emoticons II – B)

(a female POV, for clarification)

(foreword: ‘B)’ is the sunglasses emoticon).

You! You, donning the 
Sleet dark-glasses with the metallic glint.
I know you
With or without that thing!
Don’t look and act all
Big and cool, like you want to
Ignore me? We knew each other first,
Us, not them! Not the
Boisterous Crowd you have got yourself,
the Lavish Ornaments you decorate yourself with
Take it off, take it off, take it all off!
You repel me absolutely with that fake 70s grin
I don’t even know you anymore, honestly.
I might’ve gotten the wrong person.

The treehouse that was ours, remember?
You had a nervous laugh around me,
A boyish scent in your smile 
That I liked. That racing adrenalin in both of us,
Chasing a wild rabbit across the creek,
Scouting the land above the fresh canopies,
Sneaking birdseed into our kingdom
(Which you said would make us sparrows if we ate)
(We did eat).

You’re pretending. You’re just playing another
Hide-and-seek with me, right? But this time
I know exactly where you’re hiding, only because
We spent all those hours and I know all 
Your favourite hiding spots, your favourite masks
I know how you like a good masquerade ball,
The grad night we went together, and you said things
To me, that you just fling to one side now, but words
that I won’t forget. Behind that scarlet feathered mask,
where I made clear the same blue eyes
The adventurous glint that searched my unquenchable insides
That I suddenly saw, had turned into a mesmerising blue
That never did so when looking into me. 
Eyes and lips were all the mask allowed, And that was the night
You almost chose lips – ours – but instead jerked back, 
Eyes darting far away, the same
Bliss tensed with unease, that I always could feel

Back in our forest sanctuary, 
Now desolate. If all scare tactics are going to fail,
I want you to know I tried this: 
I miss you.

Emoticons I – :|

foreword. I’m not using emoticons in the ‘digital’ sense, but as my metaphor for the hiding behind words and facades. 

A blank slate.
No, far from that! You’re hardly
A blank slate, you’re not
A cold slab of stone
Though that side of you is surfacing now.
More like, void of expression. 
You, who used to reflect
Trills of the expression spectrum
With your raised eyebrows, 
Searching eyes, pursed lips,
Neat rows of white moonlight teeth,
Indecisive dimples, 
Drooping eyelids, the nights on the
Bus that took us home, always 
Ending with you sound asleep 
On my shoulder, a tired face 
Finding rest.

Some violent jolt
I don’t know when
Must have concussed 
you, must have knocked
your love of cry and laugh
into some place deep and lost
and ever since no one could find 
it. You don’t sit next to me anymore. 

The moon still shines 
(On nights when I think of you,
You and your pursed lips and
Your escaping breath, and 
Your jasmine whiff)
The night calls for us
(Only in the short lapses
In my thoughts, that jump to flashes of us
That rub the crashing sea’s salt fresh
Into my wounds, 
That cripple my recovering walk, so that
I get back up many many times)

But all the time
I know I want us
(Us back to back on the open fields,
Us side by side lying on the sunrise-kissed beach,
Us shoulder to shoulder on the buses home,
Us hand in hand, finding Venus
in the cloudless nightsky)

 

On Little Society: Part I

I had some recent inspiration to start writing about little social things again. I use little because I explore these things which I know is more often than not of less importance than other possible things to write about, like Trending News and related Insights, or maybe Travel and Home. Man, if blogposts were on a TV schedule I think mine would be on the kids’ channel. It’s really a little society that I examine, just a fraction of big society, but an emerging one nonetheless – the teenager society. Yes, there are 1,001 ways to typify and stereotype it but there are lessons to be learnt nonetheless.

My favourite components include: Continue reading

Why not?

Why not?

Must you have a reason to leap?
Searching the world for the ‘whys’ to keep
Your faith – in tomorrow? Or in something great?
That’s not the way that we get to debate.
You lock yourself in, deep in some cove
Or further deep still in the trenches you love
Saying you know not and therefore you go not
Why ask you ‘how’ when you could try now?
Climb out of that place you always dig into
Or I will pull you out and throw you into
The world not a world you have known in the dark
Cast in the sudden light of the truth
Battling doubts and preset beliefs
All against voices that say they are false
No, take the helmet off, lay bare your guns
Cast the shield away, stay here, and we’ll run
Through the archives of your heart and the seas of your soul
Pull out wax candles to get through the mazes of 
Corridors, fighting the Hurt that you hold
All those contraries to your great desire to
Fly off the greatest peaks, run through the green
To sleigh down the mountain-slopes, skim waters blue

Reason? Reason? What’s your reason 
For needing one? Don’t bother. Once
You see the huge prison bars holding you in,
You’ll break all your frees like you’ve never before,
Writhing and striving and yearning for something
You will never get here, here on this planet,
A call to a world that is just not our own.