The Transience of Clouds

Clouds often dot the blue expanse that is the sky

on bright summer days,

during gloomy typhoon seasons,

during the dreamy spring season, on bleak winters,

and cozy autumn days…

Sometimes, they drift gracefully,

like wisps lightly passing by, dissipating

without much resistance

—like a wanderer walking through a quiet town

without any plans of staying much longer than

necessary…

Sometimes they look like lumps of the softest cotton,

the fluffiest pillows, and the puffiest marshmallow

as if you’d have the sweetest dream

if you nestle between their folds

and blanket yourself with some of their fluff…

but they too eventually dissipate after a while,

—like tourists that come to visit a scenic town

staying for 3 days and 2 nights, visiting tourist spots,

and taking photos for memories…

Sometimes they tower above, billowing

into the highest reaches of the troposphere;

they remind me of mothers that sacrifice much more

than what their husbands or their children can see…

they carry the heaviest of burdens—on their shoulders,

on their backs, and on their hips, until the soles of their feet

and their ankles become sore…

they carry rain, like the tears they shed behind closed doors

or never shed at all…

they bring with them thunder and lightning as if to say

“Listen to me…look at me…I am here…I was here…”

just like our mothers or our fathers

as they shout and holler when they’ve lost all patience

and get angry…

But they too eventually dissipate

—but far longer than the stranger or the tourist…they stay

just a bit longer, like your family and your truest friends

that come to visit and sweep through your house…

sometimes, even overstaying their welcome.

The transience of clouds remind me

that regardless of whether we were once like

the intimidating cumulonimbus,

or the ominous supercells,

or the carefree cirrus,

or the ethereal stratus clouds

and the undulatus asperatus clouds that bring a sense of mystery,

we are but a speck in the universe…

our lives are but a drop in the ocean of time

—we are but an impermanent existence…

The Faithful Lover

The faithful lover remains steadfast in their love;

Constant, in their trust;

Fearless, and generous in giving,

without regard for gains and losses

—until they themselves are spent….


They accept what they are given

and never ask for more;

Sometimes, the faithful lovers

forget themselves as they continue to forgive

their lover’s sins of commission,

yet not forgetting; not because they are keeping score,

but to remind themselves

in the moments when they are alone

—perhaps during their countless monologues in the shower;

perhaps on nights that are too quiet

with only the chirping sounds of crickets left for company—

that love is real,

and that every sacrifice will be worth it in the end

—until they are numb, and no longer recognize themselves….


Oftentimes, the faithful lover deliberately

ignores their delicate boundaries,

breaching the fine line between compromise and blind submission….


However, when faced with the universe’s disenchantment,

even the weak can muster up the courage

to walk away;

shedding off their mottled skin that has lost its glow

—eroded by their endless abandonment of their old self

to accommodate and adjust to their lover’s demands,

continuously forgiving…


Yet some who manage to walk away

forget to also forgive themselves;

they carry the blame on their shoulders,

asking what they lacked,

how or why or where they failed,

why they weren’t enough….


Some faithful lovers eventually find their peace, with time

—they are fortunate enough to heal, and find lasting happiness

amid the chaos and their struggles;

But sadly, some aren’t as lucky, and the blow pushes them

deeper into the mire

—losing themselves and never finding the strength

to look inside themselves and examine their scars,

instead they let it fester, and bleed…

and they bleed on others…

settling for dysfunctional affection and dependence….


Love begets love, and the faithful lover deserves a faithful lover too.


Home is…

a room filled with the melodious laughter of a baby
after falling on their tushie
as they bravely take their first step;

two people enjoying a cup of coffee together
while watching the color of the sunset change slowly,
from bright gold to orange to a red afterglow;

everyone gathering around the kitchen table
for breakfast, arms overlapping,
eager to get that perfectly cooked sunny side up egg –
crispy edges, whites mostly set and a runny yolk;

cooking a pot of creamy macaroni soup
during cold, rainy days and serving it piping hot
for that extra warmth…when cuddles just aren’t enough;

that safe corner..that safe space
to act silly…to let go…to cry and breakdown
when the world becomes too much;

that genuine hug…that gentle pat…
a kind word…a warm smile…
that soothing voice lulling all the bad dreams away;

wherever your heart feels most at peace
amidst the rancor and the noise outside.


Things I Never Told You…

Or maybe I did, but I’ve forgotten and just wanted to say again;

I remember the days before you left

How I bit my tongue so much and swallowed these words

a bitter aftertaste still lingers in my mouth…

[That] I’d already given up on trying to hold us together;

I’d already let you go, even before you left on that gloomy July afternoon two years ago;

I stopped loving you at one point in the years that we were together;

I regret taking you back and trying again…

I felt suffocated too, and I also wanted to run away from the life we had together;

You’ve become a burden too heavy to carry…

And I’ve grown tired of trying to understand your fickle nature;

Sometimes I wish I’d stayed away when I told my friends that I would…

I should have followed everyone’s advice;

I should have listened to my intuition when it told me you’d never change for me;

It’s been such a relief…

Since you left, everything seems to be falling into place and I struggle less each day;

I’ve had more breathing space;

Thank you for leaving…

I hope you’ve finally found what you’ve always been craving for all this time;

In spite of all the hurt and the betrayal, I genuinely want you to be happy.

Thoughts after a virtual team building session…

After attending a Team Developmental workshop conducted over Zoom, where one of the activities asked participants to share how they were feeling at that moment, I noticed that a lot of people were more honest and open. Well in my opinion at least, majority of the people in attendance were willing to bare their feelings and share them out in the open in the cover of anonymity via the mentimeter survey platform.

Looking at the words which appeared as the presentation refreshed itself, 80% were associated with darker and heavy emotions. This is in contrast with results from past activities conducted by the Firm, pre-pandemic, where everyone was present in a single location and not connected virtually. In past activities, colleagues would usually dole out more positive words to describe their emotions instead of actually sharing that they feel anxious, depressed and lost.

To be honest, the change in the tone of these colleagues of mine brought a rather refreshing feeling. For once I actually felt that they were more human. Their aloofness pre-pandemic was suddenly absent and I wonder whether it was because we were all just virtually present and not physically present in one confined space. It made me think whether people’s tendency to judge and accept judgement is diminished by virtual connectedness.

In all my interactions with people from the Firm, this was the first time I felt that people were authentic and sincere. Weird right? But that was how i felt earlier and several questions started to surface. Are we more authentic in a virtual space than when we are in a common space where we are physically present during interactions? Is this how people have come to cope with the current world situation where physical distance is increased and physical interactions have been restricted?

I can’t really answer and I’m not even sure if all of these observations and thoughts are remotely accurate. But after mulling it for a while, I can only say that perhaps due to restricted interaction, people’s desire to connect, to vent, to not feel alone, to be seen for who they really are and to find solace in their moments of disorientation while coping and navigating through the new normal because of the pandemic, a lot of people are overcoming their hesitation to baring their feelings. These feelings overflow and spill. Maybe this is also human instinct at self preservation, a way to adapt so as not to drown in all the negative feelings and emotions that have suddenly bubbled up due to the quarantine and social distancing.

I guess this is a good thing…