Singapore

the best way to make it through

Reading my f-list got me a little – maudlin. Growing pains, I suppose. It’s the surges of affection for you guys whenever you leave me a FB comment or an LJ comment or an email or just something and it sounds so much like yourself that it’s almost a little painful to read, sometimes.

It’s good, though. It keeps me grounded, in a way – reminds me of who I am and was. Some things continue to affect me long past their expiry dates but it’s good to be reassured sometimes that this breathlessness, this longing, is human, with so many things falling away behind me. I miss you guys when there’s something breathtakingly gorgeous, or when the sun is particularly golden, or when the campus is still. I still don’t know what I’m going to do for Thanksgiving, but it doesn’t feel like a big deal to me at the moment. I like being in equilibrium.

I forgot to talk about the Spoken Word Cafe on Saturday. When I heard about it, Alfian Sa’at’s poem Singapore, you are not a country immediately sprang to mind, for obvious reasons, but I didn’t intend to actually do it until I opened the webpage and I thought I’d go to the cafe and decide then and then it was the last fifteen minutes and I realized that if I didn’t do this, I would hate myself a little, so I – just did it. (I read The Peace of Wild Things, as well, just because I think it’s such an amazing poem for this place and the people here.) As I was reading it through, though, it struck me that if you are thinking about what being Singaporean is, at least part of it is knowing instantly, in a familiar way, what the poem means when it talks about Catherine Lim and pinafores and airspace and Istana and refers to Marxist homosexual communists and basically just being there and present the entire poem.

In more prosaic news, though, I am pretty good. Today, on the way back from the Priory, I stopped by the Super Store again and bought $11.06 worth of groceries; my dad remarked once that the usage of cents in Canada is telling, because a lot of countries don’t even bother with single cents anymore. I now have 1.75 L of mango orange juice that’s 100% juice and puree, and ingredients for fried rice, which I have ambitions of making tomorrow for dinner. It will be the first! time I’m cooking, so that should be exciting~ I will let you guys know how that turns out. I bought mushrooms and twelve eggs and this ‘ham sausage’. There was a minor flare of irritation at the Priory today, but it wasn’t really anything.

I also went to the nurse to get my blister checked out, and apparently it’s morphed into something strange that the nurse couldn’t identify, so I have an appointment tomorrow to see the doctor O: I kind of want to get rid of it before Project Week, because biking 200 KM doesn’t sound fun with it, yeah.

I don’t feel like writing anything of substance now, for some reason. Have a poem that I particularly liked: 

"Abandoned Farmhouse"
Ted Kooser

He was a big man, says the size of his shoes
on a pile of broken dishes by the house;
a tall man too, says the length of the bed
in an upstairs room; and a good, God-fearing man,
says the Bible with a broken back
on the floor below the window, dusty with sun;
but not a man for farming, say the fields
cluttered with boulders and the leaky barn.

A woman lived with him, says the bedroom wall
papered with lilacs and the kitchen shelves
covered with oilcloth, and they had a child,
says the sandbox made from a tractor tire.
Money was scarce, say the jars of plum preserves
and canned tomatoes sealed in the cellar hole.
And the winters cold, say the rags in the window frames.
It was lonely here, says the narrow country road.

Something went wrong, says the empty house
in the weed-choked yard. Stones in the fields
say he was not a farmer; the still-sealed jars
in the cellar say she left in a nervous haste.
And the child? Its toys are strewn in the yard
like branches after a storm–a rubber cow,
a rusty tractor with a broken plow,
a doll in overalls. Something went wrong, they say.

from .

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