… the overwhelming majority disliked [“childless” and “childfree”], with one being seen as stigmatising and the other gleeful and nasty in its implication that parents somehow need “liberating”.
… that’s one reason why – when absolutely necessarily – “doesn’t have children” is the kindest, most neutral descriptor we can hope for. Though we can also hope to be moving away from one’s parenting status needing to be defined at all, especially for women, who still face this question far more frequently than men. Language matters, and as ever it often says more about us and our assumptions than we realise.
what can i say about me in a five-year timespan? everything and nothing.
it’s funny when you fill out fellowship applications they will ask you where do you think you will be in five years, what do you see? expecting you to be somewhere else, a different person, in a different place. they will dismiss at once the idea of being a static, a stagnant.
but here’s five years after living abroad.
1. no matter where you go, or where life takes you, you are still you. i came there to cleanse myself of myself, off of myself, and here I am still the same.
2. you will see more and more evil in this world, they came in different faces of kindness and sincerity. you will be fooled and you will not grow out of it. still, you keep wanting more and more. you always want more. arms wide open, bleeding just the same.
3. they will stab you in the back time and time again, and you will endure. you will cry, but you will endure. you will not get over it. shopping is a cure and you will go broke from the stabs. you continue to live, of all the whispers and screams, you’ll live.
4. everything that seems fancy, is not. go back to what you love, who you love, they’re there for you, and they will be there for you, again and again. put them in a frame, and carry them in your heart.
5. friends leave. let them go. it’s alright. you were born alone.
6. it will be exhausting and you will be exhausted. and death is not coming to get you. you will create an escape in the least things expected, in the most unthinkable ways. you will survive. you will not be smiling, but you will survive.
These words have been kept, hidden, for almost eighteen years. She was born just to be, but never meant to be shared. But almost two years ago, her presence became urgent. She was cut in pieces and put together in a hurry but did made it in time to be read by people who needed them.
If there’s one thing I love about love, is that it expands as you grow. My love for her imperfection has never been this courageous, and I’d like to extend it to you.
Now celebrating her two years arriving into the world, she will be available to you lovely people in Asia. If you speak Bahasa and is interested in providing her a home, message me.
Right before our parting, mother sat me down in a meadow. She apologetically held my hands then placed a flower crown on my hair.
She said, “Remember this, love, for time is a loop. You will come back for me.”
Little did she know, time was in denial.
So suddenly as I realised this, she turned into a montage of old photographs between flashing lights.
I saw her,
the staggering girl between
I saw her vague fingers inside
his feathered glory,
such indifferent beak cloud,
white rush oh there there
brute brute blood!
here’s burning roof and tower
the centre cannot hold,
things fall apart…
Phrases in W. B. Yeats’ poems “Leda and the Swan” and “The Second Coming”, in this part of my book, are rearranged in an attempt of deconstruction. WB Yeats poems are an integral and essential part of my book, When I, My Own Daughter, available here.
I have so much loneliness in me, so much more than I could bear. Mother gave it to me one night the first time she was standing on the ledge near the window in our 30 stories high two bedrooms flat. She was in love with heights, so every night she took the dragons out and played with them outside by the window. She’d learn to fly. And fall.
I got so lonely everytime she did, for this grave feeling seeping through my skin, that she would fly (or fall) and would never find her way back to me (and father). She had certain ways of seeing life and death. Most of the time, to her there was no difference in both. But at times she saw death as a release and life was a cage in which one could only see what was not and could never feel what was real. What was real she saw in dreams.
She shared these dreams with me. She wrote them in a diary. Tell no one, she said to me. In her dreams, I was born into her world. I was her.
When I, My Own Daughter coming to you this spring.
Let me tell you about time: it doesn’t heal, it goes on. It changes you into different people and when you are in a different place, you see different things -and if you’re lucky enough, you see things differently (you might write about it too).
And that is it. There’s nothing about healing has anything to do with how time stretches between you and your wounds. They will always be there to remind you where you’re coming from.
My book went live few hours ago and everytime it always came down to this feeling of helplessness in letting go. And that is the only healing I could ever get from writing it.
Life always, always, gets you caught off guard and I am spent.
If words were breath and phrases life… I am rarely moved by other peoples’ poetry. It takes a truly unique writer to penetrate below my natural cynicism. I tell you all: this is the one book of poetry, the first in a long time, to feel authentic, brave and sincere. I LOVE THIS BOOK!
(Martha Humphreys, Amazon.com)
Within these pieces, you will find so much raw emotion and talent. The ink on these pages will soak into your skin and claw into your skull. You will never forget reading such a powerful book. Maia is destined for greatness.
How do you describe a book as an experience? Letters to Sylvia is not just flattery words knitted together in a string of poems. It is a journey you want and need to embark. It is a sigh at the end not wanting to get off that plane of emotions. This is not just a book. It’s an experience. Read, woman!
This book was just like one of those Sunday afternoons when you just don’t want to do nothing but sit down and take a walk down the memory lane. This book reeks of nostalgia and heartbreak. My personal favourites were Period ( this one left me gutted and awestruck), Adieu ( made me sigh) and Feminine Mystique ( this one BROKE MY HEART). And I loved the fact that the poet somehow wrote it as an ode/ dedication to Sylvia, my all time favourite. The only thing that I would like to change would be the fact that it was just 85 pages long. I absolutely loved the tone and the flow so I guess I would’ve loved it a tad bit more if it included a few more poems!