Sunday, 7 December 2008

Moving on

Finally come too close to the deadline for handing over the old house. Despite my reluctance, I had to "burn" one Sunday just to clear out the old stuff from the house.

I dread going back to the old house sometimes. It feels so sad and lonely, not only because it now looks run down and empty, but also there seem to be an unbearable sense of loss in the air, perhaps of the youth that was lost to time and those unfulfilled promises.

Packing up memories is a very hard thing to do. Some of them fit into boxes, others, well, they will be lost to the void if not already sealed in my heart. As I picked up those bits and pieces, I smiled and I frowned. I think I have become a sentimental fool somehow, living between the past and the present, tormented by things that were once good but are now gone forever. I feel old suddenly, as I look at how much memories I have accumulated over the years.

These cards and drawing I received from my sister when she was a toddler haven't fade off much, though she is now all grown up, graduated from the university and got her first job. Despite all the years, she is still naive, careless and making mistakes. But who am I to complain? Even being much older than her, I am still learning the lessons of life and is a constant worry to my parents. And I wonder if she still loves me as much as she did when she wrote me the Christmas card that year.

The only thing that hasn't change is that the "necklace" she gave me on my birthday years ago remains an imaginery one.

Letters and cards from friends all over the world whom I have not met or spoken to for over 10 years. I cannot imagine how we could have lost contact, even though email and internet have brought the world closer together in the meantime. Everytime I look at these, I regret that I did not do enough to preserve our friendships. There is nothing more I want now than to hear that they are all doing well. But at least we have shared some happy times together and these old envelopes and stamps will be our witnesses.

For a very long time, I have kept all the letters from my ex-boyfriend but they were unfortunately destroyed some years back when I learnt that he was getting married (:-P). Don't misunderstand that I did it out of anger or distraught, but it was a promise we made to each other that we would start life afresh, without clinging on to anything between us from the past. Now I realised we were fools, for those people and things that are not meant to be yours will never be yours, no matter how close you keep them by your side. And what harm can a few letters and photographs do? It would no doubt bring some joy and maybe a little embarrassment if I were to re-read those letters now.

I remembered he wrote something about "forever" in one of his letters to me. That "forever" he promised me turned out to be too long to wait. Instead, "forever" between us has taken another form. Some memories are very selfish, particularly those from your first romance. They will live forever, even if you don't tell anyone and don't talk about it anymore. He will always have a place in my heart, sunk deep into my ocean of secrets eternally. Likewise, I know, he will never forget me.

Old photographs. My life would have been an illusion if not for these photos to prove the past. It saddens me greatly that I am no longer in contact with anyone of the people inside.

My first Identity Card. Where has that young girl with pointed chin gone to? Ah... I have aged.

Make a guess but I bet you won't get the age of this sly looking fat cat ballon correct. It has been at least 12 years, a gift that I got during one of my first dates. Look closely, he has a lot of freckles (老人斑), but he is still not "dead"... haha! I think he has many more years to live.

This new place, amidst the enchanting forest, is now where I call home. It is filled with new furnitures, new curtains, new space, ready to embrace new hopes. There will be some day in the future, perhaps, when this place too will become old and empty, too will tell sad and lonely tales, for life is, fundamentally, transient and nothing is permanent. So, I will keep some more boxes and pages in my album empty, to collect those memories that will form inside this house and beyond it.

1 comment:

Happy Hippo said...

u got the Mr Bean's bear! so cute. Hope he has joined u at ur new hse...