Sunday Ramblings: A Peek into the Journal of Sara A. Trett

A page from Virginia Woolf’s Diary

Drawing together worlds and universes in the backlit veins of my eyelids. Escaping the physical, and flying out into the clouds where everything’s intangible and nothing can touch you.

Welcome to Kuching

I’ve spent the last day reading through Ali’s book. It’s addictive. It’s the sort of book I’d like to read on some island trapped in the middle of no-where, like the book ironically enough.

Stupid authors… making me think about things. I’ve set a goal. By the end of the summer, I’ll be able to ride a skateboard. I need to glide for a bit, and KL is slightly lacking in surf-able swells.

I like Kuching. It’s very chill. Honest to god, watching the smoke and rivers, and that amazing orange sun as I flew in, it was like breaching the reality of a Drizzt novel. God, I’ve missed writing. So much. Falling back into journal writing, is so damn natural, however illegible.

Reading Ali’s book, it’s got me to thinking… How would I have written a book like that? Not half as well, I’m sure. I don’t have that capacity or outlook on life to observe everything and see something different. And I definitely don’t have the capacity or outlook on life to be as social or as brave. Meeting and befriending all those people? How on earth??

 I’m a chicken. But sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’ve never had the opportunity before, or the permission.

I wish I were older, or that my parents were more liberal with these trips. I would have killed to go to Perhentian with the boys, or to PD with the potheads, fat chance. For the next month I’m just going to be testing waters and calming down.

(Habitat for Humanity)

I reckon, if I did charity work during summers, that this is what I’d like to do. Something about seeing your work unfolding before your eyes, seeing the sweat stream off of your face into the dirt (the stupid, sticky, clay-ey dirt) is just absolutely. It’s watching the difference you’re making.

And working with 22 other people is even better. It gets things done a thousand times faster and makes things infinitely more fun.

Kuching at night

The dark envelops us as we walk. Just the two of us. Crude neon signs shine, lone passers-by walk quietly through the shadows while we traipse aimlessly, lost in this ageless, untouched paradox that every city becomes at night. Every footstep a threat, every noise stopping our hearts. Only in the safety of a bright, and reasonably populated bakery do we finally relax. And open up casually into discussing some of our most personal secrets. The soft muttering of our voices is a welcome intrusion over the deadly hush of the town. Such experiences are foreign, and few, but are meant to be treasured when happened upon. Here I am, safe in my hotel room, with someone who I’ve barely known two days, and yet she already knows some of my most guarded secrets.

Maybe they weren’t that well guarded in the first place.

Another night of rest another occurrence of my nightly ritual. Falling asleep to the dulcet tones of imagination; whether it be a certain song on my iPod, or the words of a novel (last night, Chasing Ghazali – Ali Imran K., tonight, the Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson) or even just staring up at nothing and darkness and imagining impossible situations that only under the most convoluted circumstances would occur. Imagined conversations are a very large part of my repertoire.

I’m a loon, tested and proven and known to all. I’ve wasted enough time today writing, I want to read, then I need sleep for tomorrow’s ordeal.

Day Three

Scarring, unadulterated pain is what accompanies two days work without rest. Slowly it creeps up the muscles mid-back, solidifying your bones in the concrete you struggle to mix. The sweat drips freely, blisters split and reform, while your fingers grow rigid and you treasure every second of rest, even though you know it makes the next set even worse and sets the concrete harder and deeper.

Every stretch, every times you straighten your back, it’s shaking off the inches of concrete dust and oiling the gears with nothing but sweat and rust. That’s the word to describe it really, rusty. Grinding through your bones, through your brain and your ears. Dripping from your nose and streaming from your eyes.

Each scratch, each dent, each bruise just serves to remind you that you are making a difference. That someone’s life is going to be a bit better because of your four-day effort. So you carry on.

There’s nothing like ripping open a piece of wood, to find an ecosystem, a seemingly dead log, teeming with unseen life, rotten and decaying, mouldy and ragged, with thousands, no, millions of legs, and exoskeletons, and throbbing eggs, and festering and decaying and crawling and decrepit and dishevelled, but turgid, and green and rich and fresh and breathtaking.

Working as hard as they can, building, breaking moving and shaping. Just like us.

 Homeward bound

Back in Kl, I’m already missing the freedom. I think that week of world was a welcome respite from the constant bombardment of problems that comes from the realities of home. Everything about that week was dreamland. Was the rainbow snake and Barramundi, was Ngalculli and Ganharr the crocodile. It was the rick red background, with pastel dots and lines running thick and strong over it. Boldly charting their course, weaving together to tell stories of friends and camaraderie and idiocy and sunburn, and breaking free of old insecurities.

It’s like the entire thing was imagined. Like I was just sitting on a hill somewhere, eyes closed, smiling up and the clouds and the sky and the sun to feel the breeze on my face. Drawing together worlds and universes in the backlit veins of my eyelids. Escaping the physical, and flying out into the clouds where everything’s intangible and nothing can touch you. Nothing can breach your atmosphere. Where there is not one thing that can ruin your moment of peace.

 But of course, a dream, as everything does, eventually comes to an end. If you’re lucky, you drift, slowly, to the ground. Seeing the green flying up to meet you and lighting touching your feet. Otherwise you’re faced with an aeroplane. Flying straight toward you parting the curtains of clouds that concealed it, hurling you, mile after mile toward ground, robbing you of your flight so that you’re dragged, faster and faster to the murky brown and grey that awaits you below.

 Upon reaching the ground, you find yourself awake, gasping for breath, realising that it was all one terrible nightmare, and that all you can do is to be bound by the chains of reality and trudge along as part of a pack. Such is life.

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