The blast of sound jolted me from my slumber. I groaned as I covered my face with a pillow; arm outstretched and searching for the switch. Failing to do so, I grabbed the alarm and proceeded to throw it out of the room. With a smash it bleeped its last bleep, before I heard the others storming downstairs calling out my name. This is why I hate Mondays.

It was dawn. Our Sun rose up lazily from beyond the hills, painting the sky a familiar pale blue. I longed to see a sunrise ever since I left. The place was cold due to the morning atmosphere, and I shivered as I got dressed for work.

We set off early that morning, to the south this time. The wheels rumbled down the rocky roads and muddy paths leading toward the beach. A pang of nostalgia hit me the moment I saw the clouds above the sea. I thought I could hear the squawk of seagulls, but I dismissed that thought; we had to get to work.

The day went by as usual, in a blur of sameness. Our Sun made its way across the sky, eventually reaching the Eastern horizon. As night drew closer and civil twilight delved into nautical twilight, I returned home. My family greeted me with smiles and hugs, and the kids clambered upon me, asking me about my day. We chattered about and ate dinner for the next few hours.

Rachel asked me to bring her outside tonight. I initially told her I was busy (this was half true, I indeed had a lot of things to do, though none were really urgent.), but after she pleaded for the next 10 minutes, I heavily obliged. Maybe I could use a break tonight, I thought. Just as Rachel packed up her colouring book and camera, her siblings crashed down the stairs, asking to follow. I sighed.

We headed towards the beach. Rachel kept staring out the window, snapping pictures with her camera. Leo and Adam kept quarrelling in the back, and Lyra was fast asleep. Soon enough, they were all quietly dozing off. When we reached the pier, I woke them up and brought them to the little boat tied to the docks.

We sailed out to sea, though never straying too far from the bay. Rachel was enthralled by the stars, and Lyra too had a big smile on her face, though as usual she never said anything. Oh, when that little girl grows up, she’ll have a lot of things to say. I was stunned to see that Leo and Adam were observing the sky intently, instead of finding ways to push each other off the boat. We sailed towards the little island, affectionately named after Lyra. She always loved going there, we could tell by her warm smile and giggles every time we went there.

We trudged silently up the rocks towards the observatory. One by one, I led them up the ladder to the telescope. They all ran towards the telescope, each wanting to be the first to see the stars. After loads of pushing and squabbling, I decided to let Rachel go first. While observing the stars, she smiled sweetly and asked me a question.

“Dad, which one’s Earth?”

Once again, that pang of  homesickness hit me. “There, see the third brightest star? Out in the edge of the Milky Way, yep, there. That’s what I used to call home.”

Home. How I longed to be there again, though I knew I could never return. I knew that it’s been thousands of years since we left, and it would take thousands to go back.

For now, home would always be here.


Why I Will Always Love Owl City

Jess at Gideon Press

Here’s the thing, often someone will ask me who my favorite band/singer is and I will blink at them and slowly like… internalize a million things.

It becomes this sort of internal debate where I am like… gosh. My automatic response is Owl City but I mostly listen to Taylor Swift.

I need to be honest with you, Owl City is my favorite ever band/music act/artist.

Here’s why.

There is a sort of inherent ability Adam Young has to creating music that is more a feeling than a telling of an experience.

By that I mean the words he constructs his songs with don’t tell you matter of fact what happened or provide you with an obvious metaphor. He paints feelings, how the senses process the event or sensation.

It’s awesome.

I first discovered Owl City on a radio station when I heard ‘Hot Air Balloon’ and I was like, holy…

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Grief is…

Grief is something quiet.

Something as silent as death who had robbed me of a friend, and thousands before.

People tend to think grief is something loud.
Probably, like sobbing, crying or even screaming, demanding answers as to why their loved ones had to go. Mourning for the rest of their lives for the dearly departed.

But the truth is, grief takes you by surprise. You’ll never see it coming, even when you know that particular special someone could potentially die within hours, minutes, or maybe even seconds. We  always forget that we will die too. It seems like an alien, morbid concept, but death is fundamentally what keeps us going on. It keeps us striving for life. Whether that is good or bad is up to you.

Grief is tiring.

It is like something you know that won’t last, and yet you are not ready to let go. In fact, you probably won’t be ready to ever let go. It wears your soul away as time keeps moving on, like a rock being eroded by the sea.

I feel as though I’ve been hit.
By a depressing inspirational rock.

This grief comes and goes like a freight train, fast, headstrong, and painful. It leaves you empty, as if you have been hollowed out.

We have always defined grief as the fine line between denial and acceptance. It is that cold yet burning feeling of sadness, when you realize it’s all over but you don’t want to let go.

It’s okay to feel grief, it is a human emotion. Even elephants and dolphins feel grief, even they mourn for their loved ones. Despite this, we should not let grief eat ourselves for the rest of our lives. We should let grief come and go; like the freight train that it is. But that empty hole in our heart can’t be left hollow. We must move on, fill it up with something new. Acceptance and learning from past mistakes.

True, we shouldn’t forget those departed loved ones that shaped the person we are but we shouldn’t let their absence drive us down. Instead, grief reminds us that our time is limited. The bleak reality is that we all will, one day, die. Everyone will vanish, dissappear back to the Earth that we were born on. Nobody really knows when exactly their time will be up, so make good of life while you can. Personally, I’m not really afraid of death; the main fear is that I won’t be able to live long enough to make a difference. So do good while you still can, and learn from the mistakes of others before you. “We all suffer but we recover just to discover life where we all are.”

Grief might feel as if it his holding us down, but it’s what drives us on.

This post is based on a thing written by a friend [https://artisticallyfluent.wordpress.com], regarding our classmate and dear friend who passed away recently. I pray that he is in peace, and in a better place.



From the city, you could see the swathes of mountains and hills rising above the horizon. Driving on the roads towards them, they would appear to grow in size as you approached them.

After a while, the crammed highways would give way to narrow roads that climbed steeper and steeper. Once at the base of the highlands, the roads would begin to spiral around the hills and dip between the valleys. The air would begin to cool as you gained altitude.

The low, uniform landscape transforms into high peaks and rolling hills of plants, painting the backdrop a lively green. The smooth roads dissappear and are replaced by bumpy pathways with potholes and puddles. The lush evergreens that grew in the lowland forests below are not as common up here, and they are taken over by the mosses, ferns, and conifers which were suited to the cold. Your ears might pop as the pressure decreases and the air thins.

The cloud forests were filled with towering ferns and conifers which themselves were covered in moss and lichens, absorbing the moist atmosphere like a giant sponge, and pumping out precious oxygen in the process. The air is cool, humid and thin. Once in a while a cumulus cloud would descend onto the highlands, blanketing them in thick fog and causing the temperature to drop rapidly.

If you would continue ascending, the sound of crickets and birdsong would fill the breezy air. If you listened closely, you might hear the sound of the trees, grass, and rivers, as well as the occasional panther, which all blend into the ambient music of nature itself.

Suddenly, the forest would end in an abrupt line. A few metres away, the plantations of tea and strawberries begin, growing on for acres of hills and fields. From the top, it would look like a vivid green chequered quilt that stretched on from horizon to horizon.

Climbing to the highest peak, you’d find an observation tower. If you were to climb up its rusty railings to the top, you would behold a sight so pure. A majestic view dotted by forests, rivers, cities and roads. You could look all the way towards the horizon and pick out the sailboats and liners upon the sea; the fine line where the green and mahogany plant life meets the azure ocean and atmosphere. The chilling breeze sweeps across your face, frosting up whatever there is to freeze.

Here you’d feel as if you were on top of the world.


Read this:

My friend has a blog! If you like reading thoughts and musings about life and stuff (which you probably do if you are reading my blog) go ahead to his blog. It’s mixed English and Bahasa Indonesia and Melayu.

Here it is: https://applerecess.wordpress.com/

Go, go and read it. Go now. Why are you still reading this, go!