August 17, 2011

Birds, occasionally caged

Notes for a Suicide
Felix Cheong

I have a thread
round each wrist
which I know I can unstitch
anytime I wish.

Hands freed, thumbs crossed,
fingers restless as wings,
I have become that crow
roosting in my dreams.


I am leaving soon and everything seems so final, like a goodbye that keeps bidding farewell. It is difficult, setting down roots here and finding myself back home only to rip myself out continually. Sometimes I think the pain is what drives me- the challenge of challenge itself. How many times can you discover yourself anew? How many times can a goodbye be said without ringing hollow across an empty airport and an empty circle? How many times can you tell yourself to keep moving on when you're unsure of where you're moving towards?

I read this poem some time ago, a long time ago. When I read it again tonight, after watching Family Outing (of the Man Theatre Festival; it is a very well-written play. It made me very uncomfortable- maybe that's how the best plays should be), it reminded me of myself right after JC, lost and unchallenged and comfortable but ready, too ready to leave. I am different now, but only by degrees.

Images by Hong Kong-based Simon Birch

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