Tag Archives: memories

Paper Boats Forever

“We are what we remember. If we lose our memory, we lose our identity and our identity is the accumulation of our experiences. When we walk down the memory lane, it can be unconsciously, willingly, selectively, impetuously or sometimes grudgingly. By following our stream of consciousness we look for lost time and things past. Some reminiscences become anchor points that can take another scope with the wisdom of hindsight. 

Some details in life may look insignificant but appear to be vital leitmotifs in a person’s life. They may have the value of “Rosebuds” of Citizen Kane or “Madeleine cookies” of Marcel Proust or “Strawberry fields” of the Beatles. People regularly walk down the memory lane of their early youth. The paper boats of their childhood are recurrently floating on the waves of their mind and bring back the mood and the spirit of the early days. They enable us to retreat from the trivial, daily worries and can generate delightful bliss and true joy in a sometimes frantic and chaotic life.

When the shimmer of the past is melting into the presence, spreading a scent of attentiveness and inquiring ness, our mind may ask for a new reading of the story of our life. An innocuous flicker from a hazy sequence in our memory lane can affect our current awareness, making us raise questions, throwing new light on our expectations; crafting an airy vision of the future.”

― Erik Pevernagie

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Trip Down Memory Lane

I was so excited when I came across this image.

It catapulted me back to that one summer day many years ago when I was driving a Porsche, his Porsche, and his hand slowly crept up along my thigh. 

I could not do anything. 

I could hardly let go of the wheel so, I said:

“Yeah baby, a little bit higher.”

Suddenly, he withdrew his hand and didn’t utter a single word anymore for the rest of the journey.

He dropped me off at the village church and I never saw him again.

27 years old, blond blue-eyed and an only son of a wealthy factory owner.

No regrets though. Besides, I’m not into blond.

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Legacy of the Heart: The Spiritual Advantage of a Painful Childhood

Adults who were hurt as children inevitably exhibit a peculiar strength, profound inner wisdom, and remarkable creativity and insight. Deep within them – just beneath the wound – lies a profound spiritual vitality, a quiet knowing, a way of perceiving what is beautiful, right, and true. Since their early experiences were so dark and painful, they have spent much of their lives in search of the gentleness, love, and peace they have only imagined in the privacy of their own hearts.” 

― Wayne Muller

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Among My Souvenirs

There’s nothing left for me
Of days that used to be
They’re just a memory
Among my souvenirs
Some letters sad and blue
A photograph or two
I see a rose from you
Among my souvenirs
A few more tokens rest
Within my treasure chest
And, though they do their best
To give me consolation
I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs
I count them all apart
And, as the teardrops start
I find a broken heart
Among my souvenirs.
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Why Does He Do That?

“YOUR ABUSIVE PARTNER DOESN’T HAVE A PROBLEM WITH HIS ANGER; HE HAS A PROBLEM WITH YOUR ANGER.
One of the basic human rights he takes away from you is the right to be angry with him. No matter how badly he treats you, he believes that your voice shouldn’t rise and your blood shouldn’t boil. The privilege of rage is reserved for him alone. When your anger does jump out of you—as will happen to any abused woman from time to time—he is likely to try to jam it back down your throat as quickly as he can. Then he uses your anger against you to prove what an irrational person you are. Abuse can make you feel straitjacketed. You may develop physical or emotional reactions to swallowing your anger, such as depression, nightmares, emotional numbing, or eating and sleeping problems, which your partner may use as an excuse to belittle you further or make you feel crazy.”

― Lundy Bancroft, Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men


This quote reminds me of my ex-husband who doesn’t only believe and did everything that has been said above he also thinks that being his wife means I have no right at all. He is the exact opposite of the saying what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. He alone has the right to say and does everything his heart’s desire.

He spent a lot of times on the front of the computer tracking women, chatting them, meeting them and went on vacation with them but I was not allowed even to touch the computer. He changed its password every other day and forbidden my children to even breath a single letter of that bloody password to me. How’s that for unfair?

He disappeared for days not telling where he was and if I dare to ask him he will tell me it wasn’t my business. He drinks as if there is no tomorrow, violent beyond belief, rude, distant and utterly, utterly abusive not only physically but mentally as well. And the way he demanded sex from me was out of this world. As if I was created solely for that purpose. As a result, I cultivated an abnormal aversion to it and avoided being intimate with him at all cost and believe me it cost a lot.

Yet for him, I was the bad one. He often accused me of not behaving like a wife and not doing my duty. That I’m good for nothing and has nothing to offer to a man that I’m lucky he keeps me because no man will ever want a short fat and ugly someone like me. I will not survive out there he said. Without him, I will not make it.

It took me thirteen years to learn to give him a taste of his own medicine and to find out that eat your heart out is a wonderful motivation to survive. And another seven years to actually find the courage to walk out and leave him for good.

That was fifteen years ago.

Still, the nightmares continue. The damage that he caused I (and my children) will carry for the rest of our lives. The consequences of his cruel and senseless thoughtless actions will resonate through the years and will affect generations to come. The pattern is set.

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Halfway In Between

“I have to admit, an unrequited love is so much better than a real one. I mean, it’s perfect… As long as something is never even started, you never have to worry about it ending. It has endless potential.”

This quote above reminds me of an episode when during the happiest, wildest, confusing, enjoyable painful saddest ride of my life when I was lost looking for my rainbow connection the captain ball of my basketball team refused despite his teammates urging him to put a stop to his shenanigans and properly court me so we could all move on (meaning if I turned down the guy the next in line can try his luck and if I accept him then they will know the chase is over and life can go back to normal) he said: “Why would I do that? This way, you can all wait forever and I will always be at the head of the queue.” He was seventeen, sweet and such a handful. I was thirty-one, looking like sixteen, daring and crazy like hell but has a decency and sense not to give in to temptation. Those were the days.

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Aftermath

It took me three years to divorce him. I had to relinquish everything for him to sign. It was two years before I learnt to trust myself again. And another two before I dared trust anyone else. I still have trust issues… I still have nightmares… still run to the basin to wash myself… still check the bolt on every door…still jump out of my skin every time I hear a sound I don’t recognize… still sleep with a big knife under my pillow… I keep telling myself I’ve done the right thing and kudos to myself for having the courage to stand and fight back and eventually leave. Now all I have to do is believe I am safe.

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Beloved

Meet Lizzy. She’s a survivor.

Once upon a time, there were a lot of them. There was Tommy, Abigail, Lucy, the gypsy triplets Scheherazade, Esmeralda, and Aurora, the English one Emily, Annie the country girl, Mollie the baby and a lot more but I have forgotten their names already.    

Out of the 27 pieces of antique porcelain dolls in my collection, she alone escaped the wrath of my ex-husband when during one of his drunken episodes he decided to murder all of them using a screwdriver. He stabbed them one by one right in the face. One doll I found his weapon of choice still buried deep in one eye. Luckily he passed out before he could damage my beloved Lizzy. The reason? He got none aside from his opinion that I loved the dolls more than him and spent more time in their company than in his.

It reminds me of the time he flushed my goldfish down the toilet and let out my parakeets in the middle of the winter, killed the giant pothos his late grandmother had given me, removing the leaves one by one until there was nothing left but the climbing pole for exactly the same reason: They took so much of my time he said. Well, it’s all water under the bridge now. 

Lizzy’s face neck and chest together with her arms and legs are made of porcelain and the only doll in my collection who has movable joints. I love her big innocent sorrowful chocolate brown eyes, baby limbs, and pouty lips, her traditional attire too. When I finally had the courage to walked out from the hell house, I took nothing but the clothes on my back and Lizzy. 

You can read the rest of our journey to freedom here.

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Pieces

We moved to a much smaller house in the suburb two years ago after selling our six bedroom Edwardian property in the country. The place was too big for just the two of us. It was a hell to clean and even more difficult to heat up properly. Period houses are money pits that demand bottomless pockets and tireless enthusiasm from the owners. We found out we lack the dedication and the courage to keep up.

Moving the contents of a bigger space to a smaller one proved to be impossible. We get rid of all the furniture and sold most of the trimmings. The ones that nobody wanted to buy, we donated to charity, but still our new garage is full to the brim it is an ordeal to navigate in there. Day by day we try to sort things out, keep what we need and get rid of the rest. I found out that those that carry emotional values are the ones that hard to say goodbye to, I still have bunch of silk flowers and plants lined up on a top of a big picnic table together with vases, candles and candle holders, figurines, books, albums, videos and cds. Throwing them away is like throwing all your experiences, deleting your past life, erasing your memories. As if you trying to start fresh as someone else.

The other day I opened one of the boxes to sort out and I found this small yellow stone on top of a pile of ledgers from previous courses. It has very fine yellow crystals, probably quartz. They shimmer under a light or in the sun. The stone is beautifully nondescript and unusually singular. I never seen another stone like it.  But what makes it more special is the story behind it and the person who gave it to me.

Arjay was just a boy from the neighborhood. One of those children who accompany me wherever I go whether I like it or not. He was the first to jump in a tricycle if I was about to go somewhere, most of the times without permission from his parents. Only now I did realize the seriousness of the situation. I was the only adult among them. I was solely responsible for their safety and well beings. Those minors who hiked, swim, climbed waterfalls and rooftops, spent overnight in the mountains with me were vulnerable. Anything could happen and what then? But that time, those thoughts were the last things in my mind. To me, I was in vacation, my time was limited, every second counts. I have to make the most of it and I savor every moment without thinking of the consequences and there were few. Nothing serious. More damaging to my reputation than anything else. I gladly took those too. Who cares about what other people think when I know the truth.

Among those youngsters who followed me around was Arjay, a cute enthusiastic kid who was small for his age. I thought he was ten- twelve years old, I was surprised to find out later on that he was two years older than I originally assumed, he was fourteen. One time we were sleeping in the house of one of my Godmother’s boarders in the mountains when in the middle of the night I found Arjay staring at me, his face inches away from mine. His presence was not the reason why I suddenly woke up, it was the noises that the other boarders were making that aroused me from my slumber; they said Arjay was trying to kiss me. I thought it was a joke (what else it could be?) and shrugged it off but when it happened again and again I asked his mother what was the matter with Arjay, she said he had nightmares sometimes. I was so relief to finally get some explanation of what was happening with him. The kid had nightmares. No wonder he was acting strange.

He continued to to be part of my vacation each year since then. If we were at some party and I got tired and wanted to lie down, he will suddenly got a headache and insisted on being in the same room or bed with me. Luckily there was another kid who kept an eye on Arjay (or me) and every time he saw that Arjay was acting strange again he will see to it that he was in the same room with us. If I leave he goes with me, if Arjay goes, he stays. Kids.

I didn’t know the whole story and I didn’t ask for the reason why one day the kid asked Arjay to settle their differences by fighting it out. According to him Arjay was unrespectful and what he was doing was wrong. I don’t understand but I find that it’s not my place to ask and leave it at that. As far as I know, Arjay didn’t accept the challenge which was a relief because they were both good kids. I would hate to be in the middle of adolescents conflict and the last thing I would want to do is to choose sides. Their mothers are both my Godmothers. They were like brothers to me. 

My mother died and I stop going home. I have no reason anymore to comeback so I lost sight of the bunch. I saw their profiles on Facebook, they are grown ups now and some of them are married and have family of their own. Arjay got married just last month. He has become a good looking young man like I thought he is going to be. Still small but presentable. I made a mistake of connecting with them a year ago and regretted in an instance my decision when I was bombarded with personal messages and telephone numbers. I quickly turned off my profile and never returned the messages. Personal contact isn’t my cup of tea and rekindling past relationships doesn’t set good with me. I rather leave the past in the past so it stays that way and I am able to visit whatever it is in my memory whenever I feel the need to do so. I find that tampering with what has been taint the memories somehow, ruining the good part and altering if not erasing the original stories. I rather remember them how they were and keep what we had the way it was than risk changing the impression they left in my recollection of the good old days when all of us were still innocent and young…

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In Another Lifetime

This song sums up my past affairs (yes affairs plural) and for the most part, the greatest times of my life. They are echos now, but those brief moments had given me unforgettable memories I often revisit when I need a place to hide or something to sustains me when the weather is bad the company dull the evenings dark and the morning cold.

Daily Prompt: Sincere