extremely loud & incredibly close


i haven’t done justice to this book at all; i’ve been reading it for more than a month now, i think, and it’s because i kept reading it in long intervals – sometimes i didn’t read it for a week or two altogether. it’s not that the book wasn’t interesting, in fact it’s anything but uninteresting, but the reason i was avoiding reading it was because it made my heart hurt and heavy with each page, with each chapter. jonathan foer has done an absolutely exceptional job writing this book; it’s not just a story, you can literally experience the feelings of the protagonist (oskar, a nine year old boy) on the pages; he’s used all sorts of formats of writing and incorporated the visual aspect of the boy’s feelings (if that makes sense) onto the page and the reader can’t help but understand it perfectly well, at least i did, even if oskar himself isn’t sure. i’m not done reading the book, i’ve still got a few pages left to read and yet again i’m avoiding it because a few uninvited tears have already escaped my ducts reading the last chapter, but maybe it’s just me being a lil oversensitive bb. apart from the whirlwind of feelings that accompany this novel, it’s got everything you could ask for: humour, suspense, conflict, drama, naïvety, perspective, epiphanies, analogies, frustration, sorrow, death, experiences, letters, visual appeals, a cameo by a specific someone famous, attachment, love, need, mystery, relationships and so much more. this is a book that i’d definitely want as part of my collection and one that i will read yet again once i’m done reading it for the first time because i feel like it deserves more of my attention; attention that i want to give it without becoming a jumbling mess of tears. i’ve already recommended it to a bunch of people, and i’m doing the same to you – i’m not guaranteeing that you’ll like it but it’ll definitely be a taste of something new.


what ifs

“a labyrinth of sorts” (spin off type of thing)

you scourge my mind;
you weaken my heart,
you leave me noticeably blind.

you emerge in the form of gentle quivers –
just a couple of ughs and i can’ts; but
once you assume the shape of tremors
i’m unsure how to come out of the pit i’ve dug.

you’ve got some nerve, you
to enter my territory and not yours,
and catch me completely off guard,
it’s as if you want to throw me off course
and flee only once life seems terribly hard;

you instill this insane sense of urgency,
one that makes me pull out my hair; one that
makes me act unbelievably hasty;
when it’s hard to win a wink of sleep,
with you constantly lurking on my mind,
that’s when i know, i’m in too deep.

what am i to do?
when my heart is on its knees,
when my mind is hopelessly lost,
when my body unnecessarily exhausted;
all because of a petty negative thought?
a labyrinth of sorts,
my mind craves directions.



a feeling of frightening unfamiliarity –
i’ve forgotten how to breathe deeply,
and all i do is gasp and wheeze;
with what ifs constantly plaguing my mind,
my heart refusing to simmer down;
i ask innocently, “what is inner peace?” 

a feeling of disturbing disequilibrium –
my eyes haven’t seen darkness for a long while,
soft, clear skin crowded by unsought eruptions;
i frustratingly dishevel my hair, only to have them
tear and fall into my hands in submission;
i ask desperately, “where do i find inner peace?”

a feeling of comforting consolation –
a tender hand on my slouched shoulder,
and a loving caress on my crinkled forehead;
an empathetic smile accompanied by kind words,
the flicker of a light seen in the tunnel underneath;
i say bravely, “i know inner peace.”

a feeling of calming  i n n e r  p e a c e
slow and even breaths, no signs of struggle;
disparaging what ifs, replaced by confident i cans;
the only unfamiliar feeling now: sleepless nights;
happy skin, healthy locks and a strong heart;
i say humbly, “i have inner peace.”

a feeling of frightening familiarity –
his hunched shoulders and tired eyes,
traces of dried tears tainting his sad face;
i touch his right shoulder gently,
and lightly clasp his trembling hand in mine;
i say carefully, “let me show you inner peace.”