2021-04-02 22:16:26 (UTC)

A Diary Trilogy: Mind

For a long while now I’ve preferred second-hand books whenever I can get my hands on them, the dented pages, the notes on the sides, the wrinkles spine that that shows just how much it’s been opened. I decided long ago that those little details give the book its uniqueness, its individuality through remnants of an owner. As a result, I now add in my own little notes in pencil, and underline my favourite lines. That’s my way of communicating with a book and whenever DG calls me a heathen for it, I do my best to just laugh it off.

On Love and Other Fables, by someone who goes by the penname Tea (yes, like the drink), is such a book, a book one can have a conversation with. The caution about time wasn’t a self-boasting advice from the author, but advice born out of experience. Soon enough it becomes clear what kind of writing this is; texts and short stories that come from a place of deep emotion, imagination, and life itself. This is what I would find the most inspiring. This is what produces words that clutch at my heart and try to rip it out of my chest. And I realised that the genealogy of these stories ultimately returns to a specific emotion; grief.

I found myself fighting the urge to keep reading, instead to put the book aside and daydream, to read certain passages again and again—to take my time. It occurred to me just how much we overvalue speed, thinking that to finish anything in life early is worthwhile. As someone who prefers the quiet, the serenity within slow motions, the calm, I had been berated for not keeping up with the world and that was taken as a sign of being detached, unrealistic. As I write this now, I realise that that’s partly true. The more time I devote to myself, to feeling, to understanding what’s inside and around me, the more time I spend in my own mind rather than interact with other people and things. On a better day, I’d argue that’s a good thing, but for now, as I find myself rather warn out, I’ll pause. I’ll withdraw and fold back unto myself and read, and dream, and think.

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