Half Mystic // To Will Away the Sadness

Scrawled 30 July, 2015, 1 Comment

Here is an interesting thing: even when piano and guitar are off-limits due to my protesting ears, it appears I still turn to music during difficult times. In any possible way, shape, or form.

Which, in this case, means that I have been working almost feverishly on Half Mystic over the past few days.

It’s interesting to find that I am using this as a coping mechanism, especially when one considers that it goes against the principles of a depressive episode. Usually when this happens I have to force myself to simply get out of bed; the tiniest tasks seem nothing short of herculean.

But there is something about this baby journal that has grabbed me, and if nothing else, I think I am using it as a bit of an anchor.

There is so much to get done. My to-do list seems overflowing, and in any other case that would likely terrify me. But right now, I feel like I am drowning under the weight of a pervasive sadness, and ticking boxes off a list at least gives me a sense of purpose. Perhaps it helps that it is something I love more than anything else in the world – and all of the beautiful new music I’m discovering through staff applications and submissions is nothing short of incredible.

I have such high hopes for Half Mystic. I want this to be a piece of art that is too light for air, but also something visceral and heartwrenching. I want it to encompass so many aspects of music that I can’t find the words for. And it almost hurts a little bit how easy it would be to fail.

But I am learning so much from this. And it is providing a sort of lifeline for me. So I hope it’s successful. I hope it is just as beautiful and wild as I’ve imagined.

But for now, all I can do is keep working, if only to stave off the sadness for a little bit longer.

And then – and then we will see where it takes us all, won’t we?

(Submit to Half Mystic // apply as a staff member)

Snapshots | July 28th

Scrawled 28 July, 2015, 5 Comments

These past few days I’ve been feeling so… weary.

I use the ellipses because I’m not sure that’s the right word to describe this. The sadness is here again. And maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at that, but I might have fooled myself this time into thinking that it would stay away for good.

(Which is slightly ridiculous, because it never really does; there’s always a storm cloud hovering over me, but some days I can at least look through it to see the stars. Now, though, I feel wrapped in a blanket of rain. And I am cold and wet and tired and sad, sad, always sad.)

I had a panic attack a few days ago. Over the piano, of all things – and I think that might be the worst of all. Music is supposed to be my escape from all of this, but with my ears acting up, piano & guitar have been more anxiety-inducing burdens than anything else.

I am trying to have faith that it will pass, like it always does. I am trying to get out of bed and reply to emails and walk Hachii and work on Frozen Hearts and write poetry and spend time with my friends. I am trying so very hard.

But it’s difficult. Because there’s always this knowledge that even though the sadness will go away, it will also come back, like it always does. Probably someone else would be able to find poetry in that, but I can’t see it as anything but a bitter sort of irony.

I detest the phrase “what is the point?”. I have to believe there is a point to all of this – and maybe one day I’ll be able to look back and see it clear as day – but right now, I feel like I am constantly floundering. Of course I’m trying (and it is deceptively easy to act happy, both online and in real life), but sometimes I wish it would all just stop for a moment. I don’t want to have to pretend to be happy anymore.

There is sadness running off of me in rivulets. And it’s the same story I’ve told so many times – but all the same, it feels as if each rendition is more painful than the last.

Friday Poetry: “Of Broken Glass & Fallen Lovers”

Scrawled 24 July, 2015, 17 Comments

Perhaps it’s my mind running itself in circles again, but it feels as if summer is coming to an end too soon, and that terrifies me a little. I feel like there so many things I didn’t do over the past two months that I should have done, and I’ve spent much of today worrying about that. Which is rather exhausting and not at all productive, but it’s so difficult to turn off a brain that insists on constantly racing and chasing and twisting in on itself.

A small consolation, though: I am actually quite proud of this week’s Friday Poetry. (Especially the title, because, as you’ve likely come to realise, I am horrible at titles.) Mostly it was illustrating the sharp contrasts of the poem that challenged me, but in the end I think it turned out not bad at all – something with jagged edges, but hopefully still soft.

Enjoy, lovelies – have a beautiful weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday. xx


Of Broken Glass & Fallen Lovers


it was something
m o n s t r o u s,
this want for you. something
lethal, like: i shouldn’t want this.
like: i do anyway. like:
shattered kisses, bloody smiles –
all this and the fireworks too,
who’d have thought it, darling?


the dream was something
d e a d l y.
torn clothes, split lips,
a car crash 15 years too young.
like: war stories never end well.
like: let’s tell one anyway. like:
teach the bruises how to bloom again,
won’t you, darling?


but it happened like something
f a t a l
in the worst way. laughter
dancing in the dark. your touch
soft as sunrise and just as sweet.
like: surrender shouldn’t be this light.
like: i think i like it anyway.
like: gentle lips, quiet hands –
what a strange salvation, don’t you think,
d a r l i n g ?

On Loneliness (Or: The Weight of Existing)

Scrawled 23 July, 2015, 8 Comments

Alone. There is no answer for this hand spun state of being.

They whisper it as if it is something to be feared or revered or a little bit of both. The thought of an uncertain future, or, perhaps, a redefined present, is a monster they have no name for, and this is what makes them afraid. But here it is: love songs and suicide notes blur into each other when you find yourself lost in the crowd, and yet – on your own you develop a new sense of time.

Alone. Or: lonely. They use the words as synonyms.

And you begin to wonder, because the wondering is what you are made of.

Your wild and untenable heart spins all these things in the dream-wakening. Things like what might happen if you hung the ocean up to dry, salt crusted on your mothbitten skin. The moon wrapped up in cellophane and shipped to your doorstep. You wonder because it is all you know how to do, because of course this what it means to be alone, and the words pooling in your head are the ones with which you will the magic into being.

Loneliness, they say, the women with soft winter voices who wear their wrinkles as battle scars. Nothing a teaspoon of stardust and a good night’s sleep can’t fix.

It is the first hint you receive that you need fixing, that perhaps all these fragmented parts of you are supposed to fit together. That you were never anything more than a jigsaw puzzle.

You spin round and round. Wander to the edge of the street, call it a world. Gaze out at the universes past the dented stop sign on the corner. Wonder how many millennia it might take to explore them all and how many more to map out the ones hidden in your own mind.

Here is what you can’t define, can’t unfold: even in all this loneliness, you have never once felt anything less than alive.

It is not the act of existing that exhausts you; you see it as something reckless and radical. But existing in the presence of so many other galaxies: here is where you feel your light begin to fade. The loneliness makes you luminous. And you wonder why that sounds like a paradox.

So you learn to make a home out of your own mind, because perhaps you begin to realise that the wondering is the wandering, that there never was a difference. You find it easier, at least, to stop trying to piece together all those fragmented pieces and instead simply exist. To orbit your own planet rather than exploring the unknown beyond the hemisphere of your mind.

You learn to stop trying to find the stardust and simply let it come to you. You learn to embrace the aloneness as loneliness and to learn that neither was ever a curse. You learn that perhaps you have been the poem all along.

And you relearn to believe that that – if nothing else – is enough.

Adventures in Zombieland: The Trouble with my Ears

Scrawled 22 July, 2015, 14 Comments

This is going to sound odd, but it’s truly the only way I know how to put it: I have bionic ears.

It started around three months ago: everything suddenly seemed to be amplified. There was no trigger – one day my hearing was perfectly normal, and the next I could be sitting in the front of a room and hear people whispering in the back of it, as clearly as if they were sitting right behind me. People looked at me oddly, asked why I was being so quiet, when I thought I was speaking in a normal tone. I couldn’t concentrate when there was a mosquito buzzing in the next room.

Things were, quite simply, very, very loud.

(I just read through that and realised that it sounds like a passage from a superhero novel. TOPAZ WINTERS can hear your deepest secrets and everything you hold near to your heart. Nothing escapes her super-hearing. Her ears are a force to bring the quietest whisperers to their knees.)

Unfortunately, that is not actually as fun as it sounds. (Which is a shame, because it does sound quite awesome.)

Because although I could hear the quieter noises, I could also hear everything else much, much louder than it really was. It happened 24/7 – there was no way of turning it off, which meant that I was constantly overwhelmed by the sheer number of noises that we encounter while doing this thing called living. There was no muffler and no way to make it go away. It was exhausting.

And so, because I am not particularly interested in walking around wearing noise-cancelling headphones for the rest of my life, something had to change.

Over the weekend, we visited an audiologist and had it confirmed: this is not actually in my head, and for some reason we haven’t yet figured out, I do have extremely sensitive ears. (This is rather ironic, because most of the older members of my extended family are actually hard-of-hearing. Something like this was… unprecedented.)

This is how it works: most people with “perfect” hearing can hear about 10-25 decibels naturally, without straining their ears. In contrast: I can hear to the 0-10 decibel range.

There are several explanations for this, and we are still not quite sure which is the correct one. A few of the specialists we’ve spoken to have used the terms “auditory processing disorder” and “hyperacusis” – we can’t determine whether it’s either of those or something completely different without doing further testing.

However, one thing we do know: this is almost certainly connected to the mental health issues.

The fact that it came on without warning means that it was likely caused by something to do with my anxiety. (This is especially interesting because a few of the anxiety triggers actually do have to do with loud noises.) Which likely means that if we can get this fixed, the anxiety issues might decrease slightly as well.

Of course, this is quite a lot of “if”s and “might”s and “possibly”s and “maybe”s – but still, it feels good to have some kind of physical link to the anxiety (and possibly depression, though we haven’t yet confirmed that one). I’ll keep you lovelies updated on what happens – so far we’re still deciding what the next step is, but you will know as soon as I do.

One thing I do know for certain, though: I am not at all going to regret leaving this particular superpower behind. ;)