Tag Archives: walks

Separation 

    

“For what separates dawn from dusk is day
And what separates joss from ash is respect
And what separates you from me is time
And if you lose even the memories
Then we will truly be apart”
– from Separation by Daren Shiau

***

I remember that twilight hour. I had emerged from a small bookstore where I had been browsing through Daren Shaiu’s Peninsula whilst broodily negotiating an online sale. It had been a long day.  Earlier I had walked through the bright green compound of Dempsey Hill visiting art galleries, along the way stumbling upon big wire cages full of noisy parrots and a dreamy green pond with fishes the size of small sharks. I had a difficult time in Anna Berezovskaya’s exhibit. It was all so beautiful and whimsical and other-worldly, yet I struggled to immerse myself in it fully because I couldn’t stop wrestling with myself in my mind. The second exhibit (Zhu Yan Chun’s The Substance Series) returned me to mountain paths and natural pigments, and I breathed easier.

 [The day’s clippings]
In the glow of early evening the meandering lanes of Duxton road had me scaling a hill and passing the entrance to a small park where I met a big cat, a miniature tiger-like creature.


I lingered a while in Monica Duxton’s exhibit- A Universal Truth, feeling soothed by light and space. When I stepped out to wander again, I looked at all the corridors and windows a little differently. A universal truth indeed. I also felt curiously tempted to get a drink, after a long period of ambivalence to alcohol.
Stepping out of the bookstore, I walked past shophouses to the main road which was lined with cars making their way home from the city. I felt very subdued, and a little bothered inside.

Across the road was a set of flats. Rows of disorderly bamboo laundry poles stuck out from stacks and stacks of faintly glowing squarish windows. Behind them, the dramatic silvery towers of a newer housing development jutted out like a swords. Pattern and juxtaposition. This is also poetry, I thought to myself. The mixture of lights and street sounds left me mellow and dreamy, and I felt myself suspended, like the light in the sky, between darkness and day.

After a long train ride I would arrive home, where I would make myself very upset with my verbal blunders, overanalyse the transaction I had earlier completed, attempt to clean my room, annoy those around me, and end up feeling very hurt and trapped and childish and taken advantage of.

I’m not sure how the evening ended. But once again the night would have come, dark and cool, closing the day and dividing it from the next. It used to bother me terribly, the way one day did not flow smoothly into the next like verses in a song do. It often felt like someone was taking a scissors and cutting each day and each moment off from the next.

In the end, I am not quite sure how to end the telling of this story. Perhaps I shall simply allow it to retire, close this pandora’s box of memory, creep beneath the covers. The words of Alvin Pang float to mind:

“Let waking divide
this day in which you walk
from the past
which already is less
than whisper, fainter
than a breath’s caress.”

“Make space with your words
so those who come after
may hear their own voices
in your silence, deepening.”

(From a poet is instructed by the death of his master) 

Rain City

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I spent the early part of the afternoon after my paper sitting on some concrete steps in a shopping centre, nibbling a taiyaki ice cream. The place was cavernous, deep-based and high-ceilinged, with a gaping entranceway sealed with a screen of rain.

A fantastic lightning storm was going on outside by the time I decided to head home. On the way to the train platform I stopped to look over the canal, with its gushing torrents of brown water. I watched a bottle get stuck, hitting against the slope of the channel repeatedly before finally being washed rapidly downstream. A yellow construction worker’s hat came by, floating like an overturned turtle shell, slowly sinking beneath the surface as water splashed over its edges. And that’s life, I thought to myself. I took in a deep breath as a cool breeze blew in my face.

Getting off the train, I walked by the street to the bus stop, feeling the white spray against my ankles and my face, like a million tiny crystallized butterfly souls. Reflected in the rain were the vague colours of quiet and disquiet, the orange of windows and the reds and greens of traffic. I imagined behind its screen a thousand butterflies hiding sleepily in secret places – Little gems of confidence, roosting quietly in every corner.

 

A winter walk in the Cotswolds

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My two friends and I traveled to the the village of Stow-on-the-Wold for a night. And on the second day we embarked on a walk to Bourton-on-the-Water. The YHA hostel was warm and pleasant, and the staff were very friendly. Our room had a window that led out to the roof.

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From there, we managed to catch a cold but pretty sunrise.

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It started out as a bright day, sun illuminating the honey limestone houses of the village.

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We headed along the road towards the village of Maugersbury.

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We passed some sheep and horses along the way.

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We headed down this road from Maugersbury, which turned out to be a mistake, and we ended up doubling back.

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A thick mist was rolling in by then, and we couldn’t see very far.

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We passed an abandoned farm filled with disused equipment

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And began the climb up Maugersbury hill.

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Eventually descending to the quiet village of Icomb, with its 12th Century church.

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After leaving Icomb, we began to pass through a series of marshy meadows.

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And crossed some bridges.

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Finally coming to the village of the bridges, Bourton-on-the-Water

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From there, we went to a delightfully pretty tea room called the Smith’s of Bourton. Every table setting was different and very princess-like. We didn’t feel very princess-like though, with mud all over our boots and frost in our hair. But the cakes and scones were lovely. After that, we headed back to the station and took the train back to the comforts of London.

Now that I think about it, it was a rather crazy thing to do, to head to the Cotswolds for a trek in winter. But it was still an interesting experience trekking through the ice and snow and mist, and one not devoid of pretty moments. The walk we took was car-free and can be found here.

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Chalk Farm on a rainy night

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IMG_0657IMG_0671IMG_0653IMG_0654There’s something rather nostalgic about the atmosphere of a rainy city at dusk. We tried a new running route yesterday, and went up Primrose Hill, from which we could see the city skyline, though it was blurred by the spray of rain. Then, wanting to explore a little, we took a spontaneous walk, going further beyond the hill to a little district called Chalk Farm, where we had rum and raisin ice cream before circling through Camden Town and were back just in time for dinner, icy icy cold.