Cast Away in Time and Space

Photo by Alvin Andrean 
A week ago, I sat watching the sun recede into the sea. In the foreground: the garden of the hotel my husband and I were staying at for the weekend—straggly trees lining the otherwise manicured green. And in their midst, a large transparent awning that would, that evening, host the wedding dinner of a friend from years past, its underside twinkling with fairy lights.

It was a pocket of space and time which felt surreal yet more vitally alive than any other in recent memory. The sun kissed the waters and set them fiercely alight, the waves rushed the sandy shore, the garden served as their tranquil counterpoint. An improbable yet perfect confluence akin to the coincidence of travel restrictions lifting, my reconnecting with an old friend, and his meeting and proposing to a lovely lady who hailed from Penang.

The next day as I flipped through Coastlands by Aaron Lee, “Play It By Ear” recalled the poet’s experience of another “carnage of colours declaring the end of an August day”:

You smiled at my answer with
another kind of knowing,
more sensible than the evening
with its hesitant sun.
It was just like that first June
of our life together. Now
we found ourselves cast away again
with no more answers but
a once-discarded life to slip into,
if only we would stop running.

Whether through travels, being quiet by ourselves or the transport of a good book, may these vital moments find us all when we “stop running”.

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