The Bus Ride Home

“… You can’t see a person more nakedly than that, when they don’t know they’re being watched, studied.”― Jo Nesbø, Blood on Snow When the going gets tough, I think of the bus. It was a typical day at school, quite the balanced mixture of embarrassment, awkwardness and laughs. We walk to the bus stop where the […]

For Pip, Thrush and Blue | World Suicide Prevention Day 2021

If you are feeling low, or trampled, unappreciated, or forgotten…and you are reading this, realize it is an illusion…the hope is real…you are valued…and what lies ahead…is brilliance.
― Tom Althouse

For Pip, Thrush and Blue,
This I say,
“To and fro, we moved
Through the clouds of hymns we hummed,
As the world progressed,
Our longing for freedom grew ever stronger.”

I remember days where we vanquished imaginary foes, where Pip once sacrificed his life to save the rest of us from an army of rather savage goblins. Sir Pip was our leader, advisor and messenger. He knew all the shortcuts, how to get to the adults when we didn’t and very often, managed in acquiring free chocolate from no one knows where.

Memories of riding our bikes downhill but being too exhausted to walk uphill come flooding as I traverse the paths that were once volcanoes and rainforests to us.

Nights, when Thrush would sing to us still soothe me on nights lightning, electrifies the earth. It’s one of those memories that are triggered by just one word, one stare, one leaf.

I see Thrush prancing and flying, always beating us at most games but being too good-natured about it, that we would end up sacrificing victory for a song.

I remember the day her brother died and it was we, who sang her to sleep. She never slept that night.

For Pip, Thrush and Blue
In life, did we live
With cares so free and hardly there
Days spent in childish glee
Ended in time, we wrinkled for love.

Blue, if joy ever had a sad day, it would look like you. You exuded so much joy that it was contagious and we’d find ourselves laughing the most random things ever – mailboxes, candy wrappers and paintings; because they felt like you – because they felt Blue to us.

We never knew you were hurting or that your smiles were so infectious and jokes designed to laugh so that none of us would feel the pain you battled everyday or hear those loud and terrifying thoughts that had screamed themselves sore. I remember how the heroes in all your stories were dreamers changing worlds they created because the real world was too harsh.

Photo by Dominika Roseclay on Pexels.com

As I rise above the bench down the street and reminisce my faults, I see what I missed all along – the beauty of loss. Every day we came together was perfect. The sun shone gaily, the wind blew kindly and the grass beneath our feet remained fresh and green.

Pip would go around securing our boundaries, Thrush would sing to the birds for whom she was named, while Blue would make sure there were no flowers that were withering.

I was up there, all along watching and wishing, I could be a part of this gang, so gay they brightened up my days spent in the dark.

Aeons have I watched over
Everyone and everything but,
None that portrayed life in all its glory
Like Pip, Thrush and Blue did.
Pip’s bravery gives me strength as Thrush’s songs
Warm my soul while Blue
Shows me the sun can mask pain too.

I knew this was coming. I’d seen it before the children did. Blue left the world as the beautiful angel he was. I saw Pip cry for the first time that day; the bravest of all warriors broken down at the sight of his comrade who was no longer breathing. Thrush was there, but people say she lost her voice.

For Pip, Thrush and Blue
As I watched death bring you closer
I saw the strength, bravery and kindness
Your little hearts were soaked in.

How wrong were they – I saw Pip and Thrush that night, at the same park they came often. Without Blue, they seemed lost but oh, how she sang! I saw Blue standing nearby, his face contorted in pain and pride bathed in a glow only freedom could provide, but they couldn’t see him and her heartfelt singing reigned the night.


I saw the veil grief covered you in.
Dears – I saw it all
Soaked pillows in the night and broken whispers
Showed me more than you know.

But know Blue is here, his soul finally free.
He lives through you
Every war you win within yourself

And every demon defeated
Is victory for him and every song sung
Is his life’s anthem.

For even in death,
Pip, Thrush and Blue
Remain bound and prisoners of
Love, strength and kindness.

Most nights do I* take up my place in the sky, but even from up here, life just isn’t the same without you three.

Oh Blue, I wish you’d known just how much you mattered to all of us.

Photo by luizclas on Pexels.com

*This story is narrated from the moon’s perspective and so, I refers to the moon.

The biggest lie we fall for is that it doesn’t matter. Your opinion doesn’t matter. Your choices don’t matter. Your influence doesn’t matter. Your existence doesn’t matter. You don’t matter. It is the worst, most destructive lie we ever believe, and in consequence it wreaks extensive damage to more lives than your own.
Don’t fall for that evil lie. Don’t forget that everything about you absolutely does matter.

You matter.
How you feel matters.
What you say, do, and think matters.
It all matters.

― Richelle E. Goodrich, Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) was first launched in 2003 on 10 September by IASP with the endorsement of the World Health Organisation (WHO). The 10th of September each year has been designated as a way of focusing attention on the problems of suicide worldwide.

Our renewed message is one of hope; that aims to empower people with confidence to engage with this complex subject.

An ambitious task now lies ahead. Through this theme we aim to work together, through our membership and beyond, to create a movement of preventative action, with sustained messaging to drive behaviour change and ultimately, prevent more suicides.

‘Creating Hope Through Action’ is a reminder that there is an alternative to suicide and aims to inspire confidence and light in all of us; that our actions, no matter how big or small, may provide hope to those who are struggling. Preventing suicide is often possible and you are a key player in its prevention. Through action, you can make a difference to someone in their darkest moments – as a member of society, as a child, as a parent, as a friend, as a colleague or as a neighbour. We can all play a role in supporting those experiencing a suicidal crisis or those bereaved by suicide.

Source: International Association for Suicide Prevention

Thoughtfully yours,
D

A Glance, I Implore –

I saw you approach cautiously, undoubtedly a result of those nasty stories you’ve been hearing about me. You seemed to be 7, a child yet to know the world, a life spent in sheer joy at every waking moment. I once knew a little girl like you, she’d bring her friends over and we’d have a splendid time playing hide and seek.

Back to School

Back to School | Creative non-fiction Random Specific Thoughts

“how sad and bad and mad it was – but then, how it was sweet”
― Robert Browning

March 1, 2021

It’s a little past 10 in the evening, when my phone’s notification tone sends a ripple of anticipation through my heart and soul. Well aware of what it’s for, I check just to convince myself of how real all of this is. Students have to report at 10 am tomorrow to collect their end-of-term results and new textbooks along with their parents, so the teachers can discuss grade 12 options.

Last year this time, I was a carefree 16 year old, thrilled at the idea of a summer break that I knew would span months. It’s barely been a year but the thought of meeting teachers and peers after a whole academic year of virtual and invisible contact founded on trust that the student was there a screen away, is terrifying.

Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

“There is no greater sorrow
Than to recall a happy time
When miserable.”
― Dante Alighieri

March 2, 2021

Thanks to COVID, the mask makes it almost impossible to smile, what could have been a quick and polite substitute for actual conversation, is now masked. I practice scrunching my face at weird angles so that my eyes appear like slits offering a mere semblance of a smile.

I dread imagining how my voice will carry through the mask. It doesn’t help I sound like a frog with a clogged windpipe on a normal day, the mask is going to make even that hideous voice, sound like a muffled grumble. Days and months of conveying my questions and feelings through emojis and GIFs have taken their toll on me; my voice sounds perfectly detached from life, a mere medium for human talk prompted by an unfeeling mind. I so loved having emojis smile for me when I couldn’t, having GIFs emulate my exact reactions to my friends at our kiddy jokes and recklessly curious doubts.

As the pandemic stretched on, I found myself using more of these, even though I hated the yellow of the face emojis with a passion like never before. The smiley one ended up synonymous with ‘Thank you‘, the thinking one for ‘I have no idea. You?” and the star was the standard response to teachers notifying us of new tests, ‘That’s brilliant! The tests are going to be enlightening.

Photo by Dziana Hasanbekava on Pexels.com

As we approach 10 am on my clock, we’re just pulling into the school’s parking lot. When you start school for the first time ever, you get all these beautifully illustrated books with crisp pages and hardbound spines abound with colours and kindness; books that feel like they belong in a child’s hand.

The illusion deteriorates as you grow older and by the time you somehow end up in grade 12, the books are merely huge chunks of text and diagrams, hastily compiled pages with delicate covers that showcase artistic ink leaks all over the place. As much as I’m grateful for an education, these books instil in me a fear like no other.

The school’s ever so silent; no children roam these hallways now, the staff is done for the day and the classrooms have all been abandoned; the huge locks serve as evidence of the year that was stolen from us. There’s no one outside, save a man in the park; a park that has seen days when the park itself wasn’t visible owing to a huge outflow of toddlers excited and keen to try everything in there.

I see one of my teachers seated at the Reception and the feeling of nonchalance that passes through the both of us, stings my very being. Our masks give us a cold demeanour because her eyes are magnified with glasses and mine glassy with a lack of sleep. It’s hard to believe she’s still the same teacher who taught us Maths and made it seem like the most cordial subject ever. Many may have been disinterested in the subject but she was the one teacher any of us would have turned to for help, without hesitation.

We exchange pleasantries and move because everyone appears to be moving guided by an invisible hand; lost in their own worlds of expectations and dreams that just won’t be happening today. Because, for the first time ever, it’s not the students who are confused; the parents and teachers are just as lost as we are.

“We are homesick most for the places we have never known.”
― Carson McCullers

I see my classmates in person, for the first time. They’re almost like I remember them from before, but there’s a pall of indifference over all of them. Our parents speak for us, while we sit motionless taking in every tiny detail of the classroom, we never got to call home. The way the corkboard has articles and projects from 2019 etches into our hearts yet another reminder of the school year that existed, but we didn’t live through. There are 20 chairs in the room and with 10 students, the classroom seems strangely out of place in itself, its shelves and boards pleading for a child’s touch.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

No one really talks other than the usual ‘How are you?’ and ‘See you later’. We’ve all grown so conditioned to online talk, it seems like everyone’s been caught off guard, by having to talk to actual humans. No one’s voice carries through the mask, the way they expect it to, and everything is repeated twice and thrice. After a few minutes or so of grumbled speech and awkward glances, because we didn’t have emojis to convey our pretend moods, we leave only to return the next day for an actual class.

“Grown up, and that is a terribly hard thing to do. It is much easier to skip it and go from one childhood to another.”
― F. Scott Fitzgerald

March 28, 2021

It’s not too different now but it’s better. We’ve grown used to the masks on our faces so much that they feel like they’re a part of us. With just 10 students, we’ve accepted the other for friends because this is our last year of school and there’s no time to get selective about friends or teachers.

We’ve gotten to know our teachers a bit more, that they don’t seem like strangers anymore. Smiling is still a masked procedure but all of us have mastered the act of bulging out our cheeks and scrunching our eyes, that our faces appear childishly happy.

When we are children we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.”
― Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

Photo by Jess Vide on Pexels.com

Realising that the world is just another school and acknowledging my need to remain a life long student, I doubt I’ll ever miss school because every remaining day of my life is going to be just another version of all the ‘Back To School‘s I’ve had the privilege of living through.

It feels good to be given homework, scolded for our bad performances on tests and questioned frequently about our lives, and treated like young children. Because, when this is all over and we’re thrust into college and the world; it’s not school that we’ll miss the most but this precious feeling of being considered a child and the teachers’ kind mercy in seeing the child in us even when we desperately try to appear like grown ups.

“The past is a candle at great distance: too close to let you quit, too far to comfort you.”
― Amy Bloom, Away

Thoughtfully yours,
Introverted Thoughts aka D

The above is based off on what’s been happening recently; I suppose it counts as a ‘life update’ in a way. A lot of it was inspired by my diary entries from the mentioned days. School really feels weird now; in just a year of online classes, it truly feels like all of us lost something that made us seem more human. I hope you enjoyed reading this little write-up! A quick shout-out and huge thank you to Anna and Diamond for reading beforehand!

In Burgundy

In Burgundy | Poetry Random Specific Thoughts

“Fantasy is hardly an escape from reality. It’s a way of understanding it.”
― Lloyd Alexander

Under a temporal roof, does
This tale take place.
When they refused to stand
For fear of falling,
In Burgundy, we chased the stars.

Forgotten thoughts left to oscillate
Between realms unknown, were all we were.
As daisies* withered
Under stares of scrutiny,
In Burgundy we blossomed.

Victims of hope, were we
Who challenged gods and fate.
In wars for change and progress,
As we lost fragmentary pages to the wind,
In Burgundy we defied paths unknown yet.

Akin to the setting sun
Of time, we were in dearth.
Whispers left unspoken
Drowned love, that ran out of people.
All the while Burgundy sewed stitches ten .

In Burgundy, life goes on
Fueled by the fluid of passion
That runs deep in our roots.
In Burgundy, children speak
For their dreams and desires.
In Burgundy does hope reside
For beats here, the heart of the just.

“Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?. . .If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

*Daisies symbolize innocence and purity.

Quick note: My friend, Diamond @ Build A Bears Furever is hosting a photostory contest to observe her fourth blogiversary! The best part is, you get to choose which of her bears play your characters (if you want) and believe me when I say, she’s got all sorts of bears with different outlooks and personalities! I’d absolutely love it if you could check out this post and participate!

And today is March 21, World Poetry Day! “World Poetry Day is celebrated on 21 March, and was declared by UNESCO in 1999, “with the aim of supporting linguistic diversity through poetic expression and increasing the opportunity for endangered languages to be heard” {Wikipedia}


Poetry is an ethereal form of expression and an embodiment of beauty, a free channel of speech, open and accessible to all. It isn’t all writing; akin to how Walt Whitman says in his poem, The Voice of the Rain; that rain is the earth’s poem, poetry is around us in all forms of beauty. I’m so thankful for all the wonderful poets I’ve met here and whose books I’ve read. Keep writing and inspiring!

Thoughtfully yours,
Introverted Thoughts aka D

Spectators

“The subtle and deadly change of heart that might occur in you would be involved with the realization that a civilization is not destroyed by wicked people; it is not necessary that people be wicked but only that they be spineless.”
― James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

It’s a little past 8 and the night is dark as we drive along on a crowded lane. These are roads I’ve traversed all my life and apart from a few new shops and buildings scattered on the street map, I know every alley, every shop, and every single person who calls this street home. Naturally, I was quick to notice a child and a man missing. I’d seen him grow frail over the course of a few years but the child was young and brimming with life and beauty.

Homelessness had made their lives seemingly less important than others and I realised with an aching heart, how neither of them would be given the luxury of having their faces plastered around the cities or broadcasted on news channels, simply because the world’s definitions of what it meant to live weren’t defined by them.

I bring it up in school next day hoping to provoke action but it breaks our spirits to hear an adult say, “They’ll turn up dead at some point”. It hurts the very fabric of our hopes to envision a time when the girl turns up lifeless after having been subjected to inexplicable torture that no one ever has to go through. We start hating ourselves when we see her little body being cremated, with no relations to mourn or pray for her, no stories to be exchanged that will help, keep her memory alive.

“After all, if you do not resist the apparently inevitable, you will never know how inevitable the inevitable was.”
― Terry Eagleton, Why Marx Was Right

It’s lovely to hear someone say, “Our world is messed up but we still have hope”. It’s lovely because for a moment, it makes me proud to be a human being. Because it makes us feel like we can still make a difference.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” ― Albert Einstein
(Insider @ What’s In My Mind, a wonderful friend and incredible writer, shared this quote and I found it very apt and so have included it here. Thank you so much!)

But how much will it matter, if the destruction has already been wrought and past deeds remain etched in our hearts, souls and minds; deeds that defiled innocence and extinguished lives? How can we ever express joy in the changes, differences bring, if our apathy played the biggest role in expediting events that redefined cruelty and sowed the seeds of horror?

Change does begin with one person, but only when they refuse to be a spectator and desist turning a blind eye to the atrocities, humanity inflicts on its own kind. The world is in dire need of players, of game changers, not spectators who watch as goodness burns to the ground.

“The refusal to take sides on great moral issues is itself a decision. It is a silent acquiescence to evil. The Tragedy of our time is that those who still believe in honesty lack fire and conviction, while those who believe in dishonesty are full of passionate conviction.”
― Fulton J. Sheen

Thoughtfully yours,
-Introverted Thoughts aka D

The Puppet Heart

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
― Martin Luther King Jr., A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches

He found her on the roadside, many thoughts ago. Like a flower frozen in spring was she, with blond ringlets and stark blue eyes. He could see her story the moment he laid eyes on her. She had been brought into a home loved, she was used and finally discarded with. His mind was penning her destiny as he inspected her, rotating her ever so slowly so he could get a good look at her features.

He took her home, cleaned her and changed her into clean clothes. She looked 6, but neglect had taken years off the fragile child. He set her up on ledge and shone a soft amber lamp on her dainty face. As the bell tolled midnight, the man sat and toiled through the night to sketch her pretty face.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler on Pexels.com

As the world was beginning to be bathed in the gentle glow of a new day, the streets saw a lonely man and his newly acquired treasure walking barefoot, plastering posters on walls high and low. He was charging a penny per person but it had been weeks since he had had a meal or a drink.

He held on close to the broken doll and prayed children would want to know her story as badly as he wanted to be the one telling it.

Into a little shed were they seen going into, a box and a princess came out, a man almost lost under the huge box shuffled stolidly and set the box on the street where children were known to stop for a popsicle or two. Into the box did the princess go, the man on the floor and the show was off to a start with an audience of a thrush and two early worms and one cat. The man distorted his voice to resemble that of a child to say:

“On winter’s death was this story birthed
As a little human decided he was in need of a daughter.
Needles and fabric were summoned,
Blue buttons and golden yarn.
Silk frills and sapphire eyes were brought in.

Day and night did my father toil
As the cuckoo sang on the second morning
With a child’s touch, was I brought to life.
Days and years did I live to be
Her sole advisor and friend.
On nights when thunder rattled the earth,
I held her in my arms and
And sang her to sleep.

The child fell prey to an evil I was safe from.
On growing up, she lost sight of life
And I was dumped in the shed I was created,
Only my father was no longer there to breathe new life.

On streets and foster homes, did I die the rest of my life
For the world sees not the heart of a puppet
But it’s beauty that age takes away.”

Here, a gentle whisper, unlike the forced childlike voice that spoke till now was heard.

“For the child that said heaven is a toy store,
Bless you, darling.
I shall welcome you home
And hold you close till your heart breathes in peace.”

Photo by Flora Westbrook on Pexels.com

As the overhead sun bore witness to the little souls dropping their precious pennies and waiting to give the puppeteer a hug, the angel of death had just finished a song of his own making and watched as the poor man nodded off, to a slumber, not of Earth. The little child clung to his hand as his soul went in search of what dreams called home.

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
― Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land

This was inspired by a stuffed monkey that’s been laying around our house for a good while. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to write but it ended up being a tale that (hopefully) portrays a puppeteer’s tender love towards an abandoned doll he found on the roadside. I didn’t want the ending to be tragic but it just seemed fitting that telling the girl’s story after all she went through, set the story-teller free of all earthly obligations and seemingly breathed life into the puppet girl as well. I’m not sure how this comes across in general but I hope you enjoyed reading!

aforementioned monkey
Christened Mr. Pink Monk by Evin, stuffie photo approved by Diamond (thank you so much, guys!)

Speaking of love, I wish you all a very happy Valentine’s Day! Love comes in all shapes and forms; be it for a person, a pet or a toy, love is making the bright side of life shine stronger!

Photo by Gabby K on Pexels.com

Thoughtfully yours,
Introverted Thoughts aka D